Corinth Overcoming Cultural Influences In every age, one of the greatest challenges of the people of God is to overcome the cultural influences around them. Perhaps no church illustrates that challenge greater than the church at Corinth. The Establishment of the Corinthian Church “And Crispus, the leader of the synagogue, believed in the Lord with all his household, and many of the Corinthians when they heard were believing and being baptized.” (Acts 18:8) Cultural Background of the Corinthian Church • The city had a religiously diverse culture, where idolatry was well- entrenched. • Temples were dedicated to deities (Apollo, Zeus, Aphroditius, “God of Healing,” etc. • Temples were also dedicated to emperors Looking at Old Corinth from the top of Acrocorinth. Temple of Apollo These three ornate Corinthian columns, topped by a restored architrave, are all that remain of a temple, standing on a platform, dedicated to the sister of the Emperor Augustus. “ So, my dear friends, flee from the worship of idols.” (1 Corinthians 10:14) Quick Verse Life Application Bible Cultural Background of the Corinthian Church • The idolatry created other problems for the new Christians. What about buying meat in the market place? What if it had been offered to idols? “So, then, as to the question of taking food offered to images, we are certain that an image is nothing in the world, and that there is no God but one. ” (1 Corinthians 8:4, Basic English Bible) “For this reason, if food is a cause of trouble to my brother, I will give up taking meat for ever, so that I may not be a cause of trouble to my brother. ” (1 Corinthians 8:13, Basic English Bible) “If someone who isn’t a Christian asks you home for dinner, go ahead; accept the invitation if you want to. Eat whatever is offered to you and don’t ask any questions about it. Your conscience should not be bothered by this. 28But suppose someone warns you that this meat has been offered to an idol. Don’t eat it, out of consideration for the conscience of the one who told you. 29It might not be a matter of conscience for you, but it is for the other person.” (1 Corinthians 10:27-29) Quick Verse Life Application Bible Cultural Background of the Corinthian Church • It was also a city where moral standards were very loose. • The temple on Acrocorinth had temple prostitutes. Acrocorinth Challenges Facing the Corinthian Church •“Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. “ (1 Corinthians 6:18) Cultural Background of the Corinthian Church • And it was a city where competition prevailed in almost all spheres. “Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree, and there be no divisions among you, but you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.” (1 Corinthians 1:10) Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, “I am of Paul,” and “I of Apollos,” and “I of Cephas” and “I of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 1:12) Today’s Cultural Challenges •Religious diversity Many churches & faiths arguing to accept them all •Increasing moral liberalism “Living together” Homosexuality •Intimidating intellectualism The Bible isn’t important anymore Like the church at Corinth, we must resist the tendency to “political correctness.” Instead of being captured by the culture, we must set the pace for the culture by showing them the right way to view life. We must uphold, without any compromise, the authority of Jesus and His teaching.
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