Ways To Achieve Greater Biblical Unity
(Ps.133:1; Eph. 4:11-13; Phlp.2:1-3; Rom.12:16-18)
We live in a time of much disunity in our society. Whether it is family disunity, racial disunity, or disunity in the body of Christ, it's all around us. Add to that the problems in the Middle East, with illegal immigration, terrorism, and the imminent collapse of our economy, we need unity perhaps more now than ever before in history. Sadly, many Christians and Churches try to accomplish more unity by compromising the gospel and other biblical truths. But there is a biblical way to have greater unity in the body of Christ and local churches without compromising the gospel and other biblical truths. As you read the brief article below, my challenge to readers and their families, is to come and worship with us at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church regardless of your denominational background and see for yourself how this can be accomplished as we go through God's word together verse by verse. Let's glorify God by uniting or reuniting families, friends, and neighbors. Not only is it the right thing to do at anytime, but now is a better time than ever as we prepare eternally and temporally for what may very well happen before the Lord's return. ~ Brother Bret
1. Pray for it regularly. Pray for wisdom on how to to achieve greater biblical unity without compromising the gospel and word of God. Pray for a humble and submissive attitude when dealing with the various issues and decisions that the local church faces.
2. Pray about and study the word of God without any preconceived beliefs and ideas. Don’t try to get it to mean what you already believe personally, receive it for what it says!
3. Use a modern translation off of the King James Version or Texus Receptus Manuscripts such as the KJV 21st Century Version of Modern King James Version.
4. Remember or learn the difference between a narrative and an imperative in God's word.
5. Remember the difference of when God's word speaks of a person's respons-ability, and where or Who that ability comes from.
6. Remember…Observation; Interpretation; Application. Let your personal study of God's word be by books/letters, chapters and verse by verse. Be sure to try and keep the context and not break up the thought pattern of the Inspired writer.
7. Remember what many pastors and teachers call "The Analogy of Faith:" Compare Scripture with Scripture including Scripture that "appears" to contradict others and have more than one interpretation (even though only one is correct) with Scripture that is "cut and dry" with only one interpretation. No single verse or passage of Scripture stands alone unless it is alone because the teaching is not dealt with any where else in God’s word.
8. Proclaim the word of God predominately by book/chapter/verse by verse in the main worship service (most attended). Such preaching helps the preacher keep the word of God in context, not miss various truths, and to be a greater means to reduce divisions in the body of Christ.
9. Be careful about saying something doesn’t apply because of the difference in cultures of bible times and now. While that is sometimes true in God’s word, it is not always the case. Especially if "non cultural" illustrations or examples are given by God in His word Himself.
10. Remember biblical presuppositions such as: God is perfect, holy, righteous, truthful, and without sin. He does not make any mistakes or errors; therefore there are no contradictions in His written revelation preserved for His people. Further therefore, the bible is the word of God from Genesis 1:1 through Revelation 22:21.
11. Regenerate Local Church Membership and intentional discipleship both as a prerequisite and condition of local church membership.
12. New Pastors wait about a year before making major ministry changes and change in long standing traditions in the local church. After that approximate year, and for existing Pastors, be careful to effectively communicate and explain the reason for the proposed change(s) and try to have most of the church on the same page with you regarding them.
13. Church members having a humble and submissive attitude regarding changes, as alluded to in number 1 above. If it is something that the member has strong convictions about that they don't believe they can continue to follow, don't sow discord and cause disunity in the local church, but rather quietly and peacefully move on to another local church that lines up more with your convictions and biblical truth. But of course remember, there are no perfect churches out there because there are no sinless Christians out there.