Apostle Rod Seago reports: "I had fellowship today with His grace Abba Yacob, the Archbishop of Africa for the Ethiopian Orthodox (Tewahido) Church (Tewahido is Geez, ancient Ethiopian, for The Incarnation of the Son of God in Jesus Christ).
"Archbishop Yacob is a man who truly loves the Lord Jesus Christ. For 4 hours we discussed a wide range of theological and doctrinal issues facing the Church today as well as the unity of the Church. I asked him what he thought it would take for Christ's Church to again be one in the earth? He gave me an interesting two-fold reply.
"First, we all need to go back to Acts 2, to Pentecost, i.e. to the very beginning of the Church. That is exactly the same thing that the Belgian Primate, Cardinal Suenens, the leader of the Charismatic movement within the Roman Catholic Church, said to a group of renowned Church leaders as they shared communion together in the upper room in Jerusalem back in the early eighties.
"Secondly, he said we need to talk with each other."
Apostle Seago continues: "Come on Church leaders! What is it going to take for the Lord's Church to be one? One as Jesus prayed in John 17: 20-21, "... they may all be one; even as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be in Us; that the world may believe that Thou didst send Me." In other words the unity of the Church should be the same as is the unity of the Godhead. Now I know some will say but we are "one in Spirit" according to Ephesians 4, regardless of whether we are in different denominations. But the problem with that is that the unity Jesus is talking about is a functional and governmental unity that is visible for the world to see. Jesus said that when the world sees that kind of unity it will believe that the Father sent the Son, and that the Father loves the Son and loves us. The greatest evangelistic witness we can give to the world today is not just our verbal preaching but our unity.
"So what does the world see today? It sees over 3,000 denominations, all claiming to be Christ's Church, not counting all the independent, evangelical, charismatic churches. How confusing to the onlooking world. No wonder they do not believe our message! Actually what we have today is not only confusing, but it is sinful and scandalous. It dishonors our Lords' work of salvation.
"The truth is that no one denomination, network of churches, or large independent mega churches will ever win our cities, and nations to Christ. They are all too small. It will take the whole Church functioning as one to win our cities and nations to Christ.
"I sometimes get the feeling that the people of God are far more ready for the Church to be one that their leaders are. The leaders are the corks in the bottle. Perhaps we feel that we have too much to lose. We have built up our personal ministries and visions, and the finances they generate, and the positions of prominence that it gives. Somehow we have to come together and in humility to submit our lives and our works to one another, and begin to find the connections of the Lord, so that we have one vision, the same vision of Christ for the world.
"Some will argue that it is going to take a special move of the Holy Spirit for the Church to one. But that is often a cop out for a lack of willingness to work toward unity. The issue is not the need for a move of the Spirit. The Spirit moved on the Church 2,000 years ago. Every thing of the Spirit that we need for unity in the Church is already in the Church. What is required is our obedience to the Holy Spirit. Unity does not just come by a process of 'osmosis.' It is not something that you will wake up one morning and just discover that somehow, some way, it just arrived. It requires action and co-operation with the Spirit on our part.
"Come on leaders. What will it take for the Lord's church to again be one in the earth?"