If you’re not familiar with the amazing work of Professor Robert Gagnon, you need to be. Robert A. J. Gagnon, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of New Testament, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and the author of “The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics,” and “Homosexuality and the Bible: Two Views.”
Here’s now he addressed the growing confusion at Exodus a year ago:
Time for a Change of Leadership at Exodus
Before I address specifically the title of this article it may be helpful to tell a real-life story from the mid-first century A.D. about a shocking case of sexual immorality in a Christian community. Paul, God’s chief Apostle to the Gentiles, warned the church at Corinth (Greece) about tolerating an actual case of adult – consensual incest between a self-professed believer and his stepmother (1 Corinthians 5). In that context he added:
Stop deceiving yourselves: Neither the sexually immoral [note: the incestuous man is called ‘a sexually immoral person’ in 5:11], nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor ‘soft men’ (malakoi; i.e. men who feminize themselves to attract male sex partners), nor men who lie with a male (arsenokoitai), nor thieves, nor greedy defrauders [or: extortionists], not drunkards, not those who viciously slander others, not robbers, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor 6:9-10; emphasis added; translations of NT texts throughout this article are my own from the Greek.)
What did Paul mean by “Stop deceiving yourselves”? He meant: Thinking that self-professed believers in Christ could live unrepentant, egregiously immoral lives and get away with it.