You know, us Christians over here in Protestant-land have a heap of division and difference to deal with. Almost every modern "Christian" cuckoo and cult is lumped more or less with us, to boot.
Then, I come here, and see you guys quibbling over some of the most insignificant differences. I realize y'all have your share of hefty matters to work through. I don't mean to make light of the more serious impediments to seeing a more complete unity in the Faith among your various branches and also Rome.
Maybe my view is too simplistic for you, and certainly it reeks of Sola and/or Prima Scriptura, but you guys ought to go back a ways and just accept what you did agree on, and then give each other room for conscience and conviction in just what that belief means or spells out to you. I'm not talking about everybody saying "we love Jesus" and then believe and do whatever they want. Universal Unitarians already pretty much have that covered.
But, for example, when whether the Spirit proceeds from the Father only, or from the Father and the Son, becomes a bone of contention ... well you've done gone and started straining at gnats. This becoming divisive between folks who agree on the triune nature of the Godhead, and accept the co-divinity of all three persons, is quite baffling. Listen, if the Spirit is called the Spirit of God, and also called the Spirit of Christ, and if the Trinity is ever present, all knowing, all mighty, co-equal, co-eternal, and of one essence, then there's not really a dime's worth of difference between saying "proceeds from the Father" and "proceeds from the Father and the Son."
Goodness, there all One anyhow. Let each express his understanding of this truth without dividing over it.
When you debate, and excommunicate, much less malign fellow believers because you all have trouble agreeing on the details of just how the incarnation works, but you both profess it as truth, both profess that Christ is the Son of God, God in the flesh, the God-man, however mysterious (as our beloved Apostle Paul points out), you really do not disagree with the truth of Scripture. And you should not divide (or remain divided) over such a trivial matter (of just how the incarnation was accomplished, specifically).
One says "I'm of Rome,"
Another, "I'm of Constantinople"
Another, "I'm of Moscow"
Another, "I'm of Christ"
And how ever many other divisions and sects exist amongst your tradition(s).
I ask, was Rome crucified for you?
Was Constantinople raised into heaven on your behalf?
Is Christ divided?
I know, you'll probably scoff that a heretical, protestant, "non-denominational" Pastor at that, is speaking about such things to you.
I want you to know, that there is no intent to hurt or wound in my heart, at all. I don't even agree with much of the things you guys hold dear to the practice of your faith. But I love Jesus. I love His word. I love His followers. I rejoice that Christ is preached, everywhere that He is preached, whatever the tradition or label (so long as it is indeed truly Christ that is preached).
The world is waiting for us who call ourselves His disciples to get our acts togther and turn towards the harvest. Jesus prayed that we would be one. Not only did He pray that for our good, who believe on Him through the witness of His Apostles passed down to us, but also that the world might believe.
Shame on us!
Shame on You!
Shame on me!
So long as we bicker over such small things we hinder ever addressing in a meaningful way any subjects that truly are
"make it or break it" issues. We prolong the unity Christ desires for us.
So long as we remain divided, our witness to the world is diminished, and thus they do not believe.
So long as we continue to bite and devour one another we fail those around us, and we fail Him who loves us and gave Himself for us.
May this move you to sober reflection and stir in you greater desire to see the fullness of the measure of the stature of Christ achieved among all those who call on His name. That is my only motive and desire in writing it.
That the world may believe,