Paul discovers a problem within the Corinthian Church. The believers are identifying themselves less by Christ than by the person who had nurtured them in the faith. How very like the Church today! I never cease to be amazed at the way in which the Church loves to split itself into independent congregations or medium-sized denominations, all in an attempt to guarantee a purity of ‘truth’ that is probably beyond our reach.
And before I sound self-righteous, I’ve been involved in this game. For me, it amounts to no more than the continuing crucifixion of our Lord.
The heart of the redemptive gospel is the reality of the incarnation; Jesus both divine and human reveals the character and purpose of God before being ruthlessly executed upon a Roman gibbet and buried. However, rather than being consigned to the pages of good and interesting historical figures, he resurrects and breaks the curse of death before returning to be with his Father in heaven.
Subsequently at Pentecost God sends the Holy Spirit, third member of the Godhead, to give witness to these momentous events at the heart of human history.
Sadly, the Church throughout its history has preferred to find its voice on those things it chooses to disagree about rather than celebrating the life, death and resurrection of its Lord and saviour.
It is very difficult to speak of one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church that those who crafted the creeds had intended. It’s our responsibility to seek out each other and attempt to recover relationship and a measure of godly cooperation in the gospel of Christ.
There may well be things we don’t understand about our fellow Christians in different denominations, yet we can exercise grace ahead of criticism. I have known so many criticise from a position of ignorance, a position I’m ashamed to admit I have operated from myself. Difference in approach and liturgy are healthy when we agree upon the centrality of Christ’s life, death and resurrection.
(Dr Micha Jazz)
With many peaceful blessings