Unity or Harmony? What's it gonna be?
by Doug Perry, www.FellowshipOfTheMartyrs.com
These are the last days. We are very near the end. There is much work to be done. The harvest is white and getting whiter every day. We need to go do the work together.
The problem is, we’re seeking Unity. It’s just not going to happen. We’ve been trying that for 2,000 years, insisting on it more strongly all the time. When we don’t get it – on the slightest little issue, we subdivide up and make another denomination. It’s a giant lie and it’s responsible for having created this mess. We’re not a body made up of one organ. There are chemicals in some parts of the body that, if they got into other parts of the body, would kill you instantly! We are many, each with different styles and purposes and ways to get our jobs done. Unity is all singing the melody line. Unison is lazy and it’s not very pretty.
What we need is Harmony. That’s our only hope. What’s the difference? Would you go to hear a concert where a 500 voice choir all sang the melody? Would you buy a CD of an orchestra if they all played the same line? Unison is easy, but mostly it’s just lazy. Harmony is massively harder. If one of the violins is out of tune or an oboe honks or the cymbals play at the wrong moment, it sticks out. It puts so much more pressure on each person to know their part and listen to the whole and keep an eye on their own line. Nobody can just fake it and pretend they’re playing, because they might have a french horn solo coming up.
Harmony is massively harder. Any group of first graders can sing a song in unison. But eventually they learn that Harmony is pretty. Harmony is fun. But it’s harder. You have to pay more attention. You have to let someone else sing their part in your ear that might be dissonant with yours. You can’t try to drag them onto your line and you can’t give up and start singing theirs. You can’t sing over them and try to drown them out so you don’t have to hear it. You have to think about the audience and the Director and pleasing them with a beautiful, complex sound.
But you have to all be on the same piece of music, on the same page, on the same bar, in the same measure, at the same tempo, at the same volume and ALL watching the Director – or you might as well be an overly-excited flock of geese for the nasty sound you’ll make. Who’s going to buy that CD?
We’re going to have to stop seeking people that are willing to sing our melody line and instead find people that are absolutely 100% committed to following the Director. Only He gets to tell us what to play and when and where and how fast and how loud. We’ve never really done this before, so for awhile we’re going to sound like an orchestra full of 6th graders just learning to read music for the first time. Some of us are going to drift, some of us are out of tune, some are learning a new instrument. God willing, we’ll have lots of opportunities to practice and we’ll get better. But if we take our eyes off of the Director, even for a second, we’re in big trouble. Anybody that’s not watching the Director will stick out like a sore thumb. We need to lovingly correct them or we need to replace them.
Those of us who have any discernment left have fine-tuned our ears so highly that we listen for the slightest little differences and then try to beat them down. Anybody that leaves our melody line can’t sing with us anymore. There has been so much confusion and so many people singing their own songs on their own power at their own speed – some seeking to drown out everyone else – that it’s the only way we could make sense of anything. But it’s clearly not working. Nobody likes the sound we’re making. The world just laughs at us, the enemy cackles in glee and God is furious. And we are paralyzed. We sit here singing the same bar over and over trying to get each other to sing with us. It’s just nutty.
I’m not talking about embracing all religions or being unequally yoked with unbelievers. I’m talking about the Body of Christ. Everybody needs to take one step forward that is willing to stop what they are doing, look to the Director, beg Him to teach us our instrument and our part, and start singing the beautiful six billion part harmony He wrote for us. Right now we’re missing LOTS of people. We may never fill in all the parts. But the parts are written and waiting for them. If we never get to hear what their part would have added to the whole, we will all be made less.
Everybody that isn’t looking to the Director for instruction and guidance needs to consider whether they really want to be a part of the Body or not. Because if they think they themselves can do better or their leader is just as good as God or they can’t be bothered to sing along with THOSE people, then it looks like they probably aren’t a part of the Body.
Now, I know this is completely alien to most of us. We haven’t really ever been in Harmony and everything we’ve been trained in our denominations says this is unacceptable. But whose idea was that? Did Jesus want 33,000 denominations? Did Jesus want four churches on each corner of one intersection duplicating each other parts, but never playing together? My God is about variety and efficiency at the same time, not about duplication and wasted resources. What’s your God about?
So, we’ve made a mess here and it’s going to take a little while to get retrained. You’re going to have to put up with a little discomfort – like listening to a 6th grade orchestra. You’re going to have to be double checking all the time that your own eyes are on the Director and that you’re playing well with others. Sometimes we’re going to have to urge someone to pay more attention and get on the same page (sometimes it could be you!). As long as they’re willing to watch the Director you can’t just kick them out, we need their part. But the coolest thing is that, as long as we ALL have our eyes on the Director, He’ll enable and strengthen and give us the training and experience we need on our own instrument so that we can make a beautiful sound together if we set everything else aside. That’s what He wants more than anything. Just focus on your own line and watch the Director.
Hey, but don’t think anyone from outside the Body should be playing along with us – they aren’t equipped, they don’t want to watch the Director and they’ll just mess things up for everybody. First, introduce them to the Director and see if they want to submit to His direction. No matter how important they seem to be or how many initials behind their name, they’re not part of the Body if they won’t watch Him for every cue and show evidence of a willingness and hunger to do so. If they won’t submit, then they can’t play along. I’m sorry, I don’t make the rules, that’s just the way the Director wants it.
Romans 12:16 “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.”
2 Corinthians 13:11 “Finally, brothers, goodby. Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.”
I Peter 3:8 “Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.”
Philipians 2:2 “then make my joy complete by being likeminded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.”
2 Corinthians 6:15 “What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?”
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Copyright Doug Perry 2005 – Use freely but without charge or changes. Retain web links.