Overcoming the Myths about unity in the Churches. In 1998 when I began the E4Unity advocacy here in Madison County, Kentucky, I put down eight reasons I was often hearing from Christians why they had neglected the imperative of God. I think it is now time to put that document on this blog and I can’t think of a more opportune time to begin than now.

It has helped me tremendously, to go back to one of the most basic distinctions to be made in reading Scripture; the distinction between the indicative and the imperative voice in the original text. In the great indicatives, God tells us what in fact He has accomplished! All the imperatives that He then requires of us are simply the response of obedient faith in what He has declared to be true- what He declares to be the true and eternal reality in Jesus Christ, His beloved Son. Listen for the imperative statements in this video. Because of blindness and just plain old ignorance of what God has said, great numbers of those in the Churches, including many leaders, continue to deny the imperatives of God, continue to insist that Christian unity is not really important- not really a divine imperative. But unity is number one on the Apostle’s list in Ephesians, chapter four, when he begins to give us God’s imperatives after giving us three chapters of indicatives of what He has accomplished by the death, resurrection, and exaltation of the Christ. Everything we need to know about how to live a life worthy of our calling in Jesus Christ starts with the call to treat one another in such a way as to maintain the unity of the Spirit that He has created for all peoples and nations (Jews & Gentiles). I see no possibility of the Church fulfilling her kingdom mission and her calling on earth without addressing obediently God’s priority. To read my complete lists of urban myths GO HERE.

Michael Horton, editor-in-chief of MODERN REFORMATION magazine, writing the “Final Thoughts” for the recent September/October issue makes the statement that orthodoxy has always been risky business for the Biblical Christian. This essay has given me new hope. I quote it here at length and think you’ll agree, that in the midst of the present heated debate, we all need to ponder this reality of being

“in the world” and “sent to the world”, while not “loving the world”.  

The Risk of Orthodoxy

Orthodoxy is risky business. The choice before us, or any generation is not whether we’ll be apostates but to which side of the front we will defect. We will be faithful either to the spirit of the age, delivered through its parodies of God’s Word and sacraments, or to the Spirit of Christ, whose reign brings true freedom.

Either we will surrender to the market, the state, utopian ideologies, pragmatism, and the therapeutic worldview that feeds our narcissism, or we will be called out of ourselves by the surprising announcement that God has accomplished our liberation from the guilt and tyranny of our sins in Jesus Christ.

Ours is not the first generation that has had to decide to fight on. The early Christians might well have survived and thrived in the Roman Empire under the Caesars if it were not for their narrow-minded conviction that Christ alone is Lord and the only Savior of the world. It is never hard to go with the flow. Where did we ever get the idea that orthodoxy is for conservatives?

Today, religious pluralism has become the new orthodoxy of the American empire. But let’s not forget that the civil religion of our supposed glory days was as threatening to the health and vitality of Christian orthodoxy as it was for the era of “Christendom” after Constantine. Postmodernism becomes an easy target for those looking for a easy way of lionizing or demonizing whatever time we happen to be living in by God’s appointment. Yet regardless of our time and place, we are living in that tension of “the present age”, defined by sin and death, and “the age to come”, inaugurated by Christ’s resurrection, ascension, and sending of His Spirit.

Even in circles where we affirm the right doctrine on paper, do our lives indicate to our spouses and our children that we cling to Christ alone for our salvation and hope rather than to the ephemeral fads and fashions of entertainment and marketing? Do our children know by the way we speak and pray at home, in formal and informal ways, that the truth changes the way we think, feel, and live in relevant ways?

Or do they have reason to conclude that orthodoxy stops at the level of assent? Does it change the way we relate to them and to others? Connecting doctrine and practice…has always brought fresh witness to the watching world and service to our neighbors.

“Like the Word that defines it, orthodoxy is “living and active”, God’s true and faithful speech that creates the world of which it speaks. Before we can live it out, we must hear it, receive it, be bathed in it, and fed by it”.