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Unity and Uniformity. I am afraid most churches do not understand the difference and that it is possible to be different

Updated on February 19, 2013

Unkown exact age, four miles up creek from Sedona Arizona

Certainly this cross was from some group of Apache, and certainly before Christ was introduced to the area.
Certainly this cross was from some group of Apache, and certainly before Christ was introduced to the area. | Source

Appreciation of Variety is a good thing

Unity not Uniformity. I was reading a reflection by Jude Siciliano, OP at the preachers exchange and he touched on this most wonderful notion. Unity would be the standing together. Praying together, singing together, and getting together that any good community does. Uniformity would be everyone doing the above exactly the same, not going to happen. Trying to make it happen will cause disunity for sure, and resentments galore.

It is easy to feel comfortable with both, however we can thrive without uniformity but not without unity. Variety is the spice of life, is true for individuals and for whole communities.

I like both Unity and Uniformity. Unity for me and everyone doing like I do ;-) Of course I am joking but in truth that thought crosses my mind whenever I see someone doing something new to me.

A while back I had a wonderful opportunity to bring a Buddhist around to temples on the one hand and cathedrals on the other (well at least big churches). Many of the services were in Spanish and many of the temples spoke Chinese or Korean. Well eventually through no effort of her own my friend became a Christian. I say it that way because she is one of the few I know that were not seeking Christ – but Christ was seeking them. For me, my faith grew in the abundance and variety of the way that people worship. Of course I marred that friend.

Then awhile later I was blessed to be able to attend three completely different churches and grow through their way of worship. The oldest Catholic church in California, the basilica of Alcala, A good old fashioned Linda Vista Second Baptist a predominantly African American Church, in the heart of military housing where the entire service was done in song, including the scripture reading. And an Episcopal mission church for Vietnamese. These all are awesome cool churches. I suppose their doctrines are a bit different, I do not care. What was the same was good and helpful and filled me with the Love.

I just love these trees

As all branches lead to the trunk from where they came, they also lead to the light.
As all branches lead to the trunk from where they came, they also lead to the light. | Source

Man Made Rules

Now do not get me wrong, I enjoy my church every Sunday and I very much like doing things the same way every time. It frees me from paying attention to detail, it is comforting and all of us are on the same page, so singing and responses are right on and harmonious. But now I do some preaching to the youth. They are second and third generation immigrant Vietnamese. That friend I took around is of course my wife. And we bring our boy with us every Sunday, we now have what I call Community. Now instead of going to many varied churches, I bring the many variations, to provide inspiration toward unity.

I suppose if all these churches did things exactly the same, uniformly, it would be easier to go from one to another. But then we would miss the juice in variety. So I prefer Unity over Uniformity, try it you’ll like it. Probably the most important part of all this is the insight into our own hearts, do we sit in judgment of differences or do we envelope them in love and acceptance?

Unity and uniformity are not the same. Unity goes to a shared sense values, faith and hope. Uniformity goes to man made rules, and lack of variance in thought. It is easy to feel comfortable with both, however we can thrive without uniformity but not without unity. Variety is the spice of life, is true for individuals and for whole communities.

Our church was not accepted.

We went through a process to be an Ordinary Church within the Catholic Church. We got letters from the Holy See in the Vatican, we got acceptance by the national church, and we had letters of acceptance from our Archbishop and the Bishop. But the local Catholic ethnic community rejected us. We will stay strictly Anglican. Our rejection was not based on faith. It was based on man made interpretation of man made rules. We in some ways were not in uniformity with them and so unity was destroyed.

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    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      "I prefer Unity over Uniformity" - I also prefer Unity over Uniformity. Uniformity stalls creativity and imagination, in my opinion while unity promotes compassion, understanding and love. I think it makes sense. : )

      I enjoyed the read. Thank You Mr. EricDierker!

      All the best.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Eric -- Excellent hub with an important message. Nicely done. :)

      Until I was 17 and went out on my own I attended Baptist churches with my parents (although there wasn't as much uniformity as one might think -- we attended churches on or near Air Force Basses all over the US, Greece, the Phillippines ... there is more than one way to worship as a Baptist).

      But as an adult I have attended five or six different non-denomination fellowships and churches. The Unity is that we worship God and endeavor to follow the example Jesus set, but aside from that there is not much uniformity at all, and for that I have been very glad. :)

      Your hub addresses important issues. My favorite lines from your hub are reprised below. Thank you White Wolf for Sharing.

      "... we would miss the juice in variety. So I prefer Unity over Uniformity, try it you’ll like it. Probably the most important part of all this is the insight into our own hearts, do we sit in judgment of differences or do we envelope them in love and acceptance?"

    • rcrumple profile image

      Rich 4 years ago from Kentucky

      Wonderful observations!

      I was born Catholic, saved by the Baptists, and fine tuned by the Pentacostal Holiness. Made drinking easy. I could go out and get completely drunk without feeling guilty, and repent the next day by speaking in a tongue that no one could understand. (My apologies, it's an old joke I wrote in another life years ago.)

      When I think of Unity, I think of a group of individuals working together for the same cause, as well as, the old Coke commercial of the 60's (I like to teach the world to sing....) Uniformity tends to bring thoughts of a future society of unisex uniforms and mindless tasks.

      I agree with you... if everybody was the same (or perfect) it would be a boring world indeed!

      Great Hub!

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      rcrumple, I was sorry to have missed this months ago, but very pleased to read it today. SNAFU, I was and am not getting notice of comments. I love your joke. My length of "congregations" is even longer. But I get the same deal out of it.

    • profile image

      Justsilvie 4 years ago

      Excellent Hub! I live in an area where there is a church for very 5 citizens and I always wonder why there is not one that they all would feel comfortable in. Voted up and shared!

    • johndnathan profile image

      John D Nathan 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas. USA

      Excellent hub! I would like to think that while we come from many walks of life we all want the same basic things for our lives, and that no one single point of view is superior to others.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      John, thanks for reading and commenting. I am confident it is generally only on matters worldly. The whole notion of interdenominational is a good one.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Justsilvie, The last time I felt uncomfortable in church was the last time I attended that church. In twenty years, and hundreds of churches I have not felt that way sense ---- perhaps it was me that needed changing. Thank you for participating.

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