Dear brothers and sisters,
I have been in dialogue with a friend of mine and was wondering how to respond to his conclusion of what unity is. I am posting his reply to me when I sent him stuff on our Blessed Mother and why she is important and not something that can just be tossed aside.
Here is his reply:
*I really have no argument with any of the points you make. One thing I have come to appreciate from what knowledge I have of the various Christian denominations is the fact that all of their practices, each taken as sacred and essential within their denomination, have a Biblical and Godly purpose. As such, I can not dispute any of them. The fact that different of Christ’s teaching are given emphasis within each denomination seem to reflect the richness of how he comes to different peoples to call them home. The fact that Biblical basis exist for different practices, and that all matters are not specific (never mind that some within every denomination think it is so clear to them … but they need to back away and look at the whole of Scripture to see otherwise) is what leads to many of the issues that Christian spend too much time worrying about.
I liken it to any family, with one Head. As His children, we all recognize Him and receive Him as our Father. As his children, we are not all the same, and he does not make us be the same. Perhaps we are in fact more effective in our differences, in that we are able to reach people around the world that are drawn to some aspect that calls them home to Him. That is why I respect Christians who call themself spiritual (Pentacostal, and yes they are our Christian brothers and sisters … forget the stereotype) as they are drawn most near to God through an emphasis on the activity of His Spirit (which is a part of all denomination as well). But this very emphasis that draws some can scare away others. The result … people find God (God finds people).
So the bottom line, I do not have to agree with you to agree that I do not disagree with you. Does that make sense? Let me try again … I fully respect the basis for all that you believe, and in not seeing the same thing, walking with the same Christ, does not in any way mean that I think you are incorrect. In fact, I rejoice in your journey and your walk with Christ.
Unity to me is an upward alignment (with God, to His glory and service) more than it is a horizontal alignment among believers. If the focus is up … He will align us on the things that matter to Him. This sameness yet difference was a part of his early church across Asis Minor … long before there were Catholics, Baptist, etc.
So again … I have no argument to offer. You know I would offer one if I had one
. Because I know that you would receive it in the spirit if would be offered. The word argument is in fact too strong. I do not even have a concern about the difference between our practices. Not for your soul or mine or for the rest of our brothers and sisters who each is struggling in their walk. It is not the details of practice that are our challenge. It is the same old things … denying self, taking up the cross, following Christ. These are areas where Christians are united. *
It seems he thinks these things are non essential and not important. But I know they are of course I know others besides Catholics are saved, because God will judge us on the measure of our love we have had here on earth, but nonetheless, It is He who desire us all to honour Mary as our Mother and His Mother and to have devotion to her and to accept the real presence, and all the other sacraments, and is it not love to desire all of our brothers and sisters to acknowledge these truths and one day share at the Eucharistic table together, united in mind and heart?