Finding Unity in Father’s Family

A friend sent me this clip of an article written by a brother in Japan, Kokichi Kurosaki. I like how he deals with this.

One might think that with the Bible as the center of Christianity, the unity of Christians could be easily realized. Unfortunately, this has not proved to be true. This inability of Scripture to unify the Lord’s people proves that the letter of the Bible cannot really replace the living Christ as the center of our faith. The Bible speaks to us of the Life and work of God, and since ”life” is greater than its manifestation, it cannot be expressed completely in any logical or theological form. Therefore, the Bible itself cannot escape being understood in many different ways. Thus we see how, in the wisdom of God, it is impossible to make the Scriptures the end or final authority in themselves, for they only express God’s authority to those who live in fellowship with the Spirit.

Let us pause to remember. In rejecting the authority of the Roman Church, the reformers turned to the Scriptures as the authority for their faith and actions. In the fierce conflict of the early days of the Reformation, it was natural that they should seek the security of some objective standard to meet the seemingly unlimited politico-ecclesiastical power of Rome. Therefore the position of the Bible as the God-inspired testimony of the apostles’ personal faith in Christ gradually changed and became the source of Protestant ”dogma” and the criterion of acceptable faith. Replacing the Roman pope, the Bible became the center of Protestant churches.

And so on the one hand there are the so-called fundamentalists who, accepting the Bible as the ”infallible Word of God,” believe there is no mistake in the whole Bible, not even in one phrase or manner of wording. To them it is, in the most literal sense, the Word of God from cover to cover, and their faith is utterly dependent on its literal infallibility.

On the other hand there are liberals who try to compromise Biblical truth with science. Denying the spiritual in favor of the rational, or adopting the results of the higher and lower criticism, they reject the inspiration of the whole Bible.

There are yet others, though, who take the whole Bible to be the word of God as do the fundamentalists, but in a little different way. They believe that the Spirit acts in the words of the historical records to reveal the Living Word. They recognize the Bible as the record of God’s revelation of Himself throughout history, climaxing in Christ–an inspirited record resulting from the activity of the Spirit in the individuals who wrote it. There is only one center of Christianity, and this center is spiritual fellowship with God through Christ–life union with God in Christ. When there is this koinonia–fellowship–there is the Body of Christ, the Ekklesia. The Ekklesia exists where there is this life-union with God through Christ. Only this union with God in Christ can be the center of Christianity.

The only caveat I would offer, is not to see that life union in Christ as someone who agrees with what we think, or sees church the way we see church. I find people with the marks of the Spirit’s life in them in all kinds of places, even if they haven’t been through the same experiences I’ve been through. God has many ways to work his life into people. As we recognize his presence in each other, we’ll be less likely to seek out only the ‘like-minded’ and find incredible fellowship in lots of places God might lead us.

A friend of mine in Australia talks about recognizing the fragrance of Father in others. I like that. That’s why you come away from some relationships hungry for more, and others wanting a bit less. It doesn’t matter whether they see things the way you do or not, but whether we can see Father is at work in them to make his life known. After all, unity is a gift God gives his children. It is something we can only recognize and celebrate, not something we can produce by our own efforts. That’s why Jesus prayed for his Father to do it instead of asking the disciples to.

Share this Post!

Related post

8 Comments
  1. Andy February 8, 2005 at 6:43 pm

    This is a great post. As someone living in Japan, it’s great to see you quote a Japanese writer — and he hits the nail on the head, too.

  2. J February 8, 2005 at 9:14 pm

    Ahh, and don’t foget the parchments. Great article and follow up to what this brother said.

  3. Andy February 8, 2005 at 9:43 pm

    This is a great post. As someone living in Japan, it’s great to see you quote a Japanese writer — and he hits the nail on the head, too.

  4. J February 9, 2005 at 12:14 am

    Ahh, and don’t foget the parchments. Great article and follow up to what this brother said.

  5. Betty T. February 9, 2005 at 6:32 am

    I have seen believers envoke scripture as if it were

    a magic talisman. Believing fully that just by quoting

    words that all will be well. When we combine the spirit

    and the word, whatever comes will be well with our

    souls.

  6. Betty T. February 9, 2005 at 9:32 am

    I have seen believers envoke scripture as if it were

    a magic talisman. Believing fully that just by quoting

    words that all will be well. When we combine the spirit

    and the word, whatever comes will be well with our

    souls.

  7. Charles Seper March 2, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    While I appreciate the spirit of the article, I can’t help but be saddened that it doesn’t go far enough. When are some of these so-called church leaders gonna make a stand and tell the truth. A God who is truth itself can handle it. There are many things said in any bible that are simply untrue, and it does no good to try and pull some kind of moral fable out of a story like the conquering of the promised land when history, scholarship, and archeology tells us it never happened–that some of those nations never even existed until after the reign of Solomon, that most show no signs of ever having been in a war let alone burned to the ground and no stone left unturned. Does the God of your conscience really tell you that he ordered the killing of babies and even animals, or that he killed them himself in a flood? Why can’t we just be FULLY honest. Why can’t we have enough integrity to stand up for a loving God and proclaim the honest truth that several portions of the bible are simply lies, that the history therein of the Jews as an emergent nation is untrue, that God doesn’t order the killing of innocent children and animals, that the Jews share the exact same genetic key as the Canaanites, that Jesus never once referred the Jewish patriarchs as his own forefathers, that the biblical cannon came at the point of Constantine’s sword and as a result of forced compromise between bishops, on and on. Let’s either be totally honest or stop reaching altogether. We’re not Biblicans–we’re Christians.

  8. Charles Seper March 2, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    While I appreciate the spirit of the article, I can’t help but be saddened that it doesn’t go far enough. When are some of these so-called church leaders gonna make a stand and tell the truth. A God who is truth itself can handle it. There are many things said in any bible that are simply untrue, and it does no good to try and pull some kind of moral fable out of a story like the conquering of the promised land when history, scholarship, and archeology tells us it never happened–that some of those nations never even existed until after the reign of Solomon, that most show no signs of ever having been in a war let alone burned to the ground and no stone left unturned. Does the God of your conscience really tell you that he ordered the killing of babies and even animals, or that he killed them himself in a flood? Why can’t we just be FULLY honest. Why can’t we have enough integrity to stand up for a loving God and proclaim the honest truth that several portions of the bible are simply lies, that the history therein of the Jews as an emergent nation is untrue, that God doesn’t order the killing of innocent children and animals, that the Jews share the exact same genetic key as the Canaanites, that Jesus never once referred the Jewish patriarchs as his own forefathers, that the biblical cannon came at the point of Constantine’s sword and as a result of forced compromise between bishops, on and on. Let’s either be totally honest or stop reaching altogether. We’re not Biblicans–we’re Christians.

Comments are closed.