“And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.” (2 Cor. 12:21)
First off notice that at the top of Paul’s list of sins he’s concerned he’ll need at address (again) in Corinth when he comes are sexual sins. It’s trendy to suggest that what the gospel is really concerned about are corporate political and economic sins. What Jesus is really concerned about is economic policy and capitalistic greed. Surely Jesus is concerned with those sins too, and Paul’s letter is overtly concerned with economics in so far as he’s writing about the gift they had promised to give. But Paul says that when he shows up he’ll be looking for sexual fidelity. There had been at least one fellow shacking up with his father’s wife (1 Cor. 5), some where going to temple prostitutes (1 Cor. 6), and between those two specific examples, Paul repeatedly explains that fornication is just a really bad business.
But secondly, notice that Paul understands that if he would need to bewail these particular sins it would be a humbling experience. God would be humbling Paul if Paul had to address these sins with the Corinthians. But of course we are told ad nauseum that addressing sexual sin is arrogant and judgmental. Who are you to say what I watch? Who are you to say who I sleep with? Who are you to say that this doesn’t make me happy? Well, I’m nobody, but God made the heavens and the earth. He holds the molecules of the universe in the palm of His hand. He speaks and the oceans roar. He speaks and life exists. Which is to say that submission to His word and application of His word is not arrogance. It’s fundamentally an act of humility.
In other words, refusal to address the sins of a congregation, the sins of a community, the sins in your family, the sins of the culture is actually the arrogant thing. Who are you to ignore the state of your home? Who are you to look at porn and masturbate and say it’s no big deal? Who are you to sleep with that man who is not your husband? Sin is arrogance, and refusal to address it is just a pious sounding accomplice. But humility speaks, humility corrects, humility confronts, humility addresses with truth-telling love.
Sure, make sure you aren’t flaming out in some kind of fleshly vindictiveness. Don’t spank your kids when you’re angry, and don’t address other people’s sin when you’re mad. But it’s not arrogance to name sin for what it is. It’s arrogance not to.