Source: Brian Holdsworth on YouTube
Music written and generously provided by Paul Jernberg. Find out more about his work as a composer here: http://pauljernberg.com
When I was trying to find my way as a new follower of Jesus but not committed to a particular Church, one of the passages of scripture that convinced me to make unity an essential criterion in my search was chapter 17 of John’s gospel when Jesus prays this beautifully intimate prayer to the Father right before he is arrested.
He prays that his followers, that is his Church, will enjoy the same kind of unity that he enjoys with his Father and that by this unity he will be glorified because it will be a witness to the world that he is truly the son of God.
And there’s a lot of wisdom in that. Imagine a Christianity in which there was one, unified Church with every member working together rather than against each other. As Jesus said, a kingdom divided cannot stand and no matter how much Christians want to believe we have a certain kind of unity, it’s obvious to anyone who isn’t shoehorning that idea into their theology that we do not. And as a newcomer to Christianity, when I was initially taking that step, it was obvious to me that the broad definition of Christianity was one in a disorienting state of fracture and that if the claims of Christianity were true, there must be some substantial expression of unity found within it.
Now, if you have a conversation with your average believer from any of the main branches of Christianity, being Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Protestantism, you’ll hear that unity is important to them too, but you’ll get variations of how that unity is defined and expressed, so I thought we’d take a look at those and then I’ll share which one made the most sense to me and why.
Header image: Brian Holdsworth on YouTube