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February 4, 2017, 12:41 PM

Unity vs. Uniformity

Our passage this week deals with the issue of Unity. But to be honest, I think it gets it all wrong. It doesn't seem to use the right words leading up to unity. At least, it doesn't use words that I'm comfortable with. Let me explain.

I grew up with the idea that being “Christ like” and following God meant that I looked, acted, and thought a certain way. There is basically only one way to be a Christian. Well, that is actually true. You can only be a Christian by accepting Christ as Lord and Savior. But, I really mean that after salvation, we all should begin to act, look, dress, like, date, read, and other stuff in a set pattern. Being a Christian meant that you fit into a cookie cutter culture. Anything different was simply “unspiritual.”

That isn't unity, it is uniformity. Uniformity is a counterfeit substitute for real unity. Uniformity is the result of human control, human influence, and human manipulation. Unity is the result of being indwelt, controlled, and influenced by the Holy Spirit. 

We see uniformity at work in our country today. When is the last time that you met a Republican who said they were for refugees? Instead, they will all bring up all the homeless veterans. A worthy cause for sure, but it is also a long standing issue that was never a rallying cry until the party needed a rebuttal to accepting refugees. Or, when was the last time that you heard a Democrat that was for holding Planned Parenthood accountable for their less than ethical practices brought to light in the last couple of years. Instead, somehow we are lead to believe that questioning Planned Parenthood means that we oppressively hate women?

How is it that everyone on both sides has the exact same stance and responses on every issue? Can someone good at math calculate the odds of that for me?

Uniformity uses fear and manipulation to cause followers to tow the line. In the church world we call that legalism. Unity is the result of the Holy Spirit working to heal and bring peace. Truthfully uniformity is a lot easier than unity. Unity causes me to allow the Holy Spirit to do spiritual surgery on me first. It also requires me to be patient and trust that He is doing the same on you too.  And if I've learned anything it is that trusting the Holy Spirit is scary.  

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