My Thoughts. . .

Thursday, 08-20-2020

The Corinthian church isn’t one that modern congregations care to be identified with.  Sadly, we are more like that church than we will admit.  Although the New Testament church did not have a proper name, Paul described them as “the church of God.”  Apparently, there were several others identified as such.  There was one in Ephesus (Acts 20:28; 1 Timothy 3:5) and one in Jerusalem (Galatians 1:13).  There appear to be more according to Paul’s comments in 1 Corinthians 11:14; 1 Thessalonians 2:14; and 2 Thessalonians 1:4. How many is anyone’s guess.  The church of God in Corinth is the only one described as “the body of Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:27) although the expression is generically applied to others in Romans 7:4 and Ephesians 4:12.  Several times the church’s name, in the singular and plural, is connected with the city it is in (Example: Colossians 4:16).  Paul applies the expression “house of God” and “church of the living God” to all assemblies in 1 Timothy 3:15.  The same is done in Hebrews 12:23 referring to it as “general assembly” and “church of the firstborn.”  Inspiration also uses “churches of the Gentiles (Romans 16:4), “churches of Christ” (Romans 16:16), and “churches of the saints” (1 Corinthians 14:33).  People settle on the singular or plural description which they are more comfortable with although their example is not found in scripture.

Few know that the King James and following English versions do not translate some words but anglicized them.  If they had been translated, the word “church” would be “assembly.”  The expression “Christ” would be “Anointed one.”  The word “Christian” if translated would be “a follower of the Anointed One.”  A failure to translate has led to views that are not always true.

The division of the church in Corinth has been multiplied and justified in our day.  In 1955 there were about 200 divisions among believers in Christ.  That number is now into the thousands.  Different excuses are given for each division or denominating.  Due to these divisions, humanism, atheism, and Marxism have grown.  Extremes have created strange associations and fellowships which have weakened rather than strengthened the teachings of Jesus.  Religions that are against slavery accept faiths that practice it.  Beliefs that are horrified if an animal is killed, are not concerned with the millions of deaths caused by abortion.  We have surrendered through acclimation to the destruction of the biblical family.  Christianity has a difficult time standing up for anything that is right due to that division.

Ask the average believer, “What is your faith?”  The usual reply is, “I am a Christian.”  When asked, “What KIND of Christian are you?” The rapid reply is, “I am a Baptist Christian,” “I’m a non-institutional Christian,” or one of the many other divisive names loyally defended by today’s believer.  The strength of loyalty is moving from the expression “Christian” to the denominated first part of that statement.  It is heard as; I am a Democrat Christian or I am a Republican Christian.  I am a liberal Christian, or I am a Conservative Christian.  I am a King James Only Christian or I am a NASV to NIV Christian.  The only one who wins in this hyphenated war is Satan.  Is he the Conqueror?  It is just as difficult for believers to stand together against Satan’s offerings as it was for the church in Corinth to assemble together as one body.

And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” (Mark 3:24-25; Matthew 12:25; Luke 11:17).