An Apology to Church People and a Warning to church people

An Apology to Church People and a Warning to church people

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Dear Church People,

I apologize for the craziness you have to witness when you really become involved in the day to day life and activities of the church.  You know the stuff I’m talking about don’t you?  It includes things such as jealousy, gossiping, fighting over positions and just the plain old ugliness that you wouldn’t expect in a church setting. We should have warned you.  Stand firm and do not let them/us deter you.  We really need and appreciate what you have to offer.

Dear church people,

Can’t you see that the way you are acting is the reason why people do not want to be involved with the church?  I think it is said that only 5% – 10% of people do all of the work in the church and one of the reasons may be because of you.   Do you want to be the reason someone leaves and doesn’t come back?  Maybe it’s not you, so I pray that these evil spirits that are circling go away.  There are some good people who we need to be involved.

But I guess this is nothing new.  Paul speaks to the Church in Corinth about problems they were facing too.  It’s unfortunate but by now you would think church people would know better.

Why does Paul write 1 Corinthians?

2 convergent factors:

An official letter sent by the Corinthian church (see 1 Cor 7:1) –   This official letter is the underlying catalyst for Paul’s advice concerning marital status and life situations (ch 7), eating meat sacrificed to idols (chapts 12-14), and matters concerning the collection (ch 16).

Oral reports from Chloe’s people: (1 Cor 1:11-12) –   These reports may disclose information that the church did not reveal to Paul in their official letter such as: squabbles over leaders, matters of sexual immorality (chapts 5 & 6), fellow believers taking one another to court (ch 6), abuses of the Lord’s Supper (11:17-34), and attitudes of some toward the resurrection (15).

Issues with the Lord’s Supper in Corinth

  • It’s not open to everyone
  • People are leaving before it’s over
  • Not all are equal at the table
  • Some are getting drunk
  • The supper is actually a meal – most there aren’t sharing
  • The rich people aren’t waiting for the workers to show up
  • Table settings and placements were based on social status the people with the most money sat with the host

1 Corinthians 11:17-19

The Lord’s Supper

17 Now in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. 18 For, to begin with, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you; and to some extent I believe it. 19 Indeed, there have to be factions among you, for only so will it become clear who among you are genuine.

Paul’s Pastoral strategy was to remind them that they were of one body.  But maybe it has to happen so we can weed out the bad church people.