CHURCH DIVISIONS & POLITICS
“I appeal to you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brethren. What I mean is that each one of you says, ‘I belong to Paul,’ or ‘I belong to Apollos,’ or ‘I belong to Cephas,’ or ‘I belong to Christ.’ Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” (1 Cor 1: 10-13)
The “dissensions among you,” St. Paul indicates to me today, come from placing human allegiances above the One “crucified for you.” And further in this well-known first chapter of 1 Corinthians, the Apostle goes on to stress the centrality of the Cross and its unifying power, which “destroys the wisdom of the wise” and “makes foolish the wisdom of the world” (1 Cor 1: 19-20), lifting us above the divisive phenomenon of human opinions. We are elevated by the humility and “weakness of God,” which is “stronger than men” (1 Cor 1: 25).
In any “dissensions” that arise among us, be it in church-politics in this year of the Holy and Great Council, or national politics in this election year, let me not depart from the unity of “the same mind and the same judgment” of the One and Only crucified for us. This means taking a step back into self-giving, when discussions among us turn into “quarreling among us” and tempt me to jump in, abandoning the Spirit of my cross-carrying journey. “For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” Glory be to Him.