"For so long, fundamentalist Christians have valued truth over unity." ~ Dutch Proverb
The above statement speaks in reference to the reason Christianity has multiple denominations… and multiple factions. For so long, believers have placed a disproportionate value on truth over unity, thus justifying the reasons for leaving current churches, and creating new ones; for pointing fingers at heretics; for somehow preaching that the truth will not be denied, and they somehow have found that their particular brand of Christianity has won that corner on truth.
Walking down the wet streets of Olongapo City, I saw a man with shrivelled hands standing in a doorway out of the rain. It's amazing the places where God shows up… or perhaps it's more amazing the places and ways he chooses to rip the blinders off.
I saw the man standing in his rags in the pulpit, thumping down his stumps on the lecturn, and hollering out that the truth "MUST be held up at ALL costs!"
Yet his hands remained shrivelled and dead.
Do we forsake truth in order to live together peacefully? No. That would be to deny the essence of peace, only create a ripe environment for spiritually blind sheep. Yet forcing doctrine at the expense of unity also creates a blindess, and deep injury. There is no love between neighbors, but rather useless hands that have brought leprosy upon itself. And love is here?
Truth and unity must not be held as separate weights, balancing each other out. By nature, they are extensions of God thus they cannot each stand alone. If Christians continue to insist on right and moral doctrine, claiming "This is the truth!", but refuse to accept the person's insights from the person in the church next door – or even simply the person him/herself in the fullness of love — then Christians have already nullified the truth.
Perhaps I'm more sensitive to the old time preaching style these days after seeing the damage that has been done amongst the poorest of the poor… perhaps I'm wrestling with God in deeper ways that even I know (I for sure do NOT have all the answers)… perhaps I see the developed world stomp around in our pride still screaming that we have all the answers to the world's problems — message, method, medium, and mark.
Perhaps I'm just sick of Christians taking the Gospel and balling it up into a tiny chunk of God's infinite Truth and proclaiming: "Here is the Truth!"
I look again at the man in the doorway… he befits the Truth and Unity much better when he smiles – like he is now. His wisdom is such that perhaps Sunday suits and ties would do well to humble themselves before, seeing Jesus in the best and worst places of His world.