Unity (and too often uniformity) and division seem to be constants in the church. At the very moment when the church is striving for ecumenism, denominations are splitting. Barth shows us (in Church Dogmatics) that a unity based on external conformity or agreement is a false unity. True unity is only gained by a radical and intentional trust in the One Head, Jesus Christ. Barth also shows us that in its visible/earthly for, the one church will have historical, cultural, national, etc. differences. Unity is not gained by the removal of such differences–or even by forced doctrinal conformity–but by relationship in and participation in the One Head. Such unity–and confession of disunity–is the responsibility of each local gathering.
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