Unity in the Christian Union

Something greatly unique about Christian Unions is that what makes up the CU are students from all backgrounds/churches and theologies. This can make it quite fun and also quite challenging. In CU this week, we did a bible study on what Unity looks like in CU and why Unity is important.

Firstly we watched the “Together People” video from UCCF.

The biggest question is why is Unity important? This will probably be more of an issue in CU then in church, because generally churches attract like-minded people and theology, where as CU does not. So it is important to clarify why Unity is important..

Lets have a look at:

Psalm 133v1How good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity

John 17v20-23For Christians to be one as he and Father are one (he says it three times so we don’t miss it – he wants us to be one!). WHY? because when we are one we show that the Father has sent the son and he loves us. We show more of the love in the trinity and the love the Father has for us by being united…

So as we are united it will attract people to Christ! Imagine the effect of that.

What does unity look like? Well firstly, what are we united around?…It must be Christ, we must be united around Christ. What does it look like when we are united around Christ? Looking at 1Cor12:12-26 and Ephesians 4:1-6…

No division (1Cor12v25), Caring and loving the weak (1Cor12v22-23), suffer together and rejoice together (1Cor12v26),  humble and gentle (Eph 4v2) Bearing with one another (4v2), Make every effort (Eph 4v3), not be led astray by false teaching (Eph 4v14), Speaking truth in love (Eph 4v15) Grow up into him who is the head, Christ (4v16)

It looks amazing! It looks attractive. When Christ and the Gospel is central then we can be united, caring, loving gentle, making every effort to be united and thus the goal will always be to show Christ because he will be pouring out of us as we gather round him and center round him.

  • How does that affect our mission?
  • How will that affect us when we disagree with each other and don’t like the way something is done?

If Christ is the focus. Then the attention is off ourselves, which means we lay aside some of those secondary issues, we lay aside our negative attitudes and we make ever effort to encourage and work in unity towards the same goal – making Christ known on campus. There is a cost in this, it means what you think wont be as important, it means you will have to lay down some of your ideas and not grumble. But if the focus is Christ, then we die to ourself and we don’t crush the weak brother/sister, but we lift them up and encourage them.

Unity can win people to Christ, by showing some of his beauty and splendour in how he loves us and how he wants his name known.

Note – Thank you to Brian for giving me his notes about this…!!


6 thoughts on “Unity in the Christian Union

  1. Often though I think CUs fall short in actually bein united, they tend to be a collection of distinctly evangelical christians whereas more charismatic christians often go elsewhere

    • Or vice versa though that one rarely divides today, not least cos there are so many charismatic on students and CU staff.
      Ethnic and cultural diversity is way more of an issue.

    • I think Bish has a point, the charismatic / conservative divide is not so much an issue. A lot of students and UCCF Staff are from charismatic churches. The issue is certainly the ethnic and cultural divide. But that is also true in some churches too. We have to ask ourselves “Are we sharing the Gospel to all nations?” and not just mission abroad, but are we sharing the gospel with muslims in the neighbourhood or inviting internationals to our houses for meals / to church / to CU etc…?

  2. I dearly wish this were true, but I know too many Christians who very much perceive and experience their Christian Union as an Evangelical Union, and as such have felt very excluded – it feels very much a case of the CUs saying they’re very ecumenical whilst nearly every other signal seems to indicate the opposite.

    What ecumenical instincts there are within CUs, purely from my own experience, seem to occur when the individuals within the CU are being less mindful of the organisation’s approach.

    If you really do believe in unity amongst Christians, I thoroughly commend you in this, but you’ll have a lot of work to get UCCF CUs to believe in such a fundamental approach.

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