Summary: The concept of changing colors for the sake of adapting is unfortunately the trend of modern Christianity. Paul was writing to a church that had a numerous amount of challenges similar to those that the church in America is dealing with today. We are t
One of my memorable pets growing up was a Chameleon. I loved the idea that it would change colors to adapt to the environment that it was in. It eventually died but the concept of changing colors for the sake of adapting is unfortunately the trend of modern Christianity.
• Paul was writing to a church that had a numerous amount of challenges similar to those that the church in America is dealing with today. We are trying to live for Christ in a very carnal culture.
Some common words you hear today are “tolerance, acceptance, openness, seeker friendly, inclusive.” The idea behind all of these terms is togetherness. There is a concerted push in the world today to bring everyone together under the same umbrella, one world, one society, one church. This is the heartbeat of the world and has in many areas become the heartbeat of the church.
Many newer members and even leaders of the modern church have been reared in a world where this ‘politically correct’ message has been the mantra of both entertainment and education. To do or be anything else has become a huge social sin.
THE QUESTION we should ask is HAS GOD CALLED HIS CHURCH TO BE ONE WITH THE SOCIETY OR CULTURE IT EXISTS IN?
This is the question Paul addresses with the church in the Corinthian culture.
Corinth has a population of around 700, 000 and was also a wealthy city.
Corinth was a Resort type of city that attracted those seeking pleasure from all over the region.
It was a Port city which made Corinth a convenient & popular stopping place for sailors looking to get drunk & indulge in whatever they could find. New Orleans during Marti Gras
Corinth was also filled w/ shrines & pagan temples the most popular was the Temple of Aphrodite " Goddess of love"
1000 temple prostitutes who went out every night soliciting business in the name of worship
Rome at the time had a saying to describe those whose lives were characterized by immorality & drunkenness They said you are behaving like a Corinthian.
Of all the churches mentioned in the NT the church in Corinth was the most worldly. If the church in Philippi was known for its compassion, and the church in Ephesus was known for its commitment, the church in Corinth was known for its carnality!
In this passage Paul addressed the CONDITION that happens when a church adapts to a carnal society. He then addresses the spiritual CONCERNS that we should have.
Finally Paul suggests the CURE for breaking free of where the church might find itself in just such a situation.
THE CONDITION OF A CARNAL CHURCH:
11Our mouth has spoken freely to you, O Corinthians, our heart is opened wide.
12 You are not restrained by us, but you are restrained in your own affections.
13 Now in a like exchange - I speak as to children - open wide to us also.
The Hollywood branch of the American Cancer Society decided to hold a benefit night in conjunction with a professional tennis tournament. It turned out to be embarrassing for them, however, when they learned that a major tobacco company was sponsoring the competition. Officials of the society found out too late that they had committed themselves to selling 500 tickets to an event that was named after a well-known brand of cigarettes. The publicity sent out by the Hollywood chapter portrayed a young woman with a tennis racket in one hand and a cigarette in the other.
You are not restrained by us, but you are restrained in your own affections.
Paul first addresses the spiritual wandering that comes with being a Carnal church.
They were trapped in the continual limitations of their flesh and not able to spiritually benefit by Paul’s ministry.
What if Paul came to most any church in America 2012: How much could he accomplish with us in our present condition? How much resistance would he face because people are so invested in wrong thinking which had developed out of a constant exposure to their cultural surroundings?
How much have you been influenced by your entertainment choices, your education, your friendships or work relationships, your lack of a passion for God in areas like God’s Word or prayer or the right choice of fellowship?
Paul praised the Bereans for questioning him because they did it by looking at the Scriptures but today we would see modern ‘Christians’ questioning him because they are looking at the culture.
I speak as to children - open wide to us also.
Paul then addresses the barriers to understanding spiritual truths that come in a carnal church atmosphere. Church members are permeated with the ideas and concepts of the lost world around them. Their world view is primarily driven by the teachings of the prevailing wind of the world they exist in instead of by God’s Word and the Holy Spirit’s working in their lives. Spiritual concepts are foreign to them at first glance.