Journal of Heresies

My search for truth in a world of deceit.

Location: United States

I have what is probably an insatiable desire to search out the answers to what may be impossible questions.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

If THAT is unity, I'd rather be alone!


I heard someone speaking today about 1 John chapter 4. He took it as an opportunity to talk about love and unity within the church, and why he doesn't get into (avoids) certain topics. He said we should put aside our differences in doctrines for the sake of unity.

But, love isn't about the lack of conflict! Unity isn't about comprimise or concession! If a Jew, a Christian, a Muslim, a Buddhist and a Wiccan were all spending the day in one room, they might agree to stay quiet to survive the day, but there would hardly be any significant unity and certainly little love between them. Would any of them be enriched by this tentative peace? What a waste of time! They would spend the day hoping to be released from each other, and mentally cursing their plight.

The sons of Israel loved their brothers, yet there were times they almost destroyed each other, literally. They would even lift the sword to their brothers' necks for the sake of righteousness, and YHVH rewarded them for it. There were times they came together as one man, united in purpose, but they did not at once have the same idea of how to accomplish it. Love and unity at the cost of righteousness and truth is worthless. Perhaps we should not be quick to thrust the sword, but we should not shrink from confrontation to preserve the image of a perfected church. We are not to forsake truth and call it love.

Let's say my child does something wrong. I could ignore the behavior, I could praise the behavior, or I could correct the behavior. Which option is the loving thing to do? The loving thing is to correct my child. Correcting my child is not painless for either of us. I might need to speak sternly, cause my child to cry and cause my child to feel badly about his/her actions; I might expect him/her to fix to their best ability whatever injury he/she caused. Love is sometimes stressful, painful, difficult and confrontational. To avoid and discourage all confrontation is to restrain love.

Finally, when no one feels free to express their inner thoughts, then there is no intimacy, no brotherhood. So also, when we corrupt truth to gain support, we become estranged from our Father so that we are orphans without family. Psalm 133 says: "Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity." To have unity we must have the same Father and we must love with a real love not some counterfeit image.


Blogger lkn4truth said...

It may not have been the point of your entire post but I did want to share that I agree with you that to avoid certain topics does not mean unity. I attended the United Church of God for nearly 2 years and for at least a year of that I realized I had little in common with them. I listened to the preacher teach the congregation things I thought were blasphemous but for the sake of "peace and unity" I kept my mouth shut. But, as you said, I secretly could not wait to get out of there as soon as possible. Eventually I could no longer sit in the church silently giving approval to a system I no longer believed in. That was not unity. That was not fellowship. And yet the pastor invited me to come whenever I wanteed as long as I kept my mouth shut about my beliefs (you know, for the sake of unity).

8:47 AM, January 24, 2006  

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