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‘Unity’ that is not unity: ‘Together 2016’

Together 2016 poster 2Christians from across church backgrounds will gather, Saturday, July 16, at the National Mall for an event called “Together 2016.” Participants are praying and fasting for at least one million people to attend. The purpose is for Christians to set aside their doctrinal differences and unite by focusing on Jesus and spiritual awakening.

But is this kind of unity a good thing– or even unity at all?

Christian unity is, of course, very important. Jesus emphasized its importance for the church’s witness during his “High Priestly Prayer” (John 17:20-23). And it may seem to some people that this event could have potential to demonstrate Christian unity. The roster of well-known Christian speakers and organizations taking part is lengthy. It includes evangelicals, Pentecostals, charismatics, Roman Catholics, and leaders in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). Even the Pope will represent with a video message for the crowd. But, the problem is, the event’s so-called unity is not unity at all. Why? Because vastly different agendas are being clouded by the ambiguous language surrounding the event.

The language is unclear in many areas. Take the catch phrase “change our nation,” for example. What type of change, exactly, is envisioned? Fill in the blank. And what about “spiritual awakening”? The participants are using this phrase, but with vastly different understandings of what it means. For Roman Catholics, “spiritual awakening” surely includes the need for Protestants to return to the fold. For people in the NAR, “spiritual awakening” includes the need to submit to the authority of NAR apostles and prophets, receive their new revelations, and work miracles. But these Catholic and NAR notions of “spiritual awakening” are very different from the type of spiritual awakening typically spoken of by more traditional evangelicals. They probably are thinking mostly about the need for people to place their trust in Jesus for salvation from sin.

Don’t be deceived: this isn’t unity. This is whatever you want it to be–in the name of Jesus.

Christian organizations and leaders taking part in Together 2016

Nick Hall, of Pulse, organized this event. Other organizations supporting it include the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Cru (formerly known as Campus Crusade for Christ), InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, the National Day of Prayer, and YWAM, as well as the Assemblies of God denomination and the Southern Baptist Convention. According to the Christian Post, well-known speakers and musicians to make appearances include:
Hillsong United, Kari Jobe, Francis Chan, Lecrae, Nick Hall, Passion, Crowder, Kirk Franklin, Ravi Zacharias, Jeremy Camp, Andy Mineo, Michael W. Smith, Lauren Daigle, Christine Caine, Mark Batterson, Matthew West, Jo Saxton, Mike Kelsey, Casting Crowns, John K. Jenkins Sr., Josh McDowell, Laurel Bunker, Luis Palau, Tedashii, Tasha Cobbs, Lacey Sturm, York Moore, Trip Lee, Samuel Rodriguez, Ronnie Floyd, Reid Saunders, Bob Lenz, Jose Zayas, Jennie Allen, Nabeel Qureshi, Ann Voskamp, KB, Christine D’Clario, Matt Maher, Sammy Wanyonyi, Lindsey Nobles, Amena Brown, and Josh Brewer.
In addition to this lineup, leaders in the radical New Apostolic Reformation will speak at the event. These NAR leaders include Lou Engle, of TheCall, and Mike Bickle, of the International House of Prayer. The New Apostolic Reformation is a controversial movement led by modern-day “apostles” and “prophets” who claim to receive new truths that will transform the church into a miracle-working army and usher in God’s kingdom.
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Holly Pivec is the co-author of A New Apostolic Reformation?: A Biblical Response to a Worldwide Movement and God’s Super-Apostles: Encountering the Worldwide Prophets and Apostles Movement. She has a master’s degree in Christian apologetics from Biola University.
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2 Responses to “‘Unity’ that is not unity: ‘Together 2016’”

  1. Pamela Michele Says:

    Wow and Hello! Just ran across your site and am loving it, God Bless You, Brothers and Sisters of this site! I found what I needed then hit the HOME button and ran across this article/post and I am a bit shocked that no one commented on this highly propagandized event, which when I saw the first warnings (announcements, pope’s message) of the event, it shook me to my core. My discernment meter shot thru the glass and all I could think about was the indoctrination of the Millennial Generation (My son is one, at 19 years old) to “RISE” up to a “new coming together” of “all religions”, and that pope’s words in a media ad (MSM) impelling the youth to go to the meeting. If you watch the ad (it is on YT) and listen closely, break it down, well, it was outright prepping our youth for the NWO. Not in big overtones, but in my humble opinion, it will not take much to “indoctrinate” the minds of this generation. It is hard for me to keep it at 250 words, so sorry about that. I’ll be quick, but I need to say, that I am not insulting them, and if I had more room for it, I could explain my statements. This will help: Such as my son, he thinks waaaay outside the box and is very intelligent, but searches for answers above and beyond what is right in front of him. Many are this way and these kinds of “Gatherings” are not good for them, at all. JMHO. God bless your ministry and I look forward to learning more about it! 
    Sincerely, 
    Pamela Michele
    (Not the Pam in other comments, I promise, I am a newbie 😉

  2. Nick Says:

    At The Call DC 2008 I was on such an emotional high so I called my brother Stewart in Oregon to praise the event, which I’m sure he had never heard of. The Holy Spirit gave him discernment and wisdom immediately before I could tell him anything other than we were all in DC to pray and worship. I didn’t have to tell him anything, he began to warn me against the very things they were doing and not to celebrate being a part of it.

    The phone call enraged me at the time. How could he be so dismissive of The Call? But he was telling me the truth in love and was so patient with me.

    I knew my brother was an orderly continuationist, but never had I perceived him to operate in the gifts. But his agenda wasn’t to spotlight the gift of discernment or whatever it was, his agenda was to speak the truth in love and I didn’t notice his discernment for 9 years.

    Love doesn’t seek its own. Like how the Holy Spirit doesn’t promote Himself but Jesus.

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