One People

One People

Years ago, an international team of young Christians were able to, quite freely, share the Gospel in a Muslim country. While at the same time, the national believers did not enjoy the same liberty. The reason for much more freedom for the international team seems to be the fact that the authorities had no concept of a cross cultural team working in unity. And what they didn’t think was possible kept them from persecuting them.


Years ago, when the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior met one of the OM ships, the captains of both ships began talking. The Captain of the Rainbow Warrior expressed his surprise about the peaceful atmosphere on board the OM ship. “How you can keep peace among the 54 nations goes beyond my comprehension” he exclaimed.


Some time ago, the EA UK began a One People Commission. The name beautifully describes what it is meant to be: people from a huge range of ethnicities and languages coming together expressing their oneness which they find in Jesus. On their website it says: “We celebrate the texture that these expressions of our faith bring and are sensitive to ways of ‘doing church,’ which reflect the variety of ethnic backgrounds that we come from. But ultimately, we are one people, with one voice and one hope.”


In the Bible, in the book of Revelation, we read that people from all races and languages will be worshipping together before the throne of the Almighty. Even in the throne room of God diversity will exist. Because being united does not come through being uniform. Being unified or being one comes from loving and serving the same Lord and God. The apostle Paul, in his letters, writes about exactly the same thing already taking place here: Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. (Col. 3:11).

It is wonderful to know what our destiny will be: fully one people. And it is important to understand what we should be striving towards in the here and now: working on being one people. What the Bible sets on our agenda has been taken up by many throughout history, including by the Evangelical Alliance at its creation in 1846 Furthering the expression of unity and being one literally became the most important goal on its agenda.


And why was it (and still remains) number one? Because it addresses our human brokenness, be it in ourselves, but also in our relationships with others. It gives a hope as it shows a way forward. It provides a very different answer to conflicts and fights.


Are we found in this oneness-business, or do we pursue our own interests and so keep people divided? We need to keep examining our habits and processes regularly and honestly. The Church will be a much better Church if the followers of Jesus are striving to be one. AND the world will be a much better world if at least the followers of Jesus are living out oneness of such kind.


And this weaves together the EEA Newsletter topics of the first and second half of 2022: East meets West and Diaspora Church. Both work only when being as one increasingly becomes a reality.


Let’s keep working on it!


Thomas Bucher

EEA General Secretary

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