Is the Union of All Churches Desirable?

Louis Berkhof

1. Affirmative:
Such a union is highly desirable in view of the fact that the Church is essentially a unity. This unity should express itself in its outward appearance in the world. The existing division is a practical negation of it.

This union is desirable also because in unity there is strength. The divided Church of the present day is not able to accomplish what she could do if she presented a united front.

The union of all churches is also practicable if the various denominations are only willing to overlook their petty differences and emphasize the great essentials on which they agree.

2. Negative:
History plainly teaches us that a real church union is impossible from a practical point of view. There have been divisions in the Church from the very dawn of Christianity. Every union attempted was forced and superficial and failed miserably.

Though the divisions in the Church are to a great extent the result of sin, we should not forget that they are not altogether evil. The Church, like every organism in nature, reveals itself in a variety of forms. God loves diversity in unity.

Such a union as is practicable would not be desirable. It would require that all the differences in doctrine, polity and worship should be toned down to such a degree that the most characteristic elements of Christianity would disappear.