Unity

One of the themes of the Latter Rain was unity. The idea developed that if you could have everyone in one accord, you would go much deeper in the Spirit, and that discord was deadly to God’s purposes. The analogy was made with the Tower of Babel–because they had perfect unity they could do anything. The Tower of Babel is not a particularly good place to find ideas that please God, but clearly Jesus did pray for his people to be in unity in John.

So I do think there is something powerful when you have a deep Spiritual accord emanating from having the same purposes in God. What I think it wrong however, is when pastors start talking about this as a moral end rather than a byproduct of righteous activity. In other words, you disagree with the pastor about something and he starts talking about the need for “unity”, meaning that you have to agree or else. I’m not sure if pastors who start talking about this get it ultimately from a latter rain ideal or just because it’s an all too convenient response to failed leadership in a certain area. Your people aren’t tithing, so you start talking about how important “unity” is. I’m sorry, but as a member, all this really says is “I need more people around here to think like me.” This is cultish.

If we are to fellowship together we have to “agree to disagree” on some things. Church members should steward their own consciences on the wide array of things that are debatable in the faith, only being careful not to undermine the goal of the church in the way they discuss or advocate these ideas with others. If they can’t do that, then it’s best to find a different church which is more closely aligned with their ideals.

Pastors that try to climb up the big mountain of unity by pushing their people more and more in a certain direction ultimately only do themselves harm, as it will create outward conformity and “yes men” not inward heart unity, which is what we really want. This inward heart unity comes through prayer, humility and honest discussion.

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