During World War II, Adolf Hitler commanded all religious groups to unite. He desired this unification not to benefit the church but rather that he might have complete control over the religious. Among the Brethren assemblies, half complied and half refused. Those complied with the order received much better treatment. Those who did not were harshly persecuted. Many from the resistant families died in a concentration camps.
When the war was over, feelings of bitterness ran deep. There was much tension between the two groups. Leaders from each group finally met for they realized they had to put the matter to rest. Reconciliation was essential to their existence. For several days, each person spent time in prayer, examining his own heart.
Francis Schaeffer the influential American Evangelical Christian theologian, philosopher, and pastor gives an interesting account. He said that he asked a friend who was at the meeting, “What did you do then?” “We were just one,” he replied.
Unity of spirit was achieved as they confessed their hostility and bitterness to God and yielded to His control. Love filled their hearts and dissolved their hatred. Unity of spirit cannot be achieved as long as we fail to love our neighbor as ourselves. All personal feelings, assumptions and preconceived conclusions must be submitted to the will of the Father as we exercise love for others in Jesus name.
Dr. Gayle Woods