Editorial: A Lot in Corinth

Please check one of the following boxes:As the title indicates, this is about

a. Real estate in Greece.

b. The number saved in Corinth.

c. An ancient visitor in Corinth.

d. All of the above.

e. None of the above.

[Answer Key: a. Wrong magazine. Welcome! Please begin by reading the back cover. b. Right magazine; wrong page. Check the following pages for related articles. c. Right magazine; right page. d. Please refer to 1 Peter 1:13. e. Please reconsider.]

You can often recognize a city by its skyline, but these three pictures of different skylines are remarkably similar. The first is Sodom, the second is Corinth. Both pictures feature the Sin Towers. Both Sodom and Corinth wedded their names to basest immorality: Corinth during its day and Sodom until our day. It’s hard to tell which city’s Sin Towers are taller. The index in 1 Corinthians 6:9 and the incidents in Genesis include acts that dishonor both marriage (Heb 13:4) and bodies (Rom 1:24-27).

Another skyscraper in each is the Prosperity State Building. Sodom had “fulness of bread and abundance of idleness” (Eze 16:49) while in Corinth many were “full,” “rich,” and “reigned as kings” (1 Cor 4:8). The Halls of Injustice administered mistreatment to the needy in both cities (Eze 16:49; 1 Cor 11:22). On Broadway at First, you’ll notice Thought Police Headquarters with a monument to Inclusiveness out front. In both cities, neon signs tout inflation – ego inflation, that is (Eze 16:49; 1 Cori 4:6b, 18, 19; 5:2), known in our Hometown as pride.

Speaking of Hometown, that’s the third picture. And since you live there, you’ll recognize that your city’s skyline is about the same as the other two. In many ways, things haven’t changed.

But what about Lot? Credit him with good intentions; he wanted his light to mitigate Sodom’s darkness (Gen 19:1, 9). Recognize that Sodom’s sins were daily torture to his soul (2 Pet 2:8). But remember that God intended him to be a testimony in Sodom (Gen 18:27-32) and his testimony was powerless (19:9, 14). The lure of Sodom’s prosperity entrapped him (13:10, 11). He imbibed the inclusive spirit of Sodom, calling the wicked, “Brethren” (19:7). When the price was high enough, justice was negotiable (v. 8). In fact, the unthinkable happened: he proposed – not just tolerated – gross immorality as a way to avert grosser immorality! Proudly thinking he stood above its evil morass (v. 1), he eventually sank in its mire (v. 36; 1 Cor 10:12)? Lot, how could you?

Lot was in Sodom, but the problem was that Sodom was in Lot. The assembly was in Corinth, but the problem was that Corinth was in the assembly. Maybe there was a Lot in Corinth. Lot’s inclusiveness echoes in the boast, “All things are lawful for me” (1 Cor 6:12; 10:23). He learned to live with grosser forms of immorality (5:1, 2). Instead of a light in the darkness, he became a mirror. Colossae, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, and Laodicea had the same problem.

Since Hometown looks so much like Sodom and Corinth, could Lot live here, too? You might recognize his profile: well-intentioned, lured by Hometown’s prosperity, thinking its thoughts, even accommodating its sins, overlooking injustice, walking with its swagger, meaning to be a light, but functioning as a mirror.

If this ink and paper morphed into a mirror, as you stare into its reflection do you see a lot more of Lot than you wish?