Fifty-nine. That’s the number of times the New Testament instructs Christians on how to treat one another.
Be at peace with each other.
Be kind and compassionate.
Live in harmony.
Accept one another just as Christ accepted you.
Love is the bedrock of Christian faith, and kindness is a concept we teach our kids from their first moments of understanding. But these ideas are more easily envisioned than put into practice. Both local congregations and online spaces highlight how many of us have lost touch with caring for one another—especially when we disagree.
Over the past few years, politicians and pundits have fostered growing polarization and racial division, a trend amplified by the American church. Rather than faithfully embodying the “one another” verses, too often the church has embraced, and even fueled, needless divides.
These actions impair the church’s mission and distort its contribution to the world. Only 28 percent of Americans have a favorable view of evangelicals, and even within the faith, political division is one of the primary reasons pastors are considering leaving ministry.
Many Christians are left feeling heartbroken, wondering if anything can be done to reconcile fractured relationships and restore the church’s reputation. Ultimately, the divided American church needs a restored vision for true community—a vision that does not seek to eliminate disagreement but instead fosters unity within diverse congregations.