Unity - At What Cost?
Amos 3:3 says, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”
I want to take this question the prophet Amos asked thousands of years ago a bit further and ask, “Should two walk together, except they be agreed?” The body of Christ is littered with movements to accomplish two primary goals: unity and church growth.
I’m an avid believer that the church needs a greater sense of unity, and we certainly could use growth in the churches of America today, both in number and in Spirit. In all reality, the body of Christ is certainly divided into far too many factions, and our churches do need a greater evangelistic outreach. However, the solution to these problems is not compromising biblical truth to achieve better results. The solution is to evaluate the Word of God—what does the Bible say about unity? What does the Bible say about church growth? Once we know what the Bible has to say about unity and church growth, then we get in our prayer closet, and we begin to cry out to God to help us see the unity the body of Christ needs and to see the church growth that our churches need.
Regrettably there are more pastors and youth pastors willing to sacrifice their stance on the truth of God’s Word rather than lay their own lives down. I look at the modern youth ministry scene today, and I see a great thrust for unity and for church growth. I think one of the greatest compromises we are seeing is where preachers move away from a style of preaching that seems, for lack of a better term, “aggressive,” to a more reserved and laid back style of teaching. It’s almost as if they are having “a talk” with us rather than preaching. Every preacher has his own style, his own mannerisms, his own personality—we are all different. However, if he is adjusting his style to more suit the spiritual condition of this modern age, then he is compromising.
The worst of the compromise has come in the realm of biblical truth. Doctrine has almost become a hate word in the modern church. No one wants to hear about doctrine anymore. It seems that the body of Christ is more interested in a philosophical discussion than Holy Spirit empowered preaching and teaching. Doctrines such as the baptism with the Holy Spirit, divine healing, the gifts of the Spirit—even the doctrine of repentance—have been thrown aside for the sake of unity and outreach. If we continue to retract the doctrines found in the Word of God, we will eventually become so removed from the truth that we begin teaching and preaching that there is another means of salvation other than the blood of Jesus Christ, which of course there is not!
I Corinthians 1:10 says, “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.”
Unity is not found in our assembly, it is found in our beliefs. If I do not believe what you believe, then I have nothing that unites us. I would rather believe correctly and be all alone, than to pastor the largest church in the world and compromise my faith. Is unity and church growth worth compromising the blood of Jesus Christ and the Word of God? That is a question we must ask ourselves.
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