It is one thing for a church or denomination to pine for unity. It is another thing for that church or denomination to define the place where unity will occur.
Unity always requires a center. If a group of people talk about getting together for dinner, then they must identify where they will eat. If they can’t reach agreement about the choice of restaurants, then some will be at Panera Bread while others go to the Royal Blue in Stillman Valley.
For a local church, sound doctrine is the only proper center for unity. The church must not only proclaim sound doctrine, they must also show what fits with that sound doctrine in a particular ecclesiastical setting.
Along these lines, Kevin DeYoung has some very insightful comments about the Reformed Church of America. Regardless of whether or not you are in that denomination, there is a great deal to reflect on in his post. He begins:
If there is one biblical theme we’ve heard a lot of in the RCA for the past 15 years it’s the theme of unity. And no one is against unity. Jesus prayed for and Paul commends it, so who doesn’t want unity? Truth-filled, grace-saturated, gospel-centered, Bible-grounded unity is precious beyond measure. And yet, such unity does not come by wishing for it, announcing it, or devaluing truth. The only unity worth having is a unity that takes doctrinal backbone, effort, prayer, and guts.
Read the rest here.