Tue | Jun 2, 2020

Letter of the Day | Can there really be Christian unity in today’s world?

Published:Wednesday | February 6, 2019 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

There is frequent talk about Christian unity, but I wonder how sincere most of these people are. The simple definition of unity is ‘being one’. In the context of Christianity, can people who hold on tenaciously to their individual beliefs and interpretations gather together once in a while to have a nice time described as unity?

Jesus’ high priestly prayer “that all should be one” is often invoked, but how is that lived out? After those words, Jesus commissioned the apostles, the foundation leaders of the Church, saying, “As the Father sends Me, so I send you” (John 20). “Go and make disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey all that I commanded you” (Matthew 28). “Whoever reject your teaching, reject Me and also reject He that sends Me” (Luke 10:16).

The apostles appointed successors to themselves, for example, in Titus 1:9-10, “hold fast to the true message as taught to you so that he will be able to exhort with sound doctrine and to refute errors”. So the foundation for unity is readily available if those who advocate unity are sincere.

The guidance of the Holy Spirit, which guided the early Church into making the correct decision, as recorded in Acts of the Apostles 15, is available to today’s generation if they will accept the authority established by Jesus.

The apostles and their successors did not go and form another church, because it was in her office as teacher that our Lord promised to send the spirit of truth to be with her and to guide her into all truths and to direct its definitions as to what it is that God has revealed on any point of doctrine.

CONSOLATION

The Christians of Antioch were filled with consolation when they learned of the decision of the council. All their doubts and fears were set to rest, for they knew exactly what God required of them.

So, too, would be the great joy and consolation for us, who are living in an age of error and false doctrines, to know that we have a guiding star by which we can steer our course, namely, the infallible teaching of the one Holy Church of God, which St. Paul says is the “Pillar and foundation of truth” (I Timothy 3:15) guided by the Holy Spirit.

A. JAMES

alvalj@cwjamaica.com