ARC Guide Level 2
Ideal for those acquainted with our thought process at Ammi Ruhama Community.
Examining the Claim that Unity Sacrifices Truth
6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.1 John 1:6-8 English Standard Version
Unity Sacrifices Truth?
One of the reasons we often give for why we are not meaningfully one in the body of Christ is that we think that joining apparently disparate Symbiotic Organisations together would result in the compromise of what each of us believe to be the truth. Somehow it totally escapes all parties involved that that is exactly what happens when believers from out of town join our SOs. They compromise because our theological statement is probably somewhat different than their old fellowship. They will sign our theological statements and go on believing their own private theology while they are among us, which is likely what would happen if we attempted the merger of two SOs, only there would be three levels of theological belief. Each of the bodies from the SOs would believe their old statement of faith while the individual members would hold their own private theologies all while signing the new statement of faith–an amazingly terrible result if we were aiming for unity in love. So what then? Is the claim true? Only if one or more parties holds the whole truth within themselves.
We are only really comfortable with others publicly disagreeing with us if we believe that we are ultimately in the right, and that they will eventually come around to our view. The young disagree with the old because the young are naïve and have life to live before the truth will be revealed to them–in other words, we believe that they will eventually agree with us, and so believe that we are the originators of truth contrary to a Nerahist epistemology. We, generally, have no problem saying that we are one with young believers in our fellowship, even if they vocally disagree with us. I think this may instinctually be because we know that they are still growing, but it may also be because we have stopped growing and think ourselves to be without sin or as having arrived at the fullness of truth (something the Apostle Paul said not even he had done). In the spirit of Hank Hanagraaf, no one is bold or stupid enough to say of an 8 or 9 year old believer that because they don’t fully understand the hyperstatic union of the Godhead that, if they die, they will go to Hell; this is not the gospel of Christ. If this is the case and ongoing relationship is what moves us mutually closer to unity in love with one another and with God, then there is no reason for our current division except to perpetuate that division. However, if we are not the originators of truth and communion with one another in the light drives out wrong belief, then we can expect that we will arrive at unity when the darkness has been driven out of both us and them until there is no, ‘us and them,’ only one body with one Spirit and one mind in Christ.
So, can two symbiotic organisations be joined together to bring about the kind of unity that Jesus prayed for in John 17 without sacrificing truth? No. Not if we say and act like we are the originators of truth–a problematic conclusion for believers in Jesus. This is why I regularly call for church leaders to declare a year of Jubilee; to dissolve our SOs and allow the natural sifting process of the light of love to refine us in the truth as the scriptures say it will.