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1 Corinthians 11:17-19
Friday, August 19 2011

Divisions in the Church...

The people of Corinth were facing a problem we are well aware of today - a Church divided:

"In giving this instruction, I do not praise the fact that your meetings are doing more harm than good. First of all, I hear that when you meet as a church there are divisions among you, and to a degree I believe it; there have to be factions among you in order that (also) those who are approved among you may become known."  -1 Corinthians 11:17-19, NAB

The people of the church in Corinth began to disagree about different topics, and the drama spilled over to their meetings.  Of course, these were not ordinary meetings; it was their form of Mass back in the first century.  Paul recognized that it was doing "more harm than good," but he also saw how this was part of God's overall plan.  In God's overall plan, this would be one way that He separates us at Judgment Day.

The division of the church in Corinth parallels Christianity today.  We label and separate ourselves into a number of different denominations, including the Catholic Church.  The Protestant Reformation was the first, and largest division.  From there, the Protestant movement continued to divide, and divide, and divide, until there are more denominations than one can count.  There are even nondenominational Christians (I am a former one) that do not prescribe to a larger church or body, and they are completely independent.  Christianity has become about personal opinion instead of spiritual truths.

Our divisions, however, do not make us stronger; they only serve to weaken the Church.  Some may feel that it is better to have Christian faiths in a variety of flavors, but it has only served to weaken our message.  Instead of sharing one truth with the world, we share countless variations of "the truth" with the world.  Unfortunately, the traditionally Protestant view of faith has become how secular society sees Christianity, and society does not have an accurate picture of the Catholic Church.  We must do something to change that.

First, we must realize that we are all going to face Judgment, and it would be better to face it as one united Church.  Second, to do that, we must reach out to the other denominations ecumenically and bring them back into communion with the Church.  Finally, we may all have our own opinions on the truths of the Church, but we must present the pure Truth to the world - Jesus Christ.  Divided we have become weak, but we can still unite ourselves through our faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ.

 

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