What is unity?
The Disciples initial idea of unity involved structural unity. Like, ending denominationalism. A concept as useless as the word denominationalism. Not that there is anything wrong with something of a unification effort among mainstream denominations. But, the notion that we can all worship, and have communion, and ordain together is a little foolhardy. Particularly given that it is only in essentials that we must have unity.
Rather, unity is more an idea like Paul’s expression of one body in Christ. We are all connected in a profound an intimate way. There isn’t a Fundamentalist Body of Christ and a Process Theology Body of Christ. There is one body of Christ.
Of course, in the middle of all of this touchy feel good time we then stumble across something ugly. If we as Disciples are “Christians only,” then we have to let in everyone who is a Christian AND if we deny access to anyone, we aren’t saying they don’t belong to our club, we are saying they don’t belong to the body of Christ.
So, what about people who believe in transubstantiation? In. What about people who don’t even take communion every Sunday? In. What about people who believe that the Earth is coming to an end so soon, that Global Warming is not a problem? In.
What about people who believe that Aurora, Colorado would have benefited from more guns in the theater? What if I’m asking that to a Congregation that lost one of its most beloved members, a boy of 17 years, to senseless gun violence? In.
What about people who would say that to be gay is a sin? What if I am asking this question to a group of people deeply scared from the wickedness perpetrated against them by a homophobic society? Well, is one’s belief about being gay an essential? No. Then it is a non-essential, in which case it is to be treated with liberty. IN.
Answer two: Unity means recognizing the connectedness of all Christians and accepting our intimate relationship with each one regardless of where they stand on non-essentials.