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Unified Diversity

posted Aug 29, 2011, 12:57 PM by Sarah Brehm

When you say, “I’m a Christian” it means you’re a follow of Christ. Ultimately, that simple statement means you do things in love as Christ commanded—love God, and love your neighbor as yourself. The umbrella of love and Christianity has many ribs that stretch far apart from each other, so much so, that those at one tip of the umbrella can’t even comprehend that the others at the opposite tip are part of the same umbrella. So much stuff divides us, yet love unites us—this foundation has been missing, but with the rise of non-denominational churches (which have become a denomination themselves) there seems to be a growing effort of unity, of being ONE. And when we understand that we’re all part of the same umbrella, it doesn’t mean suddenly the differences will vanish. It’s the differences, and our willingness to see beyond those differences that will unite us.

 

There are numerous issues that divide Christian to the point of vicious argument. Growing up in the Church of Christ, music always seemed to be an issue. Every worship service, every youth group meeting, every church camp, we sang a cappella hymns because someone interpreted Ephesians 5:19—“Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord”—to mean that instrumental music was not allowed. I have nothing against a cappella music. I attend a church—a split from a Church of Christ—that worships with a cappella; however, we do have contemporary Christian music, like David Crowder Band, Tenth Avenue North, and Chris Tomlin, playing before and after church and typically during communion. (One day I’ll sneak in something heavier and see what happens!) What’s different at this church than the Church of Christ it split from is the attitude:

 

A cappella music is merely a choice. It’s not the only way.

 

Musical accompaniment is merely a choice. It’s not the only way.

 

Different, but not the same.

 

There are three songs that cry out this desire of oneness. “One” by U2. “One” by Creed.” And “Beautiful Bride” by Flyleaf.

 

“One” by U2 comes off the 1991 album Achtung Baby. The story behind this song is that conflict had arisen between band members during the recording of the album. Tensions were so strong that U2 was on the verge of breaking up. But guitarist The Edge fiddled around with a chord progression that caught everyone’s attention. Bono started improvising vocals, and the song became “One.”

 

The song is about recognizing that we are “One, but not the same.” We have “One love,” and “we get to share it.”

 

One love.

One blood.

 One life.

You’ve got to do what you should.

One life, with each other.

Sisters.

Brothers…

We get to carry each other.

 

“One” by Creed comes from their 1997 debut album My Own Prison. Like the U2 song, “One” by Creed is screaming “One, oh one. The Only way is one!” On the surface, the song is about the lack of unity in society, especially among race: “Society blind by color. Why hold down one, to raise another?” But that desire for unity transcends even race, and the song becomes an anthem for people who understand that if we can’t even be one, then we have failed miserably.

 

The world is heading for mutiny,

When all we want is unity.

We may rise and fall, but in the end

We meet our fate together.

 

One, oh one,

The only way is one.

 

I feel angry. I feel helpless.

Want to change the world, yeah.

I feel violent. I feel alone.

Don’t try and change my mind.

 

“Beautiful Bride,” from Flyleaf’s sophomore album, Memento Mori (2009), is the only song of these three that is specifically about the church, although the song was inspired by arguments among the family of lead singer Lacey Mosley. “Fighting ends in forgiveness. Unite and fight all division.”

 

The first two words of the song are the most powerful: “Unified Diversity.” That explains what we, as Christians, are striving for. We must figure out how to be ONE with one another. We must understand that differences are normal, but what is important is how we treat each other in our diversity.

 

Beautiful Bride

Body of Christ

One flesh abiding

Strong and unifying

 

We’re not gonna fall and forget

How far You went to pick us up

If one part’s hurt, the whole body’s sick

If one part mourns, we all mourn with him

 

Rejoice, and we’ll sing with you

Hallelujah

Hallelujah!

 

Music is only one issue that divides Christians, but if we can’t agree to disagree music, which in many ways is insignificant, how are we expected to reconcile with the tougher issues? How am I supposed to be one with someone whom I don’t agree with? The only answer I can give is with love. Love is the umbrella that protects us all. To love is to be as Christ. And it is only with love that we will ever become ONE.

 

Words by: Sarah Brehm

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

U2 "One"

 
 
 
 

Creed "One"

 
 

Flyleaf "Beautiful Bride"

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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