It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Distinctions but Not Disputes, a Reflection on 1 Corinthians 10:10-18

Way back at the beginning of the Christian church in Corinth, Paul wrote to them, appealed to them, to stop their quarreling with each other. He doesn't like what he has been told--that they have divided into factions.

What are we supposed to do with Paul's advice today? When he reminds them that they were baptized in the name of Christ not in the name of one of the faction-leaders, what do we need to be reminded of? Inside the congregation or our denomination, where does our loyalty lie?

Yet, mindless agreement doesn't help much, either. And, I'm not ready to call for the end of denomination distinctions on the basis of this passage. How I'm reading Paul is that although I am not giving up distinctions, I must consider giving up disputes.

Here's how Carl Halladay puts it in Preaching through the Christian Year A:
We should not confuse unity with uniformity. To agree and to be of the same mind and judgment does not require us to formulate our theology in identical terms. Indeed, the true test of Christian unity is the ability to disagree in our formulation of the truth, even in our convictions about the truth, without compromising our ultimate loyalty to Christ--and to each other.

No comments: