“There is an Alternative” (ch. 3, pg. 37-49)
Unity is not a suggestion from God, it is a demand (Phil 2; Eph. 4). A Christian doesn’t have a choice. However, having unity is incredibly hard. The church is made up of people, and people are flawed and prideful. How can an institution have unity in that kind of environment? Can unity come from debating between believers? Can unity come from brain power alone? Does unity demand a perfection that is impossible to achieve?
While some matters (i.e., the “essentials”) are worthy of debate, anything else only causes more division. Debates bring fewer people to Christ than door-knocking. The Mormons suggest that they get one response for every 5,000 doors they knock. Debates are more from wanting to pat ourselves on the back. Unity comes by knowing God, but that relationship demands so much more than simply brain power and right arguments alone. God never calls for us to be perfect, but to be perfected by His son. Same goes for unity in the brotherhood of believers.
York suggests that unity is achieved by practical Christianity, relationship with God, and the power of the Holy Spirit. He claims that something so impossible by man alone can only be done by a God who makes all things possible (Matt. 19:26). Our mindset should be to live out the mind of Christ (Rom. 8:29; Phil 2; 1 Cor. 2). When we live as Christ we promote a relational and spiritual environment that is a breeding ground for divine unity. True freedom comes by relation and not legislation. Grace urges justice while law demands it. Where there is freedom there is also peace. Our goal is to become like Jesus and lead others to do so. Our instrument is personal relationship with him and allowing him to have relationship with others through us (Gal. 2:20; Luke 9). – Jesse