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THE PROBLEM OF DIVISION IN THE CORINTHIAN CHURCH (A CASE STUDY OF CAC MBAITOLI)

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 Format: MS WORD ::   Chapters: 1-5 ::   Pages: 77 ::   Attributes: Questionnaire, Data Analysis,abstract, table of content, references ::   30 people found this useful

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CHAPTER ONE

1.0 INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY

There has been a debate on the contribution (or lack of it) of European Christian Missionaries to the development and self-understanding of Africans since the publication of the book, the mission on Trial (1977). Some acute observers of the history of ideas have recently reopened the same debate on a local level with particular reference to the Church in Nigeria. A quarter years after the first centenary of the coming of the first missionary heralds of the Gospel in Eastern Nigerian in 1885 is a landmark. In the history of the universal Church, it is a brief period. In the history of evangelization in the Eastern part of Nigeria, it is a vital period. The faltering steps of early days have gradually given way to a robust and fast-growing community of faith, with elements of joys and sorrows, problems and plans, the successes and failures. It helps us to understand better the growth of social, intellectual, political and material development brought to the people of the area by this Church. But the study will focus on the division in the Corinthian church.

        Disunity and division are threats found among the members of the Body especially as the Church increases and grows in numbers. As Christ is definitely supplicating the Father with references to God and himself, it is clear the unity herein described is more transcendent than that of “simply human fellowship or the harmonious interaction of Christians” (Ebere; 1970). The external expression of this unity is to be the evangel of the Church to the world, which attests to the sending of Christ by the Father.

In 1 Corinthians 1:10 he exhorts, “Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment”, here Paul states this directive and takes a hard stand against division and factions in the Church Body, in light of both personal division and in light of doctrine. Unfortunately, Paul himself falls victim to one of these chasms of opinion in his relationship with Barnabas. Paul’s terminology to address doctrinal differences (1 Corinthians 11:19 and Galatians 5:20) is haireseis, denoting a difference of sound doctrine, even to the point of being an unjustified group (Accordance 2010). Just prior to the prayer in John 17 Jesus had established the institution of the Lord’s Supper in light of the Passover celebration, an institution given in great part to exhibit and foster unity with the Godhead and unity as members of the Body of Christ. Paul affirms in 1 Corinthians 10:16, that the pinnacle of this desired oneness of communion, or church is displayed materially in the act of the Lord’s Supper, as it is a “sharing” in the blood and the Body of Christ. Mounce holds that the term church conveys the idea of fellowship, communion, participation and sharing (Mounce 2006:127, 247). Paul subsequently uses the term only in a religious sense rather than a secular one to denote something greater than a society, to denote a fellowship of a higher level; he as well uses this term to express a “religious fellowship (participation) of the believer in Christ and Christian blessings for the mutual fellowship of believers” (Hauck 1983:804). 1 John 1:3 and 2 Corinthians 13:14 affirm that church is also held with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in addition to the communion of the saints, it is the Holy Spirit alone however, who brings believers into this fellowship (Prime 2008:105). This evidence of church is an external, physical expression of the spiritual fellowship that is enjoyed by the Body being knit together with the Godhead (Hunsinger 2009:347). Thus, church is the internal religious fellowship or participation of sharing in the benefits of a relationship with Christ, yet manifesting itself at times in a physical expression through the Body of Christ. Schmitz cites homothumadon as being infused with ”to getherness”, such as is evidenced in the visible, inner unity of a group faced by a common duty or danger; it is a unity, or unanimity, not embracing a personal agenda, “but on a cause greater than the individual” (Schmitz 1986:908-909).

1.2 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEM

The problem of church division has been the most discussed topic among brethrens and other researchers. The issues of church division have become a clog on the wheel of unity among churches. This issue has been long going on in the churches; we can see the story of Paul. Paul wrote 1 Corinthians from Ephesus, primarily to address questions and problems within the congregation which had come to his attention. He had three sources of information. One was the servants of a certain Chloe who informed Paul of serious divisions within the congregation (1:11–12). The Corinthian were treating their Christian leaders like the popular Greek sophists, pitting their favorite “wisdom teacher” against the others. Paul addressed the problem of the Corinthian wisdom speculation in chapters 1-4. Chloe’s servants may also have informed Paul of the disunity and abuse of the Lord’s Supper (11:17–22). We know nothing of Chloe. She may or may not have been a Christian. Some of her servants were, and they were Paul’s informants. We do not know where they resided, whether they were Corinthians who had traveled to Ephesus or Ephesians who had visited Corinth. They probably represented the lower social strata of the congregation and felt particularly victimized by the disunity. It is to this regard that the stud desired to examine the problem of division in the Corinthian church using the CAC in Mbaitoli, Imo State as the case study.

1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF STUDY

The main aim of the research work is examine the problem of division in the Corinthians church. Other specific objectives of the study are:

  1. to determine the relationship between the theological teachings of Churches and  church unity in the Corinthian church in Mbaitoli
  2. to determine the causes of division in the Corinthian church in Mbaitoli
  3. to determine the effect of division on the Corinthian church in Mbaitoli, Imo State
  4. to examine the doctrine of the CAC church in Mbaitoli, Imo State
  5. to proffer solution to the above stated problem

1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The study came up with research questions so as to ascertain the above stated objectives. The research questions for the study are:

  1. What is the relationship between the theological teachings of Churches and church unity in the Corinthian church in Mbaitoli?
  2. What are the causes of division in the Corinthian church in Mbaitoli?
  3. What is the effect of division on the Corinthian church in Mbaitoli, Imo State?
  4. What are the doctrines of the CAC church in Mbaitoli, Imo State?

1.5 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

Hypothesis 1

H0: there is no significant relationship between the theological teachings of Churches and church unity in the Corinthian church in Mbaitoli

H1: there is significant relationship between the theological teachings of Churches and church unity in the Corinthian church in Mbaitoli

1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY

The study on the problem of division in the Corinthians church will be of immense benefit to the CAC church, Mbaitoli local government of Imo state and other researchers that desire to carry out similar research on the above topic as the findings of the study will educate the above population on theological teachings of the CAC Churches and the Church unity in Mbaitoli, Imo state, the factors that Cause Divisions in Churches, and effects of divisions on Churches. Finally the study will contribute to the body of existing literature and knowledge in this field of study and provide a basis for further research

1.7 SCOPE OF STUDY

The study on the problem of division in the Corinthians church will be limited to the CAC church in Mbaitoli, Imo State. The study will cover on theological teachings of the CAC Churches and the Church unity in Mbaitoli, Imo state, the factors that Cause Divisions in Churches, and effects of divisions on Churches

1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY

Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work

1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS/ACRONYMS

Division: disagreement between two or more groups, typically producing tension or hostility

Churches: a building used for public Christian worship.

Christian: a person who has received Christian baptism or is a believer in Jesus Christ and his teachings.

Unity: the state of being united or joined as a whole.

Disunity: disagreement and division within a group

CAC: Christ Apostolic Church

 


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Paper Information

Format:ms word
Chapter:1-5
Pages:77
Attribute:Questionnaire, Data Analysis,abstract, table of content, references
Price:₦3,000
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