Thursday, September 20, 2007


I'm working on a series of messages right now about who the church is from a biblical perspective. We got started last Sunday with Jesus introduction of the church as His project, His property and His promise to defend her. Then we briefly viewed a scene from the Jerusalem Church in Acts 4 and Luke's comment that they shared all things in common.

In that passage and others in Acts, the first church is described as having unity. That's where I'm going next in my series. But one thought that is bouncing around in my head is why unity was so prevalent in their fellowship. Certainly it's something every church craves, but in our culture few actually enjoy.

And I think one huge difference between the first century church and the American evangelical congregation is that unpleasantness we refer to as persecution. For them it truly was necessary to be of one mind for survival's sake.

It's been so long since Christians experienced any true persecution in this country that we've lost the need for unity. (I think in many ways we've become the persecutors.) We really don't need the church to survive, so unity becomes a secondary ideal. The slightest jar to our personal comfort becomes a mighty wedge.

I'm still chewing on that.

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