Kenneth Keathley: “Christians Will Re-Unite”
There can be variations of views on any topic, like that of the Creation topic, in the Christian belief and I see that most of the time these differences do not matter much as long as the basic principles are in common. Why do you think there is no union among the churches – Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox Churches? Is this about the differences in belief or is it about the leadership issue? Or will they unite when Jesus comes?
That is another very good question. I think that the reason why we have differences Protestant, Catholic, Eastern Orthodox is because there are differences of opinion about the nature of Biblical authority and the relationship of the Biblical authority to the Church. This is unfortunate and it is a reproach upon Christianity that we have not gotten along better than we have. Having said that, we believe that the proper approach to our differences is that what we call theological triage. Triage is a word from the French, that means to sort. And it is something that happens at hospital or especially in the emergency room of a hospital. If someone is doing triage at the emergency room of the hospital, the nurse picks what is the most serious illness or injury and then those that are of an intermediate and than there are those that are of little importance. And so someone who may come in with a serious accident, they are bleeding and you can see that it is life threatening, that would be a first order and they will rush them into the emergency room. Others who just simply have a cough or something of that nature, they will give them less importance. We believe this is how one should approach disagreements. There are some disagreements, that are so very serious because the very nature of how we understand God, how we understand who Christ is and how we understand salvation. These are first order items and Christians feel very strongly about those things. Then there are second, intermediate things about which Christians disagree about but we still recognize one another as brothers in Christ. And than there are third order items, there are rather trivial that we just simply kind of fuss about it and don’t really worry about it. And so the proper way to deal with disagreements is to do this type of theological or spiritual triage and try to understand what is really truly important and what is not. A Christian and I am an Evangelical Christian. I see understanding who Jesus Christ is as utmost, who Jesus asked the question ‘Who do you say that I am?’ And for us as Christians, we believe that the confession that the Apostle Peter gave is very important. And so that’s what we put as a first order item. Other things, not so important. And so it is true that Christians have divided over things that they shouldn’t have and it is my hope that as time goes on Christians will re-unite again in a way that shows the love of Christ.