Sunday, February 28, 2010

Unloading 17 More Loaded Questions for "Bible Christians" 16/17

Steve Ray has a list of more than 35 loaded Questions for "Bible Christians" (quotation marks his)(link to the whole list). I originally planned to respond to just 35 of them, but the series seems to have been of interest, so in this extension, I'm responding to three more numbered questions in his list, plus fourteen "bonus questions" that take the form "Where does the Bible say ... ." I'm trying to provide the answers in the same common format as the original series, for easy reference. This is number 16/17.

Where does the Bible . . .
. . . that Protestants can have an invisible unity when Jesus expected a visible unity to be seen by the world (see John 17)?

Simple Answer(s):

1) John 17 says nothing about denominational unity.

2) The unity John 17 is talking about is a unity of love.

3) While love itself is invisible, that love exists among "Protestants" and is seen by the world.

Important Qualification(s):

The ultimate fulfillment of Christ's prayers in John 17 will be fulfilled in heaven. There are shortcomings of love on earth, and sometimes those shortcomings can be expressed denominationally. That is very sad, and "Protestants" should work to remedy those shortcomings. Nevertheless, the many fraternal relations that exist among denominations help to demonstrate that denominational boundaries do not necessitate any lack of love.

See also the more detailed discussion of John 17 at the following link: (link).

- TurretinFan

1 comment:

natamllc said...

From an "outsider" perspective or even from one who has not gone onto "maturity" after being born again, seeing and hearing in this sensory world the variant "denominations" that the Body of Christ "appears" as, can be confusing.

What is it that "makes" one an "insider" with an understanding of Godly "unity" anyway?

The notion that I can "unite" to Christ is a foolish notion. Nowhere in Scripture does God teach us that. Rather the Scriptures teach us that God does the uniting according to His Will and not because of the will of man.

It is within a nuance of Scripture and learning the Greek, that helps us in understanding that "Unity" that makes the "Body" of Christ the Body of Christ here on earth in the sensory realms; and after, the Body of Christ in Heaven. We are intricately and intimately "united" to one another by the Will of God and not by the will of man.

For me, a helpful study would be at Luke's Gospel, Chapter 11, because Christ is both, very united and divisive.

Also Paul's Epistles to the Ephesians and to the Colossians, in the respective "chapters, 2", Eph. 2:5 and Col. 2:13. The Greek word used there in those two Epistles for "unity" and nowhere else in the New Testament gives the nuance I believe necessary for one to come to understand True Unity within the Body of Christ, the Household of the Faith on earth even though you see such variant denominations around the world:::>

[συζωοποιέω], [suzōopoieō], to reanimate conjointly with (figuratively): - quicken together with.

In Luke's Gospel at the beginning there is an interesting exchange that leads to an interesting thing that Jesus says. The "disciples" after seeing and experiencing Him pray in the Spirit ask Jesus to teach them to pray. He does and in so doing He tells the story of the impudence of prayer and then says this:::>

Luk 11:13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

What might be odd to some is not to others, that verse 13 and can be helpful and instructive in coming to understand the "Unity" of the Body.

I know for a fact that before I knew I was truly totally depraved, I thought myself as a good person and willing to get along with just about anyone. I never thought of myself as being "evil".

Now that the "Light" has been turned on, you might say, I have entered into a wonderful Sabbath Rest given to me, whereby I am being guided by the "same" Holy Spirit Christ was guided by while a man on the earth.

It is a work of Grace that God would "reanimate and conjoin" us to Christ. That alone doesn't settle it. We also then have need of the Holy Spirit to bring us to our personal eschatology, to our end, too, that we might be united to others of the same Household of the Faith, alive on earth as we look forward to our safe passage to our Heavenly Home to be members of the Body of Christ there too.

"If you do not die and go to Heaven before you die, you do not go to Heaven"!

Until then, this verse might be an indicator that you too are united to Christ and His Body on earth and "filled" with, or sealed with, the same Holy Spirit as Jesus was being led by to that sure Cross of Redemption for His people:

Rev 22:17 The Spirit and the Bride say, "Come." And let the one who hears say, "Come." And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.