"Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God." 1 Cor 6:11
This scripture is found right in the middle of a passage in which Paul is both encouraging Christians to behave righteously and admonishing them for failing to do so. An area of specific focus is a representative list of "wrongdoings" (NIV)that will prevent the inheritance of the kingdom. It so happens that found within this list is homosexuality.
Over the past decade or so, homosexuality has come into greater and greater prominence in our society. Whereas public opinion for most of our country's history was decidedly against, the pendulum has swung to a point where legislatures are legalizing same sex marriage and those who are critical of the GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender) lifestyle are themselves criticized and at times, publicly castigated.
Beloved, the point of all of this is not a campaign against homosexuality. It is a campaign against sin. Homosexuality is highlighted because it is so polarizing and affects people at a core level. It is, in fact, the issue of the moment. Older Christians will remember Rock and Roll and the fornication it lead to as the scourge of society. What we need to realize is that in Paul's list of wrongdoings, homosexuality comes after sexual immorality, idolatry and adultery. Also included on the list is theft, greed, slander and swindling. This in no way is meant to be a ranking of sin. The purpose here is to say that we should not be unduly focused on homosexuality, but sin itself. James 2:11 says that if a person is guilty of one aspect of the law, they are guilty of the whole. He provides the example, "If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker."
As Christians, we need to guard ourselves because as Paul states, it is we who were formerly guilty of the things he lists. We also need to view those who are still struggling in these areas as the mission field. If we spend all of our time judging and distancing ourselves from wrongdoers, what hope is there that they can ever be saved? Let us pursue righteousness, avoid wrongdoing and help those who are struggling.
Loving Like Jesus,