The church is designed to display diversity. While the contemporary world has re- discovered the goodness of diversity, it was God’s very good idea to begin with. Because different members make up the church universal (and individual churches), we will never be in agreement all of the time.
This isn’t an aberration or a flaw. It’s normal. Just think of your body: your stomach might growl with hunger, but your limbs might be too tired to get up and prepare yourself a meal. Or, your calves might begin to tighten on a long run, but your mind tells you the feeling will pass if you press on and continue running.
The parts may not always operate in perfect synchronicity, but thankfully in the church, we have help. We can rely on the Holy Spirit present within each believer, and the presence of God as we are gathered, to help us be more unified.
Jesus those even prayed this for us in his family! John 17 records his heartfelt prayer for all believers, through all time: My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. (John 17: 20-23, NASB)
Jesus’s vision for the unity of the church is further made evident in John’s apocalyptic vision recorded in Revelation 7: 9-10: After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice:
“Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.”
The church’s diversity has always–and will always–demonstrate the gospel’s power to unite us.
John 17:20-23 Jesus’ Prayer for His followers,“I pray… that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
Video Segment: (05:48 – 06:18) [Jade] “Because the church is a diverse group of sinners, its unity is a miracle. But it’s not just a miracle, it’s a witness. According to Jesus, the oneness of Christians has the power to display the oneness that exists between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God’s desire for us is to experience unity with each other in love and bonds of peace because of Christ’s work.”
“the Church is not a human society of people united by their natural affinities, but the Body of Christ, in which all members, however different must share the common life, complementing and helping one another precisely by their differences.” ~ C.S. Lewis