He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. – Acts 15:9
Those within the early church who had come to Christ out of pharisee-ism struggled to escape from that tradition for it required them to continue to adhere to the Mosaic law. In turn, they also tried to impose this tradition upon the new Gentile disciples and a problem ensued. Thankfully, God’s wisdom and grace prevailed.
Every single day … somewhere in this world … a new disciple is made. He or she without a doubt will emerge from a culture that knows nothing of my own tradition. Too often, I fear, well-meaning servants struggle to separate their tradition from God’s truth and do harm to the global and cross-cultural spread of the Gospel. The result has been a rampant sectarianism that belies the presence of God and limits the effectiveness of our witness.
Let there be differences in the Body of Christ, but also let there be unity (as we see in the Trinity). Certainly, if a church born out of a Gentile world could find agreement with a church born out of Judaism, we who were born out of the reformation can find it, too?
Yet God is so one that He admits of distinction, and so admits of distinction that He still remains unity. – John Hales