Growing up in elementary school in Kentucky my buddies and I were always afraid that someone would sue us. I know it sounds totally ridiculous. Why would someone sue a nine year old kid? But at this time in history it seemed that everyone was suing everyone. There were these urban legends of people who won big money in court for the most unreal reasons. One guy was awarded several million dollars because he spilt his cup of coffee on him from McDonalds and it burned his leg. Apparently he did not feel the cup has the proper warning labels on it to cause him to exercise more caution. There was another case of a guy who was intending to rob a home and enter the house through a skylight in the ceiling. Apparently his plans failed and he fell through the sky light leading him to break his leg. He sued the homeowner for not putting up a proper guardrail around the window on the roof of their home to prevent people from falling in. Perhaps the funniest lawsuit I heard of was a man who was driving his R.V. down the interstate, put the monstrous vehicle on cruise control and then decided to go back into the cabin to fix himself a meal. When the vehicle crashed he sued the manufacturer because his understanding of cruise control was what we now call full blown auto pilot.
We hear these stories and we laugh. There are some court cases that are no laughing matter at all and according to the apostle Paul Christians suing and litigating against other Christians is absolutely shameful.
The Christians in Corinth just seemed completely unable to get along. They were literally taking all of their dirty laundry to the magistrate in the open air marketplace of the city where everyone gathered and fought and argued over who was right and who was wrong. Can you imagine being the judge who is presiding over the court case, “how do you two know each other?” “We go to church together.”
It is a terrible thing when Christian are unable to get along, but it is even worse when they begin taking their affairs to secular courts for verdicts. This is truly symptom of a deeper problem within the church, the Corinthians really do not know who they are. This is Paul’s chief concern.
This Sunday we will be looking at this passage a little more as we seek to discover the hope of the gospel amidst what was obviously a painful and embarrassing issue within the first century church. Join us for “Church Fight Club” as we continue forward in the book of 1st Corinthians at City on a Hill, 107 East Parrish Street in Statesboro, 10:00 AM.