We are living in a world that is adept at formulating agreements. At the international level peace agreements are entered into; company agreements are negotiated in the business world and agreements are reached between management and unions at the bargaining table. In the majority of cases those entering into the negotiations do so having their own particular interests in mind; each side defends its position with little or no intention of losing ground. When an agreement is finally formalized, a document is produced upon which all can agree, but which does not necessarily guarantee unity; the reason being that each party has found a way to reach agreement whilst at the same time retain values that it is unwilling to forfeit.
Biblical unity is altogether different; Biblical unity demands each party to elevate Godly principles above the thinking of the flesh; Biblical unity recognizes, first and foremost, the importance of Truth and the need to preserve it whatever the outcome.
The UA08/NASU has created considerable conflict in the Ontario region and beyond; brethren in the Amended community who once worked in harmony find themselves in opposition. This is a sad reflection upon a community of believers that once “dwelt together in unity” (Psalm 133:1).
Some will ask, what is all the fuss about? It is simply this: the UA08/NASU agreement has introduced a new direction into the Central (Amended) community. The UA08/NASU position may be summarized in simple terms and compared with the practice of the worldwide Central Community.
Central Amended Position
From the above it can be seen that the UA08/NASU is significantly different from the accepted fellowship practice of the Amended Central community, and therefore one which promotes a new direction for the community in the Ontario region. Other factors which raise doubts about the soundness of the UA08 position include:
It de-emphasizes the importance of the Central community’s doctrinal identity by paving the way for certain first principles to be treated as non-fellowship matters.
It opens the possibility (nay probability) for diminishing first principle doctrine, thus developing a mindset that minimizes the importance of historically accepted doctrines.
It changes the Central community’s Ecclesial-Based (EBF) understanding of fellowship and promotes an Individual Conscience-Based Fellowship practice (ICBF).
It promotes a fellowship environment where not all who share fellowship are required to belong to the same community.
The UA08/NASU is moving the Central community in this region in a direction that can only weaken our understanding of the truth. Do we want this to happen?