Can you convince me that Romans 1 is NOT talking about gays and lesbians?

by Grant
(near L.A.)

The Colosseum in Rome

The Colosseum in Rome

There are many Godly biblical reasons to reject the tired old argument that "Romans 1 is talking about gays and lesbians." I'll list a few reasons here and provide Links at the end which point you to more information and more reasons.

  1. Old Testament Law never condemns lesbians and never prohibits lesbian partnerships. Therefore there is no basis in Jewish Law to condemn female homosexuality.
    "Because the law worketh wrath:
    for where no law is, there is no transgression."
    -Romans 4:15

    "For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed where there is no law." -Romans 5:13
    Since the Law of Moses does NOT condemn or prohibit lesbianism, it makes no sense to argue that Paul intended to condemn lesbians in Romans 1:26 because he has no basis in Jewish law to make that condemnation.

    Instead, Paul in Romans 1 condemns unsaved idolaters who:

    (a) rejected God
    (b) refused to worship God
    (c) worshiped idols

    If you are a saved and born again gay Christian, trusting Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, you have NOT rejected God, you have NOT refused to worship God and you are NOT worshiping the fertility goddess. Therefore, you are NOT included in the group of people Romans 1:26-27 condemns.

  2. The apostle Paul was a Jewish rabbi and an expert on the law of Moses who knew Jewish Law backwards and forwards. He was personally tutored by Gamaliel, Acts 22:3, one of the greatest Jewish teachers of the first century AD. Paul based what he believed on Old Testament Jewish Law and what God showed him by revelation. That's why Paul frequently quotes the Old Testament in his letters.

  3. Because Old Testament law, the Law of Moses does not mention or condemn lesbians, there is absolutely no reason to assume that Paul suddenly goes off on a tangent from his argument against idolatry to condemn lesbians in Romans 1:26. He has no precedent in the law of Moses to do that.

  4. Paul's tightly reasoned argument against idolatry includes quoting the Old Testament three times about God giving Israel up because of her idolatry and practice of shrine prostitution.

    Note that Paul is NOT arguing against lesbians and gay men - instead, Paul mentions female and male shrine prostitution as examples of idolatry. Paul never makes any negative comments about two gay guys or two gay gals who fall in love and covenant to spend their lives together as a couple.

    Paul compares the idolatrous acts the women were doing in v. 26 with idolatrous acts the men were doing in v. 27 by saying, "likewise also the men..." Please don't take my word for it. Read Romans 1 for yourself.

  5. The point of Romans 1 is idolatry and forsaking the true God. Paul links his argument together by saying three times, “God gave them up,” vs. 24, 26, 28. Then he creates yet another link by writing:

    “For this cause...” which links his idolatry argument in vs. 20-25 with vs. 26-27. Whatever Paul is talking about involves rejecting God and worshiping idols, in other words, idolatry. Paul describes idolatrous behavior beginning in Romans 1:20ff.

  6. Since Paul is not condemning lesbians in Romans 1:26 then it logically follows that Paul is not condemning gay men in Romans 1:27. His words "likewise also the men" describe female and male shrine prostitutes who worshiped the fertility goddess, not lesbians and not gay men, not bisexuals and not transgendered people.

  7. Most commentaries on Romans ignore these verses as if they are not relevant yet these are the verses Paul quotes in Romans chapter 1. Since Paul quotes these verses under inspiration of God, they are relevant and necessary to get Romans right. Think carefully about these questions.

    Who has an ulterior motive, commentators and preachers who ignore these verses and refuse to factor them into their teaching or those of us who cite these verses and factor them into our interpretation and teaching of Romans chapter 1?

    1 Kings 14:16 - "he shall give Israel up"
    2 Chron 30:7 - "gave them up"
    Psalm 81:12 - "so I gave them up"
    Micah 5:3 - "therefore will he give them up"

    Acts 7:42 - "then God turned and gave them up"

    Rom 1:24 - “God gave them up”
    Rom 1:26 - “God gave them up”
    Rom 1:28 - “God gave them over”

    It is important to understand that Paul is simply quoting the Old Testament in Romans 1:24, 26, 28, where God gave up ancient Israel because of her wicked idolatry. He is comparing the sinful idolatrous situation in first century Rome to the sinful idolatrous situation which existed in ancient Israel.

    It is Paul who asserts and establishes the link to idolatry in Romans, not gay Christians. Idolatry is an integral and intentional part of Paul's argument in Romans 1.

    Paul wrote Romans in the late AD 57 - early AD 58 time frame therefore, linking Romans 1 to idolatry and shrine prostitution is a two thousand year old biblical truth given by inspiration of God. The modern false teaching which links Romans 1 to gays and lesbians is a relatively recent culture war invention, a false interpretation and a false teaching, not a biblical truth.

  8. What Paul condemns in Romans 1:26-27 is idolatry, one manifestation of which was female and male shrine prostitution, common activity in first century Rome.

Helpful Links

Does Romans 1:26-27 condemn homosexuals?

How can you say that Romans 1 has nothing to do with homosexuality?

What is the historical context of Romans 1?

What about Romans and shrine prostitution?

What does against nature mean in Romans?

Does Romans 1:26 condemn lesbians?

How did you decide that Romans 1:26 does not condemn lesbians?

Are lesbians treated the same as gays in the Bible?

How can you reconcile being gay with what the Bible says?

Does the Bible say homosexuals will go to hell?

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This page edited on December 9, 2017

Comments for Can you convince me that Romans 1 is NOT talking about gays and lesbians?

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Sep 13, 2015
The Ten Commandments
by: Sparrow

If God is truly against homosexuality (as He is adultery, murder, false witness, etc.)—if it's such an ABOMINATION (as the non-gays love to use the word!)… is it unreasonable to think that He surely would have included it in His Ten Commandments?

Dec 02, 2015
Just curious about the words used
by: Jeanne

Sure that many Bible writers with the guide of the Holy Spirit used different words that are not use to condemn gay/lesbian (just as you said to some of your links that there are a lot of words they can use if they want to point out sin for lesbians and gays, not just in Romans but other books in Bible).

But why didn't they just say "shrine prostitutes" or any direct point like "drunkards", "thief" etc.; but "prostitutes" and "idolaters" are stated/separated and the phrase "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination."?

Rick's comment: Hi Jeanne - The Holy Spirit led the human authors of the Bible to use the words they used. Why He chose certain words instead of other words is something we will have to wait to find out when we get to heaven.

Some words used in the Bible were well known in Bible times, to have a certain meaning when used in a certain context.

Therefore people in Bible times, who spoke Hebrew or Greek as their native language, would have clearly understood the meaning of the words Paul used.

I point out those words in my online commentary on Romans 1. See the Home Page of this website for the Link.

Dec 02, 2022
Romans 1:
by: Jean

Of course God is talking about homosexuality

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