Of course we recall that the Corinthian believers divided into groups claiming to be followers of Paul, Cephas (Peter), Apollos, or Christ- to the exclusion of the others.
17 In the following directives I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good. 18 In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. 19 No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God's approval.
We live in a time in which differences among us, and among us evangelicals, are coming to the fore. And that can be alright and healthy, as long as we don't divide over those differences in a way that keeps us from being open to the entire Body of Christ in the world. Of course I'm not talking about the essentials of the faith, but over secondary matters which while important in their place, still should not be placed in the same category as essentials. There will be some debate here, as to what is essentials, though for the most part, the essentials have been settled, and in the interplay within Christendom are being settled.
One example I'm thinking of is a prominent leader who believes that people like myself do not believe in "the doctrines of grace", and therefore cannot teach at his church. I can understand that up to a point. I know one very good, godly man, a pastor, who believes something of the health and wealth "gospel", and I would not want him to be teaching that at a church I'm a part of, either. At the same time, we should work together as we can. And in the case of the first leader mentioned, we must remember that grace in Jesus underlies everything in all Christian theology considered orthodox throughout the centuries.
All things are ours, and all Christian leaders as well. Those who insist otherwise put themselves in a camp that at least reminds us of those early Corinthian believers.
What do you think on this? Is the point valid, and why or why not?