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The Bible & Homosexuality – Part 4

posted Jun 15, 2015, 10:59 AM by First Baptist


 

For the last several weeks, we’ve been looking at the major Bible passages that deal with the subject of homosexuality.

 

The other day, I was watching television and happened to see a commercial by Wells Fargo, the huge financial services company. The commercial showed 2 attractive women talking with a young girl. Finally, one of the women said to the little girl “we’re going to be your 2 mommies.”

 

Obviously, Wells Fargo knows which way the culture is going and wants to be known as open-minded & affirming of homosexuality.

 

Unfortunately, various denominations, churches and professing Christians are taking the same approach. In light of what the Bible says about homosexuality, this is a grave mistake.

 

Today, we turn to the New Testament, and in particular, Romans 1:26-27:

 

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

 

Context

 

Once again, we need to consider the context in which these verses appear.

 

In the opening chapters of Romans, the apostle Paul is carefully building a case for why all of humanity needs a Savior. He indicts humanity for its godlessness & wickedness (1:18). He says, even though God has revealed himself to us (“us” being humanity), we refuse to worship him, turning to idolatry instead (1:19-22).

 

Paul goes on to explain that humanity’s wickedness is seen in three “exchanges”:

 

            First, we exchange the glory of the immortal God for the foolishness of idolatry (1:23).

 

            Second, we exchange the truth about God for a lie (1:25).

 

Third, we exchange natural relations with members of the opposite sex for relations with those of the same sex (1:26-27).

 

Why Pick on Homosexuality?

 

This 3rd exchange seems odd, doesn’t it? Why does Paul insert the subject of homosexuality at this point? Why does he seem to be “picking” on this particular practice? Aren’t there other practices just as bad or sinful?

 

I might mention that homosexuality was widely accepted & practiced in the Greek/Roman culture of Paul’s day. According to historians, 14 of the 1st 15 emperors were at least bi-sexual. Even so, Paul is bold in his condemnation. He refers to homosexual practice as shameful, unnatural, indecent and perverted.

 

His strong condemnation of homosexual practice may well have been a factor in his martyrdom at the hands of the Roman authorities.

 

But now, on to the question of why Paul seems to be picking on homosexuality. Kevin DeYoung explains:

 

“Paul’s burden is not to rate the relative heinousness of homosexual sin. Instead, his point is more illustrative than evaluative. In Paul’s mind, same-sex sexual intimacy is an especially clear illustration of the idolatrous human impulse to turn away from God’s order and design.”

 

What Paul does in Romans 1 is present same-sex behavior, AND THE ACCEPTANCE OF IT (the place where America is now at), as a striking demonstration of how far a person/society has fallen and the degree to which that person or society holds God in contempt.

 

Homosexuality is not just a perversion, but an INversion . . . which is to say, homosexual practice is not only twisted, but an outright reversal (a knowing reversal!) of God’s intent & design for sexuality. In a very real sense, it is man (or woman) acting as god and showing utter disdain for the one, true God.

 

Unnatural Relations

 

Paul refers to same-sex intercourse as “unnatural.” Those who support homosexuality argue that, for the homosexual, same-sex intercourse IS natural; it’s natural to them. Same-sex intercourse is only “unnatural” for persons who are normally heterosexual.

 

This is not Paul’s meaning at all. The word “unnatural” is a translation of the Greek phrase eis ten para physin, which literally means “for that which is contrary to nature.” He’s not talking about a PERSON’s nature (innate desires), but rather how God obviously created & intends for something to be. With regard to sexual intercourse, all one has to do is look at the complementary male & female body parts to understand what is natural & unnatural.

 

The Due Penalty

 

Paul says that those who practice homosexuality “receive in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.” This means that homosexual practice becomes its own penalty or punishment. The extremely high incidence of disease and early death for homosexuals would seem to bear this out.

 

 

Pastor Dan

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