Now that we’ve finished both of Paul’s letters to Timothy, we’re going to go to Paul’s letters to the Corinthians. — This is what God gave me today in His word:
I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? (1 Corinthians 1:10-13)
There are divisions in the Church, and Paul wants to stop them. That pretty much sums up the above three verses. Paul also gives an explanation of why it is he wanted there to be no divisions: “Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” In other words, Paul wanted them to all work together: he wanted Christ to not be seen as divided. – If you’re wondering, Christ would have to be “divided” for Cephas to have had correct teaching, but Paul not to… Or the other way around. This is because both men had the Holy Spirit in them: had Jesus living inside of them, and thus for the two men’s teaching to be different, Christ would have to be divided. – Now, with that being said, what is it that makes us today think that divisions in the Church are “Okay”? To answer that, we first have to answer to other questions: does this letter that Paul is sending to the Corinthians, apply to us? And, because the teachings in the different denominations aren’t exactly harmonious (thus the different denominations in the first place), who would be the person to decide who had correct teaching and who had wrong teaching?
Well Paul answers the first question for us:
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, (2 Timothy 3:16)
Because every word Paul wrote was, in fact, “Scripture,” it must be profitable for teaching, etc. Therefore, because the verse in 1 Corinthians must be profitable for the afore-mentioned, it must apply to us: how else could it profit us?
As for the second question; that isn’t even an issue (stay with me here!). This is because, to put this as frankly as possible, no one has it right. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I have everything right, while everyone else in the world is wrong: I don’t have everything right, and others do have some things correct, it’s just that no one denomination has everything it right. In fact, it’s impossible for any division of the Church to have everything right, as no matter what, they’re still disobeying Paul’s statement here in his letter to the Corinthians. However, I do believe every denomination has some things right:
Catholics are right in saying that after salvation, we should show outward signs of our salvation… It’s just they took it (way) too far, and made it a requirement. Amish (pronounced either Omish or Amish… And no, I don’t know why they call themselves that) are right in being separate from the world, it’s just that they made being separate a physical instead of Spiritual thing. — Or, to put all this in other words: the feet are very good at walking, it’s just they’re horrible at reaching out, grabbing, and pulling someone else to their feet. Now while people find this obvious physically, it seems that the Church today has some problems with this in a Spiritual sense: some denominations may be good at missionary work, etc. but not so good at helping their new converts grow Spiritually.
There’s a reason Christ is the “head of the body,” and that’s because He’s most important. If the body (Church) would focus more on forgetting their theology and serving the Head (Jesus) as best possible, perhaps the Church would finally be more in the shape God wants it to be: If the feet could walk in unison with where the Head wants them to go, and the hands move in the same way, I’d dare to say we’d be getting somewhere.
1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:1-6)
You are Loved!