On Solid Ground - Unity as Soundess.
The problem of the western church is isolation.
An isolated church has to use resources to support its lone structure.
Of course, by the very nature of that arrangement churchs are competing for the sheep. If I as a "lay person," dont feel the benefits of this cutting edge competition in my church then I can simply change churchs. We do this in the market place all the time. If restaraunt A has engineered the hamburger through marketing to mean a tingling sensation to my taste buds then restaraunt B will surley lose customers. We as customers of the church in the western world then "benifet" from this system of competition.
2nd Timothy ~ "For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear."
"A great number of teachers."
What the scripture is describing above is a system born of competition.
If there is a great number of teachers/churchs the "people" benefit - they have itching ears and switch often.
Itching ears means a restlessnness. A restlessness born from the complicity of both the leaders and the layity to emphasize competition over unity.
These choices for many diverse teachers, all competing with one another does not create sound doctrine (a foundational strength that we can rest upon) but an extreme isolation for the leaders - they are "partners," not in reality, but business "associates."
The layity perpetuates this system by their insaitable desire for the "newest" thing. The word of the Lord "comes through" the top in this "food" chain.
What would facilitate our a rest upon a true foundation again would be to centralize existing churchs under one covering. The funds to meet the needs of these churchs in various communities would be allocated through a middle - nuetral source.
This would begin to unify the churchs message and voice - the foundation of sound doctrine would be realized in a harmony between those that teach and those that hear.
Until we all come into the unity of the faith ...