PRINCIPLES OF UNITY
The first principle of the new unity movement is that no one alive today is inspired or has a direct channel from God to speak or reveal divine truth.
The second principle is to extend trust to others, believing everyone sincerely wants to believe and do what is right and true.
The third principle is that unity can best be achieved within a framework of respectful conversation in which all views are enthusiastically welcomed.
The fourth principle and the new paradigm is that unity must be based upon mutual understanding rather than agreement. We can be united when we accept the above principles and are committed to understanding others points of view even if we remain in disagreement on specific teachings.
NEW PARADIGM FOR UNITY
This new paradigm is unity with the shared value and goal of mutual understanding rather than agreement with specific teachings beyond the following fundamental beliefs: the Bible is inspired by God; Jesus is the Christ the Son of God; Jesus died for the sins of the world; and Jesus rose bodily from the dead.
BENEFITS OF THE PROCESS
The process of working toward unity is a worthwhile end in itself because of the following benefits:
1. Bringing people together from different denominations.
2. Stimulating in-depth Bible study.
3. Encouraging respectful conversation in all relationships.
4. Fostering acceptance of the sincerity of others in their spiritual journey.
5. Attracting others to the Christian message, who may not yet identify as Christians.
The process is a grass-roots movement in local churches and meeting places in which a speaker is invited from each identified faith perspective or denomination. The presentation or lesson may be to outline the special contribution(
The presentation is then followed by small group discussions in which participants are encouraged to express agreement or disagreement, with Scripture to support their views as much as possible.
A trained moderator in each small group facilitates discussion, reminds members of discussion guidelines as needed, and maintains safety and respect within the small group.
1. No dominating. Keep comments brief. Over-talking can be interpreted as aggression or a need to control and dominate.
2. No name-calling, negative innuendo, sarcastic put-down’s or threats of any kind.
3. Before responding to passionate views, try sincerely reflecting others views with whom you disagree.
4. Keep your voice volume normal and avoid shouting, yelling, pointing, or pounding your fist.
5. Ask others what they are saying rather than tell them what they are saying. Don’t put words in others mouths.
6. Avoid directing anger toward others, especially those with whom you disagree.
Small-group moderator training is offered free of charge to local churches and can be arranged by contacting the author of this article at firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Author/Trainer: