1Co 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
1Co 3:2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
1Co 3:3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
1Co 3:4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
1Co 3:5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?
1Co 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
1Co 3:7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
1Co 3:8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
1Co 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.
1Co 3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
1Co 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1Co 3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
1Co 3:13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
1Co 3:14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
1Co 3:15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
Earlier in this letter, Paul admonishes the brethren that they should all be of the same mind, that they should all speak the same thing, and that there should be no division or schism among them. The reason that these believers could only handle milk, but were not ready for the meat of the word was, according to Paul, these very schisms in the body created by allegiance to specific teachers. I believe we have seen these schisms grow since the time Paul wrote this letter rather than diminish. I don’t have the answer to bringing the body of Christ into submission to what Paul is teaching here. I do know that there is no such thing as a Baptist Bible, a Pentecostal Bible, a Reformed Calvinist Bible, etc.. We all have the same word and we all must agree, I hope, that God did not intend for there to be 37-1/2 different interpretations of that word. Surely He said what He intended to say with the purpose of delivering one message, one doctrine, to all of His body
I believe it behooves us to examine ourselves to see whether we are of Paul, Apollos, Peter, McAurthur, Calvin, Parham, Scofield, Moody, etc.. This is not easy and it requires much self examination. Our denominational distinctives are engrained deeply and quite often tied to a fondness for a teacher or a people among whom we have grown as much as a commitment to the biblical veracity of the doctrinal nuances. It is a lot like our dogged determination to stick with our baseball or football team through thick or thin regardless of their wins or losses.
I remember a few older gentlemen who became offended at me because I stated that one of the denominational distinctive of our own movement were not, in my opinion, in accord with a proper understanding of the word of God. In the end, by their own statements, it was not my scriptural interpretation that they were offended at. It was the fact that they dearly loved the men who taught these nuances and felt I was speaking against their favorite teachers. My offense was not so much against scripture, but against a man who taught a distinctive.
Do I believe what I believe because I have prayerfully searched the scriptures and had them revealed to my heart by the author, or do I believe what I believe because so and so taught it to me and I believed him? I guess I am just naive enough to believe that any doctrinal distinctive about which we find ourselves in disagreement is ultimately a result of our own carnality in adhering to denominationalism rather than to the word of God, and maybe our own pride at wanting to be right and not wanting to change our mind.
That being said, I do believe that if we could ever lay down our allegiance to our denomination and be critical of our own views, we could actually come to a place where we all speak the same thing and have no division among us. I am not sure how we will get this done unless we can get out of the flesh (carnality) and into the Spirit. It is a start that we can discuss scripture in such a way that we do not allow ourselves to become angry or confrontational. Where we go from there is, I think, a matter of the posture of our heart.