12-07: Beter verdeeld of samen...

Ik bid niet alleen voor hen, maar voor allen die door hun verkondiging in mij geloven. Laat hen allen één zijn, Vader. Zoals u in mij bent en ik in u, laat hen zo ook in ons zijn, opdat de wereld gelooft dat u mij hebt gezonden. Ik heb hen laten delen in de grootheid die u mij gegeven hebt, opdat zij één zijn zoals wij: ik in hen en u in mij. Dan zullen zij volkomen één zijn en zal de wereld begrijpen dat u mij hebt gezonden, en dat u hen liefhad zoals u mij liefhad. Johannes 17:20-23

dinsdag 12 juli 2004

Ik ga weer eens een stukje schrijven.., voordat ik verder ga wil ik één punt van te voren verduidelijken. Ik geloof niet in de Oecumene, want neer komt op samenwerking tussen groepen op basis van gezamenlijke consensus (m.a.w. samenwerken door delen van de schrift te negeren of te verwerpen om samenwerking tussen kerkelijke groepen mogelijk te maken).

Is het beter om verdeeld te zijn of samen op te trekken, ik las een stukje uit het Christianity today die hier over gaat.. enkele uitspraken Het zet je aan het denken.

First, the way to ture Christian Unity cannot be purchased at the expense of mral purity. Throughout history, the chtristian church has ever lived in tension between the poles of idenitity and adaptability. When we focus too strongly on identiity, and forget adaptability, we become a holy huddle unmindful of the world and our mission to carry the Good news of Christ to the uttermost limit of every culture and every peopel group on Earth. On the other hand, when the church gravitates one-sidedly toward th e pole of adaptability, it can easliy lose its identiy in the trends and fashions of its surrounding evironment. Tis was precisely the prolem at Croint and Pauls, auotuing from Isaiah 52, called ont those believers toe separate themselves from the immoral practices they had indulged in befor they et Christ (2 Cor. 6:17)
Second, the way to true Christain unity cannot be purchased at the expense of theoligaial integrity. Sme advocates of the mainline ecumenical movement have little patience of theological discussion an ddrank dialogue over doctrinal differnces among the various Christain groups. They reason like this: "In a wordl beset by pressing social needs, racial conflict, famine, was and a global ecological crisies, we cannot affor to dredge up theold debates that heave divide Christians in the past. Let's forget about our theological differences, or at least oput them on hold, so we can workd together toward common goals."

While this appeal is attractive at a superficial level, it misses entierly an essential commitment of the Christian message: Treuth matters, In John 17, Jesus prayed to the heavenly Father both that his disciples would be one, and also that they would be sanctified through the truth (John 17:22, 19). Both common action and honest dialogue among Christians of different denominations or theological commetments must be predicated on the understanding that any unity not base on truth is a unity not worth having. Admittedely, thsi conviction filies in the face of postmodernist notions fo truth and the reiginingideology of theological pluralism that dominates the declining world of mainline Protesant enterprises, But it cannot be dodge if we are to be faithvul to the apostolic mandate to speak the truth in love

Third, true Christian unity cannot be purchased at the expense of genuine diversity. ... Unity is not unifmity. To try to impose in artifical oness on the genuine diversity in the bodyof Christ is to be blind to many-faceted many colored wisdom of God.

That being said, we today, with our tens of thousands of divisions, should ponder pauls penetrating questions,. The path from disunity ito unity is strewn with land mines and heartache. To be sure, not all efforts at unity are justified. But surely most of the divisions we endure are unneccessary if in fact, Jesus Chrsit the crucified , in whom we ahve all been baptized, isnot divded.

As we come closer to Jesus Chrsit, Chrsrist the Center, we will grow closr t one another.

How we should proceed toward unityis a mattter of healty debate. That we should continue to moev closer to one another is not (CT July 2005 "is Christ divided?)

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