Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Okay, don’t ask me how I came across this article, but it was posted on John Piper’s website and the title was too delicious for me to not dive into it:

”Why Is Christian Unity So Hard?

Could it possibly be that Piper and his Calvinist fellow-travelers were actually going to try to make a serious attempt at reaching across the doctrinal barriers that, to be honest, they have mostly erected, in order to try to make common cause with other Christians that don’t think like them? Yeah, that idea lasted about two sentences:

”Mentioning tears tells you I’m not talking about disunity in the church in general. I’m talking about disunity in churches we know and love, and between Christians we know and love.”

“And for the most part, I’m not talking about disunity fueled by higher-level disagreements over primary Christian doctrines (ones that define the bounds of Christianity) or even secondary doctrines (ones that define, say, the bounds of a denomination). I’m talking about the far more common kind of disunity fueled by the endless variety of conflicts that break apart relationships, and even whole churches, because earnest, sincere Christians fail to humbly, gently, patiently “bear with one another in love” and cease being “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1–3).”

Ah, got it. So it’s not disunity between parts of the church, it’s disunity in the One True Church that is Jon Bloom’s local congregation.

I will give him this, though. This paragraph was pretty good:

“What image did Jesus have in mind? We can see it in the previous verse: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another” (John 13:34). Jesus was about to “lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). And he told his friends (all of us) to love one another “just as I have loved you.” Jesus was envisioning a cruciform community of Christians whose sacrificial love for one another frequently required them to take “the form of a servant,” pick up their cross, and “count others more significant than themselves” (Philippians 2:3, 7).”

Maybe if he would try to apply it to people outside of his little Calvinist bubble, without setting forth doctrinal litmus tests, he might be on to something.