Is unity easy? No. Jesus warned us of “wolves in sheep’s clothing”. The rest of the New Testament alerts us to the dangers Jesus’ followers would continually face. Christian unity would be challenged by smooth talkers, worldly minded leaders, vain philosophies and false doctrines. Unity with those who promote such things is not what Jesus wanted. So, can Christian unity be a reality? It can and is absolutely required. How? Watch this short vlog then listen to the full podcast of the same name for more details.
Did you watch Part I and listen to the podcast? There was SO many cool lessons about what Nehemiah did to mobilize his community and change his world that we needed an additional podcast to bring all the modern-day lessons to light! Onto Part II!
Last week we began our conversation by saying that pride can be a tricky thing and prejudice can be an awful thing. We focused our attention on the pride side of the matter and its insidious way of taking over our lives. Now it’s time to talk about prejudice, and this is a hard conversation to have. For most of us, we can observe what we think is prejudice in others. We see a skewed view on some group or approach and we think about how unfortunate it is and wonder why they cannot see a bigger picture. Well, the bigger picture begins with these questions: How prejudiced am I in my view of the world and of others approach? Am I willing and able to recognize prejudice in my own thinking, and when I see it am I willing to attack it with the same passion that I feel about the prejudice of others? Prejudice needs attention and eradication, no matter where it’s found. How do we do that?
Sometimes there are things, seemingly small things that can change the world. Compassion and caring for instance. By just showing a little compassion or by acting in a way that shows you care can have a dramatic affect not only on the giver and recipient of these actions, but on those who witness them as well. A few weeks ago we talked about loving our enemies – today we ask – how can we better care for our friends? How can we, in practical terms, be our “brother’s keeper”?
You have all heard of the “Seven Wonders of the World.” You have probably also heard of the “Seven Deadly Sins” and the “Seven Things God Hates.” Noah brought seven of each “clean” animal onto the ark. Now, you may be wondering what this has to do with Christian unity – well – here is the deal…Christian unity is a very prominent teaching in the New Testament. It is spelled out as vital and necessary to the spiritual health of Christ’s followers. Interestingly, there are seven - yes, seven! elements of Christian unity spelled out in our theme text. Stay with us rning as we look into these elements and try and understand just how Christian unity should work!