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The Threat of Smaug: A Call for Christian Unity

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The Threat of Smaug: A Call for Christian Unity
Christians can be so short-sighted. I’ll never forget a vivid illustration that author / speaker, Kevin P. Swanson, used once regarding Christian unity at a national homeschool leadership meeting. He said (based on his best guesstimate) that if you total up the entire gross revenue of all of the major right-wing Christian organizations in the U.S. (Focus on the Family, Concerned Women for America, American Family Association, Family Research Council, etc.), their collective annual income is about $250 million dollars.
 
That sounds like a lot of money, until you consider that just ONE organization, Planned Parenthood, receives over $1 BILLION dollars a year (4x the amount of ALL of those Christian organizations put together), and half of that, $500,000,000 is government funded.
 
It’s like there is this horrible dragon of evil that desires to destroy our homes, our marriages, our churches, our civilization, and we, collectively, are like a flea on the back leg of the dragon, whose intended purpose is to bite the leg of the dragon. But rather than doing that, we chew our own legs off!
 
If another Christian doesn’t agree with us on the Calvinist / Arminian debate, or if they speak in tongues (or don’t), or their view of end-times is different than ours, or whatever…we distance ourselves, speak disparagingly behind their back, and refuse to work with them in any way, because they aren’t EXACTLY like us.
 
We so need to get over ourselves. The strongest argument against Christianity is Christians.
“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35)

If someone is preaching a false gospel, they need to be opposed. This is not a call to doctrine-free, relativistic, ecumenism. But if another Christian just isn’t like you (or works for a different Christian ministry, or attends a different church, than you)…seriously?! We need to remember the big picture, and refuse to shoot anyone in our own foxhole.

Israel Wayne is an Author and Conference Speaker and the Director of Family Renewal, LLC. He is author of the book, Questions Jesus Asks: Where Divinity Meets Humanity. He is also the Site Editor for www.ChristianWorldview.net.

Photo credit: eigirdaz via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

5 Responses to “The Threat of Smaug: A Call for Christian Unity”

  1. Paulette Brack says:

    Thank you! That needed to be said.

  2. Don says:

    I don’t know why, but I’m constantly amazed how the hand of God works with so little and still accomplishes much.
    Your article makes me think of the disagreements between Saul (Paul) and Barnabas, yet the Lord used the ministry of both men in mighty ways.

    As always, thanks for the reminder that we can serve together, yet remain civil in our attitudes toward each other because we work to serve the same kingdom.

  3. Exactly! Yes, you are so right! Thank you for saying this!

  4. Ukulelemike says:

    Can two walk together except they be agreed? Christian unity is absolutely vital, no doubt, BUT, it MUST be based upon truth, upon holiness, upon acreement in Jesus Christ. So yes, when issues of worldliness, doctrinal differences, carnality, and false practices, and disareement on what the ord of gad actually IS, come into play, there cannot be unity! Many years ago when I was first a pastor, I was approached by the local Pastors’ Association to join; they said all they did was get together to pray for the salvation of the community. That’s very noble, but there was a problem: I believe the bible clearly teaches that salvation is by grace through faith alone, apart from any works; but the Catholic priest in the group believes it is found in their ‘church’, the AOG pastor believes it is followed by tongues, and if there is no tongues, there was no salvation; the Church of Christ pastor believes it is by grace through faith, plus baptism. So we have a problem, because how can we pray for salvations, when we can’t even agree on how salvation is attained? One in doctrine, in Spirit, in baptism, in faith, or no unity.

    • L. R. Mayfield says:

      It seems to me that if each pastor is praying for the salvation of the community, then you could also pray for the salvation of the community with them. It might be difficult to accept that each man will assess how his prayer was answered differently, nevertheless, if the prayers are answered, then some who are lost will come to know Christ. If you refuse to fellowship based on your own definition of worldliness, I’m afraid you’ll have a very small crew of proud fellows in your ship. My family includes pastors, teachers, a chaplain, former missionaries, a youth worker, and very active church members, and we don’t even agree on what’s worldly–a couple of the group have tattoos, several women color their hair, some of the men wear facial hair, and all the women wear jewelry and makeup. A few drink a glass of wine in their homes, and most attend movies. When I was growing up, those would all be considered marks of worldliness. Today we know better–God looks on the heart and how we follow Him doesn’t always look the same on the outside, but we are true followers.

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© Israel Wayne.