Truth Is Bigger than You and MeThe new convert is sure to feel the need of instruction and will drink up whatever he hears from the pulpit, accepting not only the doctrines but the emphases as well. Soon he will speak the language of his group and will speak it with their accent. Then he will judge the spirituality and orthodoxy of all other Christians as much by the accent as by the language itself.
Unfortunately indoctrination of a new Christian often means no more than giving him a thorough course in partial truth with the tacit understanding that this is all there is. I am sure we do not mean to do this, but it is what too often happens nevertheless. Of course narrowness, intolerance and bigotry result from this as certainly as an oak from an acorn.
I have seen the motto, "In essentials unity; in nonessentials charity," and I have looked for its incarnation in men and churches without finding it, one reason being that Christians cannot agree on what is and what is not essential. Each one believes that his fragment of truth is essential and his neighbor’s unessential, and that brings us right back where we started.
Unity among Christians will not, in my opinion, be achieved short of the Second Advent. There are too many factors working against it. But a greater degree of unity might be realized if we all approached the truth with deeper humility. No one knows everything, not saint nor scholar nor reformer nor theologian. Even Solomon in all his glory must have overlooked something.PrayerMay I follow You, Lord, as Your disciples did. You are the Truth.ScriptureJesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him.
—Luke 22:39ThoughtIt is disciples of Christ we are to make (Matthew 28:19) not disciples of ourselves, our churches or our denominations. Granted that in discipling we can hardly avoid transmitting our own truth perspectives. Yet we ourselves must keep in mind, and those we disciple, that truth is greater than our understanding of it.
I agree with Tozer in all of this execpt I wouldn't go as far as saying "Unity among Christians will not, in my opinion, be achieved short of the Second Advent." I think it is possible that all Christ followers can be united now. Maybe all that is holding some back is the failure to acknowledge that unity is more essential than some of the other details that are dividing. So maybe those that reject the unity of Christ's body are rejecting an essential part of following Christ???? I'm not certain here... I will leave God to be the judge. Or maybe unity is here even when we don't acknowledge it? Either way, I just won't go saying unity is impossible. But that was just a small disagreement with what A.W. Tozer's main point was here.
I think it is important that we aim to make disciples of Christ, and avoid trying to make disciples of ourselves, our denominations and traditions. Humility is a key to unity that is challenging to achieve and often overlooked.