Clobber Passage: I Corinthians 6:9–All Blade, No Handle

Anti-homosexual Christians have a number of verses to use against gay and lesbbian Christians.  It’s interesting that some of the verses are now used less, and others have risen to take their place. I Corinthians 6:9 is one of the current favorites.

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (I Corinthians 6:9, NIV)

Anti-gay Christians quote this verse to “prove” that gays and lesbians don’t go to heaven. There are several different ways to respond to this. The problem is that Paul lists a whole bunch of people who “will not inherit the kingdom of God.” And we respectable Christians are universally guilty of many of these kingdom deal-breakers.

We are guilty of these sins, it doesn’t matter how many. Our problem is that it’s really easy to rationalize our sin, deny it, and redefine it as something virtuous.

If you find yourself convicted at any point by these other deal-breakers, then you only have a couple of options, but only one–really.

You hypocrite, take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck of sawdust from your brother’s eye…. How can you say to your brother, “Brother, let me take the speck of sawdust out of your eye,” when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? (Luke 6:41-42)

Any one of the 23 sins listed below can be a plank in our eye and, according to Paul, will keep us from inheriting the kingdom of heaven. The problem is that we’re really good at re-labeling each one as something virtuous, even something commanded by Scripture, and wiggle out from under the truth about ourselves. Jesus specifically called wiggling theologians and pastors like us (the Scribes and Pharisees) “blind guides” and “hypocrites.”

Take This Quiz! Which Ones are You?

Top Seven Sinners Who will not Enter the Kingdom of Heaven (I Corinthians 6:7-10)

  • The Sexually Immoral
  • Idolaters
  • Thieves
  • The Greedy
  • Revilers
  • Swindlers
  • Christians who File Lawsuits Against other Christians

Take This Quiz! Which Ones Describe You?

Top Eight Sins that will Prevent You from Inheriting the Kingdom of God  (Galatians 5:19-21)

  • Hatred
  • Discord
  • Jealousy
  • Fits of Rage
  • Selfish Ambition
  • Dissensions
  • Factions
  • Envy

Take This Quiz! Which Ones are You?

Top Eight Sinners Destined for the Lake of Fire (Revelation 2:18)

  • Cowards
  • Unbelievers
  • The Vile
  • Murderers
  • The Sexually Immoral
  • Sorcerers
  • Idolaters
  • All Liars

Self-Graded Test!

0 — Sorry, You’re a Liar! (see #23)

1 to 23 — No Difference! Not Graded on a Curve!

Since some of these apply to all of us, we need to stop our chattering about gays and lesbians, and anybody else for that matter. At least that’s what Jesus said you should do. “Take the plank out of your own eye . . . hypocrite.”

If we have never experienced full, complete, or continuing repentance of any of these sins, then we need to take care of ourselves and quit meddling in the lives of other Christians. Let’s practice love and forgiveness instead of condemnation.

Paul said, “Each person should judge his own actions and not compare himself with others. Then he can be proud for what he himself has done” (Galatians 6:4, NCV).

I need to live my Christian life “without comparing [myself] to somebody else” who I mistakenly think is a worse sinner than I am.

Get that attitude adjustment you’ve been putting off. You know, the one the Holy Spirit has been whispering to you about.

That really does go for all of us. We all take turns being Pharisees.

About Ron Goetz

My first wife used to say, "There's nothing so sacred that Ron won't pick it apart." My desire to be a pastor -- that was a temperamental mismatch. She was so patient. If my birth mother had lived somewhere else, maybe I would've become a cold case detective. But I would have had to be J instead of a P, I think. And that mid-life reevaluation, starting adolescence as a GARB fundamentalist and transitioning to a non-theist, that gave me an unusual skill set.
This entry was posted in Christianity, Clobber Passages, Gay Marriage, Homosexual Marriage, Homosexuality, Homosexuality and the Bible, Marriage Equality, Paul Gays, Paul Homosexuality, Religion, Theology and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Clobber Passage: I Corinthians 6:9–All Blade, No Handle

  1. Matthew B. Winkel says:

    Nice variation on the “double-edged sword” and “three fingers pointing back at you when you point at someone” … did you come up with it? 😀


    • Ron Goetz says:

      Guilty as charged.

      If I use scripture as a dagger, my blood is on my own hands, and so is the blood of my victims.


      • itbarthur4u says:

        I really like the All Blade No Handle idea. It makes it clear that using this as a weapon against others hurts the user. I learned that the bible was for examining my own sins not that of others. Sadly, I suffer greatly from people inserting the word homosexual where it does not belong. The rejection I felt from church and family while growing up as a preacher’s kid was heaped on top of a preexisting tendency for depression. It’s a miracle I’m still alive but necessarily a blessing.


      • Ron Goetz says:

        I’m happy for your repeated decisions to live. I know what suicidal depression feels like. Just remember, it doesn’t last forever. There are people who need you, people you haven’t even met yet. Thanks for staying with us.


      • itbarthur4u says:

        Your system gave me a hard time logging in. I lost the comment I was going to post. Now i really feel like giving up. Depression and judgmental religion are a really bad mix.


      • Ron Goetz says:

        Agreed, they’re a bad mix. Very, very bad mix.


  2. bubleeshaark says:

    I love what you have said here.

    I wish you (the reader of this…..YOU!) would set aside your thoughts about anti-homosexuals and listen to me without any preconception about me.

    I am a sinner. I’ve committed many, most of these sins. I’d say all but I haven’t committed homosexuality. I simply wish it to be known that homosexuality is a sin. This is Not because it makes me feel better about myself in comparison. I do not claim that homosexuals won’t go to heaven. I say this because it’s by grace we are saved, not by

    Misconceptions about me as I claim homosexuality is a sin:
    1. Sin can be forgiven. Even homosexuality and hatred. All sin can. (except for blaspheming the Holy Spirit? This confuses me????)
    2. I do not claim myself a better person than a homosexual.
    3. I don’t feel better by bullying homosexuals

    What I want you to know about me
    1. I want it to be known that homosexuality is a sin
    2. I want you to know that I’m a sinner
    3. I want it to be known that sin can be forgiven
    4. I want you to know that because Jesus died for me and because I accepted him as lord of my life, I no longer stad condemned before God.
    5. I want you to know that you should not sin even free being saved because you love God
    6. I want you to know that I try to not sin, even though I’d still be free
    7. I want you to know that sin after you’re saved is already forgiven
    8. I want you to know that I still sin plenty after I was saved. Plenty.

    And lastly, I want you to know that the greatest way to love somebody is to first, die for them, and second lead them to Jesus Christ.


  3. Jodi says:

    Your quote: “Anti-gay Christians quote this verse to “prove” that gays and lesbians don’t go to heaven.

    What kind of ‘Christian’ claims that just because of a sin someone won’t get into heaven?? Do they not understand that if they are truly repentant that Christ’s blood will wash away their sins and bridge the gap to heaven for them?


  4. DonW says:

    Apples and oranges. In Rom 7 Paul describes the inner conflict of one who commits occasional sinful acts, and is duly repentant and seeks to be free of that sin. Then Paul explains in Rom 8 how one lives in the Spirit to correct those sins.

    John puts it another way. On one hand “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1Jn 1:8). Does that mean we get a pass for sinful lifestyle? “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth” (1Jn 1:6).

    One cannot commit oneself to a homosexual relationship and then claim it is equivalent to occasional sin for which one seeks forgiveness.


  5. Chazz Thompson says:

    The main thing is if you don’t repent and continue to live as if there is nothing wrong with the sin. I think everyone can agree by the many verses on the subject, homosexuality is a sin. But it can be forgiven. However, if you aren’t convicted and continue to just live the way you want to, that’s where the not inheriting comes in.


    • Ron Goetz says:

      Unfortunately, Chazz, I’m afraid that many Christians never recognize various sins as sins. We all have blind spots. What one person calls a bad temper other people call standing up for the truth. What some people call rude and insensitive, other people answer with, “I was only calling a spade a spade.” What some people call greedy and self-centered, other people answer with, “I’m just making sure I get my fair share; I’m frugal. And besides, nobody else if going to look out for me. Nobody ever gave me anything!”

      But I know God is merciful.

      It’s funny, the kinds of people God blesses in the Bible. That adulterer, murderer, and liar King David? Bible says he was a man after God’s own heart. Solomon had, what was it, a thousand wives and a thousand concubines? Ane God blessed him with wisdom surpassing any other human being. And Esther, she was in the king’s harem, and God used her to deliver Israel from a genocide.

      Truly interesting, just how bad people can behave, yet God is somehow still willing to work with them. Cool.


  6. David says:

    I get the positive point pushed of not judging because we all sin but I’m confused, my assumption was that the stance of the writer is that homosexuality is not a sin but the homosexually aspect in that passage was not addressed in a way as to defend homosexuality, so has the writer changed their view on it? Does the writer believe homosexuality is sin according to that scripture or not?


    • Ron Goetz says:

      David, thanks for your reply. Let me direct your attention back to one of the Scriptures I quoted. “Each person should judge his own actions and not compare himself with others.”

      If your question concerns your own action, and not the actions of others, then I assume you are dealing with your own same-sex attractions. Right now I am evaluating my own actions. I just remarried, after 3-1/2 years of being a widower. I’m learning what a second marriage means, what it means to love someone so new to me in so many ways. I am trying to figure out how important my writing is, its importance to others, and its importance to me.

      So I’m evaluating my own actions, as Paul recommended. Loving my new wife, loving my adult children, loving my bride’s family and her circle of acquaintances, these are all taking up my energy and attention.

      If you are dealing with same-sex attractions, or same-sex activity, and are asking me if I believe that the Scriptures condemn your same-sex concerns as sin, let me answer you this way. You already know you don’t measure up to the images of perfection described in the Bible. You may successfully hide this embarrassment from your friends and acquaintances, even from yourself, and that’s normal. I have one big question. Does your personal embarrassment prevent you from loving the people around you? Does it interfere with your ability to do right by your family and friends and colleagues? If you are able to love the people around you, then you have succeeded spiritually. Your imperfections and stumblings aren’t great and wonderful, but if you are still able to love people, able to edify and encourage people, then you are fulfilling the Royal Law of Love.

      Would achieving the kind of perfection you aim at, would the time and energy you would have to devote to that endeavor interfere with your ability to love your family, friends, and colleagues? Putting your own “perfection” ahead of their need for love, thoughtfulness and compassion would be a greater sin. But that’s just my opinion. You need to evaluate your own actions. The person who needs the glass of water you’re holding doesn’t care if you just made an extra trip to the refrigerator.


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