CoAspen

Unity, another view

42 posts in this topic

The article did a great job articulating the difference between unity and uniformity.  Unity is all of us pressing towards the same goal (preaching the gospel and deepening our relationship to God); but we are not uniform in our application of these goals.  I think Pam states in her posts something like "if the whole choir sings in unison, there is no harmony.

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I just got done reading the article and I find some rather strange, to me, ideas as to what unity is.

The dictionary definition of unity:

Quote

Unity
Unity U"ni*ty, n.; pl. Unities. [OE. unite, F. unit['e], L.
 unitas, from unus one. See One, and cf. Unit.]
 1. The state of being one; oneness.
 [1913 Webster]

 Whatever we can consider as one thing suggests to
 the understanding the idea of unity. --Locks.
 [1913 Webster]

 Note: Unity is affirmed of a simple substance or indivisible
 monad, or of several particles or parts so intimately
 and closely united as to constitute a separate body or
 thing. See the Synonyms under Union.
 [1913 Webster]

 2. Concord; harmony; conjunction; agreement; uniformity; as,
 a unity of proofs; unity of doctrine.
 [1913 Webster]

 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren
 to dwell together in unity! --Ps. cxxxiii.
 1.
 [1913 Webster]

 3. (Math.) Any definite quantity, or aggregate of quantities
 or magnitudes taken as one, or for which 1 is made to
 stand in calculation; thus, in a table of natural sines,
 the radius of the circle is regarded as unity.
 [1913 Webster]

 Note: The number 1, when it is not applied to any particular
 thing, is generally called unity.
 [1913 Webster]

 4. (Poetry & Rhet.) In dramatic composition, one of the
 principles by which a uniform tenor of story and propriety
 of representation are preserved; conformity in a
 composition to these; in oratory, discourse, etc., the due
 subordination and reference of every part to the
 development of the leading idea or the eastablishment of
 the main proposition.
 [1913 Webster]

 Note: In the Greek drama, the three unities required were
 those of action, of time, and of place; that is, that
 there should be but one main plot; that the time
 supposed should not exceed twenty-four hours; and that
 the place of the action before the spectators should be
 one and the same throughout the piece.
 [1913 Webster]

 5. (Fine Arts & Mus.) Such a combination of parts as to
 constitute a whole, or a kind of symmetry of style and
 character.
 [1913 Webster]

 6. (Law) The peculiar characteristics of an estate held by
 several in joint tenancy.
 [1913 Webster]

 Note: The properties of it are derived from its unity, which
 is fourfold; unity of interest, unity of title, unity
 of time, and unity of possession; in other words, joint
 tenants have one and the same interest, accruing by one
 and the same conveyance, commencing at the same time,
 and held by one and the same undivided possession.
 Unity of possession is also a joint possession of two
 rights in the same thing by several titles, as when a
 man, having a lease of land, afterward buys the fee
 simple, or, having an easement in the land of another,
 buys the servient estate.
 [1913 Webster]
 [1913 Webster]

 At unity, one.

 Unity of type. See under Type.
 [1913 Webster]

 Syn: Union; oneness; junction; concord; harmony. See Union.
 [1913 Webster]
 
    -- From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48

 

The dictionary definity of uniformity:

Quote

Uniformity U`ni*form"i*ty, n. [L. uniformitas: cf. F.
 uniformit['e].]
 1. The quality or state of being uniform; freedom from
 variation or difference; resemblance to itself at all
 times; sameness of action, effect, etc., under like
 conditions; even tenor; as, the uniformity of design in a
 poem; the uniformity of nature.
 [1913 Webster]

 2. Consistency; sameness; as, the uniformity of a man's
 opinions.
 [1913 Webster]

 3. Similitude between the parts of a whole; as, the
 uniformity of sides in a regular figure; beauty is said to
 consist in uniformity with variety.
 [1913 Webster]

 4. Continued or unvaried sameness or likeness.
 [1913 Webster]

 5. Conformity to a pattern or rule; resemblance, consonance,
 or agreement; as, the uniformity of different churches in
 ceremonies or rites.
 [1913 Webster]

 Act of Uniformity Hist.), an act of Parliament,
 passed in 1661, prescribing the form of public prayers,
 administration of sacraments, and other rites of the
 Established Church of England. Its provisions were
 modified by the "Act of Uniformity Amendment Act," of
 1872.
 [1913 Webster]

If we are all one, which is the definition of unity, will not uniformity be the result?  Will we not all be pulling in exactly the same direction?  Just where do, for example, liberals and conservatives pull in the same direction?  Do they pull in the same direction on the law of God?  Do they pull in the same direction on sanctification? Do they pull together on health reform?  Do they pull together on righteousness by faith? Where are both sides agreed? How about in how people outside the church should be reached?  How, in all this polarization, is it possible for them to pull together when they pull in different directions on almost everything?  How can there be unity as long as this is the case?  The Bible asks us, can two walk together except they be agreed? Amos 3:3  I don't see how, then, the two sides can ever achieve unity unless both sides come together, study together, pray together, and both sides put self aside

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Speaking from a military background:

1) The Mission commander gives the overall mission and area of responsibility. 

2)  Lower levels of commanders have the authority to determine how they will accomplish the mission.  That goes all the way down the chain of command.

In actual practice:

a)  Established military doctrine exists for just about every situation a commander can get into.

'b)  Regardless of that doctrine, the 4-star in charge of the operation has total authority to determine how is the mission is carried out.

c)  When we invaded  Iraq, the 4-star commander violated established doctrine and set in place new doctrine, as did General McArthur in the invasion of Korea during the Korean war.

 

 

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Gregory,

I am curious.  What does your post above this one have to do with anything on this thread?  How is it the same kind of unity the Father, Son and Holy Spirit have, and the same kind of unity that being one with God brings to us when we all become one with Him?  Is the oneness of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost the same one you describe?  Is the oneness that comes from being one with the Godhead the same you describe?  Were not the disciples in uniformity in thought, understanding, motivation and the like after the day of Pentacost?  It is my understanding they were.  They became as one.  They were imbued with the same ideas, motives, and understanding that all three members of the Godhead has.  That produced uniformity among them.

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Gary K asked:

The New Testament record clearly shows that the followers of Christ did not have that uniformity of thought and understanding after Pentacost. Both the council of Christ and those later followers show that the unity was in the achievement of the mission and not in the same methods. 

 

 

Were not the disciples in uniformity in thought, understanding, motivation and the like after the day of Pentacost?

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2 hours ago, Gregory Matthews said:

Gary K asked:

The New Testament record clearly shows that the followers of Christ did not have that uniformity of thought and understanding after Pentacost. Both the council of Christ and those later followers show that the unity was in the achievement of the mission and not in the same methods. 

 

 

 

 

And how long after Pentacost was that?  Long enough for the devil to bring people uncommitted to God and with unsurrendered self to come into the church.  However, I was speaking directly of the disciples.  Paul was already addressing the errors the devil was bringing into the church, and so were Peter, John, and James.  However, there was unity between the disciples and any time there wasn't it was directly addressed and whoever was at fault repented of his mistake, i.e. Peter and Barnabas at Antioch when refusing to eat with the Gentile believers.  They allowed nothing to come between them.

Surrender of self and committment to God always brings people to the same place, for that place is always God.  The closer we come to Him the closer we become to each other and the more alike our ideas and beliefs become.  The fact that there is a large divide in the church that is intensely polarized says the surrender of self and committment to God has not happened, on either side.  This is so obvious that I have trouble understanding how anyone can not see it.  

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On 2/10/2017 at 2:40 PM, Gary K said:

I just got done reading the article and I find some rather strange, to me, ideas as to what unity is.

The dictionary definition of unity:

The dictionary definity of uniformity:

If we are all one, which is the definition of unity, will not uniformity be the result?  Will we not all be pulling in exactly the same direction?  Just where do, for example, liberals and conservatives pull in the same direction?  Do they pull in the same direction on the law of God?  Do they pull in the same direction on sanctification? Do they pull together on health reform?  Do they pull together on righteousness by faith? Where are both sides agreed? How about in how people outside the church should be reached?  How, in all this polarization, is it possible for them to pull together when they pull in different directions on almost everything?  How can there be unity as long as this is the case?  The Bible asks us, can two walk together except they be agreed? Amos 3:3  I don't see how, then, the two sides can ever achieve unity unless both sides come together, study together, pray together, and both sides put self aside

Jesus was in union with with His Father but they were not uniform.  Jesus had the form of humanity, His Father continued in His divine form he has had from eternity.  They were united in Love for one another, and in love for fallen man, and in purpose and plan to redeem man and restore mankind to heaven and eternal life. they shared perfect love and self sacrifice for mankind.  but uniformity is different.  God does not want us to be clones. that is uniform.  He knows us and created us to be individuals.

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18 minutes ago, debbym said:

Jesus was in union with with His Father but they were not uniform.  Jesus had the form of humanity, His Father continued in His divine form he has had from eternity.  They were united in Love for one another, and in love for fallen man, and in purpose and plan to redeem man and restore mankind to heaven and eternal life. they shared perfect love and self sacrifice for mankind.  but uniformity is different.  God does not want us to be clones. that is uniform.  He knows us and created us to be individuals.

Jesus and His Father were one.  He said so. 

Quote

 John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 
  7  If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. 
  8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
  9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? 
  10  Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

This is what I am referring to.  One in ideas, purpose, action, and the like.  They had complete uniformity in their motives, understanding, actions, methods, and anything else you want to point to other than physical attributes.  If you want to call that disunity, non-uniformity, you go right ahead. 

If you are trying to imply that uniformity and unity cannot occur in the church because we are all different physically, well, I don't know what to say about that because to me that is absurd.  It has nothing to do with spirituality and working together to accomplish the same goals.

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From todays sermon.....'our special values and beliefs are less important than having love for one another'.

 

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when you seem unable to distinguish between uniform and union... uniformity speaks to lack of diversity... union and unity speaks to those things we agree on. people can work together and be united in their goals without being uniform. 

absurd? this word seems to be being used in a trollish way... here.  i sure it is just me..

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Love is a motive, but unless it speaks  the truth it cannot sanctify anyone, for we are sanctified by the truth. Love tells us how to do something, but it doesn't tell us what to do. It is the word of God that tells us what to do. How can you love your brother or even yourself,  if you don't know what are God's requirements for His creation?

But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ: Eph 4:15

(Love).... rejoices in the truth.1 Cor 13:6

The Christian world is falling for the big lie that "love unites and doctrine divides" and that unity can be divorced from Bible truth.

Our church can only be in unity when we preach and practice the doctrine of Christ. If we are holding differing doctrines yet say we are united, we are fooling ourselves.

Our church members see that there are differences of opinion among the leading men, and they themselves enter into controversy regarding the subjects under dispute. Christ calls for unity. But He does not call for us to unify on wrong practices. The God of heaven draws a sharp contrast between pure, elevating, ennobling truth and false,  misleading doctrines. He calls sin and impenitence by the right name. He does not gloss over wrongdoing with a coat of untempered mortar. I urge our brethren to unify upon a true, scriptural basis.--Manuscript 10, 1905.

The author of the article cited makes it sound like agreeing on doctrinal principles is neither necessary or possible, but Paul says:

"Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment" 1 Cor 1:10

As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine 1 Tim 1:3

Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. Rom16:17

Harmonizing is fine, but we must be singing the same song.

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14 hours ago, Gregory Matthews said:

Gary K asked:

The New Testament record clearly shows that the followers of Christ did not have that uniformity of thought and understanding after Pentacost. Both the council of Christ and those later followers show that the unity was in the achievement of the mission and not in the same methods. 

 

 

 

 

We find the principle of Unity in Diversity in both testaments. The type of unity that some people want in the church only has existed once and maybe twice in the whole history of the church. The one time that we know of was in Adam before he met Eve, and MAYBE in Abram before he met Sari. Otherwise it's been unity in diversity. There was in the Old Testament the priesthood of Aaron and those around the Jerusalem temple. There was the priesthood of Moses mostly centered in the Northern kingdom and came south with the fall of the Northern Kingdom. And they were practically two different denominations of Yahwehism. Then there was the kingly party. The three often got along as well as our different denominations and factions. Yet the Hebrew Scriptures were made from all three groups.

In the New Testament we have the church of Peter and the circumcised, the church of Paul and the uncircumcised and they almost split into two very separate groups were it not for the church of John which reminded them of their common heritage and held them together.

Then there were or Seventh-day Adventist pioneers who were the misfits in their churches and formed a church that they foresaw as a church where they only agreed on a handful of landmarks and beyond that as long as they were not fanatical where they were free to worship God according to the dictates of their conscience. Our original list of what we believed was basically the minimum with what we sort of agreed on and even if you did not agree with this Adventist brother over here, you did not have to believe all he believed as long as you felt comfortable with the landmarks and the list you were free to join. And even our original 27 published a few years back were specifically written very vaguely to include as many of our subgroups and factions as possible. Now there was a book written to give more detail on how some of our leaders where hoping that the 27 would be understood but that was only a suggestion, with the vagueness being the official.

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2 hours ago, jackson said:

Love is a motive, but unless it speaks  the truth it cannot sanctify anyone, for we are sanctified by the truth. Love tells us how to do something, but it doesn't tell us what to do. It is the word of God that tells us what to do. How can you love your brother or even yourself,  if you don't know what are God's requirements for His creation?

But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ: Eph 4:15

(Love).... rejoices in the truth.1 Cor 13:6

The Christian world is falling for the big lie that "love unites and doctrine divides" and that unity can be divorced from Bible truth.

Our church can only be in unity when we preach and practice the doctrine of Christ. If we are holding differing doctrines yet say we are united, we are fooling ourselves.

Our church members see that there are differences of opinion among the leading men, and they themselves enter into controversy regarding the subjects under dispute. Christ calls for unity. But He does not call for us to unify on wrong practices. The God of heaven draws a sharp contrast between pure, elevating, ennobling truth and false,  misleading doctrines. He calls sin and impenitence by the right name. He does not gloss over wrongdoing with a coat of untempered mortar. I urge our brethren to unify upon a true, scriptural basis.--Manuscript 10, 1905.

The author of the article cited makes it sound like agreeing on doctrinal principles is neither necessary or possible, but Paul says:

"Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment" 1 Cor 1:10

As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine 1 Tim 1:3

Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. Rom16:17

Harmonizing is fine, but we must be singing the same song.

Harmonizing is not only fine, but it is a must.  It must come.  We must all be singing the same song in the same key.  This idea that there is unity in everyone pulling in opposite directions is, yes, absurd.  There is no harmony, no unity, in everyone going their own way at all. 

Uniformity has nothing to do with race, ethnicity, culture, or the like.  It has everything to do with being in closely abiding relationships with God.  When we are all doing that we will all be singing the same song, in the same key, and uniformity and unity will be seen among us.  And what I mean by uniformity is uniformity of doctrine and purpose for the only doctrines any of us will have are those that come directly from Christ. 

Quote

John 17: 18  As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. 
  19  And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. 
  20  Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 
  21  That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 

The same oneness that existed between Jesus and His Father is to exist between members of the church.  Until it does the world will not believe that the Father sent the Son.  Our unity, our uniformity of belief and direction, will be the proof of our relationship with God and His abiding in us and our abiding in Him.

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I will go to the dictionary once again to show why I use uniformity and unity pretty much interchangeably.

Quote

2. Concord; harmony; conjunction; agreement; uniformity; as,
 a unity of proofs; unity of doctrine.
 [1913 Webster]

 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren
 to dwell together in unity! --Ps. cxxxiii.

The quote here is the 2nd definition of unity.  Notice, uniformity is a synonym of unity.  Words have specific meanings and if we start throwing out the meanings of words the only result is confusion.  Uniformity of doctrine is unity of doctrine.  Uniformity of direction is unity of direction.  There is no difference.

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One more thing from the dictionary definition.  Notice the text given from Psalms.  Behold, how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell in harmony.  Is what goes on here on all these threads between conservatives and liberals "good and pleasant"?  If not, then we can be sure it is not unity.

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Thank you for revealing your basic flaw of logic.

You tell us that uniformity is unity.  O.K.  I Do not debate.  But that does not mean that uniformity and unity are synonyms and it does not mean that the reverse, is true.  IOW it does not mean that unity is uniformity.

I will illustrate:

1) Females are human.  Yes, this is true.

2)   Therefore, humans are female and humans and female are synonyms.  Absolutely false.  Female dogs exist.

 

 

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15 hours ago, Gregory Matthews said:

Thank you for revealing your basic flaw of logic.

You tell us that uniformity is unity.  O.K.  I Do not debate.  But that does not mean that uniformity and unity are synonyms and it does not mean that the reverse, is true.  IOW it does not mean that unity is uniformity.

I will illustrate:

1) Females are human.  Yes, this is true.

2)   Therefore, humans are female and humans and female are synonyms.  Absolutely false.  Female dogs exist.

 

 

(snickers to self)

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1 hour ago, Gregory Matthews said:

Glad you have a sense of humor. 

Yeah, such obvious baiting is something I find pretty funny. 

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Quote

Romans 10:  12  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

When Bible definitions mean nothing then there is nothing upon which to unify.  Paul is saying exactly the same thing I have said here over and over again.  Physical differences have absolutely nothing to do with the uniformity that comes from being one with God and because of that being one with each other.  Jesus said exactly the same thing when He said, I and my Father are one.  If you have seen me you have seen the Father.  The physical differences between them after Christ's incarnation meant absolutely nothing.  Seeing Christ was seeing the Father.

If you will think about the hatred and bigotry Paul was indoctrinated into during his formative years, and all the years of his education, then you will understand what he and I mean.  To him, at one time, physical differences meant everything.  Then he came to understand that physical differences mean nothing to God, nor should they mean anything to us.  Remember, Paul said "no difference", which is exactly the same thing as saying "the same" for two things can only be the same if they have no differences. 

So, you guys are not disagreeing with me, you are disagreeing with scripture.  It is like God told Samuel when the children of Israel told Samuel they didn't want him to be the head of their nation any more.  God said, they are not rejecting you, they are rejecting me.  It is a solemn thought.

 

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Gary K said below:

So, you equate your word with the word of God!

 

So, you guys are not disagreeing with me, you are disagreeing with scripture.

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6 minutes ago, Gregory Matthews said:

Gary K said below:

So, you equate your word with the word of God!

 

 

 

LOL.  You love to bait.

No, I do not equate my word with God.   When I say the same thing scripture says on a subject I know that I am in agreement with with God, and when people want to use all kinds of facetious arguments against the Biblical position I know that they are rejecting God's position on things.  That ought to be quite obvious.

I find it a very solemn thought, and quite terrifying really, to oppose God on anything.  We are not equals and He has all the power, authority, wisdom and knowledge.  He does love me, but I can not choose to rebel against what He has to say and what He asks me to do without suffering the consequences of such behavior.  I become quite concerned for the welfare of others who do oppose what He has to say.  I do so because of the the love for my fellow man that God has placed in my heart.  At one time I could have cared less, but no more.  So, don't let the bluntness of my words make you think I am condemning you.  I am not.  I just care what happens to all of us. 

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Quote

So, you guys are not disagreeing with me, you are disagreeing with scripture. 

Incorrect! Interpretations are not all the same. The above saying has been used down through the centries to control  others and even to persecution.  

Quote

 I become quite concerned for the welfare of others who do oppose what He has to say.

That is okay, providing everyone has reached identical conclusions on a matter. We are all on a journey and not at the same pace. We are guided by our personal experiences, culture and relationships. Since we do not achieve perfection of understanding on this earth it might be best to leave somethings between that individual and God.

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3 minutes ago, CoAspen said:

Incorrect! Interpretations are not all the same. The above saying has been used down through the centries to control  others and even to persecution.  

That is okay, providing everyone has reached identical conclusions on a matter. We are all on a journey and not at the same pace. We are guided by our personal experiences, culture and relationships. Since we do not achieve perfection of understanding on this earth it might be best to leave somethings between that individual and God.

Actually, that is existentialism.  The existentialist judges everything by his experience and ideas.  If something comes along that doesn't agree with them he thinks it is wrong.  We, as Christians, are to do just the opposite with the Bible.  We are to adjust all of ourselves to it.  It is the authority by which we are "judge' ourselves as to whether what we think is true or false.  If we don't do that we cannot come into agreement with God.  That's why He tells us, Come now, let us reason together.  It is one of those texts that has more than one application, like a lot of what Jeremiah had to say.  We cannot walk with God if we are not in agreement with Him.  He accepts us where we are when we come to Him, but from that point forward we are measure ourselves by Him and His ideas, not the other way around. 

Paul said, I die daily.  Paul had a lot to die to.  His natural bigotry as Jew was one of the biggest, as the Jews were the most bigotted people on earth in his day.  They looked upon on foreigners as dogs or worse.  They thought they were "unclean" if they even went to a shop and bought something from a non jew. 

One of the reasons Jesus came was to straighten out their thinking, and ours.  He came to plant within us new ways of thinking that have no origin in this world.  Thus we must surrender all of the influence of culture, habits of thought, personal experience, and relationships to Him.  He is not only to be our Savior and Friend, He is to be Lord of our lives.  He is to set the parameters of our thinking for this world has nothing in common with the heavenly realms.

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