One of the arguments in favor of the Bible being inspired by God is its internal consistency.  It was written by a bunch of guys across different cultures and centuries of time, yet it is still unified.

That was a little play on words, because this post is about Unity, in God, in the Bible, in the church, and in each person.

Unity is another way of saying “one”, whatever it’s applied to.  In sound mixing, if the level is at unity it is neither amplified or diminished – what comes in is what goes out.  The United States are “a more perfect union” – one group made up of individual states.

God is one.  There are not hundreds of gods, nor thousands of gods, nor millions of gods (unless you want to count fake gods).  In fact, God initiated the Shema as morning and evening prayers for Israel:

Hear, O Israel: the Lord is our God, the Lord is One

The verse is Deuteronomy 6:4, and the prayer is named for the Hebrew word it starts with:

Shema Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Echad

God wanted His people reminded daily (twice daily, even) that He was one God.  No polytheism, no animism, no worship of nature.

The Bible is similarly unified.  There are books written about the internal consistency of the Bible, and this is not one of them.  I had noted a verse in my reading, Psalm 86:11

Teach me Your way, O LORD;
I will walk in Your truth;
Unite my heart to fear Your name.

The New Testament verse that springs to mind is James 1:6-8

But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Two men.  Two millennia.  Two positions in life.  Still one thought.

The church is called to be one church.  The King James “Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together” (my misremembering of Hebrews 10:25)

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

applies as much to unity within the church as it does to attending Sunday services.  My favorite band is the OC Supertones, and they’re getting together (on the left coast – appropriate, but too far) for a couple gigs this summer.  One of their songs is Return of the Revolution, from their Loud and Clear album.  The point of the song is that we need another awakening, another reformation, bringing us back to true relationship with God.  One of the verses goes

As a church we lack repentance and we lack true affection
Not only in our minds but our hearts need correction
And man that’s true religion, resignation and contrition
To love each other so much that we’d die before division

At that point in the song, the instruments stop for a surprisingly long time – three or four seconds – before picking up again.  I can imagine that in a concert Mojo cocks his head over to the side and gives the audience a stare, saying without words “You know it’s true, and you need to do it”.

(photo courtesy ChrisMoncusPhoto.com)

And then, as it always does, it comes down to people.  It comes down to me.  Am I in unity, not only with a church, but with myself?  Am I integrated (integer meaning “one”, as in not double-minded)?  Is my internal direction the same as what I present to the world?  (That was a trick question – there should not be a “present to the world” part of me.  I should be one person, whether I am alone, talking to God, talking to my boss, or driving on the interstate.)

I’m not perfect – my driving leaves a lot to be desired, and I get impatient real easily – but I’m not trying to maintain two lives, an external one and an internal one.  No Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  Just one guy with a prayer:

Teach me Your way, O LORD;
I will walk in Your truth;
Unite my heart to fear Your name.

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