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What Will the 21st Century Church Look Like?

CHAPTER 1 
Are We Called to Unity of Thought?

CHAPTER 2 
Should We Divide Over Doctrine?
Hidden Pride and How It Leads to Division

CHAPTER 3 
Celebrity Leaders
Honored Fathers or Faithful Brothers

CHAPTER 4 
The Unity of a Family
A Very Large Family

CHAPTER 5 
Becoming a Reconciler
Doing Matthew 5:23-24

CHAPTER 6 
Discerning the Source of Offense
Reconciling or Creating More Problems

CHAPTER 7 
Becoming a Peacemaker 
Leaven & 3 Areas of Church Failure

 

CHAPTER 8 
Unity of the Spirit 
Or Cult-like Conformity

CHAPTER 9 
Insecure Leaders
Authority & Submission

CHAPTER 10 
Doctrines That Unite Us
When Should We Divide?

CHAPTER 11 
The Success of Corinth
From Division to Cultural Impact

CHAPTER 12 
Jesus Explains
Why There Are Differences Between Groups?

CHAPTER 13 
What Will the 21st Century Church Look Like?
Transformation by the Spirit

CHAPTER 14 
Good Church Change
Growing in Wisdom & Courage

 

An Excerpt from The Divided Church

Introduction

There are many types of unity; some good and some bad. I encourage everyone to try to maintain unity in their families; to maintain unity in their work-teams; and unity in their friendships. But this is not the unity that will be discussed in this book.

I attended a meeting of a Christian Cult. The main leader had just returned from an international trip, where he had meetings with Roman Catholic leaders and Jewish leaders. The objective was unity of all the religions, no matter what their beliefs. His exact quote in this meeting was, “Some people ask me, ‘How can we have unity with Jewish (non-believing) people?’’ 

He then shrugged his shoulders and said, “I don’t know.” That settled the matter in this cult-like atmosphere since his opinion was more important than the congregation’s honest questions.

Since the Tower of Babel, men have tried to achieve unity, without God’s help. In some cases, man-made unity is a simple reaction to men’s desires to be safe or successful. God divided the humanistic unity of men at the Tower of Babel. These divided groups were divided by their languages. And in these new fractured groups, evil men with evil intentions tried to bring unity through force. That has been the normal condition of humankind since the tower of Babel.

 

On the Day of Pentecost, the Christian Church began as the opposite of the “Tower of Babel Experience” happened. God brought a unity of language at the FIRST meeting of the Church Age. This is significant. This book explores the HOW of maintaining Unity of the Spirit. But first we must decide if God wants unity in the whole church.  


I would ask those reading this book to review their “Anti-unity” doctrines. Most of us have been exposed to attitudes, comments and sometimes whole sermons that justify division between Christian Churches. Because humans or demons try to create bad-unity does not mean that God’s Word is wrong, when it asks us to view “Unity of the Spirit” as one of our main Christian goals.

I would also ask those reading this book to re-think their past practices which have led to division between themselves and other individual Christians. Most of us have had past practices that led to division between our church and other churches. Proverbs 21:2 says, “Every man’s way is right in his own eyes.” This is very evident when talking with Christians about their divisions with other Christians. 

Finally, a wise man once said to me, that once a Christian believes something deeply, once it is a heart belief, even if it is wrong, “It is almost impossible to change that Christian’s mind.”

I hope that this book changes your mind, if you have had doctrines that accepts division as the normal state of the church. I hope this book brings you to a different understanding. I hope that it brings you to view of what God desires.

But to change a heart-felt belief requires an openness to review what you believe and why you believe it. Reviewing why you do what you do will take courage. 
 
I would ask that you prayerfully consider that one of the number one tasks that God has called us to do is, “To be diligent to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”