For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that divisions exist among you.
— 1 Corinthians 11:18 —
Dennis Alexander Banda: Central African Preaching Academy | Malawi
The rich, educated, and politically connected are in the driver’s seat of many churches in Malawi, while the poor are regarded as second-class believers. In such churches, you find that poor believers are not allowed to take any positions of leadership, even if they are biblically qualified. There is no such thing as a second-class believer in the kingdom of God. We all have one Spirit. They are even expected to give their seats to their rich brethren if all the chairs are occupied during a worship service. Worst of all, these elites form their own class, leaving the poor to form another, never truly associating with each other, even though attending the same church. In this first letter to the Corinthian believers, Paul rebukes them for tolerating divisions among themselves. During the Lord’s Supper, the rich were getting drunk and eating all their food without considering their poor brothers and sisters. As a result of this ungodly behavior, some became sick and even died. God was judging them for their disregard of others in the body of Christ. Brothers and sisters, are we not all united in Christ? There is no such thing as a second-class believer in the kingdom of God. We all have one Spirit. This makes all who believe in Jesus Christ to be equal, regardless of our education, possessions, or influence in society. Remember that our true identity is in Christ, not in what we have or do not have. Let us love one another from our hearts just as Christ loved us.