It seemed over the top.
No, not my sermon last week! I’m talking about Paul.
OK, maybe the sermon was a little heavy too.
But Paul was really laying it on, wasn’t he. You can see where those gay hating folks get it.
“God hates Fags!” read the posters.
“Gays deserve to die!”
Isn’t that what the apostle said?
“Those who practice such things deserve to die.”
Now we need to notice that the “such things” Paul was talking about were not just sexual sins (regardless of how you interpret which sins those might have been).
No, his list includes such things as covetousness, envy, strife, rebellion towards parents, and foolishness. For these things, he says, we deserve to die.
So think back on a time when you were a teenager and had a huge fight with your folks because your sibling got something that you didn’t get. Covetousness, envy, strife, rebellion towards parents, and foolishness – it’s all there.
But deserving of the death penalty? Seems a little over the top, doesn’t it?
Well maybe that was the point.
Maybe Paul was deliberately over the top.
Maybe this whole thing was a set up.
Get certain folks in the community all riled up and self-righteous about other folks who are clearly sinners and then turn the whole thing on its head and say that anyone who passes judgement on another is engaging in an act of self-condemnation.
Kind of like Nathan telling David a story about a rich man who steals the only little ewe lamb from a poor herder who has nothing else. The king gets furious and tells Nathan that the man who had done such a thing “deserves to die.” (2 Sam. 12.5) And Nathan says, “You are the man.” Gotcha!
This week, Paul does the same thing. He turns the whole thing on its head on those who would use this diatribe against sin as a club with which to beat others.
If you missed Wine Before Breakfast last week because you’ve got this sin thing licked, then it looks like you can sleep in again tomorrow.
But if you’ve got the courage to face yourself and maybe expand your horizons, then things get started at 7.22 tomorrow morning in the Wycliffe Chapel.
Judith will be presiding (she’s kind of like the mother of WBB)
Rachel will be preaching (she’s kind of our go-to lady when it comes to difficult passages in Romans)
Breakfast will of course be served.
And bring other sinners along.
Start Time: 7:22