Thursday, 2 September 2010

Alpha and Unity

The Methodist Recorder occasionally carries a supplement, ukfocus, from Holy Trinity Brompton, home of the Alpha Course.  Their August 2010 supplement, in the August 26 edition of the Methodist Recorder, carries the transcript of a talk given by the Vicar, Nicky Gumbel, Why does unity matter so much to Jesus?  It is based on John 17: 20-26.  The following is an extremely brief summary of his four points.
  1. Unity comes from the Holy Spirit.  We're united by the fact that the Holy Spirit lives in us.
  2. Unity is based on love.  "We've seen (love) between churches, with one church helping another, most particularly in the whole area of Global Alpha Training ...".  He tells the story of Training in Malaysia at the invitation of the Roman Catholic Bishop.
  3. Unity should be visible.  There's nothing wrong with invisible unity but "Jesus didn't pray for 'invisible unity', he didn't pray that we might be 'almost united'."  Gumbel's examples of glimpses of visible unity are of large-scale meetings of Christians from a range of traditions.
  4. Unity is linked to mission.  "Jesus prayed that we may be one 'so that the world will believe'.  And as we all know there's nothing more off-putting to the world than disunity." 

No comments:

Post a Comment