As we are continually faced with a barrage of violence, division, immorality, and carnality in the world through media and the various social media channels, I had a question come to mind. Is America a modern day Corinth?
Last week I was struck to the core. My spirit was crushed as I watched scenes of violence unfold. After I witnessed the events and as I continue to see the ideological landscape of our country change I am also challenged in my Spirit.
It’s often said that America is a Christian nation, or was for that matter. That it was founded as a Christian nation. I’m not so sure of that anymore, but that is another topic for another day.
While much of our nation’s legislation was based on Christian principles, our current political and societal theater is not. I believe we are becoming, or have become the new Corinth.
A Little Background On Corinth
Corinth was a major trade city located in Southern Greece, to the West of Athens. Corinth was known for its acropolis (high city), and its most prominent fixture the temple of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love.
Aphrodite’s temple had around 1,000 priestesses who were religious prostitutes of sorts. Because of the massive influence of the acropolis, Corinth and especially the Corinthian church most notably dealt with sexual sins such as prostitution, orgies, fornication, homosexuality, and even incest. Along with its various sexual sins, the city and church dealt with factions, or sectarianism, selfishness, immorality, and idolatry.
We know these were major issues because Paul addresses them throughout his letters to the Corinthians.
A Look At America
Looking at the landscape of American politics, culture, and religious ideology I can clearly see the resemblance of Corinth.
Idolatry has consumed us to in the form of having the biggest and best “things” such as TVs, cars, homes, as well as the latest and greatest smart-phone that we bury our faces in.
We may not worship Aphrodite like the Corinthians, but our subconscious worship of power and possessions has left our brothers and sisters in the wake of our pursuit.
We have created factions within and without the church. Within the church we say you have to adhere to a specific set of denominational doctrines or get the boot. They may not say it to your face, but I have seen it happen too many times, as well as experienced it first hand.
Outside the church we have created an either/or society. America has developed a false narrative that every stance is mutually exclusive; if you are for something you are automatically completely against its opposition.
The division created by this mentality has fractured the church, as well as our society as a whole. This is the same division that plagued those in Corinth. You were either for Aphrodite or not. The Christians fought over whether they were Paul’s or Apollo’s, etc.
I believe America deals with many of the same sexual sins that Corinth experienced as well. A quick Google search will provide you with results that surpass the 60% acceptance mark of premarital sex (fornication). This was one of the many sexual sins the Corinthians dealt with.
Our supreme court has recently legalized homosexual marriage showing a disregard for traditional marriage. Yes, I am a conservative and believe marriage is between a man and a woman, and I still have numerous homosexual friends that I love dearly.
On a side note, I can honestly say I struggle with “doing unto others as I would have them do unto me” (Matt. 7:12) while still standing for my Biblical understanding of homosexuality. I do it by settling the internal conflict of loving the person and not their actions. They know my stance, but I don’t berate them or bash them. All I can do is live a life that points to the Father in all I do.
Finally, I will touch on the selfishness in America that also plagued those in Corinth. We have come to an age where we have a complete lack of respect for authority, we seek our own agenda above helping our brother or sister, and we have become obsessed with our ‘self’.
How many friends do you have that regularly post selfies? This is a prime example of our obsession with the self. Selfishness was rampant in Corinth, whether it was their actions towards their brothers and sisters, or how they treated each other during the Lord’s supper.
The War At Hand
We don’t struggle in a culture war, a race war, a political war, or even a sexuality war. These things have been going on for ages. What we struggle with as believers is a Spiritual War.
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete. – 2 Corinthians 10:3-6
The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. He is doing so in America. When you understand how a lion prowls around low and steady and unseen until it is too late (or almost too late), you can understand how he has done so in America. He is cultivating the same issues of contention against the Spirit that were in Corinth.
He has slowly influenced the landscape of American culture to turn away from any Christ centered foundation and principles by which we were founded.
The only way to change the culture and atmosphere of our nation is to fight a spiritual warfare with spiritual weapons. Until we stop fighting over doctrines and dogmas, and gain unity in Christ I believe we will continue to lose the battle.
Friends let us hold unswervingly to hope we have in Christ. As His body, let us lay aside our dogmatic beliefs, and seek only Him. I fully believe we have to stop fighting inwardly with ourselves before we can have the greatest impact on the world around us.
There was hope for Corinth and there is hope for America. Our greatest hope is Christ. Although the political and cultural landscape seems beyond repair, it is never too far gone for Christ.
Does America remind you of Corinth? I’d love to hear your thoughts below.