A SOLEMN PLEDGE  
to MAINTAIN CHRISTIAN UNITY

EPHESIANS 4: 1-3

Whereas God has indeed quickened us together in union with Christ, making us one body by His one blessed Spirit, having called us by the same Gospel to faith and obedience to the same Lord, who Himself besought our heavenly Father that we might all be one in Him even as He is one with the Father, and this in order that the world might believe that Jesus is the Christ sent from God,

We hereby pledge by His grace and for His glory on earth and that His will might be done in spirit and in truth in us whom He has bought with His own blood, to endeavor to maintain the unity of The Holy Spirit by the bond of peace inasmuch as lies within us with all humility and meekness by esteeming each child of God better than ourselves and deserving of our utmost love and honor for Christ’s sake and the Gospel. It is our sacred debt.

Wherein Christians differ, yet such wherein they may err without danger of denying the essentials of our one, holy and Apostolic faith, then these goals will be our earnest aim :

(1) To approach oneanother with dignity and respect and to hear each one speak their personal judgments with freedom, and not to condemn anyone unheard; for thus we may soon condemn the innocent and make ourself guilty. (Rom.8:33,34; 14:3,4,10-13)

(2) To understand fully what our fellow believer means before we contend against him; lest, lacking this wisdom and patience from above, we oppose not so much his judgment as to our own conceit.  If we may but have patience to hear him relate his own mind, perhaps in the end we shall understand that it differs little from our own in substance.

(3) Reproach not anything a brother speaks with this, that “we never heard it before.”  For this may not so much discover his error as our ignorance; and that which seems to us a new error, if it be truly examined by the Word, may prove an old truth, long neglected.  And if we  condemn whatever savours of novelty, how shall the truths we yet know not be brought in, or the errors that yet remain with us be purged out? Besides this, we are commanded to exhort one another for our mutual edification, thus growing up into the fulness of Christ by that which each one supplies, and so much more as we see the Day of The Lord approaching.

(4) To seek to be not over-confident in what we hold upon our own limited judgment, or that of other men strengthened from multitude, custom and antiquity.  For men have erred most grossly, even in those things wherein they have thought themselves most certain.  And therefore, it will be our aim to prove all things, that we may hold fast that which is good.

(5)  In all these differences we must make the Word of God alone the judge, and not men.  The word of God being the sole and perfect judge in all the things of God.  Now though all have the same outward Word, yet all are not of one mind except we attain to one spirit; for Paul saith (I Cor. 2) that only the Spirit of God knows the things of God.  Neither does man’s sense or reason understand the things of the Spirit, but the spiritual man judgeth all things.

And hence it follows that we can only judge aright of divine truths by the Word, and we can only judge aright of the Word if we have the Spirit to be the interpreter of it to us, thus we are all alike cast upon the mercy of God alone for this grace also that we may in truth walk in the Spirit and in harmony with the household of God, the pillar and ground of His truth.

“endeavoring to maintain the unity of the Spirit, in the bond of peace” Eph.4
E4 UNITY INSTITUTE of CHURCH GROWTH, Berea, Kentucky – e4unity.wordpress.com

WHY SO LITTLE UNITY? or, what is missing in our faith traditions?

READING the BIBLE TOGETHER: A very practical and helpful action anyone can take besides 1)covenanting to keep the unity and 2) praying for this as God’s will for his people

________________________           ________________
(signed)                           (date)

excerpts taken from The Way of True Peace & Unity, by William Dell (1649), included in documents of “Models of A Free Church” in Puritanism and Liberty, a compilation of the “Army Debates of 1647-1649,  pp.302-316, (Ed.)A.S.P.Woodhouse, published by University of Chicago Press (1952)

See also EXHORTATION to MINISTERS of the Gospel

God Himself will enable you to keep the SOLEMN PLEDGE  “The Embodying of The Spirit“, by A.J.Gordon

2012 Update of Thomas Campbell’s “13 Propositions re.Christian Unity”.

4 Responses to “Unity Pledge (a model)”

  1. e4unity Says:

    I have added what I consider to be the classic essay on the Biblical basis for Communion in the Church. If you want to see a possible “first step” for actually practicing our unity once you’ve been convinced that it is what Christ is asking of all of us, take the time to READ, SOLE TEST

  2. theophilogue Says:

    I appreciate your call to Christian Unity. If your “pledge” was a bit less cumbersome, I might have agreed with it, but as it stands, I find small things to quibble over. I appreciate your blog, however, and am glad to have discovered you. In fact, I think I will link you on my blog. If your interested in exploring new ways of grounding the need for Christian Unity, you should read my post entitled “Affectional Symmetry for Doctrine as the Basis for a New Ecumenism.”

    http://theophilogue.wordpress.com/category/ecumenism/

  3. e4unity Says:

    Bradley,
    Thank you for your comments and for consideration of my blog and ministry. I agree with the pledge, it is cumbersome. I came up with that several years ago as just a sort of model-something concrete to further the discussion of practical ways we could all start where we are to CELEBRATE our unity inn Christ. It is basically what I have gleaned from the English Revolution of the 1600’s. William Dell has become one of my favorite Puritans- though he was Church of England, he was a very good friend and supporter of John Bunyan. I think we can learn a great deal from this period in Church history-especially as Baptists.

    I like what I have seen so far of your blog. You have a great mission field in the inner city of Louisville. I am always interested (open) to explore new ways of anything touching Christian Unity-so I would like to get to know you better and even partner with you in your ministry. I have put your post up as my blog of the day and will add you in my blogroll. Looking forward to your new venture for 2009 to the Glory of God.

  4. theophilogue Says:

    e4u,

    Thanks for reading my post (and making it your “post of the day”), and for your kind comments. The unity of the church is instrumental to it’s mission to the extent that those who care about the mission should also care about the scope of our lack of unity. If divine and conquer is the enemies strategy, he has certainly hit the church with a hard blow.

    Bradley

    P.S. – Is there a way for me to download one of your podcasts without “subscribing”? I would prefer to sample but didn’t see an option for it.

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