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Originally published in "The Lord's Coming Herald & Wesleyan Bible Prophecy Advocate," April Edition, 2011

Christian Unity: A Doctrine Of The Bible

It’s easy to get our understanding of Christianity out of whack when certain doctrines are so favored that others of equal importance are neglected or ignored.

I love the Holiness Movement. Nevertheless, I must offer this warning. We have made much out of our doctrine of holiness, at times, it is to be feared, at the expense of our understanding of the Bible doctrine of Christian unity--the one visible body of Christ on earth, the church (Eph. 4:4).

The fact is that Christ did not, in the beginning, establish “The Holiness Movement,” He established His church, with a name, the Church of God. His church IS HOLY, friends, so if what we may individually see or know of the church-world today is NOT HOLY then it’s not HIS church. It’s just that simple. It’s just that straight forward. It’s just that profound.

The “Holiness Movement” identity therefore, is a rather strange anomaly, of great benefit to ourselves, of course, but whose existence is solely condition by more recent historical developments. It is an unfortunate accommodation, we believe, to Gnostic tendencies in our spiritual psychology (as a result of our prevailing dispensational premillennial theology!) that wants to place continuous dualisms in our understanding of all things Christian, in order to avoid dealing with the underlying, necessary, unifying dynamic inherent in the gospel.

So we solve the problem of our sectarian DISUNITY in the church-world that we are a part of today, not only by the addition of the label “conservative” and other denominative descriptions and in terms of “Holiness Movement verses non-holiness but still Christian church” dichotomy, but also in terms of the more generic “visible” versus “invisible” church paradigm. But what on earth is the invisible church?

Jesus talked about not putting our light under a bushel (Matt. 5:15), which, if we did, would certainly make that light become invisible to the surrounding beholder. Is that what we mean by the “invisible” church--one that his its light hid under a bushel? God’s church on earth is NOT invisible, friends, think about it.

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