Letters of Paul

1 Corinthians

Sex and Courts – Discussion Questions

Questions for Discussion:

1. Was Paul’s recommendation that a member of the congregation
be expelled justifiable?

2. Is the category of “holiness,” which may have motivated Paul’s judgment, something that makes sense today? If so, what does it mean? Should the Christian community be concerned to be “holy.”

3. Are there grounds on which you would want to exclude a member of your congregation? If so, what would they be?

4. What do you make of Paul’s insistence on the relevance of the “body” for the moral and spiritual life? In what ways does modern society challenge or support that claim?

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Take notes on this lesson

One Note

  1. Adrian Bruder

    1. I think in this particular instance, yes. If the member is just doing it with no remorse, I think he stepped over an ethical line; but that line is blurred and subjective. I think sleeping with your step-mother falls under that line. I think Paul says this not out of an elitist or cliquey attitude but he makes it clear that he is interested in this mans spirit. So-much-so that he has no qualms about giving up his body to Satan.

    2. I think holiness is something that is built up.

    Paul makes it clear that church members who are sexually immoral, greedy, and idolator, reviler, drunkard, or a swindler should not even have a meal shared with them. This is very dangerous ammunition in the hands of an overly righteous person.
    Let me break this down:

    Sexual Imorality – What percentage of church members only have sex in marriage and have been 100% faithful their entire marriages?

    Greed – What percentage of church members don’t focus on their material wealth or standing in this World?

    Reviler – What percentage of church members don’t gossip and cause problems in the church, home, job, or personal life?

    Drunkard – No explanation needed

    Swindler – No Explanation needed

    Idolator – What Percentage put GOD as #1 in their life? Over themselves, their family, and their career? Of the people that do, what percentage don’t Lord their spiritual superiority over everyone?

    Now the real question? What percentage of the church does none of these things?
    I would say 0 including myself. Should the pews be empty? Should we be okay with sleeping with our step-mothers?

    I say no to both of the last questions but we need to take the temperature of the cultural norms today and compare them to the cultural norms of Paul’s time making sure to leave plenty of space for prevenient, justifying, and sanctifying grace. The HOLY SPIRIT is in this too, let’s not try to do the job that belongs to someone else.

    3. I say doing anything to actively exclude members of the congregation, purposefully causing strife, putting barriers to JESUS and GOD and the SPIRIT, and [unless you’re beginning your faith journey and figuring things out] being actively against or contrary to the trinity and are actively or secretly trying to get others in the body to lose their faith; those things shouldn’t be tolerated in my opinion. Of course there are egregious things that people should get help with but that maybe they should work on before they decide to be an active part of a religious community. (Rape, incest, molestation, etc. etc.)

    4. He is trying to make the body a family. In a family there is a lot of things good and bad that you have to deal with. But even in a biological family there are things that are so sick and wrong, that they would cause a division. Blood is not always thicker than water.

    In a family it is customary to deal with your dirty laundry in the family and not out in the World like in a lawsuit, that is why he is saying that when it comes to divisions between family (in his case the Body of Christ) you are better off to suffer and be defrauded (I Cor 6:8) than to publicly shame your family.

    The same way Paul shows how the earthly body of this incestuous member is temporal (give it to Satan if it saves his spirit) so is ours. Our own bodies and suffering and Worldly standings will mean nothing when we get to where we’re heading.