Unity amongst the Believers

Had to comment on an article I saw in Christianity Today where Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church suggested that ‘mainline churches need to reconcile with evangelicals.’

“The reconciliation is that in a pluralistic world…we [Christians] need to be on the same team because we share the same Saviour,” Warren, of Purpose Driven fame, contended Sunday.

The article suggests that this reconciliation needs to happen to battle ‘their mounting problem of membership decline’.

He was speaking with the dean of the Washington National Cathedral, Samuel T Lloyd III, who observed that evangelical churches are thriving and full of vitality, whilst most mainline denominations are confronting worrisome membership decline.

After Lloyd asked how mainline churches should tackle the problem, there was discourse on the ‘social gospel’ of social action versus ‘personal faith’.

100 years ago the phrase ‘social gospel’ first came out,” Warren responded. “Some people took that to mean only if we reform the social government and society and not personal faith in Christ Jesus – that is, if we make the world a better place – we don’t need personal redemption.” …. That idea led to mainline churches going “one way” and evangelical churches another way, he said.

Mainline churches focused on ‘social morality such as fighting poverty, racism and economic justice’  while evangelicals focused on ‘personal morality such as personal salvation, fighting pornography, and upholding family values.’

He contends that both sides are right. “Somehow we got divided like Jesus didn’t care about society or members of society didn’t need Jesus. I think we need both.”   He comments further that, “You can’t just love your neighbour; you [have] got to love God,” Warren said. “And you can’t just love God; you have to love your neighbours. And mainline protestant and evangelical – we need both wings.”

Sounds a lot like my last two posts!  God wants all his church to come together in unity. Lord, help us to have both wings!



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