Keith Hunt - TRUTH or SILENCE? #2 - Page Two   Restitution of All Things

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TRUTH or SILENCE? #2

A Church Divided over What?

Continuing with part two



WAS THE CHURCH DIVIDED?

     Fist we will examine whether or not an organization's
belief about "speaking the same thing" is based on the truth in
the Bible. The organization's scriptural foundation is 
1 Corinthians 1:10, which states, "Now I plead with you,
brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all
speak the same thing, and that there be no division among you,
but you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and the
same judgment" (New King James Version). An organization could
contend that this Scripture clearly shows the members cannot
finely share their views about Scriptures with others unless they
are in line with official organization teaching, because doing so
would cause division. Such doctrinal discussions would only be
acceptable if they were to occur between a member and the
minister, in private, for the protection of the flock.
     1 Corinthians 1:10 definitely says, "...all speak the same
thing," but should a belief; or an administrative approach, be
based on only one Scripture? Does the above interpretation, on
which the organization's belief is based, re main consistent with
other Scriptures in the Bible? Or might this one verse be taken
out of context which makes it appear to say something Paul did
not have it mind. It must be as Isaiah 28:10 reads: "For precept
must be upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line
upon line, here e little, there a little" (New King James
Version).
     To apply Isaiah 28:10 in our proving process, we must do as
Paul admonished Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:15: "Study and be eager
and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by
trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly
analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and
skilfully teaching] the Word of Truth."

     To honestly study I Corinthians 1:10, we must examine the
context to find out why Paul was telling them to speak the same
thing, what it was they were saying, and why it was causing
division. Some church organizations use this Scripture to
establish that "speaking the same thing" means only talking to
other members about what is in agreement with the organization's
official doctrines. Is that what Paul is talking about?

     In verses 11 and 12 Paul explains what they were doing that
was causing division: "For it has been made known to me, my
brethren, by those of Chloe's s household, that there are
contentions and wrangling and factions among you. What I mean is
this, that each one of you [either] says, I belong to Paul, or I
belong to Apollos, or I belong to Cephas (Peter), or I belong to
Christ."  

     There is nothing in those verses that says they were
speaking different things about what they saw in Scripture. Their
contentions were over who they were following as a leader. The
reason they weren't speaking the same thing and were not in
harmony and full agreement was that they were arguing over who
was the best minister! 
     The Jewish New Testament Commentary states, "The Corinthian
leaders wrote asking questions (7:1) but said nothing of this
much more important matter, schisms rending the community
asunder. Rather, it took some or Chloe's people to make this
known to Sha'ul [Paul]. The implication is that the leaders
should have reported it themselves.... The Gospel has been
perverted into a cult of personality; but loyalty to leaders,
thinkers or denominations must not supersede, loyalty to the
Messiah" (page 442).

     These people had attitude  problems about ministers that
affected what they was saying. Paul drives the point home in I
Corinthians 4:6-7: "Now I have applied all this [about parties
and factions] to myself and Apollos for your sakes, brethren, so
that from what I have said of us [as illustrations], you may
learn [to think of men in, accordance with Scripture and] not to
go beyond that which is written, that none of you may be puffed
up and inflated with pride and boast in favor of one [minister
and teacher] against another. For who separates you from the
others [as faction leader]? [Who makes you superior and sets you
apart from another, giving you the preeminence?] What have you
that was not given to yon? If then you received it [from
someone], why do you boast as if you had not received [but had
gained it by your own efforts]?"

     The above Scriptures, as well as several Bible versions that
have chapter outlines before each book, make it clear that 
1 Corinthians 1:10 through 4:21 is not dealing with division
caused by people who are not all speaking the same thing about
doctrines. The division Paul was dealing with was caused by
members is the Corinthian Church looking to favor men as their
leaders instead of Christ. Could the church organization's
interpretation of I Corinthians 1:10 be forcing their members,
who want to remain in its fellowship, to do exactly what Paul
admonished against? Could those in charge of an organization
actually be teaching members to follow them instead of the
embodiment of Truth (Christ)? Yes, if members believe the
leader's interpretation of Scripture and not what the Bible
actually says!

HOW TO ALL SPEAK THE SAME THING

     Even though it has been shown that 1 Corinthians 1:10 cannot
be applied the way the church organization has applied it, Paul
is still talking about "all speaking the same thing." What is
this "thing" that we are to be speaking so there are no divisions
among us? How can we be "speaking the same thing" without
following men but Christ? Using the principle in Isaiah 28:10
once again, "precept upon precept," we can find the answer in
another one of Paul's epistles - the book of Ephesians.
     Before we look at Ephesians, let's restate Paul's
instructions to the Corinthians: "Now I plead with you, brethren,
by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same
thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be
perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same
judgment" (New King James Version).
     Ephesians 4:14-16 complements 1 Corinthians 1:10
beautifully. It states, "So then, we may no longs be children,
tossed [like ships] to and fro between chance gusts of teaching
and wavering with every changing wind of doctrine, [the prey of)
the cunning and cleverness of unscrupulous men, [gamblers
engaged] in  every shifting form of trickery in inventing errors
to mislead. Rather, let our lives lovingly express the truth [in
all things, speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly].
Enfolded in love, let us grow up to every way and in all things
unto Him who is the Head, [even] Christ (the Messiah, the
Anointed One). For because of Him the whole body (the church, in
all its various parts), closely joined and firmly knit together
by the joints and ligaments with which it is supplied, when each
part [with power adapted to its need] is working properly [in all
its functions], grows to full maturity building itself up in
love."

     The Greek for "express truth in verse 15 is "aletheuo"
which, according to Vine "signifies to deal faithfully or truly
with anyone." If we are admonished to speak the truth by Paul how
can we be told by a church organization to conceal it for the
good of all?

     How does Ephesians 4:14-16 complement and deepen the meaning
of 1 Corinthians 1:10? There are three areas it which this
occurs: 

                           .....................

To be continued

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