The Unity of Christians in the Body of Christ

2007, 5 pp

Among the many issues generated and brought to the Faith and Life Committee's attention for immediate consideration was the need for biblical and theological reflection around a proposal that Mennonite Church Canada allow for area conference only membership (ACOM). On the basis of discussion, prayer and consultations the committee concluded that the most fundamental theological and biblical concern to be addressed in consideration of ACOM is the unity of Christians in the body of Christ.

In subsequent discussions the committee has become increasingly aware that one of the prime reasons MC Canada's unity is under stress is that we are needing to live with two crucial, positive sets of values that are in tension with each other—namely, on the one hand, desiring to be people concerned about holiness and integrity, and on the other hand, desiring to be people who live out God’s gracious inclusive hospitality.

As the committee has discerned together, the conviction has grown among us that whatever we do with the request for ACOM, we cannot lose sight of the biblical declaration that the unity of Christians in the body of Christ is a given and not something which we take or leave as we wish.

As we manage the tension between holiness and hospitality, and deal with the other issues and concerns that challenge us, we must do so in light of Christ’s plea that we may all be one (John 17:21).

In its reflection on the unity of the body of Christ, this short paper addresses the following questions:
  • What does it mean to be a faithful Mennonite Church?
  • What binds us together?
  • Is organizational unity and unity in Christ synonymous?
  • When does diversity destroy the unity of Christ?
  • How are we mutually accountable in the body of Christ?

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