"If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool that he may be wise; for the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God: and again, the Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise that they are vain."
The Gospel Messenger--1879
Elder David Montgomery / PB-History
Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord .Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment; for it has been declared unto me of you, my brethren, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one you saith, I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas, and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for your or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” 1st Cor., 1.
We would be almost in despair of the church now, had not such cases as the above been left on record as the condition of the church at times, in the past. It has been about eighteen hundred years since the church at Corinth was in this condition and had taken sides, one for Paul, one for Apollos, one for Peter, and one for Christ. What was the matter with them? Were they not Christians, and were they not the church of Christ? They were Christians, and the church of Christ; but they were carnal, so that Paul says to them:
And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk and not with meat; for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able; for are ye not carnal; for whereas there is among you envying and strife and divisions or factions are ye not carnal and walk as men? For while one saith I am of Paul, and another I am of Apollos, are ye not carnal? Who, then, is Paul and who is Apollos but ministers by whom ye believed even as the Lord gave to every man? Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool that he may be wise; for the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God: and again, the Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise that they are vain. Therefore let no man glory iii man, for all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world, or life, or death, or things present or things to come; all are yours, and ye are Christ’s and Christ is God’s.
In places there is now a condition of things similar to that at Corinth eighteen hundred years ago. If it he no worse we shall be glad. Neither Paul, Apollos, or Peter aided or abetted any of the factions, of that day, and may have been charged with cowardice and time serving for all we know, by some of the fiery stalwarts of the church, who, like war-horses, were champing their bits, pawing the earth, and neighing impatiently for the onset. Some people are like Dom Quixote: they must have a fight even if they have to charge somebody’s wind-mill. Who wants to divide Christ? I am sure no true lover of Christ wants to divide him any more than the true mother of the child wanted her child divided by Solomon.— Rather than have her child slain, she was willing for the false mother to have it. There are some whose lives have been devoted to Christ, even in this dark day; who have given, so to speak, their hearts’ blood to the cause of Christ; whose lives have been humble, self-denying lives; whose conduct has been upright, whose morals have been good and who have a good report of them without; men who have stood to our spiritual David in his distress when there were few with him: chief captains who would have staked their lives to have brought their Master water from the well by the gate of Bethlehem.— Some of them are hoary headed now, and they will not desert his standard in their old age. Still if these veterans forsake him, any of them, and lift up a standard themselves, we dare not follow them; nor do we inscribe the name of the mightiest chief of David upon the banner of Israel. Upon that banner is written the name of Jesus and none other beside. The church of Christ is not bounded by state lines; Christ is the same in New York, Indiana, Mississippi, Ohio or Georgia.
The MESSENGER desires to be on the side of Christ, and be for Georgia Baptists, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, and for all true Baptists and Christians everywhere, and for no faction anywhere. J. R. R.