People who love faith and freedom can work together for the common good.

Unity is Not Sameness

When I am asked why I work with Catholics and those of different denominations or, as Mark Driscoll puts it, “members of different church tribes,” I answer, “Because I love everyone and will faithfully and without compromising faithfully seek to present God’s truth in love to everyone with ears to hear. If I appear unwilling to communicate with others or hear them, how can I expect others to willingly hear me?” The fact is we all need to be seeking to more clearly hear God. I join with Jesus praying for the supernatural unity we have only glimpsed in history and with every visitation a spiritual awakening resulted. Keep in mind that supernatural spiritual unity is not sameness. It is love lifting us above our differences along with necessary diversity in order to pursue common goals for the glory of God and benefit of others. It never demands the casting aside of convictions or truth. It is reaching out in love so we all continue to grow in the “grace and knowledge of God.” Those who believe there is a Creator and Father God who expresses His love through Christ must recognize the importance of standing together as salt to preserve the innocent and as light exposing evil and illuminating the best way in which to walk and live.

The enemies of God, faith, the Bible, moral principles, marriage, family and right-to-life will never willingly give up an inch of the ground they seek to claim and control. They are determined to manipulate, dominate, and control. They are the most intolerable people on this planet. Unless those who profess a belief in God, His Son, the Holy Spirit, and His Word as reliable begin standing together, deception, darkness, and defeat of true freedom will result. Believers must find common ground to resist the assault on truth, or the precious, including freedom, will, as Jesus said, “be trampled under the feet of men.”

Protestants, including zealous evangelicals, and Catholics must find ways to stand against the gates of hell while lifting Jesus up as “the way, the truth, and the life.” We must make it clear, “No one comes to the Father but by Him.” I will never cease proclaiming this truth for all to hear. If we lose the freedom we have been blessed to enjoy in America, voices will be silenced and open expressions of faith ended. We must protect life and freedom while exalting Christ and truth and we must do it in love. I am committed to this until the end and will encourage those who care and love freedom to join with us.

When I joined Catholic philosopher Jay Richards, with the encouragement of faith and business leaders both Protestant and Catholic, to write the book INDIVISIBLE, we sought to communicate essential principles and help reveal the common ground we can and must stand on together on to protect faith, family, and freedom before it is cast aside by its enemies and those who are indifferent. Please prayerfully get a copy, read it, and pass it on. You can order it from LIFE Outreach or Amazon. We summarized the truths and principles which were well-vetted in the book in our closing chapter with a summary of how people who love faith and freedom can work together for the common good. It was titled, “The First Principles of Faith & Freedom.” They are listed below.

  1. Every human being has equal value and dignity.
  2. We are inherently and specifically social.
  3. Marriage and the family are the fundamental social institutions.
  4. We can know God and moral truth.
  5. Judeo-Christian religious faith guards our freedom.
  6. We’re all sinners.
  7. We need a state strong enough to protect and maintain the rule of law but limited enough not to violate it.
  8. We are meant to be free and responsible.
  9. When we’re free, we can create wealth and value.
  10. Culture comes before politics.

I will be summarizing each of these ten principles in my commentaries over the next weeks. Surely we can join together for the glory of God, the good of others, and for the sake of freedom’s blessings. If we do not, the voice of truth, faith, and freedom will be diminished or silenced in the public square and in the pulpit. Around the world and even here in North America, pastors and priests are being sued and arrested in some places for proclaiming what the Bible says about marriage, sexual practices, and basic moral principles. We must all become what the prophet Ezekiel challenged us to be: “Watchmen on the wall.” The enemy is no longer seen in the distance. He is here and he is deadly.

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  1. I tend to agree with MR. Shepherd, even tho all Christians need to be in unity. We must pray hard and listen for God to speak to our hearts and direct us–then, we must follow Him. He does tell us to watch for false religions and come out of them. Many of the Catholic teachings as well as other religions teachings are not biblically based at all. James, there is no other evangelist whom I admire or look up to more than I do you. Although, there are others I equally admire and respect.

  2. I have read James and Jay’s book Indivisible and there is nothing that I dissagreed with in the book. It is well written and not about being Catholic, Baptist or nondenominational. There are as James put it many tribes serving God and we must each find where we fit in what tribe that we might grown and have fellowship with one another. I may not want to be a part of the Catholic tribe or the Pentecostal church but it is fine with me that some worship there and I may not agree with all the practices but if a person is serving God and growing there and if they like to worship God with what I may consider man made ideas that is their choice. I was raised Catholic and Baptist but now I am nondenominational as a choice yet I have friends who are in other tribes and many of them live the Faith more than those who are nondenominational. I had a friend who explained to me that the traditions of the Catholic church are what she loves as they help her to focus on God in her daily life. We all have different personalities and for some they do enjoy a more traditional tribe. I think there are saved born again individuals in every tribe. I think it is wonderful that they can come together in unity. Read the book and you will see there is plenty to agree on.

  3. True biblical love is letting the unsaved know that they need to come to Christ in utter humbleness, seeking His forgiveness. Working along side catholics to make a better “world” doesn’t cut it.Catholics ; which I was one for 26 yrs.; never saved me or anyone. It wasn’t till I heard the GOSPEL of faith alone in Christ alone was I saved,praise His name! We need to tell the truth about their religion even if it breaks up this fuzzy false coalition. Christ told us to make disciples, not friends. Unfortunately we were also told by Christ that the world would hate His true followers. If we claim to be followers of Christ we must show compassion but along with that the reality of their lost condition must be addressed at some point. Making a better world for the lost is not on Christ’s agenda.

    • Does it make a better world for the lost when we proclaim freedom for the prisoners, give sight to the blind, set the oppressed free, love our neighbor as ourselves, visit orphans and widows in their distress, do good works, love our enemies, be generous, feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, and follow other New Testament instructions? I certainly think so!

      (Luke 4:18, Mark 12:31, James 1:27, Ephesians 2:10, Matthew 5:43, 1 Timothy 6:18, Romans 12:19-20)

  4. lillian albrecht

    I do agree that we have a common goal to direct people towards Jesus Christ and salvation. The holy spirit will reveal truths about idolatry towards praying to statues of Mary and the truth will set them free. But we have to love. The bible says theyn shall know that we are his by the love we show one to another. The enemy wants division in the church and we cannot give him amunition. Bless the catholic people and pray that the Holy Spirit will show the truth to the body of Christ. We just have to stay truthful to ourselves and keep in the word. thank you Pastor Robinson and bless you and your family and ministry. The catholic church has done alot also by feeding the poor and doing their part for so long.

  5. Why don’t we do some Catholic bashing while we’re at it. One of my favorite sports! (Just kidding, of course!) Seriously though, I have a lot of issues with a lot of the things the Catholic church does. The rosary beads and the Hail Mary stuff for one. Very pagan practice to me. Praying to Mary, no good. The infallibility of the Pope, no way. Confession. Unbiblical. What’s up with the priest and the confession booth? We don’t need that, we can confess our sins directly to God. I could go on and on, but I think I’ve made my point. I have a few friends who are Catholic, and in fact they agree with a lot of what I just said. Like any other church, there’s a variety of viewpoints within the Catholic church as well. I’ve heard some priests as well as some nuns who preach a pretty good solid gospel. In the end, when we all get to heaven, there’ll be no denominations, only saved individuals. The only thing that matters is whether or not we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. But if people want to bring up papal conspiracies, by all means they should do so. I like to hear them, they’re interesting if anything else.

  6. Cynthia Portis

    Thank you James for this article. Working together for a common good along side of people who do not believe as I do has never frightened me. Most of us do that every day in our work places. I have yet to hear of Christians quitting their jobs in droves because they are afraid they might take on the ungodly beliefs and practices of those they work with. Working along side of any Catholic is not going to cause me to bow my knee to anyone other than Christ!

    I so agree with your words, “Those who believe there is a Creator and Father God who expresses His love through Christ must recognize the importance of standing together as salt to preserve the innocent and as light exposing evil and illuminating the best way in which to walk and live.”

    “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

    All to His glory,
    Cynthia Portis

  7. Always well said James! I am soooo very thankful to our Lord for men who will stand for TRUTH. May Jesus richly bless all you do!

  8. Peter Shepherd

    James, I understand what you’re saying. However, when the Pope, the Bishop of Rome talks of unity, he means something different than what most Christians mean by “unity.” This may be over 300 words. I want YOU TO read it, whether or not it gets posted.

    The teaching of the Catholic Church, and, as the pope is Catholic, is that they are THE true church, without flaw or defect, and that the teachings of the pope are infallible. When they call for “unity” they are calling for all of Christianity to come back under the Bishop of Rome. Are you ready to accept that Mary is the “Ark of the Covenant?” Are you ready to accept that Mary is the “Mediatrix of all graces?” and the Co-Redemptress? Do you agree that she was sinless?

    Are you ready to become part of the Catholic Church? James, my heart weeps. About 12 years ago, I almost joined the Catholic Church. Then, I read in their Catechism that Muslims worship the same God Christians do. During that time, Dr. Frederick K. C. Price began teaching on Islam, and convinced me that Muslims do NOT worship the same God. That meant the Catholic Church was wrong. Then, one day, I was seriously and sincerely seeking God. IMMEDIATELY, James, the Scripture came to mind, “avoid the very appearance of evil,” and I saw in my mind, the Statues of Mary, Peter, and the other saints in every church, with kneeling rails in front of them. I saw myself kneeling at those statues, praying to Mary, as I had done, asking her for help, asking her to intercede for me with Jesus at the throne of God. I saw that it APPEARS to be idolatry. It APPEARS to be evil.

    I have come to believe what I was taught as a child – that the Catholic Church, because it cannot possibly be THE TRUE CHURCH, as they claimed, is the harlot of Babylon – the false church, and that is is time to “come out from among then, and be separate.” Because of that, I have decided, with great grief and sorrow, to pull my support and to stop following those ministers that are headed toward Rome. I hope you will reconsider. You are one of my favorite and most respected ministers, and it grieves me in my heart that you are headed in this direction. I simply cannot go along.

    Peter J Shepherd
    Hurst, TX

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