How can we be sure what Paul was talking about in Romans 1?

by Rob G.
(near L.A.)

Ruins of a Temple<br>Bernardo Bellotto, 1721-1780

Ruins of a Temple
Bernardo Bellotto, 1721-1780



Excellent question! Every honest student of scripture stipulates to the basic historical facts. Temple or cult or shrine prostitutes did serve false gods in pagan temples in first century Rome. Those who disagree have not bothered to acquaint themselves with Roman history.

Honest seekers of truth also agree that pederasty and same sex activity apart from Roman temples were facts of life in first century Rome. So how do we honestly decide what God and Paul intended us to learn from Romans 1:26-27?

What was Paul talking about?


I. Paul links the sexual behavior of females in Romans 1:26 to the sexual behavior of males in Romans 1:27 by saying ”likewise also the men.” Whatever Paul is talking about, both females and males were engaging in the same behavior.

II. Paul links their sexual behavior to his idolatry argument. The point of Romans 1 is idolatry and forsaking the true God. Whatever Paul is talking about involves rejecting God and worshiping idols, in other words, idolatry. Paul describes idolatrous behavior beginning in Romans 1:18ff.

III. Paul's beliefs as a Jew are rooted in the Old Testament. Whatever Paul is talking about is prohibited behavior based on what the Jewish Old Testament actually says. In plainer words, Paul is not grabbing ideas out of thin air and making up new sins. He is talking about sins with which his first century Roman readers were familiar.

Now we are in a position to evaluate the possible interpretations of Romans 1:26-27 and decide what it means based on cultural doctrinal historical linguistic religious and scriptural context.

Is Paul talking
about pederasty?


Pederasty was the Greek and to a lesser extent, the Roman practice of a sometimes older man having a sexual relationship with a sometimes younger man.

Is pederasty the point of Paul's argument in Romans 1? No, we know that is not what Paul was talking about because Paul links female sexual practice in Romans 1:26 with equivalent male sexual practice in 1:27, when he uses the phrase, ”likewise also the men.” Whatever Paul was describing must be typical of idolatrous females and idolatrous males in first century Rome.

Because history is silent about female pederasty in the Old Testament and in first century Rome, we may safely conclude that pederasty is not what Paul is talking about in Romans 1:26-27.

Is Paul talking about
homosexuality in general?


Did Paul intend his readers to understand that all same sex activity between two lesbians or two gay men, even in committed, faithful, non-cultic partnership, is sinfully wrong and places the same sex partners under the wrath of God?

No, that cannot possibly be Paul’s argument. If Paul intended to blast gays and lesbians, there were many words he could have used to do that. Yet Paul did not use any of those words. Paul's beliefs as a born again Jew are rooted in the Old Testament and the OT never proscribes lesbian sexually intimate same sex partnerships.

In fact, the Old Testament never prohibits male same sex partnerships. The verses so commonly used to attack gay men are really describing pagan temple prostitutes, not gay men. If Paul was talking about same sex sexual activity in general, his analogy breaks down because, ”likewise also the men,” links whatever the women were doing with whatever the men were doing.

Both groups were committing the sin of idolatry, using sex to worship false gods, therefore any attempt to make Paul's argument a general blast at gays and lesbians falls flat because it does not fit Paul's argument about rejecting God, worshiping idols and practicing idolatry.

Is Paul talking
about temple prostitutes?


Could it be that Paul is talking about a particular kind of sexual activity which he and God intended to prohibit? Yes, there is one kind of sexual activity which occurred in first century Rome which meets all the criteria. That prohibited sexual activity is anal sex in worship of the fertility goddess, also known as shrine prostitution.

  1. The behavior Paul mentions is something both women and men were doing. Female and male devotees of the fertility goddess allowed themselves to be used for anal sex as part of their pagan worship. That is idolatry and perfectly matches Paul's idolatry argument.

    This meets the criterion of Paul's "likewise also the men" which equates the sexual activity engaged in by male and female temple prostitutes, Romans 1:26-27.

  2. The behavior Paul mentions must involve rejecting the true God and must involve some form of pagan idolatry which is the point of Paul's argument in Romans 1.

    This meets the criterion of rejecting God, worshiping idols and practicing idolatry which Paul describes and which was practiced by devotees of Roman fertility goddesses in first century Rome.

  3. The behavior Paul prohibits must be behavior prohibited in the Old Testament. Cult prostitution, shrine prostitution, temple prostitution, different words for the same pagan behavior, is prohibited in the Old Testament, for women and for men.
"There shall be no cult prostitute among the daughters of Israel, neither shall there be a cult prostitute (a sodomite) among the sons of Israel." - Deut 23:17, The Amplified Bible.
Therefore shrine prostitution or temple prostitution is the example Paul intended to describe and proscribe in Romans 1:26-27. And for the record, the word sodomites is never used in the Bible to refer to gays and lesbians. In the Bible, the word sodomites always describes a temple prostitute.

Common Sense Conclusion


Romans 1 is not a negative blast at gays and lesbians. Paul and God are focused on pagan idolatry. And the sexual activity mentioned in Romans 1:26-27 refers to fertility goddess worship, not two gay guys falling in love and committing to spend their lives together and not two gay gals falling in love and committing to spend their lives together.

Anti-gay Christians who use Romans 1 to assault the GLBT community are committing spiritual malpractice. They rip verses out of context to prove a lie and that is not an honest way to handle the infallible words of the living God.


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Painting by Bernardo Bellotto
Ruins of a Temple,
is a Public Domain photo
courtesy of Wikimedia Commons



This page revised March 7, 2013

Comments for How can we be sure what Paul was talking about in Romans 1?

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Nov 06, 2012
I am praying for you!
by: MArk Wills

I feel sorry for you because you are blinded by your Father, Satan. Don't fit scripture around your proclivity to have sex with another man. In Gods eyes it is wrong, and it is detestable. I have a proclivity to have sex with women, but I know it is wrong so I don't do it. I could fit all kinds of scripture to what I want to do. I can twist and mold scriptures around my wanting to have sex with women, but it is still wrong. Open your eyes to the truth, and to see issues the way God sees issues. You are not a believer, because if you were a believer you would be able to see this one idol in your life for what it is, Sin. You would also see this as the Holy Spirit sees it, as sin. Don't continue to twist scripture, that is also unpardonable because you are not believing what the Holy Spirit says!

Rick's comment: My oh my, aren't we pious! As usual with anti-gay christians, you have no in context scripture to support your judgmental rant.

While you perfect the art of online bloviating, I'll continue to win souls in the gay community and disciple those I win. Meanwhile, this website enjoyed 53,000+ unique visitors from 185 countries in October 2012.

In March 2013, this website had 69,000+ unique visitors from more than 180 countries. We are getting the gospel of the grace of God out to the gay community around the world.

Hey Mark, did it ever occur to you to address what Romans 1 says, in context? If not, why not?

Mar 06, 2013
Abomination
by: Anonymous

You are taking God's word and twisting it. I'm not just trying to bash, but it is extremely clear that Paul is saying that homosexuality of ALL KINDS is wrong.

2 Peter 3:17 "am warning you ahead of time, dear friends. Be on guard so that you will not be carried away by the errors of these wicked people and lose your own secure footing."

"At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved." Matthew 24:10-13

You are being spoken to by satan if you think you're being revealed of this by God.

Rick's comment: Did you read my answer to the question? You have presented no evidence, no logical train of thought to support your assertion that I am twisting God's word. Why do you rebel against the Holy Spirit and His truth in the Bible?

Mar 07, 2013
Blind
by: Mark Wills

I am sorry that you are so blind. Homosexuality is wrong it is a sin. You need to be delivered from the grip that demons have on your mind and heart, and I will pray to that end. What is so interesting is that Romans 1 is so clearly talking about the abomination of homosexuality, yet you don't believe. I will continue to pray, and I will not call you names or degrade you in any way. God loves everyone, and Jesus died for all sinners.

Rick's comment: Because I disagree with them, Charismatics tell me I have demons and Calvinists tell me I'm not saved. Yet none of you anti-gay folks can discuss what the Bible says in context. So you resort to statements like, Romans 1 is so clearly talking about the abomination of homosexuality, without any logic, without any proof, without any context, without any linguistic evidence.

Don't let your emotions rule you Mark. Biblical context should always trump emotions.

Mar 07, 2013
Very Clear
by: Mark Wills

Romans 1 is very clear. Look at this; Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. What Paul is saying is that lesbianism is not natural. Paul doesn't stop there look at this; And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other.

Clearly Paul is stating that homosexuality is not normal. Also this is a state that is reached because you will not declare what God says is wrong; So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other's bodies.

You have been abandoned to your own shameless ways, and you are caught in the snare of the devil. Your being caught up is very strong when you look at what Paul is clearly stating in Romans 1 and don't see it.

How do you get any more clear then, And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other? What other context could there be? Very clear, and you need to understand that God does not approve of homosexuality which Paul could not have made more clear.

When you read this in context you can actually see God not understanding these actions. It makes no sense for a man to be attracted to another man, how does this happen? and of course Paul answers that in verse 24.

Rick's comment: Earth to Mark! Earth to Mark! You've managed once again to ignore the in context truth of Romans 1 which I presented and instead, have imposed your mean-spirited anti-gay fantasy on Romans 1.

No problem. I get it. You don't like gays and lesbians. But if you're saved, you'd better get used to us. Saved gays and lesbians will be in heaven too.

Mar 07, 2013
In heaven
by: Mark Wills

Whether you are in heaven is not left up to me. If you see Jesus Christ the way the Holy Spirit has born witness to him then you will be in heaven. What I can guarantee with 100% certainty is that homosexuality is a sin. I am not taking that scripture out of context.

There is no other way to parse the following; Even the women turned against the "natural" way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other.

Rick's comment: Mark, you're living in a fantasy world. Romans 1:26 does not say that in the Greek or in the old KJV. Me thinks you spend too much time reading lightweight paraphrases like the New Living Translation, which is NOT a translation. Haha, good try at spiritually scamming us though.

You cannot say that homosexual relations is normal when Paul says it is not, again he says; And the men, instead of having "normal" sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other.

The word for natural is "physikos" which literally means produced by nature or governed by (the instincts of) nature. It is natural for male and female to procreate. In fact when you look at it in the Greek it is followed by function or "chrēsis" which when put together means "natural function."

Rick's comment: Procreation is offered as a reason why gay marriages are wrong. Gays cannot procreate with each other therefore gays are unnatural and cannot be allowed to marry.

Yet when dealing with elderly or infertile opposite sex couples, you reject your procreation argument. No, you'll say, they do not need to be able to procreate in order for their marriage to be valid.


This is also stated more than once so Paul is saying that what these homosexuals were doing was completely not natural. When you look at it through the Greek you know what Paul means and it is unarguable. If you know Greek you know I am right.

The heart of the matter is calling homosexual acts as pure acts, and they are not. It is sin to have sex with any one who is of the same sex. It is sin to have sex with anyone you are not married to. The word for wife and woman are the same if you are wondering, but if you know Hebrew you know that as well.

In reality you are not arguing with me you are arguing with God. I didn't make it clear that homosexuality is wrong through Paul. I am not the one who destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of their evil, one of them being homosexuality.

Rick's comment: Where in Genesis 19 do you find homosexuals or homo sex? Haha Mark, you aren't fooling anyone here.

I agape you and would do anything to help you get to know God better. He hates sin no matter who commits it. I have done a study on sin, and sin does not separate the believer from God just the relationship is harmed. Sin in my life will not cause me to go to hell, if that was the case no one would go to heaven.

Mar 10, 2013
More Scripture
by: Mark Wills

I know you want to live you life by what the scripture says. If you truly do believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins you want to know what his word says. Lev. 18:22. I am not sure how you explain this away, seems God was making himself pretty clear.

Again I say this in love, listen to Gods word, Jesus didn't change the law when he came he fulfilled it.

Again these are not my words these are from God. He says these things because he wants to be very clear about the boundaries he gives to us.

Rick's comment: You continue to stumble over the amazing grace of God in Christ Jesus. Gays believe that it is okay with God for us to be GLBT based on context. Every verse used to condemn gays is NOT in the context of two men or two women falling in love and deciding to be intimate partners.

Instead, every verse used to condemn gays is in the context of temple prostitution, using sex to worship false gods. THAT is what God condemns, not being gay or lesbian or bisexual or even transgender.

Where in the Bible does God say it is okay for heterosexuals to get married by a minister in a church building? That is not in the Bible.

Where in the Bible does it say it is okay to use a computer? That is not in the Bible.

Where in the Bible does it say it is okay to drive a car or fly on an airplane? Those are not in the Bible.

The anti-gay crowd does not apply the "Where does God say it's okay test" to anything other than being gay or lesbian or bisexual.

Religious people love to put others under the law. You struggle to do good works in a vain attempt to win God's favor, in a vain attempt to earn what you think God requires of you. So sad.

Apr 07, 2013
Keep your chin up
by: Tim McCarty

Wow, never fails that anytime you try to say something about God to help a struggling gay person the "Christians" get all judgmental. I was raised in a conservative Christian home. My grandmother was a preacher. I knew I was gay at age 9 but hearing my family say similar things M r. Wills said above I did my very best to hide it. I married at 20, and it was one of the most unnatural things ever. Even when I told my wife she wasn't surprised. We were more like friends then lovers or spouses.

People who do not have same sex feelings can not understand it, therefore they fear. I believe in God, I attend church regularly and even though a sibling told me I couldn't love God if I was gay, I do. I will not blame God for what others do in His name. What people need to realize is God judges. Their ability to not realize that how they say things is very hurtful, and that they might not fully understand something is astounding. Good luck and keep winning souls for God!

Rick's comment: God bless you Tim! Keep walking with the Lord - Galatians 5:16 puts it this way: Walk in the Spirit and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh."

No matter what they say about us, we know the truth, that God loves us, Jesus died to pay for our sins and Jesus saves everyone who calls upon Him for salvation.

Apr 10, 2013
wow
by: Mark Wills

I am in awe of your interpretation of scripture. Temple prostitutes? If this was in regards to temple prostitutes why didn't he say so? There is never any mention of temple prostitutes. What is mentioned is very clear, Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it [is] abomination. King James doesn't do it for you look at the American Standard, Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. I read the entire chapter and this is not in context with temple prostitutes. The context is very simple and there is no way to look at it in any other way, it is an abomination for a man to have sex with a man.

There is no other way to interpret this scripture. To say that this scripture is talking about temple prostitution is like saying that the sun is shining bright in the sky at 2 am in the morning.

When you look at the scripture in context God is very clear that homosexual activity is an abomination, and some translations it says detestable. Nothing is said about temple prostitutes, it is all about two men having sex and that is wrong. I have never said that God doesn't love homosexuals, I am just saying that he says it is sinful.

Don't accuse me of not loving the sinner. You can accuse me of being the salt and light of the world. I agape' gay people. I would do anything I could to spread the truth and the love of Christ. The problem is that God hates sin, and to blatantly call sin acceptable is scary. To call sin acceptable in Gods eyes is very serious. I can tell you that God never told you, the Holy Spirit never said to you that homosexuality was not sin.

Just like the Holy Spirit will never tell me that heterosexual activity outside of marriage is acceptable. Open your eyes to what the Bible is clearly stating, Sex between 2 men is sin. Sex outside of Marriage is sin.

Rick's comment: Mark, you need to study your Bible instead of just reading it, 2 Tim 2:15, old KJV. I note that you have not addressed anything I wrote in the article nor have you included any facts in your answers to my comments here. Instead you have offered opinions which have already been refuted on this website.

Even anti-gay Christians admit that the context of Romans 1 is temple prostitution. I hope you will start studying because that will help you embrace truth wherever you find it.

As far as you loving gay people, I hope you do. Yet IF you love gay people, you will search diligently for truth instead of presenting knee-jerk anti-gay preconceptions AS IF they are truth.

Apr 13, 2013
I was speaking about Leviticus passage.
by: Mark Wills

Rick, I was speaking about Leviticus. I do study the scriptures. I tried looking at the Leviticus scripture in context of temple prostitutes and it is not there.

Rick's comment: Hi Mark - please read Lev 17:7 for context. Moses IS talking about prostitution and worshiping false gods. Chapter 18 then lists specific offenses.

"They must no longer offer any of their sacrifices to the goat idols to whom they prostitute themselves. This is to be a lasting ordinance for them and for the generations to come.'" Lev 17:7 NIV

"They are no longer to slaughter their sacrifices to the goat demons, with whom they have been committing prostitution. This will be a perpetual statute for you throughout your generations." ISV


As I mentioned the Leviticus scripture has no mention of temple prostitutes. Rick's comment: Really????

The context of Leviticus is very clear, it speaks of detestable sex practices. Not to have sex with animals and also not to have sex during a womens' period. This is very clear and the scripture is an out right ban of homosexuality.

There is no other way to look at it, and I have studied what you wrote, but you are wrong.

I would be amiss if I did not point out what scripture says. Also I will mention that you are leading young minds away from God. God does forgive the sinner, but he does speak harshly to those who lead others into sin. You my friend are leading others into sin. Not only a sin but a detestable sin.

I also know you are twisting the Romans 1 scripture around. You are wrong when you think that scripture is in reference to temple prostitutes, which is no doubt a consequence of your debased mind.

Rick's comment: Dr. Merrill F. Unger, conservative theologian and Bible scholar who wrote Unger's Bible Dictionary, understood Romans 1 to be talking about temple prostitutes.

You will notice that those who do not forsake the sin of homosexuality are given over to a debased mind, that is why you think Romans 1 is speaking about temple prostitution. That is also why you think the Holy Spirit told you it was okay to be a homosexual.

Rick's comment: Matthew Henry, the great English Bible scholar and preacher, in the early 1700s wrote that Romans 1 was talking about temple prostitution, using sex to worship idols. How did you miss that?

You are blaspheming against the Holy Spirit because he NEVER testified that homosexuality is not a sin. This would be contrary to his testimony, that is why I can say with all confidence that you are not saved. I can also say with all confidence that anyone who believes that the Holy Spirit's testimony is that homosexual sin is okay he is not saved. These are just the plain facts, and I pray that you will be given over to a pure and holy mind.

Apr 16, 2013
I just shake my head
by: Mark Wills

Temple prostitutes are not mentioned, that is a fact. What is mentioned is the heart of man as it relates to seeking after devils...

Rick's comment: Sure Mark, as long as you ignore the context Moses sets up in Lev 17:7. Moses IS talking about temple prostitution and worshiping false gods.

"They must no longer offer any of their sacrifices to the goat idols to whom they prostitute themselves. This is to be a lasting ordinance for them and for the generations to come.'" Lev 17:7 NIV

"They are no longer to slaughter their sacrifices to the goat demons, with whom they have been committing prostitution. This will be a perpetual statute for you throughout your generations." ISV

Your confusion about temple prostitutes is because you are not a student of history. You need to stop shaking your head and do more reading. Expand your knowledge base - stop assuming you know it all because you read an English translation of the Bible.

Temple prostitutes were linked to pagan temples and pagan places of worship, NOT the Jewish tabernacle and certainly not the Jewish temple, since the Jewish temple would not be built until about 400 years after Moses wrote the Pentateuch.

Apr 21, 2013
@ Mark - Everyone is welcome
by: monty

This is from a non-gay believer to Mark: The word of God states that whosoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. There is no reference to any qualifying condition or prerequisite. What it sounds like to me is that you are saying that Jesus’ sacrifice wasn’t quite enough. Actually there is no sin, sickness, condition, dogma, doctrine, legal document, legalistic belief, prejudice, fear, or self-righteous holier-than-thou attitude that is more powerful and complete than Jesus’ finished work.

The warning that the anti-gay legalists refer to in Romans 1: 27 is taken out of context. The warning starts IN Romans 1:18 and ends in Romans 3:24 and concerns itself more with the people judging others by the law that they themselves cannot keep.Verses 20-24 state 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: I note that in verse 22 it says upon ALL THEM THAT BELIEVE. there is no qualifier put there by The Holy Spirit and there should be none put there by any man!

I am neither gay or judgmental but the truth needs to be shared with the whole world, that Jesus' love is absolute and His finished work is for everyone who believes!

Apr 25, 2013
Division
by: Kasey

Lord help us all. There is NOTHING that divides belivers like the issue of homosexuality. Jesus spoke of this in Matthew 19:11-12. The 3rd Eunich is created by God, and this is HARD for man to understand. How does a conservative God fearing Christian explain a hermerphodite. A person with both male and female hormones running thru their body. Who would judge that person's sexuality? Or would a conservative Christian urge them NOT to engage in sex in order not to offend God, or The Law? For those of us who were born gay, and come to Salvation thru the blood of Jesus - we struggle with the scriptures in Old & New Testaments that appear to condem our "natural" inclination to same sex relationships. It not just SEX to be homosexual. It's a natural attraction to those of the same sex as us. 10% in all societies are gay. God DOES have the right to create us as HE see fit. Perhaps it's to balance overpopulation. Whatever His reasons, it's not our choice to be gay. What do you say to us?? Tell us to go against our "natural" emotional and sexual attractions? I was married to a man for 20 years as a devout Christian, trying to make myself straight. My story is not unusual - it's very common for gay Christians to do all possible to be attracted to the opposite sex to please God and fall into line. But just like Jesus said, if a man desires a woman in his mind, he's already commited adultery. We're all in trouble when we try to live up to scripture - Old and New Testament. We have to do the best we can to lead sinless lives, BUT it's impossible - so we pray for forgivness of our sins on a daily basis, and rely on the blood of Jesus - our ONLY way to salvation. God bless us all who try to walk as Christians.

Apr 25, 2013
Impossible
by: monty

My pastor said: "The Christian walk is not difficult, it is impossible. That is why we have the Holy Spirit". Without His guidance and the guidance of Spirit filled teachers the message of Grace would be impossible to find, as those who want to judge SEEM to have the loudest voice and the most support. But we KNOW that our judgement was awarded to Jesus and His righteousness was given to us.

We didn't have to do anything, and we still don't have to do anything, but how can we ever stop praising and worshiping God, who put all the requirements on His son, who fulfilled them all perfectly. I would rather dwell on Him than spend my time worrying about what my brother is doing, and whether or not I approve. Because of Jesus, ALL believers have God's complete approval, so if I don't approve of you I am saying I don't agree with My Heavenly Father.

May 22, 2014
we are all sinners
by: donna

ok, let's just for a moment, pretend that consensual love between 2 adults is a sin, which it isn't. However, clearly, lying, smoking, gossiping, masturbating, oral sex, pre-marital sex and blah blah blah, are sins,yet, you don't see people picketing with signs saying "God hates Liars", or websites devoted to explaining why God doesn't accept liars into heaven. Get over yourself folks we are all sinners none better or worse than any other.

What must I do to be saved?

Jun 10, 2014
Does akatharsia refer to homosexuals?
by: Daniel

In vs. 24 of Romans 1, Paul makes the initial mention of the first judgment, a sexual sin that is a consequence of the rebellion described earlier: “Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.” The reading of this text is unmistakable – God delivered the people over to sexual lust (the word “impurity” is akatharsia in the Greek, which literally means immorality; a state of moral corruption), a kind that resulted in their bodies being ‘shamed.’

What kind of moral corruption and shame? Paul explicitly tells us: “God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error” (Rom. 1:26–27).

There is no mistaking Paul here. The reference is clearly to the practice of lesbianism and male homosexuality.

Rick's comment: Hi Daniel - I believe more study is warranted before you draw a conclusion. For two thousand years, our ancient Jewish ancestors and conservative Christians have understood akatharsia as describing shrine prostitution.

What does the Greek word akatharsian mean in Romans 1:24?

These links will also be helpful to your understanding.

Why is Cybele vital to understanding Romans, part 2?

What is Romans 1 talking about?

Leviticus 17:7 and goat idols

Jun 10, 2014
Paul was not perfect
by: Kasey

Paul was a born again Pharasee who also believed ( From his past) that women should sit on the opposite side of the Temple or church during worship. And that long hair on. Man was shameful, as was short hair on women. What say you on these instructions to the early church?

Please read Jesus's words on homosexuality, gender disphoria, hermorphites, etc. HE said, "This is hard for man to understand". Study Matthew 19:11-12. Really study it, not just read it. Study, until you get clarify on what HE said is Hard for man to understand, the 3rd type of Eunuch is. Get out a Greek concordance. And may God bless you in your desires to divide the Word of God without hatred or map ace against one another.
In His Love
Kasey

PS the word homosexual was invented in the 1800's, so thT is never in original Gospels, Torah, etc 😊

Oct 03, 2014
Pederasty
by: Rodney Smith

To me the concept here is that Older men were using younger men, and often by some sort of economic or other domination, to satisfy their sexual lusts. Pederasty does not imply a committed relationship necessarily.

Rick's comment: Hi Rodney - Is pederasty the point of Paul's argument in Romans 1? No, we know that is NOT what Paul was talking about because Paul links female sexual practice in Romans 1:26 with equivalent male sexual practice in 1:27, when he uses the phrase, "likewise also the men." Whatever Paul was describing MUST be typical of idolatrous females AND idolatrous males in first century Rome.

Because history is silent about female pederasty in the Old Testament and in first century Rome, we may safely conclude that pederasty is not what Paul is talking about in Romans 1:26-27.


I feel that St Paul would condemn such behaviour in the case of the Jews even stronger than he condemned it in others, for the Jews were his extended family. Now if we take the concept a bit farther we se that Christian teaching, as far as Paul was concerned did condemn homosexuality if it was seen as not part of a committed relationship. Paul being a fairly conservative person just could not logical see how a same sex pairing could possibly be a committed relationship.

Honestly that is where I ask a ton of questions, Yes I don't believe God would create homosexuals knowing they would be condemned for who they are, but I just can not get my head around the concept of so called " Gay love" to me it just seems unnatural and thus sinful.

Jan 05, 2015
dont justify you're personality
by: Angie

Its you who commit spiritual malpractice, twisting God's word to justify your homosexuality. I'm not against homos but doing things like having sex with with both men its the abomination. I can see you knew much about the bible why don't you use your knowledge to free yourself from sins produdec by homosexuality. Remember God created Man for Women and Women for Man only.

Rick's comment: Hi Angie - Your comment speaks for itself but I'm wondering if you even bothered to read the article. You haven't presented any proof from history or scripture to support your opinion about gays. Thanks for stopping by.

Jan 05, 2015
Still pushing the temple prostitutes
by: Mark

You are amazing. The scripture is so clear, there is no way Paul is talking about temple prostitute. Judgement is coming your way, I hope I am no where near you when his wrath comes down on you.

Rick's comment: Hi Mark - Have you considered getting a seeing eye dog? When the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch, Matthew 15:14, old KJV

Early Christians within 70 years of the apostle Paul under-stood him to be referencing temple prostitutes in Romans 1. Aristides, Justin Martyr and others - What knowledge do you have of the cultural historical linguistic and religious situation in first century Rome which compels you to insist Paul is not talking about temple prostitutes?

What must I do to be saved?

Mar 23, 2015
You're deceiving yourselves
by: Danny

I say the following out of love - You've managed to deceive yourself(ves)! Romans 1 is Paul's opening arguement against Jews who knew the law and who believed themselves to be better than the gentiles who practiced all the sins listed (including homosexuality). Yet the Jews themselves were no better as they themselves were guilty of breaking the law by practicing the same atrociuous sins for whom the wrath of God will be pour out on!

It's why Paul then puts them to shame in Romans 2:1-3 "You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgement on someone else....you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgement do the same things. We know God's JUDGEMENT AGAISNT THOSE WHO DO SUCH THINGS(the list in Romans 1) is based on truth...yet you do the same things, do you think you will ESCAPE GOD's JUDGEMENT?"

I need to say no more - you stand in sin and therefore, you stand condemned and primed for the wrath of God. Repent - turn away from this. I say it in love for you are loved.

Rick's comment: Hi Danny - You are very good at ignoring information which contradicts your beliefs. Here is truth - If Paul had intended to condemn gays and lesbians, he could have used one of the ancient Greek or Latin words on this list.

The fact is, Paul did NOT use any of those words. Instead, he coined a new word, arsenokoitai, which was commonly understood in the first century as describing shrine prostitutes. If you disagree with that, provide biblical and historical facts to support your disagreement. Opinions are irrelevant here because we deal in facts.

About the wrath of God, I'm saved by the blood of the Lamb and Jesus has already suffered ALL of the wrath of God against sin in my place. For that reason, the wrath of God is the least of any worries I might have.

Beyond that, I have the righteousness of Christ as a present possession via justification by faith, so that, it's as if I had never sinned and never could sin. I encourage you to remember Romans 5:9 and 1 Thessalonians 5:9.

Mar 23, 2015
Am I on track?
by: Danny

So let me understand your logic. Because it's temple prostitution and not "real love/commitment" to another man or woman, then it is under condemnation. Is that correct? So, if a gay man or woman is united to another gay man/womam under God in true love then God accepts it.

Am I on track? If I am correct in understanding your logic then please prove your «theology» through Scripture where God approves such a thing. It's very clear of a man/woman relationship, now show me an approval for man/man woman/woman. Thanks. And please don't attempt any circular logic methods or try telling me it's implied or that it never says He doesn't approve. Show the facts.

Rick's comment: Hi Danny - No, you're way OFF track and you're doing things all wrong.

1. When you read men with men in the Bible, without any study of context, you ASSUME it can only be talking about gay men.

2. You then ignore biblical cultural historical and religious context (perhaps because you're too lazy to study) and insist (based only on your opinion) that the verse IS talking about gay men.

3. You then ignore the fact that Paul could easily have used ancient Greek or Latin words in common usage in the mid-first century AD, IF he intended us to believe he was talking about gay men yet Paul did NOT use any of those words.

4. You then turn your back on all of those facts and shift the argument to, Where did Jesus say in the Bible that it's okay? For the biblically illiterate crowd, that makes you appear to be championing the Bible.

Never mind that you cannot produce any verses which say it's okay for heterosexual Christians to get married, then get divorced, then get remarried, then get divorced and then get married for a third time and still be right with God. You don't need verses to do what you folks do because you're not really trying to live your life by what the Bible says. Your question is just a tool to assault your gay brothers and lesbian sisters.

We know the score Danny. Your churches are full of pastors, board members, Sunday School teachers, deacons and popular church members who have been married, divorced and remarried multiple times. We see the hypocrisy even if you don't.

Deal with facts Danny or admit you're nothing more than a religious zealot promoting an anti-gay religious agenda.

Mar 23, 2015
Easily offended, aren't you?
by: Danny

So touchy! Easily offended aren't you? You need to work on that sir if you plan on continuing your gay apologetics.

Well, since you seem to have all the right answers and the complete knowledge of all biblical truth, there's no point in continuing is there? I wouldn't stand a chance. Really wish you would provide the evidence though. Even if at least to try and convince me and my anti gay agenda. Enjoy.

Rick's comment: LOL - HI Danny - I see how it works. No facts from you to support your views. No attempt to discuss the issues using facts. And when I point that out, you accuse me of being touchy and easily offended.

This website presents hundreds of pages of facts but you prefer to ignore that because your religious agenda has no interest in facts. I encourage you to read, memorize and obey 2 Timothy 2:15.

P.S. - Now you're hurling false accusations against me Danny? To start with, because you disagreed with me, you assumed I'm not saved. Think about that. You're so full of yourself, you decide, if we disagree on the gay issue, it must be because I'm not saved. When I call you out on your lack of facts, you start making vile accusations against me. Weird, really weird.

Mar 25, 2015
Sorry Rick you are wrong and deceived.
by: Greg

I understand that you want Scripture to condone your lifestyle, but it does not. Bible scholars for centuries have understood Romans 1 to be a condemnation of homosexuality, not specific to temple prostitution. Any decent study Bible will include footnotes to substantiate this truth.

Rick's comment: Hi Greg - No, I am not deceived. I have amassed a wealth of evidence on this website about malakoi in 1 Cor 6:9 and arsenokoitai in 1 Cor 6:9.

In extant Greek manuscripts from AD 55 to AD 1450, where arsenokoitai is found, it is never used with our modern meaning of homosexual.


But even if you refuse to accept this fact, how do you massage Paul's warning in 1 Cor. 6:9-10 to fit your agenda. Here, Paul clearly distinguishes ten types of unrepentant offenders who "will not inherit the Kingdom of God." Included in those are "sexually immoral", "adulterers", "male prostitutes" and "homosexual offenders". I think that since he distinguishes between male prostitutes and homosexual offenders, that's about as clear as it can be.

Rick's comment: Since no ancient Greek manuscript used arsenokoitai to mean homosexual, that word did not morph over the last two thousand years to mean homosexual today. Arsenokoitai means shrine prostitute or rapist or one who has sex with other species. It has never meant homosexual and it should go without saying, Paul never used the word homosexual or a Greek equivalent in any of his epistles.

1 Cor 6:9-10 is a vice list, a check list to help Paul's converts know, along with the prodding of their conscience and the leading of the Holy Spirit, that they are not walking in the Spirit, so they can change course and get right with God.

Paul is reminding young converts, some of whom got saved out of pagan goddess worship cults like the cult of Cybele, which used sex and alcohol and drugs to worship their false gods, that those things are not of the Holy Spirit who now indwells their physical body therefore, obey God, clean up your life and live for Jesus.


Like other who have posted above, I do not hate gay people. However, scripture is clear and God's Word should not be manipulated to fit our desires.

Rick's comment: That sounds all holy and sanctified but you lot are the ones who rip verses out of context, ignore the historical meaning of words used in the Bible and manipulate God's Holy word to fit your anti-gay political and religious agenda. You may fool some folks but some of us have been dealing with folks like you for years and we see through your protestations of love.

"But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." Hebrews 5:14

Why do Baptist pastors want to kill gays?

Danny and Greg - Will you publicly disavow and reject those murderous Baptist pastors and their wicked desire to kill millions of gays?

Mar 25, 2015
I would publicly denounce them
by: Danny

Christ died for homosexuals so that they may repent and turn away (as many give testimony as to turning away from that lifestyle through the power.of Christ's cross). So to want to kill them when Christ died for them is absolutely beyond stupid and their sin is of equal punishment as theirs. I would publicly denounce them in the blink of an eye. Bon chance Rick.

Rick's comment: Thanks Danny.

What must I do to be saved?

Mar 25, 2015
You sound like a pretty bitter person
by: Greg

In looking through your responses to all who object to your viewpoint on homosexuality, I sense a lot of bitterness...

...of course I would denounce anyone who would espouse the killing of homosexuals -- I don't care whether they are Baptist preachers, atheists, wiccans, or whatever. And I won't accept it if they try to manipulate scripture to support their viewpoint either -- Gods' Word is clear about that issue also.

Rick's comment: Hi Greg - LOL, thanks for the nice compliment about my looks but to be honest, I am neither pretty nor bitter.

Thanks for letting us know that you are against the bozo Baptist preachers who want to kill all gays. I appreciate you saying that.

Mar 26, 2015
I feel sorry for Rick
by: Mark Wills

I just read the whole argument between Rick, the Gay, and Danny who is dividing the scripture correct. The more I read the more I could see that Rick is reaching and Danny is just sharing the truth in Love.

Any one to argue that Homosexuality is not specifically mentioned in Romans 1 does not know Greek. To here gays talk about Romans 1 is like hearing someone say The sun comes out at night and the moon shines in the day. Facts are facts, and truth is the truth.

Rick's comment: Hey Mark - have you ever read the Bible from cover to cover? Have you ever read the book of Isaiah? Most of you guys who make attack comments sound like you've never read the Book you profess to believe.

"Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the LORD bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound." - Isaiah 30:26

I'll remind you again: Ignorance is NOT the fruit of the Spirit.


I hate for these Gays, Satan has them so deceived them that they are going to spend eternity in hell. Not because God won't forgive their sin, but because they refuse to accept what God calls sin.

Rick's comment: Pardon me your grace but you certainly have a high opinion of yourself. If you make it to heaven (I hope you do) - I'll be happy to meet you on the north wall of New Jerusalem, at the middle gate, Revelation 21:13-14, there to accept your apology for condemning me to hell simply because I had the temerity - audacious confidence and boldness - to disagree with YOU on the gay issue. LOL - See you in heaven Mark.

What must I do to be saved?

Jun 28, 2015
Please have an intellegent conversation
by: Dr. Dan

First a little about me. I have a Doctorate in Theology. I also have degrees in Hebrew and Greek. One thing to remember, the old testament is not all written in Hebrew, some of it is written in Aramaic. You have not even tried to have a conversation on here, all you do is attack those that disagree with you.

You seem to discount the Old Testament completely. Jesus himself said that his fathers laws from the old testament are holy. Try having a conversation rather an argument and maybe both sides can learn something.

Rick's comment: Hi Dr. Dan - You make some interesting points. There are about 200 Aramaic words compared to 8674 Hebrew words in the Old Testament.

I do address the Old Testament at some length on pages like my Sodom page and my shrine prostitutes page.

I do not do in depth discussions on the comments pages because they are only read by a few people and I do not have time to rehash here what I've already written about in depth on other pages of this website.

I am all for intelligent conversation yet so many comments are simply assertions of someone's opinion, without any study. Or, they are rants attacking my gay brothers and lesbian sisters. I have learned by experience that:

It is impossible to reason a man out of an opinion he was never reasoned into.

Aug 02, 2015
To the anti-gay christians
by: Josh

Don't you guys realize that taking a verse and ripping it out of context to condemn good people, is exactly what the religious Jews did when they murdered Jesus? Saying that Romans 1 and Leviticus condemn loving, monogamous, gay, blood-bought Christians is the same as saying, "Thou shalt not work on the Sabbath" means Jesus should be put to deal for performing miracles on the Sabbath. I'd be real careful in thinking YOU know exactly what scripture means. You might just end up exactly like those Religious Leaders who felt justified in murdering our Messiah.

Aug 20, 2015
Leviticus 17:7
by: Mark J

Saw on here where this scripture was explained to mean temple prostitutes. I believe that it is important to see and understand the full range of the phrase "go a whoring" which follows:

I.to commit fornication, be a harlot, play the harlot

A.(Qal)

i. to be a harlot, act as a harlot, commit fornication

ii. to commit adultery

iii. to be a cult prostitute

iv. to be unfaithful (to God) (fig.)

I understand that this may be difficult for you to accept but I believe, as I have studied the Bible that God is speaking figuratively, meaning that they were being unfaithful to God. Not that they were actually acting as cult prostitutes. God is a Jealous God and will have no other gods before Him. He is speaking of unfaithfulness. Following after a false religion.

I pray for all and I love everyone. But I do believe that homosexuality is in fact a sin.

Rick's comment: Hi Mark - Given the wealth of testimony from secular and Christian scholars about the existence of cult prostitution in ancient times, it strains credulity to believe that your chosen view is correct. I am not aware of any evidence which supports your view and you have not presented any evidence to support it.

Shrine prostitution

Aug 27, 2015
Paul vs. Jesus
by: Ashley

Hi! I have been trying to research on what the Bible really says about homosexuality for personal reasons and I came across something interesting. I found a few articles that discusses how Paul contradicts Jesus's teachings and clashes with the Twelve apostles. I was hoping if you could explain that for me or give me your view point on the subject. If it is true and Paul does contradict Jesus's teachings than when and how were Paul's teaching points added to the Bible?

Rick's comment: Hi Ashley - People who believe Paul contradicted Jesus misunderstand Jesus and Paul. When Jesus begins His earthly ministry, He is (1) dealing with unsaved Jews in the land of Israel (2) who were living under the law of Moses but (3) who also worshiped false gods and (4) who refused to receive Jesus as their Messiah.

When we get to the book of Acts, God is still dealing with the Jews but is also beginning to segue to ministry to Gentiles, Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 1:8. In the Acts period, we witness a gradual turning away from Israel because Jews as a nation progressively rejected the gospel, Acts 13:45-46, 18:5-6, 28:17, 23-28.

The Pauline epistles tell us to follow Paul as He followed Jesus instead of simply telling us to follow Jesus, Gal 3:1, 1 Cor 4:16, 11:1, Galatians 4:12, Philippians 3:17, 4:9, Acts 26:29, 1 Timothy 1:16, 2 Thessalonians 3:7, 9, 2 Timothy 3:10-14, 1 Thessalonians 1:6, Romans 11:14.

That is because Jesus was the Jewish Messiah, Isaiah 53, who ministered signs and wonders to Jews living under the law in the land of Israel, Romans 15:8. Paul was Jewish but he was also the apostle to the Gentiles, Romans 11:13.

As Christians we certainly should witness to Jews about Jesus. God gladly saves individual Jews who accept Jesus but Israel as a nation has been removed from the place of blessing in this age because as a nation, they rejected their Messiah, Romans 11:25.

The bottom line is, Jesus' ministry was to Israel and He told his disciples NOT to go to the Gentiles, Matthew 10:5. That is the Law side of Calvary.

Paul is the apostle to the Gentiles, Romans 11:13, AFTER the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. His message is that "we are not under the law but under grace," Romans 6:14. That is the grace side of Calvary. There is no contradiction between Jesus and Paul - they simply had different ministries.

Jan 02, 2016
Question
by: Matt

I'll start by saying you are brave to take comments on your website, that was unexpected. I have a couple questions about your arguments. I am not a Bible scholar so I prefer plain terms.

1. It says the men burned with desire for each other, your argument seems to say this only pertains to idol worship anal sex in the temple. So do you believe these men that burned with desire for each other were only "temple gays" worshiping a fertility god? Like maybe they didn't burn with desire for each other anywhere other than the temple? Seems unlikely to me.

Rick's comment: Hi Matt - No, I do not believe these temple prostitutes were gay. They were priests dedicated to serving fertility goddesses like Cybele.

Scholars like Marti Nissinen, a world class expert on this topic, believe most shine prostitutes were heterosexual. For more info, see his book, Homoeroticism in the Biblical World


2. The women engaged in homosexual acts the same as the men. Anal sex was the style of worship you say he was talking about. How do two women have anal sex?

Rick's comment: You frame your questions as if the male shrine prostitutes were gay and as if the women "engaged in homosexual acts like the men." Stating it that way reflects your view of what the text says but not what the text really says. In v. 26, the women were having anal sex with male worshipers, not with each other.

The women and the men were engaging in anal sex to worship Cybele the fertility goddess. Male worshipers of Cybele had anal sex with the eunuch priests and male worshipers of Cybele had anal sex with the priestesses.

This is called imitative magic. They believed that if they sacrificed some of their children to Molech, Leviticus 18:21, 20:2, 3, 4, 5 and offered their semen to the fertility goddess via the anal sex rituals in which they engaged, that would cause the gods to bless them with fertile families, fields and flocks.


I'm pretty simple minded so maybe these are dumb questions, but thanks for answering, I'll check back for your reply.

Jan 04, 2016
Took my comment out of text
by: Mark W

Rick, I have read the bible cover to cover several times. Please read Romans 1 and apply it to your life. You have been given over to a reprobate mind, not my words but Gods words. You have a lot of things correct, but homosexuality is a sin, and this is not an an opinion it is clearly written by God.

I refuse to argue with you because you ignore what God clearly states about homosexuality. I will however pray for you. Listen to the spirit of God, open your mind to the truth that has been clearly written in the word.

Rick's comment: Hi Mark Wills - I believe this is a response to your March 26 2015 comment. You allege that I took your comment out of context. LOL - I've answered lots of questions in this thread, providing facts and links to additional information.

As usual, you refuse to deal with facts, you refuse to deal with what the Bible says in context. Think about that - Why do you refuse to deal with what the Bible says in context? Could it be that you are the one trying to force the Bible to fit your anti-gay views?

Jan 12, 2016
No other way
by: Mark Wills

There is no other way to ever interpret, DO NOT LAY WITH ANOTHER MAN THE WAY YOU LAY WITH A WOMAN, this is in Leviticus. There is no other way to look at that, you have to open your eyes to the truth. God even goes as far as to say it is detestable.

Rick's comment: Hi Mark - Thanks for mentioning Leviticus. You may be surprised to learn that even anti-gay scholars admit that Leviticus 18:22 is about shrine prostitutes.

In Romans you have, "In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error."

The context here is unmistakable, Homosexuality is a sin. There is no other way to look at this scripture, and to say that it does not mean what it says is the father of lies making you believe something that is not true.

Praying for you to be released from this horrific lie. Please see sin the way God clearly describes it in his word.

Rick's comment: You are wearing yourself out on this issue and making yourself miserable. Why do that Mark? God's truth is blessed and you don't have to be miserable if you will embrace God's truth.

BTW, have you considered that Satan, the father of lies, is leading you astray because you refuse to read the Bible in context?

Don't you find your argument a bit odd? We disagree on the gay issue so instead of obeying 2 Timothy 2:15 and studying so you'll know what you're talking about, you accuse me of having a reprobate mind and being led astray by Satan. That is strange.

May 08, 2016
Romans 1
by: Evan

Ok, let's talk about what Romans 1 really says.
It makes no difference if Paul is talking about idol worship and shrine prostitution or not. That has nothing to with the fact that the acts they were committing during their idol worship were sinful. Paul is describing what worshipping idols had driven them to. Paul describes the actions of men having sex with men, and women having sex with women as, unclean, dishonoring their bodies, changing the natural use for the unnatural, unseemly, having a reprobate mind, doing things that were not proper. In short their actions were SIN!

Worshipping idols was one sin that perpetuated other sins.

Nowhere does Paul, or any other scripture say those things are not sin, and are ok outside of worshipping idols. He's describing the sins being committed while they were worshipping idols. They're still sins no matter when, where or why they are being committed.

Paul goes on to say that they, (if you prefer, the idol worshippers), were filled with every kind of unrighteousness, wickedness, full of envy and murder. Are you trying to tell us that unrighteousness and murder are not a sin if you do it outside of worshipping idols??

To take Romans 1:26-27 and say that the sin Paul was referring to,(men having sex with men, and women having sex with women), is suddenly not a sin because it's in the context of a non-idol worshipping, monogamous same sex relationship, is really a stretch.

It's very telling that you only reference Romans 1:26-27 and not all of Romans. It seems you're the one taking that scripture out of context. To reach your conclusions, you have to do just that, really, really Rrrreeeeeach. It's unfathomable how far you have to reach.

You mentioned in a different article that you thought same sex couples were common in Paul's day, and speculated that their anal sex wasn't considered by society, or Paul to be sinful like the idol worshippers. Paul was very articulate and comprehensive. He would have made the distinction between the two if that were the case, if sodomy was not a sin in that instance, but he didn't. See, we can all speculate like you.

Rick's comment: Hi Evan - I have at least 25 pages on this website about various aspects of Romans. In Romans 1, Paul never mentions or describes gay men or lesbian women who have innate same sex orientation.

He is entirely focused on describing idolatry and idol worship which was rife in first century Rome. On my main Romans page, I quote world class conservative heterosexual scholars who agree that Paul was describing shrine prostitutes and their activity.

I encourage you to do more reading, more study. Your view of Romans 1 is at odds with the views of most Christians for the last two thousand years. They didn't agree with what you've stated, especially Christians within 70 to 200 years of the apostle Paul.

That fact ought to make you re-examine your views.

Sep 12, 2016
Exegesis
by: Nick

This is a more accurate look at the text. Please have a look at it. Thank you.

https://bible.org/seriespage/4-study-and-exposition-romans-118-32

Rick's comment: Hi Nick - I love bible.org even though I disagree with their anti-gay views. I wonder why you chose not to interact with the facts in my article yet dissed what I wrote.

What did you disagree with in my article and why?

You may find it helpful to read my reply to the comment before yours.

Oct 12, 2016
Purpose of sex and marriage
by: Alex

I'm same gender loving. I was taught sex is not for a man and a woman but a husband and wife only. What do you think?

Rick's comment: Hi Alex - That is a distinction made by many Catholics and fundamental Baptists who are intent on presenting their views as if followers of God have held those views since Adam and Eve.

Of course, they are incorrect. In the Old Testament, some men of God had multiple wives and some men of God, like Abraham, also had concubines, Genesis 25:1-6.

One purpose of marriage, apart from having children, was to meet the sexual needs of one's partner and thereby, to avoid fornication, 1 Corinthians 7:1-5.

Nov 25, 2016
Speak in love
by: Kathy

Your explanation would go so much further if you would speak in love and stay with the facts. Your defensive stance and personal attacks take away from what you have to say. It definitely feels like a personal attack when people reply to your article rudely but you knew going in that this is a new way of looking at things. People have been in this paradigm for a long time. I truly came here to see both sides of the discussion and wanted to see someone speak completely in love without resorting to attacks.


Rick's comment: Hi Kathy - I get thousands of comments and emails. Most are from people who have no interest in truth. Instead, they parrot someone's opinion. Some commenters curse. Some wish me dead. Some threaten my life.

I am not now nor have I ever been a post-modern preacher who prattles on about love while refusing to rebuke deception, false teaching, lies and sin. It is biblical to rebuke sin - that is the job of preachers.

"Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine." - 2 Timothy 2:4

I take a scriptural approach to answering comments. There is enough saccharine sentimentality without me responding that way.

For biblical perspective on how to answer false teaching, I encourage you to read two interesting chapters, Deuteronomy 28 and Matthew 23.

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