It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.1 Corinthians 5:1-2
This is more than a little difficult to write today because you would like to think that the word scandal should not be associated with the local church. But, whether it is a story of embezzlement or sexual immorality or…..sadly, very little shocks us today. And that’s where the problem begins. As theologian William Barclay wrote that “our security against sin lies in our being shocked at it.”
When was the last time your world was rocked by a scandal?
In the opening verses above, Paul begins by revealing the truth about a very public ongoing scenario of sexual immorality as a man in the Corinthian church was cohabitating with his own step-mother – something that even the people of the city could not stomach. It is not just sexual immorality among two people, it was “among you” – the Corinthian church. So, Paul’s first message of repentance is directed to the church and its leaders. While sexual immorality is absolutely serious, it is a symptom of the problem of pride within the church.
Hopefully, few of us (are/have been/will be) personally involved in a scandal, but this doesn’t mean that we turn a blind eye, does it? While it is painful, confrontation is often the most loving act we can take.