l.craddock's picture

Please introduce yourself here and give us some idea of what you hope to gain from this study.

willbulow's picture

Unity and Diversity

I feel compelled to make some comments about unity and diversity.

First, in what ways are we in unity. I can't really say we're all Christians. Maybe the only thing that unites us, calls us to read and occasionally post in this study group, is our interest in mysticism. Maybe not even specifically Christian mysticism. But assumedly the majority of us are Christians. We are part of one mystical body, the Body of Christ. This isn't some "maybe some day we'll learn to get along together" thing. The Reformation, wars between Catholic and Protestant, mistreatment of Orthodox Christians by the Crusaders, the list could be a long one of things that notwithstanding, don't negate the fact that we are all one body. Who is a member of that body isn't a matter of legalistic requirements, it's by the grace of God. It is an awesome priviledge to be one with other members of this body.

Why are we one? In John 17, Jesus prayed to His Father that we would all be one. In that prayer, He gave some compelling reasons: " that they also may be in us...", " that the world may believe that it was you who sent me...", " perfected in unity that the world would recognize that it was you who sent me and that you have loved them as you have loved me."

We may recognize the importance of this unity, but there are still things that divide us. Even those of us who are Christians may be surprised at how diverse a body the Body of Christ is. There are doctrinal differences that have divided the Church for almost two thousand years. Also, there are cultural differences, as Christians come from all parts of the world, sometimes from cultures where Christians are a persecutred minority.

Given the importance of unity and how difficult it may be because of our diversity, it isn't surprising that occasionally some of these differences surface and develope into arguments or name calling or worse. I say it isn't surprising, but that isn't to excuse it. Religion can be an emotionally charged subject. This cannot be an appropriate forum for the emotionally charged issues that may divide us. We need to be aware of when our emotions are becoming aroused and either moderate our responses or not respond if we can't moderate them.

Bill B.