Vol.VI No.II Pg.1
April 1969

Unity In Diversity

Robert F. Turner

We are sometimes asked, "Do you believe you know all the truth? Must each of us have perfect, absolute truth before there can be unity?" Put like this, we must admit a vague possibility of error on some minor point; and then the nail is clinched. "So, there must be unity in diversity!!

Jesus prayed for unity in truth (JOH.17:17-23). Fellowship with God, and God-approved fellowship with one another, is in truth (1JO.1:3-7; ROM.16:17-18, etc.). God condemned the greatest union the world has known, for its adhesive was something other than truth (GEN.11:1-9). Now, if our "togetherness" is to be" of God" it must have truth as its basis.

Admitting to something short of absolute and perfect truth does not force the popular "unity in diversity" position upon us. This is a philosophy that chooses a "level" of imperfectness, and finds satisfaction there. "Peace" "love" "unity" — all with humanistic connotations and limitations — lull the disciples into a "sweet" complacency. The urgency to learn truth, concern for those in error (on points outside the chosen "level" of imperfectness) and any striving, pressing, or seeking for truth that might upset this self-satisfied Peace Corp, is frowned upon.

God urges unity in truth upon imperfect creatures. He must have known when He delivered His plan, that men would not get everything straight. But He expected us to try! Paul says, "I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (PHI.3:13-14). Paul knew truth by inspiration, but his life was still a "pressing.

Unity in diversity, that is satisfied with diversity, is not of God. The "spirit" of unity thrives in love for one another, but this is a love that shows concern for error, and brings us together to "search the Scriptures" (ACT.17:11). Neither love nor unity (acceptable to God) is found in agreement to ignore error, "for the sake of peace.