Unity Like Precious Oil
Even among Bible believers, who attend and support churches that affirm the complete accuracy and truthfulness of the Bible, there is a danger of ignoring some passages in the Bible. I am calling that tendency “reductionism” even though my dictionary does not include that word. A derogatory label might be “partial Christianity.” The most respectable source of the error may be a desire for Christian unity. Early on there is a decision to “major on the majors,” and ignore “minors.” The tendency is to shrink the majors category by transferring content into the minors category. Any doctrine, conviction, or lifestyle standard that lacks uniform support becomes a minor, an obstacle to unity, and fit only for very narrow thinkers.
I’m unsure about the remedy for “reductionism.” Unity among His disciples is a priority for Jesus. “I …pray …that they all may be one ….” (John 17:20-21). “… that they may be made perfect in one …(John 17:23). I don’t believe ignoring numerous portions of Scripture is the solution. So, lacking a simple prescription, my best hope is that the most heaven-like condition available on earth emerges from an assortment of behaviors and convictions.
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” Psalm 133:1
The apostle Paul said, “note those who cause divisions … and avoid them.” (Romans 16:17)
Christian unity does not require an absence of persuasions. (Romans 14:5).
Christian unity may require inconvenience. (Romans 14:15,21).
If someone is on good terms with God, he can be on good terms with me. (Romans 14: 4)
“All Scripture is…profitable ….” (II Timothy 3:16) Parts need not be ignored. (Acts 20:27)
As with Paul and Barnabas, separate but parallel teams are permitted. (Acts 15: 39-40) I suspect both missionaries were correct. Mark was not a good helper to Paul; to Barnabas he was.