The Overlooked Mandate

Jesus said “I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” John 17:23 NIV

Paul said “I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.” 1Cor. 1:10 NIV

So, then Christians, why do we never hear this preached from the pulpits? And why, if we do, is it only used within our own groups to keep peace but not in connection with the whole body of believers? Could it be that “the hirelings” are more concerned with promoting their own interests, protecting their own status, and gaining power by isolating their flocks from other believers who hold different understandings about Scripture?  How does that comport with Romans 14:1 “accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgement on disputable matters.” “Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.” Romans 14:4, ? Well of course it doesn’t! And, it won’t as long as we believers maintain our sense of spiritual pride about the viewpoints we hold and the denominational beliefs we cherish above the unity Christ calls for. Somehow we forget that we are all “looking thru that dark glass dimly, ” and that we only know in part”.  We must get out of our little spiritual boxes and fellowship with the whole body of Christ insisting that our leaders stop being critical of other Biblical teachers, stop “lording it over others”, and respecting only their own kind.



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5 Responses to The Overlooked Mandate

  1. bdolack says:

    Back when I was working with you, you had me researching the various denominations and splinter groups. I lost count well up in the hundreds. It seems like just about everybody has their own view of what this or that “really means,” and they exclude anyone who doesn’t agree. Once you map out your turf, you defend it. And the victims be damned! All that matters is making sure you hold on to your piece of the pie. Sad.

    • You have put the problem in the correct perspective. We stand in amazement at the scope of the problem. We wonder what went wrong, and what can be done about it. But guess what? Acts 20:29, 30 explains as Paul admonishs us, “I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them..” Therefore be on the alert . . .” . And it would seem to me that these wolves often perpetuate their control by heavy, and continuing threats of disapproval, or frequent guilt trips about the dangers of their flocks abandoning their assembly.

  2. beckspics says:

    At the risk of appearing foolish, which happens to me a lot, I submit this verse:
    Romans 16:17
    “I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them.”
    This verse, however, does not excuse open criticism or rudeness.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Unity goes hand in hand with those who think alike, just as discord is the conclusion to having different views between denominations. The individual who comes up with their own belief system tend to find themselves outside of a denominational organization because they lack humility and finds it strange that they of all people have anything to learn from another individual. In there own eyes they are never wrong, yet they are no different than the denomination they condemn.

    Unity is a fabrication, not a reality. Our culture is too steeped in individual importance.

  4. Absolutely to the point. Our fellowship and unity should be with those who “walk in the light as He is in the Light”, and among those who are being taught “to obey all His commandments” (teachings and principles) as He directed in the Great Commission. We take “contrary to the teaching you have learned”, to be anything contrary to that found in the New Testament. Unity with those who have added to the Word, the teachings and traditions of men cannot be possible if “situational ethics are substituted for Gods revealed will and truth. We will and can disagree about our personal New Testament understandings yet still live in unity as each of us matures. And as you suggest to correct one another, “speaking the truth in love”. Watchman

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