Unified, Not Conformed By Alf Collins
A majority of us have had the privilege of experiencing the love of a close-knit family. We know what it means to have a family that has our back. We also know what it means to be in a community of people who practice the same family values and structure as us. This social cohesiveness is what empowers us with the confidence we need to get ahead in life. It is not something we do or work at, it is a communal way of life. This is the same context God intended for the Body of Christ. Social cohesiveness unified by one Spirit and one mind.
Having said that, do not misunderstand the context in which this is brought. This is not speaking of a hive mentality where no one has the choice to think and do individually. The Church environment was meant to be governed under uniformity, not conformity. The idea is that Kingdom culture is the one factor that unifies us in our differences. We all come from different backgrounds, social circles, educational opportunities, and so on. But it is through our like-mindedness in Christ Jesus that we are brought together, uniformed in purpose and not conformed in likeness. The Book of Acts records the birth and life of many different Churches in the world at that time. They were individual, but unified. Paul never tried to assimilate all the Churches into one organization to conform to one way of thinking, speaking, or even dressing. He networked Churches under one umbrella –Christ Jesus– but never denied their personal individuality.
Kingdom culture affords us the freedom to maintain our individuality while knitting us together as the family of God called by His name, set apart for His special use. We should afford other the same courtesy of respecting their individuality while being like-minded in the things of God.
Unified In Christ With All Believers,
Alf Collins is a 41 year old male from sunny South Africa living about 45 KM’s from Durban, KwaZulu Natal. He is an aspiring writer in many fields, and a digital artist in learning. His calling is to feed God’s sheep by teaching and preaching the Word through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.