I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?1 Corinthians 1:10-13
March Madness of college basketball is upon us and there are many rivalries among teams across the nation. I don’t follow basketball as closely as I once did, but I have plenty of experience with a few not-so-friendly rivalries myself. As I read the above verses from Paul it does make me think of the kind of divisions we see in sports and in our families and churches.
One of the questions I hear on a pretty regular basis revolves around all the denominations within Christianity and the church at Corinth faced the same challenges. Some appeared to value Paul or Apollos greater than Christ – not that we would do that today, right?
Presbyterians, Lutherans, Methodists, Baptists, Pentecostals, and non-denominational churches all have certain distinguishing doctrines. Some people prefer one style of worship over another. Others listen to certain pastors or read particular books, but how often do our differences get in the way of the mission of the Church?
Consider Paul’s words in verse thirteen: “Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” or Luther? or Calvin? or Graham? or Hayford? or MacArthur?