In 2006 Dale Jenkins, Jeff Jenkins, Steve Higginbotham, Mike Green, Mike Baker, Wayne Hatcher and I embarked on a project to produce a book entitled, Seeking True Unity. The book has done very well, and only a few copies remain for sale. Brethren have appreciated the book and have even invited some of us to speak on the topics of the book.
Recently a blogger friend has set about the task of reviewing the book. He is a brother and acquaintance of mine. He said some nice things about the book. Bobby Valentine and I have exchanged views several times and find ourselves only occasionally agreeing. Our book dealt with the issues surrounding the 1906 division between the Christian churches and churches of Christ.
Among Bobby's comments on the book, I found this one interesting and somewhat misleading:
Thus as I read and reflected on the prosecutions arguments, as a member of the jury, it occurred to me that what I was actually hearing was actually an apology for the status quo .For division. I kept hearing, through the testimony, why it is good for “us” to remain basically as “we” are. We are told that some “refreshing changes” are being made but we never find out what they are.
Knowing Bobby, I am not surprised at his assessment of making the division for the split our fault for maintaining the status quo. Bobby would like to cast himself in the role of a jury member. In point of fact, he is more like a witness for the defense.
I have little inclination to defend anything but what he calls the status quo. We are, after all, to hold to the apostolic traditions (2 Thess. 2:15). It was the introduction of an innovation, the unauthorized or strange worship (among other matters), that caused the estrangement. They left us. We did not leave them. We could not go with them into their error.
Truth unites, and that is the meaning of seeking true unity. Forming a union with error, compromise, and innovation is not the unity for which Jesus prayed. The path to unity is when all men set aside their own opinions and remain under the headship of the one and only Lord. To have unity we must all conform to His will, not suspend it so that we can permit innovation.
So Bobby, we look forward to your further installments. As for freshness, being committed under the leadership of Christ, rather than capitulating to culture, is the freshest thing I know.