Thursday, February 01, 2007

Great Article on Christian Unity

One of my principal interests on this blog is the practice of unity in the Body of Christ. Alan Knox, on his post Unity in Christ... links to one of the best articles on Christian unity I have ever read. I thus direct you to read and reflect upon: A fading unity by Chris Milliken.

8 comments:

Alan Knox said...

David,

Thank you for the link. I pray that many people read Milliken's article and think deeply about our unity in God. I think it is especially important that he suggests that if we are not demonstrating unity, it is because there is a problem with our connection to God, not with our associations with one another.

-Alan

Debbie said...

David: Thank you for this link. I am in the process of reading it. I have it bookmarked so I can digest it slowly.

Tim Patterson said...

David,

Thanks for the link. Good stuff. I agree with this principle as modeled in Scripture. What practical applications for today do you propose?

Tim (mr. t)

David Rogers said...

Tim,

Great to get a real name to go with you. I pray God will lead you and your family in this new phase in your life. I'd love to see you sometime after we're back for STAS in July this year.

As far as practical applications, there are many. In a way, they are the theme of this blog, and I have looked at this from many different angles.

I especially like Milliken's line: "Why do most gatherings only seem to see any sense of lasting unity within the constraints of similar demographics?" I think that's one of the great things about cross-cultural missions. It forces you to fellowship with believers who are not of "similar demographics" to you. I think, overall, if the rank-and-file members sitting in Southern Baptist pews could fellowship more with those who are not of "similar demographics," the spiritual effect would be revolutionary.

Tim Patterson said...

David,

You probably don't remember... we met in Honduras several years ago. You and your wife accompanied your church on a project and I introduced you all to our youth gang ministry (remember Armando?). We left Honduras soon after that but continue to have a heart for Latins.

Please let me know when you come to the U.S. Memphis is not that far away from us (we are in the Nashville area).

Tim (mr. t)

bryan riley said...

David,

I don't know if you knew or know HD McCarty, but he was my pastor for several years. I recently found where he wrote something in 1975 that I found to be very applicable to today's discussions in the SBC. I posted this on my blog, and I will paste a portion here. Sorry for the length, but his words are good:

In the last twenty or thirty years congregations have been split over the issue of tongues and gifts of the Spirit. The debate has been heavy, not only in theological institutions of learning, but among the average layman. We have seen Pentecostal excesses on one side and narrow judgmentalism on the other. Even though the controversy has raged all around us and pastors who I know and love have been pulverized into taking a position on either side, the force of charismatic dissension has never been felt in UBC. I believe the reason for this is simple… we have made Jesus Christ the center of our church and have not allowed the various winds of our human limitations or experiences to move us from that one and only Rock. . . . There is danger in any doctrine that is cut off from the Person of Jesus Christ, regardless of its truth. The fact remains that great numbers of honest, sincere, godly, Bible-believing Christians hold opposite views on this subject.

*** Both sides… the Charismatics and non-Charismatics… would say search the Scriptures…but nothing is ultimately resolved. I have taken the position that there is a “HIGHER LAW” than gifts operating in the Body and that law is that of love and unity! Just before He died the Lord Jesus prayed to His Father that those who know Him would be one (John 17:21). It is my experience and belief that doctrine alone does not constitute the power to hold us together in a God glorifying fellowship . . . Jesus alone is able to do that. If we wait until our minds agree on all doctrines before we have unity, then unity will never come on this earth. The Lord Jesus expected this unity and commanded it. Further, He said the very power of our witness would be determined by the obvious wonder of our unity (John 13:34-35).

David Rogers said...

Tim

Yes, I definitely remember our time there with the gang members. It was like a week or so before Mitch struck. It is incredible for my wife, Kelly, and me, to think that the homes of many of the people we talked to were probably wiped out soon afterwards, and I don't know if any actually lost their lives.

In any case, yeah, I'd love to see you there Stateside. We have some family in the Nashville area, so we will probably be passing through from time to time.

David Rogers said...

Bryan,

Excellent quote!

I don't know that I have ever actually met Dr. McCarty, but I had a roommate during seminary days who had been at University Baptist under his leadership, and was always talking him up. Sounds like he must be a really good leader.