Thursday, July 21, 2011

I Corinthians 6 - ohmigosh where to start?!

A wise old editor once said that it is easy to write 500 words, very hard to say the same thing in 200. So advised, I proceed:

1. LAWSUITS - not surprising that discussion of church discipline is followed by Christians suing each other in secular courts! A church I know has experiencd this. Rather than suffer wrong, an aggrieved party inflicts wrong on the gospel, eternal consequences be, well, you know. Paul says that if I do that, I've already lost in the only court that matters.

Where are the Christian mediators to whom a disciplined believer could appeal his/her church's decision? Maybe some wise, retired elders and pastors, riding a circuit like the old Methodist preachers? It would save reputation, not to mention money, for all concerned.

As for judging angels, well..... Scripture says they will be judged. Scripture says believers are and will be judges. In the sense that judges are delivers and not merely magistrates, we "judge angels" every time we deliver someone from demonic bondage or rebuke the devil. So we're already doing it on earth; as with all things temporal/eternal, judging of angels in eternity may be more thorough and permanent.

2.  HOMOSEXUALITY AND OTHER SEXUAL SIN - there it is in verse nine - I have been warned - I will not inherit the kingdom of God if I am g - g - reedy. There, I said it. Or a drunk. Or a swindler. Or a slanderer. Or an idolator, or a thief. Or an adulterer or homosexual.

Well. I am not gay. Have I committed adultery in a Sermon on the Mount/Jimmy Carter sense? Yes. Have I ever slandered anyone - in my line of work, yeah, probably, hopefully not maliciously. Robbed Caesar of what is his, or taken a dime off the floor that wasn't mine? Of course. Treated created things with reverence without consciously acknowledging its creator? What comes to mind is that wonderful 19th century "pumper" hymn: "wonderful the matchless grace of Jesus, greater far than all my sin and shame."

3. LIBERTARIANISM - Christian churches are affected by culture which is why we have such a hard time with church discipline and sexual sin - because like Corinth and its population of shrine male prostitutes, we have bought the idea that "everything is permissable for me." And indeed, it's right there in the Constitution, freedom of expression, no law regarding religion etc. As a Kingdom citizen however I will also ask, "is it beneficial? Will it master me?" And then Paul drops the (I am sorry to be so crude) F-bomb that cannot be discussed in church: Food. Well, I will say it, to the song from "Oliver!": Food, glorious food, that's what we all come for!/ Food, glorious food, brings me through the church door!/ While they are praying I'm salivating 'bout food, love the potluck, glorious food!"

The American church has a terrific opportunity to bring a relevant gospel message and build relations regarding a "huge and growing" social and financial problem: obesity. We have the community, the teaching, and the goodwill to bring a positive witness about God and food and whose body is this, anyway? Right now I am a member of a Christian online community at the America's Biggest Loser website. We teach and encourage each other - a week or so ago I posted one of Roxy's comments on my blog about food and fear. Some of these folks have actual weight loss challenges in church! Is that cool or what?

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