“Unity, unity, my kingdom for unity in the Church!” Is that found in the gospels anywhere? Have I ever read where either Jesus or His apostles make this statement? Are we to compromise orthodox doctrine for the sake of a unified front? Does the formation of soup kitchens, centers for donated clothing and furniture, and shelter for the homeless trump essential truths? Are we to ignore questionable teaching and beliefs just because someone or some organization is performing good works? Does good works mean more than basing those works on a solid orthodox foundation?
I know that someone will say that James said that faith without works is dead, but works without faith are also dead. If we doing works under any false pretense then those works are not a result of saving faith but a works-based salvation. If the notion that one must serve as proof of Christian maturity is put forth then the teaching of essential doctrines will viewed as too divisive and will they will not be taught. Christian maturity is evident by spiritual growth in increased knowledge of doctrine so one defend and contend for the faith, and humbly working out one’s salvation without calling attention to the works being done.
Focusing on unity and performing good works so the church can put on a persona of being Christ-like and appearing compassionate to the needs of society is only a half right. Doing the good works by living the gospel and actually verbally sharing the gospel are meant to be done side-by-side. We are not called to just show compassion by being socially active in meeting the needs of society, we are to show compassion by sharing the gospel. We cannot hope that by meeting physical needs that people will somehow want to know more about Jesus. We have to talk about Him, too.
We also cannot water down or tell only part of the gospel, talking about God’s grace and mercy and love because of Jesus dying on the cross, while ignoring the reason why he died on the cross. We are sinners destined for the wrath of God but the shed blood, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ spared of that dark eternal future. Unity should start with a solid foundation on the whole gospel message and sound doctrine and all other good works will flow from that.