At this moment, the number of Adventists eager for forthright coverage of goings-on in the church’s administrative circles has gotten ominously larger. Recent initiatives from Silver Spring seem, after all, to put the church’s very unity at risk.
Since we are within days of an Annual Council fraught with potential discord, it is well to heed anew the New Testament’s ideal of church unity. Although we cannot suppose that circumstances today exactly equal those in New Testament times, two classic chapters — Ephesians 4 and John 17 — still offer vital correction and encouragement.
Attention - Thursday - September - Bobby - McGhee
The first of these came to my present attention on Thursday, September 20, when Bobby McGhee, a pastor in the Arizona Conference, called to say, “We need phrase.” He meant, he went on, a phrase central to Christian life that could be a maxim for a time when conflict may tear us apart despite all we have in common.
When Pastor McGhee proposed “One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism” the phrase struck like a bugle call: Yes, what better summons to an awakening! We need solidarity, not division. We need hope, not discouragement. Our perspectives vary, as do our backgrounds, but we still yearn, worldwide, for singleness of purpose and commitment. Perhaps the six words from Ephesians, diamond-bright in their classic setting, could precipitate renewal toward these ends. Pessimism inside of me says, “I doubt it,” and perhaps the same is true for you. But for as long we trust the risen Christ, our hopes cannot shatter altogether. Sheer pessimism, though understandable, is pagan; Christian hope says Yes despite all the reasons to say No.
Lord - Faith - Baptism - Ephesians - Phrase
So consider “One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism.” Ephesians 4, the phrase’s home, begins by asking readers “to lead a life worthy” of their “calling.” In such a life, “with all humility and gentleness” and...
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