Many believers in the United States are wondering: "If God is in charge why do we have so much strife going on right now?" I believe this article found below by Skip Moen offers an answer to this question. Certainly food for thought...Richard

EATING HEALTHY by Skip Moen, D. Phil.

I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? 1 Corinthians 3:2-3 NASB

Still not ready - We all want the healthy stuff, right? We want the full meal, the meat and potatoes, the diet that gives us spiritual strength and insight. But are we ready? Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that we are. Notice what Paul says about those who are still on baby food. They aren't ready because they don't follow the same rituals? Oh, wrong again. They aren't ready because they attend that other assembly. No, again. Paul's entry requirement to the banquet hall is rather startling. The reason for a continual diet of baby food is jealousy and arguing. Until we get over the ego issues, we can't get to the adult's table.

If what Paul says is true, then you and I are surrounded by a world of babies. Everywhere I go there is jealousy and arguing. The Greek terms help us see the bigger problem. Zelos (jealousy) is that fervent desire to have it my way. In the early Church fathers, this Greek word is used in the sense of envy, to have what is yours simply because I want it. This attitude is competitive and aggressive. It is the, "You're wrong, I'm right. Shut up!" environment. Of course, we can be jealous with civility. We just dismiss the actions and thoughts of others. "It's too bad that they don't get it, but isn't it nice that we have the truth." According to Paul, this life style keeps us on strained peas.

"Quarreling" is the Greek term eris. It is strife, contention, intransigent debate. You and I have seen plenty of this in religious circles. We don't discuss anymore. We argue. We fight to claim we are right. And most of all, we act as though we have nothing more to learn. We are the guardians of the true gospel and anyone who questions us is anathema. Between 303 CE and 428 CE the whole Christian world was caught up in this kind of attitude. As a result, the Church murdered its own, claiming that God demanded the removal of those who did not agree. Instead of killing each other, we just start a new assembly. That way we don't have to repent over the graves we left behind.

Paul's assessment?  "Are you not acting in typical human ways." The NASB adds "merely," but the message is pretty clear. You will not eat at God's table until you give up your need to be right. If jealousy, envy and strife are present, don't expect to grow. In fact, Paul might even call you sinners. Perhaps the first step we need to take in this spiritual diet is a trip to the mirror. If you discover that the person staring back at you has to be right, rejects any alternative, competes for prominence and won't budge an inch, you might notice a severe malnutrition is setting in.

Skip Moen;