Regarding the Purpose of OneInJesus

I get emails —

You say your hope is to call all members of Churches of Christ together again, united against the Christians outside of “the church.” Yes? Well, that’s not exactly the way you word it. But your statement is limited to unity for all in the Church of Christ families. That objective surely is commendable. It’s also less than we should aim for–the unity of all who are in Christ. Isn’t it?

Hmm …. The original purpose statement for this site is —

This site is dedicated to members of the Churches of Christ searching for a deeper understanding of God’s grace, the Holy Spirit, and more. Ultimately, the mission of this site is to set forth an understanding of the Bible that will allow for a reunification of the Churches of Christ.

I wrote that over three years ago, when I was hoping for a readership in the double digits. And it remains true that I want to see a reunification of the Churches of Christ. But the correct path to unity will necessarily lead to unity on a much grander scale than that! It would indeed hardly be enough to reunite the conservative and progressive factions of the Churche of Christ if that’s as far as it goes.

And so I’m making this change —

This site is dedicated to members of the Churches of Christ searching for a deeper understanding of God’s grace, the Holy Spirit, and more. Ultimately, the mission of this site is to set forth an understanding of the Bible that will allow for a reunification of the Churches of Christthe unity all followers of Jesus.

That’s what I should have said in the first place.

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8 Responses

  1. Inasmuch as I am part of one of the mainline (oldline?) denominations, and I have found much of value in what I read on this site, I welcome this adjustment in your purpose statement. I do believe that those who name Christ as Lord and trust in the authority of His Word will will one day find the unity toward which your efforts are directed and this site dedicated.

  2. I really like that! It’s inline with what Jesus prayed for.

  3. Jay, I very much appreciate your writings. But, I must say that I do not find the tone of many of your posts one of a spirit of unity. Rather, it speaks to me as one of seeking the triumph of the “progressive” worldview. I agree with most of your conclusions, but you are constantly speaking down to conservative churches and worldviews with a kind of language that is all too similar to that which you are supposedly trying to move past. Truthfully, your message is “we’ve got it right, they’ve got it wrong.” (Which to me makes your blog a pretty typical Church of Christ blog, even though it is progressive.)

    I think your purpose would be more reflective of your actual site if it read “The mission of this site is to promote the superiority of the progressive Biblical worldview and to demonstrate how conservative doctrine is false.”

  4. Unity of all believers in Christ, first unity with our “brethren” on “both sides of the keyboard”, then unity with those outside the “movement”? That is only logical to progress that way; if the “non-instrumental” church and the “instrumental” church can’t be united and fellowship with one another then unity with other Christians that hold to the basics like us (many baptists etc) won’t be possible…

  5. Paul, allow me to respectfully disagree with your conclusion.

    Within my tradition there are many who hold beliefs I find unsupportable in Scripture even though we have a commonality in tradition. To their credit, they believe Scripture supports their perspective, but they come to that conclusion using a different approach to interpretation. I suspect, based on what I have read through my six month reading of this blog, there are those with in the CoC that could say essentially the same thing.

    On the other hand, because Jay and I hold very similar, if not identical, views of how Scripture is to be used and interpreted, I find myself in agreement nearly all the time. This is spite of the fact there is not a great deal in common with our traditions. Our differences, so far as I can tell, have to do with things of less importance than the fundamentals of who we are in Christ. We may or may not be comfortable with some of the details of how a church is to be governed, but I don’t believe that would be an impediment to our being one in Christ.

    Were he to teach or preach at my church, or if I were to do the same in his, I believe we would both recognize our unity. I would suggest that we might even share more in common with each other that I do with some within my tradition.

    I don’t think (could easily be wrong here) that the “unity [of] all followers of Jesus,” necessarily means we all agree, so long as we worship and live in a way that keeps our Lord and His Word first and foremost in our midst.

  6. Well said Pastor Mike. Adiphora = “things indifferent” (Rom 14). I believe this great Pauline principle has its greatest importance to unity among ALL the saints in its apllication to our respective traditions of ecclesiology and worship styles, which tend to define our respective individual gatherings (ekklesia). Then we have to name our respective gatherings, either after a great reformation leader/preacher, or our ecclesiastic structure/leadership. NT disciples that met together defined themselves very simply : “the way”, “disciples”, “the gatherings at Corinth, Galatia, etc.” I see that happening today, simple names: “Bible Churches”, “Community Churches, etc.” Steps to a greater unity among believers? I hope so! By the way Jay, your change in mission is a change to REAL unity, in my humble opinion. UNITY is found in no other than the gospel message of Jesus’ death, burial and ressurection, AND our individual responses to that message as we understand that to be – in all humility and trusting faith…Jim

  7. Jay

    I came to this conclusion and goal about ten years ago.

    The closest We have seen it work, unity of all believers, is in a few interdenominational churches. They are vastly different in individual “doctrines of church structure and beliefs”” but manage to all work together around the simple Gospel faith and obedience the two most important laws. Love(Agape) God and Love(Agape) your neighbor.

    I hope the Churches of Christ will eventually adopt that as an important goal, but bearing in mind that there were vast differences even 1900 years ago.

    Thank you for you understanding of what the Lord God, king of the universe really wants from us. We really can have heaven on earth and community if we try.

    Bob

  8. Flirting with Calvinism is the best way to kill unity. Its like a cancer. I’d suggest taking a hard stance against it if you ever want to truly see unity.

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