Ep.185: Paul Cleans Up In Corinth.

Hello, I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray With Me”.

Today, let’s look at the mess in the Corinthian church and at Paul’s opinion of it. 

First the seven messes in the Corinthian church: 

1. First, the church members had aligned themselves with various religious teachers, arguing endlessly about who was right. Something like the modern arguments about the merits of Bill Johnson’s ministry at Bethel Church in California. The internet is awash and aghast with Christian analyses of why he is a dangerous heretic and where he’s so badly wrong. And there are alternate opinions about what a great Johnson does for God.  

2. Another part of the mess was serious sexual sin, like incest (chapter 5). Today we have internet pornography.

3. Third, Corinthian church members sued each other in the court. Paul thought it was  bad news to mix lawyers and courts into already complicated church relationships and church politics (Chapter 6). 

4. Some church people were unhappy being single; others were unhappily married (chapter 7). Welcome to the human condition. 

5. Fifth, some Corinthians had no problem eating food sacrificed to idols, others wouldn’t touch the stuff (chapter 8). Christians today make similar decisions about Hollywood entertainment.  If it comes from Hollywood, it’s probably been offered to idols, but we Christians have different views on how much violence and sex and language we consume with our popcorn and soda.

6. When the Corinthians threw a potluck to celebrate the Lord’s supper, it was a raucous affair (Chapter 11). Some overate, some got drunk, and some went hungry. 

7. And finally, Paul castigated the Corinthians for misusing spiritual gifts (Chapter 14). If corporate worship degenerates into a random babble of prophecy and tongues, he asked, how does that help anyone learn about the Christian life? If our worship today is an unhappy collection of modern music and spiritual platitudes and Greek exegesis of scripture, do we create a similar babble of tongues? How can we communicate God’s word to needy hearts?

So if you were Paul, what would you say in light of this mess? 

Listen to what Paul says to the Corinthians:

“I always thank God for you because he gave you grace in Christ Jesus. He made you rich in every way, with all kinds of speech and knowledge. . .You don’t lack any spiritual gift as you wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 1:4-8).

Let’s pray. (Scene)

Our father, we see the mess in your church today.
– Divided over the prosperity gospel and which politicians to vote for.
– Divided over gender and inclusion issues, confused about how to live holy lives in a decadent modern culture.
– Divided over the gifts of the spirit, whether you still give the church prophecy, miracles, and tongues.
– Divided over pandemic restrictions that inhibit our freedom of worship.

Our father, instead of despairing over the state of your church, we rejoice with Paul that the gospel has gone around the world, that spiritual gifts are everywhere, even when unrecognized or misused. With Paul, we wait for the Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed, trusting him to bring his modern church to a blameless future, with Paul and the Corinthians, in the day of Christ. 

Amen. (Scene)

I’m Daniel on the channel “Pray with Me”.