The subject of unity and community are much in my mind as I continue to ponder the message and mission of Jesus. In trying to engage in a deeper more meaningful study of the Bible, I first had to abandon my original concept of prophetic fulfillment. Then I had to re-evaluate my understanding of redemption, and now I strive to grasp the implications of Jesus’ call to unity and oneness. Given the prayer of Jesus in John 17, Paul’s words in Ephesians 2 and Galatians 3 about the end to Jewish distinctiveness, and John’s proclamation of oneness in I John 4, I conclude that the subject of the unity of all mankind was a critical aspect of the message and mission of Christ. Others in our day seem to conclude likewise since much of our modern day religious discussion centers on the subject of community and unity in diversity.
The idea of unity in diversity is complex. On the one hand, such unity demands that we consider our differences of opinion as insignificant. In another sense, such unity seems to call for a narrowing of our differences by recognizing certain truths which then cause differences to disappear. Therein lies the conundrum- what differences are insignificant and which need to be eliminated through greater understanding of universal truths?
I suspect that there is general agreement on a number of important truths across all cultures. In other words, on really important matters there may be little difference and disagreement to reconcile. God promised to plant His law in the heart (Hebrews 8:10), so why not expect that to be so, drawing men together on matters of divine principle and Truth. The challenge in establishing a brotherhood of all mankind lies more in facilitating our own awareness of the Truth than in convincing others to forsake their false conceptions of Truth. They already know the Truth, so they don’t need instruction. They need demonstrations and examples.