Unity vs. Uniformity
Ever had someone accuse you of not being in unity? If you have, when it happened, it probably felt as if you were punched in the gut and took your breath away. Even if the accusation took place recently or a long time of ago, the wound of it may still feel raw to you. Years ago, I was accused of it myself and until the Lord brought to my attention the vast gap between unity and uniformity, the wound I had from the accusation was raw for me. Now, because of the wisdom of the Lord’s Word and Spirit, that wound is completely healed.
In Psalm 133:1, the unity that the Bible speaks of is not the uniformity that so many either willingly or mistakenly teach that it is. When the Lord speaks of unity in His Word, this is what He makes clear that it is, what better source of wisdom than His Word!
Mark 9:39-40 (NKJV)
39 But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me. 40 For he who is not against us is on our side. [emphasis added]
Romans 10:9-10 (NKJV)
9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Romans 12:15-16 (NKJV)
15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
Ephesians 4:3-6 (NKJV)
3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
When I read these verses concerning unity among those of us in Christ, what I see and hear is the importance of having the same foundation, Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior, being about His purpose and supporting and loving brothers and sisters in Christ.
Over the years, I have learned that many sadly mistake socializing with their brothers and sisters in Christ during worship services as the only fellowship. However, when I look at the first assembly of those in Christ Jesus, I notice that they fellowshipped with one another in the temple AND in one another’s houses.
Acts 2:42-47 (NKJV)
42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. [emphasis added]
Actually spending consistent time with others is the thing that bonds people together in addition to love. How strong would your relationship with your spouse, children and the Lord be if you only spent only 1 or 2 days a week with them? I do not believe that unity is our being a bunch of mind-numbed Bible-quoting robots, but those who sincerely love one another in actions and in truth. In fact, Jesus said that people would know that we are His disciples by our love for one another.
Another picture I get of unity is a choir singing in harmony, though it is made of different vocal parts and there are even variances within those parts, they sing in a way that sounds like one voice. What a beautiful sound the Lord’s people make when we sing together!
In conclusion, this is unity:
This is uniformity:
The 2 are not the same and do not let anyone deceive you into believing otherwise.