On May 3rd of this year (2018) was the National Day of Prayer. The theme of this years event was Unity. Recently a well known pastor said that “Jesus Christ commanded that cross-cultural unity take precedence over all the minor theological differences that have divided Christ’s followers for centuries.” The question is, is this pastor right? Every Christian needs to understand what Biblical “unity” is and what it is not as it relates to biblical doctrine.
In the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24 the disciples asked Jesus “when will all these things happen and what is the sign of your return. The first words out of Jesus’ mouth was make sure no one deceives you. If we do not understand the proper balance between doctrine and unity we are at great risk of being deceived. Today there are many cultural pressures on the church about hot button social issues that the world wants us to conform to its standards of morality. If we do not understand the correct balance between doctrine and unity we could be duped into uniting with people who hold to beliefs and ideologies that are in direct contradiction to sound biblical doctrine. We could also unite with religious systems that hold to beliefs that are contrary to biblical doctrine.
One way to refresh yourself on basic biblical doctrine is to read our page “What We Believe” From there you can download a full copy of the Faith and Practice .pdf to study. The best way a Christian can get a proper understanding of what is correct biblical doctrine is to be as it says in the book of Acts a good Berean. Acts 17:11 says this of the Bereans. “And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.” Regular bible study and correct methods of biblical study will help you understand doctrine better. Also sitting under good biblical pastors and teachers can give you more clarity on these issues.
I found the following video helpful in explaining the balance between doctrine and unity and I hope you find it helpful as well: