Sunday, April 22, 2012

T or F: Jesus wants us all to get along

Unity is a funny word. At least as it is interpreted by some. For some the idea of unity equates to the idea of peace. Unity is where everyone gives up their "self" for the greater good. But is that the idea that Jesus had when he thought of the unity that he wanted his followers to have? I think to answer this question, we have to look at Jesus himself.

Jesus came into a world in which there were different ideas about what it meant to be a follower of God. And his idea was different still. So did he give up on his idea just to bet along? No, he blew the existing paradigm to bits. He told stories and confronted leaders and took it all the way to the cross. The cross was a bloody, humiliating, despised death that would have offended many. So much for peace!

I think here of the peace-keeping forces that have been in place around the world. Using military might, guns, and bloodshed to keep peace. Can anyone say, "oxymoron?" That is because peace and unity are not the same. You can have peace, but if those subjected to the peace do not agree to the means of that peace, you do not have unity.

Does that mean that unity means we must all agree? Again, no, because not everyone will ever agree on everything when it comes to politics or religion. But we can agree on essential matters and give freedom in others so that we get along. We can dialogue instead of dictate. We can love.

Jesus wanted unity among his followers, but at what cost? Certainly not at the cost of truth. Certainly not at the cost of freedom. Certainly not at the cost of anything that would hinder the glory of God.

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