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HERESIES


 

 

 

THE MOST 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 contentions.

 

 

 

 

(07-25-05)

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