Eugene L. Conger
Is it possible to get denominations together in real unity? Can present efforts to unify all churches into one universal church succeed? Such ecumenical movements are doomed to failure because “faith cannot be legislated”?
Getting two denominations together by the present efforts means compromising the views of each enough for them to become one new denomination. In other words, to “agree to disagree.” The present plan toward unity would continue such a scheme until all churches eventually become one great universal church. Such a plan for unity will never succeed because it allows the many contradictory characteristics and doctrines of the various denominations to continue in force. Unity would become meaningless. It is as if we tied a dog and a cat together. We would have union but certainly not unity.
Individual believers in Christ can achieve real and enduring unity, however. They can have unity by repudiating all man-made doctrines and by becoming and remaining plain New Testament Christians. Such individuals would be saved from their sins according to the conditions of salvation outlined in the New Testament. They would be added by the Lord (Acts 2:47) to the true church that Jesus himself built. Matthew 16:18. They would, then, never join any humanly organized church but would be united with each other and with Jesus Christ. They never become party to any division whatever within Christianity. They would have no creed but Christ and no guidebook except the Bible. As in New Testament days, they would worship in the Lord’s church throughout the world and would be united in one body, in one spirit, and with a common faith.
In this way we can have true church unity. Jesus prayed for unity in 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 has sent me.”
The apostle Paul preached unity in Ephesians 4:1-6, “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; Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”
Let us follow the same plea for unity as is set forth in God’s Word. –PO Box 427, Elizabeth, WV 26143-0427.
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