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Some Examples of Real Relational Unity

Posted by on Apr 29, 2013 in chain blog, unity | 8 comments

Some Examples of Real Relational Unity

Last week, I started a new chain blog called “Chain Blog: Real Relational Unity.” In that introductory post, besides explaining what I mean by “real relational unity,” I also made the following request: “So, in this chain blog, I’m asking you to consider “real relational unity” among brothers and sisters in Christ. Your posts can be theoretical, exegetical, conception, and ideal. But, I also ask you to include real examples of living in unity with other followers of Jesus Christ – especially with those who may be different than you.”

I did not provide examples in that post, so I’m writing this eighth post to provide a few examples. Each case is an examples of steps toward “real relational unity” with other followers of Jesus Christ who are different than us in some way(s). Also, in each case, I offer to struggles that we encountered.

First, a few years ago, our family hosted a weekly get together in our home. I call it a “get together” because that’s exactly what we did: we got together to share a meal and to talk about what God was doing in our lives. There was no other agenda. We invited some friends whose views about the church were very similar to our own, but we also invited some neighbors who were part of various church organizations and denominations. The biggest struggle that we had was that for many of my neighbors, this was simply a dinner with neighbors – there was nothing (or little) of spiritual significance involved because it was not considered “church.” The “local church” created the biggest boundaries to continuing in real relational unity for us. We continued meeting together for 2-3 years, but, while we continued including people who were different than us, they rarely joined us for more than one or two dinners.

Second, soon after the first example, our family (and then some friends) began spending time in a government assisted housing development near us. While getting to know the people there, we met many who were (or had been) part of various local churches. We did not introduce ourselves as representing any “local church” and kept our conversations about Jesus Christ – not any church organization or denomination. In this neighborhood, we worked with the neighbors to help them server their neighbors in Jesus’ name. To be honest, the only struggles we faced in this neighborhood were issues of trust. Most of the neighbors assumed we wanted something from them. Once they learned that we loved them and were truly interested in them as people, those trust boundaries began to fade.

Third, not too long ago, we worked together with a megachurch in our area. Some friends of ours who are part of that church organization lead a food pantry ministry out of that church’s building. They needed help from believers who would be willing to talk to the people while they waited to get their food. We worked with them weekly to talk with and pray with the people who were waiting. The people who came to the food pantry were often amazed that we were not “members” of that particular church organization. They were surprised that we would work with them. It was great to be able to talk about our unity in Jesus Christ and our desire to serve others in his name. We did face some organizational struggles in this situation – not caused by our friends, by the way. But, this ministry is still going on, and they continue to work with people who are part of different church organizations.

So, those are a few examples from the past several years in which we attempted to get to know others or to serve others in Jesus’ name in order to live in the real relational unity we have in Jesus Christ.

Obviously, each case above demonstrates how we are only imperfectly living in that unity and how there continue to be struggles when we share our lives together in Christ. In many ways, each case is a small step toward that real relational unity. And, in each case, Jesus Christ was the center of whatever we were doing together.

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Chain blog rules:

1) If you would like to write the next blog post (link) in this chain, leave a comment stating that you would like to do so. If someone else has already requested to write the next link, then please wait for that blog post and leave a comment there requesting to write the following link.

2) Feel free to leave comments here and discuss items in this blog post without taking part in the actual “chain.” Your comments and discussion are very important in this chain blog (both on this post and the other link posts in the chain).

3) When you write a link in this chain, please reply in the comments of the previous post to let everyone know that your link is ready. Also, please try to keep an updated list of links in the chain at the bottom of your post, and please include these rules at the bottom of your post.

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“Links” in the “Real Relational Unity” chain blog:

1. “Chain Blog: Real Relational Unity” by Alan
2. “The Treasure of Unity ‘in’ our Relationships” by Jim
3. “So The World May Know – Observations on the Road to Unity” by Christopher
4. “Christian Unity – What it is and What it’s not” by Nathan
5. “Steps to Relational Unity” by Randi
6. “Learn to Live or Live to Learn” by Greg
7. “The Limits on Unity” by Arthur
8. “Joints of Supply” by David
9. “Some Examples of Real Relational Unity” by Alan
10. “An Example of Relational Unity” by Greg
11. “Relational Unity Begins at Home” by Kathleen
12. “Do Not Seek Christian Unity” by Jeremy
13. Who will write the 13th link post in the chain?

Chain Blog: Real Relational Unity

Posted by on Apr 22, 2013 in chain blog, community, fellowship, service, unity | 31 comments

Chain Blog: Real Relational Unity

Last Friday, I posted that I’m interested in started another “chain blog.” (See my post “Time for another chain blog? But what topic…” for an introduction to and explanation of chain blogs.) I mentioned a few possible topics, and several people were interested in the topic of “unity.” One commenter, Greg, suggested that we include true stories of how we have prevented or overcome division in order to live in unity with other followers of Jesus Christ.

Greg’s comment reminded me of a book that I read a few years ago. The book is called Your Church is Too Small and was written by John Armstrong. In this book, Armstrong makes a distinction between a unity that is only conception, theoretical, or spiritual and a unity that is both real and relational.

“Relational unity” is visible, palpable. It can be pointed out and experienced. It can also be quenched and grieved.

Few (if any) would argue that the church today rarely shows relational unity across denominations, theological systems, historical traditions, institutions, organizations, or even “local churches.” We occasionally attempt to relate to those who are like us and who believe like us (although even this is difficult in today’s church where acquiescence to a set of beliefs has replaced true community). When we do show relational unity with coworkers, neighbors, family members, etc., it is often considered to be something different than church – less than the church.

Thus, the church today is splintered and fractured, and lives as an anti-apologetic to the good news of Jesus Christ.

How could I make such a strong statement? Well, it comes from one of Jesus’ prayers:

I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. (John 17:20-21 ESV)

If we are “one” as the Father and Son are one, then we are united. If the world around us is affected by the unity, then it is a unity that can be seen, experienced, recognized… it is real. If it is a unity related to “us,” then it is relational. Thus, in just this short part of Jesus’ prayer, we can see that it is our “real relational unity” that is an apologetic to the world that God the Father sent Jesus into the world. Our divisions, then, work against that proclamation.

So, in this chain blog, I’m asking you to consider “real relational unity” among brothers and sisters in Christ. Your posts can be theoretical, exegetical, conception, and ideal. But, I also ask you to include real examples of living in unity with other followers of Jesus Christ – especially with those who may be different than you. If you don’t have real examples to share, then please share some steps that you yourself are willing to take to live in that real relational unity that we have in Jesus Christ, remembering Paul’s exhortation:

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:1-3 ESV)

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Chain blog rules:

1) If you would like to write the next blog post (link) in this chain, leave a comment stating that you would like to do so. If someone else has already requested to write the next link, then please wait for that blog post and leave a comment there requesting to write the following link.

2) Feel free to leave comments here and discuss items in this blog post without taking part in the actual “chain.” Your comments and discussion are very important in this chain blog (both on this post and the other link posts in the chain).

3) When you write a link in this chain, please reply in the comments of the previous post to let everyone know that your link is ready. Also, please try to keep an updated list of links in the chain at the bottom of your post, and please include these rules at the bottom of your post.

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“Links” in the “Real Relational Unity” chain blog:

1. “Chain Blog: Real Relational Unity” by Alan
2. “The Treasure of Unity ‘in’ our Relationships” by Jim
3. “So The World May Know – Observations on the Road to Unity” by Christopher
4. “Christian Unity – What it is and What it’s not” by Nathan
5. “Steps to Relational Unity” by Randi
6. “Learn to Live or Live to Learn” by Greg
7. “The Limits on Unity” by Arthur
8. “Joints of Supply” by David
9. “Some Examples of Real Relational Unity” by Alan
10. “An Example of Relational Unity” by Greg
11. “Relational Unity Begins at Home” by Kathleen
12. “Do Not Seek Christian Unity” by Jeremy
13. Who will write the 13th link post in the chain?

Time for another chain blog? But what topic…

Posted by on Apr 19, 2013 in chain blog | 9 comments

Time for another chain blog? But what topic…

Last October, I started a chain blog on the topic “the one anothers.” (See my post “Chain Blog: One Another.”) In that chain blog, seventeen different bloggers wrote twenty three different posts examining various aspects of the “one another” passages in the New Testament. Of all the chain blogs that I’ve taken part in, that was by far the best for many reasons.

But, some of you may be asking, “What is a chain blog?”

Well, here’s a quick description:

The way it works is that someone starts the chain blog by writing a post about a particular topic. The next person in the chain writes a post on the same topic and publishes it on his/her blog. That post can be in response to the previous post(s), or it can simply continue the conversation or even take the conversation in a different direction concerning the same topic. This continues until no one is interested in writing another post.

And, these are the rules that we used in the last chain blog:

Chain Blog Rules

1) If you would like to write the next blog post (link) in this chain, leave a comment stating that you would like to do so. If someone else has already requested to write the next link, then please wait for that blog post and leave a comment there requesting to write the following link.

2) Feel free to leave comments here and discuss items in this blog post without taking part in the actual “chain.” Your comments and discussion are very important in this chain blog (both this post and the other link posts in the chain).

3) When you write a link in this chain, please reply in the comments of the previous post to let everyone know that your link is ready. Also, please try to keep an updated list of links in the chain at the bottom of your post, and please include these rules at the bottom of your post.

But, what topic…

Gathering with the church
Obviously, this is the main focus of my blog, but I realized recently that I’ve never done a chain blog on this topic. There are so many different subtopics that could be examined in this chain blog.

Leadership/leading among the church
This is a topic that usually garners alot of attention. Everyone has an opinion, an experience, a tradition, an exegesis, etc. In this topic, we could discuss what are typically called “offices” – elders, pastors, bishops, deacons, etc. We could also discuss general aspects of leading among the church… what it means and what it doesn’t mean.

Living in Unity/Fellowship
We once did a chain blog on “dealing with divisive issues.” This would be the opposite perspective. How do we live in the unity that we have in Jesus Christ?

Those are the topics that came to mind, but I’m open to other suggestions.

So, are you interested in taking part in another chain blog? If so, what topic related to the church would you like to investigate together with other bloggers?

The Unmentionable One Anothers

Posted by on Oct 25, 2012 in chain blog, community | 21 comments

The Unmentionable One Anothers

This post is part of a “chain blog” on the topic of “one another.” You’ll find more information about “chain blogs” at the bottom of this post along with links to other link posts in this chain blog.

Love one another. Be kind of one another. Honor one another. Do not judge one another. Accept one another. Care for one another. Be in harmony with one another. Serve one another. Forgive one another. Submit to one another. Comfort one another. Encourage one another. Be hospitable to one another.

We like these “one another” statements. Oh, we admit that they are difficult to carry out, and we admit that we often fall short of treating one another like the instructions listed above. But, these are good “one anothers”… nice… kind… happy.

But, there are other “one another” statements as well. These are the ones that we don’t like to talk about as much. We keep them locked away in the closet and only take them out for special occasions – only handing them over to certain people and keeping them out of the hands of the normal Christian.

Which “one another” instructions am I talking about? Well, statements like this:

I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct [admonish] one another. (Romans 15:14 ESV)

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (Colossians 3:16 ESV)

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works… (Hebrews 10:24 ESV)

Teach? Instruct? Admonish? Stir up (provoke)? One another? Can we pass? Perhaps we can shuffle these “one anothers” off to someone else who likes getting their hands dirty?

And, while the term “one another” is not used, the following passage conveys similar instructions:

And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. (1 Thessalonians 5:14 ESV)

Ummm… seriously? All of us? “One another”? Surely Paul intended those instructions for our leaders, our elders, someone else, right?

And, this passage?

See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled… (Hebrews 12:15 ESV)

It’s certainly not my responsibility to “see to it” (the verb “oversee” actually) that other people don’t fail to obtain the grace of God, is it?

Yeah… let’s don’t talk about these “one anothers”… they’re too messy for me. Let’s stick with “love one another.” Surely we can love one another without teaching and admonishing one another, right? Surely we can be kind to one another without looking closely into one another’s lives in order to correct them, right?

Nice one anothers… That’s all we need.

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Chain blog rules:

1) If you would like to write the next blog post (link) in this chain, leave a comment stating that you would like to do so. If someone else has already requested to write the next link, then please wait for that blog post and leave a comment there requesting to write the following link.

2) Feel free to leave comments here and discuss items in this blog post without taking part in the actual “chain.” Your comments and discussion are very important in this chain blog (both this post and the other link posts in the chain).

3) When you write a link in this chain, please reply in the comments of the previous post to let everyone know that your link is ready. Also, please try to keep an updated list of links in the chain at the bottom of your post, and please include these rules at the bottom of your post.

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“Links” in the “One Another” chain blog:

1. “Chain Blog: One Another” by Alan
2. “Linking One Another” by Swanny
3. “What Does It Mean to Love One Another? by Chuck
4. “The treasure of “One Another” by Jim
5. “This is how the world shall recognise you…” by Kathleen
6. “Accepting one another in love” by Chris
7. “One Another-ing: A meta-narrative for the church” – Part One and Part Two by Greg
8. “Individualism and ‘one another’” by Pieter
9. “All Alone with One Another” by Jeremy
10. “When it’s OK for Christians to compete” by Joshua
11. “Jesus Christ, the Corner Stone for One Another” by Peter
12. “Be Superficial with One Another” by Jon
13. “The Unmentionable One Anothers” by Alan
14. “Loving More Fully and Widely” by Chris
15. “The One Another Weapon” by Dan
16. “Corporate One-Anothering” (Part 1 and Part 2) by David
17. “The Last Revival” by Tobie
18. “Love: A one another comic” by Dan
19. “I Can Only Love You If…” by Rob
20. “It Was Lost in Translation” by Nelson
21. Who will write the 21st link post in the chain?

Checking in on One Another

Posted by on Oct 18, 2012 in blog links, chain blog, community, fellowship | 1 comment

Checking in on One Another

The “One Another” chain blog is still going strong. Another new link post was just added to the chain yesterday!

As I’m writing this, it’s been 17 days since I started the chain blog back on October 1, 2012 with a post called “Chain Blog: One Another.” That post has been updated with all the latest link posts.

About a week later, I wrote an update/summary post called “Blog with One Another: A Chain Blog Update.” That post also had all the updated link posts as well as a short “teaser” from each post.

While we’ve covered many topics related to the topic “one another,” I think there are still many topics to cover. In fact, I have an idea for another topic. So, I may jump in again in a few days.

The more voices involved and the more topics covered, the better this chain blog will be. Do you want to take part in our chain blog? Then jump over the last link post in the chain and leave a comment that you want to write the next post. (See the two posts above for the links.)

Blog with One Another: A Chain Blog Update

Posted by on Oct 9, 2012 in blog links, chain blog, community, fellowship | 3 comments

Blog with One Another: A Chain Blog Update

At the beginning of last week, I started a “chain blog” on the topic of “one another.” A chain blog is an event – or process actually – in which several bloggers write about the same topic, one after that other. In this case, we’re writing about the topic of “one another” and various aspects of that topic.

So far, seven eight nine A BUNCH OF bloggers have taken part in the chain blog writing 8 9 10 A BUNCH OF posts (since Greg’s was in 2 parts). I think – if I remember correctly – this is the fastest moving chain blog so far.

Here are the posts in the chain blog so far (with a little tease):

1. “Chain Blog: One Another” by Alan

What does this mean for those of us who are following Jesus Christ? Well, it helps us to understanding the importance of our mutual relationships with one another in Jesus Christ when we read statements in Scripture like “love one another,” “teach one another,” “be kind to one another,” “edify one another,” “forgive one another,” “admonish one another,” etc.

2. “Linking One Another” by Swanny

“Us”conditional love must be avoided at all costs because it sends the message to people that they have no value (or are not right with God) unless they are complying with the demands, the rules, or the “what we believe” statements the local church rulers pulled out of their behinds.

3. “What Does It Mean to Love One Another? by Chuck

For almost every action we take, we have a choice. We can walk by the flesh, or we can walk by the Spirit. If we walk by the flesh, we will act selfishly—seeking our own good. If we walk by the Spirit, we will act in love—seeking the good of others.

4. “The treasure of “One Another” by Jim

To live “in” Christ is to be free from our natural way of dividing, or establishing borders. This indeed makes us vulnerable, yet at the same time secure. We are vulnerable to those that choose to take advantage of our freedom, and lack of borders. Yet our defense is not our defense, but of, and “in” Christ.

5. “This is how the world shall recognise you…” by Kathleen

The world we live in is desperate for true community. Social media is allowing people to be more connected than ever before – but they still need something more. The world needs to see God’s people loving one another – deeply connected, living life together, engaging in the messiness of each other’s lives.

6. “Accepting one another in love by Chris

If I demonstrate love and others copy my example, great benefit and joy and peace will result! If I demonstrate judgement and others copy my example, great misery and shame and angst will result. Why do we find it so hard to go first in love? And why do we find it so easy to go first in judgement?

7. “One Another-ing: A meta-narrative for the church” – Part One and Part Two by Greg

Our one another-ing on earth are really mirror reflections of God’s one another-ing toward us from heaven and this short journey in time we have with one another is the first draft in the unedited script of life together forever.

8. “Individualism and ‘one another’” by Pieter

In living out the “one another” directives of the Lord we need to focus on “putting others before yourselves in honour” in the (Christian) community. The most effective way to do that is to have a servant attitude.

9. “All Alone with One Another” by Jeremy

I always find it interesting when pastors and teachers tell us that we can fulfill the “one anothers” in Scripture by joining a church, faithfully attending on Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night, and by getting involved in a church ministry. In my experience–and I don’t think I am “alone” in this–such activities do little to quell the sense of being all alone with one another in church. The solution to feeling alone in church is not to attend more church services and Bible studies.

10. “When it’s OK for Christians to compete” by Joshua

It’s hard for me to imagine God as being competitive. Nor do I find my own competitive urges to be very much in line with the call to love and serve other people. Quite to the contrary, competition lends itself more toward pride and ambition than it does humility and sacrifice. Yet there is one clear instance in scripture where disciples of Christ are encouraged to be competitive.

11. “Jesus Christ, the Corner Stone for One Another” by Peter

This costly, chief Corner Stone is the basis on which, we relate to one another. This Corner Stone unites us. The old creation is full of every division imaginable. But, there is no division in the new creation. In Christ, we are altogether together One.

12. “Be Superficial with One Another” by Jon

Maybe it is best that we all just act superficially with one another. We can smile and be friendly and make small talk about sports, weather, or recent shared experiences. But it is probably best to stick to safe topics.

13. “The Unmentionable One Anothers” by Alan

Love one another. Be kind to one another. Forgive one another. We love these nice “one anothers,” but there are other “one another” instructions that we don’t like to talk about.

14. “Loving More Fully and Widely” by Chris

We’re going to see how much we can draw from a single occurrence of the phrase ‘one another’. I think Romans 13:8 is the particular example I should take.

15. “The One Another Weapon” by Dan

See, the biggest thing to remember is that these passages should not be interpreted through the perspective of how I should act toward others, but how others should act toward me. When you shift your focus from others to yourself you can really start tapping into the power of the “one another” passages!

16. “Corporate One-Anothering” (Part 1 and Part 2) by David

We all know that the “one another” verses in the New Testament are written to individuals and are to be put into practice among the members of the Body of Christ as the fabric of their life together in Christ. Something we also see modeled in the New Testament, however, is various churches or groups of believers putting some of these same “one another” exhortations into practice on a corporate level.

17. “The Last Revival” by Tobie

And so a long and intimate conversation began between the two fingers. They were amazed at how similar they were. They could relate with one another’s frustrations, hurts and dreams. They found it astonishing that they both preferred to touch rather than be touched, and they had many other traits in common. They soon became best friends, and began spending almost all of their free time together, speaking about the things that fingers most like to speak about.

18. “Love: A one another comic” by Dan

The modern church method of loving one another?

19. “I Can Only Love You If…” by Rob

Let’s face it, whenever we are not regarding each and everyone with their unique background, personality and gifting, whether in the body of Christ or not, MORE highly than ourselves, then we are in the FLESH and SIN.

20. “It Was Lost in Translation” by Nelson

This scripture tells us that teaching and admonishing are two way exercises. I don’t know for sure, but it seems to me that ‘teaching and admonishing’ is one thing with two parts. It also seems to me that it takes place as a natural part of being in the same body.

So, who will write the eighth ninth tenth NEXT link post in the chain blog? If you want to take part, jump over to the last post in the chain and leave a comment that you’ll write the next post.

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Chain blog rules:

1) If you would like to write the next blog post (link) in this chain, leave a comment stating that you would like to do so. If someone else has already requested to write the next link, then please wait for that blog post and leave a comment there requesting to write the following link.

2) Feel free to leave comments here and discuss items in this blog post without taking part in the actual “chain.” Your comments and discussion are very important in this chain blog (both this post and the other link posts in the chain).

3) When you write a link in this chain, please reply in the comments of the previous post to let everyone know that your link is ready. Also, please try to keep an updated list of links in the chain at the bottom of your post, and please include these rules at the bottom of your post.

Chain Blog: One Another

Posted by on Oct 1, 2012 in chain blog, community, fellowship | 24 comments

Chain Blog: One Another

Last Friday, I proposed that we start a new chain blog. (If you don’t know what a chain blog is, you can read the info in my post “Interested in a Chain Blog? Let’s pick a topic.,” or you can keep reading below for more info.)

In that post, several topics were suggested, but most people seem to have been interested in the following topic: “one another.”

So, in this post, I’m going to introduce the topic. “One another” is a phrase that points toward many instructions, commands, and examples in the New Testament. It is the translation of a couple of Greek terms which are reciprocal pronouns.

Reciprocal Pronouns

A reciprocal pronoun indicates that more than one person is involved in both carrying out an activity and in the results of the activity. Thus, when Scripture indicates that we should “love one another,” “teach one another,” “exhort one another,” “serve one another,” etc., these are mutual activities in which more than one person is involved in both the activity and the result.

Mutuality

While there are several different ways to refer to the kinds of activities in which more than one person is involved in both carrying out the activity and the result of the activity, I prefer the term “mutuality.” Mutuality is different than individualism, but it is also different than collectivism. In a mutual relationship, the group works together for the benefit of the group (this sets apart mutuality from individualism), but they do not work together under duress or force (this sets apart mutuality from collectivism).

Our Mutual Relationships

What does this mean for those of us who are following Jesus Christ? Well, it helps us to understanding the importance of our mutual relationships with one another in Jesus Christ when we read statements in Scripture like “love one another,” “teach one another,” “be kind to one another,” “edify one another,” “forgive one another,” “admonish one another,” etc.

The Chain Blog

In this chain blog, each author will pick a topic related to “one another.” Together we will work toward a better understanding of these reciprocal pronouns and the mutual relationships that they point to.

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Chain blog rules:

1) If you would like to write the next blog post (link) in this chain, leave a comment stating that you would like to do so. If someone else has already requested to write the next link, then please wait for that blog post and leave a comment there requesting to write the following link.

2) Feel free to leave comments here and discuss items in this blog post without taking part in the actual “chain.” Your comments and discussion are very important in this chain blog (both this post and the other link posts in the chain).

3) When you write a link in this chain, please reply in the comments of the previous post to let everyone know that your link is ready. Also, please try to keep an updated list of links in the chain at the bottom of your post, and please include these rules at the bottom of your post.

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“Links” in the “One Another” chain blog:

1. “Chain Blog: One Another” by Alan
2. “Linking One Another” by Swanny
3. “What Does It Mean to Love One Another? by Chuck
4. “The treasure of “One Another” by Jim
5. “This is how the world shall recognise you…” by Kathleen
6. “Accepting one another in love” by Chris
7. “One Another-ing: A meta-narrative for the church” – Part One and Part Two by Greg
8. “Individualism and ‘one another’” by Pieter
9. “All Alone with One Another” by Jeremy
10. “When it’s OK for Christians to compete” by Joshua
11. “Jesus Christ, the Corner Stone for One Another” by Peter
12. “Be Superficial with One Another” by Jon
13. “The Unmentionable One Anothers” by Alan
14. “Loving More Fully and Widely” by Chris
15. “The One Another Weapon” by Dan
16. “Corporate One-Anothering” (Part 1 and Part 2) by David
17. “The Last Revival” by Tobie
18. “Love: A one another comic” by Dan
19. “I Can Only Love You If…” by Rob
20. “It Was Lost in Translation” by Nelson
21. “Consider Others Better Than Yourself” by Chuck
22. Who will write the 22nd link post in the chain?

Interested in a Chain Blog? Let’s pick a topic.

Posted by on Sep 28, 2012 in chain blog | 22 comments

Interested in a Chain Blog? Let’s pick a topic.

A few years ago, I put together a way of interacting through blogs called a “chain blog.” (This may have been done by others, but I have never heard of it.) A chain blog is similar to a synchroblog, with a little twist. In a synchroblog, everyone posts about the same topic at the same time. In a chain blog, people post about the same topic, but they publish their posts one after the other (in a chain) and sometimes in response to other posts.

The way it works is that someone starts the chain blog by writing a post about a particular topic. The next person in the chain writes a post on the same topic and publishes it on his/her blog. That post can be in response to the previous post(s), or it can simply continue the conversation or even take the conversation in a different direction concerning the same topic. This continues until no one is interested in writing another post.

These are the rules that I’ve used before for chain blogs:

Chain blog rules:

  1. If you would like to write the next blog post (link) in this chain, leave a comment stating that you would like to do so. If someone else has already requested to write the next link, then please wait for that blog post and leave a comment there requesting to write the following link.
  2. Feel free to leave comments here and discuss items in this blog post without taking part in the actual “chain.” Your comments and discussion are very important in this chain blog.
  3. When you write a link in this chain, please reply in the comments of the previous link to let everyone know that your link is ready. Also, please try to keep an updated list of links in the chain at the bottom of your post, and please include these rules at the bottom of your post.

Besides those rules, there is something very important that has to happen before starting a chain blog. It’s necessary to pick a topic that several bloggers are interested in writing about.

So, I have 2 questions:

1) Are you interested in taking part in a chain blog?

2) What topics would you like to write about? (I’d prefer the topic was somehow related to the church, since that’s the primary topic of my blog.)

Also, if you have any questions about doing a chain blog, feel free to ask in the comments.

(Previously, I’ve been part of a few chain blogs, two of which were very good: “Dealing with Divisive Issues” and “City Church.”)

No, we can’t just get along

Posted by on Jun 28, 2011 in chain blog, unity | 18 comments

No, we can’t just get along

This is the ninth post in a chain blog on “Dealing with Traditionally Divisive Issues” that I started last week. (See my post “Chain Blog: Dealing with Divisive Issues Introduction.”) At the bottom of this post, you’ll find links to the other link posts in the chain blog. If you haven’t read them yet, you should, because they are all very good and they all approach the topic from a different perspective.

The church is divided. (Obvious statement of the century.) Many Christians are divisive – separating from other brothers and sisters in Christ for insignificant reasons – well, insignificant to everyone else.

These statements, as I said, are obvious – to almost everyone. Divisiveness among the church is so prevalent that many people come up with “theological” reasons to justify their divisiveness – reasons that sound very, well, reasonable.

But, let’s be honest. When we read Scripture, we find that there are legitimate reasons to separate from others who claim to be brothers and sisters in Christ. Perhaps, as we think about dealing with traditionally divisive issues, it would be good to think about these reasons to separate in Scripture.

What are those reasons?

  1. Unrepentant Sin (Matt 18:15-20; 1 Cor 5:1-5)
  2. Disorderliness (2 Thess 3:6)
  3. Refusal to Work (2 Thess 3:7-10)
  4. False Teaching (2 Thess 3:14-15; 1 Tim 1:20; 2 John 10-11)
  5. Divisiveness (Rom 16:17-18; Titus 3:10-11)

First, did you notice that last item? That’s right, “divisiveness” is a reason to separate from other Christians. If someone claims to be a child of God but divides from other Christians for invalid reasons, then we are to stay away from that person. Interesting, huh?

Of course, most people would agree that we should separate from those who claim to be Christians who fall into one of the categories above (well, except for #3 and #5, and sometimes we even reward them).

So, how do we approach these issues? How do we understand them? Is separation automatic even in the cases listed above? If not, why not?

What about false teaching? Is “false teaching” any teaching that I or my church, leaders, denomination, etc. disagree with? If not, then what is “false teaching”?

Where do we go from here?

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Chain blog rules:

1) If you would like to write the next blog post (link) in this chain, leave a comment stating that you would like to do so. If someone else has already requested to write the next link, then please wait for that blog post and leave a comment there requesting to write the following link.

2) Feel free to leave comments here and discuss items in this blog post without taking part in the actual “chain”. Your comments and discussion are very important in this chain blog.

3) When you write a link in this chain, please reply in the comments of the previous post to let everyone know that your link is ready. Also, please try to keep an updated list of links in the chain at the bottom of your post, and please include these rules at the bottom of your post.

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“Links” in this chain blog:

1. “Chain Blog: Dealing with Divisive Issues Introduction” by Alan
2. “Chain Blog: Dealing with divisive issues starts with love” by Arthur
3. “I am divisive” by Jeremy
4. “Chain Blog: Please agree with me” by Jon
5. “Division and our shared humanity” by Andy
6. “Chain Blog: solving the problem” by Bobby
7. “Divisiveness: Acts 2 & Ugly Carpet” by fallenpastor
8. “Stimulating our Collective Memory” by Trista
9. “No, we can’t just get along” by Alan
10. “Who says we are divided?” by Jon
11. “Disunity and the mind of Christ” by Fred
12. “We Are United in Our Division” by Andy
13. “Finding Equilibrium: ‘rest in one another’” by Sherry
14. “Don’t talk about my momma” by JRo
15. Who will write the next “link” post in the chain?

Seven Posts in the Chain Blog So Far! (Dealing with Divisiveness)

Posted by on Jun 24, 2011 in chain blog | Comments Off

Seven Posts in the Chain Blog So Far! (Dealing with Divisiveness)

Last Monday, I started a chain blog about dealing with traditionally divisive issues among the church. (See my post “Chain Blog: Dealing with Divisive Issues Introduction.”) I didn’t know if people would be interested in the concept of a “chain blog” or in this topic, but I have been very pleased and encouraged by the response so far!

So far, six more bloggers (for a total of 7!) have written “links” in this chain blog, and each link is somehow related to the topic of dealing with divisive issues. However, each link is also different from each other.

Here are the “links” so far:

1. “Chain Blog: Dealing with Divisive Issues Introduction” by Alan
2. “Chain Blog: Dealing with divisive issues starts with love” by Arthur
3. “I am divisive” by Jeremy
4. “Chain Blog: Please agree with me” by Jon
5. “Division and our shared humanity” by Andy
6. “Chain Blog: solving the problem” by Bobby
7. “Divisiveness: Acts 2 & Ugly Carpet” by fallenpastor

If you have not written a post for the chain blog yet, but would like to, simply jump over to the last post in the chain and tell people that you’re writing the next post (in the comments).

My first post was really just an introduction to the topic, so I plan to write another “link” in the chain. If you wrote an earlier link in the chain, feel free to add another post as well.

This is a very important issue. I think the church must face this issue and admit that while we are united in Christ we are actually living divided and divisive lives (in general).

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Chain blog rules:

1) If you would like to write the next blog post (link) in this chain, leave a comment stating that you would like to do so. If someone else has already requested to write the next link, then please wait for that blog post and leave a comment there requesting to write the following link.

2) Feel free to leave comments here and discuss items in this blog post without taking part in the actual “chain”. Your comments and discussion are very important in this chain blog.

3) When you write a link in this chain, please reply in the comments of the previous post to let everyone know that your link is ready. Also, please try to keep an updated list of links in the chain at the bottom of your post, and please include these rules at the bottom of your post.