Monday, November 15, 2010

The Effects of Unity or The Chosen Place to Receive a Blessing (Part 1 of 5)

Unity has been a very used word in the evangelical circles, but very worn out at the same time, because churches, denominations, pastors, leaders, missionaries, etc., that make use of the nomenclature or concept, teach about its immediate benefits once (and only if) you are inside the body of ministration (benefits that do happen, of course), but with little results in truly getting united to the Body of Christ, even considering that only a few of the members of the Body of Christ should actually be part of the Body. As I heard once from an American pastor, from a very well-known around the world denomination, when we asked him to unite with us in an event for the distribution of bibles from door-to-door (S.O.S. Macau project: a bible for each family of Macau) in the former Portuguese territory of Macau, in China, that would end with a special service with representatives of all evangelical denominations in town: “Unhappily, I can’t! How could I go up to the altar together with pastors of so many churches that do not believe like I do. I would be a hypocrite by been there and, besides, this would bring confusion to the members of my church!” This means that unity has find no practical application inside the church. The church has not clothed herself fully in this concept.

This theme is of such importance that we can see a tendency towards this even in the world. What to say about the ecumenism that tries to unite all the religions to a religious life of respect and sharing; or the world globalization; or the common markets; etc.? They are ways that have been manifested to express unity. And this brings up another issue: that in which unity can be used to good as well as to evil. We can see this in the story of Babel tower, when the humanity joined together to reach the heavens, settling in one place only, contrary to the order divine order to multiply and populate the earth: the Cultural Mandate (Genesis 9:1,7). This statement of God warns us to the effects unity may bring: “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.” (Genesis 11:6). For this reason God confused humanity’s language, so that they could spread and populate earth, instead of settle in one place only, in open rebellion against God. So, as we can see, the problem has nothing to do with the tower that was only a monument to show man’s independence of God. It has to do with man’s disobedience to the cultural mandate given by God to populate and rule over the earth. Thus, what we can see here is that when we become one, a huge synergetic power is released that causes us to achieve results that would otherwise be impossible to achieve, a power that can accomplish as much good as evil.

I believe there is no better passage to study about the effects of unity, in an individual and corporative level, than Psalm 133. This psalm, written by David, was probablywritten in the context of when David was anointed king over all of Israel, giving end to a period of division in the kingdom (2 Samuel 5:1-5), what brought a time of peace, sanctification and prosperity to Israel. These benefits remained until the end of the ruling of Salomon, when Israel was divided into two kingdoms (1 Kings 12:16-20): the northern kingdom (Israel) and the southern kingdom (Judah).

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