A couple weeks ago, the child sponsorship agency, World Vision, made a big splash in the news. Did you hear about it? It came out that they had changed a long-held policy about standards for employee sexuality. Their previous policy was that sexuality was only to be expressed in marriage between a man and woman. Now they had changed to allow employees for whom marriage is between two adults of the same gender.
When the news the broke, overnight they lost 10,000 sponsorships. And the evangelical subculture went wild. There were World Vision haters, supporters, etc. Because of the massive, sad, impact of 10,000 kids losing sponsorship, 48 hours later World Vision changed it decision and went back to its previous position. There is much that could be said about this, much that has been said. I bring it up today because the World Vision situation is indicative of the fact that we live in a very interesting time, especially regarding homosexuality.
And today Paul mentions homosexuality. After addressing a situation of sexual immorality, and after addressing a situation in which some people in the church were suing one another in court, mostly likely over a property dispute, Paul now takes a step back to look at the bigger picture.
In our study of 1st Corinthians, tomorrow we arrive at 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, and in a list of vices, Paul mentions the act of homosexual sex. But there are so many questions about this passage. How do we interpret the specific words he used? What was the situation like in Corinth and in the Greco-Roman empire at the time that might help us understand the expression of homosexuality that Paul was speaking to? Was something specific happening in the Corinthian church? And what of the fact that in this list of vices, there are many other things that Paul mentions that have nothing to do with sexuality? Is his list intended to be exhaustive? What are the similarities and differences between our culture and the one Paul was writing to? How do those similarities and differences help us hone in on principles that could be broadly applicable not only to their culture, but also to ours?
What we’ll find is that these three verses are about so much more than the expression of our sexuality. Join us tomorrow at Faith Church at 9:30am for a Palm Sunday sermon that won’t feel much like a Palm Sunday sermon, until maybe the end!