Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bethany Community Update

Sunday’s business meeting was a source of great encouragement to me. There was unanimity or near unanimity on every item on the ballot. In fact, the constitution and bylaws—under which we become a church on May 1 unless the Lord returns first—received no dissenting votes.

That is encouraging to me because it seems to reflect a spirit of unity and trust in our church as we move ahead. The unity of Christ’s church is a precious thing that we should endeavor to preserve. As Paul writes in Ephesians 2:

13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

The unity of the church, then, has been created by Christ and is a reality for all who have responded to the message of peace and placed their faith in Him.

Unity can wrongly be defined as “agreeing with the leadership.” Well-meaning Christians are frightened sometimes of voicing contrary opinions within a church because they don’t want to be seen as “rabble rousers.” I trust our unity is never borne of fear but instead comes from the Spirit leading us in a similar direction.

May God continue to preserve our church for His glory and not our own! As we begin this next phase, I am heartened by the oneness of purpose that exists in our midst.