So, my thought continued, is based on 1 Corinthians 1:12-13. Paul writes to the church of Corinth in verse 12 to address some “quarrels” within the community of believers as to who they followed or who they were baptized by, but he then zings them in verse 13 with “Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul?” Awesome!
I could just imagine the faces of those who heard these words and their look of “Oh man! He got us!” You see this, I believe, has been the major cause of why churches are failing because the Church is failing. We have put our hope and faith in a denomination or man and have allowed other brothers and sisters to fail if they aren’t with us. We have allowed for the fight of the Corinthians to continue, just in different terms. Some questions that have continued a quarrel could be “What pastor do you follow?” or “Do you sprinkle or dunk?” of which neither impacts one’s salvation.
Maybe these questions aren’t present, but other thoughts are that may cause division. Some other thoughts that are possible “Well, if their doors close, maybe they can join us?” or “Our VBS is going to be awesome, we just need to make sure our VBS doesn’t have any other competition or competes with anyone else’s”. Even in the guise of trying not to compete, we are still competing. We want to do our own VBS, but our fellow brothers and sisters up the road are doing one too! Why can’t we partner? The answer: Because we are not being Christ followers, but church worshippers!
Paul had a great question “Is Christ divided?” This is the question I wish we could answer for the world. When churches are failing and others are succeeding the world may see division. It is not a competition in the Church, but the church has made it one. In the first Church we find people sharing everything to each other in order to ensure they were taken care of (Acts 2:44-45). Where is the first Church today?
If we are called to reconcile people to God (2 Cor. 5), then we must reconcile the Church. The church with the big budget might need to rethink where that money is going. Are programs more important than another church thriving, so the Church can thrive? Are the events happening within the walls more important than allowing other brothers and sisters following Christ to not have any walls around them? We need to rethink the way we work together to change the lives of people. We need to rethink the Gospel for the Church.
I welcome feedback and thoughts. I want to grow as I am hoping to help others grow.