Last week, the news broke that Miles McPherson of The Rock Church in San Diego had invited unrepentant 'Porn King', Ron Jeremy to speak in church. McPherson gave two reasons to justify this invitation. The first is that we can "learn something" from Ron Jeremy and the second reason is that despite the fact that "he's not a Christian, he's living a sinful life in people's eyes and his lifestyle is contrary to the Bible but still, we're obligated to love him."
McPherson's justifications for inviting Jeremy to speak in church demonstrate that he either doesn't understand what scripture teaches regarding the gathering of the church or that he's rejected what God has revealed on this matter.
In order to understand what God has revealed we'll consider two passages of scripture.
The first passage is found in 1 Corinthians 3:16–20 and it says:
“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.””
At first glance, its very easy to misunderstand this text. When we read in our English translations, "Do you not know that you are God’s temple" our first impulse is to think that this verse is referring only to individuals and their physical bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:19–20 makes that exact point. when it says:
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
But, 1 Corinthians 3:16–20 is not referring only to individual human bodies being the temple of the Holy Spirit and the original Greek text bears this out. It reads:
Οὐκ οἴδατε ὅτι ναὸς θεοῦ ἐστε καὶ τὸ πνεῦμα τοῦ θεοῦ οἰκεῖ ἐν ὑμῖν
The "you" that is referred to in this text is plural, not singular. Let me retranslate this text using the word "ya'll" so that you can get the gist of what God has revealed in this text:
“Do you not know that YA'LL are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in YA'LL? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and YA'LL are that temple.
This passage is referring to both the individual and collective truth that the church is the temple of the living God. Bible commentator, Dr. Paul Kretzman writing about this passage noted:
This is not merely a warning lest any of the readers find themselves sharing the fate of such whose efforts will not stand the test of the last day, but it is an arraignment of those who become destroyers of God's house, whom therefore, in turn, God will destroy. To bring this out, Paul shows a different side of the picture: Do you not know that a temple of God you are, and that the Spirit of God lives in you? All Christians, being built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ and the apostles, have received the Holy Spirit, the Triune God, as the tenant of their hearts. Their hearts have become a shrine, a true temple, of the Godhead. And the underlying idea is that they all, because of this indwelling, together form the great temple of the invisible Church, the habitation of God through the Spirit. If, therefore, any person will corrupt, defile, desecrate the temple of God, this man will God destroy. If the agitators and false teachers in Corinth, if the errorists of all times, will persist in defiling the holy place of the pure temple of God in the individual Christian as well as in the Church as such, by a perversion of doctrine, by inciting wrangling and strife, then the wrath of God will strike them at last. For the holiness of God can never permit such a defilement to go unpunished; every injury of that kind is a desecration of the sanctity of the temple. And the added clause, "which you are," reminds the Corinthians of the obligation which is imposed upon them by their sanctity; it urges them to be on a sharp lookout against the defilers of their temple, and not to permit the desecration to take place. The work in which they are engaged is a sacred work; they themselves are hallowed and consecrated to God; therefore they must watch over their sanctity with a jealous eye.
Since there was great danger that some of the Corinthian Christians might have been so thoroughly imbued with the glittering show of human wisdom in the work of the Church as not to heed the apostle's warning, he adds another word. No one in their midst should deceive himself; no one should be involved in misapprehension and blindness; no one should presume willfully to know more concerning this matter than the apostle. If any one among them had the idea that he was wise in the wisdom of this transitory world, he had better become a fool according to the standards of this world, for then only could he become wise in the sight of God. "Those who follow human wisdom exalt human masters at the expense of God's glory, and there are teachers who lend themselves to this error and thus build unworthily on the Christian foundation, — some who are even destroying, under a show of building, the temple of God. (emphasis added)
1 Corinthians 3:16–20 clearly and unambiguously teaches that Christians individually and collectively are the Temple of God and that God the Holy Spirit dwells in our midst and that God's Temple is holy and that God will severely punish anyone who destroys His temple.
This is the point where we must consider the second passage. It's found in 2 Corinthians 6:14–18 and it is a direct cross reference to 1 Corinthians 3:16–20 and explains what is and is not permitted in God's Temple. Here is what God has revealed:
“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.””
Again, Dr. Paul Kretzmann's commentary on this passage is very helpful and instructive. Said Kretzmann:
Be not united incongruously with unbelievers. That is the thesis, the topic, of the entire passage. If they should be yoked together with unbelievers, it would be an unequal yoking together. The apostle has in mind the provision of the Jewish ceremonial law according to which the yoking together of clean and unclean animals was prohibited, Deut. 22, 10. If the believers, the members of the Christian community, should in any way join with the heathen in their idol worship, if they should associate with them in such a way as to erase the essential difference between Christian and heathen, then this union would be absurd and wicked, with the peril of leading to denial attached, and should therefore not be practiced by the Christians.
The apostle enforces his thought by illustrating the incongruity between Christianity and heathendom in five contrasts. He asks: For what communion, what fellowship, is there to righteousness and lawlessness? What have they in common? On the one hand, there is the active disposition to live in accordance with the divine will; on the other hand, there is no knowledge of the divine, sanctifying will, and therefore nothing but unrighteousness. Obviously, then, there can be no participation between the two; they are contrasts. Or what communion has light with darkness? On the one side is light and salvation, with God; on the other is darkness and destruction, with Satan; the two can never unite without destroying their substance.
A third question, contrasting the Son of God with the adversary of Himself and of all mankind: But what is Christ’s concord toward Belial? How can there ever be an agreement between Christ, the Champion of that which is right and good, which is intended for man’s salvation, and the chief of Christ’s adversaries? The personification of righteousness and perfection against the personification of unrighteousness and lawlessness - that abyss can never be bridged.
Now that we have a firm understanding of what God has revealed in His word regarding what is appropriate and inappropriate in the Temple where the Holy Spirit dwells, ask yourself this question, is inviting an unrepentant and practicing 'Porn King' to speak in church (the Temple of the Living God) in accord with what the Holy Spirit has revealed and commanded in 1 Corinthians 3:16–20 and 2 Corinthians 6:14–18 or is it the equivalent of uniting light with darkness or Christ with Belial?
Or more to the point, How is this not a desecration of the Temple of God?