“When love is shallow, all it takes is something as trivial as a disagreement to divide us.” Francis Chan, Until Unity~
Christian accord–another word for unity–is something my heart has pursued for years. Now Francis Chan writes from his heart about the necessity for Christians to set aside our differences and move forward as the one Church Christ prayed we would be in John 17.
“The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me,” John 17: 22-23.
But that hasn’t happened. Instead, over the years, centuries even, we have continued to divide ourselves over our interpretations of scripture.
Too often, we point to others as the problem. Maybe, Chan points out in his new book, the problem is us.
“In many ways, we have lost a sense of the true holiness of God, and that has caused pride to grow and fester in the church. Everyone seems to start out with the assumption that his or her opinion of God is right, rather than recognizing that all of us have an incomplete, flawed knowledge of God.”
Scripture permeates Chan’s text. He supports his assertions with God’s Word at every turn.
And Chan is stalwart in his devotion to essential Christian doctrine. He does not promote a false, Kumbaya awakening where we discard the basic tenets of faith for a superficial connection to nominal “believers”.
I recommend a great many books in this space. But this book presents, more than an intriguing read. As Chan points out unity is crucial to the future of the Church–and the eternity of many currently outside the Church.
Christ prays for us to be one “so the world may know.”
For us, unity is “not optional.”
Read this book.
Pray for unity among Christians. Love other Christians who are faithful followers even if they aren’t of your tradition.
Turning our corner of the world around may just be that simple.
30 Replies to “Until Unity–Drawing the Church Together”
Yes, yes, yes!
Especially frustrating is when Christians choose either side of a position, when the answer is a balance of both. For example:
– truth IN love, not truth OR love
– election AND free will, not election OR free will (if the apostle Paul could say it’s both in his letter to the Romans, then that’s good enough for me!)
And of course, we have to include the whole pre-, mid-, or post-tribulation argument. Since we won’t know who’s right until it happens, why argue? The point is not knowing when, but being prepared for whenever!
So right, Ava. I no longer qualify to be a member of a church I belonged to for many years because I now agree with you about the pre-, mid-, or post-trib discussion. We can’t know. Scripture reminds us to be ready. And we might consider the importance of being ready for the question, “Did you love your brethren from other traditions?” Thank, Ava. God bless!
A Christian group I worked with had the motto, “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, charity.” That sounds great, but then people can disagree on what is essential and what is non-essential. :/
That’s where we need to pray for love from the Holy Spirit. If we love each other first and see Christ in others–instead of our differences, we will be doing what He asked. Thanks and God bless!
There is too much division in the world. Thank you for sharing about this book. I will add it to my “to be read” list.
It’s a good one, Melissa. Enjoy. Thanks and God bless!
I’ve loved Chan’s writings. I’ll definitely want his newest.
A good post.
Thank you, Connie. Happy reading. God bless!
I very much agree with this. Many of us have very different stances on certain issues, but when we remember Jesus is the head and we are parts of His body, all one in Him, everything becomes much simpler. We are ONE in Jesus.
We are and it does us no good to argue to the point of division. Thank you, Jessica. God bless!
We are using his book certainly in my Sunday school class and I love it. My dad taught me to find a church that moves me to love God and others more regardless of the denomination involved. With our mission work , we work under the banner of Christ not a denomination so that all are welcome. Great post Nancy. Praying for all of us to do a better job in this area.
I love your dad’s heart and his counsel is wise. Thank you, Yvonne. God bless!
Nancy, this topic in your well-written post seems more important now than ever before, although we know Jesus addressed it long ago. This quote speaks volumes to the importance of unity: “ As Chan points out unity is crucial to the future of the Church–and the eternity of many currently outside the Church.” May each of us seek His ways in our relationships with other believers.
Amen, Jeannie. May we seek His ways above our own. Thanks and God bless!
No one is completely right and we won’t know the answers to some questions until we stand before God. But we do need to rely on the purity of the scriptures and let the Bible interpret itself. His Word was given for doctrine, reproof, and correction (2 Timothy 3:16).
We do need to rely on scripture. But we often don’t understand why some traditions have come up with a different perspective as they rely on scripture. When we understand each other, we can disagree with grace. Thank you, Barbara. God bless!
Sounds like a great read. Thank you for suggesting this book.
Thanks for reading, Dawn. Happy reading. God bless!
Yes, yes, yes! Francis Chan seems to always hit the bullseye of the target. He’s absolutely right. There can be no unity when there is arrogance. When we’re all absolutely certain that WE are right and everyone else is wrong, there will not be harmony in the church. In John’s record of the last words Jesus told his disciples at the last supper, the emphasis was on LOVE for one another, which allows us to get along, to work in harmony, until Christ returns. We like to know our theology, but not many of us like to apply it.
So true, Melinda. The Church, the true Christ followers, need to come together. Chan does hit the target. And he backs it all up with scripture.
Thanks and God bless!
I pray that we can recognize that the problem is us and seek God’s will for how we can come together in unity and love. When there are an endless number of opinions and views about what is the right path, only God’s truth is the right choice for us. Thank you for recommending Chan’s book.
Yes, Katherine, there is far too much assumption of right in the Church today and not enough humility. Thanks and God bless!
I loved everything I’ve read by Francis Chan, but haven’t read him in a while. Thanks for the reminder and book review!
Thank you, Candyce. Enjoy the book! God bless!
Nancy, I’ve enjoyed the interviews I’ve heard from Francis Chan. Thanks for the book recommendation.
Thank you, Deb. God bless!
I often try and remind folks that denominations and much doctrine were made by man, and as such, are subject to the same as flaws everything else in humanity. This isn’t to say that I don’t attend a denominational church, but it’s important that every Christian first believe in what God’s word says and what the Holy Spirit can reveal to you. Align yourself with your beliefs leave room for man’s interpretation to be flawed to some degree. There are a great many things I can’t know for certain about God’s word. Rather than struggling with that, especially when there’s a difference between true Bible-believing Christians, I accept that I cannot know that which I don’t know; and I accept that through faith, God will reveal it to us in His time. I have to agree with Pastor Chan that much of the church has succumbed to pride, as have many of the people that fill the pews. Thank you for recommending this book Ms. Nancy. Not being in those “circles”, I don’t often hear of new works until they’ve been out a while or I happen across them.
As always, JD, thanks for your gracious words. God bless!
Wow, Nancy! I didn’t know he had a new book out and this sounds so amazing. Love this thought: “In many ways, we have lost a sense of the true holiness of God, and that has caused pride to grow and fester in the church. Everyone seems to start out with the assumption that his or her opinion of God is right, rather than recognizing that all of us have an incomplete, flawed knowledge of God.”
Definitely getting this book! Thanks for sharing!
It’s a great read, and he backs up his views with scripture. Thanks, Karen. God bless!