Something that has been on my heart lately is the shift that I can see taking place in the church regarding theology and unity. For so long we have gathered around certain truths and our agreement has been mistaken for our unity. As soon as a disagreement arises, theological debates give way to church splits at least and broken relationships at worst. These days it seems as though two people can disagree on the color of the drapes and one of them will leave the church as a result.
As the body of Christ, we all know that we've been called to unity, but does unity look like total agreement? I'm not so sure. If we are rallying around theologies and doctrines and hoping that they will be our bond of peace instead of the love of Christ that knits us all together, then I'm afraid we may have missed the forest for the trees.
Our call as believers was never to all link arms and form a circle around perfect theology, but we were called to love unconditionally. I believe that the shift currently taking place is God elevating the importance of human beings over theology. Is theology and truth important? Absolutely, but I believe that people and relationships are of greater importance. Does the word say "by your great theology and boardroom agreements people shall know that you are my disciples?" No, the world will know our love for the Lord by our love for each other.
Paul in his wisdom described the church as a body not an assembly line. A body is the most intricately woven structure in all creation and every square inch looks different and was created for a purpose entirely it's own. I know that this example gets used constantly to refer to embracing our unique roles, so without beating a dead horse I wanted to use it again to reveal that differences can and always should equal unity.
Is Jesus coming back for a bride that is unified by her agreement or is Jesus coming back for a bride that is knit together through the kind of love that says "I value you too much to let our differences or disagreements stop me from loving you, working with you and honoring who you are."
I look forward to the day when churches rally around fathers and mothers, rally around Jesus himself, who resembles perfect theology instead of clutching at analytical straws that only provide a platform for disunity.
Something that I learn a while ago and that has set me free to love like never before was the understanding that to honor someone does not mean to be in total agreement with them. Should I love and honor a prison convict for the person they were created to be? Of course. Does this love mean I agree with their behavioral choices? Probably not. This even goes so far as to say that I will love and honor everyone who's theology is perhaps legalistic and religious. Why? Because they are a part of the body just as I am, and praise be to our good Father that he never waits for us to have the perfect balance of beliefs before he loves us, if this were the case, there would be a whole lot of unloved Christians running around this planet.
I believe that our challenge in these last days is to discover the depths of love, his love for us and his love for the ones we often times find it difficult to love. Will we try and build kingdoms around belief systems or will join together in our common love for the Lord Jesus? I await the day when the bride stands in the same unity that the trinity possesses, with all differences embraced and celebrated.