The need for unity in a time of diversity


Events in our country over the past couple of weeks remind us of the need for all Americans to remember that we are “One Nation, Under God, Indivisible.”  Our leaders are stressing that though there are differing political views, we must have a common goal of keeping our nation united in spite of our diversity of views.  The truth is that there is very little real unity in the world.  People divide politically over personal choices.  Yet when a time of national crisis strikes, our country lays aside political differences and goes to war basically together.  It appears that there is some greater goal that supercedes our private preferences, whether it is mere national security, or extremely loyal patriotism.  Our country is a power to cope with when she rally’s around her flag!
Unity is also desirable when it comes to serving our Lord.  In some sense religious people have carved out a kind of “Unity in Diversity” philosophy just as they do in politics.  There is a difference, however!  In politics there are no “absolutes.”  In the religion of the Bible, God’s Law is the absolute authority.  There some absolutely right answers to most religious questions, that is if God addressed the issue  with a specific directive.  If God’s Word gives a directive, it cannot be both right and wrong - right for some and wrong for others - at the same time, nor subject to my private interpretation.  God’s Word is the Truth on all religious questions.  Our failure to understand or agree as to the truth doesn’t make it any less Truth.  Our job is to find that Truth.
Unity fulfills our Lord’s Prayer of John 17:20-21   “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;  That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.”  This unity allows us to conduct the greater work of world evangelism, “...that the world might believe that thou hast sent me.”
Unity also fulfills Paul’s instructions to the church:   (Eph 4:1-3)  “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;  Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
1 Corinthians 1:10 (KJV) “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”
We’ll never accomplish it in politics, but is there some unifying force that can tie a divided religious world back together?  We believe that there is, but that individuals will have to consider the greater good, and lay down private interpretations, opinions, and preferences before it can ever be achieved. In the First Century, Christianity started off that way.  Something went tragically wrong, and now in the name of the Lord, and with one source book, the Bible, man has invented hundreds of divergent religions.  
The one overpowering force that should draw all men to want to be united is a Savior we can all serve  This motivating force compelled the Apostle Paul to travel the globe preaching to people of every race.  It motivated him to have patience with and love for those who sought to do him harm.  Many people are looking for a cause, something to live for.  Many dedicate themselves to humanitarianism, to some political platform, to a cleaner earth, or save the rain forest.  Yet we have a cause that should draw the very finest service, and deepest allegiance.  We have a Savior!

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