I’ll never forget a conference that I went to which was full of pastors who were considering the current state of our denomination and trying to find ways in which we could champion a more conservative moralistic approach which seemed to be fading in the PC(USA). At one of the break out sessions there was a discussion on what a graceful separation from the denomination would look like. The room was packed. At this conference, and at this break out room, there were pastors from other countries, Presbyterians like the rest of us, who wanted to see what was happening in our denomination.
The discussion arose in regards to how do we make sure we keep our churches, the buildings, the campuses, the stuff, if we leave the denomination. This topic seemed to come up and we lingered on it for quite some time. At one point, a pastor from the Philippines stood up and said: “Why is that you Americans are more concerned about your church buildings and the material things about your churches than about the actual people. Why don’t you just let the denomination have your building and you just focus on the people.” It was a very telling statement, and one that hushed the crowd, at least for a moment.
At the beginning of this chapter Paul once again in a somewhat sarcastic manner speaks out against, it seems, other people who might be preaching a Gospel, but not the Gospel of Christ. It seems that he is speaking against the church in Corinth because maybe, just maybe and I could be embellishing this, they were also supporting some of these false teachers. If you look starting at vs.12 you can hear him call them out. When he states in vs.13 that these teachers, and I’m guessing he’s talking about those who had cut into his profits, calls them deceitful workers.
The entire ending of this chapter is Paul proving to the reader that he is a better qualified apostle and church worker than anyone who has graced the city of Corinth. Nuff said.