What If ...

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There's been some good discussion on the proposal here, thanks everyone. There are also discussions going on at Clarke's site and in the forums at ICOCnews (registration required for the forums). Most of those places are pretty negative on the proposal, some more than others. I am not aware of any discussions or commentary that is primarily positive. That, of course, doesn't mean they aren't happening, just that I don't know about them. I'd like to see some, frankly, because I want to hear from 'the other side' on why they are for it. Balance is a good thing.

My wife is curious as to why this is such a big deal for me. Good question, I wish I knew. I think, frankly, that my opposition reveals a weakness in my faith, much as a strong desire for it may reveal a weakness in others' faith. (She, on the other hand, doesn't really care one way or another. She probably has a greater faith than the rest of us.) What I mean is, it makes me nervous and insecure knowing that there are folks in my fellowship of churches, perhaps in my own church, who think this is a good idea. What will that mean for my relationship with these folks? My church's relationship with those churches? I need to grow up in my faith and just pursue God, trust my brothers and sisters and not worry about such things, but that's not where I am. Lord help me grow!

My church has only just begun to discuss it. Actually, there have been no discussions yet, only letting the leaders know that it's out there and they should go read it and prayerfully consider it. The deacons and evangelist have not yet had a discussion about it. Someone mentioned that my comments may be seen as signifying the direction the church is heading on this. Nothing could be farther from the truth and I hope that I did not convey that message. Perhaps we will go the way I feel comfortable with, but it is very premature to speak to that at all.

Which brings me to the title of this post:

Doug, what if the overwhelming opinion of your church is that you should sign on?

Then we will. Heck, even if it's not overwhelming, if most of the leadership think this is good for our church, then we should sign on. Oh, I'll speak my piece, for sure, but I'll listen too. While I cannot see my mind being changed, I hope that I am not so entrenched in my view as to prevent myself from being swayed. In the end, whether my mind is changed or not, I will happily sign this proposal if it's the way most of our leadership feels we should go.

You see, I am committed to God, this church and these people far more than I am committed to my ideas and opinions. Unity does not mean uniformity or everyone agreeing, it means a commitment to the team over the individual. We may not get a consensus (complete agreement, that is) on this issue, but we already have a commitment to each other, to our church and collectively to God. Commitment is more valuable than consensus, and easier to obtain.

How utterly foolish we would be to allow this church and this leadership team that we have invested so much into to be divided over a Unity Proposal.

7 Comments

"How utterly foolish we would be to allow this church and this leadership team that we have invested so much into to be divided over a Unity Proposal."

LOL!!!

You be quite the clever wit, Doug!

I am not sure about you having to sign on with everyone else to be considered a team player. But I'll mull that one over a bit. If I come up with a deep spiritual truth that floors me I'll throw it your way.

My humble opinion - as some members of my tribe (Churches of Christ) begin to talk about unity with some from another tribe - is that all the words in the world, written or otherwise; signed or unsigned - will never do as much to foster unity as extravagant acts of kindness done in love.

That's what I get from this message from John Dobbs, minister at a little coastal church that was devastated by the Katrina hurricane: http://memorialdrive.org/assets/sounds/keynote_032206.mp3.

What do y'all think?

I have to say, without yet listening to the mp3, that I really believe Keith hit the nail on the head here when it comes to us building unity with other fellowships. What's more, Christians generally LOVE doing stuff for other people! Not only is it more successful at building unity, but it's loads more fun.

Loads more fun than ratifying any Plan for United Cooperation (especially one that perpetuates our tribalism), that is. :)

Keith,
Do you think the Workshop in Tulsa will help to Unite them?

Keith - I agree. Paper agreements are of limited value. They at best can provide a statement of unity in belief, but not in heart. In fact, I may go as far that I have a limited ability to have real unity with folks outside my area of influence. In other words, if I or my church sign a statement and someone or some church from Timbuktu signs it too, unless we have some other means of connection there's really no unity. Agreement? OK, but not unity. If we want unity, we gotta do stuff together.

Doug, you're exactly right.

Anonymous, I'd rather not turn Doug's blog into a sparring ground of opinions over something that I brought up on it.



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  • Doug, you're exactly right. Anonymous, I'd rather not turn Doug's blog into a sparring ground of opinions over something that I brought up on it....

    Keith Brenton
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  • Keith - I agree. Paper agreements are of limited value. They at best can provide a statement of unity in belief, but not in heart. In fact, I may go as far that I have a limited ability to have real unity with folks o...

  • Keith, Do you think the Workshop in Tulsa will help to Unite them?...

    Anonymous
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  • Loads more fun than ratifying any Plan for United Cooperation (especially one that perpetuates our tribalism), that is. :)...

  • I have to say, without yet listening to the mp3, that I really believe Keith hit the nail on the head here when it comes to us building unity with other fellowships. What's more, Christians generally LOVE doing stuff for...

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