Have you ever stopped to think about the number of things that cause Christians to argue? We argue over issues from Halloween to evolution to the gift of tongues.
Now, think for a minute. How many of these things really matter to the core of your faith? Have you ever stopped to ask why Christians argue over so many things, when we’re all supposed to believe the same thing? Sometimes we’re so caught up in the issue of the day that we forget to evaluate whether it’s really worth arguing about.
One person can make a stand for what they believe in, but it’s easier with people by your side, right? I don’t know about you, but when I’m fighting a battle, I’ll take all the help I can get, including prayer! Arguing as a respectful discussion isn’t wrong–it can help sharpen our beliefs–but there’s much to be said in favor of unity.
What is unity?
The dictionary defines unity as “the state of being one; a whole, combining all its parts into one; oneness of mind, feeling, etc.; undividedness.”
Most of the issues Christians disagree on are secondary to our faith. For example, whether you listen to Christian rock music or only listen to hymns isn’t essential to the core beliefs of Christianity.
Let’s look at a few things that are essential to our faith.
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen (Nicene Creed, 325 A.D.).
The Nicene Creed is a declaration of what we believe based on the Bible and teachings of the Apostles. You may be more familiar with the “Apostle’s Creed,” but they’re very similar–I just prefer the wording of the “Nicene Creed.”
There are two definitions of “catholic.” One refers to the Roman Catholic Church. The second, when the word “catholic” isn’t capitalized, means all Christians as a whole. So, where it says “we believe in…the holy catholic church,” it means we believe Christ established His church here on earth and that all who are saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ are part of that church.
Girls, the bottom line is this: We may never agree on all the secondary issues, but the core things found in either the Nicene or Apostle’s Creed are our foundation. Let’s spend more time loving the things that unite us and a little less time on the things that divide us.
Being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all (Ephesians 4:3-6).