Monday, May 16, 2005

Unity, Part I

I might need to apologize, or at least explain a little, for interrupting what might've been an otherwise engaging blog with these theology/doctine essays. I don't think of this site as a theology page, but instead as the story of me processing life as it comes. This weekend, the concept of acceptance over agreement in relationship to unity is really intriguing to me, and that's going to be my overarching "story" for the week, for better or for worse. I know that most folks don't listen to a sermon to have their lives changed, and that it's more important for some to just cross off the Sunday morning routine on their Religious-Things-To-Do-To-Make-God-Happy list. If that's you, please forgive me for getting sidetracked like this. And if you hang around, we can talk about that list later.

I started in my study bible last night, looking at the dictionary entry for "unity", and it was specific on unity among Christians. Under "unity of the mind", the reference was 1 Peter 3:8 - "Finally, all of you should be of one mind, full of sympathy toward each other, loving one another with tender hearts and humble minds" (nlt). I think agreement is important, especially if we're to have "one mind" in this life together (not prooftexting, since this is just one of many that hit on the same idea). But words like "sympathy", "love" and "humble minds", in the context of this search and the context of this verse, give me hope that acceptance of each other in Christ is more important than just having the same beliefs. If I accept someone, it's a done deal; but if our connection is based on mutual agreement, and we then start to differ or find something we don't agree on whole-mindedly, what do we then do with our relationship?

That's the kind of question I find myself with this week. Here's the negative test, I guess - as a Gamecock fan, can I still be a friend of a Clemson fan? Something so heart-driven as team loyalty and fan rivalry, shouldn't we be able to look over that "short-coming" in each other and have a relationship of acceptance beyond out favorite sports teams?

6 Comments:

Blogger Larry said...

In a nutshell the real question about agreement is: Do we agree about the love of Christ or the Nicene Creed?

16/5/05 11:10 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

The crux is right here:

If I accept someone, it's a done deal; but if our connection is based on mutual agreement, and we then start to differ or find something we don't agree on whole-mindedly, what do we then do with our relationship?

If a relationship is based on mutual agreement is it still a relationship? Or is it a treaty/contract?

It makes me wonder how many of my relationships are based on being like-minded and how many are built on something more. Honestly, I think "family" is the only one that stands up to that test.

16/5/05 11:17 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

hi, bob - yeah, me too. also, "location" is a part of "unity", if we go to the same church and call each other friends. but when that's removed, did we have enough life in common or in acceptance?

and thanks for stopping by, larry - can you expand on that? are you saying we have no unity if i can't agree with you on those things? just trying to find where you're going with that.

16/5/05 11:32 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

Hmmm... So then what do we "accept"? The person or our relationship to them? If I accept the person, that means I "accept" what they do, how they treat me, the choices they make, their opinions. All of which change from day-to-day. If I accept the relationship (you are my brother), it never changes. I will be your brother regardless of how we treat each other or how we view life.

Not sure how to tie that back to "unity", though. I've wandered a long way from "agreeing". (Not to mention the idea of "accepting Christ"...)

16/5/05 1:19 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

i think i've got the broader view of "acceptance" right now - i accept YOU, and all that entails, relationship, past, journey, problems and all. YOU might change in relation to me day-to-day, but the acceptance of YOU doesn't have to, does it? your first "definition" looks more propositional and "agreeable" - while i think the second one is more all-encompassing and more "love God, love others" in nature.

how's that? besides extremely hard to live out?

16/5/05 1:47 PM  
Blogger utech said...

The baton has been passed to you.

17/5/05 7:55 AM  

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