When we ordain and install new elders they “promise to further the peace, unity, and purity of the church.” The need for peace, unity, and purity is readily seen from the absence of any one of the three.
A church focused on Unity and Purity, without Peace, can be described as fused and conflicted. Their energy, their intelligence, and their imagination are fully focused on winning arguments against one another while prohibiting anyone from leaving.
The modern Church exemplifies the absence of Unity. Each denomination, even some congregations, have their own idea of purity and get along with one another merely to accomplish important mission projects together, as long as on Sunday morning we worship separately. A congregation professing only Peace and Purity will force out anyone who disagrees and will dwindle as they demand greater and greater purity and peace.
The church in Corinth also had problems with Unity.
“Has Christ been divided? Was Paul crucified for you? …”1 Corinthians 1:13
If Purity is missing, then the church can believe anything as long as people are nice to each other.
Can you imagine a bowling league that seeks merely peace and unity? While most of the group is striving to roll strikes at ten pins, some are playing bocci or cricket, a third group has deployed bumpers so no one rolls a gutter ball, and a few have stopped keeping score.
A church that professes only Peace and Unity allows everything for everyone.
On the other hand, I particularly enjoy the Scots confession as it condemns non-Christian behavior as well as lifting up right belief.
I will have more to say about 1 Corinthians 1:10-18 at Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church at 8:15 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, February 2nd, 2020.
Robert Shaw, Pastor
A Tip for Parents
How do you feel when you receive good news?
Often, when another person, even a stranger, has received good news you can tell by looking at them. Frequently a person who has received good news wants to share that good news with other people.
How have you and your child experienced the Church as a place where good news is shared? When have you felt so pleased with Church that you need to tell someone, even a stranger? That is the essence of evangelism.