Unity not Uniformity

There are millions of believers on the earth all of whom are indwelt by the Holy Ghost, and being indwelt by Him they are formed into one body: "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body." It is this that accounts for the fact that in the heart of every believer in whom the Spirit of God is ungrieved there is an earnest desire for fellowship with other Christians, and it is this that makes them chafe at the tyranny of sectarian bonds and barriers. The instincts of the Christian are true to the unity that the Holy Ghost has formed.

It is common to men to strive after uniformity; but uniformity is not unity. Unity is God's work; uniformity is man's. To satisfy his prejudices and to give expression to his narrow ideas man would force all into the same mould, and those that will not take the die are cast aside. Cliques, divisions, sects and parties, barrenness and death are the unfailing outcome of this wherever it intrudes into the church of God.

There is no uniformity in a body, but great diversity; all the members are diverse, no two fulfilling the same office, but when subject to the brain, and filled with the life-fluids, each works unremittingly and harmoniously for the good of the whole. This is unity, and this is the figure used by the Spirit to illustrate God's thought for His saints on earth: they are actually one body, "for ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular" (1 Cor. 12:27). It is upon the thwarting and destruction of the practical expression of this unity that the devil bends his energies. And nothing serves his purpose better than the rules and regulations that men make, for they reduce the beautiful variety which the wisdom of God produces to one doubly dead level.

This unity is not a beautiful theory merely, an ideal to be admired by us and then put aside as unpracticable and impossible; it is a fact that should govern us, and fill us with an earnest desire to maintain our separation from the evil things that mar it, and to follow after those great and positive realities which are the common portion of all saints, and to seek the blessing and prosperity of all, that it may have a practical expression through us as far as in us lies.