Reading through 1 Corinthians, I wonder if we should re-title the letter 1 Americans. Would that go too far? The charge most often repeated by Paul to this point is that the Corinthian believers were arrogant. It’s what was at the heart of the divisions among them. It is also, Paul tells us in chapter 5, what was at the heart of their failure to confront the sexual immorality within their ranks. He reveals neither the details of what was going on or what was at the root of their arrogance, but rather than starting by mourning the sin among them, it seems they preferred to heap condemnation on those outside the faith. They set themselves up as judges of others but didn’t trust that same judgment for themselves.
Renaming a biblical book probably isn’t a good idea. Suggesting it probably reveals some arrogance in its own right. What’s clear, however, is that the Corinthian believers have a lot in common with American evangelicals. When sin is revealed within, whether in individual cases or broader cultures of abuse, there are many whose impulse is to cast judgment on those outside. I pray it wouldn’t be so with us but that we would humbly repent when our sin and arrogance are revealed.