I posted this in a separate thread. Over the course of the week I’ve learned about my brothers and sisters of different churches. So I thought of starting this thread this week, being holy week and all lol.
What’s everyone’s thoughts on unity? I think all of us should stop bickering and fighting. Its such small things we fight over. Its kinda like a family fued, in the end there is no winners… Unless, we all see we are the children of god, rather than point out our differences we point out each others strengths, and allow each others to build us higher. Catholics, I love how traditional your church is, its something I would love in mine time to time. I’ll share my outward thinking, bubbly energy with you! Lol
Just an example there, but seriously everyone, Any faith, let me hear your input, would us as Christians be better off together than divided? I don’t mean everyone converting, but our churches coming together. I believe and pray to my lord, God, Jesus died so that I may live, and the holy spirit is in my heart. Are we so different?
Usually thread such as this did not go down well and ended well. That’s quite ironic, considering the topic, unity, which what everyone should strive for.
Let’s get into the reality first.
We are different. That cannot be taken lightly or be swept under the carpet, in our desire for unity. Once the differences are understood and accepted then perhaps, out of sincerity, we can talk about unity. Otherwise quite often topic such as this is merely a camouflage of furthering one’s belief over the others, which is terribly discouraged here.
I am not saying that you are, so I appreciate you bringing up this subject, but it is good to know that this type of discussion can easily turn awry and not what we want it to be.
On the topic of unity itself, I would just say for starters that Catholicism regards ecumenism as very important part of the faith and practice. How, one day, that we all can be one, as Jesus Christ wants us to be one.
On the top levels, various steps have been taken by leaders of the various churches to meet together and to find way for unity and to be one. These include Catholic-Protestant churches and Catholic-Orthodox churches.
Yet the result can be very elusive. The good thing is we are not short of trying.
That is very true,
I don’t mean to glorify ones teachings against the others. I meant the post more as why don’t we work together. Yes we are different but most importantly aren’t we the same in the end?
Im a protestant as I’ve said who actually yearns for things in my church which we do not have\do.
Ive prided myself on learning christianity as a whole, not just a slice of the cake.
As for the leaders. I like the pope, I watch and read about him all the time. He sees the importance of unity, not unified. We all say to reach out to others, non christians, if that is our belief then why do we push all our brothers and sisters away? Yes we are different, in many ways, but isn’t our similarltys more common than someone may think?
As I said I’m not here to make ones faith better than the others. I’m asking in this week can we not allow each other to share how we feel? We are all Christians, no different from each other in the end
When i was a Pentecostal, I missed a lot of things! Including traditional sphere
Coming together? How? Orthodox don’t use musical instrument, nor rock band, everyone stands up in nearly whole service, our Eucharist (Divine Liturgy) is very different than Protestant and Latin rite RC. Can you even imagine how it would be if we get together? Orthodox prostrate, make a lot of sign of the Cross, Catholics kneel, will the Pentecostals not get distracted? Will you accept an iconostase between public and altar?
I think the Church is something much much more than any simple institution. It would be great if we all believed the same thing. But at the end of the day, I’m not incredibly worried about it. Merging institutions, if that’s what you’re asking, seems a bit pointless to me. People adhere to institutions because they often represent ideas that they adhere to. Merging those institutions, but not changing the core ideas behind them seems to defeat the purpose of their very existence to begin with.
IMHO, if Roman Catholics were more accepting of the Orthodox, there could be unity. Unfortunately, they will not budge from their position, so I don’t see unity between Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox occurring.
Unity is what Christ prayed for and what the Apostles promoted.
I think all of us should stop bickering and fighting. Its such small things we fight over.
In some cases yes they are little things…In other cases - they are very big things. They are things that touch upon salvation and there has to be a resolution to the question. Baptism and the Real Presence in the Eucharist are two such issues.
Its kinda like a family feud, in the end there is no winners… Unless, we all see we are the children of god, rather than point out our differences we point out each others strengths, and allow each others to build us higher.
Recognizing each others strength is also a part of it…but not at the expense of ignoring the truly important issues.
Just an example there, but seriously everyone, Any faith, let me hear your input, would us as Christians be better off together than divided? I don’t mean everyone converting, but our churches coming together.
Yes we would be better off together than divided. So how does one go about achieving this unity? As I already pointed out there are some very important doctrinal issues that separate us…We simply cannot “come together” with these issues unresolved. So what is to be done?
I just remember that at Dom church in Utrecht (where i am from), Catholic and Protestant come together for an ecumenical service. How do they do that? I have no idea, have never been to ecumenical church. Dom church was a Catholic Cathedral, during the Beeldenstorm in the reformation time, they came in to destroy all the statues. What I still find weird is that they have buried a duke and built his statue inside that church, but destroyed all the statues of Mary, Jesus, Apostles and the Saints.
Imho Catholics of Byzantine rite and Orthodox can come together for Divine Liturgy. But an unity? …
It’s generally wrong to under emphasize a problem. You compare it (the disunion amongst Christians) to a family feud, as if we were all in the same family, but that is not the case. I think sometimes we imagine ourselves being part of the same town called church. The Presbyterian might have a red brick house, the Catholic might have magnificent marble columns on his porch, but we are all houses in one town which is called Christian or The Body of Christ. I think the situation before us is more drastic than that. We are not even part of the same Town, we are perhaps in different continents.
If you approach the Catholic priest during the Mass for communion and he tells you no, like he might tell me “no” if I tried, that is a definite statement. The body and blood of Christ does not belong to just anyone, it belongs to his body, those whom are united to a visible church. So we see in the churches which are visible, which have closed communion their stance on the matter. There is no real unity. Agreeing on a basic doctrine like the trinity is not enough to say we are unified and that everything else is petty squabble. We are divided in the very thing we seek to fix, our concept of church.
As for a solution to this disunion amongst Christians I don’t have anything to offer. It seems impossible for union to be accomplished without one side giving up. Catholics will have to give up the ideas concerning their Pope and his authority. Protestants will have to give up on insisting on their peculiar reformation doctrines and Orthodox will have to accept the Pope and his authority. A Change like that, which is so radical, which cuts the hearts out of each of these particular groups does not happen lightly or all at once. It either happens slowly or else by divine intervention.
If you watched the film “Luther”(2003), you might see what some followers of Luther think of the Roman Catholic Church and unity. It is not too pretty. Generally, it portrays Roman Catholic clergy as evil, corrupt, money hungry, selling indulgences for cash, consorting with prostitutes, whereas Martin Luther is some sort of honest and decent hero, with a firm and loving devotion to Christ, and loved by the people, but censored and condemned by the power hungry, authoritarian and evil Roman clergy. The Roman clergy are shown instilling terrible fear in people’s minds and saying that the only way to avoid hundreds, if not thousands of years of the horrific flames of Purgatory is to pay them and buy an indulgence. Further, in the film, Martin Luther (played by Joseph Fiennes) says he wants unity but not at the price of servitude; in other words, he rejects the authority of the Pope. So with this type of vicious, uncharitable, anti-Catholic propaganda being spread by Lutherans, I don’t see much chance of any union between Catholics and Lutherans.
Very well said…
Moving towards unity will take much time and I think that the first steps kind of fit into the sort of thing the OP proposes. That we try to encourage dialogue and a recognition of the good in each other and in our faith communities.
That said, I think you are quite right in proposing that we are not just different houses in the same town. I think that is a more “protestant” view - that the various faith traditions don’t matter so much as just “believing on Jesus” (and Sola Scriptura).
Yet Scripture itself does not teach this.
P.S. One slight correction - - Unless I am mistaken, I believe that the Catholic Church would not refuse communion to an Orthodox.
(note - “Church Service” as mentioned in the article is not really accurate. We prayed, a cantor led us in chanting a Psalm, and the passion narrative from the book of Mark was read. This was not a unionistic liturgy)
Unity in action is a way that we can connect to each other in carrying out Christ’s commission. The top-down dialogues are important, but brotherhood starts at the grassroots level by the working of the Holy Spirit.
As an Evangelical in the Assemblies of God, I believe unity is something we should strive for. Unity does not mean that everyone becomes Evangelical of Catholic in my view. We are all part of the Body of Christ and should act like so. The pastor at my congregation stated it perfectly. He said that we should never say AoG is better than Orthodox, Baptist, Catholic or any faith tradition because that brings about hostility. Rather we should say that AoG works for me and I hope God continues to bless your faith.
Exactly. When I started this post it wasn’t about someone giving up their church, or beliefs. It shouldnt have to be someone converting or returning home, and the word unity means so much more than church service, there’s 6 more days in the week. Could and I ask, could we all not partake in bible study together, help the community together, ect. The word unity means so much more than following one church! I did not mean in any way shape or form someone giving up their church or faith, more all of us use the common ground to achieve more.