An interesting conversation with a reader about unity

An interesting conversation with a reader about unity March 26, 2019

He writes

I believe that God really wants all of Roman Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox to be united. I think we all have nuances in our beliefs that cause separation (assurance of salvation, etc.). However, we have something that we all agreed with that is far more important than all these things: Our understanding of the Person of Jesus Christ. If I’m not mistaken all 3 major branches that I’ve just mentioned, all believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died for our sins and will come back again for his Bride (Church); not 3 different brides but 1.

True of Catholics and Orthodox and most, not all Protestants.

So I guess my argument would be that since our understanding of the Person of Jesus Christ is all the same. This reason alone should be enough for us to be united. United in the sense that we would consider each other as being saved. Often we consider our soteriology as the basis of us being saved, but the main factor that would truly unite all of us is to see Christology as the basis. Christology trumps Soteriology, in terms of being saved. 

I would argue that what matters most to Christ is obedience to him, not our theories about him.  But I do agree Christ places a very high premium on unity. I think it’s a unity of love—practically expressed, more than doctrine that matters most, though doctrine matters too.

Unity reflects the Trinity (John 17:21) and is a direct command of Jesus. Unity is the core message of the Pauline letters.

I’m not sure I buy that unity is the core message of Paul’s letters, though it is certainly an important theme.

My goal is to video every high leader of each branch (Catholic Pope, Orthodox Pope, Billy Graham Jr, etc.) saying something like “It is God’s heart and also mine that all Roman Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox Christians should be united.” and compile all of them saying that statement.

Okay.

I feel that by doing this we will move the people to stop seeing each other with animosity, but instead see each other with mutual respect and appreciate the diversity that each branch brings. Thus, resulting to more communication and collaboration with each other.

Okay.  May I suggest that love, more than unity, is the dominant theme.  Unity, by itself, is the language of power.  But love has unity as a by product rather than as a goal.  Love creates unity.

So I guess, my question for you is, do you think this would work? What are your thoughts about this as a Catholic? What are things you disagree with? I really want to learn and hear about church leader’s perspective on this.

I think it is an admirable goal.  I would simply argue that our unity is ‘in the Spirit’ in Paul’s thought and therefore we achieve it, as Jesus says, not be seeking it first, but by seeking first his kingdom and his righteousness in the confidence that everything else we want—including unity—will be added as well.

Hope that helps.

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