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