THREE KINDS OF UNITY
Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?
Agreement is essential to unity.
But how do we agree?
FIRST, we agree on stated items by reading, understanding, and OBEYING plain statements of Scripture. The word is truth (John 17:17). Tuning the piano is a tedious procedure, but tune each piano to the pitch of the tuning fork. When they are in tune with that, they will be in tune with each other. Attuned to Christ, Christians have harmony with each other.
SECOND, in matters of liberty and opinion, we express our opinion, then support the decision made by the proper authority. Elders rule and we are to obey (Hebrews 13:17). This principle is recognized in our society, For example, it is completely arbitrary whether cars drive on the left or right side of the street. In fact, in some countries, they drive on the left and in others on the right. But it is essential to community welfare that all cars drive on the same side of the street in the same locality.
THIRD, since we do not always agree on what is essential and what is non-essential and since we do not always act responsibly, we need to agree on how to disagree.
When there is conflict between two people in actions, Jesus outlines the procedure. (Matthew 5:23-24; 18:15-17).
When there is a difference on an issue, we should attack the issue and not the person. (Ephesians 4:29; Matthew 5:22).
The story is told about a sheepherder in Wyoming who observed the behavior of wild animals during the winter. He noticed that when wolves would sweep into the valley and attack bands of wild horses, the horses would form a circle and begin to kick at the wolves, driving them away.
When the wolves attacked the wild donkeys, however, they former a circle with their heads to the outside and kicked one another.
THREE KINDS OF UNITY:
1. Agreeing with Scripture when it speaks.
2. Agreeing with the elders when they rule.
3. Agreeing with Jesus and His teaching on how to disagree.
With that kind of agreement, we can walk together and Satan cannot harm us.
Jerrie Barber Central Church of Christ Dalton GA January 30, 1986
TWELVE EXCELLENT RULES TO PROMOTE HARMONY
AMONG CHURCH MEMBERS TODAY
1. To remember that we are all subject to failings of one kind or another.
2. To bear with – and not magnify – each other’s infirmities’.
3. To pray for one another in our social meetings, and particularly in private.
4. To avoid going from house to house, for the purpose of bearing news and interfering with other people’s business.
5. Always turn a deaf ear to a slanderous report and to lay no charge against a person until well founded.
6. If a member be at fault, tell him of it in private, before it is mentioned to others.
7. To watch against the shyness of each other and put the best construction on any action that has the appearance of opposition or resentment.
8. To observe the just rules of Solomon – that is, to leave off contention before it is meddled with. Proverbs 17;14
9. If a member has offended, to consider how Godlike it is to forgive, and how unlike a Christian it is to seek revenge.
10. Remember that it is always a giant artifice of the devil to promote distance and animosities among members of the church; and we should therefore watch against everything that furthers this end.
11. To consider how much better we can do in the world at large, and in the church in particular, when we are all united in love, than we could do when acting alone, and indulging in a contrary spirit.
12. Lastly, to consider the express injunction of the Scriptures, and the beautiful example of Christ, as to these thing – Ephesians 4:32. 1 Peter 2:21. John 13:5, 15