Problems With Uniting on Points Held in Common

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There is much talk nowadays within and without the professing SDA church regarding the issue of unity. The following remarks address some serious problems with uniting on points held in common with those who are in error.

" When the leading churches of the United States, uniting upon such points of doctrine as are held by them in common, shall influence the state to enforce their decrees and to sustain their institutions, then Protestant America will have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy, and the infliction of civil penalties upon dissenters will inevitably result." The Great Controversy, p. 445.

"The wide diversity of belief in the Protestant churches is regarded by many as decisive proof that no effort to secure a forced uniformity can ever be made. But there has been for years, in churches of the Protestant faith, a strong and growing sentiment in favor of a union based upon common points of doctrine. To secure such a union, the discussion of subjects upon which all were not agreed--however important they might be from a Bible standpoint--must necessarily be waived." The Great Controversy, p. 444.

The Truth About Seventh-day Adventist "Truth", by Dale Ratzlaff "There appears to be a growing move of God in the earth today that is bringing a functional unity into the Christian church as never before! What the Spirit is speaking to this generation is that there isone church with many congregations. This unity will not be an organizational structural unity, not will it be a unity where every church jettisons its unique emphases. Rather, it will be a unity that AGREES, on the clear fundamentals of Christian faith yet affirms other churches which may have a different emphasis and different interpretations or understandings on the less essential elements of Christianity."

John 17 truly does call for unity between God's people, but if we make unity the goal, at the expense of the truths of Scripture, we have set up an idol, and the danger inherent in such a movement can hardly be imagined. "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by EVERY WORD that proceeds from the mouth of God." The "different emphases" which will be ignored will only manifest that the motivation, unfortunately, is unity as man defines it, not as God defines it; the deeper motivation is salvation my way, instead of God's way; a subtle disregard for the Word of God; a perverted Gospel; and ultimately, a "Hagar-Ishmael" instead of a deep faith that God alone can bring true unity, along with the integrity of doctrines, for we are to obey "all the word" of God. The "unity" is really a masked form of self-righteousness and legalism.
The deep hidden motivation is a desire for power and control. It will manifest itself in that, while tolerant of the differences in the groups, as long as they belong to the "movement", will be "intolerance" of those who do not go alone, revealing the true spirit. Peace through compromise is never peace, but a deep seeded rebellion against the Creator of the Universe. We are truly in the last days, and I just urge all who are true in heart not to focus on the "time of trouble", but the "time of God's deliverance."

The last paragraph is by an anonymous donar.