FROM PASTOR TIM JOHNSON:
One of the great ironies of unity, and many other desired attributes in life, is that the harder we pursue it for its own sake, the more elusive it becomes. It’s a bit like quicksand; the harder you swim, the deeper you sink. We need help.
This is because when we elevate the goal of unity over sacred principles, we end up producing a shallow, fleeting sense of unity, but not, in fact, unity. It’s the principles that bind us, not the hope for unity.
This is not to say that we should not value unity, cherish it, celebrate it when it arrives or protect it. Experiencing unity is not passive, but it’s only when we commit to actively pursuing God in His terms that Christian unity is witnessed.
God is the giver of unity in the Church, we don’t achieve it apart from Him.
When unity exists, there are many blessings. There is peace, genuine fellowship, selfless service, harmony and joy. Personal agendas are set aside for God’s agenda. People tend to share their time, resources and lives with one another.
Recently our denomination, the EFCA, instigated a change in our denominational Statement of Faith; one that had united us for nearly 70 years. Now there is likely some degree of loud and quiet division. In time, there will be greater unity around the new Statement of Faith, but it will have come at a heavy price.
We at RVC are united around the Gospel truth of the forgiveness of sins, the Bible as our sole authority, a clear (as best as we sinful people can produce) interpretation of God’s Word and the fulfillment of the Great Commission; to name a few. Our own Statement of Faith, which will not change to the EFCA ‘s revised Statement of Faith, serves as a means of binding us together.
We must protect that unity from external efforts to undermine and destroy our unity, and that takes prayer, reading our Bibles regularly and courage. The goal of salvation for ourselves and others is worth our very best efforts.
Together, we are united by Christ, His Word and His call to tell the World about Him,