Unity with di­ver­sity

Be­com­ing one with God re­quires hearts be trans­formed to love as He loves

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - RELIGION/COMMUNITY - BY REV. BILL MACPHER­SON

The world to­day, per­haps more than at any other time in his­tory, needs to achieve unity with di­ver­sity. The news me­dia daily at­test to the hor­rors of in­jus­tice, in­equal­ity and war that threaten our very ex­is­tence. On ev­ery front, hu­man­ity’s in­abil­ity to achieve unity with di­ver­sity is bear­ing the fruit of vi­o­lence, death and de­struc­tion.

“In es­sen­tials, unity, in nonessen­tials lib­erty, in all things char­ity (Love)” — Marco An­to­nio de Do­mi­nis

The only power on earth that can achieve true unity with di­ver­sity is love. True unity is first and fore­most an is­sue of the hu­man heart. In­di­vid­ual choices, not im­posed le­gal or cul­tural man­dates, have the po­ten­tial to bring about unity with di­ver­sity.

At­tempts to bring unity through leg­is­la­tion or po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness ul­ti­mately cur­tails the very di­ver­sity such at­tempts seek to pre­serve. At best, they re­sult in a forced uni­for­mity, not a freely cho­sen unity with di­ver­sity. His­tor­i­cally, this trends to­wards despo­tism. On the other hand, at­tempts to bring di­ver­sity with­out unity re­sults in an­ar­chy. An­ar­chy, in the name of di­ver­sity re­sults in chaos, not unity with di­ver­sity. An­ar­chy is of­ten a bru­tal and costly re­sponse to im­posed unity.

There­fore, unity with di­ver­sity can never be achieved through leg­is­la­tion, po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness, or an­ar­chy.

There is per­haps no greater de­pic­tion of unity with di­ver­sity than the Chris­tian doc­trine of the Trin­ity: God as the em­bod­i­ment of three sep­a­rate dis­tinct per­sons, so freely and per­fectly united in love for one an­other as to be one.

Je­sus’ life, death and res­ur­rec­tion is an in­vi­ta­tion to come to the Fa­ther; to be­come one with God the Fa­ther as Je­sus is one with the Fa­ther — unity with di­ver­sity: Joh 17:20-23 NIV: “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will be­lieve in me through their mes­sage, (21) that all of them may be one, Fa­ther, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may be­lieve that you have sent me. (22) I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one (23) I in them and you in me — so that they may be brought to com­plete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”

Be­com­ing one with God re­quires that our hearts be trans­formed to love as He loves: 2Co 3:17-18 NIV: Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is free­dom. (18) And we all, who with un­veiled faces con­tem­plate the Lord’s glory, are be­ing trans­formed into his im­age with ever-in­creas­ing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

A trans­formed heart is only the pos­si­ble way of achiev­ing unity with di­ver­sity and it looks like this: Gal 5:22-23 NIV: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, for­bear­ance, kind­ness, good­ness, faith­ful­ness, (23) gen­tle­ness and self-con­trol. Against such things there is no law.

Je­sus makes it pos­si­ble for hu­man­ity to achieve true unity with di­ver­sity; not through co­er­cion and despo­tism (uni­for­mity), nor through an­ar­chy and chaos but through a trans­formed heart of love.”

1Jn 4:11 NIV: “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one an­other.”

Have you ac­cepted Je­sus’ in­vi­ta­tion yet?

Joh 14:6 NIV Je­sus an­swered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Fa­ther ex­cept through me.”

Rev. Bill MacPher­son is as­so­ciate pas­tor of the Sher­wood Church of the Nazarene. A guest ser­mon runs reg­u­larly in Satur­day’s Guardian and is pro­vided through Chris­tian Com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

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