In a divided world, Dr. Tony Evans reminds the church that we are “Stronger Together, Weaker Apart”

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In a divided world, Dr. Tony Evans reminds the church that we are “Stronger Together, Weaker Apart”

August 10, 2021 - Steve Yount

© emerald_media/stock.adobe.com

© emerald_media/stock.adobe.com

When Christians fight among themselves, they’re neglecting an often-overlooked biblical truth: Christ has called us to model unity to a watching world. 

With the church in this country divided by race, politics, the pandemic, and a host of other issues, Stronger Together, Weaker Apart: Powerful Prayers to Unite Us in Love has a message we desperately need today. 

In the introduction, author Dr. Tony Evans quotes from John 17, often called Jesus’ “High Priestly Prayer.” It offers a rare glimpse of private interaction between Christ and the heavenly Father, on the night before Jesus died. 

In verses 20–23, he asks for “complete unity” among his disciples and those who heed their message. “Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me,” he prays. 

“An alternative to the ways of the world”

Stronger Together, Weaker Apart is part prayer book/part Bible study about the importance of unity among believers in spreading the gospel. But too often, the church is just as divided as the outside world. 

“As kingdom followers of Jesus Christ, we have been chosen to model unity, love, and peace as an alternative to the ways of a world that stands divided,” Evans writes. “Yet it seems that division often slithers its way into our churches and Christian organizations as well. Satan’s overall strategies rarely change — whatever he can divide, he can conquer (Mark 3:24). He accomplishes this division through lies, deception, and destruction (John 10:10).” 

Unity is not uniformity, but we shouldn’t let our differences divide us, preventing the church from playing its unique role in our culture.  

“The church is the only authentic cross-racial, cross-cultural, and cross-generational basis for oneness in existence,” Evans writes. 

We are all one

If you model Christlike qualities such as empathy, forgiveness, and humility in service to others, you encourage unity. On the other hand, “Every time you disparage a politician, preacher, neighbor, teacher, coworker, or family member, you are erecting walls with your words,” Evans writes. “We all must learn how to change our thoughts and words if we want to close the gaps that separate us.” 

The book has an appendix with a list of Scriptures about unity, including Galatians 3:28: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” 

In other words, there should be neither Black nor White, rich nor poor, Republican nor Democrat, for we are all one in Christ. If we truly model that, the world will know that we are his disciples.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are from the ESV®️ Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®️), copyright ©️ 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The ESV text may not be quoted in any publication made available to the public by a Creative Commons license. The ESV may not be translated in whole or in part into any other language.

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