Sunday, April 30, 2006

1 corinthians chapter three


jON said...

1Co 3:1-2 "Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready."

has anyone encountered this? i know i feel as if this past year i have been learning how to eat not only solid food, but to feed myself. of course i enjoy sharing the meal with others.(as that is how it is best enjoyed in my opinion) and i wonder if there is not an element of truth to the thought that most mainline churches have become dairy farms? so to speak. teaching the same lessons over and oevr again. but then again, with the setup of the church organization being what it is today, so far removed from the original church, if perhaps that is all they can be. because a maturity of which paul speaks brings with it radical freedom, and it is hard to maintain any human-controlled organizational unity in a community of people who "you do not know where they come from or where they are going. so it is with everyone born of the spirit." could be tough to pull together a cantata with a bunch of people like that. not that i'm against cantatas or using our talents to glorify god, but with people wandering around on various adventures preaching the kingdom as they go, it just might not happen on any sort of a timetable that please our humanly and fleshly frames of mind.

1Co 3:18 "Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become wise."

until recently, i had a "good" job. a "real" job. meaning a job that was turning me into a serious asshole, a cheater, a manipulater of people for my own "successful" ends, and a man abandoning his own wife and son for these demands that kept popping up. because, "hey, a man's gotta eat". i now think these thoughts and several like them about "responsibility" and "success" are lies of oppression that we should heed no longer. and in not heeding them, you will become a fool to the world to trust in your god alone to be your provider and protector.
am i saying we should not work? BY NO MEANS! but what i am saying is that perhaps we should not be afraid of being the least of these and working side by side with them and being examples of lives filled with faith and hope in the midst of what the world would call a "useless" and "worthless" life. while we show the least who it is that are turly living the worthless and bankrupt lives by our example.

1Co 3:21-23 "So then, no more boasting about men! All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God."

okay, i get the part about us not listening and championing any human teaching above the teachings of god, even if the teachers are men of god. their authority and opinions are not above god's.

but what about this "all things are yours" aspect of it that i just noticed and have never heard anyone expound on ever? any thoughts on this part? i'm really, really intrigued by it. because, when taken at face value, it is saying that at the end of it all, everything, EVERYTHING is god's. and we "know" this, but in practice we continue to point out things and say they are not god's when clearly this is saying that EVERYTHING is god's. any thoughts?

Susan said...

1 Co 3:1-2 It does concern me that the organized church spends a lot of time being "diary farms". But I would suggest the organized church has fallen into this role because of the immaturity of its members. Most Christians are capable of feeding themselves but prefer to be spoon feed.

1Co 3:21-23 "So then, no more boasting about men!" I think this connects to v.7 where Paul says "he who plants nor he who waters is anything but only God who makes things grow". I think there is a lot of boasting going on about the planting and the watering. We forget that it is only God who can make things happen. I think we like to take some of the credit for ourselves. We doing so we assume responsibility for the growing process which is not suppose to be our responsibility.

The "all things are yours" is an interesting phrase. It reminds me of the older son in the parable where the father says to his older son, "you are always with me, and everything I have is yours" (Luke 15:31). So I think of it in terms of inheritance because we are joint-heirs with Jesus which I think comes out in v. 23.

Herschel said...

i am loving reading YALL'S thoughts on thsi stuff...i will offer mine soon

Anonymous said...

"All things are yours..." I'm thinking that because he was speaking earlier of their quarreling over who was the best teacher... that Paul, through the spirit levelled the ground... all things are yours no matter what it is are Christ's and because He loves you all things that belong to Him are yours forget about anything in this world that you think is valuable because NOTHING COMPARES !! ... to the Love that Christ has for us.

Susan, I agree that there are a lot of people sitting in church pews who are not reading their bibles... but here is where I very apologetically and gently disagree with you on this one point. I sincerely hope that you don't mind. The members are being built by those in the pulpit... there are even people sitting there who can't read very well or simply don't process what they read very well and for various reasons depend on what they comes by hearing...and this particular part of chpt 3 is for those in the pulpit or anyone who preaches Christ...
vs.9 For WE are God's fellow workers; YOU are God's field, God's building.,,,,
Then Paul warns....vs. 10 But each one should be careful how he builds. His work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work.

There is not enough care being taken as to how the temple is being built up. There is a lot being left out from the pulpit... for example... the Lord says in the OT that he will bless those who love Him to a thousand generations...we mostly hear...your children will be cursed to three or four generations if you sin ... and they very curiously leave out the part that this curse is to those that HATE God ... there is too much preaching that there is something to attain when the Love of Christ has already been lavishly and freely given to us... A pastor who has given up his own wisdom for God's wisdom knows that the only way people change for the better is by understanding that Jesus, God, Christ, the King of Kings, the Rose of Sharon, the Bright and Morning Star, the Counsellor, Prince of Peace and COMPLETE LOVER of our souls LOVES us. And that very important message does not seem to get totally through in our churches today. Our churches are like social clubs with very defined RULES.
I believe that the builders.. the preachers under the present day organizations are very much to blame for the way our churches are today. They have welcomed the Pharisee for various reasons.... money being one of them... not trusting that the Lord will bring money out of the mouth of a fish...when it is needed. Our churches are not built on prayer and close relationship with Jesus ...they are built on the world's business practises... Jesus comes to every gathering in His name, as He says He will and He comes with joy. He dwells in the praises of His people on Sundays and whenever else that happens...but when the service actually begins He is benched ... sitting on the sidelines with you and I waiting for the opportunity to show Himself and it rarely comes in our affluent societies...if ever.
We complain about the lack of the presence of God ...He's there ...
He's waiting patiently. He's not angry with us... He's just waiting for a chance to play with us... and love us with nothing between us.

as Hersch would say:
Peace Out Y'all :-)

Wendy ftfs said...

LOL that was me ... sorry

Herschel said...

"11For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ."

i am seeing what you are saying wendy; and susan; and jon.

It seems to me that churches all too often think that in order to get new members, or keep the members they have, they have to have a great praise band, a light show, video clips in the sermon, twelve different seminars people can choose to go to during the week, a gym, "Bible studies" where you study the works of popular Christian authors of the day, etc...

we seem to have come to the point where Christ, and the Gospel, is not enough...

The foundation I SEE being laid the last couple years is that of entertainment.

Not that all churches are like this. The church I attend does an excellent job of keeping the focus on the Gospel I well do alot of churches...

but as the American church, I thik we are really struggling witht htis stuff and I think the American churches foundation may be shifting...

I don't mean to pick on something, but I think I have to a little bit--I really don't like relevant magazine. ANd i think this attitude that we have to be "cool" to be relevant is total crap...

what is more relevant than meeting people's needs for acceptance? than feeding the poor? than forming true friendships with those people already in our congregations as opposed to saying Hi on sunday and then never talknig to them again?

What is more relevant than the Gospel, that Jesus died for us and our sins, and gives us freedom?

that's all i got.

peace out yall;)

Herschel said...

i need to say something more...

It wasn't fair to call out something like relevant like I did...

Frustration set in and spoke before I thought about what I truly wanted to say...and that is this:

I don't think I am alone when I say that we need to come to a point in our churches where Christ truly is enough. He alone is relevant and what people need. He is the meat.

He is the rock.

He is it.

Sure the icing on a cake looks nice, but you don;t eat a cake for icing. You eat it for the cake.

We need to move as a church to where Jesus is; and we need to let that be enough.

jON said...

Our churches are like social clubs with very defined RULES.

this is so right on, wendy, that i'm not sure whether i should laugh or cry about it. what happened to grace? what happened to freedom? when i hear that "it was for freedom christ set us free"... most often it gets translated that christ set us free to be able to follow all of the rules now. sort of like our american notion that the more freedoms we give up, the more free we will be. somehow, that just doesn't compute with me. enough said.

1Co 3:11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.

hersch, you already posted this verse and expounded your thoughts. that's what made me do a double take in reading the chapter again today. but in a different way...

unless i am reading it wrong, when taken at face value, this verse seems to be saying that it is not possible to lay any other foundation but christ. so is he talking strictly to the corinthians within the corinthian fellowship, or do you think he is making a grand sweeping statement about all of humanity? because if it is the latter, many conceptions i have held throughout my life need to be shattered.

any thoughts?

Herschel said...

"unless i am reading it wrong, when taken at face value, this verse seems to be saying that it is not possible to lay any other foundation but christ. so is he talking strictly to the corinthians within the corinthian fellowship, or do you think he is making a grand sweeping statement about all of humanity? because if it is the latter, many conceptions i have held throughout my life need to be shattered."

could you explain this a little more?

jON said...

absolutely. in fact, i had thought about it a little more and was coming back to clarify and you beat me here!

i guess what i am asking is this:
is paul saying that everyone already has christ as a foundation whether they know it or not?

in thinking about the hugeness of the cross and the all encompassing fact of grace, are we all building upon christ? some in knowledge and some not? and then throughout the course of our lives, we choose to build on this foundation with better or worse "materials" that will be judged? because as i continue my studies of the scriptures, i do not see the judgement to come being based on whether or not we "believe in christ", but rather what we did in light of the freedom that has been given to us because of his sacrifice. "according to what their deeds deserve."

we are all now free in light of the cross. what did we do with that freedom? did we build the kingdom? or did we squander that freedom on selfish living? in this view, it is not just christians that are brought to account, but everyone living on the face of the earth. and IF this is indeed the case, it calls into question many things that i have been taught and believed about life and judgement.

Susan said...

Feel free to disagree with my ideas Wendy, I don't mind. I hope you feel the same :) I understand what you are saying and there are churches like that in Australia. I'm not sure how similar or dissimilar the church in America is to Australian churches. Generally speaking, per head of population less Australians attend church than Americans; so the ones that do are more committed. But this is all vast generalizations.

Nevertheless I do know of preachers who would like to bring more "meaty" message but feel like Paul did in v.2 that people "were not yet ready for it." The attendance at prayer meetings in Australian churches is generally speaking appallingly low and I'm not sure you can blame the preachers for that. I also think that we are all called to be builders/teachers to some extent which comes out in Hebrews 5:12 along with a further reference to milk drinkers. I think we also need to look at the way we train people to be preachers. We have a tendency to isolate them in theological colleges for three or four years and fill their heads with academia. Whereas Jesus method was more like an apprenticeship where the disciples learnt on the job as it were.

On Jon's point about judgement I was taught that judgement for Christians was about the receiving of rewards, since Christians already have eternal life (John 3:36; 17:3).

Wendy ftfs said...

Jon, the builders are the preachers in 1 Cor 3... vs7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labour. 9 For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.

He makes a distinction here....Then he goes on to say that every preacher needs to be careful how he builds.... What do you think about this distinction?...

Susan :-) I have heard that in the third world countries that the Holy Spirit moves more freely than among our affluent societies .... are there wonderful things happening in your churches that aren't happening here? I have NEVER seen a serious blatant illness such as long term paralysis healed ... for instance. Say someone who has been wheelchair bound for years. Even among our supposed famous TV healers, 60 minutes, a popular documentary TV program here in NA, found that one of the people in the crowd who threw his crutches away was a healthy individual who was pretending to be ill. So many fakes who are feeding their own bellies. The false prophets we have been warned about.

If we want people to come to prayer meetings there is only one way that people respond and that is when they know they are loved unconditionally and that does not happen here or in the US or I would suspect in Aussieland either. I'm not speaking personally of you yourself... but the personalities of the earthly churches in our societies are lacking this foundational element.

Look at the throngs of people who came to hear Jesus tell them of this Father in heaven who LOVED them and proved that love, with supplying their needs such as feeding them and healing ALL of them. I suspect this is the same problem in your country... the really needy, and I don't mean hungry or clothing needy, I mean love starved needy, don't come to the organized church because they simply don't feel good enough. That is the way it is here, as Jon says you are not free to be yourself. You really aren't free to have anything not looking squeaky clean on the outside. The inside? As long as it is well hidden away you can freely go to church. My question is....who set that standard?
The people who fellowship in our churches are people who feel like they will "FIT" in...they feel that their lives are "good enough" exteriorly to show their faces... and when someone mistakenly comes through the door who has been told "whosoever will" and doesn't fit the mold, and the "pressure" to change is immense... they don't stay long because we expect them to shape up, like NOW. People are being offended daily in churches, simply because they aren't loved. Offense is really ok.. it's what happens after ... the offended one leaves and goes to lick his wounds and noone comes to see him and check if he is ok... and win their brother back to them ...

Over and over again, I repeat, it is LOVE that lines a person's life up with the Lord and nothing else. And WHO is LOVE?

A pastor's job is sooo big is the heart of the community of believers is parenting and keeping the members in the bond of love.... Any thoughts on this? Am I being too harsh?

Susan said...

I can only think that the situation where you are Wendy is vastly different to where I am. We do have lots of pastors who genuinely care for their people.

jON said...

oh, ladies. this topic is sooo BIG. and i think both of you are right. how's THAT!

i've seen it from both sides. in fact, i've seen both happen at the same time. a pastorate that truly loves their people, but at the same time has certain man made expectations of appearance of lifestyle and so a loving person acts very unlovingly...unbeknownst to them!

and i have seen a general populace laiden with apathy. and i'm not just talking about the general populace of america. within the church. we have both. those who are doing their best, and those who just don't give a damn. and unfortunately, only the lord knows the difference because only he can see our hearts.

i'm sure that to many who are more conservative than myself, i seem to be disrespectful and irreverant, whereas these people can seem to me to be dead and dispassionate. when in turth we both love god very much, but just happen to be two different people! painful and tragic and at times, beautiful. the body.

Wendy ftfs said...

:-) It's good to talk about these things... in summary... I guess the buck stops here.... we are not seeing miracles among us. Why? ... I have a suspicion that it starts and ends with love, though. A deeper love than the churches are experiencing now. A love that will forgive the most atrocious sin... and heal the most impossible disease... In a church that I attend, there are two men who come and go in wheelchairs...they are young men in their early 40's. The lame man at the temple gate called Beautiful ... "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk."
There is also another man I know here who has struggled with alcoholism most of his life ... He attempted to kill his second wife ...was not successful and went to jail for a while. He came to the church I attended after he got out of jail. It was a new church and he was probably hoping that he could come to church where noone knew him. He looked healthy again. He was happy to see me. He smiled and gave me a big hug... I had known him and his family for years. I said goodbye as I watched him walk away after the service... and I knew he would never be back.... and he never was.... and we all know why.

Herschel said...

Heres something;

Maybe we don't see miracles not because of a lack of love, but a lack of faith.

Why did Peter fall in the water? Because he had little faith.

I say this because a friend of mine from college went to live in Taiwan for a year after we graduated and she would send monthly email updates and I can't recall getting one email that didn't contain a story of a miracle. I'm not talking about how a baby being born is a miracle(which it is) but things like a man who comes before the church with a broekn leg and being able to walk after having his hands laid on him.

Or perhaps someone who has huge amounts of cancer in their body and they come before the church to have hands laid on them and they are healed.

Even my friend towards the end of her time their gathered enough faith to go before the church. She has suffered her whole life from having a one leg 2-3 inches shorter than the other and it has messed her back and hips up due to the unevenness of things. Anyways, she went before the church and as the elders prayed, and her leg grew. She has it on video.

Sometimes I think our prosperity and knowledge inhibit our ability to have faith in miricales, and therefore that could be why we don't see them like we should...

we have little faith...

I do anyways...

Wendy ftfs said...

"Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk."

....and yet these are the words that Peter spoke .... What changed from the time he walked on the water to the healing of the man who was lame since birth? ...

Please don't take a fence lol I always wanted to write that lol no, really please don't take any offence at all, Hersch.. I'm just thinking out loud about things that I've been pondering for quite some time.

As far as prosperity and knowledge go Taiwan is doing quite well. These kinds of miracles I hear of going on here too... apart from your friend's short leg, these things can easily be fudged... especially if the crowd doesn't know the people who have gotten healed. I'm not saying that that is what happened there but I hope you understand where I am coming from.

Think of this Hersch ... have you actually seen a person healed of a major debilitating disease that can be SEEN like paralysis since birth? Someone who everyone at the prayer meeting knows and has known for awhile?

I'm really not trying to be difficult... I just want us to stop and think here ... :-) We have all kinds of excuses and reasons to offer up. But are they right?
Do we say to the paraplegic you aren't healed because you don't have enough faith... surely he has faith as a grain of mustard seed or he wouldn't believe that the Lord saved him. And isn't that a kind of finger pointing and judgment on him? He has MORE reason to believe than you or I do..... sigh :-(
I don't know about you guys but I'm tired of the same old excuses for the Holy Spirit not to have free reign among us.
1 Cor 13:13... and now these three remain faith, hope, and love but the greatest of these is love.

Love ya Hersch

Peace IN :-)

jON said...

a-fucking-men to the both of you.

the moving of the holy spirit, or the seeming abscense of it, in the church experience in my life is something i am very interested in. because i feel things sometimes. and i feel like i'm totally unprepared to know what to do. i've never seen a healing done, an actual honest to goodness healing, in the public forum in a church. not one of the jesus style instantaneous jobs. not one of the "take up your pallet and walk" bad boys.

man. could you fucking imagine that? seriously. if you could heal anyone? everyone? do you know what kind of mob would form around you instantaneously? it staggers the mind to think it.

but people would come. and if you didn't abouse that power for gain, as many do, i think god would still honor that.

but it would take a very different individual. one of the things i am coming to realize about the religion of my youth is that in trying to stop people from "going too far", i had learned only how to not go far enough. and i'm tired of not going far enough. (if you haven't noticed, i've been deconstructing the religion of my youth for about a year. if it's something you've never done i think it's something you could benefit greatly from. if you have the means, i highly recommend picking one up. it is so choice. try it, you'll love it. it's a mind scrambler.)

and this was a startling thought once it hit me fully. because i look across the landscape and i see several people, everyone almost, not going far enough.

we get whooped up over other people who aren't afraid of going too far...and we criticize them as though that kind of fearlessness is some sort of character flaw and even call it sin sometimes. when it is a trait we ALL should be exhibiting if we are to follow god ANYWHERE.

well folks, i just got home from work and it's time for some tater tot hot dish. i worked 14 today and i work 12 tomorrow so i may or may not be back tonight. of my most favorite games in the world is the "obscure movie line game." basically, as i live and have conversations with people, the dialogue sometimes will remind me of an obscure movie line. so i throw it out or work it into the conversation somehow. i've decided to let you all in on this a little more since you can't hear the inflections in my voice. so, i've decided to italicize them when they come up. they won't be italicized and bold. that i reserve usually for scripture or emphasis. then, if you know the answer, just shout it out!


Wendy ftfs said...

14 hours at work does strange things to you, Jon. :-)


jON said...

it's lot of time in the car to think. and think. and think. and think...

jON said...

and is that some kind of avoidance of the game? you don't know the answers, do you? erin knew them immediately, but of course she's been playing with me for ten years. she just felt shy about jumping in and sharing.

Susan said...

I would like to play the "obscure movie line game" but unfortunately I'm going to have a lot of trouble - I haven't watched enough movies.

I have played a similar game my family with lines from British TV comedies, but you may not be familiar with them?

jON said...

hey, throw 'em out there. we can all learn something from each other. the only real british tv comedy i am familiar with is of course "monty python's flying circus". and even that not so much. funny, though.

Wendy ftfs said...

LOL I have a movie in my mind but I'm not sure that my memory is serving me well ... I have not been into TV and movies for awhile now. Not that I don't like them, I love movies, just life has been a tad too busy for a few years now.

When I said that 14 hours makes you strange I was "relating". I put in long hours as well and I know what it does to me.... lol... From exhausted to giddy to zombie land.
Woohoo LOL