It is no secret that we are living in dividing times right now. It seems like everyone is always at each others throats all the time. This is especially true of the current presidential election. As we all know, this is one of the most controversial elections we have had in a long time. It is now December, and we still don’t know the actual outcome and probably won’t for a while. In the midst of all of this, there have several people calling for unity between everyone. Here are some examples
Even some professing Christians are calling such unity. Now you might be wondering why am I bothering to talk about this? “This is a good thing, we should all strive for unity. What are you getting at?” Well before I get to all of that, I want to make an important point. My target audience for this piece are fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. My intention is to lay out what unity is, or rather what it should be according to the Word of God. Now, the reason why I’m talking about this is that many people are professed Christians don’t really know the distinction between unity of the world and Biblical unity. It is an absolute important distinction that is often overlooked. So, here we go.
First, let’s start with a basic definition of unity. This is according to dictionary.com
Unity: the state of being one; oneness.
As it clearly states, unity is oneness. Say you have a bunch of legos separated. When you put them together and build something, they form a unity. So you get the basic gist of it. In regards to the divisiveness we see in this country, it seems natural to call for unity. After all, who wants division. However, Christians need to be mindful of the context of the unity that is being called. As I have stated before, there are two types of unity, Biblical Unity and Worldly Unity. One is of God, the other is of Satan.
On its face they look the same. Both end up with a body of people being one together. However, when you dig into it, they are completely different from each other. So when faced with a question like, what is the first question we should ask? That question that we should first ask is “What does God have to say about this?” Thankfully, the answer can be found in scripture. So here is what the Bible says about unity.
Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.
– 1 Corinthians 1:10 NASB
To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit;
– 1 Peter 3:8 NASB
Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
– 2 Corinthians 13:11 NASB
being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
– Ephesians 4:3
In other words, scripture says that we as believers must maintain unity with each other in accordance with what the Word of God says. The church is not supposed to be divisive at all when it follows the guidelines of scripture.
Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.
– Romans 16:17-18 NASB
So the Bible is very clear about this. The church is supposed to have unity. Now in order to have unity in the church, there has to be a set of values and guidelines that must follow in accordance with scripture. Without these values, this unity becomes part of the world. Worldly Unity is much more broader than Biblical unity. With Worldly Unity, it consists of everyone of every religion, ethnicity, gender, and political beliefs come together as one body. A place where everyone gets along and no one is offended. Looks nice right? I mean, who wouldn’t want to live in a world where everyone got along. However, the funny thing about how Satan works is that he often frames these schemes to look nice, but under the sheet, they’re sinister.
Now you might ask “Wait, what’s wrong with being in unity with people who are not believers? Shouldn’t we be loving and kind to everyone?” There is a big difference between showing love to others and being kind, and being in unity with them. One is of Biblical, the other is not.
Let love of the brethren continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.
– Hebrews 13:1-2 NASB
As I mentioned earlier when explaining Worldly Unity, people of all backgrounds get along and no one gets offended. Due to the fallen broken world we live in, the only way for that to happen is through compromise.
By compromise, I mean making adjustments to your beliefs in order for everyone to accept it and to reach unity. In the world’s version of unity, everyone can have their own set of values so as long as it doesn’t offend someone. Now to a person of the world, this is paradise, but to Biblical christianity, it’s sinister. As followers of Christ, we must never ever compromise our beliefs in order to please the world. We are called to not be part of the world.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
– Romans 12:2 NASB
Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
– 1 John 2:15 NASB
You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
– James 4:4 NASB
So, if we commanded to not love the world, why in the world would we try to please it.
We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
– 1 John 5:19 NASB
The world ruled by Satan who is working every day to shut God’s work down. He won’t always use tactics that look evil at first site, he will use tactics that look good in order to trap us. This is why we must continue to hold on and follow the objective truth of the Word of God. Unfortunately, when you do this, then unity is impossible with the world because they hate you.
“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.
– John 15:18-19 NASB
The world hates Jesus and His values with a passion, and they want nothing than to see it eradicated. This is why unity with the world is impossible. While scripture calls for unity between believes, it doesn’t say the same of the world. Biblical Christianity is divisive. When speaking truth, people will get offended and try to shut you up. This is when we must stand firm in the faith, and continue to speak the truth of the Gospel. Yes, the Gospel is inherently divisive to the world. Jesus did not come to bestow unity between everyone in the world.
“Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father , and a daughter against her mother , and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law ; and a man ’ s enemies will be the members of his household .
– Matthew 10:34-36 NASB
Now you might think that I’m being to harsh. I’m being to mean and judgy instead of loving. Well, I’ll tell you this, compromising your beliefs in order to please the world is not being loving. Scripture says to not love world, and if you do, the love of The Father is not in you. Some will acknowledge what scripture says, but it makes them feel uncomfortable, so they put it aside. Well let’s be blunt here, Scripture does not care about your feelings. It doesn’t matter what you feel it says, but what it actually says and means. The reason why I keeping bringing up scripture is because it is it holds the infallible truth of God.
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
– 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NASB
Yes, some of this will be uncomfortable, it will bring controversy, but these are just some of things that come with being a follower of Christ. However, while adversities will come, we have to remember the hope of Christ and the promise of true restoration.
But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.
– 2 Peter 3:13 NASB