There are at two more non-parallelisms I find troubling in 1st Corinthians 6:9-10.
Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (ESV)
Here’s my 2nd cause-for-pause: Every item in the list speaks to the condition of our heart, except for one.
Men who practice homosexuality is identified as only behavioral, and it quite explicitly ignores any and all heart condition.
But wait! Jesus is all about the heart. In fact, most of us believe (know?) God is infinitely more concerned for the condition of our hearts. But, well, not here. I guess it is okay to imagine male homosexual trysts. To all my hetero-bros out there: Hey, knock yourselves out. I’ll pass.
There is at least one other non-parallel aspect of this list but it is totally on us. We permit suspected idolaters and thieves to be senior pastors and elders. We graciously forgive and/or turn a blind eye at the appearance of impropriety in all areas but one. I’ve been told this is a result of legalism. I guess that word sounds a little better than bigotry.
So what am I missing? Why is it okay to imply parallelism with the language when, if fact, there is nonparallelism theologically? How is Paul’s weakened point somehow strengthened by this anomaly?