Oneness in Christ

I appreciate the discussion on unity in the articles in the [CT Institute, “Has the WCC Kept the Faith?” April 5]. I am challenged by what I believe is a renewed work of the Holy Spirit in bringing together Christians from all varieties of backgrounds and the obvious difficulties to be overcome.

The rapid expansion of movements such as Pastors’ Prayer Summits and the de-emphasis of denominational distinctives in many mainline denominations are portents of greater cooperation between churches in seeking to win the world to faith in Jesus. I feel very positive about this trend.

One cannot ignore, however, our differences in areas such as baptism, the Eucharist, and church polity. Can our unity in Christ supersede these differences? I believe so. Jesus’ prayer for unity (John 17) is tantamount to a mandate for us to continue working towards oneness. But it is not oneness on the basis of the lowest common denominator. Our oneness must be in Christ.

Rev. Alan L. Newlove

First Baptist Church

Clovis, Calif.

In the article by Tokunboh Adeyemo, I was quoted. I am sorry to say it was a total distortion of my views, then and now. I was dealing generally with the attitude of Christians sharing with others when I made the statement, “We get involved not because we are different but because we are not.” This is a mere echo of an Exodus sentiment when the people of Israel were urged to receive the exiles because they themselves were exiles at one time in Egypt, and of Paul when a master was called to be just to the servants because he too has a master in heaven. That is, he too is a servant.

The categorical and exclusive identification of the poor with the sinned against attributed to me is a figment of Adeyemo’s imagination.

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