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September 2020
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Speeches

D. Meares: Address to IAPD

 

Bishop Don D. Meares
Senior Pastor of Evangel Cathedral in Upper Marlboro, Maryland

 

I would first like to publicly express my belated gratitude to Mother Moon for hosting and inviting me to address the Global Rally for the Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula at the Seoul World Cup Stadium, November 11, 2017, which brought together religious leaders from around the world along with local people totaling almost 60,000 attendees.

Prayer is a powerful weapon that God has given us. And because of the vision of one woman, Mother Moon, the steps towards reconciliation between North and South Korea has happened. We prayed together as one voice to the one God for peace on the Korean peninsula.

I’ve been asked to speak about a topic of paramount importance—unity from the Christian perspective. I begin with Ephesians 4:1-3. “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with long suffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”

Why forbearing one another in love? Because then we have to have as our goal to keep the unity of the Spirit, meaning God’s spirit of unity, not ours, in the bonds of peace. In our Christian faith journey this is the command of the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus we have to absolutely obtain God’s spirit of unity and maintain its flow as a company of believers.

To me, unity is an essential principle given to us by God in every aspect of life. If we want to fulfill God’s plan individually and corporately for our life, as well as being successful and complete, God’s unity has to be obtained.

Consider if you would just a few areas of life. First, how can you be united in someone else’s project or someone else’s goal if you yourself are not united as a person? Within yourself you can easily be divided, but the Bible teaches that there has to be a single focus. There has to be harmony for the divine purpose that God has called you to.

The Scripture says we must become one new man in Christ. I find that the problem with leaders in Christianity is that they are so divided within themselves. Psychologists call that schizophrenia, a split personality. I don’t know what your experience is but I meet a lot of Christian leaders and a lot of them are extremely divided. The Scripture would call it double-minded.

Why is it that in religions we always focus on what divides us more than on what unites us? Certainly that is true in Christianity. But listen to what God says about being double-minded in how a person chooses to think: “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:8) Not some. The man is totally unstable in everything. That’s an amazing statement. He is like a wave tossed to and fro. “For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.” (James 1:7)

What does “anything” mean to you? God will not give him anything? God will not bless him because he is double-minded in how he thinks. When you are double-minded, your life will always be torn, divided, unstable, and you will never be able to go anywhere in life. You are stopped dead.

Just to qualify to receive God’s blessings on you, you have to be united. There must be harmony. There must be unity in you. If you are not united within yourself, how can you be united with anybody else? Or even with God? You are totally out of balance.

Let me suggest to you that the key to a happy marriage is unity. I Corinthians 7 says that if you are not equally yoked in your divine purpose, the marriage cannot work. That does not mean being both Christian. It’s much deeper than that because before you are ever born God had a plan for your life. And before your wife-to-be was ever born, God had a plan for her life. And if those plans are not compatible, your marriage will never be what God intended marriage to be. I don’t care how—we use this term—“saved” you think you are, the marriage just simply cannot work, and if you don’t believe what I’m saying is true, then help me understand, at least in Christianity, why there is so much divorce among the leadership.

Not only has Satan attacked marriage but he has attacked the family. It is the building block and strength of our nation. The authority within the home has been eroded within our society. Family structure, family time together has diminished. To be united as a Christian family for many is a thing of the past. Our political divisions in America, the total lack of our political parties being able to unite on almost anything, even though it rejects the common good for the people, that is ignorance.

The spirit of division, the spirit of schism runs, in my mind, very rampant within the church. In America the basic growth of our Christian churches is through the spirit of division. It’s a fact. Christianity grows in America because of division, not multiplication. Yet nowhere in the Scripture is a spirit of division blessed. The Bible says in Romans 16:17: “Mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.” The method of growth should be multiplication, but it is not. That has to be laid on the shoulders of its leadership.

I don’t know about other religions so I can’t speak to them, but I do understand that division is a problem in the Christian church in America. Yet when I look at the Godhead, it is always totally united. The Father thinks the thoughts, the Son speaks the thoughts, the Holy Spirit manifests those thoughts. There is complete, total unity in thought, word and action.

Further, creativity is released through unity. I could spend a long time explaining that. Divine judgment is released in unity. To me the whole key, or secret if you want to call it that, is the release of God’s power in the life of Jesus Christ because Jesus said in John 5:30: “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.”

Why is he so powerful? Why is he so effective in ministry? It is because of his complete, total dependence on the Father. There is nothing independent about Jesus. Jesus said in John 12:49: “For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.” Is it possible that someone could be that dependent?

When the church was birthed it was birthed in power because of the spirit of unity, God’s spirit of unity. We call it the Upper Room experience. All those that believed were together, had all things in common, Scripture says, and they continued daily with one accord in the temple.

I think most of us have probably heard Psalm 133:1: “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” Let me skip a couple of verses: “…for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life forevermore.” Do we really grasp and understand the power of that verse? That God’s blessing of life upon you can never be achieved by you? It can only be achieved by us. The blessing of life from God can only come corporately.

So many great things can only happen corporately. The problem is in Christianity we primarily teach it from an individualistic viewpoint. Not that that’s wrong but that is popularly how we present Christianity. Whether you interpret the Scripture from an individualistic perspective or a corporate perspective makes a huge difference.

In Jesus’ teaching you can’t do evangelism unless it is corporate, at least the witness of two. In Jesus’ perspective you can’t even pray powerfully enough unless it is “Our Father, forgive us, lead us, give us.” It’s corporate. The power of agreement given to us in the Scripture by Jesus gives us the power to bind and loose.

When I read the Scripture there is no question of the priority that God puts on us being united. There is not a choice. Without unity you are simply out of step with God, period. You are being disobedient. If you love God then you obey his commandments, according to the teachings of Christ, and I believe that. Scripture says one can put 1,000 to flight, two can put 10,000. That’s not addition. That’s not multiplication. That’s explosion.

Lastly, being united opens a spiritual door, in my opinion, for the world to believe that God the Father sent his son Jesus. It’s the classic John 17:21-23: “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” If we don’t do this, we cannot be effective. “And the glory which you gave me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one. I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one.” We don’t have too many scriptures that tell us how to be perfect. “…[T]hat the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.”

I close by telling you that unity will always release God’s power and blessing upon us, and disunity releases curses and destruction. A spirit of disunity can only happen if within your group the leadership is infected with that spirit. In Christianity mark those people who never do what the Bible tells us. They are a major problem. Get them out of positions of authority. Our Christian churches will change overnight if we kick out all the people who foster division. Maybe the Scripture knows what it’s talking about. I can believe that it does because Jesus said in Luke 11:17: “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and a house divided against itself falls.”

Do you actually believe what Jesus said? A house divided cannot stand. Do you believe that principle? You know the worst thing about that saying? There is no percentage. It’s not 80 percent division, 90 percent, 50 percent. You can have 1 percent division, and the house can’t stand. Unity is our major priority after loving God with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength, and everybody else. Then we must endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the body.

 

 


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