Chapter 6 covers a couple of interesting thoughts. The first is around taking each other to court and how to handle conflict in the church. The second is around how we treat our bodies and other people’s bodies in regards to sexuality.
My wife and I were talking about this the other day and what’s sad is how people have messed up this passage, and Jesus’ teaching on dealing with conflict with believers, and instead, there are tons of victims with no voice, no advocate, just getting trampled on by those in authority in churches. Likewise, there are a ton of sins swept under the rug and “dealt with” in churches, never taken into the public courts. Here’s the problem with that. If it’s not just a disagreement or dispute, but is an actual crime, it needs to be dealt with in the church and in public courts. Crimes are crimes. Most churches screw this up, and justice is never served, with perpetrators and criminals still allowed in churches, welcomed and “forgiven” by the leaders, while the victim is left even more confused and ashamed. Why? Because the one group of people who should be standing up for the victim and helping the person heal is now on the side of the wrongdoer. Again, I’m speaking of all of this in the context of a true actual crime, not a simple disagreement or dispute about theology or conscience.
Churches, I know can do better.
As Paul says, and I 100% agree: “Those who use and abuse each other, use and abuse sex, use and abuse the earth and everything in it, don’t qualify as citizens in God’s kingdom.”
Don’t let abusers get off scotch free. They deserve punishment and consequences in this life. And God will certainly deal with them in the next.
Now, for the second thing Paul covers: “There’s more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact.”
Isn’t that a beautiful thing? As married believers, we can grasp this. We can live this. Our bodies are sacred, God-given, God-modeled for love. It’s a sacred temple and place for the Holy Spirit. This is an extremely high view of the body for people of Paul’s day and even for people today. Our bodies aren’t just physical; sex isn’t just physical. There’s so much more to it.
I’m so glad Paul laid this out clearly for the Corinthians and for us.
Now, the question naturally comes up… well, if this is the case, is it still ok to be single? And we’ll cover that next…