Yesterday, I went to school and was, for the most part, sick. I had some nasty chills and a killer headache. However, because I worked my bottom off to finish a project/paper the night before and because we had Greek homework and a quiz (which I was destined to bomb), I decided it was in my best interest to ignore my body and go anyway. I didn't expect to learn much in my zombie-like state, but this is where God surprised me...
The project and paper I had to work on was for a class called Trends in U.S. Families. In this class, we take a look at various trends in America that affect families and discuss their impact and how we should react to these trends. Yesterday, we discussed homosexuality and the positive and negative trends concerning that topic. Our professor is very passionate on this topic, because he feels as if the Church has misjudged this issue, reacted poorly to it, and as a result, has a blemish on its record that we need to work hard to remove. I would tend to agree with him on all three points.
The class goes relatively normally: we take notes, he tells a couple of stories, and I do my best to listen, despite the constant wave of chills attacking my body. Our professor then hops on a soapbox, which students really love (note the sarcasm dripping from my fingertips as I type). However, I was trying to be attentive (or was just delirious enough to listen to his tangent), so I was paying close attention at this point. It was at that time that I learned something more powerful than I have in a long time at school: what our professor called the most hopeful verses in all of Scripture. That's a bold claim.
Now, you're probably thinking that he proceeded to quote John 3:16 or any other number of feel-good verses that the Church loves. Instead, what he showed us was this:
Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10, NIV)Suddenly, I was depressed. You are probably wondering exactly what I was: what on earth is good or uplifting about these verses, let alone hopeful? At this point, you're pretty sure I'm off my rocker, which I might be. But that's another soapbox for another day. Still, hear me out.
Our professor showed us this to prove a point: homosexuality does not deserve to be in its own separate category of "sin that can keep you from becoming a Christian." Why not? Because you would have to proceed to throw almost every other person that is a part of the Church into that category. How many of us are "greedy" or are simply "wrongdoers?" I'm gonna go ahead and plead the 5th here and let you decide where I fall.
All of this, though, still isn't hopeful. In fact, it seems to worsen the situation. Instead of a select few being condemned as wrongdoers, we all are. This, however, is where it gets real good:
And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:11, NIV)Did you miss it? Read again:
And that is what some of you were.
What a crazy word.
What a hopeful word.
In an attempt to continue to fulfill the life goal that I have to get a Bachelor's Degree and to be the best student that I can be, I actually learned something: hope of the craziest kind.
I don't mean to preach at you or shove the Bible down your throat. I just couldn't help but share what I learned yesterday in the hope that you might learn something, too. We were hopeless, but we all have hope.