I do not understand the contention that “doctrine divides.” In what sense is a church body whose members believe different things unified? It seems to me that doctrine is precisely what can unify different people and personalities into one community. Otherwise, what do you have? When the unity is based on people, what you end up with is homogeneity of personality, socio-economic class, age demographic, and superficial affinities. You end up with people that you “like”; but what is the virtue in that? What about being unified with people you don’t like or who are different from you? The Bible’s model in 1 Corinthians is that the church should be diverse in all of these worldly ways but unified in a common faith in Christ.
The Anglican tradition allowed for diversity–or vagueness–of belief, as long as everyone followed the same form of worship, namely, the liturgy of the Book of Common Prayer. Thus, worship became the basis for unity. That hasn’t worked all that well, but what about when the congregation is not agreed on how to worship, or, as is often the case today, features several different styles, with members choosing which one to go to. So how is that unity?
It seems to me that a congregation that splits because of disagreements is going from disunity to unity. The dissensions within the congregation keep it from being unified. But when the members form two congregations, each enjoys a greater amount of unity than was experienced before.
Just some of my thoughts on that “basis of picking a church” post.