Q. So what is this exactly?
A. As seen in the mission statement, this is a movement that encourages Christians to align on core beliefs and unite under one doctrine to be of one mind. It is a movement towards a real Universal Church.
Q. Why should Christians unite under one doctrine?
A. As Peter suggests in 1 Peter 3:8, God’s people should be of one mind. C.S. Lewis gives a nice metaphor of the Christian faith in his explanation of the hallway of many doors in Mere Christianity. He says that we should judge no one for the door they choose once they are in the hallway; the trick, is getting all of the Christians in the same “hallway”. With different beliefs about salvation, confusion about who can identify as Christian, and varied understanding of the foundation of “the church” (the body of God’s people and institution that uphold His law and truth), it is obvious that we are not of one mind. One can not name any other religion in the world with as many variations as Christianity. The parts of our body need to assemble to operate at the full potential God has planned for us as a universal congregation. While He can clearly work through our division, He has clearly spelled out certain truths that we compile into what is called doctrine. Division degrades our validity in the eyes of those we try to reach. Denominational tension and arguments contribute to diminishing our strength as a Christian family. Most detrimental, is that Satan feeds us the lie that our differences, preferences, and denominational identities are more important than conforming to God’s will and call for us to be in complete unity (John 17:23). Jesus prays that our unity be complete so that our testimony of His sacrifice is strong before those that we share the news with.
Q. Why is doctrine necessary?
A. Having a doctrine is necessary to define the Christian faith. Without doctrine, it is hard for a congregation to give non-believers matching information on what their beliefs are and what they stand for. With doctrine, all members are made aware of their beliefs and agree to those principles. It clears up the struggle of finding a congregation that appears to teach Christianity and finding out later that they embrace beliefs contrary to those of God’s will. Doctrine is essential for complete unity like the “law” is necessary for making us conscious of sin (Romans 3:20). Doctrine helps us to be conscious of all that is contrary to the Christian beliefs.
Q. Which doctrine should Christians align with?
A. This will by far be one of the most controversial responses to what this movement promotes, but one must completely read the response before a judgment is formed. Lots of research and prayer was done about this segment prior to this blog being created. Finally, feeling inspired by the Holy Spirit the following idea emerged. Take a second to read the Our Stories section to get the full context of our faiths and what drove us to the point of forming Ref of U.
The answer lies with the doctrine that the majority of Christians affiliate with. While that seems logical, one also has to realize that the doctrine has to pass some sort of evaluation. Generally, the Bible is used a tool of measurement for most Christians. The doctrine also has to be thoroughly researched with prayer and contain ideas of Christianity that are universal. The doctrine that has an obvious majority following worldwide is Catholicism with 1 billion of the Christian community. As someone who grew up Protestant and later affiliated as nondenominational, this thought made me uncomfortable. This is where the research and prayer came into play. After months, It was shocked to find that there was little that was disagreeable. The things were disagreeable came down to mere matters of preference and worship style, but nothing worth a separate distinction or title. This is when the realization occurred that preferences were not more important than Jesus’ wishes for his people to experience complete unity to carry spread the gospel in the manner intended–of one mind. Here is the radical idea this movement purposes: All churches, congregations, and independent Christians should take the challenge to compare their doctrine with that of Catholicism and ask themselves, “How much of this is preference and minor details and how much does it pull me out of my comfort zone to submit to God’s will?” The goal is to get Christians as a whole to agree one a universal doctrine.
While Catholicism is the strongly suggested doctrine, it is the one that is most universal. Name aside, the aim is for a UNIVERSAL DOCTRINE. This does not mean that [most] worship styles are affected or that the congregations should all look the same for that matter. It is just suggesting a step in the direction of complete unity and oneness in the mind as a Christian community. This migration to one doctrine means a redefinition and diversification of what the “Catholic” Universal Church will look like. As someone who is against unnecessary labeling, I tell you now, this is not about converting to Catholicism or being Catholic, but obedience to God’s will for us to be a Universal United Church where the term Catholicism in the context of a denomination diminishes and solely stands as the definition “universal”. It does not mean we will loose our diversity. It means we will have faith that God’s people can and will be united for the glory of His Kingdom. Our force to operate as a fully functioning body will only strengthen our ability to positively affect change in the world, and our unity with strengthen our testimony as intended.
*Having one doctrine will not solve all of the problems or disagreements that will arise, but it does bring the family back under one roof to deal with them. The impact of a full family effort working for God’s Kingdom is more influential and far-spreading than those of the individual members trying to do it on their own.
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