“I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.” 1 Corinthians 1:10 (ESV)
A Divided Church
The Church in Corinth was in good standing, but Paul had recently been made aware of some problems within the congregation. He addresses these in his first letter to the Corinthian Church. Apparently some were following Paul, some were following Apollos, some Cephas and still others claimed to be following Christ. Clearly Paul was dealing with a divided church.
In the verse quoted above in the English Standard Version. Paul is calling upon them to agree and be united as a congregation. The Greek word that is translated “to be united” can be translated “to be complete” (NASB). Using that translation, we can summarize the command as Agree and Be Complete, or ABC. This is an easy tool for remembering one of the central themes of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians.
A Different Angle
From an application angle, we ask ourselves what does it mean to agree as a church. Is it essential that every member of the congregation have the exact same position on every single tenet of the Church? Or does it simply rule out arguing and emotionally defending one’s own interpretation?
If we consider the second half of the command, “Be Complete,” we may have a clue as to answers to our questions.
The Greek word here also carries with it the idea of “mending,” “making perfect,” “being joined together,” and others. Tying all this to Paul’s statement that there be no divisions among them, we may have a familiar Methodist teaching, “We agree to disagree, but we cannot compromise the basic tenets of our Christian faith.” Simply put, this is saying “Agree and Be Complete or ABC.