Is Christian Unity Really Possible?


#1

Yes, I believe it is. However, it may be something that takes centuries and centuries to achieve. I can speak for Catholics, and say that Christian unity, a Christian world without labels, is in our prayers. Of course, this would be the Catholic Church, not anything else. I am anxious to hear what you think, fellow Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestants, what you believe in this aspect. I am friends with an Orthodox priest, and he believes teh same. On the other hand, there is the mentality of people who place emotions before faith and logic. These people are holding up the Christian dream, and perhaps, it is these people whom we must reach out to the most! [SIGN]Let us put Christian Unity into Christian Action![/SIGN]


#2

Possible (nothing is impossible with God), but not probable. The Scriptures testified that there would be schisms and heresies. They have been there since the beginning. For all those who return to the fold, there are others who leave.

Of course, the Church of Christ is always one and there is always unity among those who embrace the true faith in its fullest.


#3

The way things are going, I really doubt it.
The mainline churches have become so decadent that entire congregations are splitting off from the parent bodies.
Evangelicalism keeps splitting up into more and more churches and “Mega-Churches,”. Drive through any African-American neighborhood and you’ll pass not only the standard denominational churches, but also loads of store-front churches of every imaginable variety, with names like,
“Triumph the Everlasting Gospel Church of Jesus Christ
Kingdom Hall of Our Lady of the True Evangel Holiness Congregation” and stuff like that, and there are thousands of those individual independent churches. Unity ??
I doubt it very seriously.


#4

I voted “Yes, without a doubt. It could happen tomorrow” because the Holy Spirit can act in ways that can surprise us all.

This is a topic dear to me, and the disunity I see among the faithful is saddening, as I have lamented several times in various places here on CAF.


#5

It is onlypossible if all the non-Catholic Christians converted to the true Church. That is the only true unity.


#6

Not only is it possible, but it is also a certainty. I doubt that it will happen before the end of the world, but I hope to spend my eternity with My Lord and the unified Church Triumphant!


#7

What a strange statement. It is true that all Christians would be united, if they were united to one church. But I’m not sure if you meant to say that, or were making a joke.


#8

No it ain’t. The thing is broke, you can’t fix it! :smiley:

zerinus


#9

Christian unity is possible but unlikely. The reason it is unlikely comes from the Garden of Eden. Man’s desire to be his own authority on what is good and evil. This authority, as seen in the story of Adam and Eve, belongs to God. The Old Testament tells us what happens when one is obedient to God’s authority (or will), such as Noah, Abram, Moses, David and others, while we also see what happens when we are disobedient to God’s will, exile and misery. Jesus is the supreme manifestation of obedience to the will of God. Even though Jesus had received authority from God, at his baptism and at the transfiguration, he did not deem this authority to exceed the authority of God the Father as seen in the Garden of Gethsemane. After his resurrection, Jesus states that he was given the authority from God the Father to pass on this authority to the Apostles, his church. Among them he also gave a special authority, the keys to the kingdom, to Peter.

Since the beginning of the church there have been people, including bishops, who rejected the authority of the church. Luther, Calvin and others did the same. We still see bishops and priests in the church today who are disobedient to the church. I am not talking about disagreement but disobedience.

To establish true unity among Christians requires, by definition, that we all become obedient to the authority that Jesus established here on earth; The one true church and the successor of Peter, our beloved pope.

What is more likely to happen is that we will peacefully coexist with one another which is certainly an improvement over history.

Peace of JC be with you all.

Craig


#10

I voted “Yes, without a doubt, it could happen tomorrow.”

Of course it will happen at the end of “time”, and it’s already true in Heaven, but I mean even here on Earth, in this troubled Age.

Who’d have thought the Church would grow and prosper from being a persecuted minority to being, possibly the first, widespread, multi-national religion to be followed *to the exclusion *of all other religions, all in the span of a single century? It happened between 300 and 500 AD. If that could happen, anything can happen, even the visible, willing, and knowing reunion of all Christians with the Church.

The truth is that a grand, worldwide miracle could happen tomorrow, or two minutes from now. A miracle that would draw all sincere believers to the inevitable conclusion that the Catholic Church is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Such a miracle really could happen anytime. I won’t deny that I often have doubts in this and get discouraged, but it is possible, and oh, how I wish it would happen, and every sincere Christian would then know the joy of being in the Fullness of the Truth.

So I can’t say whether or not it’s at all probable, but it is certainly, unavoidably possible.


#11

He is expressing the authentic Catholic teaching on Christian unity. That’s the only way. Pope John Paul II made that clear in his encyclical on such unity, Ut Unum Sint:

Jesus himself, at the hour of his Passion, prayed “that they may all be one” (Jn 17:21). This unity, which the Lord has bestowed on his Church and in which he wishes to embrace all people, is not something added on, but stands at the very heart of Christ’s mission. Nor is it some secondary attribute of the community of his disciples. Rather, it belongs to the very essence of this community. God wills the Church, because he wills unity, and unity is an expression of the whole depth of his agape**.

In effect, this unity bestowed by the Holy Spirit does not merely consist in the gathering of people as a collection of individuals.** It is a unity constituted by the bonds of the profession of faith, the sacraments and hierarchical communion.The faithful are one because, in the Spirit, they are in communion with the Son and, in him, share in his communion with the Father: “Our *fellowship *is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1 Jn 1:3).

The unity willed by God can be attained only by the adherence of all to the content of revealed faith in its entirety. In matters of faith, compromise is in contradiction with God who is Truth. In the Body of Christ, “the way, and the truth, and the life” (Jn 14:6), who could consider legitimate a reconciliation brought about at the expense of the truth? The Council’s Declaration on Religious Freedom Dignitatis Humanae attributes to human dignity the quest for truth, “especially in what concerns God and his Church”, and adherence to truth’s demands. A “being together” which betrayed the truth would thus be opposed both to the nature of God who offers his communion and to the need for truth found in the depths of every human heart.

Another good read is Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical on the reunion of Christendom: Praeclara Gratulationis Publicae.


#12

I personally believe we are living in the age where Protestantism (in regards to its theology) is collapsing. More and more protestants, especially those who are in (or are looking to join) Protestant pastoral positions, are realizing Protestant theology is unBiblical, unHistorical and when examined closely illogical. (see chnetwork.org) Back when the Pretend Reformers were causing the first wounds in the Body of Christ most who were deceived by them didnt have access to writings like the Early Church Fathers and other relevant documentation, as a result the Pretend Reformers got away with a lot of misquoting and deception.

Things have changed now, the information age has gone to expose those lies and heresies proving the words of Our Lord, "The Truth will be shouted from the roof tops"
there is literally no place for protestant theology to hide anymore, the facts are out there and the apologetics are out there.

Sure Protestantism might linger on as a social bond between people (who are more interested in social clubs) but for those really looking for a coherent Gospel, the only way they will be satisfied is in the Catholic Church.


#13

This is right on…the splintering will never stop, especially now, within the Evangelical movement. As soon as there is a difference in opinion or a new thought or disagreement within a church, someone goes out and starts their own group or church. It’s happening so fast in the Mid-West that it must be hard to keep track of it. Every man for himself, is the new ‘Credo’ in religion and we’ll take god along for the ride.


#14

Hi,
I couldnt vote because I didnt feel there was one that I believed.

I will say not until Christ returns because us humans are way too arrogant and proud. Each of us want to be right at all costs. That will never go away until Christ comes back.:frowning:


#15

I agree. I would have voted multiple choice either that it will happen soon or many years from now because we don’t know when He will return.


#16

How do you define Christian unity? If you mean that all Christians without exception will be unified, then this is vanishingly unlikely–theoretically possible but in practice never going to happen before the End (I would expect that in the final persecution under Antichrist all true Christians will finally unite–in fact I would tend to see complete unity as a probable sign that the End was near).

However, I think it is possible for major segments of Christianity as they currently exist to reach unity. Catholicism and much of Orthodoxy will hopefully unite sometime this century–this is optimistic but not totally unrealistic. Of course there will be holdouts on the Orthodox side. I think it is also probable that in one way or another much of what is now Protestantism will become Catholic, either through corporate unions or through the collapse of large sections of Protestantism and consequent large-scale conversion.

However, the opposite dynamic is at work as well. In a free society a large number of cradle Catholics are always going to choose a different path. I expect Pentecostalism and other forms of free-church Protestantism to continue to grow even as many people from those traditions (particularly the more intellectual ones) turn back toward Catholicism or at least toward more traditional forms of Protestantism. It seems to be a natural cycle, and barring either government coercion or divine intervention I see no end to it. And at the same time, there will be other evangelical Protestants who turn not toward Catholicism but toward liberalism. Liberalism, like free-church evangelicalism, will continue to recruit from disillusioned Catholics and evangelicals even as it crumbles away on the other end. I suspect that liberal Protestantism will occupy a much smaller share of the “pie” in future, but I don’t expect it to disappear entirely.

The best-case scenario, in my opinion, would be a reunion of the sounder elements of Protestantism with Catholicism, leaving the more radical free-church folks and the extreme liberals to pursue their own path, together with those Catholics who choose for whatever reason to abandon the Roman Communion. In other words, I don’t hope for complete unity, but I do hope for a Church that unites more of the goods of the Christian Faith in one Communion than has been the case for the past 500 years. In fact, I would say that this has already begun to happen, particularly with the pontificate of JPII.

In Chrsit,

Edwin


#17

Every time I see one of these polls there is never an answer for me. So I didn’t take the poll. I do believe that we will all be united some day. But will it happen tomorrow? CAN it happen tomorrow? Sure it can, but will God make it that easy for us? I don’t think so. Will it happen many many years from now? Who knows. But I do know for certain that all Christians who truly believe in Jesus Christ and who put their whole trust in Jesus will be united. That is Jesus’ prayer for us and God the Father will answer His prayer.


#18

It’s not that each of us want to be right. It’s that YOU want to be right. I say that with certainty because I KNOW for sure that the one True Church is the Catholic Church. Yes we are all too arrogant but that doesn’t mean that an arrogant Catholic is wrong when he/she says that the Catholic Church is the one true Church. It just means he/she has a big head.

That’s not to say that there aren’t any true Christians in a protestant church. Sure real Christians at heart are all part of the body of Christ and only God knows the sheep from the goats. There are goats in the Catholic Church too but that doesn’t make the Catholic Church the wrong church. Don’t forget Judas. He was IN it from the beginning and yet the Apostles still went out to preach the Word just as Jesus commanded them.

I will never back down on my beliefs. I will never leave the Catholic Church, and not because of pride. I will never leave because I know that I am in the One Holy Catholic & Apostolic Church that Christ built on Peter the Rock. I will never leave because I want to have Jesus Christ every chance I get to eat His Body, Blood, Soul & Divinity.


#19

Although it’s a nice dream, I fear that this will never happen due to human nature. One must not stop hoping though!


#20

This is so untrue it is almost funny. Catholic Answers is filled, it seems, with a bunch of quixotic dreamers. Lets get a few things straight.

  1. Evangelical Christianity is far from collapsing. In fact, it is growing rapidly in South America, Africa, Asia, growing fast in North America and growing in Europe. In China, there are estimated 50-100 million Christians, of which 70-90% are Evangelicals. Try again.

  2. The Roman Catholic Church is losing member in absolute terms in South America and Europe. It is growing with the population in the US, mainly due to immigration. However, in relative terms, it is falling in the US. In the developing world, when people are given a chance to choose, they choose overwhelmingly Evangelical churches relative to the Roman Catholic Church. This is a fact and none of your Catholic Answers wishful thinking will change this. There are a number of studies that support these conclusions, including an extensive one done at Gordon Conwell in Boston. See for example, globalchristianity.org/


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