My Thoughts. . .
One person asks another, “Are you a Christian?” The other responded, “Yes.” The first person asked, “What kind are you?” The person responded, “I’m a ______ Christian.” If you wish, you may fill in the blank. If you were living in the first century, what would that answer be? Perhaps the hyphenation you wrote in the above line is not found in scripture. Why? No one was referred to by that hyphenation until centuries later. It was an addition that resulted in the following:
1). It did not save anyone since the person enjoyed salvation prior to that and other hyphenations being created.
2). It did not improve a person’s standing with God because Yahweh saved them due to the blood of Jesus rather than them joining a hyphenated group.
3). Not one single apostle of Jesus Christ adopted or referred to themselves by a hyphenation.
4). The saved were organized as the body or church of God prior to the introduction of hyphenated bodies or churches.
5). Hyphenations did not improve the body of Jesus in organization, fellowship, worship, or work since God created that divine body before man created hyphenations.
Paul wrote to a congregation in the first century that made the mistake of introducing that kind of hyphenations. The ones who introduced those new creations were already Christians because they were already in the one body of Jesus (1 Corinthians 12:27). They were already the church of God (1 Corinthians 1:2). Yes, the names of the ones they used to denominate themselves with were highly respected and honored men. However, those personalities did not suggest nor encourage those brethren to do what they were introducing. Neither Paul, Apollos, Cephas, or Jesus encouraged nor suggested that their names or teaching were to be used to create those hyphenated divisions or sects.
Each one of them was something in addition to being a Christian! “What KIND of Christian are you?” “I’m a Pauline Christian.” “Oh, Well I’m a Cephasite Christian.” “I’m neither one of those, I’m an Apollosian Christian.” “All of you are wrong. You need to be a Christ Christian like me.” Paul’s rebuttal to all four was, “Is Christ divided?” (1:13). No, four times No!
The divisiveness promoted by all four was wrong. Did a person have to hear Paul rather than Peter to become a Christian? No. Were those who had heard Christ the only real Christians? No. Were those who were immersed by Apollos rather than Cephas the actual Christians? No. Paul points out that some had heard him preach but were immersed by someone else. God adds to the saved those who have received and responded to His word. Who teaches you and who immerses you is not the important factor? Philip immersed the eunuch rather than Paul, Apollos, Peter, or Jesus doing it. Was he added to the saved by God Almighty? Yes, he was. It may give a person bragging rights, but God did not save them because they were immersed by Paul rather than by Philip. What hyphenated group was the eunuch in after his immersion? Did the eunuch see any reason to be hyphenated as “of Paul,” “of Apollos,” “of Cephas,” “of Christ” or “or Philip?
Those hyphenated saved folks in Corinth were divided into four “of” groups. They were saved before they divided. They were saved before they named themselves. Most, if not all of the problems they were drowning in was a results of those four divisions. Such divisiveness owes its allegiance to Satan rather than Jesus. Those Corinthians and others who had been added to the saved by the Father were complete in Christ Jesus without those hyphenations. Hyphenation isn’t necessary to one’s salvation. It isn’t necessary as an addition because it divides those who believe in Jesus!
If one wishes to be scripturally hyphenated, the best way is to be a faithful saved one!