Jump to content

Round Table Discussion:Can General Christian Unity Be Accomplished Temporally?


Mudcat

Recommended Posts

Hi All,

I have had the opportunity to meet many wonderful people in the course of my life. Some I have met through forums such as this one, others in my daily work and social life. Many claim Christ but their beliefs vary from mine on different points. Yet as I see it, every one I have talked of Christ with ... RCC, EOC, LDS, Mainline Prots, EV's, Pentecostals, CommunityOC and so forth, all share a profound love and respect for their Savior. Yet despite this common love of Christ, our variant beliefs cordon us off from our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

I think the subject I am bringing up is a rather difficult one, but one that can hopefully be discussed. One general problem I see, is that nearly all faiths basic solution is for everyone to come round to what they believe. Hopefully you are as cognizant of the fact as I am, that this is an unlikely scenario in any temporal sense.

Recognizing that, I would posit Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:1-7 that "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism,One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ."

This statement is a powerful one that I read quite often. Looking at the text, I think it is pretty obvious that Christianity as a whole has done a fairly poor job of it. Sometimes it just makes me want to curl up in my nice cozy ecclesiastical ball and pull the shutters closed on the rest of the world.

In fact many people do just that, however I think this sort of thinking seems to be a bit contrary to Paul's encouragement to be longsuffering and forbearing one another in love. Such language seem to imply the challenge of such unity.

Given the current state of things, how are we to endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace?

What are the biggest hurdles we as Christian's face?

What are some possible solutions to surmount them?

BTW.. I know there are a number of quality posters who don't count themselves as Christian. Your input is welcome as well.

Link to comment

Hi All,

I have had the opportunity to meet many wonderful people in the course of my life. Some I have met through forums such as this one, others in my daily work and social life. Many claim Christ but their beliefs vary from mine on different points. Yet as I see it, every one I have talked of Christ with ... RCC, EOC, LDS, Mainline Prots, EV's, Pentecostals, CommunityOC and so forth, all share a profound love and respect for their Savior. Yet despite this common love of Christ, our variant beliefs cordon us off from our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

I think the subject I am bringing up is a rather difficult one, but one that can hopefully be discussed. One general problem I see, is that nearly all faiths basic solution is for everyone to come round to what they believe. Hopefully you are as cognizant of the fact as I am, that this is an unlikely scenario in any temporal sense.

Recognizing that, I would posit Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:1-7 that "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism,One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ."

This statement is a powerful one that I read quite often. Looking at the text, I think it is pretty obvious that Christianity as a whole has done a fairly poor job of it. Sometimes it just makes me want to curl up in my nice cozy ecclesiastical ball and pull the shutters closed on the rest of the world.

In fact many people do just that, however I think this sort of thinking seems to be a bit contrary to Paul's encouragement to be longsuffering and forbearing one another in love. Such language seem to imply the challenge of such unity.

Given the current state of things, how are we to endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace?

What are the biggest hurdles we as Christian's face?

What are some possible solutions to surmount them?

BTW.. I know there are a number of quality posters who don't count themselves as Christian. Your input is welcome as well.

Hi Mudcat, nice topic!

I think there are two things to be considered with this - the first is the nature of the identity you are hoping to see established. The second is what aims or accomplishments are you hoping to see achieved through this solidarity?

For the first, I see the biggest challenge being that most religious belief has two aspects - a system of how to live in the here and now, and a belief about what will occur in the here-after and to whom. I think that opportunities to achieve solidarity must rely on a focus on the here and now and agreement on the values of "christian walk" in a temporal world.

People being people, the second big challenge is due to the desire for power we all seem to struggle with. Christianity has seen it's fair share of struggle between the search for an egalitarian society and the need to establish heirarchy to function in the day-to-day. How a unified christianity can resolve this should be considered as well.

Regarding the afterlife - as an agnostic I think I could actually feel at home with christian-motivated people working to better the world, but may never again feel a sense of brotherhood with someone who claims absolute knowledge of what I see as unknowable...and uses this knowledge to act in a way that seems in conflict with the other goals. I see this as being likely to carryover between the variuos forms of Christ-based faiths as well. When we see an argument here between LDS and Christian, it is usually focused on the various other-worldly or institutional/religous teachings that are outside of the values and service performed in the name of Christ, but rather on the supposed doctrine and dogma claimed in his name.

But, to honest, this reflects my own biases and views of how I try to keep and practice a form of spirituality in my life while whittling away what I think makes it less possible. So I am interested in your and other's thoughts on this as well.

Link to comment

I think the problem is that we all want unity, but we want to be unified by OUR individual beliefs- our kind of baptism, our kind of theology and our kind of-- whatever.

And then we have groups like the Catholics and LDS who actually believe that theirs is THE correct path. For us, I think our program for unity is worldwide conversion.

Yet I honestly think that the LDS church could peacefully co-exist in a creedal Christian milieu without a problem. I think we have pretty much dropped the rhetoric of every other faith being an "abomination". I frankly think that rhetoric was necessary in Joseph's time to help in the initial setup of the church.

I know we are accused of having a persecution complex, but there is a lot of evidence right on this forum that it is justified, so part of the blame for us not being "ecumenical" goes to our critics.

Can it be done? I'd like to think so.

But let me ask this- what would we need to do as a church to make this happen? For the LDS here, that might be one way to focus on the quesiton at hand

Link to comment

...In fact many people do just that, however I think this sort of thinking seems to be a bit contrary to Paul's encouragement to be longsuffering and forbearing one another in love. Such language seem to imply the challenge of such unity.

Given the current state of things, how are we to endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace?

What are the biggest hurdles we as Christian's face?

Pride.

Coming from one who too frequently lets his own pride offend others (A work in progress folks - please be patient w/me.)

What are some possible solutions to surmount them?

Can't say what others need, but the prescription for myself is:

More prayer, study and contemplation.

More frequent expressions of gratitude.

More face-to-face interaction/service with others.

(Less time in online discussions.)

Great thread.

Link to comment

Hi Mudcat, nice topic!

I think there are two things to be considered with this - the first is the nature of the identity you are hoping to see established. The second is what aims or accomplishments are you hoping to see achieved through this solidarity?

Hi Honorentheos,

I agree that there is no sense in beginning unless there is a goal in mind. As I alluded to earlier, I find the concept of all Christians showing up at a church under the same name and consistent unified doctrine... such as the CoJCoLDS, RCC, EOC, SBC, is at present a bit far fetched in light of the actual circumstances. Efforts to achieve that sort of unity have IMO usually led to another sect/denomination of Christianity arising and the situation becoming even more disjointed.

As far as a nature or identity, I certainly don't want promote something that might just throw yet another sect or denomination into existence. I think the best course, would to find the most basic and general form or unification that could be striven for. So the most basic identity would simply be Christians......

It sounds simple but that in and of itself is a HUGE hurdle. There are so many who within their own faiths exclude the possibility of many Christians from being Christian. Churches of Christ, Oneness Pentecostals nearly exclude all but themselves, Most of my fellow EV Baptists typically chalk off anyone who isn't and EV or Mainline Prot., The RCC has a fairly broad view but as you know, they generally leave LDS out in the cold. LDS seem to have the broadest view, but the view is also very conditional one IMO.

What needs to be done, is to define Christianity and what a Christian is, in its simplest terms. If we look at the very early Church, I believe such a definition exists. The exclusionary doctrinal concepts that we have developed were not as apparent at that point in time. However, the rub would be getting anyone to retract their doctrinal claws to accept such a definition.

As far as the aims of such, I would leave that ultimately up to the Holy Spirit though I would speculate an expansion of the Kingdom of God would be the likely result. However from my POV, peace and love between all fellow Christians sounds nice. Joint charitable efforts sounds like something great as well. What if all Christians through the various sects and denominations focused their combined humanitarian aid to a third world nation for even just a short period of time? That in itself would likely present wonderful results.

For the first, I see the biggest challenge being that most religious belief has two aspects - a system of how to live in the here and now, and a belief about what will occur in the here-after and to whom. I think that opportunities to achieve solidarity must rely on a focus on the here and now and agreement on the values of "christian walk" in a temporal world.

Emphasis mine. I agree here. Regardless of schisms, the "Christian walk" is the thing that does seem to be the most unified. Thanks again for your thoughts.

Respectfully,

Mudcat

Link to comment

Ephesians 4:1-7

Perhaps it is too simplistic to think that Paul was talking about the Church, and not Christianity as a school of thought that can be massaged and applied in various ways and labeled "Christianity." I think in this scripture he was battling the apostasy of the Church; he did not want it to devolve into various forms of "Christianity."

Throughout the world we as Christians can endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace by not standing still: by following the Light of Christ as it leads to greater truth. The biggest hurdles we as Christian's face in accomplishing that are the traditions of the fathers, pride and sin. Some possible solutions to surmount these hurdles are to follow the Light of Christ.

Link to comment

Hi Honorentheos,

What needs to be done, is to define Christianity and what a Christian is, in its simplest terms. If we look at the very early Church, I believe such a definition exists. The exclusionary doctrinal concepts that we have developed were not as apparent at that point in time. However, the rub would be getting anyone to retract their doctrinal claws to accept such a definition.

You reminded me of CS Lewis' many doors, one hallway analogy in Mere Christianity (though I may be stating it wrong). I'm also rusty in my use of little "c", capital "C" catholic views of christianity.

I wonder, honestly, if you strip away the essence of all belief in the dogma/doctrine and try to focus on a very simple creedal view of Christ that is manifest only through christian living if this can be accomplished without disagreement over the simple creed? And if one must get more basic than even this, is there room to move beyond the notion of "christian" and expand this into an inclusive view of humanity that takes in all religions, nations, and creeds? or even us poor doubters?

It seems that this is the basic question - where do you draw the circle that "keeps him out"? or is it all inclusive? or requires at a minimum a belief in Christ manifest in a christian life? or is it mere belief that should define the circle and actions become secondary?

I am pushing because I appreciate your thought here and it is one that, in some ways some of us who define our selves as former mormons have wondered about the LDS faith as well.

Link to comment

Hi All,

I have had the opportunity to meet many wonderful people in the course of my life. Some I have met through forums such as this one, others in my daily work and social life. Many claim Christ but their beliefs vary from mine on different points. Yet as I see it, every one I have talked of Christ with ... RCC, EOC, LDS, Mainline Prots, EV's, Pentecostals, CommunityOC and so forth, all share a profound love and respect for their Savior. Yet despite this common love of Christ, our variant beliefs cordon us off from our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

I think the subject I am bringing up is a rather difficult one, but one that can hopefully be discussed. One general problem I see, is that nearly all faiths basic solution is for everyone to come round to what they believe. Hopefully you are as cognizant of the fact as I am, that this is an unlikely scenario in any temporal sense.

Recognizing that, I would posit Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:1-7 that "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism,One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ."

This statement is a powerful one that I read quite often. Looking at the text, I think it is pretty obvious that Christianity as a whole has done a fairly poor job of it. Sometimes it just makes me want to curl up in my nice cozy ecclesiastical ball and pull the shutters closed on the rest of the world.

In fact many people do just that, however I think this sort of thinking seems to be a bit contrary to Paul's encouragement to be longsuffering and forbearing one another in love. Such language seem to imply the challenge of such unity.

Given the current state of things, how are we to endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace?

What are the biggest hurdles we as Christian's face?

What are some possible solutions to surmount them?

BTW.. I know there are a number of quality posters who don't count themselves as Christian. Your input is welcome as well.

Well Mudcat your wife probably appreciates your viewpoint. I don't know if the World Council of Churches accepts Mormons as observers, but they do with Roman Catholics.

Link to comment

I think the problem is that we all want unity, but we want to be unified by OUR individual beliefs- our kind of baptism, our kind of theology and our kind of-- whatever.

And then we have groups like the Catholics and LDS who actually believe that theirs is THE correct path. For us, I think our program for unity is worldwide conversion.

Hi Bukowski,

I agree with you here, emphasis mine. This is the 400 pound gorilla. Surely there must be a way to do this though...

You make a valid point in regards LDS, RCC and THE correct path. There are others that hold similarly so I wouldn't isolate those two, in fact I think on some level.. all of us do. However, seems at present that any and all plans for worldwide domination of any particular organization are likely quite a ways off.

Can it be done? I'd like to think so.

Well that makes two us and Bukowski, I am glad I am not alone.

Link to comment

I wonder, honestly, if you strip away the essence of all belief in the dogma/doctrine and try to focus on a very simple creedal view of Christ that is manifest only through christian living if this can be accomplished without disagreement over the simple creed?

You are right Honorentheos. To establish some sort of creed would imply a formal organization of some sort, I don't think it can happen that way. At worst another new denomination would rise from it and at best you would have... for lack of a better term The Christian Scouts of the World.

I suppose my reference to the very early Church was simply to say, that they loved Christ, tried to follow him as best they could with very limited information. They were having new concepts and advancements in doctrine being hurled at them and were apparently so enamored with Christ that many of them were literally willing to die for their beliefs in some very gruesome ways during the persecutions.

But, based on current doctrinal standards of what one needs to believe to a member of the Church of X, I seriously doubt they would have passed "the smell test". Yet I think we see them as some of the most faithful Christians.

And if one must get more basic than even this, is there room to move beyond the notion of "christian" and expand this into an inclusive view of humanity that takes in all religions, nations, and creeds? or even us poor doubters?

I think it will have to be more basic than this. I don't think I am alone in how I feel about it. I think there are many, that if they had better knowledge would feel similarly.

I don't expect to see religious leaders; be they Prophet, Pope, Patriarch, etc. spearheading this sort of thing.... at first. I don't think Christians need to start some sort of group or something. IMO, that group was started 2000 or so years ago.

I think if we really want to be closer, we, as individuals, must take the first steps. It could be as simple a thing as a Baptist or LDS or Pentecostal, etc. deciding invite a Catholic, EOC, LDS or some another over for an evening meal with a willingness to talk about Christ and a willingness to be open and respectful to each others views.

Back in 1965 the RCC and the EOC took some rather great steps to heal a schism between them. I don't know the details, but I wonder if that healing step between the leaders of their faiths was the first step? If I had to venture a guess, I would say it was one of many that had followed before it.

It seems that this is the basic question - where do you draw the circle that "keeps him out"? or is it all inclusive? or requires at a minimum a belief in Christ manifest in a christian life? or is it mere belief that should define the circle and actions become secondary?

You ask hard questions. I think Christ provided a way for us all to be "in the circle", if we so choose. For those who have differing beliefs from mine, but count themselves in this circle, I can make no pretense to judge them. That judgment rests squarely on Christ.

As to the "poor doubters" like yourself. Well at the very least, I'd count you as a more than welcome guest at one of those evening dinners I was referring to earlier, but I can't say that you would fit in the circle of Christianity, even in its most simplistic definition.

However, Christ has told us to love our neighbors. If for no other reason than that, though I could think of others, you can count yourself as loved by the Mudcat. All I can hope, is that one day you will find sufficient reason for the faith to step in the circle.

Link to comment

Well Mudcat your wife probably appreciates your viewpoint. I don't know if the World Council of Churches accepts Mormons as observers, but they do with Roman Catholics.

Hi Will,

I suppose my viewpoint is likely more preferential to her than, "Honey pass the syrup please, btw have I told you that you were going to hell today?" But with my viewpoint being compared to a Temple wedding, I would imagine I still come up a bit short in her realm of true appreciation in that regard.

Hope you are doing well.

Regards,

Mudcat

Link to comment

Hi, Mudcat. I appreciate these discussions. To me, they are the real meat, everything else being less milk but more dessert. One should not eat the latter first.

You are right Honorentheos. To establish some sort of creed would imply a formal organization of some sort, I don't think it can happen that way. At worst another new denomination would rise from it and at best you would have... for lack of a better term The Christian Scouts of the World.

I suppose my reference to the very early Church was simply to say, that they loved Christ, tried to follow him as best they could with very limited information. They were having new concepts and advancements in doctrine being hurled at them and were apparently so enamored with Christ that many of them were literally willing to die for their beliefs in some very gruesome ways during the persecutions.

But, based on current doctrinal standards of what one needs to believe to a member of the Church of X, I seriously doubt they would have passed "the smell test". Yet I think we see them as some of the most faithful Christians.

I think it will have to be more basic than this. I don't think I am alone in how I feel about it. I think there are many, that if they had better knowledge would feel similarly.

I wonder, though, if the group can actually be based on Christianity without some agreement on who/what Christ was? And if this is required, is this a creed? (Christ lived, He died, through Him or His example we find salvation) or (As Christ lived, so should we)? I only ask this because the idea of establishing this group based on the christian ideal seems to require some way of saying, "This is what it means to be a christian". Otherwise, the Boy Scout motto isn't a bad place to start, either.

I don't expect to see religious leaders; be they Prophet, Pope, Patriarch, etc. spearheading this sort of thing.... at first. I don't think Christians need to start some sort of group or something. IMO, that group was started 2000 or so years ago.

I think if we really want to be closer, we, as individuals, must take the first steps. It could be as simple a thing as a Baptist or LDS or Pentecostal, etc. deciding invite a Catholic, EOC, LDS or some another over for an evening meal with a willingness to talk about Christ and a willingness to be open and respectful to each others views.

Interesting thought. Might I suggest the commonality will be less likely to be achieved through talk but rather through action? Finding a worth-while purpose that involves actual activity whose final outcome everyone can agree on may be a better place to start than hoping to reach common ground through dialogue. I suspect one could do it if there was a very skilled moderator involved, and you may be up to that task. But I think the other suggestion is easier as I think most who consider themselves christians really could find common ground in some form of non-denominational service-oriented group.

You ask hard questions. I think Christ provided a way for us all to be "in the circle", if we so choose. For those who have differing beliefs from mine, but count themselves in this circle, I can make no pretense to judge them. That judgment rests squarely on Christ.

As to the "poor doubters" like yourself. Well at the very least, I'd count you as a more than welcome guest at one of those evening dinners I was referring to earlier, but I can't say that you would fit in the circle of Christianity, even in its most simplistic definition.

However, Christ has told us to love our neighbors. If for no other reason than that, though I could think of others, you can count yourself as loved by the Mudcat. All I can hope, is that one day you will find sufficient reason for the faith to step in the circle.

Thanks, Mudcat. I would hope so. I also hope you may understand if my personal view of the matter was that I did not step out of any circle, but merely grew mine to still include LDS, christians, and add as many others as my mortal failings can currently allow. You're still in "my circle", friend.

(that sounds a little too much like a cell-phone service ad. But you know what I mean.)

Link to comment

Hi Mudcat, also to one and all. The unity of the faith is found in Jesus as recorded in Scripture (for most of orthodox Christianity, the unity is there). The problem is that we are all imperfect human beings, seeking to be pleasing to God. In our seeking, love should be the primary focus, even when talking to people we disagree with.

I certainly don't do not love Mormons as people whom Jesus died for (this is a pro-Mormon website) but we do have major differences which is something I'm not responsible for. I'm resposible for what I personally believe as well as everyone else is for what they believe. On judgment day, there will be a separation of the sheep from the goats (which are Jesus' words recorded in Matthew 25).

Until then we all should live our lives pleasing to God and to find ways to share the good news in a loving way, but truthful to the message, allowing for our differences as we go. I'm certainly on board in doing my part in this effort.

Link to comment

I am envisioning a church where we all worship together, then we split up for Sunday School - "basic Christian living in rm 1, Baptist doctrine in rm 2, Catholic Doctrine in rm 3, LDS doctrine in rm 4, &c."

That would be nice, and I see unity as a wonderful thing. But we must be realistic. We need a realistic solution. In the above scenario, who would bless "the sacrament", or would it be called that, and would those individuals "have authority" to those present? Good luck with say Mormons and Catholics in the same "communion service".

If we are going to pull this thing off, we need to start with something more realistic.

Link to comment

I wonder, though, if the group can actually be based on Christianity without some agreement on who/what Christ was? And if this is required, is this a creed? (Christ lived, He died, through Him or His example we find salvation) or (As Christ lived, so should we)? I only ask this because the idea of establishing this group based on the christian ideal seems to require some way of saying, "This is what it means to be a christian". Otherwise, the Boy Scout motto isn't a bad place to start, either.

You know Honorentheos, I've actually done a good bit of thinking about this over the weekend and IMO the "Boy Scout" approach to it might not be such a bad thing. The purpose, as I see it isn't really to turn LDS in Baptist, or Catholics into Calvinists and so on. To be quite honest with you, my thought is this, one of the most compelling arguments against Christianity is its disunity.

I mean, a random stroll of apologetic forums will demonstrate the concept quite nicely. They typical view of such is seeing a number of folks dicing it up, to wits end, about some insignificant bit of theological mish-mosh. I used to participate in that sort of thing, more so than now. I suppose I have come to the realization that the fellow across the table from me love Christ, at least as much as me. It's like two pizza lovers having a heated discussion about the "real" reason people don't often order anchovies on their pizza... is it because fish and pizza is an odd combo or is it because they are salty as the devil.

As to a creed, I am still at a loss there. My gut tells me that the best way to approach that thing is by finding the creed in the Bible... use verses that imply the point. It's safe, it's there and Christian wouldn't disagree. Oh who am I kidding.... But it's still a sure footed approach.

Interesting thought. Might I suggest the commonality will be less likely to be achieved through talk but rather through action? Finding a worth-while purpose that involves actual activity whose final outcome everyone can agree on may be a better place to start than hoping to reach common ground through dialogue. I suspect one could do it if there was a very skilled moderator involved, and you may be up to that task. But I think the other suggestion is easier as I think most who consider themselves christians really could find common ground in some form of non-denominational service-oriented group.

It is a great suggestion, emphasis mine. I suppose this is what I have thought about the most... implementation. Humanitarian aid, IMO would be the topic none would challenge.

Here is the what if... What if, I approached local churches in my area about the need for such unity. By local churches I mean, all who would let me speak about it. Perhaps a few would be interested, perhaps many. Depending on the size, contributed funds, etc... would determine a lot.

Who knows what potential there is.. I really want to see people drinking good water instead of water filled with contaminants, parasites, etc like they do in 3rd world places. People need electricity and medicine as well. But at the very least, maybe I could talk a Catholic, a Mormon, a Baptist and an Agnostic into raking some old lady's yard.

Thanks, Mudcat. I would hope so. I also hope you may understand if my personal view of the matter was that I did not step out of any circle, but merely grew mine to still include LDS, christians, and add as many others as my mortal failings can currently allow. You're still in "my circle", friend.

I can't speak for Christ, but your in "my circle" too bro.

(that sounds a little too much like a cell-phone service ad. But you know what I mean.)

Well I won't make the rather obvious transition to "Maybe you should put . . . Jesus in you dialing plan."

oopsie... guess I did make that rather obvious transition

Fond Regards,

Mudcat

Link to comment

I certainly don't do not love Mormons as people whom Jesus died for (this is a pro-Mormon website) but we do have major differences which is something I'm not responsible for. I'm resposible for what I personally believe as well as everyone else is for what they believe. On judgment day, there will be a separation of the sheep from the goats (which are Jesus' words recorded in Matthew 25).

mudcat

I recall your comment on a different thread about Mormons thinking you were part of the "church of the devil"; it is clear it goes both ways around here and points up some of the real problems in Christian unity.

Link to comment

Who knows what potential there is.. I really want to see people drinking good water instead of water filled with contaminants, parasites, etc like they do in 3rd world places. People need electricity and medicine as well. But at the very least, maybe I could talk a Catholic, a Mormon, a Baptist and an Agnostic into raking some old lady's yard.

This would not be too difficult and could be a start.

Another possibility is to use our commonalities in morality and ethics to advance against a "common enemy" which should not be too hard to find in today's world.

I don't really want to get into the subject, but Mormons made considerable progress in this area fighting for a certain California political cause recently. We were working next to Catholics and some EV's as well.

Link to comment

Hi All,

I have had the opportunity to meet many wonderful people in the course of my life. Some I have met through forums such as this one, others in my daily work and social life. Many claim Christ but their beliefs vary from mine on different points. Yet as I see it, every one I have talked of Christ with ... RCC, EOC, LDS, Mainline Prots, EV's, Pentecostals, CommunityOC and so forth, all share a profound love and respect for their Savior. Yet despite this common love of Christ, our variant beliefs cordon us off from our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

I think the subject I am bringing up is a rather difficult one, but one that can hopefully be discussed. One general problem I see, is that nearly all faiths basic solution is for everyone to come round to what they believe. Hopefully you are as cognizant of the fact as I am, that this is an unlikely scenario in any temporal sense.

Recognizing that, I would posit Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:1-7 that "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism,One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ."

This statement is a powerful one that I read quite often. Looking at the text, I think it is pretty obvious that Christianity as a whole has done a fairly poor job of it. Sometimes it just makes me want to curl up in my nice cozy ecclesiastical ball and pull the shutters closed on the rest of the world.

In fact many people do just that, however I think this sort of thinking seems to be a bit contrary to Paul's encouragement to be longsuffering and forbearing one another in love. Such language seem to imply the challenge of such unity.

Given the current state of things, how are we to endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace?

What are the biggest hurdles we as Christian's face?

What are some possible solutions to surmount them?

BTW.. I know there are a number of quality posters who don't count themselves as Christian. Your input is welcome as well.

I'm sitting here with my fingers on the keyboard, wondering how to express my thoughts.

This is exactly what we LDS are taught. Pres. HInckley often spoke on this. Be kind. Be helpful. Be friendly. Reach out to others. This was his steady theme. We think of all followers of Christ, as Christians. Fellow Christians.

Yet, too often, our out-stretched hand gets slapped down. I belong to a cult. I don't believe in the true Jesus. I am going to hell. I have been run out of online Christian forums, because I am LDS. Anyway, enough of that.

Yes, we want unity. I am not asking anyone to adopt my beliefs. Just listen respectfully if I share them. And I will listen too. Then we can rejoice in our commonalities, our worship of Christ as our Savior.

As I have said many times, we Christians should work together to promote the good in our society. I've seen that it can happen. United, we are a force to reckon with.

Link to comment

mudcat

I recall your comment on a different thread about Mormons thinking you were part of the "church of the devil"; it is clear it goes both ways around here and points up some of the real problems in Christian unity.

Hey Bukowski,

I won't deny you the point (with or without Coolrok's rather confusing double negative). In fact, I'd say LDS have had the worse for wear in that regard, holistically.

I do understand that there are some real problems with the concept of Christian unity. IMO, the best course of action would be to say.... ____ those problems, lets do it anyways.

Respects,

Mudcat

Link to comment

Hey Bukowski,

I won't deny you the point (with or without Coolrok's rather confusing double negative). In fact, I'd say LDS have had the worse for wear in that regard, holistically.

I do understand that there are some real problems with the concept of Christian unity. IMO, the best course of action would be to say.... ____ those problems, lets do it anyways.

Respects,

Mudcat

Well I agree we should just go for it, I just want to work on something that will work. I don't mean to be negative, just practical.

Link to comment

Delete- double post. Dang. When are they going to fix this thing?

Link to comment

Hi Mudcat, also to one and all. The unity of the faith is found in Jesus as recorded in Scripture (for most of orthodox Christianity, the unity is there). The problem is that we are all imperfect human beings, seeking to be pleasing to God. In our seeking, love should be the primary focus, even when talking to people we disagree with.

I certainly don't do not love Mormons as people whom Jesus died for (this is a pro-Mormon website) but we do have major differences which is something I'm not responsible for. I'm resposible for what I personally believe as well as everyone else is for what they believe. On judgment day, there will be a separation of the sheep from the goats (which are Jesus' words recorded in Matthew 25).

Hi Coolrok,

Hope life is treating you well. I am assuming, emphasis mine, that your usage of the double negative actually means that you do love Mormons. I agree with you that love should be our focus.

I also agree, that there is a point... disagreement or no, that we should try to make the best of our circumstances and understand that we individually are responsible for what we choose to or choose not to believe.

Until then we all should live our lives pleasing to God and to find ways to share the good news in a loving way, but truthful to the message, allowing for our differences as we go. I'm certainly on board in doing my part in this effort.

I appreciate your willingness, it speaks quite well of you IMO.

Respectfully,

Mudcat

Link to comment

I'm sitting here with my fingers on the keyboard, wondering how to express my thoughts.

This is exactly what we LDS are taught. Pres. HInckley often spoke on this. Be kind. Be helpful. Be friendly. Reach out to others. This was his steady theme. We think of all followers of Christ, as Christians. Fellow Christians.

Yet, too often, our out-stretched hand gets slapped down. I belong to a cult. I don't believe in the true Jesus. I am going to hell. I have been run out of online Christian forums, because I am LDS. Anyway, enough of that.

Yes, we want unity. I am not asking anyone to adopt my beliefs. Just listen respectfully if I share them. And I will listen too. Then we can rejoice in our commonalities, our worship of Christ as our Savior.

As I have said many times, we Christians should work together to promote the good in our society. I've seen that it can happen. United, we are a force to reckon with.

Hi Brenda,

Thanks for bringing your thoughts to the table.

There are lots of different groups within Christianity that try to promote unity. The WCC is probably the broadest group, but if you click the link, you will note that there are some Christ believers that are not represented there. I would imagine there were a number who were not invited to join, and I would imagine there were a number that just didn't care to join, as well.

I have always appreciated the sentiments of GBH when it comes to this sort of thing. I believe we run the risk of misappropriating God's role as the ultimate authority of judgment, when we make the pretense to exclude any person who claims a professed belief and faith in Christ.

If this is something worth striving for, it must be done from the bottom up. I think Honorentheos is right, it will take more than talk, to improve the situation.

Respectfully,

Mudcat

Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...