Paths to unity?

Written by Joel on April 15th, 2008

Roman Catholics call it “full communion.” Protestants call it “Christian unity.” Whatever it is, what does this look like? How will we know when we have achieved a truly one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church?

I wonder about some of the possibilities that a united Church might look like:

1) A return to Rome.
Catholics: We are right and you (Protestants) are wrong. The brokenness of the Church is solely your fault. Repent and submit to the authority of the Church. Abandon your belief in x, y and z and start believing a, b and c (just like we do.)

2) A change in Rome.
Protestants: We are right and you (Catholics) are wrong. The brokenness of the Church is solely your fault. Repent and recognize that our reformations were necessary. Abandon your belief in x, y and z and start believing a, b and c (just like we do.)

3) Unity in words alone.
Protestants and Catholics (to each other): We will believe what we want to believe and you believe what you want to believe. There is no need for us to agree because I am comfortable where I am. Let’s just agree to disagree. If we just say we are united, that is good enough for me.

4) Reconciliation.
Protestants and Catholics (to each other): I am sorry for the brokenness of our relationship, it is not acceptable. You were wrong and I was wrong. The division was really no one’s fault. I can recognize you as part of the Body of Christ. Let’s sit together and grieve about what we have lost. We need to define what our relationship looks like together. I am willing to work hard at this if you are. It is going to be a long and difficult path, with many small steps. Only with Christ’s help can we truly, visibly be one.


 

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