I have heard and read a lot about unity over the past few months. Before getting too far into this article, let's look at the word "unity".
The 1966 Random House Dictionary of the English Language (The Unabridged Edition) has nine definitions of the word "unity".
Here is are six of them:
1. the state of being one; oneness.
2. one single thing; something complete in itself, or regarded as such.
3. the oneness of a complex or organic whole or of an interconnected series; a whol3 or totality as combining all its parts into one.
4. the state or fact of being united or combined into one, as of the parts of a whole; unification.
5. absence of diversity; unvaried or uniform character.
6. oneness of mind, feeling, etc., as among a number of persons; concord, harmony, or agreement
(7-9 are related to math, literature or the Aristotelian aesthetics (what??)
Do you notice a theme running through them? In five of the six definitions you find the word "one" or its derivative.
Earlier this year I traveled to South Carolina to attend a Gathering of the Tribes event. The purpose was to gather as many motorcycle clubs and ministries together to hear messages on unity and working together. I cannot tell you how many times I heard a phrase similar to "It's not about the patch on your back, it's about Christ, His ministry, His message, and reaching the lost". "It's NOT about the patch..."
Certainly, each ministry has their mission and God can and will use you for that mission and in no way am I saying to put down your patch. Let me very clear: you have earned your patch, wear it and respect it. It says something about who you are or strive to be.
Throughout the summer we attended various churches, rallies and events and almost every time, we heard something about unity, unification or working together as Christians.
In July we performed at the first "Light Up The Hills Rally" in Sturgis, SD. The purpose of that rally? To encourage "UNITY" among biker minsistries.
On September 30, our band played at the Midwest Gathering of the Tribes, where once again we heard "It's not about the patch..." It's about "Unity."
Sunday, in worship, we heard a wonderful message from the book of 2 Chronicles – once again we heard about "unity". In Chapter 30, we read about God's message being proclaimed and the messengers being mocked. But in verses 11 and 12 we read that many came to Jerusalem (they believed the message) and "the hand of God was to give them one heart to do the commandment of the king and of the princes, by the word of the Lord." - Unity. "Unity of Purpose, Singleness of Heart". (Pastor Don)
A couple years ago, Miss Sallie had a burden to help a lady in need and suggested that we reach out to a ministry in her area to help make it happen. I contacted them and explained what we wanted them to help us with, they refused. Their response was, "if it's not a sanctioned (name omitted) we can't help you." I was dumfounded. I could not believe what I heard. This was a "Christian" organization, refusing to help because it was not sanctioned by their organization. Obviously, they had not gotten word that through "unity" is the way to get things done. It's not about your organization name, your patch, or the name over the church door.
Look around you – do you not see that we are in the end times? Now, more than ever in the history of mankind it is time to work together.
2 Timothy 3 1-7 New King James Version (NKJV)
3 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Matthew 24:3-8 New King James Version (NKJV)
3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
How does "UNITY" look?
Working together. Praying together. Worshiping together. "Sowing" together. Reaping" together.