1 Corinthians 5:6 Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough?
What timing for a blog title like this. There will be many social gatherings as we celebrate Christmas and New Years and there will most likely be bowls of punch to be enjoyed by the guests. But after you read this today, maybe you will look at the punch bowl differently and, well… carefully.
The setup for this passage of scripture is Paul’s admonishment and pure disgust over what is happening in this church. There’s this dude who thinks it’s pretty cool to “have” his dad’s wife. Not cool. For some strange, twisted, and bizarre reason this guy is getting celebrated. After all, he is living out freedom in Christ. There’s no rules anymore; we’ve got the grace of God baby! Holy smokes, that’s a serious misinterpretation. Paul has to set them straight on this matter and goes as far as to tell them to kick this guy out of the church. Talk about going from hero to zero.
Now Paul realizes that people sin, but he also recognizes that this man’s flaunting of sin is gonna mess some other people up. It is going to give the false impression that God somehow approves of this kind of behavior. Chances are, there will be some more bone-headed guys who think they should do the same thing. Not so much. So this guy needs to be dealt with. Because when there is sin in the camp, it affects more than just one person; it affects the whole camp.
Paul uses an analogy about yeast and dough. It’s a pretty good analogy really, but I like the modern day analogy that my youth pastor came up with. He called it the Booger in the Punch Bowl. Here’s the scenario: you are at a party. You are dancing and really quite thirsty. You make your way to the punch bowl, grab the ladle, hope it’s spiked (hey now, just kidding), and go to fill your cup. Then you see it. Alone. Floating. What the heck is that? No, it can’t be. But yes, it is. A booger. In the punch bowl. You’ve got to be kidding me. Suddenly you are not thirsty; someone ruined the punch.
Now Pastor Doug asked us this question: would you drink the punch? Of course our answer was no. He persisted: why not just dip into the punch where the booger is not? Just avoid it. The answer was still no, ’cause that’s gross. Who cares if the punch is mostly booger free, that one booger pretty much contaminated the whole thing. And thus he taught us the lesson: A little bit of yuck messes up the rest. And this is how we should treat sin both in our lives and in our midst. We should avoid it like we would avoid a booger in a punch bowl. We shouldn’t be following the examples of people who are… how do I say this? Boogers. That, essentially, is what this guy in Corinth was. So he had to go before he ruined the whole batch of punch. What really needed to go was the sin. And by the way, the same goes for us.
I hope you’ll never look at punch the same. I sure don’t.