Our Unity

Posted 7/22/2018

One of the things that has pained my heart over the years is the way we Christians sometimes treat each other. In a world that is increasingly uncivil, we Christians are often not far behind the world (if not sometimes worse!) as we throw condemnations at one another. In saying this, I’m not suggesting that differences don’t matter at all. What I am suggesting is that our mutual belonging to Christ should matter more. I was born a Presbyterian — and I intend to die a Presbyterian. There is much about our tradition I value. Yet I also know that Presbyterianism isn’t the only way of being Christian.

I remember a conversation I had years ago with another pastor with whom I had a disagreement. This person was adamant that our disagreement “proved” I couldn’t possibly be Christian. I asked this sister in Christ what she made of the Scripture that says, “no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says ‘Let Jesus be cursed!’ and no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:3). She immediately responded, “it says, ‘confess with your lips and believe in your heart.’ Just saying ‘Jesus is Lord’ isn’t enough!” My problem with her response is how can I ever really know what is in another’s heart.

As I said, I am a born Presbyterian. That means I prefer our Presbyterian urging to “have a good opinion of everyone” to making judgments I really can’t make. And that means I find myself valuing  our mutual belonging to Christ more than I do a person’s theological stance or opinion.