Honor, Conflict, Tension, and True Unity

Writing the Unity post publicly revealed a bit of a personal struggle I’m having and some of my own ego battles.  While I do want to talk about unity and how we interact with one another, truth be known, I also wanted to defend myself.  It was a subplot that shouldn’t have been there.  I didn’t need to defend myself for obvious reasons.

I also wanted to place a shot across the bow of some good people who are my brothers but who got caught up in saying and repeating some things about me that were incorrect.  That doesn’t stop them from being decent humans who like me, love Jesus and are prone to make mistakes.

My words were a distraction.  My defense of me and my finger in the eye of the other guy took the focus off of what we’re about:aggressively pursuing the Mission of Jesus.”

If I’m going to call for openness and transparency, I’ll start with me.  If I am going to call for proper stewardship of mission resources, I ought to start with myself.  And, if we’re talking about me, we’re talking about the wrong stuff.  I apologize for that.

Now, the definitive statement on Unity:

2 Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. 3 Always keep yourselves united in the Holy Spirit, and bind yourselves together with peace. 4 We are all one body, we have the same Spirit, and we have all been called to the same glorious future. 5 There is only one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 and there is only one God and Father, who is over us all and in us all and living through us all. 7 However, he has given each one of us a special gift according to the generosity of Christ. 8 That is why the Scriptures say, “When he ascended to the heights, he led a crowd of captives and gave gifts to his people.”  9 Notice that it says “he ascended.” This means that Christ first came down to the lowly world in which we live. 10 The same one who came down is the one who ascended higher than all the heavens, so that his rule might fill the entire universe. 11 He is the one who gave these gifts to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ, 13 until we come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature and full grown in the Lord, measuring up to the full stature of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be like children, forever changing our minds about what we believe because someone has told us something different or because someone has cleverly lied to us and made the lie sound like the truth. 15 Instead, we will hold to the truth in love, becoming more and more in every way like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 16 Under his direction, the whole body is fitted together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.  -Ephesians 4:2-16

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5 Responses

  1. Amen…nuff said.

  2. There are two things that this brings to mind.

    First, one of the strong points of this blog is that most of us comment under our real names. Those who don’t like what you are saying are free to confront you with plenty of witnesses. It’s not a perfect implementation of Biblical conflict resolution, but it beats most of what passes for it in Evangelical churches.

    Second, I admire your desire for consistency in deed. That’s something I hope for in minister and lay person alike. The Golden Rule is still in those inerrant Scriptures!

  3. Don, did you say “inerrant Scriptures”? Because I’m going to have to take you to task for that one! (Just kidding. Just thought it would be funny to start a disunifying debate, given the topic.)

    Travis, I’m happy for your transparency. That’s almost always a good thing, and certainly a good thing here. However, in terms of giving you some feed back, I would say that perhaps you were analyzing your personal motivations and feelings when posting the post. But the post on Unity was not inherently inappropriate. It led to some great questions that led to some great dialogue. I did not experience your post the way you experienced your posting.

  4. It’s off topic, but I thought I’d pass on the following to the missional:

    http://www.virtueonline.org/portal/modules/news/article.php?storyid=8311

    And, Jon, not to worry: there will be plenty of disunifying debates once the GA agenda is released!

  5. Travis,

    I like the first part of that verse, “making allowances for each others faults because of your love”. I definately think all of us in this church have faults from the GO on down to the usher on the front row. Unity in my mind does not mean I have to agree with everything someone say just so we can be unified. But I can disagree with his point of few and still love him even though I know he’s wrong LOL. Seriously though I wish our church could learn to disagree and still love each other. We all have faults let make allowances for our faults, not for sin, but for our faults.
    Be Blessed

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