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The Strategic Imperative for Unity

By Editorial Staff
Published August 1, 1992

By John D. Beckett
Chairman of the Board, Intercessors for America

Last fall I attended a “solemn assembly” of pastors and church group leaders, based on a pattern found in Joel 2. During the three days of the assembly, which was accompanied by fasting and much prayer, reconciliation took place and many damaged relationships were restored.

More recently, several from this assembly regathered, this time on a site overlooking the juncture of two of Ohio’s beautiful rivers. Exactly 175 years earlier to the day, a hearty pioneer had arrived by horseback from New England and decided these rivers provided the ideal location for a frontier settlement, and a town was born. With one heart and voice, we lifted up strong prayers for the area, asking God to displace spiritual strongholds and flood our community with His grace and mercy.

I see an important link between the solemn assembly and our territorial prayers. We needed right relationships to pray effectively. Our impact was rooted in our unity. But such unity is only beginning in our area. Satan has successfully used his time-tested arsenal of accusation, deception, turf-building and outright lies to divide and weaken us. He knows that a divided house cannot stand. He trembles at the prospect of a Church that is walking in submission to the Head and in love and forgiveness with each other. I believe this is why the New Testament makes clear that unity is not an option.

Our first encounter in the Scriptures with the early Church is at a prayer meeting, where they were all together in one accord. This was the context into which the Holy Spirit was poured out. Later we see them breaking bread from house to house, taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart. They enjoyed each other’s company.

Paul continually urged unity among believers, emphasizing that by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body. He admonished us to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body is fitted and held together. He exhorted us to agree, that there be no divisions among us, and that we be made complete in the same mind. He pressed the men to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension. He described a Church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle. I once heard a pastor remind us the Lord is coming back for a beautiful bride, not a nagging wife!

Peter said that all should be harmonious, sympathetic. He spoke of us as living stones, being built up into a spiritual house for a holy priesthood. James urged us to confess our sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that we might be healed.

So compelling was the idea of unity that Jesus petitioned His Father that his followers might all be one, even as He and the Father were one. He spoke of the power that would be released through a united church: “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.” The Greek word translated “agree” is sumpheneo, literally to sound together, or be in harmony. From this root we get the word symphony. Sumpheneo is so essential in a fine orchestra that a skilled conductor will detect even a single note that is out of place and speak firmly to the errant musician.

Our Heavenly Father is the conductor of the earthly orchestra called the Church. Whether it’s a duet, a small ensemble, or a full-scale symphony, He wants us in harmony. Only then will we produce the clear sound that engages the energy of heaven itself, which in turn will change the destiny of communities and nations. This is the strategic imperative for unity.


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Freedom: The Model of Christian Liberty (DVD)

“Give me liberty or give me death!”

Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.

The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).

Welcome to the Second American Revolution!

This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.

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The Beast of Revelation IdentifiedThe Beast of Revelation: Identified (DVD)

Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?

Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!

Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.

Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)

Running Time: 145 minutes

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer - A Christian Manifesto (DVD)

That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!

Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.

Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.

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Amazing GraceAmazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism (DVD)

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Just what is Calvinism?

Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?

This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.

Running Time: 257 minutes

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Why Creeds and Confessions? (Book)

High Quality Paperback — 219 pages

Foundations in Biblical Orthodoxy

Driving down a country road sometime, you might see a church with a sign proudly proclaiming: “No book but the Bible — No creed but Christ.” The problem with this statement is that the word creed (from the Latin: credo) simply means “belief.” All Christians have beliefs, regardless of whether they are written.

Yet a single book containing the actual texts of the most important creeds of the early Church will not often be found. Out of the multitude of works on the evangelical Christian book market today, those dealing with the creeds of the Church are scarce.

Why Creeds and Confessions? provides a foundation of biblical orthodoxy as a defense against the false and truly heretical doctrines advanced by the spirit of this age.

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