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Sex and Morality in Corinth (2) 1 Corinthians 5-7

Why is 1 Corinthians such a mixed bag of instructions that seem to contradict each other?

What is Paul's advice to reduce the divisions in the congregations?

Did Paul tell women to always submit and be silent as men always lead and speak?

Does Paul discuss mutual dependence and equality in marriage?

Did Paul really condemn homosexuality?

Let's examine the most common contradictions and controversies.


I divide my discussion of 1 Corinthians into 6 sections

This is part 2 of 6, covering Chapters 5-7. It addresses sex and morality, the mistreatment of family members, the exploitation of prostitutes, and the abuse of freedoms. Paul advises faithfulness, commitment and unity. Focus on Jesus, the motivation and source of strength for living honourably, with upright morals.


1 Corinthians 5: Expel the Evil

Paul addresses Chloe's report that influential believers in Corinth are defending a man who is having intimate relations with his father's wife, bragging proudly of their freedom and teaching others it is acceptable. Paul criticizes them and says this type of immorality is worse than the unbelievers and hurts the witness and reputation of the congregation of believers. Paul backs Chloe and tells them to expel the evil one to stop the evil ideas from spreading. Paul wants them not to associate with anyone who calls themselves a brother or sister and who worships false gods, commits sexual incest, is arrogant, braggy, greedy, abusive, drunken, a cheater of a thief. Don't eat with anyone like this. Pray that God would save such people.


Egalitarian Reflections

Paul is responding to a report from "Chloe's people" and it seems that Chloe was the leader of a house church and she sent a delegation to Paul reporting that a group of outspoken men challenged her leadership, defended the man committing incest, and told Chloe she was wrong to limit their freedom.


Similarly today, the church is slow to believe a woman who exposes a man for inappropriate behaviour and slow to expel the man. Some churches protect and defend abusive men. Some churches will expel a woman for divorcing her husband or exposing her husband as abusive. It seems a small group of vocal or powerful men are quick to expel women and marginalized groups but slow to expose or expel men who may be guilty of adultery, pornography, or having sex with a minor. The dirty laundry of the church hiding abuse of women is well documented (1).


Paul tells believers to stop associating with people who claim to be a brother or sister and yet exhibit the fruits of evil. Being abused is not a fruit of evil. Paul tells the church to expel the perpetrator, not the person who makes accusations against an abuser or a wife who has separated from an abusive husband. Victims of domestic abuse should separate from the abuser; they should not even eat with an abusive person. Gretchen Baskerville offers a Christian divorce recovery ministry addressing incorrect Christian teachings and supporting life-saving divorce. She outlines church denominations that have unsafe divorce policies and reveals that one in four highly religious US marriages have abuse and that nearly 6 in ten Christians switch churches when they divorce (2).


1 Corinthians 6:1-8 Settle Lawsuits Inhouse

Paul also responds to the report that believers are taking legal cases against one another to unbelievers and unjust judges. Paul says that male and female believers are competent to judge justly.

Or do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life! (1 Corinthians 6:2-3).

Paul reiterates that a woman ought to have authority over her own head, since she is competent even to judge angels (1 Corinthians 11:10). Paul advocates that the congregation appoint respected members as judges. He suggests settling disputes within the community, as was done by the judges of ancient Israel. This method would serve the believers as well as help the congregation's reputation. Paul says it would be better to be wronged and cheated than to take a fellow believer to court.


Egalitarian Reflections

Paul says plainly that all male and female believers are able and encouraged to make judgements. It would be wonderful if church leadership listened to all sides and judged fairly. It is usually better to settle out of court. Jesus advised that we settle matters quickly, before our adversary takes us to court (Matthew 5:25).


However, in some cases, the church has not addressed or settled complaints, in particular when a woman raises issues. Congregations that view only men as competent to lead or make decisions have male-only leadership who have sometimes defended the man accused of abuse, instead blaming the woman who exposed the behaviour. Patriarchal leaders may refuse to settle a woman's complaints about abuse out of court while at the same time using these verses to prevent her from accessing justice in a secular court. Patriarchal leaders may say a woman who separates from her husband has abandoned her vows. However, if her husband is abusive or addicted to pornography, he has already abandoned his vows. Patriarchal leaders may also refuse to settle a woman's requests for child support, calling her greedy and selfish. However, the Bible says anyone who does not provide for their own children is worse than an unbeliever (1 Timothy 5:8). If the church does not affirm the woman's rights to safety from abuse and support for children, she must go to a secular court. Gretchen Baskerville speaks out against the perverse Christian teachings and advocates that a woman seek protection from the police or support from a non-church woman's shelter (3). If you have been told that God is against divorce for any reason, I encourage you to seek out alternative Christian advice.


1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Inheriting the Kingdom of God

After Paul condemns lawsuits against brothers and sisters, he provides a sample list of wrongs, including idolatry, adultery, greed, drunkenness, thieving, cheating, slandering, stealing, and swindling. Paul says people doing these wrongs will not inherit the kingdom of God, are not heirs of the new, eternal life. Some of you were like this before, but you are sanctified now in Christ.


Four Views on Salvation and Inheriting the Kingdom

A) You Can Lose Your Salvation

Traditional commentaries, and most Calvinist theologians, say that this list of wrongs means that anyone who continues showing these behaviours will not enter heaven. This list of wrongdoings is seen as threatening eternal punishment and the loss of our salvation. The unrighteous are those who unrepentantly repeat a lifestyle of greed, stealing drunkenness, or adultery. In contrast, the righteous are those who repent, turn to God, and aim to obey God's commands. The righteous believer matures in the Spirit and keeps their salvation by demonstrating less wrongdoing in their lives. (4). Because it is a matter of salvation, those holding this view will feel justified in speaking truth to tell others to repent and change behaviours.


B) Your Actions Reveal Your Faith

Other theologians say that this sample list of vices as well as the issue of unsettled lawsuits reveal your heart is not right with God. Those holding this view feel justified in telling others to change their beliefs. We receive salvation by faith, not actions; likewise, we do not keep our salvation by our actions or behaviours. Paul assures us elsewhere that anyone who believes in Jesus has a new, eternal life (Romans 2:7-10, 3:21-26, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Ephesians 4:20-24, Galatians 5:13-16, Galatians 5:22-23). We do not earn entrance to heaven by avoiding lawsuits or wrongdoing. We enter the kingdom by our faith in God's grace. Being filled with God's Spirit gives us the strength to overcome wrongdoing. Our actions show that God reigns in our hearts and lives.


C). These Actions Reflect our Old Selves

Another view is that the list shows that none of us can earn entrance to the kingdom by our moral behaviour. Paul provides examples of wrongdoing to demonstrate that we were unrighteous in the past, and guilty of wrongdoing that would have led to eternal punishment. Then he immediately reminds us that Jesus made us righteous (5). Our salvation does not rely on our behaviour but instead relies on God's grace. Paul reassures us that we are forgiven and made righteous not by obeying every moral law but by our faith in Jesus, through God's grace.


In several of Paul's letters, he shows sample lists of wrongdoing, reminding us of our previous unrighteousness, then he reminds us that because of Jesus, we are now righteous. Let's look at the way this pattern is repeated.


Corinth

Before, when you worshipped false gods, you were greedy, drunken, abusive cheaters (1 Corinthians 6:9-11), but God has transformed you and clothed you in Christ's righteousness (1 Corinthians 1:30). We become righteous through Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:21).

That is what some of you used to be! But you were washed clean, you were made holy... 1 Corinthians 6:11.

Now that you let God reign in your heart, you can be generous, holy, gentle, kind, and loving. Paul does not write these passages as threats or punishments, but to contrast the old, selfish ways with the new, Spirit-filled ways.


Galatia:

Paul provides a list of wrongs to the church in Galatia (Galatians 5:19-21), followed by the behaviours that exhibit the Holy Spirit reigning in our hearts.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

Rome:

Paul provides a list of wrongs in his letter to Rome (Romans 1:25-32), and follows this with a long discussion of how we do not become righteous by our own actions in obeying moral laws. He warns that when you judge others, you condemn yourself because you are also guilty of doing wrong. There is no room for boasting about our moral behaviours because we are justified by faith (Romans 6:23).

But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.... all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (Romans 3:21-24).

Ephesus

Paul wrote the letter of 1 Timothy to Timothy, a pastor in Ephesus. In it, he reverses the order, giving the reassurances first, and the list of wrongdoing second.

"... rather than advancing God’s work—which is by faith. The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith." (1 Timothy 1:4-5)

Is Homosexuality Immoral?

The lists of wrongs in Corinthians, Galatians, Romans, and 1 Timothy should remind all believers they have nothing to boast about. All of us would be condemned if it were not for Christ.

In 1 Corinthians 6, English translations of the Bible did not use the word homosexual until 1946 (6). The literal translation of 1 Corinthians 6:13 condemns men who are whoremongers, (men who take the active role in using a woman or young boy as a prostitute), or effeminate (men or boys who take the passive role, being exploited by dominant men with promiscuous lust (7). Paul used the word that indicates these dominant males who were abusing boys (8).  

In Romans and Galatians, Paul criticizes lasciviousness, lechery, debauchery, and orgies, which refer to excessive sexual desire without reference to sexual orientation (Galatians 5:19-21). In the first century, it was thought that only those who had unrestrained lust that could not be satisfied by heterosexual sex would turn to homosexual activity (9)

In 1 Timothy, Paul condemns "whoremongers, sodomites, men-stealers" (1 Timothy 1:10 Young's Literal Translation). These terms describe men kidnapping young boys to traffic, abuse, and exploit for sex. These are ungodly behaviours that we must repent and turn away from.

It is recent translations that have replaced these concepts with homosexuality or men who sleep with men. Paul does not address homosexuality between faithful, consenting, and monogamous partners.

Let's look at the impact of four definitions of sexual immorality(10).


accepting and affirming
Source https://www.abbi.org.au/2017/03/welcoming-accepting-affirming/

A) Anti-Gay

This position is that both sexual orientation and homosexual activity are sexually immoral, Conservative Christians tend to forgive lawsuits among believers, selfish ambition, greed, gluttony, pride, envy, jealousy, lust, cheating, swindling, discord, hatred, drunkenness, anger, gossip, and slander while condemning LGBTQ+ as well as divorce and remarriage and common-law relationships. Why the difference?

(a) because sexual sin is worse than other sins (1 Corinthians 6:18)

(b) because homosexuality and divorce & remarriage infer perpetually and unrepentantly repeating a form of adultery while common-law relationships are adultery against your future marriage partner.


People who believe that 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 means you can lose your salvation often feel justified in judging others to keep them from losing their salvation. They may claim that 'that is what some of you were' (v.11) means that Paul is saying becoming believers transformed gay people to straight. In other words, they believe that if you continue to be gay, you do not have the 'new self' of a Christian. Believing that same-sex orientation is a sin that resulted from 'The Fall' leads some to say gays must repent and stop being gay. Possibly, they believe that God created some gay to be condemned (as with Judas Iscariot) or subscribe to the doctrine of the elect (God chooses some to be saved and some to be doomed). Some churches will expel an LGBTQ person for homosexual activity based on their definition of sexual immorality.


All of this thinking is extremely harmful and has contributed to high rates of suicide among LGBTQ+ populations. There are various levels of sin; murder in the first degree is worse than murder in the second degree. The worst sin is unfaithfulness to God. The Bible often uses unfaithfulness in marriage to explain unfaithfulness to God. Jesus compared unfaithfulness to Sodom and Gomorrah not because there was homosexuality but because there was sexual exploitation, homosexual gang rape, and violence. Every sin deserves death (11), however, homosexuality is not a sin.


B) Welcoming LGBTQ+

This position welcomes all people into the congregation. However, LGBTQ+ are seen as sinners who must repent and become straight. If you do not turn away from same-sex relationships, you cannot partake in Holy Communion. If you repeatedly return to your same-sex partner, they may accuse you of repeatedly crucifying Christ. As long as you remain same-sex-oriented or practice same-sex relationships, you cannot be a full member or lead in worship services. It is very common for Christian churches to say they are welcoming while holding a hidden agenda to convert gays to straight (12).


C) Accepting LGBTQ+

This position welcomes all people and accepts that homosexuality is the way you were created and not a sin. However, they believe that homosexual activity is incompatible with obedience to God's will (13). Same-sex oriented people must "go and sin no more." Under this view, homosexuals are welcome and do not need to repent of the way God made them, but must be celibate to be sexually moral. You may participate in Holy Communion and lead in worship as long as you remain celibate.


D) Affirming LGBTQ+

This position is that sexual immorality does not include homosexuality. It is inaccurate to think that Paul included homosexuality on a list of vices. Original translations and context indicate that Paul's letters were more likely condemning things like manstealing, kidnapping, slave traders, sex trafficking, managing prostitutes, and men exploiting young boys as prostitutes. Adultery, unfaithfulness, and promiscuity are sexually immoral behaviours. These are the wrongs of which we can repent and behaviours that we can change. Being same-sex-oriented is not a choice based on idolatry or the worship of false gods. All believers are called to be faithful to their partner, regardless of orientation. This passage about sexual immorality is not likely related to homosexuality at all! (14)


God is the author of your sexual orientation, loves you and wants to bring life in all its fullness. Letting God reign in your heart does not change your orientation. Sexual orientation and faithful relationships of consenting adult homosexuals are not immoral or sinful and do not require repentance or change.  Jesus seems to acknowledge that some men are born and created to be not sexually oriented towards women (Matthew 19). You cannot change your height, your freckles or how you are made. What you can do is be faithful, loyal, kind, generous, and just.


Megachurch evangelical pastor Andy Stanley was recently criticized because he stated that there are gay people, and gays are not straight people with a sin problem (15).

Conservative Christians believe that same-sex orientation and activity is a sin that requires repentance and change. Affirming Christians believe God creates some people to be LGBTQ and it is not the result of sin. God has something to show us in creating diverse kinds of people. Perhaps God is showing us how to love those different from the societal norm. The overarching message of the Bible is that God loves all people, and seeks to redeem all people, celebrating when they are embraced into the family of faith.



Aphrodite
The Corinth temple to Aphrodite had 1000 temple prostitutes https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/07/Aphrodite_Heyl_%281%29.jpg

1 Corinthians 6:12-20 Quote and Refute

After discussing how the readers used to be unrighteous and now, through Christ, are righteous, Paul discusses how believers are abusing their freedom. He cites this abuse of freedom as the root cause of the immoral behaviours described in chapters 5 and 6.


Paul quotes the Corinthians (likely outspoken, powerful men) in Chloe's report, saying 'Everything is permissible for me' or 'I have the right to do anything'.


Paul refutes and corrects them, saying 'but not everything is beneficial' and 'do not be mastered by anything'. Paul does not let his body master him, but instead, he masters his body (1 Corinthians 9:27).


Paul quotes them saying "Food is for the stomach, and the stomach is for food" (apparently a euphemism that sex is needed for the body and the body is made for sex). Paul corrects them by saying the body is not made for sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:12-13). Paul quotes the false rationale used by the Corinthian men to defend their immoral practices and then Paul refutes it,


Paul says their bodies are part of Christ's body, the body of the church. Their body is for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. Paul gives an example from Scripture to explain how they are united in Christ's body and cannot then be united with multiple partners or multiple gods. In the beginning, God said that when a husband and wife join together, they become one flesh (Genesis 2:24). Likewise, when believers join the Lord, they have one spirit. Paul reminds them they are temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). You have God's Spirit in you, so honour God with your body.


Egalitarian Reflections:

God gives us freedom but commands us to do what is helpful and loving to others. Paul says that believers are the body of Christ, and as believers, we should not unite with prostitutes. Knowing your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit is meant to empower believers with the Spirit's wisdom, guidance, and strength to do what is right. Being a temple of the Spirit should not be used to shame women about their bodies, control their dress or behaviour. Such purity messages have actually resulted in harm to girls and women (16).


Paul uses marriage to illustrate that just as a husband and wife become one flesh in marriage, believers and Jesus have one spirit in the body of Christ. Paul refers to the union of a husband and wife in marriage not to condemn same-sex relationships but to explain the union of Christ and the body of believers. The reference to 'one flesh' is about unity and oneness, not about marriage being solely to create children. God created human bodies with the capacity for sex to increase unity and intimacy in a couple. Some heterosexual activities result in children while others do not; a couple may be infertile, past menopause or childbearing age. Likewise, homosexual activities increase intimacy without resulting in children. Paul is admonishing all believers, regardless of sexual orientation, to be mature and faithful to their partners.


1 Corinthians 7:1-7 Marriage

Paul quotes the report from Chloe's people saying "It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman". Paul refutes the quote and says believers do not need to become celibate or avoid having sex or avoid marriage. It is not more holy to remain separate. Paul permits the believers to marry one another; he does not command it. Paul affirms that each marital status is equally valuable and that each woman and man has a particular gift from God, to be single, married, or unmarried.


Paul addresses a concern that the belief in celibacy, even for married couples, is causing sexual immorality. To avoid such immorality, a husband and wife should have sexual relations, love, affection, and pleasure by mutual consent. If one wants to be celibate, both must agree for a period and then come back together again so that Satan doesn't tempt them to sexual immorality. Both the husband and the wife yield their bodies to their marriage partner. Maybe they need sex, maybe they need rest, cuddles, affection, help, rest or to recover from an illness. Paul says believer does not have to be celibate but that sex must be enjoyed by mutual consent.

Likewise, the husband doesn't have authority over his own body, but the wife does (1 Corinthians 7:4).

Egalitarian Reflections:

In Paul's longest passage on married life, he provides a refreshingly mutual view of marriage. His instructions are the same for the wife and the husband. Paul does not present a one-way hierarchy of authority. Paul does not tell a woman to consistently submit and always be available for sex. He does not tell a man to insist on his wife being an underling, respecting and revering her husband. A godly marriage is when both spouses yield to the other and practice mutual consent. Paul tells both marriage partners to love and care for their partner as they would care for their own bodies.


card 7
Excerpt from The Sword A Fun Way to Engage

Mutual Marriage Pattern in Corinthians, Ephesians, and 1 Peter

In my book, The Sword: A Fun Way to Engage in Healthy Debate on What the Bible Says about a Woman's Role, the Egalitarian sword thrusts the view that all believers submit to one another and the Complementarian defence is that a wife must submit and unconditionally respect her husband.


In Ephesians, Paul also discusses love and mutual submission in marriage. Women and men are both to imitate God and love others as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us (Ephesians 5:1-2, 1 Corinthians 13:3, Romans 13:10, John 13:34)

Women and men are both to be filled with the Spirit: singing, thankful, and submitting to one another (Ephesians 5:18-21). Paul uses the familiar marriage union to explain the unfamiliar union of believers with Christ (17).


Peter echoes the biblical pattern that marriage be a union of mutual love and service. Peter advises wives to submit or defer to their husbands, and likewise, husbands, in the same way, be considerate of their wives, unselfishly putting a wife's needs above his own (1 Peter 3:1-7).


1 Corinthians 7:8-9 Unmarried

Paul addresses the widows and the unmarried together, including himself in that category. There was no word for 'widower' and unmarried likely included widows, widowers, separated, and divorced (1 Corinthians 7:8-9).

It's good for them to stay unmarried like me (1 Corinthians 7:8).

Since Paul was advancing quickly towards becoming a member of the Sanhedrin (Galatians 1:14) and marriage was a requirement to join the Sanhedrin, he was likely married at a young age and became unmarried before travelling for evangelistic work (18).

It is quite likely that his wife died in childbirth since this was common and he had no children (19). It is permitted for widows and widowers to marry but Paul did not, likely because he did not want to be distracted from his work for the kingdom. Alternatively, Paul may have had a wife who abandoned him when he was being persecuted for speaking against the Sanhedrin and following The Way of Jesus. He speaks about his right to travel with a wife (1 Corinthians 9:3-5). He may have been referencing his marriage when he wrote he had lost all things for Christ’s sake (Philippians 3:8) (20).


1 Corinthians 7:10-16: Separation and Divorce

Paul also provides a mutual view of separation. Women were rarely able to initiate a divorce in ancient Israel. A man could divorce his wife if ‘she failed to please him’ (Deuteronomy 24:1). In ancient Israel, divorce was lawful, not sinful, and common. Men often abandoned wives but women were not able to leave their husbands. Paul says a wife shouldn't leave her husband and then reverses the power imbalance by saying that likewise, a husband should not leave his wife.

A wife shouldn't leave her husband and a husband shouldn't divorce his wife (1 Corinthians 7:11).

Paul is encouraging spouses to be faithful to their vows. Paul says that even if your spouse does not convert to the Way, you should not abandon her or him. If an unbelieving spouse stays with you, perhaps they will be convinced through your words and actions. However, if a spouse is an unbeliever or chooses to abandon their vows or leave the marriage, let them leave. You are not tied down in such circumstances.


Egalitarian Reflections

Paul knew that the Scriptures permit separation and divorce, so this passage should not be used to tell women not to ever be separated or divorced or that they may not leave an abusive husband. Paul was flattening the hierarchy, telling both women and men to remain faithful to their marriage vows. Gretchen Baskerville is a Christian experienced in divorce recovery ministry. She offers support and rsources in her book, Thee Life-Saving Divorce: Hope for People Leaving Destructive Relationships, and on her Facebook page The Life-Saving Divorce – Gretchen Baskerville and her website (21). Her chart shows some of the Scriptures that Paul would have known that permits separation and divorce.


Christian views of divorce
Gretchen Baskerville, author of the Life-saving Divorce https://lifesavingdivorce.com/

The Bible gives several situations acknowledging that God does permit separation, divorce and remarriage. One example is when an unbelieving spouse leaves you. A spouse who is either emotionally or physically remote or abusive has abandoned their vows to love and care for you. Another example is in cases of sexual immorality and adultery. Under Jesus's definition of adultery, this includes pornography. A husband divorcing his wife reflects his unfaithfulness but does not make her immoral.


The Bible sets out to protect a woman from a husband abandoning his vows or divorcing his wife on a whim. “The man who hates and divorces his wife does violence to the one he should protect” (Malachi 2:16). It is up to each partner to acknowledge their part in any breakdown in marital communication or love. One person cannot change another person. If you are having difficulty in your marriage, seek professional guidance from those who have experience in the field.


1 Corinthians 7:17-24 Status Quo

Paul says that he teaches in all the churches to remain in the same circumstances as when you were called.

Stay with God in the situation you were in when you were called (1 Corinthians 7:24).

For example, if you were uncircumcised, stay that way. If you were free, don't enslave yourself. If you were a slave, don't fight it but do take advantage of any opportunity to be free. Likewise, Paul recommends remaining in the same marital status as when you were called. Paul seems to indicate he was unmarried already when God called him to travel and teach, and that remaining unmarried allowed him to fully dedicate himself to his task.


1 Corinthians 7:25-40 Singles

Paul addresses the never-married and virgins separate from the married and the unmarried. Paul has no command for them from God but can give his advice to stay as they were when they were called. He suggests that both virgin men and women would do well to remain single. Paul summarizes that Christ will soon return, and we should not be preoccupied with things of this world, because it is passing away. Paul wants them to be free of earthly concerns and give undivided attention to pleasing the Lord. However, he clarifies that they have permission to marry. They have the freedom to serve God in the marital status that is best for them. Paul does not give preference to any marital status; his priority is that believers keep their focus on God.


Paul turns abruptly to address other topics related to Christian freedom in 1 Corinthians 8.

Here are my commentaries on 1 Corinthians:

  1. Introduction to 1 Corinthians and discussion on chapters 1-4 on divisions

  2. This is post 2 of 6 on 1 Corinthians 5-7 is discusses sex and morality in Corinth

  3. 1 Corinthians 8-10 discusses Christian freedom in Corinth.

  4. 1 Corinthians 11 discusses public worship in Corinth.

  5. 1 Corinthians 12-14 discusses Spiritual Gifts in Corinth.

  6. 1 Corinthians 15-16 discusses Christ's Resurrection, the Cornerstone of our Faith


Sources:

  1. https://www.elainekelly.ca/post/dirty-laundry-in-the-church-and-what-to-do-about-it

  2. Gretchen Baskerville, Save Churches category, Lifesaving Divorce https://lifesavingdivorce.com/category/safe-churches-friends/

  3. Gretchen Baskerville, "Critique: Divorced What to do When", Lifesaving Divorce https://lifesavingdivorce.com/fotfblue/

  4. "What does it mean that a person will not inherit the kingdom of God?" https://www.gotquestions.org/not-inherit-kingdom-God.html

  5. Mike Cynar, "Some Christians Won't Inherit the Kingdom?" Jesus Without Religion, https://jesuswithoutreligion.com/some-christians-wont-inherit-the-kingdom-1-corinthians-69-explained/

  6. 1946 The Movie, https://www.1946themovie.com/

  7. Baldock, Kathy, “An Evening With Rev. David: The Story Behind a Historic Letter about Biblical Translation” The Reformation Project, 20 Feb. 2020, https://youtu.be/rdfxPDZEO5k?si=Qv9xQpPN5S56ZnYn

  8. "Open and Affirming", https://c-ucc.org/open-and-affirming-part-2-the-misuse-of-paul-1-corinthians-69-10-and-the-heterosexual-agenda/

  9. The Reformation Project https://reformationproject.org/case/romans/

  10. Anthony Venn-Brown "The Church is on a Journey", Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International, https://www.abbi.org.au/2017/03/welcoming-accepting-affirming/

  11. Nick Batzig, "Are Some Sins Worse Than Others?" Reformation 21, https://www.reformation21.org/blogs/are-some-sins-worse-than-other.php

  12. The Dark Reality Of Celebrity Endorsed Mega-Churches | State Of Grace | Refinery29 https://youtu.be/KLuB7fvMlhc?si=Xf6IV0841_cZ1RBK

  13. "Homosexuality" Position Statement, Christian Reformed Church of North America, https://www.crcna.org/welcome/beliefs/position-statements/homosexuality

  14. Elaine Kelly Author https://www.elainekelly.ca/post/do-jesus-and-paul-address-lgbt

  15. Honest Youth Pastor, "The Deconstruction of Andy Stanley" (minute 1:23) June 10, 2023, https://youtu.be/Y9H-ovSrNjE?si=6F-ulq7wffOE1uVh

  16. Sheila Wray Gregoire, "10 things that scare me about the "purity" culture", BareMarriage, January 19, 2016, https://baremarriage.com/2016/01/purity-culture-10-things-that-scare-me/

  17. Elaine Kelly Author https://www.elainekelly.ca/post/does-ephesians-even-teach-gender-roles 

  18. Denny Burk, et al. “Was the Apostle Paul Married?” Denny Burk, 30 Aug. 2011, www.dennyburk.com/was-the-apostle-paul-married/. Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

  19. Creasy, Dr. Bill. “Was St. Paul Married?” Logos Bible Study, Logos Bible Study, 8 May 2021, www.logosbiblestudy.com/blog/paul-married

  20. Houtz, Wyatt, “Was the apostle Paul married? Yes. Was Paul a widow? No. Did Paul abandon his wife? Also yes.” The Post Barthian 18 March 2023, https://postbarthian.com/2023/03/07/was-the-apostle-paul-married-yes-what-paul-a-widow-no-did-paul-abandon-his-wife-also-yes/

  21. Gretchen Baskerville. "Adultery, Abuse, Abandonment are Biblical Grounds for Divorce", Lifesaving Divorce https://lifesavingdivorce.com/


 


Elaine Ricker Kelly Author is empowering women with Christian fiction about women in the Bible and early church and Christian blogs about women in leadership, church history and doctrine. Her books include:

  • Forgotten Followers from Broken to Bold, Book 1

  • The Sword A Fun Way to Engage in Healthy Debate on What the Bible Says About a Woman's Role

  • Because She Was Called: from Broken to Bold, Book 2, A Novel of the Early Church, imagines Mary Magdalene's trip to testify before the emperor


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