Are we of one mind in the Lord or just a CLIQUE?
Not many years ago, I listened to a recording of a lectureship forum from FHU where a famous leader in the church said it was neither possible nor even necessary for Christians to agree on every point of doctrine. Then he proceeded to list what he deemed to be cardinal doctrines of the church on which we all should agree.
Below, I have listed several scriptures where the subject of unity is addressed. Are these inspired words of God simply good suggestions or are they commands we must obey? Did our Master give us any impossible commands?
- John 17:21—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. Was Jesus prayer useless? Stop for a moment to analyze this verse phrase by phrase to see the necessity for unity.
- Acts 4:32—And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
- 1 Corinthians 1:10—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.
- Ephesians 4:3—Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
- Ephesians 4:13—Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
- Philippians 2:1-3—If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, 2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
Granted there may be some in the church who are bonded by blood, ethnicity or even educational background and so stick together to the exclusion of all others, but genuine Christians should never judge by the flesh! Now, here is a question for all of us to consider seriously: When/if people in a congregation of the church agree on points of doctrine taught by Jesus (i.e. speak the same thing), should we refer to them as cliques? The only way for Christians to have true unity is that all speak the same things. Can we have true unity without the same mind and judgment in Christ? If someone feels like an outsider, maybe the problem is that he/she is separated by doctrines or practices not yet studied or understood.