DANGEROUS DEFECT WITHIN THE CHURCH
There is a most dangerous defect in the
church that can tear up her very foundation.
St. Paul calls it SCHISM. St. John Chrysostom
defines SCHISM as not mere division within the church wherein the church of
Christ is suddenly torn asunder into many parts. It is a division
wherein the ORIGINAL CHURCH is lost amidst the division.
And so, St. Paul advances the medicine with great
earnestness: "that ye all agree in what you say. And there be no
division among you." (I Cor. 1, 10-13). "That ye may be
perfectly together in the same mind and in the same judgment."
Concord or unity is not only in what you say,
however; there must also be harmony in mind. For it is possible to be
one in opinion but not in sentiment, i.e. we may all agree that we should
love one another and yet remain without love for one another.
So, St. Paul says, be in harmony in mind and in
judgment. For SCHISM is not in doctrine BUT a defect in judgment
because of much quarrelling. "There are contentions among you."
And the contentions are as ridiculous as 'I am for Paul', 'I am for Apollo',
'I am for Cephas', 'I am for Benedict', 'I am for Francis;, etc. And
all of them were in contention, not only a few.
St. Paul reminds the Corinthians that it is not
right for them to be called by the names of mere men who are nothing.
To belong to Cephas and to Christ is wrong; we must belong to Christ alone.
Showing the absurdity of their contentions, St. Paul
asks, "Is Christ divided?"
The Corinthians were behaving thus because they
placed too much trust on human wisdom. So, Paul attacks those who were
exhibiting their human wisdom. He shows how the learned in this world
are usually the defamers of God's wisdom WHILE the unlearned are the
greatest defenders of God's word. This is because the unlearned are
able to check their vainglory, repress their arrogance and enforce
moderation; while the arrogant cannot control themselves. . .thus, the