August 23, 2013 by lellielieb
“I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another.”
I Corinthians 4:6
I’ve been reading, teaching, discussing and thinking about church history quite a bit this week. I am blown away by the work of the early church fathers, the amazing success of the various church councils and I have become convinced that the fact that they came to agreement about important things like the trinity, the humanity and deity of Christ, and His substitutionary death is nothing less than miraculous. I mean, look at I Corinthians. Already in the first century of the church, folks were arguing about “stuff.” They were going “beyond what is written.” That’s our tendency as humans. Sometimes it’s a safety issue. I can understand the building of a fence well back from the edge of a cliff. It is especially wise if children will be playing nearby. New believers may need to build spiritual fences to keep themselves from sin. Mature believers should respect those fences when with the less mature Christians. That is scriptural. Constructing a thick, high, permanent wall, however, and expecting everyone to stay on the safe side is not scriptural. Going further, declaring that anyone who choses to travel on the other side of the fence CANNOT BE A CHRISTIAN, is wrong. It’s divisive. It’s pride.
Human nature doesn’t change. Paul had many of the same frustrations that church leaders face today. Pride has no place in the church. We are told to walk in humility. I’m learning, but it does not come naturally.