The 6 Things that Unite Christians
by Brett McCracken
A look at the big ideas that bring us together.
Christianity looks at times to be more fractured than ever these days, with all sorts of big and small things causing great discord in the Church. But this is only half of the story. There are also a good number of things bringing Christians together in the positive direction of unity. Below are six things that act as potential unifiers in the current trajectory of the Church.
1) Secularism. This is bringing Christians together in the “common enemy” sense. As the Western world becomes increasingly post-Christian/secular, denominational squabbles and petty infighting will seem more and more secondary to the primary challenge at hand: a populace increasingly averse to believing in any sort of supernatural creator. People of faith are going to find that faith itself is under attack, and those who believe will have to band together—ecumenically, transdenominationally—if they want a culture of belief to survive at all for the next generation.
2) Service. Here’s something almost all Christians can agree on: We are called to service. We are called to serve our neighbors and respond to need. The term “social justice” might divide some, but the core impulse to respond with compassion to local and global humanitarian needs is a tie that binds Christians of almost every stripe. You see it in the way Christians mobilize in response to tragedy; you see it in the huge amounts of aid that Christian nonprofits regularly distribute and in the impressive (though still not impressive enough) percentages of people of faith who give to charity. We may still differ on the means and the politics of it, but the core principles of Christ-like service bring the Bonos and the Billy Grahams of the world together.
3) Creation care. This might be a stretch, but creation care—a heightened sense of the importance of environmental stewardship—is one area where we can find a growing consensus among Christians. Long the terrain of liberal “progressivism,” “creation care” is now a term you can hear championed from conservative Baptist pulpits in Middle America. Whether man-made or natural, global warming and deteriorating environmental conditions are causing all sorts of Christians to consider the morality of sitting idly by while the future flourishing of creation is thrown into doubt…
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