Christianity should unify on the Gospel of Salvation (Titus 3:3-9) and deity of Jesus (I John 4:2-3), but many church leaders prefer to quarrel about words and law (I Timothy 6:3,4; Titus 3:9) to follow individuals or organizations (I Corinthians 1:11-12). We need to learn how to communicate lovingly with Christians we don’t agree with to fight doctrinal confusion (Ephesians 4:14-15) instead of speaking evil of them (Titus 3:2). Unity is about the mind (I Peter 3:8), judgment (I Corinthians 1:10), and knowledge (Ephesians 4:13). Unity is not about amassing power or money (I Timothy 6:10) as a one-world church or government (Revelation 17:5,12-13). Unity practically is being accountable to the whole body (I Corinthians 12:14,25; Romans 3:19) to not just preach our own opinions (Matthew 23:3,13) but actually make lifelong disciples (Matthew 28:19-20).
Many of the greatest Christians strongly sought ecumenical churchwide unity: Billy Graham, John Piper and C.S. Lewis, Jonathan Edwards, William Seymour, Pope Francis, and Martin Luther.
Unity’s foundation is beliefs, not works.
Although we have “freedom in uncertainty” (Romans 14:3,6), which leads to healthy denominations (Romans 14:5,13), God has commanded all Christians to unite fully in all beliefs (Philippians 2:2). Unity is about the mind (I Peter 3:8), judgment (I Corinthians 1:10), and knowledge (Ephesians 4:13). It’s about speaking the truth in love to fight doctrinal confusion (Ephesians 4:14-15), not about amassing power or money (I Timothy 6:10). The only way this will happen is if Christians start examining Scripture (Acts 17:11) over blindly following what they were taught (Mark 7:7-8,13).
All disunity is about truth vs love.
It appears that unity is difficult (Ephesians 4:13) because doctrinal differences (Ephesians 4:14) are caused by the paradox of speaking truthfully and also lovingly (Ephesians 4:15). This sentiment is further emphasized when God said to focus on love both by speaking the truth and by doing good deeds (I John 3:18). Although we should use both (Mark 12:30), some learned wisdom through deductive and inductive reasoning (James 3:17), while others through correlating emotions to experiences (Ecclesiastes 1:16). Without the compassion of the heart (Mark 8:2), we won’t admit our arrogance (I Timothy 1:6-7). Without the logic of the mind, we’ll become dishonest (I Timothy 4:1-2).
Be eager for unity.
Instead of eagerly maintaining unity (Ephesians 4:2-3) as one body “synergizing their ministries” (I Corinthians 12:18-20) like the Trinity (John 17:22), we quarrel about words and law (I Timothy 6:3,4; Titus 3:9) to follow individuals or organizations (I Corinthians 1:11-12). We’re quick to call each other “false teachers” (I Timothy 1:7) and start “reformations” (Ephesians 4:14). Some even discourage unity, fearing the End Times, yet Christ wants unity to fight the Great Deception. We believe the root of disunity is enmity (I John 4:20), encouraged by fearful leaders (I John 4:18): love-focused yet dishonest false teachers (II Peter 2:1; I Timothy 3:8) or truth-focused yet arrogant Pharisees (Matthew 23:3,15; I Peter 5:2-3). Read more about the root of enmity and how it causes truth-focused and love-focused people to divide into tribes (Ephesians 4:15).
Divide over the Gospel.
The founding Protestant Martin Luther claimed in his Augsburg Confession: “And to the true unity of the Church it is enough to agree concerning the doctrine of the Gospel and the administration of the Sacraments.” Pope Francis agrees, “It makes no difference whether the victims are Catholic, Copt, Orthodox or Protestant. Their blood is one and the same in their confession of Christ!” Billy Graham called Evangelical exclusion of Catholics “narrow.” This “unity in essentials, freedom in uncertainty, and love in all” (Romans 14:6) will open the discussion about unity around “essential” core doctrine. We unify all 4 major church branches on the Gospel of Salvation (Titus 3:3-9) and deity of Jesus (I John 4:2-3). If a leader adds or subtracts from the Gospel by saying to avoid those who disagree on minor doctrine (Romans 14:6,13), that leader should be avoided instead (Titus 3:9-10,11; Romans 16:17). Read more about healthy division.
We will be known, not by how much we know (I John 3:18) but by our love for one another (John 13:35). In modern times, we speak evil of other Christian denominations (Titus 3:2) instead of communicating as the Bible says we should (Ephesians 4:15). Read more about healthy communication.
Power is determined before unity.
Christians shouldn’t unite with every Christian because even after similar beliefs and healthy communication, people’s methods may not agree (Acts 15:37-39). The 3 types of healthy unity are the strong training the weak through discipleship or mentorship (I Timothy 1:1-2), people of similar strength growing together as peers (Galatians 2:9), and a few strong leading many weak (Titus 1:5). The worst cases when unity fails is when someone tries to exercise power over another without his approval, usually with unbiblical rules (Matthew 15:1-3) instead of mutual biblical accountability (Romans 3:19).
Results of Unity
Unity leads to healthy churches.
“Perfectly one” (John 17:23) is under decentralized apostles (Luke 9:49-50), for we should not entrust ourselves to individuals (John 2:24-25). Too much centralization (Galatians 1:16-17) or anarchy (Titus 1:5) leads to inefficiencies and abuse. This is not as a one-world church or government (Revelation 17:5,12-13) but as an invisible church (Luke 17:20-21) that fights to remain holy (II Corinthians 6:14-15,16-17). This is done primarily by being accountable to the whole body (I Corinthians 12:14,25) through metrics about discipleship (Matthew 28:19-20) whilst ensuring every varied manifestation of the Spirit is utilized (I Corinthians 12:4-7) and not condemned (I Corinthians 12:21). Read more about Church Leadership.
Love vs Truth List
- Holy Spirit vs Bible–Protestants have divided into 2 major ideologies because of this (II Timothy 3:16; Romans 5:5).
- False Teachers vs Pharisee–If you love logic, dishonest dissenters are false teachers (Matthew 7:15). If you love emotions, arrogant preachers are legalistic Pharisees (Matthew 16:12).
- Dishonesty vs Arrogance–Pharisees tend to be arrogant (Matthew 23:13), and false teachers tend to be dishonest (I Timothy 4:1-2).
- Justice vs Preaching–Truth leads to preaching (Romans 10:15). Love leads to justice (Luke 11:42).
- Works vs Faith–Protestants divided with Catholics over this (Romans 3:28; James 2:24). See justification.
- Heart vs Mind–Love lives in the heart, while truth lives in the mind.
- New vs Old Covenant–The old is about keeping the law (Galatians 3:12; Hebrews 8:11) but the new is about listening to the Spirit (Galatians 3:14; Hebrews 8:10).
- Renewal vs Tradition–The truth wants to be grounded in tradition (I Corinthians 11:2), and love wants to test tradition to find out what is better (Romans 12:2).
- Empiricism vs Rationalism–Love leads us to test the world, while truth goads us to reason.
- Subjective vs Objective–Truth will always be objective (John 8:32), but we learn subjectively until we directly speak to the source of objectivity: Jesus (I Corinthians 8:2; 13:12)
- Liberal vs Conservative–We can both conserve the truth (I Corinthians 11:2) while liberating the oppressed in love (James 1:27).
- Community vs Independence–While some realize the importance of having the freedom to live as we choose (Galatians 5:1), others realize the importance of working together with other people (Acts 2:42).
- Future vs Past–Truth is best found by studying the past (Romans 15:4), and love is best expressed by foretelling the future (I Corinthians 14:1).
- Science vs History–History is about studying the past (Romans 15:4), and science is often about discovering the future (Job 35:11).
- Nature vs Society–Science is about studying nature, while history is about studying society.
- Chaos vs Order–Nature is chaotic, and society is ordered. See Jordan Peterson’s opinion.
- Innovator vs Honer–The past-focused like to win by honing what already works (Hebrews 5:14) while the future-focused like to win by innovating new strategies (Romans 12:2).
- Solver vs Doer–Honing requires a lot of experience through doing (I Timothy 6:18) while innovating requires a lot of knowledge through solving (Proverbs 49:3-4).
- Feminine vs Masculine–Marriage is between a man and a woman (Ephesians 5:31) because both genders focus on different aspects of God (Ephesians 5:32).
- Love vs Respect–Wives want love, and husbands want respect (Ephesians 5:33).
- Beauty vs Power–Women want to be beautiful, and men want to be powerful.
- Emotion vs Logic–Men tend to be logical, and women tend to be emotional because the female brain is more interconnected.
- Flexible vs Resolute–Female gentleness and the increased left-right brain connections allow women to flexibly change their thinking, and men’s reason-driven thinking tends to make their decisions resolute.
- Intuition vs Reasoning–Because of this, men tend to be rational, and women tend to be intuitive.
- Creativity vs Memory–Reasoning power is based on memory load while intuition is based on one’s ability to create new thoughts from past feelings.
- Feelings vs Thinking–Men tend to think, and women tend to feel.
- Selfless vs Self-focused–Men tend to worry about their own life, while women tend to worry about others, yet balance is better (Mark 12:31).
- Reactive vs Proactive–Men like to solve problems before they happen, and women like to care for those who are currently dealing with problems.
- Spender vs Saver–Men tend to save by budgeting, and women tend to spend by shopping.
- Empathy vs Sympathy–Men like to show they understand, and women like to show they feel the same way.
- Indirect vs Direct–Men are direct about their opinions, and women indirectly let others know their opinions.
- How vs What–Men care about what you say, while women care about how you say it.
- Accepting vs Accountable–Men want repeat offenders to be judged and held accountable, while women want everyone to feel accepted.
- Gentleness vs Self-control–Men can control themselves well, while women can give control lovingly.
- Hate speech vs free speech–Love pushes us to silence hate, while the truth encourages us to speak anything we want to say.
- Freedom vs Control–Men want to control their environments to prevent evil, while women want to feel free to make their own choices.
- Compassion vs Confidence–Men are confident in the truth (Ephesians 3:12), while women are compassionate towards different viewpoints (Hebrews 10:34).
- Optimistic vs Pessimistic–Men consider the repercussions, while women think about the possibilities.
- EQ vs IQ–Men tend to have more cognitive intelligence, while women tend to have more emotional intelligence.
- Agreeable vs Confrontational–Men like to confront problems, while women like to focus on what unites us.
- Open vs Reserved–Men tend to shield themselves from potential harm, while women tend to be open to new experiences.
- Flight vs Fight–Women tend to flee danger, while men tend to fight it.
- Defend vs Attack–Women will defend their children at any cost, and men want to initiate war with the enemy.
- Fear vs Anger–Women tend to fear an unknown, while men tend to get angry that it’s happening.
- Conflict Avoider vs Seeker–Women tend to avoid problems, while men want to solve them.
An example of truth silencing love.
Although we respect Ben Shapiro’s views, his debating the transgender has much to be desired. Almost all Christians agree that transgenderism is wrong (Deuteronomy 22:5). Although Shapiro was factually right to call Zoey a “him,” he was logically disrespecting Zoey’s non-sin wish. This confused Shapiro because calling Zoey a “her” would break the Judaic law. Instead, Shapiro could’ve called Zoey by Zoey’s name: Zoey. That way, he doesn’t sin via misgendering (calling Zoey a “her”) nor sin via destroying the weak (I Corinthians 8:9,11). Shapiro failed in getting through to Zoey because he thinks God or facts don’t care about feelings (Psalms 34:18-19), but the fruit of gentleness is correcting people in a kind way they can hear (II Timothy 2:24-25).
An example of love silencing truth.
Although we respect the healthy side of prosperity preaching (III John 2), preachers like Benny Hinn usually took it too far. Although we love that he denounced many aspects of the Prosperity Gospel, he mostly ignored his nephew preaching the truth against it for years (Matthew 23:23). Instead of listening and responding with reason, the movement is quick to call dissenters Pharisees who quench the Spirit (I Thessalonians 5:19). Luckily, most prosperity teaching is learning to teach people the truth about God providing for our needs (Philippians 4:19) without hoarding masses of wealth (Matthew 6:19-21). Read more…
Society is always cycling between truth and love.
Although there isn’t biblical evidence to support this, we have found that all societies cycle between these two indefinitely. For example, The Enlightenment’s focus on logic immediately predated Romanticism’s focus on emotion. After World War II, American Christianity was all about preaching the objective Gospel in boldness, but this usually led to arrogance and is why the start of the 21st century was heavily based on relativism, feelings, and loving those who were hated by the church, especially the LGBTQ.
Isn’t unity in my church and works enough?
By following Jesus, we must use His definition of unity. Unity is about the mind (I Peter 3:8) not feelings, judgment (I Corinthians 1:10) not acceptance, and knowledge (Ephesians 4:13) not actions. Unity can only be about beliefs about God because the last 3 verses are about the unification of the knowledge of humanity’s minds, for this is the only way love can effectively make the body of Christ harmonize (Colossians 3:14). Unity isn’t about works such as evangelism; it’s about working out theological disagreements with anyone who proclaims the name of Jesus (Ephesians 4:13,14).
Should I unify with Christians that promote evil?
We must fellowship with all Christians because everyone sins (I John 1:7-8). Logically, choosing an arbitrary level of ungodliness to unify with is unbiblical, and no one is perfect. Because we’re commanded to unify on the Gospel (Titus 3:9-10), with the exception of 6 sins (I Corinthians 5:11), you don’t have the right to ignore a follower of Jesus not in your group (Romans 14:5,10). Read more about biblical division.
Does ecumenism centralize power for Satan?
This is how the Judaic Pharisees thought, too, about uniting with the “new” Jesus of Nazareth (Matthew 12:24), but Jesus said Satan cannot partner with groups that oppose Satan (Matthew 12:25-26). If you fight mental unity (Philippians 2:2) with those who believe Jesus is God (I John 4:2), then you’re allying with the Antichrist (I John 4:3).
Is unity like the Ying-yang or light vs dark?
While truth and love both describe God (Ephesians 4:15), there is no darkness in God (I John 1:5). Saying both light and darkness need to exist originates from Satan believing that he should be God (Isaiah 14:14), but God wants to exterminate darkness and all that is sinful (I Thessalonians 5:5; I John 2:8).