Essential Prerequisites

essential_unityMartin Luther is credited with saying “in essentials, unity”.

In applying that sagely advice, over the years I have developed two essential prerequisites for all other essentials. They have served me well, and tend to weed out over 90% of the frauds, fakes and flakes that plague God’s church (don’t ya love ’em!).

1. There is no basis for unity on something that someone is pushing but not living – because leaders are held to a higher standard and integrity matters.

2. There is no basis for unity where the plenary authority of scripture as God’s written word is rejected – because otherwise we lack God’s external standard for agreeing on other essentials.

I’m cool with lots of diversity on matters of doctrine, belief and practice, so long as those two “essentials” exist. However, where they are absent, I have yet to see a healthy, sustainable, reproducing local church – organic, simple, missional, traditional or whatever – emerge.

I’m not saying I have it all figured out, but I’ve seen the inept folly of those who think they are “beyond” either of those two “essentials”. Let’s move on, while learning from their mistakes.

If you want to read more about the necessity both experience and scripture, see Theology and Reality.

~ Jim Wright


2 responses

  1. Just want to know your thoughts about this “unity-movement” that’s going on worldwide, between the catholic “church” and the charismatics… Please, i am all fór unity, but ónly in Truth and by the Spirit, He would never support aything contrary Jesus and His word.


  2. I will remain faithful to what I see in scripture, while cooperating in areas where we can agree to disagree without compromising our own fidelity to the Lord and His word.

    I have had many Roman Catholic friends who are wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ, even though we have distinctly different doctrinal views. Interestingly, on an individual basis I suspect they would all agree with my two essential prerequisites above, which helped build bridges between us as we worked together on issues of common concern.

    Although I would never do anything that appears to promote or endorse any church, leader or belief in violation of my own conscience and convictions, I nonetheless will work together with others in areas of common calling based on areas of common truth – so long as doing so does not compromise my own witness and integrity.

    Nonetheless, I am troubled by the somewhat undiscerning “unity” that is being promoted by some televangelists as they chase after photo ops with the Pope. I think it sends the wrong message.


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