“One of you says, ‘I follow Paul’; another, ‘I follow Apollos’; another, ‘I follow Cephas’; still another, ‘I follow Christ.'” ~1 Corinthians 1:12
Our Tuesday morning men’s Bible study is looking at 1 Corinthians right now so you’re going to get a dose of this once a week or so for a while.
I see us just like the Corinthians. We have divided up into factions. One person belongs to a “progressive” faction. One is of a “conservative” group. One claims a “traditional” view. Still another stands for the “liberal” position. Each group claims to have something the others don’t. We’re better. Or we’re more mature. Or more “correct.” Or more free. Or more righteous. Or more whatever. Everybody else is more rigid. Or more strict. Or more loose. Or more prone to slip. Or more worldly. Or more whatever.
Since our differences — distinctions — are seen as good things in and of themselves, and something in which to even boast, we limit ourselves to only the thinkers or authors or preachers or teachers in our own groups and have a real tendency to vilify all the thinkers and authors and preachers and teachers in the other groups.
And we divide. And we disfellowship. And we write articles and papers. And we split up our own families. And we tell the world that the Prince of Peace isn’t really all that great afterall. He can get us to our own congregations (or our own sections of our congregations) on Sundays. But real unity and peace is out of the question.
“Is Christ divided? Was Paul (insert your favorite preacher or congregation or Bible class teacher here) crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul (insert your favorite Christian university or author or professor here)?”
The answer to this evil division, of course, is found in the Word of God. What we see in Scripture is that the Gospel is Christ and him crucified. Period. That’s it.
But, alas, that’s not enough to support my clan or my faction or my segment of the divisions over the others. We’re all equal at the cross. Equal in sin. Equal in need of God’s mercy and forgiveness. Equally saved by grace. So, forget the Bible. Or, more accurately, let’s add on to the Bible. When’s the next lectureship? When’s the next gospel meeting? Email me the link to that article. Get me a copy of that magazine.
“I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.” ~1 Corinthians 1:10
Let’s make a comment on the Blog.
Isn’t Corinth an interesting place? People there are bad. Not just a little bad, they are real bad. Corinth has immorality issues left and right. The funny thing is every fraction in Corinth thinks they are right. Your readers should really read in depth about this place. It is bad and it sounds a lot like where we live and work today. The evil one is strong both there and here. Just think, we get to live with all of the worldly stuff and then we get to keep things straight and narrow in “church” too.
It is how the evil one works. He is the same then as he is now. Just as you say, He has many weapons, and the old “divide ‘em up” trick still works as good then as it does now. Those kinds of tricks only work because we think that we can over come all the bad by our selves (another one of the evil ones tricks). Oh, we have churches full of all the people you talked about. Many of the people in those churches are people fighting the bad, alone.
Let’s don’t forget that we have been blessed. We have every gift we will need. We are strong and we have all the knowledge we will ever need. Not because we go to church. Not because of anything we do, but because of the Love of Jesus and his Grace and Mercy. He is faithful and we will never be alone. Think about that.