While Paul was working in Corinth, some people tried to oppose him in a very strong manner. They took Paul in front of a judge, and they tried to argue against Paulís beliefs. That happened in many other places too, and Paul had often suffered punishments because of his beliefs (2 Corinthians 11:23-25).
However in Corinth, the judge did something unusual. He refused to listen to any arguments about peopleís beliefs. And he ordered the people who were opposing Paul to leave the court. That allowed Paul to continue his work in Corinth (Acts 18:12-17).
The people who opposed Paul then were not Christians. However, you might expect the Christians in Corinth to learn something from their experience. But in fact, the Christians were trying to get the support of judges whenever they disagreed with each other.
This still happens occasionally today when groups of Christians disagree. They cannot stop an opposing group by mere arguments, so they appeal to the law and to judges. For example, one group of Christians may ask a judge to order another group not to meet in their town. Sometimes they can find legal reasons to support their argument. Of course, those legal reasons are usually just the excuse for their actions. The real reason is that the two groups disagree about their beliefs.
We know that, in certain situations, Paul demanded his legal rights (Acts 16:37-39). He also considered it proper sometimes to appeal to a judge (Acts 25:10-12). Clearly, he did not believe that Christians should never use the law.
But Paul considered the actions of the Christians in Corinth shameful. He does not tell us why they were appealing to judges. But we know that there were opposing groups in their church (1:10-12). It seems that they were asking judges to deal with those arguments. And Paul considered that wrong.
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© 2014, Keith Simons.