Journal Ps 133-136 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)


Scripture: Behold—how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!


It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes!


It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion!


For there (dwelling in unity) the Lord has commanded the blessing—life forevermore. (Ps 133)


Observation: Unity has blessing from God. Therefore: What is unity and how is it practiced?


Application: Looking up synonyms in the handy-dandy Microsoft Thesaurus, I find that “agreement” is one synonym.


But, interesting enough, so is “unison”…and then “harmony.” Musically, unison is all singing the same note. Harmony is singing different notes blending from the same scale. Unison gets a single strong sound. Harmony gets a richer sound from separate notes. Either way, the sound is in one accord, no bad notes.


Other synonyms are, united; in complete agreement; of one mind; like-minded; with one voice; undivided.


I see disagreement in the churches all around. I know them broadly as denominations. Many denominations formed because they have latched upon a single precept in the Scriptures and rode it (and are riding it) hard. But it doesn’t have to be denomination driven, it can be a single conviction.


There was a couple that visited a local church. On Sunday, after the meeting, they came to the pastor and suggested that he preached harder and more pointed on the “necessity of being baptized as a requirement of salvation”—basing the argument/position upon Mark 16:115-16a:

“And (Jesus) said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the Gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes AND IS BAPTIZED WILL BE SAVED…”


This is a stretch in the wrong direction. In fact, there is this guy in the Scriptures, who wrote,

“For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the Gospel (and not with words of eloquent wisdom), let the Cross of Christ be emptied of its power…” 1 Cor 1:17


(Before the uproar, yes, baptism is a function that should be engaged and done—but to be sure, it is not a requirement or validation of salvation or redemption. I have a short study available to those who want to delve a bit deeper, maybe even challenge my findings. At the end, please base opinions and resulting convictions on the Scriptures, not feelings. Acts 17 refers to Berea, listening to Paul and Silas: “Now these Jews (in Berea) were more noble that those in Thessalonica; they received the word in all eagerness, (taking it upon themselves to) examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things (that was being preached) were so…” Acts 17:11)


Does “dwelling in unity” mean that there isn’t or should not be, disagreement? Of course not. Conflict is inevitable among men. Thankfully, we have conflict resolution process as a part of training to be a disciple.


An example is the “noble brothers of Berea” mentioned in Acts 17:10-11:

“Now these Jews (Bereans) were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word (spoken to them by Paul and Silas) with all EAGERNESS, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so…”


Here is the “down and dirty” concerning me: I am profoundly lazy and would rather rely on my “feelings” rather than my informed reasonings from study. Whatever I am taught I can “feel” the statements and principles fall into a framework I am adopting—but I am realizing that “postulates” or “theories” are not fact. Did the founding Church principles/doctrines arrive to the Believers in full blown publishing? Nope—they had to be argued/discussed over three centuries before settling on basics.


Point? Even the smallest disagreement can be disconcerting to unity. Best way for me to handle it?

  1. Make sure I am arguing to get to biblical facts and not to be “right.”
  2. Agree to disagree but make every attempt to reconcile properly.
  3. Don’t pull rank.
  4. Don’t set aside disagreements for the appearance of Unity.
  5. Work hard for the fact of unity, not the façade of unity.
  6. Let love for the brotherhood and the Fear of God pave the way forward.


Prayer: Lord God, this certainly reveals my heart and not exactly in a good way. I lay myself at the foot of the Cross.


Ricky Two Shoes