Missional Ecumenism: For the Sake His Name The Value and Challenges of Faithfulness to John 17:21-23

Valuing Missional Ecumenism

Missional Ecumenism: Our Commitment to Brotherhood in Peace.

Ecumenism is usually low on the spiritual hierarchy of values for most. Passive indifference to passionate disdain—the equivalent of dancing with the devil—parenthetically enclose a wide spectrum of perspectives.   If not the alleged compromising work of the devil, ecumenism is often viewed as something reserved for the academy. There, grizzled and gray theologians parse and probe the subtlest of theological nuances trying to come up with “unifying statements of faith.” Its value-relevance to ground-level realities of parish or local church life is simply not recognized. What follows is a true story of the human pain that can occur when ecumenism is not valued.

 

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Reconciliation: The Cruciform Cost of Relational Peace-Making An Object Lesson from the Jacob and Esau Story

Josefina Alys Hermes de Vasconcellos - "Reconciliation"

Reconciliation by Josefina Alys Hermes de Vasconcellos

Grace is costly. It may accrue to us freely, but it cost Jesus dearly. Love is costly, as is peace-making reconciliation. It is not enough to  understand these things as abstractions. We must grow in grace-ness (graciousness) toward others—even those with whom we may disagree or those who may have hurt us. Jesus was wounded in the house of his friends and betrayed by one of his most intimate friends.[1]  The disciple is not above the Master. We have been given a ministry of reconciliation to, and for, the world and it is a tall order. Would it not make sense that it actually work among those who call upon Jesus as Lord, before we try to export our convictions to others?

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City-Wide Unity: Reality or Romanticism

Unity – What the Real Thing Looks Like: 'Romanticism or Reality at a City-Wide Level'

So you believe in “city-wide” Church unity?

Saying you believe in unity is like saying you believe in gravity: It is self-evident and doesn’t mean much. It is in the making of unity where the real work lies. Programmatic and event-based attempts at church unity are at best temporary relief for our nagging conscience. They rarely produce lasting results. Why? As long as leaders and churches cling to their right to these things there will never be John 17-type unity:

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Block Logic – Reading Scripture with Jesus and Paul: 'Guest Blog by Dr. John Armstrong'

Block Logic - Reading Scripture Like Jesus and Paul

Block Logic – Reading Scripture Like Jesus and Paul

Last week I presented a broad overview of how I believe the church has evolved in America during my lifetime. I now believe that there should be little doubt that the church is not only in rapid numerical decline but intellectually and spiritually we are almost powerless. A major reason for this condition lies in the loss of what I referred to as “the romance of orthodoxy.” When good orthodoxy is joined with a deep sense of mystery shaped by paradox I believe we see a better way to enter the next era of church history. I want to explore this idea today. 

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The Hard Work of Christian Unity: 'Romanticism and Idealism Hinder the Work of Unity'

The Hard Work of Christian Unity

The Hard Work of Christian Unity

There’s an old saying that if we ever saw sausage being made, we would never eat sausage! Saying you favor Christian unity is like saying you love sausage.  Anyone can wax eloquent about the philosophical virtues of ideal sausage. The question is, do you have the stomach for the process of making sausage? Yielding to the processes of God that will actually yield John 17 Christian unity rather than cheap counterfeits is an entirely different matter than agreeing about the eternal priority of unity. How unity is defined, implemented, and embracing its cost will separate sausage lovers from sausage producers. God has called us to produce sausage, not just rhetorically extol its virtues. It is not for the faint of heart.

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Can Two Walk Together in Disagreement? YES!: 'Christian Unity is Not Uniformity'

Can we walk together in disagreement? Yes.

Can we walk together in disagreement? Yes.

Can two walk together except they be agreed?  – Amos 3:3

It grieves the Spirit of our Father when the scriptures are so poorly handled as to misrepresent their meaning and His heart.

This verse is commonly used as the scriptural justification for brothers and sisters to separate from each other, to sever relationship, on any number of secondary issues. Regrettably, I have used it in the past, and have had it used on me, as recently as in the past few months.

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