Denominational Unity?

Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, “I am of Paul,” and “I of Apollos,” and “I of Cephas,” and “I of Christ” (I Corinthians 1:12)

Division – an age old church problem – even in Paul’s day they were splitting over who followed who and what they taught. There seemed to be certain church mentors people preferred and wanted to be recognized as part of their strand of thinking. This had become so confusing in the early Gentile church people even began saying the ‘Christ’ was one of the people they followed – alongside Paul, Apollo’s, and Peter.

The reason I raise this passage is because it reveals a problem with the church from it’s earliest arrival on the national scene – church division. This trend continued after this with the branding of heretics in the early centuries (until Nicea), then the Great Schism (Orthodox and Catholics split), and then comes the Reformation (Protestants leave Catholicism), and with Protestantism comes ‘mass division’ – so much so I make a rough estimate the church splits every-time someone has a new revelation (38,000+ denoms worldwide – quite a high number but you get the gist).

Questions are – is it possible for this generation of people to promote unity vs. division? Is it possible we can overlook our doctrinal differences in light of the obvious…we all kind of base everything on the bible regardless of the differences we invent?

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5 thoughts on “Denominational Unity?

  1. just preached a sermon on this. i am optimistic about unity… not ending of the denominations as they have something to offer, each has a focus and a method of interpreting the gospel that we would miss and be in poverty if we didn’t have. yet to recognize that grace covers us all, even those outside of our religion that we are called to SERVE… not to convert. that is the good news. i would hope we can all affirm that even though our christologies, and other theological-ologies may differ.

    i’m slowly learning to be evangelized to (as peter rollins suggests in this post: http://peterrollins.net/blog/?p=697 ) and learn how to affirm aspects of what the Duetro-Pauline-Augustinian tradition is saying and of which i am mostly outside of.. but there are intersections. that is where i will focus.

  2. “but there are intersections. that is where i will focus.” (Luke)

    I agree – I am the same way. I really do sense this generation and the next will break down the walls that have stood for time on end on this issue – namely due to our generations use of ‘tolerance’.

  3. “is it possible for this generation of people to promote unity vs. division?” (SVS)

    I do believe it is possible for this generation to lay the groundwork for the possibility of unity, not that I will wait for it.

    But I do wonder ….. For what purpose? What would be better or different, if some kind of unity did happen?

  4. “But I do wonder ….. For what purpose? What would be better or different, if some kind of unity did happen?” (Just1)

    I think it would be nice if the church stopped it’s ‘name calling’ more or less…and lived up to the spirit of the faith they claim…which seems to be about ‘peace’. Maybe with less controversy in the church we see less problems amongst churches sharing in on many of the same visions – from helping impoverished people together to promoting inter-denom participation.

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