Sunday Thoughts: We Need Unity Among Faithful Christians

Photo by Chris Queen

I’ve written a ton about my home church here at PJ Media over the years, and I’ve made it clear that I have great affection for my church family and its leadership. My family is one of the founding families of the church, and it’s been my church home for two-thirds of my life.


From the start, we’ve been a church with a contemporary worship style, and we were one of the first contemporary churches in town. When we first began having services, I overheard somebody in town refer to us derisively as “that rock-and-roll church.”

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past 33 (almost 34) years, it’s that some people tend to look down on churches like mine. For some reason, some folks dismiss contemporary churches as lightweight theologically. Some people say we rely too much on technology and that our worship is about a “show.”

Other people criticize the music at churches like mine, claiming that modern worship isn’t sincere because we don’t sing hymns (we do at my church, just not exclusively) and that contemporary worship songs aren’t as theologically sound as hymns (even though the theology of some hymns is questionable).

On the other side of the coin, traditional churches turn many people off. Some see the staid traditionality on display at many churches as out of touch with modern life. Older hymns don’t resonate with some folks, while others may find that traditional services don’t hold their interest.

As for the accusation that certain churches are light on theology or don’t preach the Gospel, you can find that in churches of all types. Theological unseriousness isn’t just confined to contemporary churches, and to paint one type of church or another with so broad a brush is irresponsible.


Christians spend too much time in a circular firing squad. These internecine squabbles among believers are often what people outside the faith see when they see Christians.

Yet Jesus didn’t say that people would be able to identify us as His disciples by the way we won arguments over minor theological points or by the way we look down on those who worship differently from us. Instead, he said that “all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35, ESV).

Christians need to be unified. It’s not just a great idea; it’s a concept that we find throughout scripture. King David wrote in Psalm 133, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!” The prophet Malachi warned Israel, “Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why then are we faithless to one another, profaning the covenant of our fathers?”

Related: Sunday Thoughts: Nobody Likes Lukewarm Water

The Apostle Paul had plenty to say about unity among believers:

I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.

1 Corinthians 1:10 (ESV)

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Ephesians 4:1-6 (ESV)

Live in harmony with one another.

Romans 12:16a (ESV)

May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 15:5-6 (ESV)


Just hours before he went to the cross, Jesus prayed for His followers “that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (John 17:21, ESV). That includes you and me! He prayed for Christians to have the same unity that He has with the Father and the Holy Spirit — the most unbreakable of bonds.

Yes, we need to call out heresy when we see it. We need to gently rebuke believers who are living in unrepentant sin, and our churches need to exercise church discipline. But we don’t need to engage in these petty squabbles that give the world a bad impression of believers. After all, we’ll be spending eternity together.

Whether your church has a café or a narthex (which I still think would be a cool name for a Christian metal band), whether you’re a Calvinist, Arminian, or somewhere in between, or whether you like old hymns or sing a new song to the Lord, you can agree to disagree about non-essentials as long as you agree on the non-negotiables. In the words of Paul in 2 Corinthians 13, “Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.”

Author’s note: In that spirit of unity and the desire to have conversations about faith and the common ground that we have, my friend and colleague Stephen Kruiser and I are launching a new podcast about faith! We previewed the concept in Kruiser Kabana Episode 218, and we had a rewarding and fun conversation with Jon Gabriel in Episode 219. We’re planning on spinning it off into its own podcast with some amazing guests, so be on the lookout for it soon!



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