Susannah (susannahclark) wrote in christianity,

Unity in Christ

I wish all the Christians of the world could grow to live together in a 'unity in diversity'. The history of Christianity is full of schism and sectarianism, with different groups insisting on their own version of doctrinal uniformity, and declaring themselves 'out of communion' with anyone who does not accept their particular interpretation of 'the truth'.

Yet at the heart of the Gospel, God is truth, and love is truth, and grace is truth. And speaking personally, I consider myself in communion with all other Christians, whether I share all their views or not. The reason for this is that I believe our unity is only, ever, in Christ.

From everlasting to everlasting, the Holy Trinity has been in communion and relationship, God with God with God. It is the very wellspring of love. And this 'relationship' is fundamental to who God is, and who we are called and invited to be. We are called into relationship with God, in the eternal household of God, and into relationship with one another.

And to do this, we need to open our hearts to love and grace.

We need that so much. In the end, I do not believe it is doctrinal exactitude that matters so much to God, as opening our hearts to God's love and grace and life. And loving one another, even though as Christians we are diverse, we are different, we are created unique. In some senses, perhaps the real test is not 'who is right' but 'who will open their hearts to God's love and grace?'

So I believe that I am in communion with all other Christians, because I am in communion with God... with the eternal communion of the Trinity. And when we talk about unity and communion, I believe that originates in the eternal relationships of God. I think that we are in communion with one another, whether we like it or not, because we are in Christ.

That being the case, I think it is a shame if we get distracted or separated by doctrinal differences or variety. Being in union and communion in Christ, we should wish and pray for one another's flourishing and the flourishing of our diverse ministries: helping the poor, caring for the sick, being kind to our neighbours, building community, welcoming people into relationship, not cutting ourselves off from one another.
Tags: communion, grace, love, relationship, unity
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