Grant Castleberry: There is something transcendently unifying when a group is engaged together in a singular, heroic cause. For instance, historians have often highlighted the camaraderie and esprit de corps they have found among the members of the Marine Corps. The Marine Corps embodies, perhaps more than anything else in American public life, a brotherhood–forged in the forest of Belleau Wood, on the sands of Iwo Jima, through the bitter cold of Chosin Reservoir, and in the streets of Fallujah. The Marine Corps represents an ethos which has gripped the American imagination since our nation’s inception. And that ethos centers around the fact that Marines fight America’s toughest battles. When I entered the Corps in 2007, it was at the height of our involvement in the Iraq and Afghanistan War. As Marines we shared a common enemy and a common mission and our success depended on our unity as Marines. In this war-time environment, it was normal for Marines from
In what are we united?
Phillip Jensen: Organizational unity instead of gospel unity is death. The failure of Christian ministries, be they church or para-church, commences when they lose their direction and become organizations that demand organizational unity over theological unity in the service of the gospel. We look at the great churches of the past and lament their decline in congregations or worse in gospel ministry, theological faithfulness or moral integrity. However, the same can be said for many para-church ministries set up in previous generations by Christians that today are hardly recognizable as Christian at all. Some even go out of their way to hide their Christian foundations. The beginning of this downward fall is nearly always the loss of gospel clarity. The theological reason for establishing a ministry of the gospel is put on the back burner while the practicalities of running an organization become paramount. In next to no time, the organization is fighting to maintain the loyalty of its supporters