So this verse was recently quoted in a comment on my blog:
1 Corinthians 6:9-11
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
Actually, I added verse eleven for affect, because I feel it points out something important. Such were some of them, just as such were some of us. I find it interesting that the only time I really see these verses quoted are when people are rejecting someone. When they are rejecting homosexuals and using it as a justification, rejecting a couple known to be having premarital sex, rejecting a drunk. But what is this verse really talking about? Not just a few specific kinds of sins, but of sins which all show the same thread: self indulgence. People who prayed to idols wanted something. “Fornicators” in that era didn’t think of the cost to their family’s social standing (and the same is sadly true of homosexuality at the time- you couldn’t be fulfilled without leaving the marriage that every man would have had). The covetous? Selfish. Drunkards and Extortioners? Selfish.
So what’s this verse really saying? “Selfish people won’t inherit the kingdom?” Why? Because they aren’t looking out for the kingdom, they are looking out for themselves.
And yet that verse is generally brought up for a selfish means: to reject someone.
Now, let’s look at a few more sets of verses:
1 Peter 3:9-10
Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.
1 Corinthians 7:13-15
And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.
But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.
These verses, along with other verses, have been used for centuries to command wives to know their place and stay with abusive men. Let me tell you a story. I know of one church where a man was emotionally abusive to his wife consistently and physically abusive to her on occasion. He would not take a reprimand about his behavior towards her. He only showed an attitude of apology when she left- but as soon as she returned, HE returned to his manipulative and cruel ways. Eventually she tired of the cycle, and she left him for good. But what was the end of that? Her church left HER, they rejected HER, because she wasn’t a good Christian. Well, what about him? What is Christlike in telling your wife she is worthless, in slapping her around and demeaning her in front of your children? And yet, the verses that could (and perhaps in some situations SHOULD) be used against the abusive husband, the man who suffers from fits of jealous rage, are reserved for use with the homosexuals.
And the wife, the victim, is the one who is sent away
Please, someone, explain this to me.
Because I certainly don’t understand it.