The twelve apostles were assigned by Jesus to further the legacy of his faith and death. They did this by preaching the gospel, baptizing and converting people, and founding churches. Asides from the twelve apostles, Jesus, specially assigned Paul, a Jewish lawyer who frequently persecuted Christians.
On his way to Damascus, he was accosted by Jesus in the form of light. The streaks of light caused him to be blind for three days until he was healed by Ananias, a Christian Prophet. Subsequently, he began to preach per the scriptures.
He partook in the missionary functions of founding churches, preaching, condemning false prophets, etcetera. Generally, anything that made people understand the pretexts of Christ.
On his visit to Corinth, he persuaded the people to worship Christ. Corinth was a city the makeup of Jewish and Gentile people. Paul, occupied with the word, preached to them, including Titus Justus, and they believed. Because of this, he extended his stay and laid down formalities for the practice of faith in Christ.
After he left Corinth, he wrote a letter to them. This letter precedes the first Corinthians but was never found. The response to this letter is what Paul addressed in the present 1 Corinthians. Here he recognizes the extant problems of the Corinth church by tackling them with his divine Authority.
PROBLEMS OF THE CORINTH CHURCH
The problems of the Corinth Church can be summarized into the central theme of excessive worldly attachment that unfortunately led the people adrift from the traditions of Christ. These problems can be broken down into standard vices that were naturally opposed by Christ and his apostles. The letter enables us to discern that disunity, sexual sins, the issue of women, immorality, and spurious speaking of tongues were proficiently adhered to in the church.
The issues were widespread, permeated with indiscipline, and deemed wholly disregardful by the standards of Paul.
In trying to dispel the appellations Paul heard about the division in the church, he recorded his knowledge about the division of the church and censured it. Some people made a mockery of the Last Supper, others subscribed to a perpetual state of denial —they did not believe in the existence of Christ and the practice of his religion. Above all, major divisions originated from which agent of Christ was to be admired or believed. Some fancied Paul, while others did the same to either Peter, Cephas, or Apollos.
To those who did not believe in the resurrection of Christ, he said that Christians are fellow workers in faith. He regarded factionalism as sinful, carnal, and fleshy, equally warning them of not preserving the sanctity of the communion.
• Sexual Sins
To those preoccupied with the sin of sexual immorality, Paul heavily advised in contradiction of relating with fornicators. Paul elucidates his point in 1Corinthians chapters five and six where he divides sexual immorality into two; heterosexuality and homosexuality.
Paul argues that we are not bound by sexual laws, and must uphold the sanctity of our bodies for the holy spirit. He condemned the endemic acts of fornication and prostitution. Similarly, by referencing the creation story seemingly emphasizing the creation of man and woman, Paul, with an unyielding stance, reviled the act of homosexuality. To him, it is abominable for the people to carry out such an act.
• The issue of women
By Paul’s standards, the women grew into rebellious members of the church. First, they wore no headdress while praying in the temple. Paul addressed this by stating that they must preserve the sanctity of the church by complying with this. Second, he placed the authority of the woman under the man, that although they had a right to pray and prophesy, they had none to speak and must at all times remain silent in the presence of their husbands in the church.
Because of this Paul is seen as a misogynist. The freedoms women sought during his time, to him, were not of the faith and had to be condemned.
Immorality was a predominant problem in the church. Drunkenness, indiscipline, most importantly, leaving with pagans whilst worshipping their gods culled the attention of Paul with his earnest condemnation of all. Given that he did not suppress Christian-pagan relationships, he refuted the worshipping of unknown gods. He even stated that Christians should not divorce pagans unless their pagan partners want to leave.
• Spurious Speaking of Tongues
At that time, members of the church exhibited pride hinged on the superiority of their gifts. Many had entertained their egos by knowing how to speak in tongues. This caused most members to uphold bogus positions in speaking against the true nature of tongues by contorting their words. Paul vehemently opposed this act. Plus, he implored all members of the church to carry their gifts without feeling it superior. He defined this act as a mockery of the true nature of Christ and his tenets.
In conclusion, Paul tried to restore order by using his authority. It is said that after he wrote this letter, he returned to Corinth, but only for a short stay. The problems of the Corinth Church lets us know about the troubles faced during the early pursuit of Christianity.
Blue Bible Letter. (2020). The Epistles to the Corinthians. Blue Bible Letter. Retrieved from https://www.blueletterbible.org/study/intros/corinthi.cfm
Harbuck, M. (2010). Church Problems in Corinth. The Berean Blog. Retrieved from https://mharbuck.wordpress.com/2010/03/25/church-problems-in-corinth/
Jackson, W. (2020). Corinth — A Troubled Church. Christian Courier. Retrieved from https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/1531-corinth-a-troubled-church