Question on Christian Unity for Protestants/Orthodox

This is an honest question begging an honest answer.

How open are you to dicussing Christian unity?

What are your thoughts on this topic?

Thanks in advance, and God bless.:slight_smile:

Very.

What are your thoughts on this topic?

That, as has often been pointed out, one of the greatest barriers to such unity is the willingness of various groups, liberal and conservative alike, to demand uniformity and, even worse, conformity with them as the price of unity.

Christian churches are diverse, and it would be a grave mistake to presume that the traditions and culture of one, even of a very young one, are less dearly held than the traditions and culture of another. Not many people are willing to sacrifice their own identity.

As a result, the only means by which I can see Christian unity working is by a framework which accepts the diversity of Christian traditions, cultures, and identities, i.e. one which is built around the shared elements rather than elements particular to any individual church or group of churches.

I don’t see an agreement on what Christian unity is. People will approach the idea of unity differently.

Very much so, especially since I’m married to a non-Catholic Christian. If we Christians were unified we would have a much stronger impact on our secular world. IMO
I also think we could learn a lot from each other. At my husbands church, everyone sings and it is very uplifting to hear; at my parish, hardly anyone sings. The Catholic Mass, however, has much more of a reverent worship, not so much at my husbands church. It feels more like a social event. I’m sure there are many other things where we could all benefit from each others strengths.

Would we? On the one hand, Christianity might present a united front: “All Christians say this on this issue”. On the other, all Christians could then be dismissed as being mindless drones: “They only say that because they’re Christians. They haven’t thought through the implications.” So, I’m not sure about our having stronger *political *impact.

Having said that, it seems to me that unity could be useful especially in social services, to avoid the overlap which does occur in those cases where the church groups do not confer, which would mean more charitable impact.

I also think we could learn a lot from each other.

With this I agree wholeheartedly, but do we actually need to be united to do so? I have learnt a great deal from Muslims and Buddhists.

I am interested in full Union with all the other christians in my denomination.

I am not interested in full Union with christians of other denominations as that would entail one or both of us to compromise some aspect of what we believe to be truth.

Which raises the question of whether you are interested in a partial union with Christians of other denominations, a union which would allow all parties to retain their distinct identity, as in a confederation.

I have no real problem with liturgical differences, so that is not a problem with unity in my opinion. I think it is good that groups of Christians who believe in the same doctrines also maintain their own institutions.

I must say though that I am not too interested in unity for unity’s sake, although I think inter-denominational and inter-faith dialogue is a good thing.

I second SalusaSecundus. :slight_smile:

In general no, I would still not be interested. But I am open and supportive of discussions between denominations.

Okay, are you interested in a partial union with Christians of other denominations, a union which would allow all parties to retain their distinct identity, as in a confederation?

It really surprises me how someone could not want unity, or think it would not be for the best, especially since Jesus prayed for it.

20*“I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, 21*that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me

I’m interested in unity with those whom I share unity of doctrine with. And I hope and pray that one day, that will be all Christians. But some superficial unity without actual unity of belief seems like no unity at all.

I think that there is plenty that Christians can work unitedly towards in the world, though.

The problem is not the value of unity alone, but the value of what might be lost to achieve it.

Do you believe that all other Orthodox believe exactly what you believe about everything?

No, but that wasn’t my position in the first place.

I am open to discussion with Protestants, but without debate and force.

But the term unity itself, my honest answer is, that I don’t really understand. Liturgical practices? Worshipping together in one place? Mixing doctrines all together, including accepting churches who accepted gay marriage? I think this ones will hurt people more, will break our inter-faith relationship more.

But if it’s about unity in the term of working together helping the needy ones e.g. cooking, helping disabled people, etc, then we are united in Christ to try to make this world a better one! :slight_smile:

Sure, but your first comment was very brief, and, given that you’re new here, I don’t know anything about you. The question was designed to tease out some more information.

Since you’re interested in unity with those with whom you share unity of doctrine, and you don’t share absolute unity of doctrine with the rest of the Orthodox, then either you’re not interested in unity with the rest of the Orthodox (which, I would guess, is pretty jolly unlikely) or you’re interested in unity with those with whom you share a certain, significant degree of unity of doctrine, or possibly particular doctrines.

So, are there churches outside of Orthodoxy who are sufficiently close for you to be interested in unity with them, or just individuals, or does it come under the heading of “must share beliefs X, Y, and Z”?

We all claim to be christian and should therefore all try to imitate Christ, now while Jesus set the greatest example in promoting peace among people, he did not practice interfaith.So we can ask ourselves then, Is the Bible’s warning against interfaith still valid? Yes, it is. This is because differing religious beliefs cannot bond through interfaith any more than oil and water can mix simply by putting them together in a pot. For instance, when people of different religions come together to pray for peace, which god is being petitioned? Christendom’s Trinitarian God? Hinduism’s Brahma? The Buddha? Islams Allah? Or someone else?

Unity could be attempted as enforced conformity, but it would never work, and so the more practical approach would be tolerated diversity, which is manageable but not at all easy.

At present, the Anglican Communion contains churches which celebrate gay marriage and churches which believe that homosexual activity is inherently sinful. We do not “mix doctrines”, but we do (generally) accept that those people over there who believe some very strange things are still Anglicans. We do sometimes have shared services, and we also do that with the Catholics, despite the far-reaching differences between their beliefs and ours.

I have been to a service attended by Anglicans, Catholics, and at least one Orthodox priest: a greater proportion than usual did not go up to the receive the Eucharist, but we all managed to worship together without any wars breaking out or anyone spontaneously bursting into flames.

But if it’s about unity in the term of working together helping the needy ones e.g. cooking, helping disabled people, etc, then we are united in Christ to try to make this world a better one! :slight_smile:

:thumbsup:

That is how I see Christian unity working: not with everyone in uniform and lockstep, but with everyone knuckling down to work together to help others. The religious differences could be saved for the jokes in the lunchroom and the images pinned to people’s walls, and we would know that it was successful when people were comfortable making sarcastic comments about their own churches in front of the people from *other *churches.

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