Vol. 6, No. 9
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It has been suggested that America is the most religiously divided nation in the world. Whether or not that is true is hard to determine. But, if it isn't completely accurate, it is close. In addition to the non-Christian religions in this country, there are more than 2,500 different churches claiming to be the church of the Bible. Though some would argue to the contrary, all this religious diversity is not good.
Jesus said, "My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe on me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be one in us that the world may believe that you have sent me" (John 17:20-21). The intent of that prayer is obvious. Jesus desired unity on the part of believers. Only a united Christendom will bring the world to Christ. Division leads to unbelief. Therefore, if the lost are to learn of Jesus, those who follow him must be united.
The apostle Paul appealed for unity among believers in the church at Corinth. He pleaded for them to agree and stand as one (1 Corinthians 1:10). It is still a valid plea!
We believe that great harm has befallen the cause of Christ in this world because those who claim to follow him are so divided. But, we also believe that unity is possible. It is our desire to cast aside all manmade religious trappings and come to Christ solely upon the basis of what the Bible teaches. Our goal is a simple one. In matters of faith, we must have unity. In matters of opinion, we must have liberty. In all things, we must have charity (love).
This is not a call for men to leave one denomination to join another. It is a plea for all to come together into the body of Christ. It is a cry to sincere people everywhere to accept Christ as Lord, the Bible as his Word, and stand together as his church. Is it possible? Certainly! Will it happen? Not as long as our allegiance to men is greater than our allegiance to God.