Ecumenical or United

Ecumenical or United

“With all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering,
bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity
of the Spirit in the bond of peace”
– Ephesians 4:2-3 –

Being together just for the sake of being together? Or being together for a purpose fulfilling Jesus’s prayer? Ecumenical or united?

“Ecumenical” refers to all who work for the global unity and cooperation of all Christian churches. C. Stanley Lowell points out that there are two facets: “The first facet refers to the cooperation among Christian bodies in their work. The other facet is an effort for Christian unity which aims to bring together all churches under one big ecclesiastical tent.”

Those who seek unity are all those who seek to unite believers in Christ and His Word. Paul says that Christ came to tear down the dividing wall and to make the two groups, Jews and Gentiles, one people (Eph. 2:14).

This unity is not a social, political, or solidarity issue.
It is complete unity in the doctrine of the Lord.
Unity is not uniformity.

Unity comes from abive and from within and is a spiritual virtue, while uniformity is the result of external pressure. Paul, in both 1 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4, used the human body as an illustration of Christian unity. Each part of the bocy is different from the others; however, they all make up a single body and work together for the good of the body.

  • To perserve the “unity of the Spirit,” according to Paul, we need humility to place Christ first, others after, and ourselves last.
  • For its partm “meekness” is not weakness; it is power kept under control. Moses was a meek man; Jesus Christ was meek and humble of heart (Num. 12:3; Matt. 11:29). However, Jesus cast out those who traded in the temple. Meekness is related to patience, which is enduring affliction without returning evil. We cannot bear and overcome without experiencing love. It is unity in the Spirit that makes it possible to walk with Christ.
  • There must also be a concern, or eagerness, to keep the unity of the Spirit.
  • The last virtue Paul mentions is peace.

Ecumenism seeks to unite organizations, with concessions and flexibility; unity puts Christ and His Word at the center, and above all else.

Let us be protagonists of true unity, remembering that unity
is protected by faith, quenched by prayer, nourished by the Word,
cleansed by forgiveness, and multiplied by testimony;
and it becomes eternal with the love of God.

May God bless you…