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Offline Bon Voyage

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Re: Why our unity movement failed?
« Reply #45 on: November 13, 2007, 08:52:03 PM »
If you preach Christ, and Him crucified and risen again, "it" will come.

"it" meaning baptism.

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Re: Why our unity movement failed?
« Reply #45 on: November 13, 2007, 08:52:03 PM »

Offline soterion

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Re: Why our unity movement failed?
« Reply #46 on: November 13, 2007, 10:03:14 PM »
It was never the focus.  Baptism was never the center of anything--it was a response, a conforming to the Death, Burial and Ressurection of Christ.  We don't simply reject the unimmersed; we reject those who have been immersed without faith in the saving power of immersion--not faith in Christ.  We are never taught that our faith is to be in immersion--it is always in the DBR, in the saving work of Christ.

I wholeheartedly agree that Christ is the center, not man's response.  However, without the response a person is still not saved.

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Re: Why our unity movement failed?
« Reply #46 on: November 13, 2007, 10:03:14 PM »

Offline Johnb

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Re: Why our unity movement failed?
« Reply #47 on: November 14, 2007, 05:27:26 AM »
The original dream of the unity movement was not to bring everyone together in one nondenominational church but rather to overcome the sectarian spirit that said only my group are Christians.  To some degree that part has been successful.  However, IMO as evidenced by some of the comments here we became what we rebelled against.  Several parts of the RM believe only those who believe like them will be saved.  That is the sectarian spirit that Campbells and others fought against.  Determining what acts or works make one a Christian is the sectarian spirit!  That is why our unity movement failed. There are always those who meet someone who claims to be a child of God and get out their measuring stick and say oh no you can't be a Christian you haven't done A,B or C.  Later Johnb

Offline soterion

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Re: Why our unity movement failed?
« Reply #48 on: November 14, 2007, 06:01:51 AM »
Determining what acts or works make one a Christian is the sectarian spirit!

Is determining what the Bible says about what makes one a Christian, and seeking for others to meet God's word about it, the sectarian spirit?

I still see most on here willing to give up the truth on this issue, regardless of what that truth is, for the sake of a false unity.

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Re: Why our unity movement failed?
« Reply #48 on: November 14, 2007, 06:01:51 AM »

Offline segell

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Re: Why our unity movement failed?
« Reply #49 on: November 14, 2007, 06:02:55 AM »


I wholeheartedly agree that Christ is the center, not man's response.  However, without the response a person is still not saved.

What is the definition of response?  And where does the power to respond come from? 

With respect, I still see the focus of salvation being shifted from Christ Jesus and God's grace revealed on the cross to man and what man does.  The problem with that is entire teachings become centered upon what a man must do to be saved and what man must do to keep saved.  And at that point, teachings become like every other religion in the world.  There is no difference.  Man becomes the focus.

What makes Christianity true and the only Way is Jesus.  Period.  When Jesus and Him crucified is preached, then we can rest that God will take His Word and pierce hearts with His Truth.  God does the saving and when He does Christ is  embraced.  People will be saved and people will cry out, "What shall we do?"  And then and only then does the life of an obedient Christian begin to take shape.  It doesn't begin after we do something.  Then salvation is never by grace.  

Lastly, I believe the Scriptures point to Christ and Him alone for our salvation.  I do not believe God would make salvation contingent upon something we do and must continue to do - something apart from His Son.  Salvation is coningent only upon what God does and what He continues to do in the lives of His people.  And that's why salvation is assured and why God is completely trustworthy. To His praise and to His glory.

Please teach Christ Jesus and Him crucified and what He has done to save us.  The focus of salvation should never, ever switch onto us.  

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Re: Why our unity movement failed?
« Reply #49 on: November 14, 2007, 06:02:55 AM »



Offline segell

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Re: Why our unity movement failed?
« Reply #50 on: November 14, 2007, 06:08:51 AM »


I still see most on here willing to give up the truth on this issue, regardless of what that truth is, for the sake of a false unity.

Unity is only in Christ Jesus.  Never, ever in what man must do.  That's why unity fails.  The focus becomes misdirected upon man.

Another point I think is worth considering:  Any movement that has unity as it's center is doomed.  While it may perhaps be a noble thought, it ends up being a movement of compliance.  And compliance is ultimately restrictive bringing forth the minimum effort in order to meet the requirement of compliance.  God wants His people absolutely free and unencumbered with such man focussed efforts.  A lover and follower of Christ Jesus is united with another lover and follower of Christ.  It is in Jesus, not in ourselves.

Offline soterion

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Re: Why our unity movement failed?
« Reply #51 on: November 14, 2007, 06:16:50 AM »


I wholeheartedly agree that Christ is the center, not man's response.  However, without the response a person is still not saved.

What is the definition of response?  And where does the power to respond come from? 

With respect, I still see the focus of salvation being shifted from Christ Jesus and God's grace revealed on the cross to man and what man does.  The problem with that is entire teachings become centered upon what a man must do to be saved and what man must do to keep saved.  And at that point, teachings become like every other religion in the world.  There is no difference.  Man becomes the focus.

What makes Christianity true and the only Way is Jesus.  Period.  When Jesus and Him crucified is preached, then we can rest that God will take His Word and pierce hearts with His Truth.  God does the saving and when He does Christ is  embraced.  People will be saved and people will cry out, "What shall we do?"  And then and only then does the life of an obedient Christian begin to take shape.  It doesn't begin after we do something.  Then salvation is never by grace. 

Lastly, I believe the Scriptures point to Christ and Him alone for our salvation.  I do not believe God would make salvation contingent upon something we do and must continue to do - something apart from His Son.  Salvation is coningent only upon what God does and what He continues to do in the lives of His people.  And that's why salvation is assured and why God is completely trustworthy. To His praise and to His glory.

Please teach Christ Jesus and Him crucified and what He has done to save us.  The focus of salvation should never, ever switch onto us. 

I am not going to ignore the Scriptures that teach that man must make a free will response to the offering of salvation from God.

Nobody here is minimizing God's grace and love by saying man has to respond to be saved.  If it was not for the love of God and the grace that sent Jesus to die for us, we would zero hope of salvation, no matter what we may do to seek it.  However, He did send Jesus, salvation is all about Him and His will for man, and out of His mouth is still found the response man must make toward Him.  Those who ignore His words on this or say that we do not have to really obey Him are themselves disobeying Him.

Offline soterion

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Re: Why our unity movement failed?
« Reply #52 on: November 14, 2007, 06:21:43 AM »
Another point I think is worth considering:  Any movement that has unity as it's center is doomed.  While it may perhaps be a noble thought, it ends up being a movement of compliance.  And compliance is ultimately restrictive bringing forth the minimum effort in order to meet the requirement of compliance.  God wants His people absolutely free and unencumbered with such man focussed efforts.  A lover and follower of Christ Jesus is united with another lover and follower of Christ.  It is in Jesus, not in ourselves.

John 17:20-21.
"I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me."

1 John 1:6-7.
If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

1 Corinthians 1:10-13.
I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. 

For it has been reported to me by Chloe's people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers.  What I mean is that each one of you says, "I follow Paul," or "I follow Apollos," or "I follow Cephas," or "I follow Christ."  Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?

Offline Johnb

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Re: Why our unity movement failed?
« Reply #53 on: November 14, 2007, 06:26:47 AM »
Soterion

So you are saying that a person has to obey certain commands in the NT before you will call them brother?  Later Johnb

Offline soterion

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Re: Why our unity movement failed?
« Reply #54 on: November 14, 2007, 06:52:03 AM »
Soterion

So you are saying that a person has to obey certain commands in the NT before you will call them brother?  Later Johnb

I am saying that a person must obey what Jesus says must be done to be saved.  Those who have done so are saved and their unity together is based on their unity with Christ.  Those who have not done so are not in Christ and have no unity with those in the body of Christ.

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Re: Why our unity movement failed?
« Reply #55 on: November 14, 2007, 07:04:02 AM »
It is God who chooses us first.  Our free choice to choose is preceeded by this reality and our free choice is thereby at the same time pre-ordained, in fact all of our responses to the gospel, our ability to come to Him, are then given to us by the power of the Holy Spirit.  It is our choosing God after he has first chosen us and empowered us to choose Him through which our responses in faith, in repentance, in obedience, etc. occur in our lives.

Who ever prays the following:  "Oh, God, please I hope and pray Johnny will choose you so that you can then choose him"......?????   No, we instead pray: "God, I pray that you open the mind and heart of Johnny SO THAT he will choose you".   

The Christian community simply has different views of how we are saved via the same scripture and that will never change.  Beyond that, it is the love of God that we are to live out amongst ourselves, and unfortunately, few get beyond the milk, get beyond first base, get beyond dividing over soteriology.  That's just the way it is and has always been.   At some point, the realization must come that unity is not from us, it is from the Holy Spirit.

« Last Edit: November 14, 2007, 10:37:15 AM by da525382 »

Offline janine

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Re: Why our unity movement failed?
« Reply #56 on: November 14, 2007, 07:19:22 AM »
I think y'all need to define "unity".

Is it "a group of different people from different backgrounds deciding to ignore problems and differences to pull together for some noble common goal"?

Is it "the invisible interconnected quality, only detectable by Fruit Inspectors, of all the people who are in Christ, enrobed with Christ, immersed into Christ, attached to Christ, 'saved', 'washed in the blood of the Lamb'"?

I tell you what -- if I meet of a Sunday with a group of people who all claim to have entered the Kingdom via the One Way to the Father, having understood the same vital components of that process the same as I do --

Among them necessity for a repentant attitude, necessity for an unashamed proclamation of Jesus as the Christ, necessity for identification with His death-burial-resurrection-life in immersion --

I say, if I meet of a Sunday with people around me in the pews who, as far as I know, are all in a righteous, saved, living relationship with Jesus Christ --

That is still only as far as I know.

My attitude will not be one of bashing people about the head and shoulders with a Shibboleth.

If people want to serve and grow and study and worship with me, lovely.  If I don't think they understand what they need to understand, I will tell them.  I will also be glad to hear anything they think they want to teach me.  But I won't want anything to do with their preachments,  if I perceive them as being exclusivist-for-the-sake-of-exclusivity.  Why would I think they would listen to me, to what I really really really want them to know for the sake of their souls -- and mine -- if we have no ongoing relationship between us?

It is not a common thing, in this time and place where I live, to be able to step up on a box in a marketplace and simply tell people about the Christ.  Not that you shouldn't if you have the context available to you.  It's just that most of the time, in my life here and now, I have a much better chance for meaningful communication if I go find some common ground to stand on while we talk.

Offline segell

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Re: Why our unity movement failed?
« Reply #57 on: November 14, 2007, 07:38:53 AM »
Another point I think is worth considering:  Any movement that has unity as it's center is doomed.  While it may perhaps be a noble thought, it ends up being a movement of compliance.  And compliance is ultimately restrictive bringing forth the minimum effort in order to meet the requirement of compliance.  God wants His people absolutely free and unencumbered with such man focussed efforts.  A lover and follower of Christ Jesus is united with another lover and follower of Christ.  It is in Jesus, not in ourselves.

John 17:20-21.
"I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me."

1 John 1:6-7.
If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

1 Corinthians 1:10-13.
I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. 

For it has been reported to me by Chloe's people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers.  What I mean is that each one of you says, "I follow Paul," or "I follow Apollos," or "I follow Cephas," or "I follow Christ."  Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?


Those verses go to our hearts, in my view.  Unity is not only important - it is vital.  For what?  The glory of God and the reputation of the Lord Jesus.  Unity isn't found in the pursuit of unity.  It is found in the pursuit of our King and Lord Jesus.  Again, a movement for the purpose of unity has a misplaced focus.  Unity for the sake of the Lord Jesus is worthy.  Does that make any sense?  That way, our Lord remains our purpose, not what we do.  Paul exhorted people not to focus on man.  Here's the question - are we uniting in a Person or in how we do things?

Just look at the unity movement that is the subject of this thread?  How many divisions are there in that so-called movement?  I mean there is division in some over the manner of taking the Lord's Supper!!  Or over instrumental music!!  Or over the exact method of baptism!!  Or over the roles of women in the church!! 

The point is there can never be unity with what man does as the focus.  But, I can be unified with a person who declares Jesus as Lord, who views the purpose of baptism differently than I, who views the role of women differently than I, or who is multi-cup or one cup.  Unity is in Christ.  The heart wrenching truth of the matter is that there are those who deny unity with other followers of Christ over stuff they declare as central as Christ Himself.  And they do so in the so-called pursuit of unity!!  Rather, I think it is in the pursuit of exclusivity because their collective eyes are not unwaveringly focussed upon the Cross of Christ but on the acts of man.

Offline Sherman Nobles

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Re: Why our unity movement failed?
« Reply #58 on: November 14, 2007, 08:16:59 AM »
Soterion,

Concerning the necessity of an outward response to an inward faith and repentance, are you saying that any response is appropriate, or specifically that one must be water baptized to be saved?  Also, do you believe that one must be water baptized according to some specific formula -- full immersion, in the name of Jesus or in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and specifically to be saved or is just obedience ok?

Also, how do you explain the example of Cornelius and his household?  When Peter recounts the story to the apostles and elders in Jerusalem, he notes that an angel appeared to Cornelius and said for them to send for Peter who would bring them a message through which Cornelius and his household would be "saved" (Acts 11.14).  And then as Peter spoke, Cornelius and his household received the gift of the Holy Spirit.  

Cornelius and his household receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit was then understood as them being accepted by God and God granting them eternal life because of their faith and repentance (11.15-18).  And of course, when Peter was preaching to them he said that forgiveness of sins was connected with faith in Christ (10.43).  When they heard this message, they apparently believed, received the forgiveness of sins, were accepted by God, saved, and received the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Of course, they were water baptized based upon their salvation, but it was after they were saved and had received the gift of the Holy Spirit.  So apparently salvation is dependent upon faith and repentance and not some specific outward response, even water baptism.  

Of course, some discount this scripture saying that it was a "special" situation to reveal that the Gentiles were acceptable to God and even added to the community of faith, the church, without having to become Jewish.  God certainly did use this event to do that, but I believe that it also reveals that salvation, being born of the Spirit, comes through faith and repentance before any outward expression of faith; whether it be repeating the sinner's prayer, confession of one's faith, water baptism, or even speaking in tongues like Cornelius did.  So, salvation is by grace through faith and faith is not even from ourselves, but is a gift from God!

Unity then is based on recognizing as brothers and sisters in Christ those who have faith in Jesus Christ.

Offline Howie26

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Re: Why our unity movement failed?
« Reply #59 on: November 14, 2007, 08:22:57 AM »
segell,

I'm not sure I am understanding you correctly, so I'll take a stab at this.  I have a friend who goes out into the woods in the early morning, looks up at the trees, breathes in the air, and grunts and sighs - and that is what he considers to be the sum of his relationship with God, just taking God in through nature.  Are you saying that if I refused to call him a brother in Christ, I am being focusing too much on what a person must do to be saved?