Unity - Exploding a Myth
written by Rev Gary Heard

The focus on the unity of His followers in Jesus’ final prayer has provided a significant stumbling block for the ministry and shape of the church. Traditionally interpreted, this passage has been the source of much oppression – limiting the diversity and creativity of thinking within the church. Unity has been mistakenly translated into uniformity. Yet consider the following:

Through the years, the church has often been seen to stifle individuality of thinking and ministry under the cover of ‘preserving the unity of the faith’, forgetting that in the original twelve Jesus chose a Peter and a John, a Judas and a Thomas. Logic, passion, faithfulness and doubt were all represented.

When Jesus prayed for the unity of the church, it was not a mandate to stifle difference, but to cherish it – a call to express the rich colour which is the experience of the love of God and faith in Jesus.

May we be a church which truly reflects the body of Christ – in all its diversity, working in concert together.

September 29, 2002
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