The Immoral Brother

“I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. ‘Purge the evil person from among you’” (1 Cor. 5:9-13)

I read and am grateful that I’m not the object of Paul’s harsh words in 1 Corinthians 5. I am an observer, shaking my head, whispering, “Tsk, tsk, tsk” as Paul strongly exhorts the Corinthian Church to expel the immoral brother. His sin is a wretched one: he has taken his father’s wife as his lover. I, a faithfully married woman, am free from Paul’s accusations. I can sit back, relax, and observe; Paul is not talking about me.

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