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How to be One

A lot of thoughts have been going through my mind as we’ve wrestled together with the issue of how to respond as followers of Christ to the social debate regarding a national public policy on abortion.

In some ways I’m unnerved by the fact that this is one more subject over which many of us find ourselves in fairly tense disagreement. We don’t disagree about whether abortion is wrong. But many of us do disagree about the best way respond to the social problem.

Am reminded that a stated purpose of this blog is “to come together around the issues that divide us.”

We’ve been doing that on a range of issues including but not limited to our varying views about the end times, marital roles, divorce, abuse, political partisanship, the emerging church, The Shack, church music and probably a lot more subjects that elude me right now…

In most cases I think the experience has been good for us, even when we have to apologize for getting overheated and going after one another rather than the issue.

But maybe this is a good time to remind ourselves that what we agree about is usually embedded somewhere in the conflict.

Thankfully, we don’t need to be embarrassed about disagreeing even intensely. We all know the proverbs that talk about friends helping one another the way “iron sharpens iron” and that safety is found in a multitude of counselors (many points of view on an issue).

My view is that one of the reasons its good to talk about the kinds of issues that divide us is that they give us a chance to go a little further in discovering together the difference between what God has said– and what we are guessing about.

It’s not an exact science, but more like an art. Thanks for helping to make it an enjoyable if bumpy ride :-)…

Am hoping our Lord will give us a few more miles together, as a prelude to forever…..

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21 Responses to “How to be One”

  1. plumbape says:

    Amen Mart De Haan & God bless you and the folks at RBC for not only being willing to take on these extremely potent topics but also being being able to keep the focus on God.

    As for me, I think the more I learn the more I fall into the catagory of the people in the story of Jonah that God said “can’t discern there left hand from there right”. I will keep my focus on the Lord, not the world and do what I can and not worry about what I can not do anything about.

    Holy Holy is our God in Heaven
    Holy Holy is His Name alone….!

  2. Called2Serve says:

    Hello and good morning everyone! Hope everyone has a nice day today, and enjoy the beautiful weather if you have it! =]

    I think one reason why it is good to have debates about opinions and reactions is because we often challenge others’ opinions with the Word, but not our own. We can point out flaws in others’ thinking and others can shed light on our own thinking. In this way, we will come closer to the truth by really evaluating what our opinions are, because someone else pointed out that one thing that doesn’t fit in very well with your overall opinion.

    Also, when we have debates about our opinions and how we should react to the world’s opinions, others are going to challenge us to back up our opinions with reasons, to try to see our thinking more clearly. This is going to make us want to prove our point, but it can really show us if our opinion is really close to the truth or not.

    Just my thoughts…

    -savannah =]

  3. mtman says:

    How to be one.. I think the common denominator to our being one is our mutual love for Jesus. He is the binder that holds us together along with our love for each other.
    I think this blog gives us a place to express our thoughts, ideas, and opinions freely. I don’t know about others but I don’t have anyone but my wife to talk to about matters that appear on this blog. It is good to bounce them off others and be able to share life experiences and at the same time share others life experiences.
    Bumpy road: We do have that at times and in spite of disagrements we still love and respect each other. It is during those bumpy road experiences that I seem to be able to gain the most and test my opinions.
    We all seem to have our hot topics and that is good that we have issues that we are passionate about. The opposite is being luke warm about everything and that is not good.
    What I find so interesting is that regardless of whether we agree 100% on everything or not we still bond together as a Christian family in the end. We share each others hurts, we pray for each other and we encourage each other. Marts very last sentence in his topic in bold pretty much says it all for me.

  4. mtman says:

    rdrcomp: Good post. I don’t have a problem loving someone who disagrees with what I may think on a topic. I do realize that there are those who like you say make or break a relationship based upon an issue. The issue should not define our relationships. Polarization is not the answer, respect is.
    I must confess that on the abortion topic I agreed almost 99% with BruceC but not quite. It bothered me greatly to comment because I know the passion and pain he and his wife had on that subject. My heart was breaking when I commented that there are sins other than abortion too, because of what he and his wife had been through. I did not intend to diminish what he felt at all. For my own well being however I needed to say that. All of us can get myopic on an issue that is so near and dear to us. I certainly do on my hot topics.
    Now I must go out and wrap my hands around the splitting maul as I have about 10 more cords of wood to get ready for next winter. This topic came at a very good time me thinks.

  5. SFDBWV says:

    Luke 12:51 “Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:”

    Mark 3:24 ” And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.”

    Matthew 12:25 “”Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation;and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.”

    These three verses come from the lips of God. Yes I am quoting Jesus.

    We may find unity in our belief in Jesus as the Christ. But here on the blog even differences exist on who we understand Jesus to be. Wether we should only quote Him or quote scripture at all.

    Here in our discussions we have rubbed the scars and sores of others, which to no supprise raises up pain then anger.

    Here we render down a persons beliefs, then through the court of public opinion “sift” that belief and look for cracks and differences to expand upon. All the while trying as to not offened anyone. I don’t know how that is possible. We have all been offended and seen others leave the company of the blog. I myself have often thought of not participating any more, many times.

    We tread on dangerous water, by assuming anything. There are very tender and troubled people who read this blog and are swayed or influenced by what is said here. Because I believe that to be so, I am very cautious in how I address any issue or answer.

    I desperately seek the peace of God, so that I may rest. Do I find rest in arguements over scripture? No, too often I shrink back into my safety of being firm about what I believe, and hold tight.

    This morning as I was reciting the “Lords Prayer” when I came to the line “Thy Kingdom come..” I was once again reminded of a difference of opinion held here on the blog. Can you imagine my shock that a disagreement held here, can interupt my prayer and conversation with God.

    Is this unity with God or a power of division?

    By the way, the thought that interupted me was this, To whom is the Lords prayer directed? Yes the Father, who’s kingdom are we looking for? Jesus’s kingdom. How was it directed to be expressed by Jesus himself? Thy(Father) kingdom come. As expressed by myself and others, we believe that God and Jesus are one in the same. Yet the question was raised in the course of converation. And not put to rest.

    The trinity is in my opinion basic in my Christianity. One who disagrees with the trinity has no unity with me.

    Out of time.


  6. Mart De Haan says:

    Such good perspectives this morning. Thank you!! I’m hoping that others will check in here and read your responses even though I’ve gone ahead and posted something else for the next couple of days. I’ve been very conscious of pushing the envelope on this one and wanted to get into some calmer water for awhile. Maybe it’s because, like another group of disciples, “I’m afraid of the waves” :-)…

  7. pegramsdell says:

    Because of this blog, thoughts, hurts and pain that I didn’t even know was in me have come out of me. I have laughed, cried and prayed more on this blog than anywhere else. And just like any family, there are times when we are not going to agree about everything. But, like what someone said, we all agree about Jesus. As long as we have Him as our foundation and center point, we all come back to loving each other.

    Also, I think our thoughts get lost in translation sometimes. Because we cannot see the heart behind the words, we misunderstand each other, or take offense when the comment was innocent.

    I’m very thankful for Mart’s thoughts.

  8. gr8grannyjacobs says:

    Steve Sometimes the things we discuss here are hard to deal with. I was even having a rough time with compromise used in conjunction with the Word. However perhaps in our discussions we are able to be used by God to help someone along the way.

    Your word’s here are always warm and gentle and even when you stand for your faith and do not waiver you are always kind in your approach. When you aren’t the first to post each day I always wonder if all is well with you.

    I keep you and your family in my prayers and in my heart.

  9. SFDBWV says:

    Thank you gr8, other people are why I keep coming to the blog.

    Because of a list of circumstances, and timing when Mart posts the topic. I may not be able to get to the computer for quite a while.

    As the day wears on my ability to share dimminishes and with good weather comes more outside work to be done.

    Because of my position as Mayor, I am embroiled in controversy and disagreements almost continualy. I am a fighter or else I couldn’t continue to serve the public. But sometimes I do need peace and rest from disagreements.

    Like Matt sometimes all I can do to relieve my frustration is just groan and sigh….

    We all love you Charlotte.


  10. mtman says:

    Being understood is not easy at all. Maybe that is why Jesus spoke to us in parables.

  11. wretch-like-me says:

    Dear Friends:
    As we struggled thru the last several days, I was reminded of similar struggles within other fellowships (including my local one) that have negative fallout, divisions and finally cause splits.

    Is it too much to ask that we love each other even in our discontent?

    I can only speak for myself. What I find is frustration with not being accepted because I differ on what I consider to be minor points compared to issues directly tied to Salvation. Obviously, even my placing ‘minor’ value on these differences is a difference of opinion.

    The lesson I hope we can learn and ‘model’ for others is that when we disagree we dont ‘declare the other party inferior in some way and part company’. Too often I see and hear folks claim a ‘scriptural superiority’ and “…shake the dust from their feet as they leave.”

    When that happens WE all LOSE and SATAN boasts before God.

    Am I naive in believing that WE can be known again among NON-christians who marvel with statements such as “See how they LOVE one another!”

  12. su says:


    So, I’m not sure which article to comment at. I find it interesting that the verse in Luke 12 referred to by Steve also contains a line about the leaven (similar to Mart’s other article from today).

    God be Glorified and Praised. Thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ! We have salvation, grace, mercy and so much through Him (everything that has worth)!! Besides, He simply deserves all Honor because of Who He Is!!!

    One message I hear as reading in more detail from the last few day is about saving souls or reaching the lost/hurting/needy (versus spending time implementing laws or other acts that might take us from away from the teaching and baptizing He calls us to).

    Please let me share some thoughts on this. It is not to say I don’t agree with having a role in preaching His Good News! However, I went through a phase where I subconsciously took on as my goal to be like Christ, die for folks, bring them to Him and was caught in a depression holding my own father down. Thankfully, years later he told me I changed his life via one particular interaction with him when young. However, it did devastate me for some time (as he initially discarded my attempts to lift him up – and as a young child, his pushing me away, denying my concerns, felt like he was rejecting me). Through my being discipled in college, I was reminded how it is quite possible that Jesus’ primary objective was to obey His Father (and not compromise His Righteousness, as He was and is the Essence of Him – so it poured out of Him). As obvious as it is, truly, it is not you or I who redeem but the blood of Lamb. Again, this is not to say we don’t have a part! Hence, next, He was on assignment to love. Now, they may go hand-in-hand but my pea-brain mind only understands so much.

    Therefore, although I may not always do a good job of it (case in point yesterday, with my first post), ultimately I am to take His breastplate (of Righteousness) around (not mine). Perhaps there is a reason this is listed first, when reading Eph. 6:10-20. He asks me to wear the full armor, which means I am sharing HIM (and, not to be forgotten, praying). Carrying all those weapons and protections create a balancing act. As I write I revert to David, maybe that is why he didn’t put on Saul’s coat of arms – it did not match the way God wanted Him to be? Might this be an Old Testament parable, metaphor or lesson?

    Seeing life from this perspective has helped relieve me of the burden of saving the world. He gave everyone the right to become His child. And He will finish His work. He paid the earnest money and, as another recent devotional (maybe found on RBC) thankfully highlighted again for me, don’t doubt that he will come and get the house/bride He put a costly down payment on! :)

    So while my part is to obey The Great Commission, I must also Wear Him Well! Just as with Joseph, some may try to rip up my gift, smear blood on it and say I was killed. Well, then, praise God, I have died and am reborn (and nothing can separate me from nor tarnish Him)! And there is forgiveness when I fail. So, now, go and live like it, by remaining in Him (watching out for bad yeast – staying away from that which weakens your bond with Him, by eating His Bread only) and, then, it (He, if I might) will show and take shape as the latter fits. And growing together collectively is HIGHLY encouraged my Him! And sorry to wretch-like-me, because how we work through all this I cannot yet comment on in my feebleness.

    Wreaking havoc on Unity maybe one of Satan’s primary goals. Let us explore our own security first in and with Christ (as many suggest taking the logs out of own eyes first, I complement that with, as many also recommend, nurturing and working the depths of our roots in Him as much as is possible from our end). Also, as it has been said, that doesn’t mean be perfect before serving Him. Let HIS Light be Seen in Us!

    Is this too simplistic? If we Love one another (and maybe our own brothers and sisters foremost), perhaps, those around will see Him. What a novel thought and one God says is possible! I pray for wisdom, a change of heart and His Holy Spirit Intervention in those churches with division.

  13. pegramsdell says:

    John 15:5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.

  14. Rick123 says:

    “How to be One.”

    Jesus also prayed for us and for the ones who would believe in him in the future, even unto the end of the world(age). That we be One with the Father in Christ Jesus, just as he is One with the Father.

    The One God and Father of all, who [is] above all, and through all, and in you all. Is the head of the family, and Christ is clothed with his Father’s mind, and we are clothed with Christ’s mind. So it is from the Father, out of whom come all things. And who rules his family through his Spirit to accomplish his eternal purpose by Jesus Christ his Son.

    Jhn 17:20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, [art] in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

    Eph 4:3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 [There is] one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who [is] above all, and through all, and in you all…13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ: 16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

    Act 4:10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, [even] by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

  15. Called2Serve says:

    su, I agree with your approach. I think simplistic is sometimes the best answer. Maybe if we did just love each other through our differences and not have to always prove our point, maybe then others would truly see unity. And through seeing true unity among the followers of Christ would they realize their need for him as well and come to know him as a savior.


  16. pegramsdell says:

    KISS = Keep it simple saints.
    I heard this one time from a pastor.
    I was created for His pleasure and His pleasure alone.
    I’m trying to live everyday with pleasing Him in mind.
    Of course, most days, I seem to end up pleasing myself..but I’m still trying. I really want to be one with Him. And one with my brothers and sisters in the Lord.

  17. su says:


    Maybe I’m missing something here (in relation to notions that there are a lot of difference), but I think we agree a lot more than we realize (and, as folks have pointed out, let’s not forget that).

    1. Keep (nuture, labor, etc) on our own
    Relationship with God through Jesus Christ our Lord

    The humble part in Walk Humbly with your God.

    2. Serve Others (whether by supporting your sisters and brothers in the Lord and/or helping a rape victim, an unwed mother, bringing meals to the needy, teaching a Bible class … )

    The walk part in the above line, plus, Love Mercy.

    3. Influence and Act where possible (whether protesting an abortion law, calling politicians about the environment or simply opening the door for an elderly person having difficulty … )

    Do Justly.

    Stay Alert and Pray!

    How and where God calls us differs. We all need His armor, His love and Encouragement.

    I’m glad to hear this commonality (unless I’m way off base). I lift up the mayor, the hurting, the retired contract man, those in outreach (whether to pregnant girls or otherwise), the burdened father(s) who struggle to keep on, other specific people (one who has suffered with depression most of her life) and more, as well as, all of you who are in the Lord and/or seeking. May we not forget Him!

    Because of His great Love, Mercy and Righteousness!


  18. foreverblessed says:

    Last weekend I had e dream, the topic has moved on, but here it is anyway:
    We on the blog were singning psalms and hymns together.
    That was a miracle on itself, but while we were singing suddenly it fell upon all of us how great God was, and how little we. And how small our knowledge is. And we realised we were too much singing with our minds only. A great godly sorrow was on us all.
    That was my dream, wanted to share it with you.

  19. MarkStrauss says:

    Maybe it’s too much of OUR effort?

    I think our society/government is wondrous, even perhaps glorious.
    Just like God intended it to be, it’s a perfect reflection of the people. If half Americans are true believers then half of Congress would be as well (and every other President).
    Ergo, if the country is going to Hell in a handbasket, then so are the people!

    The answer: GC (Great Commission, Great Commandment). I know I sound idealistic, and I am. But who else is worthy of my ideals but Jesus?
    How about a bottom up approach instead of trying to manipulate society from the bully pulpit. Change hearts and the country will follow?

    “You’re a baby killer who’s going to Hell!” is technically correct. But when do we show them the Love of Jesus which is how NOT to go to Hell?

    How much time did Jesus, His disciples, or apostles spend at city council meetings or political rallies?

    If we do what He did, it wouldn’t be our work, but it would work. And thousands of people a day would stop killing babies and go to Heaven! Cool, huh?

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