Monday, August 10, 2009

1 Corinthians 1:10-17 (The Corinthian Problem that Persists)

One of the problems that prompted Paul to write a letter to the Corinthian Church was one that persists in many churches to this day. In fact, it is a problem that makes 1 Corinthians 1-4 seem to be written specifically for the American Church of the 21st Century. We are a church of divisions and arguments, or at the very least we love to form “camps.” In Paul’s day it was: “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos.” Today there are any number of “Christian leaders” that people follow and define themselves by.

What Christian book are you reading at the moment? How is it helping you out? Have you been recommending it? Why is it not the Bible?

Paul reminds us (or them) that we are all of Christ. We have been saved in and through Christ’s sacrifice for our sins. What good does it do us to be in any leader’s “camp” of teaching? Supposedly some might be teaching “Christ crucified” while others teach things that are heretical, but in that case we would do well to affirm, “We are Christ’s” and not make the focus whatever teacher is in vogue at the moment.

All that is not to say that we should not have variety in the church. Many smaller churches in an area will nearly always reach more people than one big church. Even a variety of different points of view on the minor issues are good for reaching a variety of people. However, within that multiplicity of Christian expression and community, we should all unite under the common message of the cross.

So what exactly is that message?

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