I understand, first hand, the difficulty of dealing with the differences between Christian faiths. My wife grew up with a reformed background, and I grew up Catholic. Neither of us was very comfortable with bending on what we believed. No matter how many theological debates or arguments took place, our positions would not shift. There were times when I honestly thought we could not come together on this issue — an issue that was to shape our adult lives and the lives of our children. As my wife tells the story, God eventually intervened, and we found a way forward. While we are now unified in our Catholic faith, we still appreciate both of our faith backgrounds. We often attend a local non-denominational church where I learn a great deal that helps develop my faith, especially how to practically live out my faith in relationships. Do I always agree with the theology? Nope. This past Sunday I took some real issues with how certain theological elements were presented, but I’ll be back next Sunday. The non-denominational church and I may not agree on every issue, but they are good people who love God, and who are seeking him daily — of this, I am sure.
And this, in my mind, is a big part of our Halcyon model. At The Halcyon Movement we believe that as an ecumenical organization we benefit from diversity. We come from a myriad of faith backgrounds: Catholic, Baptist, Non-Denominational, Anglican, and Reformed. We state in our internal What We Believe document that “We are built on many different denominations of Christianity. Each of these denominations brings a different perspective on how our Christian faith should be lived out. As such, we are an ecumenical organization, and this, to us, means diversity. We believe our diversity is a strength, not a difference we pretend doesn’t exist.”
Halcyon knows that, if we are to change the world we must do so with all Christians working together. In fact, Jesus called all of us to stand together.
“My prayer is not for [the disciples] alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one — I in them and you in me — so that they may be brought to complete unity.” John 17:20–23.
As I stated, standing together as one Christian church is very difficult. We have some tremendous differences, but I don’t want to discuss what is separating us; rather, what must bring us together: the foundational values of family and the good of our Christian faith freely lived out. These elements are facing very real opposition in our current cultural condition, and it is time that the Christian church, and the Christian people within, demand unity and action to reshape our social future.
Cesar Chavez calls the ecumenical Christian church “a powerful moral and spiritual force which cannot be ignored by any movement.” As such, The Halcyon Movement wants to see Christians acting on causes that unite us. As a call to action this week, Halcyon is asking you to reach out to one person — a friend, or perhaps even a family member — of a different Christian denomination and start a conversation on how you both can work together to build a better world.