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Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: Paul’s Handling of Christian Disunity

In this brief article I should like simply to look at one important New Testament test-case for grappling with Church disunity: Paul’s dealings with the fractious Corinthians, who, to his annoyance, were forever picking a fight, both with one another and with him.

The place to start here is perhaps with the last surviving line of Paul’s correspondence with that quarrelsome group of Christians. Try to notice the sadness in this familiar phrase, remembering that the Corinthians were not listening to a single word that he had been saying to them: ‘The grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the solidarity of the Holy Spirit be with you all’. Like all of us, they found it dreadfully difficult to accept the unconditional love that Jesus represents; like not a few of us, they resisted the love of God; and, like a good many of us who claim to be Christian, they were very bad at showing the koinonia (to use Paul’s lovely word) or ‘solidarity’, that the body of Christ should evince.

Source: Thinkingfaith

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