Unity fruit of the Spirit

  • January 23, 2009
{mosimage}TORONTO - Standing at the ambo of Toronto’s grand and historic St. James Anglican Cathedral in his impressive academic robes, Rev. Dr. Brian Stiller, Canadian Evangelical leader and president of Tyndale University College and Seminary, frankly confessed his pharisaical tendencies.

He was quick to point out that the Pharisees are the “good guys” — decent, honest, thoughtful, law abiding, tax-paying, religious people not unlike most regular church-goers in our own society.

But even though you might feel safe buying a used car from a Pharisee, the tendency of Pharisees to prefer to live safely and securely behind the fences of their sectarian communities will never lead the church to unity, Stiller said in his sermon to lead off the 101st Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in Toronto Jan. 18.

“Unity is that cocktail of the fruits of the Spirit,” Stiller declared to about 200 people gathered for a choral evensong featuring the Choir of St. James Cathedral and the boys of St. Michael’s Choir School.

Stiller inveighed against unity as a political project undertaken among institutional churches.

“We don’t manufacture unity. Unity is a byproduct of life in the Lord,” he said.

Canadian Evangelical leader Rev. Dr. Brian Stiller, president of Tyndale University College and Seminary, delivers the homily at a Week of Prayer for Christian Unity kickoff Jan. 18 at St. James Anglican Cathedral in Toronto. (Photo by Michael Swan)

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