In response to @TheBedKeeper comments of Romans 1 – Part II
Christianity, Current Affairs Jul 18, 2011
Hi Steven (aka @yueh)
Thank you for taking the time to share your considered response.
I was struck by a couple references you made saying that these passages had nothing to do with false prophets or teachers. I agree, however never in the book do I allude to such, so I’m not certain as to why that seems to be the thrust of your response in those occurences.
In your article on the first chapter of Romans, you have referred to “Church Shepherds” a number of times, who is blind to the truth of scriptures, and use it to justify their bigotry for the sake of financial gain or political influence, and you seem to be reading Romans 1 on the basis of Paul is referring to the false teacher and prophets.
You also said God didn’t create gays or lesbians in His creation. However, Jesus would disagree with that, Who taught in Matthew 19:11-12 that indeed there are those who are whom He refers to as “born eunuchs.” They are neither castrated, nor celibate. For 1 thing, He covers those descriptions as well, and for another thing, neither castration nor celibacy are birth conditions, but rather are choices made outside the womb, either by oneself, or by others. These born eunuchs are not heterosexual, or they would not be exempted from heterosexual marriage, and Paul would not have instructed them to marry (each other) in 1 Corinthians 7:8-9 for purposes of maintaining sexual purity.
Let’s start by reading Matthew 19:10-12
Eunuchs here are those people who will not be able to have children, not to do with homosexuality. If you read the history of the Greco-Roman culture, most of the immoral sexual acts at the time are bisexual, so you can’t use this text to argue that God creates gays and lesbians. Also, if you say that God created gays and lesbians, verse 26 in Romans 1 pretty much close the case, the Word of God says that such behaviour is not natural; it is against nature as God has created it.
It’s also noteworthy that the men “gave up natural relations with women.” Only heterosexual men would be able to “give up” natural relations with women, and only if they had actually been with women (i.e. they were married). Gay men don’t have “natural relations with women to give up.” Therefore, I stand by the understanding I shared in The Bed Keeper that these were not even homosexual people being described, but were heterosexuals whose custom it was to engaged in same gender sexual expressions as acts of idol worship, especially to the fertility goddess. That is a violation of the First Commandment, “Thou shall have no other gods before Me.” Secondly, if they had previously been with women (most likely married), that is a violation of yet another of the Ten Commandments, “Thou shall not commit adultery.”
Again based on the biblical position, no one was born gay or lesbian, so your statement does not fit within my worldview. But I agree with your point on the first three commandments; it’s not just about a homosexual relationship; even a heterosexuals relationship can be counted as idol worship. If our mind was not fixed on Christ but our friendship, works, relationship, marriage, family…. they are all kinds of idol worship.
Far too many theologians attempt to portray Romans 1 as some kind of typical condition of the people being described, and attempt to portray gay people as bein guilty of all the same sins listed in verses 29-32, all the while missing the big picture of the violations of the Ten Commandments that were being disregarded. However, you are correct to say this is a parallel reflection of the Leviticus verses condemning the very same things: heterosexual married men engaging in acts of idolatry and adultery, and the bestial aspects of idol worship being committed by heterosexual women (who engaged in natural acts), but not with each other…..but with animals…..The translation you share here differs greatly from the phraseology used by Paul to describe the acts the women committed as differentiated from the acts committed by men in both the King James, and Amplified Translations.
I have replied to you using KJV, and I don’t have an issue with using any literal translation as long as it is not paraphrased. Also, the textual differences in Romans 1 are minimal between the Textus Receptus and the UBS Greek text, so I am happy to use KJV.
I want to expand here on why Paul singled out homosexuals in Romans 1. Take a closer look at Leviticus 18:
As you can see here, homosexual and sexual relationships with animals are in the bottom list of the sexual laws given by God, it is the worst case of sexual immorality, and Paul wants to describe the depth of the fall of the human race, he is not here to attack those people who suffer in this condition, he had given all human race a warning on what will happen when we moved away from God. He also went to the homosexual community to know there is a greater love outside of their community, seek the love of Christ and repent their sins.
Finally, as most theologians, you left off the next three verses of Scripture:
The last three verses are pretty straightforward, so I let the text speak for itself.
Unrighteousness includes fornication (sexual immorality), wickedness, and covetousness, which removes God from our thinking. Once God is out of our lives, we become envious, leading some to murder, strife, cheat, plan evil deeds, and whisper those evil plans.
Back talker, which I have to say many Christians do just that. Hater of God (Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens….), violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things (not just weapon, but also in Atheist writing, drama, music….), and disobedient to parents, which can be seen in our days.
….. the list never ends
Paul summarises the chapter by saying that all these wicked and sinful acts will only result in eternal destruction; without repentance, we try to establish our own moral and ethical rules rather than follow what is natural. Some people even take it further supporting them.
THEREFORE YOU have no excuse or defense or justification, O man, whoever you are who judges and condemns another. For in posing as judge and passing sentence on another, you condemn yourself, because you who judge are habitually practicing the very same things [that you censure and denounce].
Sorry, I have not yet judged anyone; it is the Word of God that judges people, and I am just referring to it.
[But] we know that the judgment (adverse verdict, sentence) of God falls justly and in accordance with truth upon those who practice such things.
Yes, so what are you going to do about it after reading the Word of our God? Are you going to continue supporting what is wrong and sinful in God’s eyes, or will you repent your sins?
And do you think or imagine, O man, when you judge and condemn those who practice such things and yet do them yourself, that you will escape God’s judgment and elude His sentence and adverse verdict? Romans 2:1-3
Only God can judge us, but for the case of biblical base support for gays and lesbians, I am willing to take my stand and say you are wrong, and you should repent and reach out to the gay and lesbian community by sharing the true gospel, you should not be ashamed of the truth (Romans 1:16). You are worse than me because you judge God based on your fallen condition. Pray to our Savior, and ask Him to help you and guide you.
- Faith is the acknowledgment of the entire absence of all goodness in us, and the recognition of the cross as the substitute for all the want on our part. Faith saves, because it owns the complete salvation of another, and not because it contributes anything to that salvation.
- For we are not saved by believing in our own salvation, nor by believing anything whatsoever about ourselves. We are saved by what we believe about the Son of God and His righteousness. The gospel believed saves; not the believing in our own faith.
- The more one separates oneself from the canons of the Christian church, the further one distances oneself from the truth.
- George Leslie Mackay’s farewell address
- One hour spent under the cross, while the soul is thus elevated—thus abased—thus joyful—and thus sorrowful—is better than a thousand of earthly delights.
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