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There are different kinds of unity. Some types of unity are positive and beneficial, other types are very destructive. It cannot be assumed that simply invoking the word “unity” to justify a particular action makes that action OK. Unity is not always an unmitigated good. It is imperative therefore that we look behind the word itself to analyze what is actually going on.
The standard for beneficial unity is found in John 17 – “So that they may be one as we are one.” (John 17:11 NIV emphasis supplied). The last part of that sentence, “As we are one,” makes the Trinity itself the measure of whether the unity we are pursuing is legitimate or not, Christian or not. Oneness within the Godhead is based on mutual love and respect. No member of the Godhead is beneath the others in status or standing. All three members are equally valued and honored. That is the acid test. Any call for unity that does not incorporate all of these essential characteristics is illegitimate and false.
Examples - History - Unity - Denominator - Majority
Examples in history of destructive unity are all too numerous. The common denominator that runs through the vast majority of them is the fact that unity was achieved through the oppression of one or more groups of people. Such oppression was seen as necessary in order to achieve the common good. The end was viewed as justifying the means. The oppressed were told they should go along and not protest or make waves.
There is a wide range of examples of destructive unity in terms of severity and scope. At the extreme, we could site the days when many Southerners were unified in support of slavery prior to the Civil War. Many males throughout the United States were also unified in denying women the right to vote until the 19th...
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