15 June 2019
As well as the outer hostility, St. Paul discerns another problem which is diminishing the effectiveness of the church’s witness in Philippi. And that’s their inner disunity. It’s obvious that it would be in the interests of the church to present a unified front not least in the face of a hostile world!
St. Paul discerns a spiritual malaise within the church at Philippi. Despite their generosity towards him, the church appears to have become quite inward-looking. Whilst St. Paul doesn’t specify the cause of their disunity, the content of his letter points strongly in this direction.
‘Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.’ And this is a rightful challenge to the tendency of all human beings, communities and institutions to become very preoccupied with themselves, their effectiveness, their appeal to others. But this is not the way of the church.