What does the Bible say about solidarity?Question: "What does the Bible say about solidarity?"
Answer: Solidarity is unity or agreement among individuals who have a common interest. Teams, clubs, and organizations are built upon the solidarity of their members. We create solidarity when we gravitate toward groups of people who think or believe as we do. Solidarity gives us emotional support and companionship when we connect with like-minded people. Solidarity also allows us to work together for common goals so that we accomplish more than any single individual can. Christian solidarity is a major theme of the New Testament (Romans 15:5–6; Philippians 2:2).
In Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer, He asked that His followers would demonstrate solidarity to the world: “I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me” (John 17:21, NLT). Our solidarity and love for each other demonstrate God’s love to the world. Christian solidarity should arise from our adherence to Jesus’ teachings and the “whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27; see also Ephesians 4:4–6).
Local churches should also strive for solidarity among their members. Peter urged believers to be “like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble” (1 Peter 3:8). A lack of solidarity is damaging: “If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other” (Galatians 5:15). Paul explained how to maintain solidarity with fellow believers. Philippians 2:2–4 says, “Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” When a church practices godly solidarity, it is a mighty force for good in the community and in the world.
The only time solidarity is destructive is when the unity is centered on an evil goal or ideology. Terrorists and white supremacists may experience a measure of solidarity, but their unity stems from shared hatred. That is not a solidarity that God can honor. At the Tower of Babel, people were in solidarity with each other, but it became evil as they used it to disobey God and worship their own achievements (Genesis 11:1–9). God destroyed their solidarity because they misused its purpose.
Psalm 133:1 says, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” God created the world to be a place of beauty, harmony, and unbroken fellowship with Him. His desire is for us to live together harmoniously. Romans 12:8 says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Because of sin, that goal is not always possible. We are never to compromise with sin in order to get along (Acts 5:29), but, in every other way, Christians should be models of solidarity. The Bible commands us to love and evangelize the unsaved so that they may one day join our solidarity as fellow believers (Luke 6:27; Romans 12:20).
Recommended Resource: Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald Whitney
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