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Alan shares which passage in the Bible is the most appropriate to use when discussing homosexuality.
Posted by Gregory Koukl on December 30, 2013 at 02:55 AM in :Alan Shlemon, Apologetics, Christianity & Culture, Ethics, Miscellaneous, Politics & News, Tactics, Video | Permalink
So how do we tie in Romans 1 to the Gospel? Seems to me that's the over-riding issue...
December 30, 2013 at 06:14 AM
Remember to read the whole of the epistle and establish the context. Paul greets the Romans and informs them of his plans to work his way to Rome. To fully explain the Gospel, Paul launches into the Law for the first three chapters. No one stands before God on his/her own righteousness. Not the pagan world, where along with homosexuality, other various sins are mentioned. But also not in the Jewish world, where homosexuality is an abomination. The Jews too are condemned by Law in their failure to keep the fine points of the Law. In certain respects the pagan world shows a better morality, but in every respect all sin and come under God's condemnation. There is to be no boasting of moral advantage when all moral systems are inadequate.
It is then that the Gospel can be introduced: the righteousness of God which is through faith in Jesus Christ to all and on all who believe. (Rom. 3: 22).
You've asked a splendid question. You've centered us on the missing element when we fire on the specifics of Rom. 1: 26, 27. It is not the wholesale condemnation of homosexuality, but the wholesale condemnation of the sinful nature present in all.
We all need a resolution to this situation. We need a Savior. This ushers in the Gospel.
December 30, 2013 at 06:38 AM
You have a good point about the fact that Romans 1 includes females, and not just males like all the other passages. I have heard people complain that the homosexuality passages do not forbid lesbianism, though I'm not sure those people were being serious or not.
I think it's pretty easy to show that arsenokoiten comes from Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 in the LXX, and the meaning in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 is unambiguous. So the meaning of arsenokoitai is unambiguous. That, combined with the fact that 1 Corinthians 6:9 is a bit less wordy than Romans 1, makes me prefer to use 1 Corinthians 6:9 instead of Romans 1.
There are some convoluted interpretations of Romans 1 out there, too, and I think it's easier to use 1 Corinthians 6:9 than it is to respond to the convoluted interpretations of Romans 1. That's just me, though.
December 30, 2013 at 10:51 AM
I totally agree that the entirety of Romans must be taken into consideration in order to establish the complete theological context; however, I was thinking more along the lines of an immediate tie-in with the gospel as it relates to the specific passage.
Re-reading the chapter, I think the immediate context suggests that a gospel tie-in occurs in verse 25, where Paul writes, "they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator." This is the whole point of the gospel, that we worship and serve the Creator rather than according to our former way of life.
Then, Paul specifically links verse 25 with verses 26-27 by saying, "Therefore, God gave them up..." In other words, they were enslaved to their sinful passions as a result of their failure and inability to rightly worship God as is fit. I think this is where the larger context of Romans as whole comes in, because Paul goes on to articulate our enslavement to sin (and the Law) and the fact that in Christ's death and resurrection, we are dead to sin and alive to obedience.
Anyway, just some thoughts. I don't know that I successfully articulated everything in the way I intended, but I promise that it makes sense to me in my brain...
December 30, 2013 at 10:53 AM
Romans 1 isn't as clearly about homosexual behavior as you think it is...
January 04, 2014 at 10:26 AM
Nice try, but the attempt is a feeble one at best to twist what is the plain teaching and intent of Paul.
For those that don't want to waste your time reading the drivel that was linked to, the article basically asserts that what Paul REALLY was talking about (wink wink) was pagan cult-ic rituals of that day, and not the "love" that exists between same-sex couples...
Unfortunately, that's not what is indicated in the text. MacArthur has a terrific sermon that expounds on this passage, and in it he shows that this is an overarching commentary on the development of civilizations in general in light of man's total depravity. Recommend reading or listening to that sermon here:
January 04, 2014 at 11:25 PM
The publishers of Bibles are not totally honest the way I see it. In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 the translations have either abusers of themselves with mankind and effeminate (King James Version) or the word homosexual. That is equivocal. What the two words mean there are that the apprentice (boy) and the person teaching him a trade -- the older man had intercourse with the boy. That was part of the culture.
To sell Bibles, publishers feel that they must put what people are used to looking at: favorite Bible-check verses. If they were to put an unequivocal translation for the above verse, it would be harder to sell the Bibles.
There are other passages in the Bible that deal with same gender sex you can find in other posts. I think that it was about 20 years that I searched books for the Greek meaning and prayed to understand what's in scripture that pertained to me as a gay person.
I thought that those who believed differently than us were deceived. Deception is a hard thing. Worshiping God in a gay church was the only time I didn't feel depressed for a long time.
When the charismatic movement hit all over the world it was at our gay church too. I and a number of others there received the gift of tongues and eventually told that we could not meet in the church building to have our meetings as happened with a number of other churches.
The above made it so hard to understand what others were teaching from the Bible.
I met a guy on the bus whom I thought was gay and either asked him or was going to ask him to my church. Finally I told him I was a gay Christian. He said he didn't doubt that I was a Christian.
He asked me to come to his church. We went. It was The Church on The Way and Jack Hayford spoke and he said something that hit me (didn't bring up homosexuality). Went home to my new friend's apartment; and though I knew more scripture than he, the Holy Spirit persuaded me out of sex with men, the gay community and church.
I jokingly thought a little later, "I'm committing treason to gaydom."
I didn’t understand the scriptures re: homosexuality for years after that.
Why this was important to me as a gay Christian was that this section of scripture in translations says that homosexuals shall not inherit the kingdom of God. If I had found out that the translations meaning "homosexuals" were in error, this would have kept my understanding that gay was okay with God which I had prayed about for years. I'VE SHARED THIS BECAUSE IF OTHERS LIKE ME WHO HAVE BEEN "WITNESSED TO" BY SOMEONE READING THIS PART OF SCRIPTURE, FIND OUT THAT IT IS EQUIVOCAL, THEY MAY RE-THINK CELIBACY OR BEING FAITHFUL TO THEIR SPOUSE IN A TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE.
The section of scripture argued about: 1 Corinthians 6:9-12
King James Version (KJV) ye's changed to you:
9 Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate [boy apprentices], nor abusers of themselves with mankind [men teaching the work and having intercourse with the apprentices -- Below the Greek of these two words is shown in two links, but they receive donations and must continue on the twisting of scripture of these two words, or simply don‘t know],
11 And such were some of you …
I wasn't a "such were some of you" in the context above, correctly translated. I wasn't an adult male having intercourse with a boy apprentice, or a boy apprentice having intercourse with an adult male who taught me a trade. There are other scriptures that refer to same gender sex which is mentioned in the video above.
http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G733&t=KJV and the other word: http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G3120&t=KJV
The same Greek word for those who defile themselves with mankind is alone in 1 Timothy 1:10 http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=1Ti&c=1#conc/10
It’s unbelievable if you search the Internet now, how much junk is on both sides of the argument. If we’re gay, Lesbian, bisexual or transgender and have faith in the real Jesus and celibate, among other things in obedience to God, we have eternal life with Him.
Michael Nordine |
February 09, 2014 at 11:26 AM
Sorry. I forgot the blog was about Romans 1, but can't delete the above. Whoever is in charge of this blog, can delete it if they wish.
Michael Nordine |
February 09, 2014 at 11:33 AM
Re: Romans 1. Very good video. I received the due penalty that was due in my body from having sex with men. Yet, of course, we can have eternal life with God, obey and stop sinning when we realize homosexual behavior is disobeying God. My sexual feelings haven't changed. After a battle with semantics I began to realize that I'm gay. With God's help I have obeyed Him. It's 32 years+ now. Having faith in Jesus regarding this and other things God worked in me to obey got me through all this time.
Michael Nordine |
February 09, 2014 at 12:15 PM
God bless you Michael. I have a son who is living in a gay relationship who was raised in the church. It tears at his mother and I but your testimony strengthens my hope he will be redeemed in this lifetime.
Rick Casteel |
February 24, 2014 at 04:05 AM
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