Two Things that Lead Toward Christian Unity
There are two things I’ve noticed in my own life and in the lives of people I know that tend to lead toward less divisiveness and greater Christian unity. These are:
1) A focus on doing mission
2) A focus on the study of scripture
What’s interesting is that people can differ on how to do mission or how to study scripture, but if they’re spending their time doing more than talking, their talking starts to focus less on their differences. Sometimes they do change their point of view on certain theological issues, but more often it’s a matter of focus.
I wonder what would happen if we simply spent more time going to scripture and then carrying out the mission as we see God calling us to it, and less time correcting one another, that we might find that God will change all of us.
And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit. — 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NRSV)
(Note: I do believe both of these things must be done prayerfully.)
I think the Scripture study helps if you are doing it in face-to-face settings with people rather than, say, launching blog posts pointing out how everyone else reads Scripture wrong. But that may violate your rule about being prayerful, too.
I believe in reading scripture first for what convicts me … and usually, once I’ve dealt with that, I have little time for beating up on others. The problem is, however little time I may have, the temptation is there! I think scripture study should always be in community as well.
But I’m more interested in anything that gets people studying, no matter what I may think of the approach.