Corinthians 3:4 (ESV)
4 For when one says, “I
follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human?
The problem in
the Corinthian church exists today. People try to make principles out of their
preferences. They try to say they are better than others because of them. They
are superior in intellect or spiritual maturity or sophistication. They look
down on others because they do not prefer the things they prefer.
have had enough with it. I like the ESV Bible but that is a preference. I like
both hymns and contemporary Christian music. That, too, is a preference. It
does not make me superior. It does not make me more mature. Saying that I am
better than others because of it makes me merely human.
church must become spiritual in its dealings with everything if she is to be in
harmony with one another. Making these preferences into principles simply
divides us. It makes us spend valuable effort in proving that we are indeed
taking the superior position. It makes us think we have arrived at something.
And we have. We have arrived at our own human depravity.
So, we gather a
group of people around us who are no more spiritual than we are. We make fun of
those who aren't like us. We call the contemporary music "Seven
Eleven" or say that the hymns have lost their meaning and don't speak to
us. We tell people that the Bible translation we use is easier more easy to
read or that it has a majestic sound.
I am always
involved in church on Sunday mornings and really don't have a real connection
with those who aren't. However, since my wife and I are in Singapore and it was
her birthday yesterday, my daughter and son-in-law took my wife and I out for
breakfast before church as part of her birthday celebration. It was a nice
restaurant on the river. There was even a celebrity there. I noticed that these
people had no concern whether anything was happening at church. Their lives
were completely outside of that environment. They don't know and don't care
what version of the Bible we are using. They don't know any of the songs. They
do not care if we are Baptist, Lutheran, Presbyterian or Catholic.
I thought about
these people all day. How can the church get caught up in preferences for
people who know Christ when those who don't know Him have such an eternal
damnation? We will never get an audience with these people which means anything
by being merely human.
So, I urge
Christians to find where God is working and join Him. Listen to Him and begin
new works. Pray for unity in the Church. Be filled with the Spirit.
Get over your
preferences. You are not better than anyone.
4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human?