(Reposted here in full because of the brevity; original post.)
After the initial opening in 1 Corinthians 1, Paul immediately jumps into condemning sectarian divisions in verse 10 and following.
It’s not hard to understand. The Corinthians detected intellectual variations in how the different apostles taught and preached. And why not? Paul was a bilingual PhD Pharisee, Apollos was an Alexandrian scholar, Peter was no kind of scholar at all, and Christ clung to Ancient Hebrew thinking. But in the cerebral approach of the Corinthians to matters of religion, different styles meant different doctrines.
When you get any mainstream Christian leader to read this same passage and he starts talking about how we need to end sectarianism. But what he really mean is that everyone should dissolve their clubs and join his. “Well, isn’t it obvious? Our way is the right one!” Should any of those actually make it to Heaven, I think they’ll be shocked at who else is there waiting for them.
This is the standard human-oriented tribalism. When you shift from your head to your heart in matters of faith, you automatically start looking for common threads that tie it all together. That’s how the heart-mind works. Feel free to choose any styling and flavor that meets your human needs and offers the best tools for living your faith. What really matters is the power of your faith visible to the eyes of the heart. Heart-led people will always recognize each other — or at least they could if they progress far enough away from the dominance of their intellects.
Too many folks reading Paul’s Corinthian Letters are too much Corinthians themselves.