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A Winnable War We Must Not Ignore.

by Larry Cory


(What is the difference between a coerced unity and a voluntary-from-the-heart type of unity?)

     There is an infinite difference between a unity that is voluntary, that comes from the heart, and that comes from the Holy Spirit in Christians; and an organizational unity that is forced on Christians through some type of power structure, political maneuvering, intimidation, and/or other form of coercion.  One type of unity is miraculous in nature and comes from God; the other type of unity is human—too human! 
     Over the history of the church, there have been periods of spiritual revival where the church was united by God's Spirit powerfully working in individual Christians—the Hussites in Bohemia, the Moravians, the English revival of the Wesleys and George Whitefield, the Welsh revival, the First and Second Great Awakenings in our country, the Jesus Movement (through which I became a Christian), as well as revivals on a smaller scale.  In these revivals, Christians actually experienced the unity that all Christians possess.  Paul states as true that all Christians are one.  "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep [preserve] the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit— just as you were called to one hope when you were called— one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all." (Ephesians 4:2-6)
     When has there been a coerced organizational unity?  Certainly, both Roman Catholicism and Protestantism have had periods when they were politically and even militarily powerful enough to force their beliefs and religious structures on people.  Foxe's Book of Martyr's tells story after heart-wrenching story of both the Roman Catholic Church and Protestant churches of medieval times torturing and murdering people who did not submit to their doctrines and practices.  People were coerced with "force and cruelty" to submit. (p.192)  This, of course, is the very opposite of a voluntary unity that comes from the heart.  I could make my point by quoting from some of the accounts in Foxe's book, but let me summarize by saying that they were in every way just as cruel and inhuman as our modern-day ISIS terrorists.  Certainly, Jesus was not praying that His church would have this type of coerced unity where the members of His church are, in some way, forced to obey.
     It is easy for us to see why church leaders can resort to force in order to get their will done.  It does not take as long.  Patience is not needed.  It is much easier to in some way force others to do our will.  It is much easier than seeking to persuade them to voluntarily go in God's direction.  It does not require prayer, love, forgiveness, discipling, compassion, and seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  In fact, it can be done without God's help at all.  But, God's Spirit does not lead us to become these types of spiritual Napoleons.
     A Spirit-empowered unity, however, requires all that was listed above.  It does require prayer, love, forgiveness, discipling, compassion, and seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  And it also requires much patience.  This type of unity can only come from God.  True unity among us sinful and selfish human beings is certainly miraculous.  It is beautiful and very much worth the Spirit-led toil and patience it requires.  "It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." (Ephesians 4:11-13)  This is the type of unity that is a witness to Christ's Spirit operating in the church!

The Silent War In The Church

Table of Contents and Brief Intro Table of Contents
Introduction Introduction
The Silent War Inside our Churches - Part 1 Part 1a
The Silent War Inside our Churches - Part 2 Part 1b
The Silent War between Churches Part 2
The Silent War with Satan and his Demons Part 3
The Silent War can be Won by God's Love in us Part 4
The Silent War can be like the Wars in the World Part 5
The Silent War between a False and Coerced Unity and a True Unity Part 6
An Essential Requirement Needed for Ending the Silent War Between Christians Part 7
The Silent War Caused by Turning the Church into the Kingdom of Man and not the Kingdom of God Part 8
The Silent War inside of Each Christian Part 9
The Silent War in the Church with the World Part 10
The Silent War Over Divisive Issues Part 11
The Silent War caused by a Mysterious Invading Army Part 12
The Silent War Caused by Seeking Worldly Success Part 13
The Silent War Always Results in Persecution Part 14
The Silent War Caused when Godly People Divide Part 15
The Silent War Caused when Godly People Cause Divisions Part 16
The Silent War Caused by the Church or a Church Dividing over an Important Issue Part 17
When the Church is Winning - Part 1 Part 18a
When the Church is Winning - Part 2 Part 18a
The Bible's Description of Victorious Soldiers in the Silent War Part 19
How Victory in the Silent War can Lead to Revival in the Church Part 20
Conclusion Conclusion
Addendum: The Silent War caused by "the onlys" "The Onlys"
Addendum: A Pastor's Authority by Ray Stedman A Pastor's Authority
Addendum: Galatians 6:1-3 (my commentary on these verses) Galatians 6:1-3
Addendum: John Wesley's sermon at George Whitefield's funeral George Whitefield