November 9, 2017—Baseball, Hotdogs, & Just Sue’em In Court – Pr. Chuck Adams
“If any of you has a dispute with another, do you dare to take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the Lord’s people? Or do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life! Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, do you ask for a ruling from those whose way of life is scorned in the church? I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? But instead, one brother takes another to court—and this in front of unbelievers! The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers and sisters. Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? (1 Corinthians 6:1-9 NIV)
Reading Chapter 6 of 1 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul is obviously talking about how the Corinthians of that period had made it a practice and warned them of suing fellow Christians in courts… civil and government courts. Paul is expressing his thoughts and recommendations that Christian brothers and sisters can use when addressing and fixing their problems and differences between themselves in a civil manner, justly and Christianly, by taking it informally to our church leadership and counselors rather than worldly governmental officials, leaders and courts.
Paul continues in 1 Corinthians 6:7-8, reminding us all that we are all human who make the same mistakes but should we continue down these paths, V(erse 9), these behaviors are not worthy of the Kingdom of Heaven. Paul tells us to work it out with our brothers and sisters in Christ in a civil Christianly way through our churches rather than just, “take ‘em to court”.
From the days of our grandparents, when we heard or was asked what was the “great American past time”, the first thing that would come to our mind (at least one of them) was“baseball, hotdogs, and Chevrolet…”. Or what about grandma’s “hot apple pie”? Nowadays, one of the biggest past times has been… “you cross me, i’ll see you in court” or “sue ‘em in court”. Two of the most overly used words today is “I’ll sue!”. Why is it that attorneys of today are at the top of the pay scale? Just the other day a friend of mine told me that he was paying $10,000.00 just to retain an attorney. What was once baseball on weekends and football on Monday nights, the most popular things on TV today, children are quick to sue their parents because they hear the word “no”. Students are suing their teachers, pro-athletes suing their coaches, homosexual relationships suing the government, and even worse, the government suing our churches and a Christian brother suing a Christian brother. What brought us here as a society? Was is greed? Pride? Paul here clearly points out that we, as a people, Christians especially, should be able to settle our differences on our own or within our churches. Paul says to first, “Commit to settle our arguments within our churches” (1 Corinthians 6:1-8) and second, “Live out our new identity” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). If we understand our true identity in Christ, we won’t be so worried about materialistic things.
Besides Paul, God expects us – HE EXPECTS US, to resolve our differences among ourselves maturely and according to Biblical principles. If we as Christians cannot behave this way, what hope and how can we expect the rest of the world, in the world, to also not behave this way. If we sever friendships over petty disagreements, if we divorce or separate every time we argue or have a disagreement with our spouse, how should we expect anyone in the world to behave properly and follow Christ. What it all boils down to is our own spiritual maturity in Christ and our maturity depends on how deep we are in the “world” or how deep we are in the “word”. If we are spiritually mature, we will definitely be able to settle our differences no matter how bad or severe. Trust in God and His direction in the word and we will be able to fix things in God’s way rather than the world’s way.
Lord, thank you that every day, just like our earthly daddies, you point out to us and teach us ways of bettering ourselves. Give us the courage and strength to be more like the children you want us to be so that our example will always shine of you and we will never cause our family, our brothers and sisters in Christ, to stumble as Your word tells us in 1 Corinthians 8:9. In the Mighty Name of Jesus!! Amen.