Thinking Aloud: Search for Christian Unity
C.S Lewis wrote, “It was never more needed. A United Christendom should be the answer to the new Paganism”.
C.S Lewis wrote, “It was never more needed. A United Christendom should be the answer to the new Paganism”. This urgent call to the Church was given some 74 years ago, and I would think it is still as relevant today, although we may be inclined (depending on our own context) to replace the term paganism with rational hedonism, materialism, post-modern subjectivity or Islam.
The search for Christian unity is a challenge for all of us. We are inspired by the sense of oneness rooted in the gospel, which is watered by the flow of the Holy Spirit, with love and purpose at its core. However, sadly most of us know something of the opposite to this unity, namely disunity and the associated dysfunction within the Church. We have all experienced something of the wasteful duplication of scarce mission resources, unhelpful competition and arrogant spirituality which are the bitter fruits of such disunity.
There is no easy way forward in our search for unity within the Church. Clearly much progress has been made via various ecumenical initiatives since C.S Lewis wrote. However the scandal of disunity remains. As I was thinking about this, I became more convinced that one key step in the way forward for unity must be an appreciation of and commitment to the role of Jewish Believers in Jesus within the Church. It seems to me that today the Lord in graciously re-grafting some of the original branches, is presenting to the wider Church the opportunity to be renewed by and restored to her Jewish root. This renewal and restoration will result in unity.
(For a further study of the connection between the search for Church unity and the emergence of Messianic Judaism and the growth of Jesus Believers in Jesus, read chapter 11 (The Pivotal role of Israel) in “The Glory and the Shame” by Peter Hocken (Eagle Press, 1994))
Happy searching, Alex