Does Romans 1:26-27 condemn homosexuals?

by Ed
(Rochester, NY)

The temple of Sybil in ancient Rome

The temple of Sybil in ancient Rome

No, Romans 1:26-27 does not condemn gays, transgendered people, lesbians or bisexuals. All Christians have a duty before God to interpret scripture honestly, in context, instead of divorcing verses from their context and then insisting they mean something they never meant to the original hearers.

"For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet." - Romans 1:26-27

Because all scripture is given in a biblical cultural, doctrinal, historical, linguistic, literary and religious context, those factors must be part of our thinking as we seek to understand scripture. Romans 1:26-27 was given in a very clear context.

There is no cultural indication, no doctrinal indication, no historical indication, no linguistic indication, no literary indication, no religious indication, that Paul intended to blast lesbians and gays in Romans 1:26-27.

Instead, Paul chooses as his illustration, the worst possible transgression of pagan Gentiles, the sin of idolatry, so that the Jews in his reading audience will be saying, "Yes, Yes, they're guilty!" Then Paul will spring his rhetorical trap in 2:1 when he declares that Jewish idolatry is just as sinful as Gentile idolatry and therefore, in chapter 3:23, everyone is guilty. Here is how Paul puts his argument together.

The context of Romans 1 is pagan worship of false gods, particularly Cybele, known in the first century as Protectress of Rome or Magna Mater - Great Mother. I devote three pages on this website to answering the question: Why is Cybele vital to understanding Romans 1?

I also point out that early Christian writers like Aristides understood Paul to be describing Cybele worship. Paul has a particular goal in mind when writing to the church at Rome. That goal involved presenting the glorious gospel of Christ, Rom. 1:16-18.

The gospel reveals and declares the wrath of God against sin, that God punished Jesus for our sins when Jesus died, as us for us, as our Substitute. Yet no one gets saved until s(he) understands that s(he) is a sinner who has transgressed God's holy law for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Therefore, to make it clear that all are sinners, Romans 3:23, Paul references idolatry, pointing out the idolatry of Gentiles who worshiped false gods, and by implication, the idolatry of Jews because in the OT, they also broke God's law and worshiped the false gods of the Gentiles. Their particular worship of false gods involved same sex sexual rituals, Lev 17:7, 18:3, 21-22, 20:2, 3, 4, 5, 13, Deu 23:17-18.

Paul uses words like akatharsian in Rom 1:24, the same Greek word used in the Septuagint translation of the OT to describe shrine prostitution and shrine prostitutes. Almost everyone who read Romans 1 in the first century would have been struck by the link to shrine prostitution which Paul's use of akatharsian indicated.

To support his argument, in Rom. 1:26-27, Paul cites examples of idolatry utilizing the idolatrous behavior of Gentiles in the OT and the idolatrous behavior which was part of everyday life in mid-first century Rome. That idolatry was the unholy worship of Cybele, also called Minerva and other names, depending on one's cultural heritage.

Cybele as the Phrygian goddess had five temples in mid-first century Rome. As the consort of Jupiter, she also had another temple in Rome besides her five Cybele temples. Cybele was featured on Roman coins used in mid-first century Rome and throughout the empire.

Cybele was also called Magna Mater and Protectress of Rome. Paul illustrates idolatry by using an example with which all of his Roman readers would be familiar - Cybele worship. Yet his intention wasn't to attack lesbians and gays. His intention is to support his idolatry argument with easy to recognize illustrations so that his Jewish audience will be nodding along as they read.

"Yes, those wicked idolatrous Gentiles..." Then, just as his Jewish readers are saying, "Yeah Paul, tell it like it is," Paul drops his bombshell in chapter 2:1ff. when he says, You Jews are just as guilty before God as the Gentiles.

So in chapter 1 Paul indicts and condemns Gentiles for the sin of idolatry. In chapter 2 Paul indicts and condemns Jews because, says the apostle, you do the same things the Gentiles do. In chapter 3:10-23, Paul concludes that all are under sin, both Jews and Gentiles.

That is the historical context, the religious context, the cultural context and the spiritual context of Romans 1. Idolatry is the focus of Paul's argument, not gays and lesbians. The cultural and religious context is unfamiliar to some modern readers because many modern readers are unfamiliar with Roman history and Jewish history in the first century AD.

Paul's point never was
about lesbians and gays.

Early Christians like Aristides and Justin Martyr understood Paul to be condemning shrine prostitution. Our rule of interpretation is:

Scripture cannot mean NOW
what it did not mean THEN.

If Paul was not describing committed faithful non-cultic same sex partnerships in AD 58 when he wrote Romans, then it is wrong to insist that those verses are dealing with committed same sex partnerships now.

Christians need to do more reading and study before concluding that the first notion that pops into our head when we read Romans 1 is infallibly correct. Sometimes, the first thing we think when we read a verse of scripture is wrong. That is why we are encouraged to "Study to shew yourselves approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." -2 Timothy 2:15

Helpful Links

How does shrine prostitution figure in our understanding of Romans 1?

Good Person Test.

What does against nature mean in Romans 1?

Does Romans 1:26 condemn lesbians?

Are lesbians treated the same as gays in the Bible?

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

Click here to return to Gay Christian FAQ Page.

From, Does Romans 1:26-27 condemn homosexuals? return to Gay Christian 101 Home Page.

Ed's original question:

"In the book of Romans it is clear that Paul characterizes having same sex relations as a willful and sinful act, so how can we justify it? Just because two people love each other does not make it alright, does it? It is not within God's design for human sexuality."

This page revised July 2, 2015

Comments for Does Romans 1:26-27 condemn homosexuals?

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Feb 20, 2011
It's Not A Choice
by: NJel

One cannot choose or be turned into a homosexual anymoreso than one can be turned into or choose to be a heterosexual. Any heterosexual who has never exhibited feelings of arousal or affection for another person of the same sex has ZERO grounds to proclaim that homosexuals CHOOSE to live this way.

Would someone choose:

1.) To be ridiculed everyday by religious bigots.

2.) To be harassed even beaten for being gay.

3.) To be under the constant threat of physical abuse because they are gay.

4.) To be told that a loving God ultimately HATES you for being gay.

Would you choose these things? No, you wouldn't, so why would we? Homosexuality is NOT a choice.

Apr 20, 2011
Being led astray?
by: Anonymous

I have struggled with having a right understanding of homosexuality within the context of Christianity. I have come to this, God is the determiner of your salvation, not me. He warns against the acts of homosexual behavior, not the innate desires you have. He never says that having the desire is wrong, it is the acts that proceed that he condemns.

Just as there are every conceivable malady and mutation of our genetic makeup, so it is possible that because of the fall the desire for same sex relationships exists. Just as my desire as a heterosexual is to have sexual relations with as many women as possible, I am to discipline my nature and not do this.

As a Christian with a strong faith, I don't condemn you for your desires; these are no different than mine. I don't condemn you for your behavior. That being said, having read much of your FAQ, taking a view that homosexual acts are no different than heterosexual acts is a gross distortion of the Bible. You can manipulate your understanding so your readers feel good about themselves but the judgement will be upon you in the end. As Proverbs says, there is a way that seems right unto a man but, therein lies death.

It is better to error on the side of righteousness than feel-goodness. If it were me in your position I would, "take up my cross daily and deny myself" so that I would live a life as holy as possible all-the-while relying on the gift of salvation to get me to heaven.

Apr 20, 2011
As usual, you ignore what the Bible SAYS
by: Rick Brentlinger

Thanks for demonstrating the emptiness of your belief by refusing to engage any of the scriptural arguments on this page and on this website.

Why do anti-gay christians who comment always ignore what the Bible says in context? Are you so blissfully unconcerned with God's truth that you will lie about, twist and pervert the scriptures to support your anti-gay opinions?

Your passive-aggressive slip is showing.

You say, I do not condemn you for your desires and I do not condemn you for your behavior. Then you do condemn us citing gross distortion, manipulation and being on the way of death.

Obviously the Bible in context does not support your anti-gay opinion and you know it.

Apr 21, 2011
We can't justify what "we" want to
by: Anonymous

A gay friend of mine once told me that being gay is all he has ever known since he was very young. So I asked him when he first started to do homosexual acts, was there any voice or conscience inside telling him it was not right?

He paused for a moment in brief thought and said, Wow, Yes!

He never focused on that fact before, just what he wanted to do. So after that I said, So my friend, you see, being gay is not the only thing you have ever known.

Apr 21, 2011
Why do you refuse to deal with what the Bible says in context?
by: Rick Brentlinger

Interesting anecdote but why do you refuse to deal with what the Bible says in context? The question was, Does Romans 1:26-27 condemn homosexuals?

Instead of answering that in context, you share an anecdote which does not answer the question. Bible believing Christians do not base their life on anecdotes. The written word of God in context informs our thinking.

What is it about you anti-gay christians which renders you incapable of dealing honestly and in context with the Bible you profess to believe?

Apr 21, 2011
Aren't you being mean toward people who disagree?
by: Anonymous

I think you are being mean toward Christians who disagree with you. After all, they have a right to their opinion. Can you just live and let live?

Apr 21, 2011
Real Christians allow what the Bible says in context to inform their views
by: Rick Brentlinger

Okay, you have raised an interesting question. I do not intend to be mean toward anyone. I do intend to confront opinions which masquerade as Biblical truth.

When anti-gay christians post Comments on this website which do not engage the issues but which instead, promote only their opinion, they need to be confronted.

The truth of God is not a matter of opinion. Real Christians allow their views to be informed by what the Bible says in context. It is not asking too much from anti-gay christians to have a solid in-context basis for their views.

And frankly, it is difficult to respect the views of people who post anti-gay Comments as if they are gospel truth when they do not have the courage to put their name with their anti-gay views.

May 12, 2011
by: Anonymous

Firstly there is no such thing as a Gay Christian: You ask why? Well, if you believe in Christianity ( implies living Christlike) you will find that he promoted love not hate, forgiveness not revenge, etc and did not promote same sex affections or fulfilling desires that were UNnatural. In Romans 1 which you have so often quoted, Letter of Paul to the Romans (he wrote several other letters/teachings, the Bible is a collection of Books, letters Teachings of various people) to instruct reproof and repent and give instructions on living Christlike (charged to do by the Holy Spirit), he did this by starting the context that ungodliness and unrighteousness of men is WRONG (obviously there was plenty of that in Rome at the time) and that some of the people changed the word of God into a lie and 'worshiped' created things rather than Creator, so God gave them up to their uncleaniness (in the sense that God allowed them to have their way because of a coming judgement when all deeds will be judged Rom 2:6) and to the lust of their hearts and UNNATURAL affections. Now, if it is un natural and UNrighteous, why would anyone assume it is right? (Answer Romans 1:22, 28 justifying actions based on 'feelings' rather than God's truth). Just the same way as there is no such thing as a Murdering Christian, etc. FACT, if you are a Christian you are Christian and although you may sin, call a spade a spade and realize that even though unnatural feelings is not in anyway directly (in today?s English) condemned explicitly in the bible it is NOT directly approved of too. An analogy, that if I grow up with incestuous desires, I should say 'That?s the way I am?? Or should I say that if I have UNnatural feelings for animals I could claim that I am an Animal Loving Christian? NO, sorry, Even though Paul was getting to a point in Rom 1(point in Romans 2) the fact is that he didnt approve of it in Rom 1 but instead in Rom 2:8,9,10, he told them what to expect. Secondly, direct passages that it is unnatural and wrong ; Leviticus 18:22 ? 22- Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. Also Look at Gen 19: 1-13 (the men of Sodom wanted to ?know? (check the Hebrew meaning) the two angels who appeared in human form. Because of that God destroyed SodomandGom. I do not judge anyone and try to love everyone including Christians (practicing ones and otherwise), Muslims, gays, etc (as Christ directed), but the acts themselves I don?t approve of and will never love. I know Christians who lie, steal, fornicate, etc and although I love them, I disprove of the act or propagation of its nature as Truth! What is truth, ask yourself, that God made you in his image to have a clearly UNnatural feeling for another man by which you practice sexual acts through anal passage rather than with a woman whom your should love and practice an intimate sexual act with to culminate in bringing to life young ones? No! Please pray hard. May God save us all! Amen

May 12, 2011
Blissful ignorance
by: Rick Brentlinger

What a blissfully ignorant, "I don't care about no stinkin' context" attitude you have.

Please do not attempt to walk AND chew gum at the same time. Wouldn't be prudent.

May 19, 2011
Respond to The Teaching Please...
by: Anonymous

Please be aware that if I took out time to respond to all your comment and all you can respond is 'blissful ignorance - i have a no stinking care about the context' is all you can reply to, then surely, this website as well as blog doesn't deserve my time.

Like Paul said, exhort one another, consider your teachings like the people of Berea, and understand the truth. So, what context am i missing here? Or what am i being ignorant of in the Bible? (i assume we are reading the same bible). Why don't you read the passages i have clearly referenced and make an educated response with facts, bible passages and 'im'-possibly reference to where Christ, his teachings and other apostles made it OK to 'kill, fornicate, lie, cheat, or even have Same Sex marriages/Affections'.

if you can, then please pray for me to see this 'light' and i will read carefully and respond, BUT if not, As Christ directed and Paul said being filled with the holy spirit, 'I will pray for you'... that you may see the Truth and Light.

May 19, 2011
I am happy to answer your comments
by: Rick Brentlinger

This entire website is a response to your Comments. If you read the NavBar under, What The Bible Says, you will discover that I have answered the topics you mentioned, including Genesis 19, Leviticus 18:22, Romans 1:26-27, Beastiality and a lot more.

I called you Blissfully Ignorant because you ignored the truth as it is in Jesus and blasted us without investigation or study.

I do hope you will continue to read, study and believe the Bible, always taking it in context and always understanding that your opinion is not as important as what the Bible says in context.

May 20, 2011
Sometimes I feel like Jeremiah the prophet
by: Rick Brentlinger

Jeremiah the weeping prophet was hated for speaking the truth. The word which was so sweet to him was bitter to his hearers, yet he was accepted of his Lord.

Jeremiah spoke boldly and truthfully, performing winnowing work (separating wheat from chaff) upon the religious folk of his day, and the Lord gave him this word: Thou shalt be as my mouth, Jeremiah 15:19.

What an honor for God to speak by us! What a marvel! We speak pure truth from the Holy scriptures and we speak it with power. Therefore many Christians who profess to love God get angry because in their heart of hearts, they do not love God's truth.

Our words will not return void. They will be a blessing to all who receive them and those who refuse the truth of scripture do so at their peril. Our lips shall feed all who hear the words of God joyfully.

Adapted from a quote by Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the great Baptist preacher of Metropolitan Tabernacle fame.

Jun 17, 2011
It's not a choice
by: Jason

I have no problem with this concept. I have no problem that some people are born with a natural inclination towards homosexuality.

I think this is true for everyone. EVERYONE has some natural inclination towards some sin or other. Some have by nature addictive personalities, others have personalities given to anger, lust, arrogance, etc.

It's called a sinful nature. We all have it. What we are called to do is repent and turn from those sins. Even after we put our faith and trust in Christ, most will continue to struggle with those sins.

I'm a Christian of 15 years and yet I still struggle with a short temper and lust. I don't say, "I was born that way and therefore it's not a sin." Instead, every time I have a thought of anger or lust (or act out in anger or lust) I call it what it is, sin, confess it, ask God for his merciful forgiveness through his Son and then work to not do it again.

Homosexuality is no different. Just because one is born with that inclination, doesn't make it not a sin anymore than I can say that anger issues are not a sin for me since I was born that way.

Our faith is most highly tested where we have to fight (through God's strength) the hardest. For the homosexual Christian, this is where he has to fight the hardest. And even after 15 years, if he still struggles in thought (and occasionally in deed), God is still as quick to forgive as he is to forgive me when I have a burst of anger or a lustful thought.

Jun 17, 2011
Why are you ignoring context?
by: Rick Brentlinger

Hi Jason- Life is easier when we go by what scripture says, in context. I wish you would engage what I wrote instead of making up arguments no one here makes.

No one on this website makes the argument that if we are born with homosexual inclinations, that makes it okay.

2 Timothy 2:15 tells us to rightly divide the word of truth and that means, understand and interpret verses in context. God bless as you continue to study and obey 2 Tim 2:15.

Jun 30, 2011
coming from a transgender guy :D
by: Richard

I found this site very interesting, I've just recently started to believe in God. I have alot of gay friends, who are believers of Christ. And I am transgender, FTM.

Since I am a recent believer, I have not researched yet all there is, there is just so much to understand. Rick I have been reading about the points you make about the scripture, reading your points I do plan on reading trying to understand the context of some of the scriptures that everyone keeps saying condemns homosexuality.

I thought I would just throw out my view, I have been reading both sides, people that don't disagree with Rick, and ones that do.
Just thought I would say. both sides can't be right, and I do believe when people read the bible everyone can interpret the bible differently, especially like rick points out, ones that are reading the English version, and not understanding the historical text, of the Hebrews and Greek and trying to make a clear understanding of what the bible was attended to mean, WAY BACK when.

The bible talks of slaves, having sex with more than one woman, people being stoned to death, brutal blows my mind people focus so much on the few verses that think has to do with homosexuality, it automatically put it as a sin about the others.

IF it is a sin, it is not about the others..we all sin, my sin, is no greater from yours just as your sin is no greater then mine. we are not greater than, we are less than. God is Great, and is Perfect. and scriptures such as these.

If it is discovered that a bride is not a virgin, the Bible demands that she be executed by stoning immediately.
If a married person has sex with someone else's husband or wife, the Bible commands that both adulterers be stoned to death.
* MARK 10:1-12
Divorce is strictly forbidden in both Testaments, as is remarriage of anyone who has been divorced.
The Bible forbids a married couple from having sexual intercourse during a woman's period. If they disobey, both shall be executed.
* MARK 12:18-27
If a man dies childless, his widow is ordered by biblical law to have intercourse with each of his brothers in turn until she bears her deceased husband a male heir.
* DEUTERONOMY 25:11-12
If a man gets into a fight with another man and his wife seeks to rescue her husband by grabbing the enemy's genitals, her hand shall be cut off and no pity shall be shown her.

do we obey by these today? This is the year 2011, I honestly believe that if God came down today from the heavens above, He would give us better understanding of these verses like these and the the ones that everyone thinks condemns Gays.

Jun 30, 2011
pt 2
by: Anonymous


if you read all the comments on this site, the people that agree that the bible condemns gays, they might agree on it but when you read farther all of them make different points and different explanations.

it's like when someone sees someone shoot someone all those witness's say they all saw the same thing, someone got shot and they all tell a different story on how it happened or what the guy is wearing. you get the point.

For those of you that DO believe the scriptures mean homosexuality is a sin, and gays are going to hell and all of this. Gays do sin, just as every straight person does, and those gays that believe in God, and repent I highly doubt God is going to send them to hell, he a all loving God.

can you picture a devoted christian gay man, who truly believes and loves his creator and is a sinner, just like every straight person. you really think God is going to look past the love this person has for him and just go yep, your gay, to hell you go.

because IF Gay is a sin, it's not going to be greater than the person that don't believe or the person that commits murder

and if the bible speaks nothing of homosexuality and it's not a sin and how rick interprets the scripture bc he gets his information i'm sure, from christian scholars. Just like you have christian scholars that believe it is a sin.

but not both can be right, and people that interpret the scripture, your going to get people that say it means this and your going to get people that say it means that.

but we dont know everything
God does. so let him be the judge of this.
and everyone that places there comments your entitled to your opinion on what you believe the scripture means but keep in mind this is 2011, do we go by everything the scripture says?

No we don't so IF homosexuality is a sin, then it's a sin but do you think if God came down today, he would see it that way? The bible was written back in the day, and since it was written so long ago, the many that wrote it, they prolly had no idea it would be in today's society. I'm saying that because I do believe that. I also believe I heard that in a sermon too but don't quote me on that.

God is all knowing, I know he knows his word would be here today..and since he sees everything, he knows how people are going to interpret his word.

we're not perfect, all we can ask is that God hopes us understand his word, and pray he makes us see it clearly but no matter what there are always going to be people twisting the word and believing what they think it means. we try our best to understand his word, that's all we can do.

Aug 30, 2011
Get it RIGHT or be left behind
by: Gods child

I can tell you this, there is no way my HOLY, CLEAN and sinless God is going to let a single homosexual into the kingdom no more than he's going to let a liar, thief or murderer in. God did not design homosexuality. Why can't homosexuality create life? Why is it that the vast majority of homosexuals were abused as children? It's a curse and it must be broken in Jesus name!!!

Aug 30, 2011
Pride goeth before destruction
by: Rick Brentlinger

@ Gods proud child - Our holy God blessed Abraham and Sarah's marriage even though they were brother and sister AND polygamists. Are you outraged about that?

Our holy God blessed Jacob's polygamous marriage to four women and formed the nation of Israel from the children of that polygamous marriage. Are you outraged about that?

Why are you anti-gay folks so obsessed with sex when our holy God isn't?

Since you've never studied 1 Cor 6:9, I hope you will take time to do that. Believing Bible study will change your bad attitude toward your gay brothers and lesbian sisters.

Jan 09, 2012
The truth
by: God's Own

One thing I've noticed is that gay people tend to use the Old Testament to bring their point across although we don't live under that covenant anymore,but we live under a New Covenant.Did you forget that woman who was caught in the very act of adultery,and she was brought to Jesus to be stoned and what did Jesus do?He saved her from being stoned and let her go and told her not to sin again.Under the old covenant she would have been stoned but under the New Covenant she was given mercy.That's why we don't stone people to death in this age when they sin.But instead we try to be merciful towards them.

In the beginning God created one man and one woman.And what does the Scripture say about marriage?That a MAN shall leave his MOTHER and FATHER and cleave to HIS WIFE.I used to be bisexual myself and I remember feeling bad about it although I wasn't aware back then that it was a sin.It was accepted where I live and yet,I still felt wrong about it.Sin makes us feel ashamed and guilty.Thats how I know it was wrong.

By the way,God's word stays the same.You're supposed to be molded by the word,not by the world.The fact that it's now 2012 doesn't change the word,therefore it shouldn't influence you.

We'll pray for you.God bless.

Jan 09, 2012
Major fail! Ignorance is NOT a fruit of the Spirit
by: Rick Brentlinger

@ God's Own - I understand why you ignore truth. God's truth in scripture does not fit your preconceived opinions so you must ignore it or change your opinions.

My prayer for you is that in 2012 you will change your mind, accept God's truth in scripture and stop promoting anti-gay lies to your gay brothers and lesbian sisters.

Mar 06, 2012
taking a lot of people with you to hell
by: Betty C

Rick Brentlinger evidentally you are the one who is changing the meaning of the words in the Bible only you and other homosexuals and you will pay dearly for this at judgement you will probably tell us there is no judgement day and that we Christians are translating it as such.
You need to go to a good Freewell Baptist College and study up on the Bible badly because you are headed down the wrong path and taking alot of people with you to hell.

Apr 06, 2012
I'm not going to call you an idiot but...
by: Rick Brentlinger

...I'll bet you've spent more time in the last twenty years watching Wheel of Fortune than you've spent reading and studying your Bible. How cavalier you are in condemning people to hell when you cannot even intelligently discuss the verses involved.

Your blast of condemnation while ignoring what Romans 1:26-27 says in context, speaks volumes. If you think I'm being hard on people in my comments here, imagine your distress if you make it to the judgment seat of Christ (I have no idea if you're saved or not) and He confronts you with your wrong-headed condemnation of your gay brothers and lesbian sisters.

Apr 16, 2012
I'm sorry but I believe you are wrong
by: Anonymous

Remember that in Romans 1:26-27 does speak out against homosexual tendencies and just like heterosexuals we are called to be sexually pure, so i believe that even the desires are sin (although this goes the same for me for the opposite sex). That means the lack of a desire as well.

I understand that later in Roman it tells us that we are all guilty of sin. Yes, This is true but nowhere in Romans does it take back what is said in verses 26 and 27. God Bless, Remember that I am no better than you, Sin is a daily struggle and I am only righteous through Christ my Savior.

Rick's comment: I hope you will do a lot more study than you've done so far on this issue. Anyone can say, I think you are wrong but it takes diligent Bible study to be able to give a scriptural reason why you think I am wrong. You have not done that in your comment. Instead, you've offered your opinion.

By the way, your idea that Romans 1:26-27 speaks against homosexual tendencies is not what ancient Christians believed about those verses. Ancient Christians like Aristides, within 70 years of the writing of Romans, linked those verses to shrine prostitution.

Here is good information to help you do further study: Romans 1:26-27

Apr 30, 2012
I am a lesbian, and I disagree
by: Ravena

I want to start off and say that I am an atheist and a lesbian, this discussion intrigued me, so i decided to take a look.

I looked at the verse IN context and OUT of context. It doesn't change the meaning at all. I even used the most reliable translation. It is against homosexual tendencies/acts, as much as I wish it wasn't...

Rick's comment: Thanks Ravena. You asked some great questions so I made a new page where I provide all of your comments and my answers. I intentionally deleted some of your comments here so the search engines will not penalize these pages for posting the same information on two different pages of the same website.

Ravena's questions answered.

Jul 31, 2012
Remember the New Covenant
by: Anonymous

The context of the scripture is clear and defined no matter the volition that's conjured up. It's very dangerous to give an interpretation and others to take that as true when it isn't there as a matter of discourse.

In observation. Today we see some very vocal homosexuals who want to express their sexual preference without hindrance, in other words acceptance and approval. Since the vast majority cannot cope with a society that exposes their perversion of practicing their unnatural lusts through rewriting the definition of marriage. We see this in governments itself but albeit they only reflect the people.

Rick's comment: Sexual preference? Perversion? Unnatural lusts? While I appreciate you sharing your caustic views with us, unfortunately your views indicate you have not studied the Bible about gay issues. I hope you are willing to do a bit more reading and investigation before condemning millions of your fellow citizens.

If so, please read my Romans pages including the text links to additional information. This issue is more clear-cut in favor of gays than you might imagine. Thanks for doing additional study.

Anonymous continues: I don't mean this in an ill-manner but let's be careful on not being deceived ourselves that we maybe held an account for others gone astray to Him. LORD GOD knows if thy heart is true to Him and not the ways of the world for we are not of the world. The Great One cares more about thy love for Him then our transgression but it does not mean we are free to continue to transgress. His new commandment is very clear on that.

Oct 16, 2012
Moral Relativism
by: Monty

The context of the day in which Romans was written was one of moral ambiguity. In other words just like today everyone did what they thought was right in their own eyes. Again there is a way that seems right unto a man but in the end leads to death. Christianity demands a set of absolute moral conduct and we can have arguments about what that conduct should be. However under no circumstance or in any instance do the scriptures approve of same sex, sexual relationships. Any time same gender sex is mentioned it is always forbidden. Leviticus gives a long list of forbidden behaviors and declares that those who practice such evil that the very land will vomit them out and such has been the case throughout history without exception. Dear people nothing would make me happier than for you to be happy, but homosexual behavior is the path to the destruction of not only those who practice the behavior but to an entire nation. Don't just take my word for it I humbly recommend a book by a non Christian anthropologist written in 1934. The book is called Sex and Culture by J D Unwin. Good hunting finding a copy. There are those who have tried to suppress this book for political reasons. In closing let me say I have malice toward none I only desire the truth and there is only one truth; it has no agenda.

Rick's comment: Monty, an in depth Bible study of the clobber passages would certainly help you understand where we are coming from. You have not done that to date, perhaps because you are content to believe what you've been taught INSTEAD of studying. I hope you will make it your goal to read, memorize, obey and always apply 2 Timothy 2:15 from now on, every time you read the Bible. Many thanks!

Jan 10, 2013
Christian and Gay?
by: Anonymous

You can't be a Christian and be a practicing gay. Of course gays will try too defend themselves in front of God, but it will not work.

Rick's comment: This is so sad. "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." Hebrews 4:6. How long will you continue in your ignorance?

Dear people, please understand. Ignorance is NOT a fruit of the Spirit. Mindless repetition of your opinion while refusing to study, believe and obey what the Bible says in context is not godly.

Jan 14, 2013
Why the lack of grace?
by: Jason

Hey Rick, I don't understand your amnimosity. You keep accusing others here who disagree with you that they are clearly unstudied. As if, by studying these Scriptures, the only clear interpretation is yours. That is arrogance. If this was any other issue you wouldn't take such a stance. Consider Calvinism vs Arminianism, or credobaptism vs paedobaptism, or the dozen different end times views (everything from Ammillenial to Post Trib Premillenial.

Some of the greatest theologians have studied, and studied and studied the Scriptures and have yet come to different positions. We don't sit there and say that RC Sproul is more or less wise and studied than Charles Spurgeon though they disagree on Baptism do we? We can debate and disagree and still be amicable and skip the name calling.

This goes both ways, lots of those who see homosexuality as a sin, sin themselves in their very ingracious attitude towards the issue but I've read a few comments here by people that sound like they have studied it out and come to the conclusion that homosexuality is a sin and yet have been polite about it. People not concerned about proving their point but more concerned about the heart of someone they see blinded by their sin and wanting to see them come into a closer relationship with Christ. Those people deserve respect and not insults simply because they came to a studied conclusion different than your own.

Rick's comment: Jason, it is not lack of grace and it is not animosity. It is my respect for scripture rightly divided. The gay issue is different than the other issues you listed. Anti-gay Christians insist we are not saved if we disagree with their anti-gay views. They are the ones without grace.

Anti-gay Christians use the power of government to attack us and deny us our civil and human rights. They are the ones showing extreme animosity.

If any of them had truly studied it out, they would be able to produce verses which, in context, support their anti-gay views yet they never present any in context verses. Their hackneyed arguments do not gain force simply because they repeat them ad nauseam.

Finally, it is not insulting to point out that people have not studied the issue. It is not insulting to point out that they never cite verses which, in context, support their anti-gay views. Hope this is helpful.

Feb 17, 2013
Honest Question
by: Anonymous

Please do not feel like I'm on the offensive here, but out of all of the great Bible scholars there have been through history, and even in the present time, why do you believe that your interpretation is more correct than theirs? Also, for some reason 2 Timothy 4:3-4 is coming to mind. Thanks for your time!

Rick's comment: For most of the last two thousand years, Christians and scholars have NOT understood the clobber passages as prohibitions of two gay guys or two gay gals falling in love or spending their lives together. The anti-gay animus of many Christians is a recent thing, in the last 150 years.

If you'll take time to read through my website and my book, you will notice that I frequently cite anti-gay Christian writers and scholars who agree with the views I present. For example, please read my shrine prostitutes page. There I cite recognized Christian scholars, who although they are anti-gay, still agree with me on a number of important points.

On 2 Timothy 4:3-4, why would you assume that I am the false teacher? Many Christians and many scholars throughout the last 20 centuries of church history were dead wrong about slavery and usury and women's rights. Given their defective track record, wouldn't it be safer to assume that they are just as wrong on the gay issue as they were on slavery and usury and women's rights?

Mar 23, 2013
by: Anonymous

This is an interesting article.

However, I would like to ask the author what he considers to be sexual immorality? At what point to we cross the line?

Here is my point.

The bible does not speak/teach against sex with children. The bible does not set an age where a child is considered to be an adult and permitted to express him/herself sexually.

So are we so set our own rules? One could make the argument that because the bible does not preach against 'child' sex that it is acceptable.

Do you think sex with children is ok? If not then why?

Rick's comment: No, we are against sex with children. We view that as gross sin. Yet in Biblical times, those ancient cultures believed that when a child was twelve years old, they were adults and could marry. This was Jewish thinking and this was the thinking in first century Rome.

Our modern western culture is quite different and we do not recognize twelve year olds as adults or as old enough to get married.

And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

Let's tackle the real issues. God's intent of sex was for procreation (having children). Man has turned sex into a tool for his pleasure and imagination. Just my thoughts. Submitted in the spirit of love.

Rick's comment: The procreation argument is often raised as "proof" that gay marriage is wrong. Yet you are stating your own view, that God's intent for sex is procreation, which is not a Biblical view, instead of what the Bible actually says. Please carefully read 1 Cor 7:1-9. Sex is about far more than procreation.

I would also note that you have no problem with elderly widows and widowers marrying even though they can no longer procreate. And you have no problem with infertile opposite sex couples getting married even though they cannot procreate.

The real issue is that you must rip verses out of context and use the out of context verses to "prove" your opinion because if you left the verses in context, it would be clear that they are not dealing with the issue of two gay guys or two gay gals falling in love.

Mar 31, 2013
its easy
by: Dale.

If all of us on this page believes in god then we all ready have the answer. God speaks to all of us in different ways. If we all believe in prayer then let's put are own personal fellings aside, this goes for gays and straights. And truly focus on God for a week and when we wake up take 10 min to realy pray and to the same at lunch and bedtime. In your prayer don't ask for anything but the light ask God to tell you what you need in life to help others and yourself. If you do this and I say you must realy pray hard I know God will answer. This world we live in is changing so fast. All u see is YOLO, and if it feels good do it. But this is not how we should live, and I'm just as guilty I struggle with things every day , so let's pray hard this week or maybe the next two and let's see what God wants us to do.

Rick's comment: And please remember to read and believe and obey what the Bible says in context while you pray.

Apr 04, 2013
Self contradiction
by: With love

It is interesting that you read into and add to the bible in verses such as Gensis 2:22-24 and then when fellow Christians reasonably assume things from Romans 1:26-27 you explode that they are adding to scripture. Which they are not.

Rick's comment: Strange that you ignore the context of Romans 1, which is idolatry, and insist that the chapter is about lesbians and gays. I note that you did not engage anything I wrote. And your description of me as "exploding" is quite silly. If truth was on your side, you would not have to ignore context; you would not attempt to portray me as angry, as if that will make your out of context argument more true.

"Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 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."

What is the focus here? It is women loving women unaturally. It is men committing shameful acts with men.

Rick's comment: I'm going to insist that you go back and read Romans 1 slowly and reverently. Take particular notice of the idolatry Paul describes. It is beyond ludicrous to argue that Paul starts an argument about idolatry and then suddenly, in vs. 26-27, he switches from idolatry to arguing against lesbians and gays.

The behavior Paul describes in v. 26 is not lesbian behavior. Most Christians for the first 300 years of church history believed Romans 1:26 described female temple prostitutes, not lesbians.

The behavior Paul describes in v. 27 is male-male sex to worship the fertility goddess through temple prostitution. It is not two gay guys in love with each other and spending their lives together as a couple.

Continued in the next comment.

Apr 04, 2013
With love
by: Self-contradiction

Is there ever a time in God's Word where men with men sexual relations were described like the following?

"He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.

May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer-- may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be captivated by her love.

If a man has recently married, he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him. For one year he is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married.

"Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh' ? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."

The point is there is nothing in scripture where God clearly blesses sexual relationships with a huband and a husband as with a husband and a wife.

Rick's comment: It would be to your credit IF you took time to read about Adam and Eve and what Jesus said about eunuchs. You can find those pages on the NavBar under, What The Bible Says.

You are taking the absolute complementarian position, which even God does not believe. Time for you to do more reading and prayerful study.

Did you know for thousands of years before christianity gay relations was normal and in some societies it was promoted?

Rick's comment: No dear, you are wrong. What you refer to as gay relations was really temple prostitution.

Did you know after the rise of Christianity gay relationships were discouraged for hundreds of years?

Rick's comment: Discouraged by the secular Roman government eventually. Yet the early church allowed gay men to be deacons and bishops and elders. Again, you need to do more reading, more study.

Did you know that the Holy Spirit is in each Christian?

Rick's comment: Yes, of course. We have a book about the precious Holy Spirit on this website.

Why is it with the advent of Christianity that those relationships became so unacceptable? Is it because The Holy Spirit guides Christian into sinful beliefs in this area? Is it because of the rise of Christianity people became more ignorant of what is good and righteous? Or is it because God is guiding them in this area, taking care of them, and watching out for them?

Apr 10, 2013
What came to mind while reading all the comments...
by: Ash

I a currently not for or against whether or not homosexuality is a sin & after reading all the comments my mind has still not been made up, however I do want to share a scripture that came to mind constantly while reading all the above.
Romans 14:1 Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. 2 One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3 The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them.

And then the last verses:

22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves.23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin

Maybe my interpretation of this scripture is wrong but I believe its about more than just food...and from what I have been reading both sides seem to think the other weaker in faith which is why I felt the above scriptures needed to be shared :-)

I still have so much to learn & I'm excited for what God will reveal to me over the years of my life & I believe that if we keep our eyes fixated on him we will be welcomed with open arms :-) bless you all xx

Apr 14, 2013
So Qadesh should always be translated as "ritual prostitute"
by: Anonymous

I'm always trying to learn more about the Bible, so from what I read on your ritual prostitution page, Qadesh or Qadesha should always be translated as "ritual prostitute" and never as "homosexual".

So basically, all of the English translations of the Bible are wrong. And as I understand what you are saying, wherever the English version of the bible ever uses the word "homosexual", the words "ritual prostitute" should have always been used instead.

This is very concerning to me, because I don't think most people would ever take the time to learn Hebrew. I wonder how the translators could get it so wrong or why God would allow a Holy Book to be worded so that most people could never understand it's true meaning?

I was always taught that God's holy word is "the truth". But if a simple translation can corrupt the meaning, it makes me question the entire Bible, really. And I don't know or understand Hebrew, so I could never possibly learn or read the entire Bible in Hebrew in my lifetime.

Rick's comment: In the King James Version, qadesh is ALWAYS translated as some form of sodomite or sodomites meaning temple prostitute, NEVER as homosexual.

Think about it. The problem scripture addresses everywhere qadesh is used was NOT two gay guys or two gay gals falling in love and covenanting to spend their lives together as a couple.

Please reread my articles on Romans 1. The issue was idolatry and using sex to worship false gods. THAT is the thrust of Paul's argument.

Concerning your statement about all of the English translations of the Bible being wrong, that is off base. Only some of the English translations after 1948 get it wrong on translating qadesh - some got it right.

Apr 19, 2013
sharing the word of God with meekness
by: j Anonymous

hello rick, how are you doing?
when I read romans chapter 1, I agree with you that it talks about idolatry which is mention in romans 1:22-23 - 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

then paul said because they are worshiping their idols and not God, God allow sin to be their master. romans 1:24-25 states, - 24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

paul also said because they were worshipping the creature and not the Creator(God), God gave them up to vile passions (immoral or wicked desires, love, or feelings). romans 1:26-27 describes what these vile passions were.

26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

and I believe that these sexual acts were being committed while worshipping these idols that they created. as you can see, one sin lead to other sin. they were in idolatry and idolatry lead to them engaging in sexual immorality (for example, fornication, homosexuality, etc...) verses 26-27 is speaking about sexual relationships between the same sex. homosexuality was being practiced openly in rome and greece back in those days. that does not mean that God was please with what was going on.

Rick's comment: You've got it partially right but you are wrong to label as homosexuality, the sexual worship of false gods. THAT is idolatry and THAT is what Paul points out in Romans 1:26-27, NOT two gay guys or two gay gals falling in love and spending their lives together as a couple.

Apr 21, 2013
sharing the word of God with meekness
by: j Anonymous

hello rick - homosexuality, in the webster dictionary states, erotic activity with another of the same sex. this is what takes place between a couple of the same sex. the act of it, not because it took place during idol worship, is wrong in the eyes of God!

Leviticus 18:22 says you shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. In God's eyes, it is an abomination to commit this type of sexual act, which occurs in gay relationships. I did not say it, the Bible, that you and I read, says it. we all have sin and fall short of the glory of God, romans 3:23. but the difference between some one who accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior, and some one who has rejected Him, is the Holyspirit. the Holyspirit will always speak the truth in your heart. The spirit will convict your heart if you are doing something wrong. When I am doing something wrong, I can tell because I feel so guilty and there is something that keeps trying to let me know that
what you said or did is wrong. Let me tell you, it is not a good feeling. I am not at peace, Until I confess my sins and ask God to forgive me.

I am not sure what your relationship with God is like, and that's between you and God, but if you ask Him for the truth, He will reveal it to you. Forget what you have learn up to this point or what you have heard others say here in this forum or on the pulpit.

I have a cousin, who does struggle with homosexuality, and has been in relationships with the same sex. she goes back and forth from the church to the world, from the world to the church. so it is a battle. But it is not a physical battle, it is a spiritual battle. Ephesians 6:12, For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Rick you are an intelligent person, and seem to know a lot about the bible, Aramaic translation, and so forth, however, even the smartest or the most knowledgeable person in the world can be decieved. If satan, in genesis could decieve adam and eve, with whom God spoke directly to and they had power over the earth, animals, etc, then we who can't be in the same presence as God, unless thru the Son, can be easily deceived as well.

Rick's comment: j Anonymous - Has it ever occurred to you that you have never studied the clobber passages?

1. You do not know the Hebrew and Greek words used.

2. You do not know the meaning of the words used.

3. You do not know the cultural historical religious situation those passages addressed.

4. You do not know how ancient Jewish believers understood those passages.

5. You do not know how our early Christian ancestors understood those passages.

Isn't it more likely that because you do not study the Bible much, you are the one who is deceived by Satan?

2 Timothy 2:15 is your assignment for this week. Read it. Memorize it. Obey it. Many thanks.

Apr 22, 2013
sharing the word of God with meekness
by: j Anonymous

you are right, i have never read the cobblar passages before, but please tell me what is your definition of studying the bible. I agree that I am not a scholar like you, but I have read the bible and search the bible for answers. a lot of things from the bible are reveal to you thru the Holyspirit. that is why Jesus spoke in parables, the people did not understand, but He revealed to the disciples what the parables meant, Matthew 13:11, 13. somethings you will not understand unless it is revealed to you by the Holyspirit...

Rick's comment: When we read the Bible, we need the Holy Spirit to illumine its words to us so that it speaks to our situation today. That said, we interpret the Bible in context, so that from generation to generation, its unchangeable message is as fresh as when originally given.

There is a basic set of questions we always ask of the text.

1. Who said it?

2. What did they say?

3. Who wrote it?

4. Who did they say it to?

5. What words did they use?

6. When was it said/written?

7. Where was it in force?

8. What was the intent?

9. What were the circumstances?

10. What was the cultural, doctrinal, historical, religious context?

Answering those questions helps us understand the text and orients our thinking as we figure out what the text means for us today. Here is a page which answers your question from a slightly different perspective.

Hope this is helpful.

Apr 24, 2013
Some people will never accept truth, pt 1
by: Isaiah Thompson

First of all i would start off by saying that man has a natural way of interpreting life. It's how we were all made. Man has a way of thinking what is and isn't right. But remember that in the bible, all of the ones who spoke the truth were condemned and called blasphemers. One thing that struck me to find out was that there was another race of humanity before Adam. Genesis 1:26 says, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." verse 27 says "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him" Man was already created and Adam didn't come until chapter 2 of Genesis verse 7. I remember trying to discuss this with my mother and she did not believe it. Why didn't she? She said that God was simply pre-talking the creation of man. But it literally says that God already created man. She didn't believe because of her own knowledge and personal experience, which ever human being goes by.

Apr 24, 2013
Some people will never accept truth, pt 2
by: Isaiah Thompson

In order to seek truth, one must have qualities such as self-deception, virtue, and humility. One must risk being either deceived or not and it comes in to play where truth is used to deceive the falseness that one already possesses. Virtue is a quality that is considered morally good or desirable in a person. Without it, there is morally no good in a person and therefore they will lack the hunger for truth. Condemning anyone for what they do is morally wrong and victims of condemnation who condemn is also morally wrong. With the David & Jonathan story. Most Christians in this world would believe that they only had a strong friendship, but if I was a straight man with a strong friendship, I would never tell any man that his love for me surpassed the love of women. To y'all that might be an opinion but so what? Also the bible was originally written in separate books until years later scholars came and put the documents together. Now with the natural way of man's thinking that I mentioned earlier, some parts were managed to not be put into the bible on purpose and those documents are stored in churches in Jerusalem and Israel. Why would certain parts be taken out of the bible? Because the scholars didn't see certain scriptures as worthy to them to be in the bible.

Rick's comment: You have an inaccurate grasp of how the Bible came to us. I disagree with your statements on this topic.

This is why people aren't clear on a lot of subject matters. Now on to the gay argument, earlier statements by an anti-gay person stated that all gays were abused as children. I am currently attracted to both sexes but I as a child was never abused in any way, shape or form. So we can all put that statement to a close. I read the bible in context and it's plain and clear, there's nothing confusing about it. And those who bring up Leviticus, remember that was the law that God gave to the Israelites to separate them from other nations.

Apr 24, 2013
Some people will never accept truth, pt 3
by: Isaiah Thompson

That law is a curse according to Galatians 3:6-7 and 3:10-13. Vs. 6-7 says "Consider Abraham: 'He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.' Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham.

Vs. 10-13 says: "All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: 'Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.'

Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, 'The righteous will live by faith.' The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, 'The man who does these things will live by them.' Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: 'Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.'"

Romans 13:10 says: "Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law." So if love is the fulfilling of the law, that means God will judge according to that so why can't we all just base our lives off of love for one another? If everyone who claims to be a Christian stops judging - condemning gays to hell, God's love will show. But we can't have that because Satan is the master of confusion and wherever he is there is no love.

Apr 28, 2013
Bible versions after 1948 corrupted
by: Anonymous

Hi Rick, I'm the one who asked about versions of the Bible being corrupted earlier. So I just want to check with you about the following versus in King James (apparently the only English version that is not corrupted). The following verses still seems to have controversial interpretations about the actual act of sex with a person of the same gender.

Leviticus 18:22 (I'm having trouble finding contexual arguments that this means anything other than a law telling men not to have anal sex with other men.

Rick's comment: Leviticus 17:7 helps set the context for chapters 18 and 20.

"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 - New International Version

"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." International Standard Version

Also, please read my page about shrine prostitutes.

But I am always open to what other people have to say about this because I really am very curious about this subject). While I realize that Christ's death on the cross redeemed us from "The Law", I don't believe this means that we can just keep on sinning and be saved by grace. I've always believed that God wants us to try our best to follow the law, even though He knows that it is impossible for us to be perfect like Christ, which is why Christ died to save us from the sins we will inevitable commit, despite how hard we try not to.

Rick's comment: God does not want us to keep the Old Testament Law because we live under grace. What is grace?

Are Christians under Law?

Apr 28, 2013
Bible versions after 1948 corrupted, cont'd.
by: Anonymous

Secondly, this verse just leaves me wondering, because I can't find anything in the Bible about a man leaving his parents for a husband.

Genesis 2:24. Why would the Bible speak about a man leaving his parents for a wife, but never say anything about a man leaving his parents for a husband? Honestly, I'm not trying to be facetious, it's just that this subject is the one subject which always tears me in two different directions. I want to know the truth, and I have prayed for the truth, so I'm hoping what I learn on this forum leads me in the right direction.

Rick's comment: 95% of humanity is not gay so God uses hetero analogies in the Bible. Genesis was written around 1450 BC. At that time, no one had a gay-straight paradigm. They did not view gays the way we view them today. The 5% of us who are gay understand that the biblical analogy as it applies to us is same sex instead of opposite sex.

And what about this verse? Psalm 12:6-7

"The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever."

Doesn't this imply that all versions of the Bible (FOREVER) are pure? How can the average person know which versions of the Bible are corrupt without intensive study? It seems to me that God would not want to allow that to happen.

Rick's comment: That guarantees God will preserve His word. Sometimes translators and printers make mistakes. That men make mistakes does not invalidate God's promise to preserve His word.

Apr 29, 2013
by: Anonymous

Rick's comment: God does not want us to keep the Old Testament Law because we live under grace. What is grace?

Hi Rick, I understand Grace, but as I was saying in the previous comment, I don't feel like Grace gives us an excuse to keep on doing "bad" things in general.

Rick's comment: True. Yet the Bible never tells us that grace allows us to continue doing bad things. And no one in their right mind would suggest that. Instead of being under Old Testament Law, when we get saved, we are justified by faith so that God regards us as perfect and as sinless as Jesus Christ Himself.

Orthodox Christian teaching for 2000 years is that once we are saved, we are not under the law and do not need to keep the law in order to stay saved. Must Christians keep Torah?

In Galatians Paul contrasts the OT law with the law of Christ, Galatians 6:2. John 13:34-35 explains that the law of Christ is love.

As Christians we are freed from the law of Moses, yet we are under the law of Christ. Instead of laying unnecessary burdens upon others, as did the Judaizers who urged the observance of Moses's law, it much more becomes us as Christians to fulfil the law of Christ by bearing one another's burdens, i.e., loving others enough to walk with them as they grow spiritually.

In other words, once a person is "saved" by God's Grace, shouldn't that person make his/her best attempts to follow The Laws of the Old Testament? Your Red answer above makes it sound as if we can just keep on sinning because "Grace" will always save us.

Rick's comment: No, because the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ. The Law shows us that we cannot keep it. Jesus kept the law perfectly for us, in our place. Once we are saved, we are no longer under a schoolmaster (the Law), Galatians 3:25.

I guess I was always taught that the CONSEQUENCES of disobedience changed because of Christ's sacrifice, for example, we don't have to sacrifice animals anymore in redemption of our sins; I was never taught that God does not want us to follow His Laws anymore.

Rick's comment: What is grace? explains and contrasts law and grace.

Apr 29, 2013
a question about 1 Corinthians 6:9
by: Anonymous

Hi Rick, I just also have one more question for you, since I am on the topic of corrupt bible versions. How do you view the word "effeminate" in the context of 1 Corinthians 6:9, since the surrounding text all have to do with sexual misconduct?

Rick's comment: Effeminate refers to a heterosexual man who pretties himself and shaves his face to attract women OR to a temple prostitute, in particular, the Galli priests who grew long hair like a woman and wore women's clothing, some of whom even castrated themselves to further their service to the goddess.

The word translated effeminate in the KJV is malakoi. I explain its meaning at these links.

What does malakoi mean?

Define malakoi.

Was it a misinterpretation for man to translate using that particular word, and if so, can we trust the King James version? For if there is even one mistake in the King James version of the Bible, then do we have to throw out the whole thing as "corrupt"?

Rick's comment: YES, we can trust the old KJV and NO, the KJV translators didn't make a mistake. By translating the Greek word malakoi as effeminate, the KJV translators avoided falling into the trap which ensnares so many translators, of inserting the completely unsuitable word, homosexual, into the Bible. Of course, the word homosexual was not even in the dictionary in 1604-1611, when the old KJV was translated.

God promised that His Word would be preserved, so I would assume that means there has to be at least one Bible version that can be understood by those who only speak and understand English.

If we were to interpret the word "effeminate" as "soft", it just seems unfathomable to me that scripture would imply a "soft" man cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. If we were to interpret the word "effeminate" as "male prostitute" then that makes more sense. If that is the case, why wans't a different word used in the translation that would make more sense to the average English speaking person? You can imagine how this could be very confusing to your average person.

Rick's comment: Male prostitute would be pornoi, not malakoi. That is why God commands us in 2 Timothy 2:15, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." We need to study and we need the Holy Spirit to open our understanding of His marvelous infallible book.

May 12, 2013
Rick is a moron
by: Anonymous

Sorry - I don't have a dog in this fight; I just felt it necessary to say what everyone else is thinking. Your reply will be futile as I will never return to this site. Have a great day.

Rick's comment: No problem. Insulting comments from Anonymous cowards are par for the course.

"If we were not strangers here, the hounds of the world would not bark at us." - Samuel Rutherford, 1600-1661

May 16, 2013
Show me where Jesus himself says bring gay is wrong
by: Anonymous

Show me where Jesus himself says bring gay is wrong. Show me where God himself says it's hell condeming. I really don't think God is going to punish me for who I love. Last time I checked God is love. A homosexual couple is no different then a straight couple that chooses not to have children. Tell me this who is getting hurt when two women love each other? When the Bible tells us not to do something it's because it's harmful in some way to someone. Adultery- someone gets hurt, stealing- someone gets hurt, coveting- someone gets hurt (because coveting spurns hate and that always ends with someone getting hurt) the list goes on. Even when the Bible talked about not eating pigs it was because they eat everything and anything which gets stored in their tissue so when eat them who knows what toxins your digesting. If you were to some up all of Jesus' teachings into a single word that word would be love. And you can try all you want to say you tell them they are going to hell out of love for them all you want but really all you're trying to do is scare them into submission. Think about it long and hard and tell me you scare them out of love. Then I dare you to show me where Jesus does it in the Bible. I'm just say people need to step back and think about why they feel it's necessary to tell homosexual people they are going to hell.

May 28, 2013
Words of God as strong today as when he spoke them
by: Anonymous

How can you say that when God spoke to Moses for example, His words do not mean the same today? If this is the case, I will no longer attend church because when the Holy Bible tells us that Homosexuals are abomination, I believe and accept it as it is said. The Holy Bible tells us that not one word or syllable can be taken away/added nor moved. I also understand that the Holy Bible tells us that we must abide by the laws of the land. I have to accept this however, I have a very strong faith. And, will not accept your believe that what was ment in Mosses day is not ment today.

Rick's comment: Somehow the meaning of context continues to elude you.

Jun 11, 2013
Contorting the Bible?
by: Anonymous

All I know is that Adam needed a "help mate" and God gave him a woman to be his companion. God did not create another man to comfort Adam and be his partner, he created a woman for that purpose. So same-sex unions are like saying God made a mistake that that he clearly did not know what he was doing in creating Eve from Adam's rib.

Again, God could have created another man but he didn't. So, you can twist and turn scripture any way you like but the fact is, God had a design in mind and gays are basically saying that he got it wrong.

Rick's comment: No, Anonymous, gays are not saying that at all. Your comment indicates you are not thinking clearly. We are not Adam. Adam was heterosexual therefore God gave him Eve for an help meet for him, Genesis 2:18. If you are heterosexual, then you also need a female for an help meet for you.

Gays are not heterosexual. An help meet for us is another man or another woman for lesbians.

Beyond that, your heterosexual marriage in no way matches the hetero marriage of Adam and Eve. You pick and choose which parts of the Adam and Eve story you will enforce on us while ignoring the rest of it where your marriage doesn't match the Adam and Eve paradigm.

Why don't you and your wife run around naked? Adam and Eve did - that you refuse to run around naked means you are basically saying God made a mistake, that He got it wrong. That is the precise reasoning you used against us. Can you see how foolish that reasoning is?

Again, in the Adam and Eve marriage story, their children intermarried with each other yet you would go bonkers if your children intermarried with each other. Yet Adam and Eve's marriage was not an anomaly in scripture.

About 1800 years after Adam and Eve, Abraham married his half-sister Sarai, Genesis 20:2, 12, 16. Yet instead of commanding them to divorce, God intervened in their marriage to bless their union with Isaac, the son they longed for, Genesis 21:2 AND then sent the line of Christ through Isaac.

That you would condemn that behavior in the lives of your own children shows that you are basically saying, God made a mistake, He got it wrong and we do not need to follow what God blessed in that particular story in the Bible. Again, I have employed precisely the reasoning you used to condemn us. Is any of this sinking in? Do you see how "off" your reasoning is?

Of course, I am using absurdity to make a point. Your thoughtless approach to scripture is rarely applied to your own life. You make it up as you go and expect us to agree with your less than thoughtful approach to the Bible.

It is time for you to get serious. It is time to do some genuine introspection to discover why you are so prone to go after your gay brothers and lesbian sisters, trying to foist your opinion upon us as if your opinion is scripture. We are not amused.

Jun 13, 2013
by: Anonymous

All I see here is misconceptions. If gay is a sin mentioned in the Bible. Then sin is natural according to the world. However, God is not sin, therefore He would never put sin on anyone. Sin is of this world, not of the Kingdom of Heaven. You can control how you feel with Jesus. Jesus is not sin and defeated it. It says various times in the Bible Homosexuality is a SIN therefore it is natural only to human nature. God has put free will on His people (everyone) and He has not made any person Born that way. Why would He force sin on anybody? God is Love plain and simple. Should we hate gays? No! Judge them? No! Gay marriage? No! The definition of marriage is first defined in the Bible, and that's where the term comes from. I know a Pastor who had a gay guy come into his church. He accepted Christ and before you know it he had changed and now has a wife and kids. It's the Devils lie that it's okay. If you have Christ it's impossible to be gay. Anyways God Bless!

Rick's comment: As well intentioned as you probably are, your comments reveal appalling ignorance of the Bible and of gay issues. Your attitude and false beliefs about gays will damage many of your gay brothers and lesbian sisters if you keep making comments like this.

I hope you will accept your responsibility to do some serious reading and study. You owe that to the rest of the body of Christ. Ignorance is NOT a fruit of the Spirit.

Jul 14, 2013
Natural use and against nature
by: Anonymous

if the term natural use and affections don't mean homosexuality, what does it mean? don't twist scripture to your own meaning. IF it is not an abomination then what about Sodom and Gomorrah?

Rick's comment: Ignorance is NOT a fruit of the Spirit. There is more than one possible meaning of the word, natural, in the first century.

Against nature?

You have an obligation to God to study and to rightly divide the word of truth, 2 Timothy 2:15. It will be helpful to your spiritual life to read the info on our Sodom page.

Jul 23, 2013
No affirmation?
by: Chad

Rick, if your interpretation is 100% correct concerning homosexuality in the Bible, in that it is only condemned in the context of idol prostitution, then why don't we see any cases of homosexuality used in a positive sense within the scriptures? Every mention of homosexuality in the Bible is connected to idol worship, and is therefore condemned.

If homosexuality is acceptable, why doesn't the Bible affirm this anywhere? It seems important for the world to know that it is acceptable before the eyes of God, yet no affirmation is found. It mentions husbands and wives, but no same sex couples. All we have are scriptures that at first glance appear to condemn homosexuality.

The Bible was not designed to be misleading, and not every one who reads it have the tools necessary to study it closer. Why shouldn't people take the word at face value? It is suppose to be so easy a child can understand it.

I have reviewed your evidence and I respect your views, but I still don't believe homosexuality is of God. However, I also believe it is a sin to judge others and hate others, something many 'Christians' are guilty of. I love you regardless of who you are and God does too. Mat 22:36-40.

Rick's comment: Jonathan and David, Daniel and Ashpenaz, the centurion and his beloved in Matthew 8, are examples of same sex couples in the Bible.

If we follow your "no affirmation" view to its logical conclusion, that if the Bible does not affirm it, then it must be wrong, we could not drive cars, eat ice cream or get married in church buildings. The Bible is not always so easy a child can understand it. Parts of the Bible are easy to understand, like Jesus dying on the cross for our sins.

But the Bible also contains some things "hard to be understood," 2 Peter 3:15 and we are told to "study" so we can rightly divide the word of truth, 2 Timothy 2:15. Hope this is helpful.

Aug 02, 2013
Hold on
by: Mark Aldridge

There is difference here. The bible not mentioning something because it didn't even exist (Cars, ice cream, etc.) is different than not mentioning something that DID exist at that time (homosexuality).

Rick's comment: Mark, you're assuming that Paul suddenly departs from his idolatry argument so he can blast lesbians and gays and then immediately goes back to his idolatry argument.

You're also assuming that Paul is talking about homosexuality instead of making an argument indicting pagan idolatry which involved same sex activity.

I'm assuming if we are going under the impression that you can be born homosexual then there would have been those born that way in Christ's time as well.

Also, I don't see exactly how we could assume that Romans 1:26-27 refers to idol worship when the verse clearly expresses that LUST is involved. The sexual acts done in idol worship would have been initiated out of obedience, not lust.

Rick's comment: Again, you're assuming something which, with a bit of introspection, you would surely admit does not necessarily follow. You're also ignoring the testimony of early church history, where almost everyone who wrote about Romans 1 believed Paul was writing about shrine prostitution.

Also, it isn't soley referring to pederasty either as that was an issue specifically between a man and a boy. That is ruled out because the verse speaks of women as participating in this lustful act as well.

Sep 17, 2013
Face the truth.
by: Dawn Marie

We are supposed to bring people to God okay not lead them away. Homosexuals may not understand why being gay is wrong, but it is. Is just not natural, that's not the way that God wants us to be. Yes, by all means, he still loves you and wants everybody to have a personal relationship with him. I believe in my God and my savior Jesus Christ with all my heart. I am a homosexual. I had a girlfriend whom I loved dearly and we were together for 2 years and a half. I've also did plenty of other sins.. Hey I'm a sinner BUT in the past 2 months.. I renewed my vows with Jesus (lol a Christian joke as to getting saved) and I've done my best to make sure I stay on the right path... Do you know how hard it was for me to cut off ties with my ex girlfriend? It was really hard. But I LOVE The Lord and he loves me. You really have I understand what love really is. when you really love someone you make sacrifices for them. in my mind being gay was okay. I really LOVED my girlfriend. You're still going to think about it. But God is going to see that you are truly trying not to do such unnatural things. You do necessarily have to date the opposite sex, Jesus was single his whole life. it's better to be by yourself then to be tempted. Y'all this world is only temporary. The devil has put in our minds that we have to live it up. Lol YOLO but no we aren't even living yet. Y'all we are dead right now. We were born into sin bc of Adam (that's in the bible) but we are made ALIVE only through Christ. This is why we die. But our spirits, that's what's going up with God. We won't even remember or know this world once God destroys it. As humans, it hard for us to grasp that. We are toremember you can't take anything with you when you die. Not your money, not you clothes, houses, wives or husbands.. Every man is accountable for only himself. Yes, murder, lie, cheat, steal, incest, homosexuality, judging others, glutting(eating when you're not hungry) being jealous of other ppl's possessions, all that is a sin but once we repent and try to obey The Lord we are delivers of these thins. Right now that seems impossible but it can happen only though God and Christ. That's faith. I mI mighI will fall on my knees and ask God to give me the strength to resist temptation. God doesn't like when you purposely disobey him. I know we feel that it is right but that's only bc the devil has us deceived. This world and desires or not ours. We do not belong here.. Pray and ask for deliverance and please pray for me as well. If any of you need help or guidance I can help y'all.

Rick's comment: Dawn Marie, I'm so glad you got saved but you are very confused. Please stop listening to human reason and start reading studying believing your Bible, in context. Many thanks!

Jan 02, 2014
Paul condemned homosexual behaviour
by: Philip

For Paul there was no such thing as a gay Christian. He did not recognise a class of people who defined themselves through their sexual attraction for members of the same sex.

For Paul men (and women) were complementary and made for each other. For a man to reject this and engage in homosexual activity was seriously sinful.

Some people claim that Paul was condemning heterosexuals who participate in homosexual behaviour because it is against their personal God given nature.

This is entirely wrong. Why? Because Paul did not believe that God created human beings with opposing natures. Male and female He created them and they complemented each other.

Rick's comment: Hi Philip - thanks for stating your incorrect opinion. You are in agreement with the majority of professing Christians who have never studied this issue and who therefore reach a conclusion which has no relationship to biblical truth.

2014 will be a year of spiritual growth and blessing for you IF you commit to read, memorize and obey 2 Timothy 2:15. Will you do it?

"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2 Tim 2:15, Old King James Version

Jan 25, 2014
by: Sam

I understand how you would seem to think that Romans 1:26-27 was not condemning homosexuals. However, where in the world did you get that Paul was talking about temple prostitutes?

Rick's comment: Romans 1 and temple prostitutes - lots of carefully sourced proof.

1 Conrinthians 6:9-11 clearly says that "neither the sexually immoral, nor idolators, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality... will inherit the kingdom of God." I don't believe that being gay itself is a sin, that's just how people are born, like skin color. But the ACT of homosexual sex is a sin. Similarly, the act of sex (whether straight or gay) outside marriage is a sin as well...

I strongly believe that while God condemns homosexual acts, He DOES NOT condemn homosexual PEOPLE. People cannot change their genetic makeup, but they certainly CAN change their behavior. Just like how He condemned the woman who committed adultery and who was about to be stoned ("Go, and SIN no more" - John 8:11 tells us that Jesus indeed says that adultery is a sin), but He prevented the stoning from happening because He loved and had mercy for that woman. Just because Jesus prevented the stoning does not mean that He thought adultery was not a sin. He saved her out of love and in order to EDUCATE the woman so that she could REPENT and leave her sinful life for a sacred one. It is the same for gay people. GOD DOES NOT WANT YOU DEAD. HE LOVES YOU VERY MUCH. However, He wants you to LIVE A LIFE BASED ON HIS TEACHINGS and MAKE SACRIFICES FOR HIS SAKE. It is not just gay people who are suffering for the kingdom of God. Straight people must also sacrifice their desire to have sex before marriage and outside marriage (even if they oh-so-want-it) in order to become more like Christ, as we are called to do as Christians. Thus I have the utmost respect for homosexual and straight people who can control and sacrifice their earthly yearnings so that they may serve as living proof that God has changed their lives. Those people have it hardest and I am proud of them. Keep fighting the good fight!

Rick's comment: Hi Sam, thanks for giving your opinions, even though they are generally wrong. I'm hoping that in 2014, instead of parroting what someone told you the Bible means, you will accept your responsibility to read and study the Bible for yourself, in context.

Do you know anything about the historical context of ancient Corinth? In order to understand what Paul meant in 1 Cor 6:9, don't you think it's important to know the cultural, historical and religious context that Paul addressed? 2 Timothy 2:15 is very important. May I encourage you to memorize it and then obey it every time you read your Bible?

"Strongly believing" something is not an argument; it is an overused rhetorical device. Many thanks.

Jan 27, 2014
My Own Interpretation
by: Sam

Actually, I do read the Bible on my own and have read it several times, so thanks very much for the (unfortunately wrong) assumption. Those words are not from someone else. They are from MY OWN INTERPRETATION. Please stop promoting sin and believing/reading only what you like to hear because they fit your lifestyle. That is not what the Christian life is about. Hopefully you will accept YOUR responsibility to do as the scripture says and strive to please God by repenting your sins before you tell me to go home and read the Bible. You can keep 2 Timothy 2:15 to yourself as it seems that you are the one who cannot handle the word of truth.

That will be the end of the debate from my side because this discussion has proven to be quite meaningless. Good day.

Rick's comment: Hi Sam, "Are ye also yet without understanding?" Matthew 15:16, old King James Version

1. You ripped verses out of their biblical cultural doctrinal historical and religious context, specifically Romans 1:26-27 and 1 Cor 6:9.

2. You put your own spin, your own interpretation on the verses, ignoring the context.

3. You misapplied the out of context verses, as if they were talking about gays and lesbians.

4. You made false accusations against us, our integrity and our lifestyle when you have no idea how we live.

It is time to grow up spiritually, stop being lazy, start being honest and read, memorize and obey 2 Timothy 2:15.

Apr 02, 2014
GOD condemns homosexuals
by: Prophet

Read humans !
Lev. 18, 22
I Cor 6, 9 11
Lev. 20, 13
Rom. 1, 26 27
Gen. 19, 4 11

Rick's comment: Hello fake prophet. Just for the record, you are not in any way a prophet, LOL, not.even.close. I'm just sayin'

For anyone interested in what those verses mean, in context, look on the NavBar under, What The Bible Says. Many thanks.

Apr 30, 2014
homosexuality and lesbinism
by: humanitirian

my dearest brothers and sisters ,i first would like to greet you and tell you that i am a christian and have had the experience of meeting people of all races and religions and even sexual choices and what i have found is that all of humanity have sinned and come short,but the unlined fact is that we were all born in sin ,and because of that people have what is called determanisms with will determine how a person thinks and untimately act.there are many veribals why a person beleives like beleives if a person beleive he is gay than that makes him gay,no right but gay by virtue of his belief,proverbs 23:7 so as a man think in his heart,so is he.that leads me to my next point which is we all humanity have an obligation to do something since it wasnt our fault how we were born,that is to be born again,simply being saved according to romans 10;9,10 what this inclued is once you are born again you must do romans 12;1-2 dont conform to the world ,but be transformed by the renewing of your mind to be able to think the way god wants you to think .now concider the fact that god is a god of purpose and he do things by design and with purpose .god is a god of growth and increase that is his nature ,no one can change that ,genesis8:22 as long as the earth stands seed time and harvest shell never cese,so god call some things an abomination not because was the worse sin in the world ,but because the potenial for growth is not there so its useless,i beleive that god is not so concern about same sex as much as he is about a person that is doing the thing and becoming a crusader for it ,you see all of us has to fight the good fight of faith in every area of our life,so the bible say work out your salvation not work for your salvation. i hope to have shed some light on the subject,the true answer is still love.

Rick's comment: LOL, the correct answer is, No, Romans 1:27 does not condemn or describe gays.

May 08, 2014
by: Mark Lyon

I became dumber for having read that.

You are a true piece of work.

Jun 20, 2014
Rick, Idk if this helps but I've read it several times.
by: Jay

Matthew 19:11, also if you notice it's never been said once in the bible homosexuality is wrong, in fact if it was I'm sure jesus would have said something, I'm a nondenom-inational christian. And I don't appreciate people who bash others. I believe salvation was given to us, and when we judge others we forget about salvation.

Jun 21, 2014
by: Brandon

So I'm a little confused. Maybe I read thru it too fast. But as I understand it, you say that the main focus of Romans 1 is to show that all have sinned. Therefore, it is ultimately spiritual audultrey he is addressing? If that's your point then so far I agree! Great point and good deciphering the word in its context.

However, this brings up in another question: if Paul is using homosexuality as an example of to show how everyone has sinned then would this not still show homosexuality to be a sin? It seems as if you uncovered the over all meaning of Romans 1. And again I agree. This is not a chapter about homosexuality. however is still unavoidably addresses homosexuality - am I missing something?

Rick's comment: Hi Brandon - Yes, you are missing something quite important. Paul never uses homosexuality (two gay guys or two gay gals falling in love and spending their lives together) as an example of how people sin.

Instead, Paul uses shrine prostitution, using sex to worship the fertility goddess, as an example of sin. That is an enormous difference. The truth about Romans 1.

Jul 21, 2014
In Context
by: Kathryn

Hi Rick, Very interesting that you seem to feel that you are the only person who can interpret the Bible "in context". This somewhat condescending toward others don't you think? You mentioned that there were a few early Christians who believed as you do and that is correct but hardly evidence that they (or you) are interpreting correctly. As for context, the passage in question has several important words worth looking at, but for our examination we'll look at the words “natural function” ("natural use," KJV). Let's take a look at how different Bibles translate the Greek into English.

"natural function"--NASB
"natural relations"--ESV, NIV, RSV
"natural use"--ASV, Darby, GNT, KJV, NKJV, YLT
"natural sexual function"--ISV
"natural intercourse"--NRSV

We are not talking about a person's alleged natural sexual orientation. Instead, we are talking about "natural function," natural use. If the text only said "natural" and not "natural function/use," then your argument might be stronger. But, this text doesn't help your argument. If the word "natural" in this context means "natural sexual orientation," then why does Paul add the word "function" and not something like "preference" (Rom. 12:9, NASB) or "choice" (Rom. 9:11) or "inclination" (1 Cor. 11:16) or "desire" (Rom. 1:27; 10:1)?

Furthermore, verse 27 says that the "men abandoned the natural function of the woman." By definition, "men" and "woman" are gender specific words. What is the man's natural function of the woman? Sex! Is Paul saying the natural function of the man with the woman is really about natural desire of men with men? That would be ridiculous. Instead, the words are used in the context of sexual activity--a man's natural function with the woman (v. 27). "Function" and "use" here are not about preference but about sex.

Rick's comment: Hi Kathryn - I do address your against nature argument on my against nature page and I address other aspects of Romans 1 on my Gay Christian FAQ page. Hope this is helpful Kathryn.

Jul 22, 2014
In Context
by: Kathryn

Hi Rick, I think you misread my posting. You said you addressed my "against nature" issue but my post referred to natural "use" not "against nature" and the link you provided did not touch on natural use at all. When Paul addresses men abandoning the natural USE of women he went on to say that these men committed shameful ACTS with one another - it was the act that was shameful and there is no distinction drawn regarding whether or not the relationship was committed because it is the acts that he is referring to. I hope this makes my statements more clear for you. Kathryn

Rick's comment: Hi Kathryn - "natural use" vs. against nature is the argument the anti-gay crowd makes when attempting to explain Romans 1. My point is that Paul's argument has nothing to do with lesbians and gay men. In plainer words, Paul is not arguing, as you suggest, that heterosexual sex in marriage is good and lesbian and gay sex is bad.

Paul's argument has everything to do with the moral - spiritual uncleanness - akatharsian, of idolatry and idolaters. Paul sets up his argument and his readers by using a Greek word for uncleanness (akatharsian), in Romans 1:24, that everyone in the first century, Gentile or Jew, understood was associated with idolatry.

Down the centuries, many conservative Christian commentators have also recognized that akatharsian describes uncleanness associated with idolatry. That is not a gay viewpoint - it is the commonly understood view of ancient Jews and Christians for 2000 years.

To read into Romans 1:26-27, that Paul intended to proscribe lesbian unions and gay unions as not being natural function, is to ignore Paul's argument about idolatry. Hope this is helpful Kathryn. Context, context, context.

Sep 02, 2014
Thank You
by: Craig

Thank you very much for this page and all of your research on what the bible really says on the matter. We will never get all the haters to open their minds to the full contexts of what is really being said. Honestly, I don't care. I am a gay Christian and I know in my heart that God loves me very much and made me exactly the way I am. Also, I love verse in Matthew 19:11-12 when Jesus speaks of born eunuchs. That says it all!

Rick's comment: Hi Craig - Thanks for letting me know this website is a blessing to you. Much appreciated!

If you're a gay Christian, does God still love you?

Oct 09, 2014
Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts
by: Jeffrey L. Tucker

Romans 1:26-27 is self explanatory because it's in our own language English whether first or second language so it has nothing to do with interpretation. Interpretation deals with translating foreign languages (ancient or modern),figurative language use in prophetic symbolism in dreams,visions,and revelations, also parables,and riddles in a language a person speaks,read,or write whether first or second language. Anytime you read a written text in a language a person can read it's about comprehension not interpretation.

Apostle Paul in this text of scripture is talking about the profaneness, perversion, debaseness, and vileness of men and women who change the glory of God to images of creatures. So God gave them over to their vileness, who left the natural use of the opposite sex to the unnatural use of the same sex, and recompense of their error. It's understood without saying that God condemns all vileness, unnaturalness, and error which is against His Holiness, Righteousness, Truth & Just Pure Being. "But God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

Rick's comment: Hi Jeffrey - as long as all of us agree to IGNORE CONTEXT, then Yes, of course, you are absolutely right. Three questions for Jeffrey.

1. What happens when you get to the judgment seat of Christ and Jesus asks: Why did you disobey 2 Timothy 2:15?

2. Do you know that ignorance is NOT the fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23?

3. Do you know that thoughtful Christians acquaint themselves with the biblical, cultural, historical, linguistic and religious context of the Bible, Nehemiah 8:8?

What must I do to be saved?

Nov 26, 2014
Are you insane?
by: ND

Sorry for the title, but I can't think of anything else other than that, but seriously? It literally says "And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their LUST one toward another, men with men, working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense for their error which was meet."

Meaning yes Romans 1:26-27 does condemn homosexuality very clearly, this is as foolish as saying Eunuchs are gay...They are castrated males or females!! Sexual organs taken out of their body, taking away their potential to feel lust!

Rick's comment: Hi ND - as long as all of us agree to IGNORE CONTEXT, then Yes, of course, you are absolutely right. LOL - Don't you ever tire of being ignorant? Are you ever ashamed of yourself for ignoring and disobeying 2 Timothy 2:15? Anyone, anyone? Bueller?

What must I do to be saved?

Jan 05, 2015
by: ONE

I'm simply giving a comment so kindly refrain from blasting me of how ignorant I am of not being a 'bible scholar' of your approval. The website reveals the motive and heart of the writer more than he can ever imagine. Nonetheless, this is an opinion given out to someone who happens to stumble on this site who may need to hear it in 2015.

It is true that we are not under the Law of the old testament, yet God has placed the law in our hearts and no men will eventually teach another as we enter into the stature of the perfect man. It is error to make 'context' absolute and deliberately ignore the rest of the bible, a godly conscience and supernatural revelation from the Holy Spirit in order to justify homosexuality as but a anomaly that happen in human nature.

The truth of the matter is that homosexuality is bred out of inherited lawless nature and has nothing to do with 'two same-sex couple falling in love and becoming committed to each other'. It's in reality a culture of lust, multiple sexual partners, ponography,fornication and perversion.Let them try to be virgins and remain with same partner for life then we can make it an issue. The real issue is fornication.

Rick's comment: Wow, so full of yourself and your opinions yet you haven't enough courage to use your real name. Why am I not surprised? Speaking of fornication, many heterosexual self-identified born again Christians live lives full of lust.

Isn't it all about sex for you gays and lesbians?

There is no gay christian. It's a disease of the soul. Let the flesh be crucified by resting in God. Being gay is not an identity. All Christians are new creations and Paul says they are not mere humans, literally. Submit to God and pray to Him to give you your gay soul-mate if He wills, and you are convinced. If you venture on your own, it's the boundless affection driving you and not God's will. Being homosexual is not wrong or right. It is an attribute of the polluted human blood that we all have inherited. Allow the blood of God to flow in your soul. Homosexuality will not be an issue. I'm not saying don't pursue a homosexual lifestyle but let God make the choice for you.

Jan 12, 2015
God's Word is direct and to the point!
by: Preston Gravely

What the apostle Paul wrote to the Roman believers, recorded in the first chapter, is plain and vivid enough to see that he was condemning this abominable behavior. But this is the character of today, when folks who claim to know and believe God's Word, the Bible, are doing all they can to change its meaning. I could never understand you people who will not accept what is written, except only that you are not under the inspiration of God's Holy Spirit, but are guided by the enemy of men's souls. Homomsexuality is wrong, and like all sin not repented of and forgiven by God will come under His judgment. There is evidence nowadays that His judgment is presently in operation concerning this perversion of his gift of sex...the AIDS virus, to name one.

Rick's comment: Hi Preston - thanks for sharing your views with us. Do you believe it is important to read the Bible in context, 2 Timothy 2:15? Early Christians understood Paul to be talking about shrine prostitutes and shrine prostitution in Romans 1. What information do you have which contradicts their belief?

Your reference to AIDS indicates you are unaware that most of the people who have AIDS today are heterosexuals, NOT gays and lesbians. As a thoughtful Christian, I know that you are honest enough to admit how much this truth undermines your argument that AIDS is God's judgment on gays. All the best to you Preston.

Feb 18, 2015
Thank you
by: Bea

Thank you for your time truly studying the Bible in its historical, biblical (because people manage to ignore even biblical context somehow) and cultural context, Rick. This has been a blessing, and will be of much use to me, as a transgender and lesbian Christian myself.

It's very worrying to me that so many people come to condemn you without reading what you said at all, as if they have a right to speak of the Bible yet you don't!

I only ask that you do try to be less condescending. While you aren't wrong in saying they should read what you said and stop ignoring the context, that doesn't necessarily mean they don't actually study the Bible quite a bit, but rather that they neglected parts of it in their study.

It's what happened to the pharisees in Jesus's times, for example. You could never claim a pharisee hadn't studied enough, yet they didn't truly understand many points of the law. Not all pharisees that came to question Jesus were ill-intentioned, either.

Also please do try not to be personally mean to those who oppose you, but rather counter their arguments with biblical reason, and point out they're lacking in their understanding of context if it is the case. Anything else tends to sound mean and might turn away people from the truth due to anger at you, even if you don't have that intention yourself.

Is 6:9-10 - 9 He said, "Go and tell this people:

"‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding;
be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’
10 Make the heart of this people calloused;
make their ears dull
and close their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts,
and turn and be healed."

No matter what happens, be sure to forgive and love them, as Jesus forgave those who condemned him, for they knew not what they were truly doing.

Rick's comment: Hi Bea - Thanks for the input. I'm glad the website is a blessing to you. I take my cue from Jesus in Matthew 23, as far as how I respond to some of the crazy comments.

Feb 27, 2015
The behavior, the sin...YES
by: Colleen

I think it's very clear that homosexuality is not natural and it is a sin along with pedophiles, rapist, fornication, beastiality and all other sexual immorality. I believe the biggest lie Satan has convinced society that homosexuals were born that way, therefore they will never repent of it because they truly believe it is not a sin. That is a lie from the pit of HELL. It is a choice, a feeling, a thought, and then one takes action. Most homosexuals I know personally, were either molested as a child, parent was abusive, or the biggest joke I heard from a co-worker that for her homosexuality was a fad (shaking my head) and yet she's a Christian.

Homosexuals are changing scripture to fit their lifestyle, the bible says do not add or delete.

Not sure how you can not believe that God does not condemn homosexuality, not the person but the behavior and unless you repent and sin no more, it's not a good thing. We all sin, but most will repent and try to do better, but to outright continue to live in sin and be full of pride and vain, that's not good. Romans 1:18-32.

Rick's comment: Hi Colleen - aren't you sweet, comparing us to pedophiles, rapists and folks who have sex with animals? If I was a betting man, I would bet that you haven't spent 30 minutes studying Romans 1 yet your pride compels you to believe you know more about its meaning than those of us who study the Bible. Strange, very strange.

May 11, 2015
Do you believe God makes mistakes?
by: Friend

Do you think God makes mistakes or does he have it all planed out. When most people are born they have either have xx chromosomes (female) or xy chromosomes (male). What if you are born with xxy chromosomes, this is called Klinefelter Syndrome. What are you to do if you have both. So I ask again does God make mistakes or did he plan it out this way.

Rick's comment: Hi Friend - No, God never makes mistakes - you are not a mistake and I am not a mistake. It helps to remember that we live in a fallen world, Genesis 3:1-24. All human beings are physically descended from Adam and Eve.

From Adam, we inherited our sin nature, Romans 5:12, so we struggle with sin and self-will and other results of the fall. In addition, all creation is fallen and will only be restored when God makes all things new, Romans 8:22-23, Revelation 21:1-5.

God made evil to be the result of sin - the fall of Adam has inexorable consequences, even six thousand years later, so babies are sometimes born with inherited condition or birth defects or a predisposition toward certain diseases. In some cases, like Klinefelters Syndrome, doctors believe that condition is not inherited but is the result of random events, called nondisjunction.

In all situations, God has made provision for us and God will eventually make right all of the problems caused by Adam's sin and by us inheriting Adam's fallen nature. God's provision starts with the glorious gospel of Christ. That doesn't mean that God will fix everything down here. He will not but for those of us who are saved, all will be made right in heaven.

When we believe the gospel, God saves us and puts us into the family of God. One of these days, in heaven, God will make sure everything gets sorted - that is how God deals with many of the problems which resulted from the fall of Adam.

Jul 02, 2015
Thank You
by: Asa

Hi. I just want to say thank you. I've just recently come out, and my mother is asking me to read scripture and let God speak to me about how immoral my "lifestyle" is. She's been throwing the bible at me, and it's really turning me off from Christianity. She gave me Romans 1 to read, and I was so distraught. I thought that God hated me. Your article showed me otherwise. I needed this. You've uplifted my spirit. This site is a godsend, and now I can begin trying to reconcile my faith and my sexuality.

Rick's comment: Hi Asa - I'm glad my website is helpful to you. There is no reason to back off from being a biblical disciple of Jesus. He has many gay and lesbian disciples. As you explore this website, I believe you will find many helpful pages. God bless you Asa!

Jul 02, 2015
by: Joseph

The only reference you fail to make is the actual Word of God, the Bible, the words, inspired and guided by God is as follows:
Romans 1:26-27 "For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error."

Some have tried to interpret this as going against their "nature" to be homosexual is also a sin, but that is not what is being said and was not the contemporary understanding at that time, at that time homosexual behavior was never considered someone's true nature.

And since the Bible needs to be taken in context as is argued here, then the rest of the Bible must be referenced for that context, such as: Leviticus 18:22 "If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them."

There are no passages in the Bible that condone or justify homosexual behavior. And trying to rationalize the passages that warn against it, condemn it and call it a sin is a sin of selfish hubris, by trying to use linguistic and semantic twists to refute the plain meaning of the Word of God to justify sin rather than allow God to enter the heart and cleanse the soul, to truly be forgiven and born again as a child of God as His Son shed his blood for on the cross.

I pray that you stop trying to justify following sinful desires by using secular interpretations of the Bible and that you allow God to enter your heart. I pray that God grants me the grace to continue to love the sinner, but detest the sin.

Rick's comment: Hi Joseph - I did fail to quote the verses at the beginning of the article so I just added them in. Thanks for reminding me! I believe I also provided other scripture references and text links to additional information. Did you look up the other verses I referenced? Did you visit the text links to get additional information?

Perhaps the problem may be that you approach the text with anti-gay presuppositions which you read into the text and so, are not interested in information which contradicts your views.

What is Romans 1 about?

Jul 04, 2015
by: John Muldrow

Homosexuality is a sin. Yes, I know that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). But that does not give one freedom to sin once he or she comes into the knowledge of Jesus Christ (James 4:17). Thus, I believe and know that Paul is talking about homosexuals in Rom. 1:26-27 especially since he mentioned "reprobate mind, fornication, without natural affection, and pleasure in verses 28-32. God's Word is as relevant today as was yesterday, especially Lev. 18:22; Lev. 20:13; I Cor. 6:9-11; I Tim. 1:10; I Cor. 7:2; Jude 1:7 and Mark 10:6-9). By the way, the Word of God states that a [man] should cleave to his [wife] not marriage partner or significant other. Compelled by the Word! John

Rick's comment: Hi John - When you get to heaven you are going to meet first and second century Christians who disagree with you about the meaning of Roman 1 and the other clobber verses you listed. They were faithful Christians and greatly used by God. They loved God and God loved them.

If you don't want to wait till you get to heaven to find out what they knew, that you don't know yet, please click any link on the NavBar under, What The Bible Says, and start educating yourself. Here's a great place to start, my Romans page.

Jul 04, 2015
by: Sam Okero Elijah

For what reason do people have sex? Why did God create Eve for Adam? Why didn't He create same sex alone?

Rick's comment: Hi Sam - I'll answer your questions.

For what reason do people have sex? - People have sex for fun and pleasure and to release the sexual tension that builds in the human body when it is deprived of sex. People have sex to reproduce. People also have sex to communicate their love in an emotional, physical and spiritual way.

Why did God create Eve for Adam? Adam was lonely, Genesis 1:18-23 and none of the animals God created was a suitable help meet for Adam.

Why didn't He create same sex alone? If God had originally created Adam and Steve, there would have been no possibility of reproduction and it would have been impossible to obey the command, Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth.

Let's think about this together by answering some basic questions.

1. Does God intend everyone to get married or does God affirm celibacy for some people, 1 Cor 7:1-9?

Because information about celibacy is not found in Genesis 2, does that mean celibacy is not an option even though God gives some people the gift of celibacy? Is it possible that God does not endorse your absolutist beliefs?

2. Does God intend sex only for procreation, never for pleasure, never for physical release, never as a way of bonding in love, emotionally and physically and psychologically and spiritually?

3. If the only purpose for marriage is to have children, can heterosexuals who are barren, infertile, sterile or too old to reproduce still get married?

In plainer words, will you argue that gays cannot get married because they cannot reproduce and then turn around and say, But barren, infertile, sterile or too old to reproduce heterosexuals can still get married even though they also cannot reproduce?

4. Do you agree that your views are inconsistent, making it appear that really, you just want to keep gays from getting married but you would never apply your logic about reproduction to heterosexuals?

Jul 09, 2015
Bible is mostly common sense.
by: Tom Bradford

The passage is not referring to a person's alleged natural sexual orientation. If the text only said "natural" and not "natural function/use," then the homosexuals' argument might be stronger. But the text doesn't help them.

If the word "natural" in this context means "natural sexual orientation" then why does Paul add the word "function" and not something like "preference" (Rom. 12:9, NASB), or "choice" (Rom. 9:11), or "inclination" (1 Cor. 11:16), or "desire" (Rom. 1:27; 10:1)?

Further, verse 27 says that the "men abandoned the natural function of the woman." By definition, "men" and "woman" are gender specific words.

What is the man's natural function of the woman? Sex! Is Paul saying the natural function of the man with the woman is really about natural desire of men with men? That would be ridiculous. Instead, the words are used in the context of sexual activity - a man's natural function with the woman (v. 27). "Function" and "use" here are not about preference, but about sex.

Rick's comment: Hi Tom - Alleged natural sexual orientation? You have ignored Paul's idolatry argument and his use of the Greek word, akatharsian, indicating the uncleanness of idolatry, in 1:24. There is more to Romans 1 than natural vs. natural function.

Romans 1

Dec 02, 2015
Renew your mind
by: Haile

I strongly believe that Romans 1 vs 26-27 is against homosexuality. .....And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another, men with men, working that which is unseemly....

Rick's comment: Hi Haile - Strongly believing something is not an argument based on facts. It is an appeal to emotion and only persuades people who base their conclusions on emotions instead of facts.

it leaving women...and looking for men for their lust...Natural was one man to one they are leaving each other and looking for something unnatural.

Rick's comment: You are drawing conclusions based on your opinions, instead of studying and basing your opinions on facts.

By the way, All our inclinations are not necessarily correct...they might source from our sinful nature which we inherited from Adam and Eve. If some one is born again...He is a new creation, Everything about his old identity is passed away. A new revelation of life and new life style. This implies the individual has to follow and practice the life principles of the one who has made him new...Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ thought his disciples to change from inside to outside...He said committing a sin starts deep in the heart or the seed of sin is "thought". So individuals who are filled with lust and other unnatural or UNGODLY thoughts are (including me) leading their life wrongly and hence should return and repent.

God loves the no want us to be looser...but totally hates our bad ideas and is a truth. So Homosexuality is against the original and genuine God's design of Sexuality.

Rick's comment: It sounds like you are a new Christian or a young Christian. I encourage you to educate yourself by using our FREE online Bible studies.

Jan 07, 2016
Context - Context, what about Content?
by: John H

The argument above has been given many times that the context of Romans 1 is idolatry not gay behavior, and therefore gay behavior is not condemned.

I ask a simple question. If I say:

"Sin 1 is my topic; Sin 1 is very bad. Those who commit sin 1 are so depraved that I have given them over to Sin 2 as well."

Does anyone actually believe that the statement above shows approval of Sin 2? I think not.

Rick's comment: Hi John - Context includes content. Context is a plea to read content as it was understood by the original hearers and readers. That is so basic I assumed that everyone would know that.

I encourage more reading and study for you, beginning at the links and content on this page: What does the content of Romans 1 mean?

Feb 02, 2016
As An Agnostic Pansexual
by: Lana T.

I just think I'll post my opinion here. I'll gladly take any objections, and really take the time to consider them. However, I just want to say this.

I personally believe that being any sexuality that isn't straight, or any gender you aren't biologically fixed to is not necessarily a sin. I believe that we are definitely born this way, and god does not condemn any form of love between two human beings, and that the LGBT+ community shouldn't be judged by mere humans, but GOD himself.

However, I may be completely wrong. Or right. Everyone who has a certain view/opinion on the subject matter could definitely be wrong. Or right. I believe that there is no way of truly knowing for a fact that our firm, heartfelt beliefs are 100% fact. I accept that I, as well as any other person, could be completely wrong. Human perception is definitely flawed, and we cannot know everything, thus there's always the looming chance that we are wrong.

I hope people keep that in mind. WE CAN BE WRONG. All of us. We can be wrong even about human existence itself, or things we find to be commonplace. You may have strong belief, faith, and everything in between, but even though we have that, one day, perhaps one that started ordinary, or the day you die, we may be proven wrong. The normality around us could be stripped away from us and leave us bewildered and not knowing what to do.

Not saying it's bad to have opinions. It's good to have an open mind and keep that possibility in mind.

I cannot truthfully say I'm a Christian who believes in god. I cannot truthfully say I am an Atheist who believes in science. What I can say is that I believe that each side has an equal chance of being correct. I try to see this for most arguments. I think that if people could see that, arguments wouldn't be so overbearing.

But is only a mere belief. We all have them. It shouldn't be too big of an issue, in my opinion.

Rick's comment: Hi Lana - Thanks for exploring my website.

Can you pass the Good Person Test?

Mar 12, 2016
Romans 1
by: Billy

I have read a lot of the older posts and think it is really cool that there is so much intelligent discussion about this vital topic. The irony for me is that the pro-gay position seems to be appealing to the context in the passage of Romans 1.

In this passage the context is Paul talking about obvious truths. Creation screams out that there is a God. Paul goes on to say that it is just as obvious how a man and woman were created to interact. Homosexuality goes against what is made obvious by anatomy. Coming to another conclusion mocks the only accurate reading of the passage.

Wishing that homosexuality were not a sin does not make it so. I do not judge homosexuals, too big of a plank in my own eye. God will judge all of us. For the pro-gay crowd I hope for your benefit test I am wrong, but I am pretty sure the passage can only be seen in the context of obvious truths.

Rick's comment: Hi Billy - Thanks for commenting. I believe you are ignoring some not so obvious truths.

1. Early Christians understood Paul in Romans 1 to be using shrine prostitution as an illustration of idolatry, not dissing gays. That Aristides, a native Greek speaker understood it that way within 70 years of when Paul wrote it carries evidentiary weight.

Aristides on Romans 1.

2. Justin Martyr also understood Romans 1 as describing shrine prostitution, within 100 years of Paul.

Justin Martyr's testimony.

3. Dr. Robert Gagnon, an Ivy Leage educated scholar and Professor at Houston Baptist University, is the leading anti-gay evangelical scholar alive today. He has written more anti-gay books and papers than anyone else yet as seen in the above link, in a round-about way, he agrees with us about the context of Romans 1.

4. The precise word Paul used, akatharsian, indicates that he had in mind, shrine prostitution, not gays and lesbians.

These sometimes not so obvious truths must impact the way we understand and exegete Romans 1. Hope this is helpful in your studies.

Apr 24, 2016
Although I Support Gay Rights
by: Nick

Although I support gay rights, it's very silly for gays to try to redefine the Bible. There is no other way you can interpret Romans 1 24-32.

I am not a Christian but an ex-Christian. I get baffled by how gays want to defend the Bible for the sake of wanting to be "gay-Christians". Those scriptures specifically speak about gays being turned over and oblivious to what the Bible says. They congratulate and "approve"people who come out. Just like it says.

Who ever wrote this was clever. Of course it speaks on other sins as well. I just can't do anything but shake my head in disbelief every time a gay Christian tries to deny these scriptures and come up with excuses and false claims that it was mistranslated. If that's the case, then how do they know if the entire thing was not mistranslated.

The bible is not a reliable source if you wanna claim its mistranslated. Stop defending the Bible. Stop trying to reword it to get gays to join an outdated religion.

Rick's comment: Hi Nick - "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." - 1 Corinthians 2:14

Apr 26, 2016
A few questions for consideration
by: D Churn

Hi Rick, From reading your original response and subsequent posts, I note you are interested in dialoguing on the basis of the context, culture, etc. of given passages. I have a few questions for your consideration.

1. Do you believe we are living in the "days of Noah & Lot"? (Matt 24:37-39, Luke 17:28-30, respectively) If so, how were "those days" characterized?

Rick's comment: Hi D Churn - Yes, in a general sense, we seem to be in the last days. Those days will be characterized by normal life, people getting married and living life as if the Lord will never return.

The days of Noah and Lot are described in Genesis chapters 6 to 20. Genesis does not describe gays and lesbians. Moses describes pagan idolaters, some of whom used sex to worship their false gods.

2. Are the "idolatrous" sexual practices you identify in Romans 1 the same "Lust of the flesh" Paul separately identies in Galatians 5:19-21 and "vanity of the mind" of Ephesians 4:19?

Rick's comment: Yes, Paul evangelized the pagans in Ephesus, many of whom worshiped at the Temple of Artemis. In his ministry to Galatia, Paul evangelized and won to Christ, many of the pagans who formerly worshiped the mother goddess.

Rick's comment: Why is Cybele vital to understanding Romans?

3. While God is a "God of love", does Revelation 21:8 indicate there will be a final judgement of those who continue in sin?

Thank you for your consideration.

Rick's comment: Oh Yes, that is going to happen.

"But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." Revelation 21:8

Keep in mind however that, while some anti-gay folks try to include saved gays and lesbians with the lost folks in that verse, God does not include us with those folks who never received the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior from sin, hell and the wrath of God.

May 17, 2016
Hats Off
by: Steven

Hello Rick, I've seen your replies to unending questions from all over. First I would appreciate your patience in answering those questions without ignoring. I have a few questions, I believe you can answer them with the same patience.

Before I start let me tell you that we love you and respect you as a human and there is no doubt about that. Please don't take any question as an insult or some kind of hate.

Firstly I would like to know any example of gay couples in the Bible who would be shown in good faith towards God.

Rick's comment: Hi Steven - Thanks for the good questions. I believe David and Crown Prince Jonathan were a partnered gay couple, extolled by the Holy Spirit in holy scripture with glowing descriptions of their enduring love and faithfulness to God and to each other.

AND the Holy Spirit contrasts the affectionate happy loving Jonathan and David relationship with the angry and sour relationship between Jonathan and King Saul and David and King Saul and the contentious uneasy relationship between David and Princess Michal.

Even a cursory reading of this great male-male love story in 1 Samuel indicates the favor of God upon the Jonathan-David partnership while depicting the King Saul-David relationship and the David-Princess Michal marriage as unhappy and fraught with problems.

There is at least one other male-male relationship in the Bible which appears to be a loving partnership which was blessed by our Lord Jesus Christ. That is the centurion and his beloved in Matthew 8 and Luke 7.

Next I would also understand a basic thing that you've been struggling to make others understand. To read the Bible in context. I am from India and I'm 35 and I've never read about Cybele before. And I can bet on this there would be only a handful Indian christians who would ever know about Cybele even in this age of Internet and Google.

Forgive us for the ignorance just around 50 years ago I can guarantee that none of my father's generation would have ever known about Cybele but I can proudly say that their generation and even us have read the Bible countless times. I am still puzzled to understand how a God who is infinitely wise expect that I or anyone would know about Cybele before reading The Epistle to Romans.

Because Cybele worship was never discussed in the Bible in full context if not for this age of Internet I believe it would be lost forever. So why didn't God put that in the Bible itself so that believers from the ends of the earth would easily know the "CONTEXT" and not get confused about Paul's intentions.

Rick's comment: My older sister asked me the same question. I find myself in the same situation you are in. I am not a native speaker of Hebrew or Greek. I am from the United States and am 65 years old.

I grew up reading the Bible but I didn't study history to learn about Cybele and the biblical cultural doctrinal historical and religious context of Romans until I was in my 50s.

The Bible is not a simple book. Reading the Bible is not like reading a novel. Reading the Bible with understanding requires study and a knowledge of history, especially history linked to accounts and events mentioned in the Bible. Understanding also requires us to rely on the Holy Spirit to open our hearts to receive His truth, 1 Corinthians 2:12-16.

2 Timothy 2:15 in the Old King James Version tells us: "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

All scripture is given in a particular biblical cultural doctrinal historical linguistic literary and religious context. If we want to understand scripture and apply it to our lives, we must understand how the original hearers understood it. That is our starting point.

Then we seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit to apply scripture to our lives in the twenty first century. All scripture was written to us but all scripture was not written for us to practice.

The Old Testament law of Moses is wonderful but no Christian today obeys OT commands to bring an animal to the tabernacle or temple and offer it as a blood sacrifice. It is written to us to believe but not written to us to practice because Jesus was our ultimate sacrifice.

Also if everything is read in "CONTEXT" I'm sure nothing is applicable to Christians in India as no Epistle is written in our context.

Rick's comment: Every scripture is read in the context in which it was given. We don't read scripture in Indian or American context. Rather, we read scripture in its Old or New Testament context. When we do that, the context is the same for you in India or for me in America.

I seriously doubt that God's intention was to really take the Gospel to ends of the earth along with the innumerable CONTEXTS that we can come up with to assist our interpretations.

Rick's comment: Good point Steven. I recommend reading missionary Don Richardson's book, Peace Child. In that book Don discusses redemptive analogy and how he applied the gospel story of Jesus in a way understandable to a primitive stone age tribe, the Sawi, in New Guinea.

I hope you would answer these with the same patience and understanding as ever. God Bless.

Rick's comment: Steven - it is a blessing to interact with you here. I hope my answers are helpful. Please keep in touch and let me know how the Lord is using you in His service.

May 17, 2016
by: Steven

Hello Rick, thanks again for your prompt reply. Just for my own understanding sake, I would like to know where in the Bible do we have this reference that says that the Bible should be read with historical context and that knowing the history is essential in understanding the full meaning of God's word.

Rick's comment: Hi Steven - There is not a verse which specifically says the Bible should be read in historical context. But reading a book in its context is the way we understand the written word - by factoring in the context.

Did you read the text links I included in my answer to you? They help to explain in greater detail than I have space for here.

I have difficulty in understanding this particular point. Just about 100 years ago, we got the Bible translated into our native language and before that we didn't even have Bible in our language and how can I expect that every person who ever heard the gospel since 2000 years is supposed to know the entire history (not just jewish but of the Europe and Asia) in order to fully understand the word.

Rick's comment: Good question Steven. People do not need to understand the entire history of the Bible in order to get saved. People can understand the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on a cross even if, in their cultural context, no one is ever executed on a cross. People can understand God's amazing love without understanding every bit of New Testament culture and history.

God meets us, convicts us of sin and saves us where we are. But God doesn't leave us where we are after He saves us. Instead, God puts His Holy Spirit in us, to lead us into all truth. Being a Christian is a lifelong process of spiritual growth, always learning more about God, about the Bible, about the context of the Bible.

If God's word is infallible then it must not depend on the historical interpretations as per my understanding because everyone has their own version of history. It should also be complete and should be able to assist to answer every question that a believer might have.

Rick's comment: God's word is inerrant and infallible on every issue it addresses. And God's word is complete, as He intended us to have it. But the Bible doesn't address lots of issues.

There is nothing in the Bible about nuclear energy and why it is good or bad. There is nothing in the Bible about whether we should drive a car or a motorbike.

There is nothing in the Bible which tells us how to choose a dentist or whether it's okay to have cancer surgery.

The only help we should be taking is of the Holy Spirit in understanding and rightly dividing the word. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Rick's comment: I believe that statement is wrong because it excludes factoring in context when we interpret the Bible.

When Paul wrote his letter to the Romans, everyone who read it in the first century AD would have understood that he was describing Cybele and her pagan worshipers.

They would understand that because as inhabitants of Rome, they had personally witnessed the Galli priests of Cybele parading through the streets.

They would understand that because there were five temples honoring Cybele in first century Rome.

They would understand that because Cybele was on Roman coins and other coins circulating in the Roman Empire for two hundred years before the first century and for two hundred years after Jesus and Paul lived.

We are not familiar with that history unless we study it. The more we study, the more we learn, the more we understand the situation Paul addressed when he wrote Romans.

And for the other question regarding the examples of gay couples in the Bible. I am still puzzled on how Jonathan and David's relationship is gay. We all know from the Bible that both David and Jonathan had taken wives and had children proving that they are heterosexual.

Rick's comment: David and Jonathan met in 1 Samuel 17, the chapter which tells us about David killing Goliath. David was a teenager then, around 15 to 17 years old.

Jonathan was the Crown Prince of Israel and was about 10 to 12 years older than David. The Holy Spirit describes their covenant in 1 Samuel 18:1ff. The Crown Prince of Israel and the youngest son of a farmer from Bethlehem make a covenant of love. That is how God describes it in the Bible.

If you read my web pages about David and Jonathan, you will see a relationship which is all about love.

The Jonathan and David relationship lasted about 10 or 15 years BEFORE either of them married a woman. Yes, each man did marry a woman. In David's case he married many women and sired children.

That is where context comes in. David was chosen by God to be King of Israel. As King, he had to produce an heir to succeed him on the throne so he married women. Yet scripture records only his sad lament and loving eulogy for Jonathan, whose love, says David, was better than women.

It seems impossible to read 1 Samuel without concluding that the love of Jonathan's life was David and the love of David's life was Jonathan. David himself makes that clear in 2 Samuel 1:19-27.

If they were really gay as you suggested then why on earth did they still behave as they were heterosexual. From the account of David it also seems to me that he is more aroused by Bathsheba than Jonathan. And in Jonathan's case, even if we assume Jonathan is gay but Saul had not approved of the union with David, he should have sought another man but he seemed content with marrying a woman and have children. This example is wrought with difficulties as there is more evidence that they were not gay than that they are.

And regarding the Centurion, this story is even more troublesome as there is nothing evident here. Just considering the verse where it says, "The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant". Here we see the elders of Jews came to Jesus on the Centurion's request.

Now I would have to say this that the Western world is more accepting about gay relationships but the Jewish world isn't and especially not in the first century. If the centurion was gay, I believe he would be counted as sinner and would not be worthy of any help from a fellow Jew.

Rick's comment: If you'll read the page about the centurion which I linked to in my previous answer, you will discover that Matthew, Luke and the Holy Spirit used a Greek word, pais, to differentiate the centurion's servant from his other servants.

God does nothing by accident. He used a different word so that we would understand that there was a special relationship between the centurion and his beloved servant, who was dear unto him.

But in contrast I can see that they were ready to help this man which suggests that the case is otherwise and that he is largely counted as a gentile but not a sinner. Thanks again for your patience.

May 19, 2016
Church and Christ
by: Steven

Hello Rick, I tried to come to terms to what you said but I'm truly sorry that I cannot come to terms to accept something when I am not 100% sure.

Rick's comment: Hi Steven - Only God can be 100% sure about anything. Are you 100% sure that God allows homosexuality among Christians?

There were many places where it said "it may also mean" or that there were more than one meanings to a word or that we need to review everything in the historical context etc. I would love to do that if the Bible would endorse or command me to do that.

Rick's comment: Steven - you do not apply that standard to decisions you make in your life. The Bible doesn't endorse driving a car or a motorbike or going to the pub or watching TV or listening to music on an iPod or using a computer yet you do those things without the Bible endorsing or commanding you.

I still found no references where it said that the Bible has to be read keeping in view the historical context of the writer and the church to which it was written. Diligent study and rightly dividing the word would still involve using cross references inside the Bible but nowhere does it sound like historical context. As I confirmed earlier it is very hard for me to believe anything other than the Bible itself.

Rick's comment: Historical context is simply understanding when and how and to whom the Bible was originally written. Refusing to factor those facts into your understanding of scripture is unwise.

The Bible commands a blood sacrifice for sins and Leviticus is clear that the animal sacrifice must be brought to the tabernacle and offered there. Yet you do not do that and you never will do that. Why? Because you have considered the historical context - that Leviticus was written to Old Testament Jews who were under the law.

You have factored in additional historical context, that Jesus has died on the cross for our sins, resurrected and ever lives to make intercession for us, therefore, no one on earth needs to offer animal sacrifices for sins now. Let's be real - you DO factor in historical context when you read the Bible.

Talking about history, till date there are numerous scholars and historians who believe that David was not a real king or that there was no real flood during Noah's time. Now I'm sure that you'd not believe these so called historians after reading the Bible.

Rick's comment: An unsaved man who rejects the historicity of Noah's flood and King David is not interpreting scripture in historical context. He is ignoring historical context.

So if you expect me to believe some historian who talks about Cybele or Temple prostitution, I'd rather not believe their history because my Bible didn't talk about it.

Rick's comment: Steven, the Bible does talk about temple prostitution - Lev 17:7, 18:21-22, 20:2, 3, 4, 5, 13, Deu 23:17-18 and many more verses.

Shrine prostitutes

As a christian my life is based on Faith in the word of God and I believe it 100% even if the entire history talks contrary to it.

I am still waiting for a convincing commandment in the Bible regarding the historical context importance when reading the word of God. If there is none, then I dare would not go near it. If there is any I'd also like to know which version of history should I believe as every version of it is conflicting with every other version.

Now coming to Comment Title.

If we truly want to understand why God actually created Man and the Woman and put a special relationship between them and made them that way we need to fully understand God's master plan.

We need to understand that Adam and Eve were a precursor to Christ and Church. So everything God created and ordained would culminate in the union of the church and Christ. I found no other purpose for God creating this relationship and these separate but complimentary bodies and mindsets in men and women except that to teach us about Christ and the church. The entire book of the Song of Songs is dedicated to the loving relationship of Christ and church.

Also if you see Paul's letters to Timothy and Peter's epistles, we find references to the family order where the husband is the head of the family and the wife is to be submitted to the authority and that the children should obey their parents and also references to the purpose of the marriage.

Eph 5:31-33. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."

This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.

However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Rick's comment: The church - also known as Christs bride already contains born again gay men, lesbians, bisexuals and trangender people.

May 19, 2016
Church and Christ, Part 2
by: Steven

Imagine a gay couple where there is only husband and husband. Who would be the head of the family? And how on earth could that relate to Christ and church? And if it is not related then how would that be counted something that God ordained.

Imagine where Paul says that women ought to be silent in the church and if they need to know something they should ask their husbands. If Paul was aware of the fact that some members of that church were lesbians he should at least make a provision for them to learn as well since there is no man in their family.

Rick's comment: After refusing to factor in historical context when you read the Bible, you now insist that Paul should have factored into his writing, some special instruction in case there were lesbians in the church at Corinth? It seems to me your argument is drifting into silliness.

Now a million dollar question.

Imagine as a gay what would someone do based on the conflicting interpretations of the Bible where each party defiantly claims that their version is the right understanding of the scripture?

I believe the answer is "Better to be safe than sorry".

Below is an example for this debate.

In the first case a gay man hears the Gospel and accepts Jesus and repents of his sins. However imagine the man who brought this person to Christ says that being gay is sin and this new convert unaware of the context of Cybele accepts this version and changes his thoughts and asks God for forgiveness of his sins, repents and changes. Even though he is still in constant battle with the old nature he somehow manages to be away from it for the rest of his life.

What would happen to him after he dies? Will Jesus condemn him for not knowing about Cybele or Jonathan or Shrine prostitution and judge him and possibly send him to hell?

In the second case a gay man hears the Gospel and accepts Jesus and repents of his sins. However due to the fact that this extra diligent man who led this person to Christ confirms that being gay is not a sin and encourages him to continue in the same lifestyle after accepting Christ, this new convert gladly obliges and ultimately dies as a gay.

What would happen to him after he dies? Will Jesus gladly accept him?

Imagine if after all these arguments, just for the sake of a debate, that God's actual opinion is that being gay is sin. The second person above would in this case be certainly out of favour with God for not repenting which is actually a sin.

Now considering both these scenarios, which person among the two above would surely make it to Heaven?

Rick's comment: Steven - Getting saved has never had anything to do with whether one is gay or lesbian. Making it to heaven is about receiving Jesus Christ as your Savior. Being gay or lesbian has absolutely nothing to do with going to heaven or not going to heaven.

May 19, 2016
Contradictions :-(
by: Steven

Hello Rick, I see that your statements are contradicting each other. For the answer to your statement regarding homosexuals I am not 100% sure that God allows that.

And for the rest, yes, I do many things which Bible doesn't endorse but the advantage of all other acts is that there is no compulsion for me to do them. I listen to my ipod but if don't have one I don't listen to that. The same way with driving etc. It doesn't make any difference. But the historical context thing is Essential as per your comments which sets it apart from every other thing I do which is what really worries me. I need to do this or I will miss out on something very profound as per your suggestion.

Regarding animal sacrifices in Leviticus. Yes I don't sacrifice animals now because the Bible says so. You are mistaken in saying that I dont care about history. Yes I do care as long as that history comes from Bible. I know Leviticus is for Jews because Bible said so and not because of my knowledge of history from a different source. So you were wrong when you said I don't believe history. I always believe when Bible says that.

But for Cybele I don't see anything in the Bible and I am reluctant to trust something which Bible doesn't endorse.

Lastly about the salvation. You said it has nothing to do with being gay or not. I would accept that if the Bible openly supported and endorsed gay relationships. But to the contrary there are conflicting interpretations about the same. If being gay is sin, it is VERY VERY important that we repent as salvation is a result of accepting our past sins and REPENTING about the same and accepting that Jesus gave Himself for us on the cross. If I dont repent of some sins and continue in them how can I be saved?

You also said that only God can be 100% sure which implies you are not 100% sure as well. In this case why would you still risk by betting on the unknown. Bible says that man dies once and there is judgement after that. There is no second chance. Why should I risk my salvation on something that is so contradicting. As said if I were you I would be rather safe than sorry. Thanks.

Rick's comment: Hi Steven - It was nice chatting with you. I wish you the best.

May 20, 2016
Response to Rick from my comment on April 24, 2016
by: Nick

Rick's comment: Hi Nick - "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." - 1 Corinthians 2:14

Hi, Rick. Anybody can do what you do and use the Bible in their defense. It is rigged to be that way.

My responds to you comes from the Old Testament Book of Jeremiah Chapter 23 verse 16

"16 Thus says the LORD of hosts, "Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to you. They are leading you into futility; They speak a vision of their own imagination, Not from the mouth of the LORD."

Also, I would like to invoke the New Testament Gospel of Matthew Chapter 7 verses 13 thru 15.

"13 Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.
14 But small is the gate and narrow the way that leads to life, and only a few find it.
15 Beware of false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves."

Many people want to be Christians but its very sad that the Bible is very specific that only a select few will enter through its gates. The book of revelations gives this group of people a number of 144,000 (12,000 from each of the 12 tribes). The chances of you or me being in that number is very slim. You might as well get on board and do away with the fairy tale. A harsh fair tale that concludes only 144,000 out of billions of people will make it to heaven. We are all full of sin. Our homosexual desires is what will keep us outside of the gates - it makes sense to me.

Rick's comment: Hi Nick - I'm sorry you view me as a false prophet.

About Matthew 7:13-15, Jesus is warning Jews who lived under the law of Moses, on the Law side of Calvary and who rejected Jesus as their Messiah, that not many of THEM would be saved. He wanted them to understand they cannot reject Jesus as their Messiah and expect to earn heaven by keeping the law of Moses.

We are blessed to live on the Grace side of Calvary. Jesus has, on the cross, already suffered God's wrath against our sins and fully paid for our sins. God the Father has already accepted Jesus' payment as our Substitute and is reconciled to us, 2 Corinthians 5:18-19.

Jesus took all God's wrath against our sins and propitiated (appeased) the wrath of God and also satisfied the justice of God.

Now, if we want to get saved, we must be satisfied with the payment Jesus made for our sins. If Jesus' payment as your Substitute satisfied God's justice, why not let it satisfy your sense of justice and accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior from sin, hell and the wrath of God?

How can I get saved?

About the 144,000 in Revelation, they are God's Jewish witnesses in that terrible time of Jacob's trouble, Jeremiah 30:7, when God judges Israel and the world for rejecting His Son.

Revelation 7:9 assures us that many will be saved.

"After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;"

May 22, 2016
Context of Romans 1:26-27
by: Rick

People who rarely read and study the Bible often accuse gays of twisting scripture and trying to change the meaning of the Bible.

How do we answer that false accusation?

Rick's comment: Every honest Christian admits that all scripture was given in a context and that context helps us determine its meaning. We cannot ignore context and insist the Bible means something today that it didn't mean when originally given.

To understand the Bible, we must factor in the biblical, cultural, doctrinal, historical, linguistic and religious context, for starters. In Romans 1:26-27, the context isn't two gay guys or two gay gals who fall in love and covenant to spend their lives together as a couple.

1. The biblical context is Paul making an argument against idolatry, not homosexuality, not gays and lesbians.

2. The cultural context is the greatest pagan city of the ancient world, with hundreds of temples in which scores of thousands of people worshiped false gods.

3. The doctrinal context is Paul writing about righteousness. God requires righteousness. We lack righteousness, as evidenced by the pagan idolatry Paul cites to support his argument. God provides righteousness as a free gift to all who will receive it.

4. The historical context is mid-first century Rome about 25 years after the resurrection of Christ, where the main problem was idolatrous worship of false gods, not gays, not lesbians, not trangendered people.

5. The linguistic context is that Paul uses the Greek word, akatharsian, in Romans 1:24 and 6:19, a word which for centuries, was used to refer to idolatry and was used in the Greek Septuagint to describe idolatry and shrine prostitution. The Greek word, akatharsian, was never used to mean gay or lesbian or transgendered.

6. The religious context is that Cybele, the Phrygian mother goddess was worshiped by temple prostitutes in five pagan temples in Rome in the mid-first century AD.

Coins with the likeness of Cybele were used throughout the Roman Empire for two hundred years before the New Testament era and two hundred years after the NT era.

Understanding the Bible in context is not:

1. changing the meaning of scripture or
2. twisting scripture or
3. re-interpreting scripture or
4. rewriting history.

Understanding the Bible in context is obeying 2 Timothy 2:15 and "rightly dividing the word of truth."

May 22, 2016
Why did God destroy Sodom?
by: Russell

Why did God destroy the city of Sodom?

Rick's comment: Hi Russell - According to Ezekiel 16:49-50 --

"Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.

And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good."

Why did God destroy Sodom?

Aug 11, 2016
Homosexuality among Christians
by: Lee Martin

To understand how St Paul viewed Homosexuality, Acts 15 help clarify the issue. St Paul went to Jerusalem to meet with St Peter to decide if circumcision was a requirement for Baptism?
Their meeting concluded that there were only four conditions for Baptism. Acts 15, 29.

1. Abstain from things offered to Idols.
2. From blood.
3. From things strangled.
4. From sexual immorality.

Rick's comment: Hi Lee - I am puzzled by your comment. It is factually and doctrinally wrong.

1. Paul went to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders, v. 2.

2. The subject in dispute was: Must Gentiles be circumcised to be saved? v. 1

3. Baptism is never mentioned in Acts 15 so 15:29 is not a list of requirements for baptism.

4. Are you saying that Paul regarded sexual immorality as sin and since in the minds of 21st century Christians, homosexuality is sexual immorality, therefore Paul must have been against homosexuality?

If that is your view, I will say that it is fanciful but untrue. The sexual immorality mentioned in vs. 20 and 29 is related to pollutions of idols, i.e., the fornicating activity of shrine prostitutes.

Biblical context is important. Notice Acts 14:1ff. Paul had been preaching and evangelizing in Iconium, Phrygia. That was the stronghold of the fertility goddess, Cybele.

Cybele worship featured shrine prostitution, as detailed on my Romans starter page. That is the sexual immorality at issue in Acts 15.

Sep 17, 2016
Consider this
by: Charlene

I see that you have convinced yourself, through eisegesis, that God is not against homosexuality because, through eisegesic manipulation of Scripture, marrying it to what you understand of history, you've managed to make it appear to yourself and some others that "God blessed" the inclination and acts of homosexuality, simply because he blessed the individuals of other acts considered wrong. Haven't you overlooked what He did to Sodom and Gomorrah?

I submit that in twisting Scripture and cultures of history together, you've done just what Paul mentions in later verses of Romans 1--invented evil, and given approval to those who do acts grievous to God, knowing God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die.

Consider and publish the arguments and exegesis offered to your preconceived notions and views in the following link, if you're honest enough to dare.

I pray you'll be open enough to do so, and to turn wholeheartedly to God. Many have been saved and delivered when they're honest enough to do so. I know of several such people. Ask God to search your heart and see and reveal HIS truth to you. Psalm 139:23.

I'll be praying for you.

Rick's comment: Hi Charlene - Please consider this. Honest Christians admit that all scripture was given in a context and that context helps us determine its meaning. We cannot ignore context and insist the Bible means something today that it didn't mean when originally given.

To understand the Bible, we must factor in the biblical, cultural, doctrinal, historical, linguistic and religious context, for starters. In Romans 1:26-27, the context isn't two gay guys or two gay gals who fall in love and covenant to spend their lives together as a couple.

1. The biblical context is Paul making an argument against idolatry, not homosexuality, not gays and lesbians.

2. The cultural context is the greatest pagan city of the ancient world, with hundreds of temples in which scores of thousands of people worshiped false gods.

3. The doctrinal context is Paul writing about righteousness. God requires righteousness. We lack righteousness, as evidenced by the pagan idolatry Paul cites to support his argument. God provides righteousness as a free gift to all who will receive it.

4. The historical context is mid-first century Rome about 25 years after the resurrection of Christ, where the main problem was idolatrous worship of false gods, not gays, not lesbians, not trangendered people.

5. The linguistic context is that Paul uses the Greek word, akatharsian, in Romans 1:24 and 6:19, a word which for centuries, was used to refer to idolatry and was used in the Greek Septuagint to describe idolatry and shrine prostitution. The Greek word, akatharsian, was never used to mean gay or lesbian.

6. The religious context is that Cybele, the Phrygian mother goddess was worshiped by temple prostitutes in five pagan temples in Rome in the mid-first century AD.

Coins with the likeness of Cybele were used throughout the Roman Empire for two hundred years before the New Testament era and two hundred years after the NT era.

Understanding the Bible in context and/or disagreeing with you and CARM do not equate to:

1. changing the meaning of scripture or
2. twisting scripture or
3. re-interpreting scripture or
4. rewriting history or
5. eisegesic manipulation.

Understanding the Bible in context is obeying 2 Timothy 2:15 and "rightly dividing the word of truth."

I kindly encourage you to obey 2 Timothy 2:15 - it will revolutionize your spiritual life.

Oct 27, 2016
Homosexuality IS idolatry
by: Anonymous

1. The biblical context is Paul making an argument against idolatry.

We can be correct in saying that the biblical context of Romans chapter 1 is directed at idolatry but I would argue that homosexuality is idolatry.

Idolatry generally meant nature worship in one form or another, like in Egypt the Sun or the nile or other sacred animals, for example Ra the sun god. Wouldn't giving way to one's carnal desires be a form of idolarty? Worshiping any form of nature above God or the word of God?

But there is a better way to explain this according to the Pauls word in this same first chapter of Romans.

"22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet."

As the author of this page pointed out, Paul is saying that all men and woman have faults, so then wouldn't the ultimate form of idoltry be placing our own selfs before God? That is to say worshiping our own self, our own desires, knowledge opinion above God's?

The text plainly refers to homosexuality "men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly" To say it does not would be incorrect.

Rick's comment: Hello whoever you are - Your approach to Romans 1 seems to begin with a preconception which is a misconception - that Paul's argument is really about homosexuality.

In your opinion, homosexuality is idolatry therefore Paul was talking about gays and lesbians all along and therefore, you can ignore the contextual evidence wherever it disagrees with your opinion.

The truth is, Paul's argument from start to finish is about idolatry, not gays and not lesbians. Vs. 26-27 illustrate Paul's argument against idolatry by referencing the illicit pagan sexual worship of female and male shrine prostitutes - not lesbians and not gay men.

For people who grew up in the culture war environment of the Moral Majority, it can be difficult to break free from their "ignore the context" views which rip scripture out of context and allege that the out of context verses mean something they didn't mean in context.

I hope you will do more reading and study. You're not there yet and your argument is unpersuasive since it consists only of your opinion without scriptural facts in context.

Scripture cannot mean NOW
What it did not mean THEN.

If Paul wasn't talking about gays and lesbians in AD 58 when he wrote Romans, then Romans is not talking about lesbians and gays today.

Believing that Paul was talking about shrine prostitution and shrine prostitutes is the ancient Christian and consistent view from the earliest Christian commentators to the modern era.

The view that Paul was talking about homosexuals is the culture war view, about 70 years old.

For further study, I recommend my Romans 1 page with its many links to rock solid historically accurate truthful information.

Jan 10, 2017
Yes, it does and other places, too, but so does your own body
by: aajayunlimited

The whole idea being discussed here is whether it's wrong to engage in homosexuality and still be a Christian. However you slice the loaf, it's wrong. Read from Rom. 1:18-32, completely. Christians believe in 1 God(with Jesus Christ[the only begotten Son of God and His right hand] and the Holy Spirit being very, very connected to God). That 1 God trinity of Beings creates everything natural exactly how it is naturally supposed to operate. God gives man the knowledge to augment nature to serve his purposes as to build homes, to make vehicles, to make use of natural resources, etc., but that's totally different from this subject. God made male and female naturally to be with one another naturally: Adam and Eve and not Adam and Steve. Heterosexuals can have sex in any way that 2 people can and produce children that look like them as a result. Look at the male and female body, then read Rom 1:20. If homosexuality was supposed to be 100% right or alright(like eating sugary foods for example), then why does the body, which the Omnific and Omnicient God created, CONTRADICT this(it's masturbation with a person being the object and not sex; sex stimulates and produces positive results if done the way God wants) and why can everyone not practice it(if everyone were homosexuals then no new kids would be born and disease would kill us off within 130 years or sooner--that's assuming if God let it go on)? What exactly can men and women do that's completely natural with each other other sex or some sex-like act--if the second half of Rom 1 isn't talking about unnatural sex acts? Also, I copy what others have said about Leviticus; I believe it's in 2 places there, but--in one area--it really badmouths it as perverse sex and not justifiable sex.



Rick's comment: Hi aajayunlimited - Comments like yours make me so sad. You have an odd 1980s Moral Majority vibe which is so out of kilter with God's truth as revealed in His inerrant word.

God has a lot more for you than what you believe right now. I know it is difficult to lay aside your preconceptions when you read the Bible but I lovingly encourage you to try.

Read the Bible with your heart open to God's truth. Ask Him to teach you what you have missed in the scriptures to this point. And then, believe what God shows you in context.

Thanks for commenting aajay.

Jan 18, 2017
Not Clear
by: Curious Christian

Hi Rick, I'm just wondering about some of your biblical stances. For example your romans argument is clearly a " Main point". But I'm not understanding the "point". Yes you state in redundance that Paul was speaking about idolatry and the sexual relations that were happening were about worshipping a false god. So your argument is that Paul wasn't speaking about gay/lesbian couples being in a loving commited relationship. What are you seeking? Because your comments are at times condescending and hurtful. An example is one fellow showed respect for your opinion but when he said his you put Lol. Following this example you seem to tell fellow christians to study a lot. I can see you are very passionate about the homosexual topic. The reality is does it matter??. Once saved the old you dies. All things are born new there isnt an identity that is attached to a christian. It simply means to follow Christ and his teachings. You seem to be kind and gentle to people who agree with your views yet when that doesn't happen you flip. Where in Scripture does it condone this?. It doesn't Christ taught/chastised with love. He didn't become arrogant or contrite. He didn't mock or shun people. You can't say you haven't just look at your previous post. You drove fellow christians to anger. To be honest if christians that believe differently are here shouldn't that be a blessing? Perhaps an enlightening moment for you. You seem to be great at pointing out flaws using scripture and stating it as a fact but your not God. Homosexual activity and being gay are different. Engaging in man/man or woman/woman sexual activity= Homosexual activity. Being Gay is being attracted to the same sex but not engaging in immorality. The same applies to heterosexual christians who have sexual relations outside marriage. Why dont heterosexual christians attach the "straight in front of christian? That would be obsurd. God intended for his word to be understood clearly. Meaning even those without the education could know his word. His word didn't change and mean something different to fit today's culture. How many scholars predicted when Christ would return?? These were highly esteemed men with second to none educations but they were wrong. A basic psychological fact is this if you are fighting against something so hard then something is wrong. Something that is natural/right isn't a contradiction. Yes Anyone can be saved there isnt a list of people who cant. However OUR all knowing God wouldnt have said what he said if it werent his will. He doesnt cause confusion. There were Gay people back then. Yet he didn't say anything about gay/lesbian commited couples AT all. The DAVID and JONATHON relationship wasnt homosexual. That would be a contradiction to your very argument. Due to How is that a loving commited relationship. You mention the servant there may have been a special relatonship however it wasnt homosexual. There was a point to that scripture. Jesus who was God in the flesh even said multiple times Husband and Wife. All over in the word of God we see Husband and wife. Now if God intended for man/man or woman/woman commited loving relationships wouldnt he have mentioned it. God isnt cruel he wouldnt leave out something he intended would he??. You have a lot of fellow brothers and sisters of Christ coming to the same understanding yet you aren't. Marriage is between one man and one woman. God made this clear over and over again. Jesus made this clear and drove the point home. Is it a sin to be gay no. But to engage in immorality and lust is. No matter which way you put it. There was sin in the old testament and in the new however one thing didnt change which was God and his word. The sin did but he didnt and remember the stuff you pointed out that you claim God allowed in the old testament well you should be careful. God is to not be mocked brother. We all sin but once saved God changes us. His love which is more than love is a commitment meaning he wants us to grow and wont forsake us. Even with history/culture being different back then didnt change what God said. We arent perfect and even christians today twist the word of God but even with studying the message is the same. To be honest there are alot of scholars but unless it is backed by God and his word its false. As for me and my house we will continue to fllow the lord. So i will trust in God and his word. Love is what has compelled most of us to be saying this. Only God knows if your saved but if you are his message isnt about being Gay/homosexual its about Jesus and getting saved. This website appears to be a snare. God will deal with people once they are saved. You cant so share what is important and let God take care of the rest!!.

Rick's comment: Hi Curious Christian - I'm not going to spend time answering someone who refuses to use his or her real name when you criticize me and my website.

I hope at some point in your life, you will get interested in the scriptures of truth. Reading and studying and believing and obeying the word of God will bring dramatic changes in your spiritual life.

Jan 18, 2017
Some issues
by: chameleodon

This is actually a very personal subject for me, as I have several friends who I know or strongly suspect are dealing with conflicts between their sexual orientation and faith, one of whom is very close to my heart, not to mention unsaved family for whom this could be highly relevant. As it is my life's desire to bring glory to God and bring all people closer to Christ, including homosexuals, it is very important for me to understand God's Will here with as much clarity as possible.

Your reasoning is this: In context, the 'vile affections' of verse 26 refers specifically to fornication with pagan prostitutes. Thus there is no sin beyond that specific context. Three possible objections I see:

1. First and foremost, just because the context of the chapter or passage applies to temple prostitution (as you have more than adequately evidenced, with your compilation of Paul's familiarity with Cybele and the writings of Aristedes and Justin Martyr that you cite) does not prove that the moral teachings of each verse therein apply exclusively to that context. Jesus frequently condemned the legalistic, loveless malice and hypocrisy of the Pharisees, but that does not mean that such malice and hypocrisy is to be sanctioned outside of 1st century Judaism. Paul warned the Corinthian church against getting carried away with disorderly spiritual premonitions, but that doesn't mean you had to live in Corinth under that church for the warnings to apply to you. Indeed, the burden should lie on the exegete to justify his or her contextual limitation of a particular verse in light of linguistic analysis, textual and historical context, and other passages on the subject, as guided by the Spirit. Otherwise anyone can justify why a certain passage does not apply to a modern situation, simply by finding SOME dividing line between the modern context and the Biblical one. Even if the Biblical context is framed with 100% accuracy, which you well may have done, the domain of applicability of a passage must be apparent from the passage itself.

2. The verb 'ἀφέντες' is plural, and thus most naturally applies to the whoremongers (assuming the context you describe is accurate), who then ADDITIONALLY proceeded to have 'burned in their lust' - not to the temple whores, but 'one toward another' (ἀλλήλους, which is translated identically dozens of times). Sure, it's possible in theory that some of the temple whores were formerly engaged in natural relations with women, and that Paul was only seeking to describe them, but how likely is that reading the one which Paul expects his audience to ascertain? It seems that if it had been, he could have instead chosen a singular form and omitted ἀλλήλους: 'each man, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in his lust [to the pagan prostitute]'.

Actually, if it was Paul's intention for the passage to indiscriminately condemn temple fornication regardless of the genders of the relations, couldn't the entire thing have been made much more simple by simply stating 'each person' (ἕκαστος) 'burned in his lust to the prostitutes'? Why bother going through the individual cases of woman-woman and man-man relations unless there was something particularly problematic with those relations? And if your argument is 'well, it's so that the Jewish audience would recognize the contradiction to the Levitical code', then where do we derive the interpretation that ἀσχημοσύνην is no longer to be associated with those specific contradictions?

3. The clause 'φυσικὴν (sing. adj) χρῆσιν (sing. noun) τῆς θηλείας (sing. adj)' appears to refer to natural female use as an ideal. Paul could have instead used wives (γυναῖκας). Instead he pits 'natural use of the woman' against the lusts of men to one another, with the latter to be something discovered after changing or abandonment of the former. The female acts are pointed out as specifically 'against nature' - although whether those acts were lesbian, or whether they referred to unspecified unnatural acts with men, animals, or objects, is unclear to me. (I just can't tell whether ὁμοίως is comparing homosexuality or unnaturalness, but maybe someone versed in Greek grammar can chime in.)

Both female and male unnatural acts are tied back to being 'vile affections' by the conjunction γὰρ. Everywhere in the New Testament, this conjunction is used to establish a preceding statement, as in the English 'for', 'since', or 'indeed'. So I am struggling to conclude that pagan prostitution or homosexual pagan prostitution is specifically what Paul is enjoining as a vile affection. It seems a much more natural reading that the general ideal of men 'using' men unnaturally for sex - or women using something in an unknown unnatural way whose precise meaning has not filtered down to our age but is related to sex - are instances of vile affections that happened to take place in a pagan setting, than it is to interpret all three of
(A) pagan prostitute homosexuality or sex is singled out for being against nature,
(B) in opposition to heterosexual relations (φυσικὴν χρῆσιν τῆς θηλείας)
(C) but with a neutral view towards non-heterosexual relations existing outside pagan prostitution
when such clear contrasting language is used to depict 'men with men' versus 'use of the woman'.

I am sure you have been lovingly and condescendingly quoted Matthew 5:29-30 more times than you can count. But I would suggest that you consider that passage in another light. What if this particular interpretation of Romans 1:26-27 is too weak to withstand scrutiny, and the Spirit wishes to spur you on to a more general, less literal one, that actually provides stronger support of your overall case? What if He is pointing you to a new contextual element that will enlighten your understanding of the rest of Romans? What if He is about to help you unearth a small but valuable nugget of exegetic technique? I hope and pray that you prayerfully weigh these possibilities against the dismantling of my argument or the deletion of my comment.

For my part, this is an incredibly personal and painful question to face. I come from a liberal agnostic community and I have lost friendships over this particular issue. Deep divides in my family and alienation from Christ have occurred partly as a result of overly militant anti-gay rhetoric. I have agnostic friends who have literally told me that they could not subscribe to a God who sends people to hell after He Himself wired them a certain way. My own faith and belief in Biblical infallibility was shaken for many years over several teachings I personally could not stomach, this being one of them. But recently I have been reconvicted of my faith, and reassured that the Bible, and not my church or my feelings, is the primary doctrinal authority in my life.

As such, I am very much hoping that you give my comment some thought and prayer, and rather than simply direct me to a book, help me and others with similar doubts identify where exactly my understanding of this passage can improve by offering a careful rebuttal of each issue I raised. I think it could be tremendously valuable given your deep inspection of this topic.

Thanks so much, and may your work be pleasing to the Lord in every way.

Rick's comment: chameleodon - I will be honest. I no longer interact much with people in the Comments who will not use their real name. I get thousands of emails and comments and I'm not going to spend my time with folks who are Anonymous.

I believe it would do you good to read my article three or four more times. The objections you raise are not designed to elicit truth from the text, do not interrogate the text. They ignore history and ignore the way early Christians like Aristides understood Romans.

You have also chosen to ignore the major importance of Cybele and the major importance of the Greek word, akatharsian, which Paul used in Romans 1:24.

The most basic rule of interpretation is:

Scripture cannot mean NOW
What it did not mean THEN.

If Paul used female shrine prostitutes in 1:26 and male shrine prostitutes in 1:27 as examples of idolatry - and he did! - then those verses have not morphed over the last 1950 years to include lesbians and gays.

Jan 19, 2017
by: Gabe

Hi Rick, Well my name is Gabriel, but I go by Gabe for short. I was the one who posted under the name " curious christian". I wasn't criticizing you, nor your site. So apologies if that is how you took it. Say that paul wasn't talking about a loving committed relationship involving a man/man, or woman/woman in (romans). Were does God endorse or say that it is his will. Were does Jesus say this is ok?.

Rick's comment: Hi Gabe - You approach the Bible with false preconceptions which make it nearly impossible for you to find truth.

1. God doesn't have to endorse man/man or woman/woman relationships to make them legitimate. You only apply that illogic to gays and lesbians. You never apply that illogic to your own life.

For example, nowhere in the Bible does Jesus say it is okay for a man and woman to get married in a church building. Nowhere does Jesus say it is okay for a denominationally affiliated pastor to perform a heterosexual wedding ceremony.

Nowhere does Jesus say it is okay for Christians to marry, divorce, remarry, divorce and remarry again and still preach or teach Sunday School. In plainer words, you would never apply your illogic about gays to anything in your own life.

Meaning God and Jesus both say repeatedly how a husband/wife should be, but no mention on man/man, or woman/woman. I'm baffled because I don't get your point. Are you saying God wants same sex marriages, or just talking about paul/romans?

Rick's comment: The Bible was written between 1900 BC and AD 98. It addressed the culture back then as it found it. About 95% of the human race is heterosexual so the Bible addresses itself in heterosexual terms without intending us to imply that anything not heterosexual is wrong.

Jesus told us in Matthew 19:10-12, that some eunuchs are so born from their mother's womb. In Bible times, gays, lesbians and transgender people were part of the group known as eunuchs.

Homosexual Eunuchs

Gabe, you are content to reject any historical or biblical truth that doesn't fit your false preconceptions like, truth about David and Jonathan or truth about the Centurion's beloved servant or truth about eunuchs. Your rejection of those truths guarantees you will remain in darkness on this issue.

Jesus said every man shall have his own wife. Visa versa so with that being said what verses directly from Jesus, or God back up your theory?. Because man can study all the differences between then till now aka (different cultural time, and what possibly took place). But the word of God didn't change. As you said the WORD can't mean NOW, what it didn't mean THEN. Based on that where does God say men/men or, women/women, can have loving marriages?. Or lifelong relationships,like a husband and wife. All that a man speaks should be backed, by the word of God. Not a scholar, or something from a scholar. The final authority is God, we should compare, and test what we hear. If it isn't clearly of God discard it. However if you have clear scripture that shows this, not the Jonathon/David, or servant/eunuchs scripture, but actual clear can't miss it type. Like how husband and wife are mentioned repeatedly. Like how Jesus directly speaks about husband/wife. Or how God speaks about husband/wife in genesis. Plus if you do what scripture do you have, that shows how God wants gay/lesbian relationships to be honored?. Not the ones that involve a husband/wife, but husband/husband and woman/woman?. Because these relationships aren't the same. They are different in all aspects. I really hope you can provide scripture, from which God says it, or from Jesus our redeemer. Thanks for your time, I'm not trying to be rude to you. I read/study the kjv. I haven't found one verse, about gay marriage/God stating it was good. Or Jesus directly saying it. But husband and wife are, even by others husband/wife is stated clearly. There isn't a need to study some of what God said. So please don't throw scripture and say please study, for marriage is clear. If it requires studying in great depth/going back in time, well then that wouldn't make sense.

Rick's comment: You also haven't found one verse where Jesus says it's okay for you to drive a car or a truck or to fly on a jet or travel by train. But again, you never apply your illogic to yourself - only to gays and lesbians.

The body of Christ is the bride of Christ. The body of Christ contains hundreds of millions, perhaps as many as a billion, saved men, all of whom are presented in scripture as the BRIDE of Christ. In the greatest biblical illustration of Christ's love for His church, God tells us MEN are part of the BRIDE of Christ. Men marrying a man in heaven. I'll leave it to you Gabe, to ponder the meaning of that interesting scenario.

Christs Bride

Feb 01, 2017
Beware of false teachers
by: Nebeife Chukwuemeka

Your views are clouded by Vile passions. Now you are looking for loopholes in the Word of God to accommodate or rather to suit your unnatural desires. God have mercy on you.

Rick's comment: Hi Nebeife - Disagreeing with you about the gay issue does not make me a false teacher and is not looking for loopholes in the word of God nor is it accommodating what you describe as unnatural desires.

That you think it is indicates lack of Bible knowledge on your part and lack of Bible study.

Feb 02, 2017
Unbelievers Need to Stop Explaining the Word of God
by: Dr. NTA

I 'hate' when unbelievers think they are qualified to explain scriptures that they don't believe. But hey, the LORD HAS ALREADY WARNED US ABOUT FALSE PROPHETS AND TEACHERS....God says he is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The scriptures that were given to be recorded was given to men who were inspired (directed) by the Holy Spirit. It is also dangerous to add to the Word of God. The Lord HATES SIN....THIS IS WHY WE MUST FIRST ACCEPT HIM AS LORD AND SAVIOR AND SEEK HIS GUIDANCE TO LIVE ACCORDINGLY AND REPENT DAILY...BUT NOT CONTINUE TO COMFORT OURSELVES WITH MAKING EXCUSES TO PRACTICE THAT WHICH GOES AGAINST GOD'S WORD.

Rick's comment: Hi Dr. NTA - If I understand your comment, you are saying that if I disagree with you on the gay issue, I must be an unbeliever AND a false prophet. I think that is an odd way to approach the Bible.

I encourage you to study more so that your disagreement is factual and based on what the Bible says in context.

Feb 20, 2017
by: Troy

"scripture cannot mean now what it did then"
you might as well say the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ was not enough to cleanse all mankind from the SIN discussed in Romans 1.

Rick's comment: Hi Troy - No, you misquoted it and got it backwards. It goes like this.

Scripture cannot mean NOW
What it did not mean THEN.

If Paul wasn't talking about lesbians in Romans 1:26 and gay men in Romans 1:27 in the winter of AD 57-58, when he wrote Romans, then those verses did not morph over the last 1950 years to refer to lesbians and gays today.

Paul's argument has nothing to do with lesbians and gay men. Paul's argument is about idolatry and Romans 1:26-27 illustrate his idolatry argument. He was talking about shrine prostitutes who worshiped Cybele the Protectress of Rome, also known as the Magna Mater or the Great Mother goddess.

The thing the women and men had in common, "likewise also the men," - Rom 1:27, was that both the women and the men were shrine prostitutes, engaging in anal sex rituals in their worship of Cybele and other fertility goddesses of ancient Rome.

It's a matter of basic honesty in how we approach scripture. No one gets to ignore the biblical cultural doctrinal historical linguistic and religious context and then insist the verses mean something they didn't mean when Paul wrote them.

Mar 19, 2017
by: Thomas Scott-Golden

Dear Rick, My contribution is not directly related to a particular biblical passage rather it is a general 'Thank You' to you for the work you do on this site.

As a 50 y/o Christian and a practicing Anglican who happens to be gay (and married to my husband Tim) who tries to live out the love of God revealed to the world through Christ Jesus because of my faith in Him, I draw great hope from the deep and insightful manner in which you explain the various passages used in the debate we have with our fundamentalist brothers and sisters who seek to deny the validity of our faith.

In my years working for the recognition of LGBT people, their civil rights and spiritual welfare, I am conscious of how many truly good people have struggled with the blatant hostility and indeed pathological hatred to which they've been subjected 'in the name of God' by those who would consider themselves Christian. Such people viewed their actions as 'righteous' in seeking to defend the word of God from the taint of perversion through acceptance of a gay Christian. Sadly, such hardness of heart toward a number of beautiful and gentle gay Christians left them in such despair that they ultimately saw no hope of acceptance in this world and took their lives.

Your clear and revealing explanation of the scriptures and the context in which they were written echos and in many cases clarifies what I myself have learned through much searching and reading on the subject in an attempt to understand how I, as a Christian who is gay, relates to my creator God. Having such valuable exposition in one place, I hope and pray, will help those younger LGBT+ Christians in understanding their own walk with God and place in the Church and the world.

May God richly bless you and the work of Gay Christian 101!

Yours in Christ,
Thomas Scott-Golden

Rick's comment: Hi Thomas - Thanks so much for your kind words! I'm glad my website has been helpful to you. I pray God's blessing upon you as you walk the path of His purpose for your life, Ephesians 2:10.

May 21, 2017
So simple?
by: KarenHS

As a woman, the sermons at our Baptist church can come off a little, um, good-heartedly chauvinistic. We're told to love first, but not lie about calling out sin for the sake of someone else's comfort.

LGBT issues get mentioned about every 6-8 weeks. I can't help thinking, 'Who am I to condemn someone else's truth as I struggle to understand why I should obediently submit to my partner as one tier above slave status?!' I'm researching women's biblical roles to answer those questions based on more than just one translator's interpretations.

Question: Could you please recommend some published works for and against the bible's stance on the LGBT lifestyle? If there are any, I'm sure you've researched them. Your article was very good, but I'd like to study both interpretations further.

Many thanks!

Rick's comment: Hi KarenHS - This website is the best scriptural defense of gays and lesbians because it is more complete.

The interwebs are full of websites presenting the anti-gay view, which you can find by Googling something like: Is it okay to be gay?

There is no such thing as the gay lifestyle. Gays are individuals like everyone else. Being gay doesn't define us.

Jun 30, 2017
Seems to be going around in circles for years
by: Anonymous

I've read a lot of these comments. No, homosexuality doesn't condemn you to hell, it is however a sin alike other sins.

My main problem with this is that people bring a verse that clearly lists homosexuality along with others things as sinful, and you reply with them taking it out of context and not having studied enough. You don't seem to actually reply with what you see the verse to mean.

Rick's comment: Your mistake is in assuming that the clobber passages, which are mistranslated in most modern translations, are talking about gays and lesbians. It helps to:

1. Click the links and do more reading.

2. Have a mind to obey 2 Timothy 2:15 and study.

The word homosexual doesn't occur in any ancient Hebrew and Greek manuscripts or in any ancient manuscripts of the Bible in any language. Moses never used that word and Paul never used that word.

Please read my Romans Commentary Chapter One to discover what I understand Romans 1 to mean.

Please read my shrine prostitutes page to discover what Moses meant in the infamous Leviticus passage.

Jul 16, 2017
Other acts of sex.
by: Richard

So then if a person's sexual desire has always been pedophilia that makes it ok. Or if a person's sexual desire has always animal sex that makes it ok. Or let's say a person's sexual desire has always been necrophilia it is ok as long as that is the only desire he or she has ever had.

Rick's comment: Hi Richard - I never make the fake arguments you cited.

Your disdain for us is evident when you compare gays to child molesters, people who have sex with animals and people who have sex with dead bodies.

I hope you will read the info at this link. Many thanks!

What must I do to be saved?

Dec 09, 2017
by: P

Appreciate your attempts at in-depth look at context, however there are several problems.

The context of Romans 1 is not merely idolatry (or even more strictly Cybele worship). It is stated in v.18 that Paul has in view "all the godlessness and wickedness" of people. From there he begins to zero-in on the most common perversions of mankind from ancient times - idolatry and sexual perversion. Idolatry is an example of the larger catch-all of godlessness and wickedness, not a restrictive contextual element.

Because mankind turns away from God, and thus becomes foolish and futile in thinking, confusion (darkness) becomes evident in the attitudes and behavior of mankind. What ensues are examples/descriptions of a couple deviant "alterations/exchanges" (metellaxan) from v.22-27:
*the exchange of truth for a lie
*the exchange of glory of worshiping God with worshiping created things
*the exchange of natural relations/passions (hetero-sex) with unnatural ones (same-sex)

Paul makes clear in his description of the latter the he is referring to same-sex passions, not idol worship. The pejorative descriptors in the Greek "atimias" and "para physin" refer to same-sex lust, not idolatry.

If the concern was strictly idol worship (as you argue), then why isn't "lust" in general condemned here? All sexual exchange within idol worship is evil. Shrine prostitution did not consist merely of homosexual relation but heterosexual as well. Are heterosexual lusts within idol worship exempted from condemnation? Furthermore verses 28-31 go on to describe a host of other forms of wickedness. Are these restricted only to the context of idol worship as well?

The restriction of the wickedness described in Romans 1 merely to the activity of idol worship does not provide context it confounds the context. (Romans 1:18 - all godlessness and wickedness of mankind). The mention of idol worship in ensuing passages is an example, not a controlling contextual restriction, of this wickedness; along with everything else discussed from v.26-31.

Paul's argument from v.18, works like this:
*All of mankind's wickedness is deserving of wrath
*As mankind turned from God, they became foolish, confused and futile in their thinking turning from truth
*Here are a couple obvious examples we all know about regarding this perverted confusion: example #1 idolatry, and example #2 same-sex relations.
*Oh, and by the way the depravity doesn't stop there - here's a further list that nails us all (v.29-31)
*Since all of us can find some things on this list that apply to each of us, then no one is in a position to think they're better off before God than anyone else based on their own merits (Chapter 2:1-2)
*So Jews, the fact that you have the Law does not save you, it further condemns you because you are supposed to know better but you don't do it (Chapter 2-3)
*This is why righteousness cannot be reckoned based on the merits of personal behavior b/c we are all (Jew and Gentile) toast. It will be reckoned based on faith in Christ (Chapter 3).

Rick's comment: Hello P- Your reasoning does not factor in or explain Paul's choice of Greek words and his three citations of Old Testament passages condemning shrine prostitution and shrine prostitutes.

On my Romans page I have a link to 90 pages of my personal commentary and exposition of Romans 1. I explain my views in that commentary, which I hope you will read.

The way we know Paul is intensely focused on idolatry and the pagan worship which accompanied idolatry and not on gays and lesbians is his choice of Greek words and his citation of Old Testament passages.

Please read my commentary for in depth information. I don't have time or space here to provide in depth answers to your questions but my commentary does provide answers.

Dec 09, 2017
by: P

You cite Aristides as an early Christian source of value. What do you make of his Apology (Part 9)?:

"By reason of these tales [Greek pagan myths], O King, much evil has arisen among men, who to this day are imitators of their gods, and practise adultery and defile themselves with their mothers and their sisters, and by lying with males, and some make bold to slay even their parents. For if he who is said to be the chief and king of their gods do these things how much more should his worshippers imitate him? And great is the folly which the Greeks have brought forward in their narrative concerning him. For it is impossible that a god should practise adultery or fornication or come near to lie with males, or kill his parents; and if it be otherwise, he is much worse than a destructive demon."

There is nothing in the context or the discussion that restricts "lying with males" to prostitution, rape or pederastry.

Rick's comment: Hello P- I have a helpful page on Aristides which deals with Section 9.

"Men lying with men" is only mentioned in the New Testament in Romans 1:27. Aristides can only be referring to Romans 1:27 when he makes these remarks.

Aristides references Kronos (the North African name for Molech) of Leviticus 18:21-22 and 20:2, 3, 4, 5, 13 infamy.

I'm glad you are thinking about these passages and trying to make sense of them. I appreciate the good questions.

Dec 19, 2017
Any verses that support homosexuality?
by: Anonymous

I'm trying to gain a better understanding.
Are there any verses that approve of homosexuality? The Bible continually talks about marriage between man and woman. There's an entire book devoted to it: Song of Songs. Are there any scriptures blessing the bond between man and man or woman and woman? If not, what does that mean?

Rick's comment: Hello Anonymous - About 95% of men and women are heterosexual therefore the Bible uses language describing heterosexuals when describing marriage without intending to forbid gay marriage.

Asking for verses which approve of homosexuality seems odd given that you do not apply that logic to anything else.

For example, you don't ask for verses which approve of an ordained minister performing the wedding ceremony or verses approving of getting married in a church or verses approving the exchange of wedding rings or verses approving of getting remarried after a divorce or after multiple divorces.

In plainer words, you seek to apply a different standard to gay marriage that you do not apply to any other marriage or any other issue.

Do you apply that logic to anything else in your life, transportation for example. Are there any verses which approve of driving a car or a pick up truck or a minivan?

The Bible continually talks about walking or riding a horse or mule or traveling in a wagon or a boat. Had God intended humans to travel in jets or trains or buses, He would have mentioned them in the Bible.

Your argument would seem to reach the conclusion that since you believe God did not approve of gay marriage, He must disapprove of it.

And if God did not approve of traveling in cars, pick up trucks, airplanes, trains and buses or on the subway, He must disapprove of it.

The question is, must we be able to find a verse where God approves of everything we do or we stop doing it?

Is that an intelligent way to approach the Bible?

Dec 19, 2017
Sidestepping the question
by: Opa

Whether Romans one is about idolatry or other, doesn't matter. And whether it was about homosexuality or other doesn't matter either. The fact is, God says homosexuality is wrong in 26 and 27. That is the same for today as it was back then. It was wrong in Temple prostitution, it was wrong for the Romans of that day, and it is wrong for us today. All that talk about idolatry seems to detract us from the main question does Paul condemn homosexuality or not? You make no argument for how you can explain these exact versus to be in favor of, or at least not against homosexuality.

I don't know whether we are born that way or not, but again it doesn't matter. If God says the act of homosexuality is wrong, then it's wrong. Just as heterosexuality is wrong until marriage, we must refrain from what is wrong. Whether we have tendencies toward that or not. We are all born with a desire to do evil yet we're all commanded to refrain.

Rick's comment: Hello Opa - I have an extensive section on this website about Romans chapter one including 26 individual web pages about Romans 1 and 188 pages of verse by verse commentary on Romans chapters 1, 2 and 3.

What does Romans 1 mean?

It does matter what God and Paul intended when He inspired the writing of Romans. To say, as you do, that it doesn't matter and then assert your opinion, that Romans 1 condemns homosexuality, isn't rational.

Bible believing Christians always go by what the Bible says in context, not by your opinion and not by ignoring context.

Dec 19, 2017
text supporting homosexuality
by: Anonymous Pt. II

(I wasn't sure how to comment on your comment? Am I able to do that without copying and pasting your response so I don't lose my train of thought haha

Rick's comment: Hello Anonymous - About 95% of men and women are heterosexual therefore the Bible uses language describing heterosexuals when describing marriage without intending to forbid gay marriage.

Asking for verses which approve of homosexuality seems odd given that you do not apply that logic to anything else.

For example, you don't ask for verses which approve of an ordained minister performing the wedding ceremony or verses approving of getting married in a church or verses approving the exchange of wedding rings or verses approving of getting remarried after a divorce or after multiple divorces.

In plainer words, you seek to apply a different standard to gay marriage that you do not apply to any other marriage or any other issue.

Do you apply that logic to anything else in your life, transportation for example. Are there any verses which approve of driving a car or a pick up truck or a minivan?

The Bible continually talks about walking or riding a horse or mule or traveling in a wagon or a boat. Had God intended humans to travel in jets or trains or buses, He would have mentioned them in the Bible.

Your argument would seem to reach the conclusion that since you believe God did not approve of gay marriage, He must disapprove of it.

And if God did not approve of traveling in cars, pick up trucks, airplanes, trains and buses or on the subway, He must disapprove of it.

The question is, must we be able to find a verse where God approves of everything we do or we stop doing it?

Is that an intelligent way to approach the Bible?

Anonymous Pt. 2
Your argument about transportation seems irreverent. The Bible never makes a claim that traveling by one way must be the one and only way. I was saying the Bible recounts the blessings of a marriage between a man and woman. The Bible does not do this for transportation or anything. I'm not inferring anything or filling in blank spots. I'm simply making a comparison between the two. I'm saying that this is a hot button issue that the Bible seems to give rather clear instructions about. What it comes down then is context, so

How do you personally interpret this verse? I'm looking at both sides of the aisle before making a decision. I've looked up and down this blog and urls and links are simply stated. In your own words, how do you read this?

Rick's comment: I have an extensive section on this website about Romans chapter one and what it means, including 26 individual web pages about Romans 1 and 188 pages of verse by verse commentary on Romans chapters 1, 2 and 3. That information begins at this link.

What does Romans 1 mean?

Mar 02, 2018
Romans 1:26-27
by: Anonymous

I totally agree with you. Recently, I was totally at odds with my best friend over same sex relationship, and he was like "it's a sin" and gave Romans 1:26-27. I'm glad there's a post like this to educate people.

Mar 06, 2018
David and Johnathan Relationship
by: Meyer

Do you think the relationship between johnathan and David was a homosexual one?

Rick's comment: Hi Meyer - I believe David and Jonathan could be accurately described by our modern term of bisexual or perhaps gay. Both men married women and sired children but remember, 3000 years ago, it was a different cultural environment.

Here are some of the reasons I believe David and Jonathan were at least bisexual and in love with each other. Also, please click on the links on the page below.

Were David and Jonathan gay?

Apr 14, 2018
How to correlate Romans 1:26-27 with things happening at that time.
by: Cloud

I found this is the best explanation of Romans 1:26-27, for me. Paul talked about sexual orgies during pagan worship at that time and I am sure they had sex between man with man and woman with woman as well heterosexuals (Bisexuals)

In the original Greek, the phrase probably does not mean "passions" or "lust" as people experienced in normal, day-to-day living -- the type of emotion that one encounters in a marriage or sexually active relationship. It seems to refer to the "frenzied state of mind that many ancient mystery cults induced in worshipers by means of wine, drugs and music."

2 It seems to describe the results of ritual sexual orgies as performed in many Pagan settings at the time. Paul seems to be referring here to Pagan "fertility cult worship prevalent in Rome" at the time.

4 Vestiges of this type of sex magic are still seen today in some Neo-pagan religious traditions. However, in modern times, such rituals are restricted to committed couples in private.

About the words "exchanged," "leaving," "change," and "abandoned:" These words are important, because they precisely describe the people about whom Paul is talking. From the text, he is obviously writing about women with a heterosexual orientation, who had previously engaged in only heterosexual sex, who had subsequently "exchanged" their normal/inborn behaviors for same-sex activities.

That is, they deviated from their heterosexual orientation and engaged in sexual behavior with other women. Similarly, he describes men with a heterosexual orientation who had "abandoned" their normal/inborn behaviors and engaged in same-sex activities. In both cases, he is describing individuals with a heterosexual orientation, who were engaging in same-sex behavior -- in violation of their natural desires.

In normal life, these are very unusual activities, because heterosexuals typically have a strong aversion to engaging in same-sex behavior. However, with the peer pressure, expectations, drugs, alcohol and other stimulants present in Pagan sex rituals at the time, they appear to have abandoned their normal feelings of abhorrence and engaged in same-sex behavior.

Apr 19, 2018
Looking at it from a different angle
by: Jim

The parable about the man who was a collector of fine pearls comes to mind, I’ve always thought Jesus was telling us that when a person comes to an appreciative understanding of the gospel he’s then prepared to give up everything to follow Christ. Wealth, possessions, family and even sexual preferences may have to be forsaken as we follow the master.

The Rich young ruler who wanted to follow Jesus couldn’t give up his wealth and sadly lost out. What Paul says about those not inheriting Gods kingdom is serious, the bottom line being we may have to abandon an immoral way of life and dare I say it "be celibate". Many have as this real life story shows.

... was the president of a group fighting for LGBT rights. As she read the Bible, she saw the excelling value of the Gospel message. But she realized that she would have to make changes . Her heart moved her to resign from her position and to end her lesbian relationship.

Rick's comment: Hi Jim - You so easily put upon your gay brothers and lesbian sisters the burden of celibacy. And you do it based on your view that gays need to abandon an immoral way of life.

With major heterosexual pastors resigning their ministry due to heterosexual immorality, you focus on gays. How very odd.

And you cite an unnamed lady who left her lesbian partner, as if that is normative for other Christians. That strikes me as passing strange.

Apr 21, 2018
It's okay to be specific... without ignoring context
by: Mark

If God is specific in His deliberation, surely those that perceive these verses should be as well. The writer of this article says that we need to understand context (with that I very much agree). This chapter of Romans is a great indictment from God against the rebellion of man, and no doubt Paul is setting the scene for the addressing of many's hypocrisy in chapter 2. The indictments made though are not just idolatry, but much more. They were inexcusable in vs. 20, ungrateful and proudful in vs. 21, insolence, immorality, incorrigibility (reprobate)...all of this was addressed along with immorality and idolatry leading to the endorsement of the sin of others at the end.

But again...taking God at His Word and being specific as God is specific takes nothing away from the context of this book.

God was specific when He addressed the progression of the peoples hearts to the place that the men left the natural use of the woman and burned in lust one toward another. The bible clearly says that this is unseemly.

That Word in the greek isaschēmosynē pronounced (as-kay-mos-oo'-nay) meaning an indecency; by implication the pudenda :- shame, that which is unseemly.

God called it a shame, an error, an indecency.
This in no wise takes away from every other error mentioned in this chapter...but if God calls it error....who are we to say it is not.
I believe God's Word...every Word.
I know if this gets put on here, most likely I will just be called ignorant with the rest that believe this way, but I have been studying this book for a really long time...I do not know everything...but there are some things that are clear.

Rick's comment: Hi Mark - Did you read the article upon which you are commenting? Nothing in your comment argues against what I wrote unless you approach Romans 1 with anti-gay presuppositions.

Paul's argument in Romans chapter 1 is about idolatry. Being lesbian or gay is unrelated to idolatry.

May 23, 2018
Every word counts
by: LAH

I fear that the writer of this article wanted so much to prove their point that they focused on one verse, one cultural point and forgot to look at the rest of the words and content. Yes we are all guilty of idolatry both Jew and Greek; yes we are all sinful whether it is homosexual sin, the sin of gossip or of being unloving. And make no mistake God calls all of these things sinful. As you read the passage what is the degrading passion that God has given them over to? Was it idolatry, homosexually, or both? If you say homosexuality is wrong only because it was used during pagan worship then you would also have to say that murder is wrong only if it done in worship of an idol. For there is a parallel in this writing: verses 24,26,28 that God gave them over to do things that were wrong and sinful- for there is no one who wants to do good(Ps53). It is only by denying our lustful, sinful, selfish ways and acknowledging God’s holiness which we can never attain except through His mercy and love shown in Christ.

Rick's comment: Hi LAH - I have an extensive section on this website about Romans chapter one and what it means, including 26 individual web pages about Romans 1 and 277 pages of verse by verse commentary on Romans chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4. That information begins at this link.

What does Romans 1 mean?

Jul 16, 2018
by: Josh

"I fear that the writer of this article wanted so much to prove their point that they focused on one verse, one cultural point and forgot to look at the rest of the words and content."

In reality, the writer went into detail regarding the cultural and scriptural context those verses were written in, so you are mistaken or you simply ignored that fact.

"If you say homosexuality is wrong only because it was used during pagan worship then you would also have to say that murder is wrong only if it done in worship of an idol."

The former is consensual, and the latter is not.

The people Paul was writing about were engaging in what was a fertility ritual. Participants of such rituals were primarily if not entirely heterosexuals. They purposefully would engage in sex acts that could not lead to anyone getting pregnant. There were commonly drugs and alcohol involved. They did this because they fully believed it appeased their gods and goddesses, and would bring them all forms of fertility, like food wealth, crops ETC.

Their orgies were decadent and wild, and some would start off with a child sacrifice. There were even Galli priests and temple prostitutes. The priests were castrated, and would get the group rallied up with erotic screams.

There is nothing in the scriptures that condemns homosexuality as we know it.

Jul 21, 2018
Glad you have this website
by: Anonymous

Hello, I’m a Christian and heterosexual but appreciate you having this website. I have used it many times to get answers when discussing with homophobic Christians. It is very discouraging to see all the judgments that are all too common with Christians in all areas but particularly with homosexuality.

I hope you will keep this site going. If I use it as a heterosexual- I can only imagine how valuable it is for Christians who are gay. It’s very much needed... most likely a faith saver and possibly even a life saver. It’s obvious how much work went into it.

Thank you! Blessings!

Rick's comment: Hi Anonymous - You're welcome! Thank you for your kind words and your desire for truth.

Keep being a disciple of Jesus, keep telling others about Him, lead them to saving faith in Christ and then, teach them how to be biblical disciples of Jesus.

Jul 25, 2018
Your post
by: Angie

If you are saying that Romans 1:26-27 is about Pagan worship (like you state about all other homosexual acts spoken of in the Bible...I have read a few of your articles) are you saying that Romans 1:28-31 is also only about Pagan worship? Or are you okay to acknowledge that the things spoken of in v 28-30 would be sin under any circumstances? If verse 28 starts with "and since they..." (ESV and similarly in NKJV, NIV, NLT) is it not carrying on from previous sentences? Doesn't seem like a new topic.

Rick's comment: Hi Angie - Are you aware that early Christians, for hundreds of years after Paul, believed, taught and wrote that Paul was referencing shrine prostitution and pagan worship of false gods in Romans chapter one?

I encourage you to read my verse by verse commentary on chapter one of Romans, accessible from my Home Page.

Gay Christian 101 Home Page

If you're about to reply that since they were committing homosexual acts in pagan idol worship that God would give them to other sins as well, then I (still) wonder if you are just making leaps purely to justify your lifestyle. Deep down we all know what is right from wrong for the Holy Spirit was promised to guide us into all truth so why even this website?

Rick's comment: This website is necessary because so many Christians rip verses out of context to unfairly condemn their gay brothers and lesbian sisters.

Let the Holy Spirit guide each person so that they can work out their own salvation. Whether one is a true believer is evidenced by their fruit. And I have read you being really condescending and therefore unloving towards others (including me) sometimes in your responses.

Rick's comment: The Holy Spirit has guided me and led me into God's truth.

It is not condescending to answer comments with truth. It is not condescending to point out when people are making it up as they go, without a biblical leg to stand on.

Aug 06, 2018
by: Lauren

You miss the pattern and context of Romans.

Paul is showing what happens when people choose their own way, and disregard God's way. When people's hearts turn from Him, He gives them over to a debased mind.

Verses 19-20 shows us that God is clearly seen through creation, including His plan for sex as between a man and woman.

Verses 21-23 shows us that the people, although they could clearly discern God's truth from creation, decided to disregard it and follow their own way (idolization).

Verses 24-28 shows that in response to the people abandoning God, He gave them over to a debased mind, which was evident by the lust and passion that men had for men, and women had for women.

He follows the same pattern when he says people turned away from truth and God gave them over to being unloving, untruthful, disobedient, etc. (28-32).

Basically, Paul is telling us that the symptoms of a society that turns from God and does not retain His knowledge is homosexuality, unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgement of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but approve of those who practice them.

When we see these things in a culture (and these things are rampant today) we know it is because we have turned from God, and therefore He has given us up to our own sinful desires. Of course it feels right- He has allowed it to feel right, because the first step of punishment for these things is to "receive in ourselves the penalty of our error which is due."

We cannot base truth on a feeling. We can, however, acknowledge that God is much larger and mightier than we can fathom, and that His ways are higher than ours. To that extent, if He condemns anything, even if we don't understand or it applies to us, we must also condemn it. And for the things He tells us are sin that we struggle with, we must repent and ask for forgiveness and grace as we daily turn our lives towards Him and His commands.

Rick's comment: Hi Lauren - I've got 94 pages online for FREE, commenting word by word, phrase by phrase, verse by verse on Romans chapter 1.

I have several hundred more pages covering Romans 2, 3, 4.

My Romans Chapter 5 commentary will go up in the next few days.

I encourage you to consider the possibility that you are the one who has missed the pattern and context of Romans.

Aug 07, 2018
by: Lauren

I read your discourse on Romans 1. I have two questions.

1. You claim that Paul was only speaking against shrine prostitution, and not loving homosexual relationships. How do you know? In the context of only speaking on sexual slaves, it wouldn't make sense to bring up loving relationships. We wouldn't expect him to say, "Idolization is wrong, especially using sexual slaves in idol worship" and then say, "but loving homosexual relationships are just fine". It doesn't fit into the context. Just because he only condemns temple prostitution (in your opinion) does not mean he approves of a loving homosexual relationship. We cannot assume what Paul would have said on that issue (again, assuming your opinions are correct).

Rick's comment: Hi Lauren - I know this:

I. Because of the biblical context. Three times in Romans chapter one, Paul quotes OT verses which refer to shrine prostitutes.

Psalm 81:12 - "so I gave them up" - Romans 1:24
1 Kings 14:16 - "he shall give Israel up" - Rom 1:26
2 Chron 30:7 - "gave them up" - Romans 1:28

II. Because of the linguistic context. Three times Paul uses Greek words or phrases which are used in the Greek Septuagint to describe the activities of shrine prostitutes.

1. Paul using the Greek word, akatharsian, in Romans 1:24 and 6:19, the same word used in the Greek Septuagint to describe idolatry and shrine prostitution.

2. Paul drives home his point by using the Greek word latreuō in v. 25, which we translate as, served. This word, in the Greek Septuagint, always refers to serving false gods. Paul used these words with purpose, to indicate he was referring to shrine prostitutes and their unholy worship of false gods.

3. Paul further drives home his point by using the phrase, arsenes en arsesin in v. 27 or men with men. This is Paul citing Moses' use of arseno in Lev 18:22 and 20:13, which are clear references to shrine prostitutes.

III. Because the context of the first chapter of Romans, beginning in 1:18, is idolatry. Gay men and lesbians are never mentioned in Romans chapter 1.

2. Also, if you're saying all of these things are only wrong in terms of idol worship, then you're also saying everything later on in Romans 1 (whoredom, wickedness, covetousness, malice; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil dispositions; whisperers, evil-speakers, God-haters, insulting, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, unintelligent, faithless, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful) is also only wrong in terms of idol worship. Obviously, these things are wrong all the time, and a symptom of a people who has given up on God. They are not only wrong in a temple and OK at all other times.

Rick's comment: No, that is not at all the argument I make. In my word by word, verse by verse commentary on Romans 1, I go through the vice list at the end of chapter one and give each Greek word and explain what it means. I also point out that some Christians, to their shame, sometimes commit some of the sins in that list.

My commentary on Romans 1

3. Multiple times in the OT, God says anything even remotely having to do with idols, idol worship, or even the culture of idol worshippers is to be completely absent from a Godly people. If homosexual sexual relations are part of idol worship, then in context with all of God's word, we should not participate at all. There is no example in the Bible where a practice used to worship idols is wrong in the temple, but ok in other places. We are to completely stay away from anything that honors another god.

Rick's comment: Idol worship across more than 3400 years of Bible history, didn’t only involve male-male activity. It also involved male-female activity.

If you really believe your argument, then you must also condemn heterosexuality since heterosexuals also engaged in idolatry and used heterosexual sex to worship false gods and goddesses.

But please don't do that because your logic is flawed. For example, If a bank robber eats a sandwich while robbing a bank, that doesn't make eating a sandwich sinful.

People can misuse a good thing while committing sin without that usage making using the good thing sinful in other situations.

Are you saying that anything used in honor of a false god is ok as long as you don't honor a false god with it? If so, how do you explain the golden calf, when that is exactly what they did, and God almost killed them for it?

Rick's comment: No, that is an argument I do not make. If you take a few minutes to read Exodus 32, you will discover that 3000 people were killed for their idolatry involving the golden calf.

Aug 09, 2018
Didn't know where to put this
by: Angie

Dunno if you've read this... responding-to-five-arguments-about-arsenokoites

Rick's comment: Hi Angie - I don't allow commenters to post links anymore.

I will say that, on this website, I answer the arguments he makes - just read my pages on the clobber passages by clicking links on my NavBar.

Aug 17, 2018
follow up question
by: pcw27

First let me preface this by saying I don't personally believe in Biblical infallibility, I hesitate to even describe myself as "Christian", more non-denominational exploring theist, however I am interested in interpretations like this for historical and theological reasons.

This is a fascinating interpretation and it makes a strong argument that the point of the passage is not to condemn homosexuality, but to condemn self-righteous Jewish attitudes towards gentiles. However to me it still seems that the language used is very hostile towards homosexuality and that hostility seems independent of whether or not the same sex acts are idolatrous.

Rick's comment: Hi pcw27 - I don't agree with your statement that Paul uses language that is very hostile toward homosexuality. Paul chooses Greek words which are used in the Greek Old Testament to describe shrine prostitutes and/or shrine prostitution. He does that with holy purpose, not by accident.

Those words are never used in the Bible to describe gay men or lesbians. They are used to describe shrine prostitutes.

Paul also quotes the OT three times, choosing passages where Israel forsook God to worship idols. There is no reference to gays or lesbians in Romans 1.

Psalm 81:12 - "so I gave them up" - Romans 1:24

1 Kings 14:16 - "he shall give Israel up" - Rom 1:26

2 Chron 30:7 - "gave them up" - Romans 1:28

In fact it reads as if homosexual desires were god's punishment for them, or at least an affliction god refused to protect them from as a consequence of their idolatrous acts. Using the same language the passage goes on to say their idolatry also led to a whole host of sins, including murder.

Rick's comment: Wow, that's cold - God made us gay because we're idolaters? I encourage you to give that more thought.

Millions of gays grew up in Christian families and in church. We got saved at an early age and were never idol worshipers or idolaters.

To me it really still reads as if Paul is putting them in the same category. If Paul didn't consider homosexuality wrong in it's own right why would he single it out as an example of the sinful conduct of gentiles? He doesn't mention things like sacrifices, offerings, religious feasts or other religious activities which Jews and Gentiles both engaged in.

Rick's comment: Since everyone in first century Rome was familiar with Cybele worship and the shrine prostitution Paul describes, there was no need for him to mention sacrifices, religious feasts or other religious activities.

They knew precisely what he was talking about based on his choice of words and his quotes from the OT.

It would be like discussing terrorism in New York City to a New Yorker without mentioning the attack on the World Trade Center. No need to explicitly mention it to people who lived through it.

Do you feel that he's doing this purely rhetorically to play off of the Jew's way of thinking without necessarily confirming it's accuracy, sort of like how a nonbeliever might reference religious teachings when arguing with a religious person?

Rick's comment: No, in no way is Paul being purely rhetorical. Taking that view assumes, 1. that there is no history of shrine prostitution in ancient Rome, 2. that scripture isn't inspired by God and so we are free to allegorize or metaphorize it, 3. that it's only Paul forsaking truth while trying to win an argument.

4. That view also assumes that scripture isn't about the truth of the words used and is only concerned with broad concepts, a view never mentioned or even hinted at in the Bible.

What must I do to be saved?

Aug 18, 2018
follow up question
by: pcw27

"Wow, that's cold - God made us gay because we're idolaters? I encourage you to give that more thought.

Millions of gays grew up in Christian families and in church. We got saved at an early age and were never idol worshipers or idolaters."

I'm sorry if that line of inquiry came across as hurtful. I have absolutely nothing against LBGTQ people. I'm interested in the intent behind the text. I understand that based on your beliefs about the bible any interpretation of the text will have deep personal meaning which for me it simply doesn't and I'll try to be more sensitive to this fact.

I think I may have a better sense of how exactly you've interpreted this line by line, please let me know if I got it right.

"Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts." Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones." Romans 1:26

Is this line using the greek "astorgos"? I saw discussed elsewhere that this word meant "without natural affection". So then is the point here that these acts are "astorgos" because they are acts of shrine prostitution?

"27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women..."

Rick's comment: Hi pcw27 - No, the Greek word, astorgos, occurs only two times in the Greek New Testament, in Romans 1:31 and 2 Timothy 3:3. It does not refer to lesbians or gays and does not refer to shrine prostitution.

What does astorgos mean?

Again is this also concerned with "natural affection"?

"...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."

Then in this line is what's "shameful" the fact that this sex is idolatrous and done with a prostitute in a manner void of love and affection, not the fact that it's with another man?

Rick's comment: It refers to idolatry as shameful and using sex in idol worship, as shameful.

Still it sure seems to me like Paul is going out of his way to single out the homosexual elements of this ritual. Why in the beginning of the line does he bother to say "natural relations with women"? If this wasn't an important distinction couldn't he have just said "natural relations?". Is there perhaps a linguistic element I'm missing here? Does the specific word used for "women" imply wives? Why later specify "with other men"?

Rick's comment: I encourage you to read my word by word, phrase by phrase, verse by verse commentary on Romans chapter 1. You can access it for FREE on my Romans page.

Romans 1 page.

Or is the crux of it that there's no evidence Paul was aware of mutual and loving homosexual relationships given his cultural environment and so we can't infer any judgement on homosexuality itself outside of commentary on the specific context in which he would have been aware of homosexual acts?

Aug 18, 2018
by: Lauren

I have given your argument a lot of thought. I have taken it upon myself to acquaint myself intimately with Romans by writing it out by hand so that I may fully understand Paul and His writings.

Paul argues over and over again that if we are truly followers of God, then we are dead to fleshly desires. We are led by the Spirit.

We cannot walk in the flesh and be full of the Spirit.

Your interpretation of Romans 1 as only condemning idol worship prostitution fails in this account.

Rick's comment: Hi Lauren - I will gently address your comments.

1. You have positioned yourself as "intimately acquainted with Romans" without, it seems to me, having actually studied Romans, without having read any substantive commentaries on Romans, without being able to factually support your views on Romans.

2. You assert that I am walking in the flesh because I disagree with your opinion about Romans.

3. You quote a poorly translated version of the Bible which incorrectly inserts homosexuality into 1 Cor 6:9 as "proof" that I am wrong on Romans.

Especially compared with Corinthians. In 1 Corinthians 6:9, we read this:

"Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,"

Now, Paul wrote both Romans and Corinthians. In this verse to the Corinthians, he condemns multiple avenues of sexual immorality. He uses the following Greek words:

πόρνος (pornos)- a man who prostitutes his body to another's lust for hire

a male prostitute

a man who indulges in unlawful sexual intercourse, a fornicator

εἰδωλολάτρης (adololatros)- a worshipper of false gods, a idolater

used of any one even Christian, participant in any way in the worship of the heathen, esp. one who attends their sacrificial feasts and eats of the remains of offered victims

a covetous man as a worshipper of Mammon

μοιχός (moikhos)- an adulterer

metaph. one who is faithless toward God, ungodly

μαλακός (malakos)- soft, soft to the touch

metaph. in a bad sense


of a catamite

of a boy kept for homosexual relations with a man

of a male who submits his body to unnatural lewdness

of a male prostitute

ἀρσενοκοίτης (arsenokoitas)- one who lies with a male as with a female, sodomite, homosexual

Now, your argument is that in Romans 1, Paul was only condemning temple prostitution.

However, IF that's the only problem he saw with homosexual behavior, then why use the word ἀρσενοκοίτης in Corinthians?

Rick's comment: The Greek word arsenokoitai is a neologism (a new word) coined by Paul based on the Septuagint translation of Lev 20:13. From the time of Moses around 1450 BC to the first century AD, the common Jewish view was that Lev 18:22 and 20:13 prohibited shrine prostitution. My arsenokoites page explains that in detail.

What does arsenokoitai mean?

He had already completely addressed the issue of homosexual relations in worship of false gods. The only reason to add this word, used explicitly for homosexuality outside of temple prostitution or forced relations, is that the act itself is wrong.

Rick's comment: There are multiple problems with your assertion that Paul had already completely addressed the issue of homosexual relations.

1. Paul had not "completely addressed the issue of homosexual relations." He didn’t address that issue at all. He addressed the issue of idolatry.

2. In extant Greek mss, arsenokoitai is never used to mean homosexuality. It is used to indicate shrine prostitution or rape or in a few cases, sex with angels or the gods.

3. Paul wrote 1 Corinthians in AD 54-55 and Romans in the winter of AD 57-58. Therefore, when 1 Corinthians was written, Paul had not yet written Romans and therefore had not addressed temple prostitution or the issue of false gods and idolatry in Rome.

Furthermore, if Paul was referring to temple prostitution in Romans 1, then why did he not use the words he uses in Corinthians to refer specifically to temple prostitutes? It would have been easy. He was in Corinth when he wrote to the Romans, so he would have been very familiar with the temple prostitution and vocabulary used to address it.

Rick's comment: That God led Paul to use different words in Romans than he used in Corinthians is not any kind of thoughtful argument. It is, at best, an argument from silence. Arguing from silence does nothing to support your view.

Instead, he chooses very general language that encompasses all forms of homosexual behavior that he clarifies in 1 Corinthians 6:9. He simply says men gave up the natural use of a woman and burned in lust for each other. If he meant only temple prostitution, he could have easily said so.

Rick's comment: Making a sweeping assertion that is factually incorrect (Lauren - "he chooses very general language that encompasses all forms of homosexual behavior") or that Paul clarifies his Romans assertion in 1 Corinthians 6:9 is chronologically wrong. Since 1 Corinthians was written before Romans, Paul is not clarifying Romans in 1 Corinthians.

Aug 19, 2018
Answer to second half of Lauren's comment
by: Rick

Furthermore, you have not adequately addressed the fact that God has never and will never be ok with His people committing any act that honors a false god. If homosexual behavior was associated with idol worship, it would have been forbidden simply because of its association. Just like any other ritual or act that imitated idol worship was forbidden.

Rick's comment: Yes Lauren, I did address that. Here's what you wrote previously.

"3. Multiple times in the OT, God says anything even remotely having to do with idols, idol worship, or even the culture of idol worshippers is to be completely absent from a Godly people. If homosexual sexual relations are part of idol worship, then in context with all of God's word, we should not participate at all. There is no example in the Bible where a practice used to worship idols is wrong in the temple, but ok in other places. We are to completely stay away from anything that honors another god."

Here’s what I wrote to address that.

Rick's comment: Idol worship across more than 3400 years of Bible history, didn’t only involve male-male activity. It also involved male-female activity.

If you really believe your argument, then you must also condemn heterosexuality since heterosexuals also engaged in idolatry and used heterosexual sex to worship false gods and goddesses.

But please don't do that because your logic is flawed. For example:

If a bank robber eats a sandwich while robbing a bank, that doesn't make eating a sandwich sinful.

People can misuse a good thing while committing sin without that usage making using the good thing sinful in other situations.

Also, to interpret Romans in the way that you have chosen to interpret it is to reject Paul's intent for the whole letter. He is writing to say we must put to death the deeds of the flesh. That evidence of walking in the Spirit is to desire the things of the Spirit. And evidence of walking in the flesh is to desire the things of the flesh.

Rick's comment: No Lauren, I have not rejected Paul’s intent for the whole letter. I have a word by word, phrase by phrase, verse by verse commentary on Romans 1 online for FREE. You can read it and discover that your assessment of my view is incorrect.

Paul’s purpose in Romans it to set forth the gospel and explain justification by faith and the righteousness of God. The theme of Romans is righteousness. When you use a phrase like, "put to death the deeds of the flesh," to sum up Romans, it indicates that you have a basic misunderstanding of Romans, a basic misunderstanding of Christian holiness, a basic misunderstanding of justification by faith, a basic misunderstanding of sanctification.

16 chapters of my Romans commentary are available FREE online. They explain in an easy to understand way, what Paul taught about salvation.

He makes very clear in Romans 1 that homosexual desires are of the flesh, and that if we choose our flesh over the Spirit, then God will give us over to the desires of our flesh.

Rick's comment: Repeating your opinion that Romans 1 is about homosexuals and homosexuality will not make it so. Mischaracterizing Romans as biblical teaching against gays and lesbians is flat out wrong.

It really all comes down to one question.

If God Himself came to you and said it was a sin to be a homosexual, would you turn from it in submission to Him, or would you turn from Him and submit to your flesh?

Rick's comment: God has given us His inerrant infallible word and the Holy Spirit to guide us to truth, John 16:13.

Scripture rightly divided simply does not agree with your opinion. For that matter, church history does not agree with your opinion.

Setting up a hypothetical does nothing to advance your opinion about the meaning of Romans.

Are you honestly open to a truthful interpretation of how the Bible addresses homosexuality, or are you looking to justify your fleshly desires while maintaining an image of godliness?

Rick's comment: Questioning my honesty and openness to truth because I disagree with your unstudied and unbiblical opinion is an appeal to emotions instead of truth.

Because I disagree with you (oh the effrontery!), you imply that I am justifying my fleshly desires.

Finally, to accept that God approves of homosexual "marriage" is to say that He had no plan for a male and female marriage.

Rick's comment: That isn’t an argument or a thoughtful statement of truth. It is another appeal to emotions.

The concept of fruit, reproduction, seeds, etc., is used over and over again. Romans 1 says we see God's truth in creation. There is no Biblical truth found in creation that supports a homosexual union. It produces no fruit, it sows no seed, and it is not clearly shown in nature to play any beneficial role like we see with the male/female relationship.

How do you explain this absence of any homosexual relationships in nature that can be used to demonstrate Biblical truth? We clearly see how true marriage is a model of many different truths, but can you find any examples of homosexual unions as an image of Biblical truth?

Rick's comment: Lauren, you have asked lots of questions and made lots of false assertions.

You’ve ignored my answers to your questions and apparently haven’t even read my answers since you accused me of not answering something I did answer. I see no reason to invest any more time in this.

Aug 27, 2018
Avoiding the issue
by: G.Coull

It appears that you don't have any idea about why Christ died for us or why anyone's life was required at all. 27 states 'receiving in themselves full recompense for their error'

Recompense is a replacement for something that was lost or taken away. This is where one needs to be honest with themselves.

Rick's comment: Hi G.Coull - I'm writing a verse by verse commentary on Romans. The first fourteen chapters of Romans, comprising 1200+ pages of commentary, are available free online on my Home Page and my Romans page.

Check out my comments on Romans 1:27 and let me know what you think. Many thanks.

Gay Christian 101 Home Page

Romans 1

Nov 19, 2018
Go to Mass
by: RM

The Catholic Church extends as a direct lineage of the Apostles. The Catholic Church teaches the truth about Scripture including sexual sins. You should go to Catholic Mass and become a Catholic. I will pray for you. May the Lord be with you.

Rick's comment: Hi RM - Getting saved the Bible way works a lot better than becoming Catholic. Salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ is always better than religious make believe.

What must I do to be saved?

Nov 21, 2018
Thank you
by: D.L.F

Hello, My baby sister recently came out as gay. In the forty some years that I've known her, she has never seemed so happy. I am an atheist but my sister has convinced me to be open minded about God. Thank you for this site. I am reading Romans now and your article is very helpful.

You've caught some flack but none of the opposing comments have responded to your biblical analysis. It seems that some of the posters are reading the verses through their cultural lens and biases.

It might be interesting for the responders to consider the Roman view on sexuality. Roman citizens valued moderation but, as long as he didn't indulge to frequently, a man could have sex with any one lower in status than him. The higher status men were supposed to do the penetrating whether of men or women. There was no concept of sexuality.

Men were expected to marry, make children but not be faithful. Rape of slaves was not uncommon. Add to that the fact that there temple prostitution and Paul's views make sense. He was fighting against some pretty horrible injustices and deep seated cultural practices.

Rick's comment: Hi D.L.F. - Thanks for your encouraging comments and thank you for supporting your baby sister. That is a blessing!

What must I do to be saved?

Dec 31, 2018
I have a question
by: Sherry Berry

When God made man and woman, why did he do that? When he told them to be fruitful and multiple, why was that? If he meant for men to desire only men, or women to desire only women, then wouldn't the world end with those two couples?

I mean two women can't multiply.and two men can't multiply. You must have a male and female to have children. Why would I sleep with a woman to get a baby and I am a woman myself. There will be No Babies. So right now, I am stopping and praying for you and others to have a change of heart, and ask God to fully open your eyes.

Rick's comment: Hi Sherry - Several points to keep in mind.

1. About 95% of the human race is heterosexual. They are having children and some of their children are gay or lesbian.

2. About 5% of the human race is homosexual.

3. God created a gloriously diverse world where every fingerprint and every snowflake is different.

I hope that is helpful in answering your question.

What must I do to be saved?

Jan 10, 2019
Scripture cannot mean NOW what it did not mean THEN
by: Xakk

Scripture cannot mean NOW what it did not mean THEN

Jst wnt to say this doesnt make any sence to me....Bcos scripture are sopose to stand for the presence and the future....if u kill or commite adultry back then its a sin and if u do so in this generation its still a sin....The wicked will always try to massage u wit fake truth..leviticus 18 22...talks abt the same issue...but if we should allow anibodi who doesnt agree with it interprite,they will do so to suit thier agenda which is not fair...2 Timothy 4:3
For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.

I guess this explains it all thank you

Rick's comment: Hi Xakk - I believe you have misunderstood what we wrote. When we say:

Scripture cannot mean NOW,
What it did not mean THEN,

we are saying that, if scripture wasn't referring to gays and lesbians when it was written thousands of years ago, then scripture is not referring to gays and lesbians now.

Bible verses don't change their meaning over time.

Scripture does not morph into another meaning in the twenty first century simply because many Christians are too lazy to study their Bible.

Keep studying your Bible - the Lord has a lot to teach you if you're willing to learn.

Feb 06, 2019
U need to take GOD at HIS word
by: Joan

U need to take almighty God at His word and stop trying to justify sin.

Rick's comment: Hi Joan- With all due respect, it will help you immensely if you learn to:

1. Study the Bible and,
2. Understand the Bible in context.

As long as you insist on not studying the Bible and as long as you insist on not factoring in the biblical, cultural, doctrinal, historical, linguistic and religious context in which it was given, you will always think you know what it means without really knowing what it means.

I hope you will take time to memorize 2 Timothy 2:15 in the King James Bible and apply it whenever you read the Bible. Many thanks for your comment.

Feb 27, 2019

Just because you support it do not try to keep them at ease that they are not sinning the scripture is clear and does not need translation..please do not call a donkey a dog.

Rick's comment: Hi Florence - Please read my reply to Joan. Many thanks.

Mar 20, 2019
Homosexuality is absolutely SIN!!
by: Thelma

Homosexuality is an abomination to God!! It’s not natural! God made Man and Woman to be together!! Stop trying to justify it!! If you continue living that lifestyle.........Your going to hell!

Rick's comment: Hi Thelma - Please read my reply to Joan. Many thanks.

Apr 28, 2019
Romans 1
by: Jean

The theme of this chapter is condemnation of all the godlessness and and wickedness of the people. It condemns people for exchanging "the glory of The immortal God" for false gods. God gave them over to their sinful desires, to sexual impurity with ONE ANOTHER, not with idols. Furthermore, they became filled with all Unrighteousness—sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, etc.

It says men leaving the natural use of a woman burned in their lust for ONE ANOTHER men with men, committing what is shameful.

I’m sorry, but your argument is not believable.

God is the judge, not me. But people need to read it for themselves and not just rely on what someone says.

Rick's comment: Hi Jean - I encourage you to read the article again. The Lord has truth for you if you are willing to put aside your false presuppositions and believe God's truth, in context.

May 10, 2019
Romans 1
by: Nathan

I believe that the Bible is the infallible word of God. Meaning man may have penned the words, but man put down the words that were given by the Spirit of God and there is no error.

On this topic of homosexuality In order for it to be not sinful or actually a blessed way to live we must see it blessed in the words of the Bible.

A marriage covenant is throughout the Bible but I don’t see where he blesses a same sex union. I do see where he is against fornication the sex before marriage and of course other sexual sins.

If it is in the heart of God and has always been the heart of God to bless them same sex unions then why is it not clear. I mean I don’t see where he blesses two woman to engage in relations or men in relations. On the contrary we read a passage like this one.

Romans 1:26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 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 scripture will interpret the scriptures. We have to examine the whole word of God. I don’t have this heart that wants to see anyone punished at all. I want to see Him move greatly is his church his body. Thank you.

Rick's comment: Hi Nathan - This website provides lots of truth if you are willing to receive it.

You wrote: "On this topic of homosexuality In order for it to be not sinful or actually a blessed way to live we must see it blessed in the words of the Bible."

Really? Is that the proper way to interpret the Bible? In the real world, many Christians get divorced and then remarry. Some do that three or four times.

Where does the Bible say it is okay for anti-gay Christians to get married, divorced, remarried and divorced again and still be a pastor or a Sunday School teacher or an elder?

Many anti-gay folks often try to strain out a gnat while swallowing a camel, Matthew 23:24.

Citing Romans 1:26-27, as if it is anti-gay, indicates you haven't studied the Bible much.

Here is a good starter page to help you understand Romans 1:26-27.

May 13, 2019
by: Charles

In whatever context,
1.That Females and males EXCHANGED that which was LAWFULL for that which was UNLAWFUL/UNNATURAL is an undisputed fact.
2. This UNLAWFUL passion was also characterised as DEGRADING (Vs 26)
3.The unlawful is committed in the context of idolatrous shrine prostitution. True.
4. Idolatrous shrine prostitution, a product of Godlessness and sin produces as fruit the unlawful/unnatural. By this UNLAWFUL fruit we KNOW that that which birthed it is sinful. Can we reasonably gather grapes (unlawful/unnatural) from a bramble bush(Idolatry)? (Luke 6:44)
6.It is not unlawful because it broke any laws of Rome, no.(it was an accepted religious practice). It was unlawful because it broke the LAWS OF GOD.
5. Unlawful, when Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, dictated Romans, but no longer unlawful today?

Rick's comment: Hi Charles - I have a free, verse by verse commentary on Romans 1, available on my website. I hope you will read it because it answers your questions.

FREE Romans Commentary

Jun 27, 2019
Abraham and Sarah
by: Dustin

Funny! First - Abraham and Sarah were not brother and sister.

If you are going to claim a superiority over someone else when it comes to Scripture - then at least know your scripture. Go back and re-read it please and tell me I am wrong.

So much for you being informed of what the Bible says. Again, go back and the story about Abraham and Sarah. I dare you!

Cause if you can’t get the scripture on something simple like Abraham and Sarah, why should I trust anything else you have to bring to the table about homosexuality?

Rick's comment: Hi Dustin - Please carefully read Genesis chapter 20. Many thanks.

"And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah." Genesis 20:2

"Said he not unto me, She is my sister? and she, even she herself said, He is my brother: in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this." Genesis 20:5

"And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife." Genesis 20:12

"And unto Sarah he said, Behold, I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver: behold, he is to thee a covering of the eyes, unto all that are with thee, and with all other: thus she was reproved." Genesis 20:16

What must I do to be saved?

Jun 27, 2019
Respectively disagree and this is why
by: Dustin

... with respects to Romans 1, it would appear that the author prefers to interpret the Bible through the lens of other sources only. If he can show me where Paul mentions Cybele – I will listen up! Otherwise, the argument is empty as he tries to masquerade his opinions as truth.

So let’s talk about para physin ("unnatural") that Paul uses in v. 26. For sure, folks on both sides have butchered the Greek phrase. The phrase goes back as far as Plato who 1st used it in reference to same-sex intercourse.

Have a look at Plato, Laws 636-B-D. Various ancient writers critiqued all sorts of immoral sexual behaviour. And for sure, many if them believed that only
procreative sex was valid. BUT – when discussing sexual immorality, the phrase para physin was RESERVED for same sex behavior. Paul is simply reflecting the typical meaning oi a widely used and known phrase.

So, when the idea turns up in Romans 1, Paul is hardly making an original contribution to theological thought on the subject. He speaks out of a Hellenistic-Jewish cultural context in which homosexuality is regarded with disfavor. So, plain and simple – para-physin was simply stock language used by other Roman and Jewish writers to condemn same-sex relations.

Sorry, but I don’t really have time to go through all of the 6-7 popular passages that affirming people and gays like to re-interpret. So I started with the Leviticus 18 passage. You can’t get around it! The sources are clear!

Rick's comment: Hi Dustin - Our topic here is Romans 1:26-27.

This is not the place for you to attempt to correct Dr. Ralph Blair, since he has nothing to do with this website. Your thoughts on what he teaches should be directed to him on the Evangelicals Concerned website.

I have a free, verse by verse commentary on Romans 1 - 16, available on the Home Page of this website. I hope you will read it because it presents God's truth, rightly divided.

FREE Romans Commentary

Jul 17, 2019
What does it mean?
by: Rio Tesa

It seems to me that the ";" makes the "unseemly work of men with men" a description of the "burned in their lust of one another".

If the passage is interpreted as Paul speaking specifically of gay people, then the traditional hating seems theological.

But for that to make sense the word "lust" would have to be specifically intended to describe sexual perversity and not idolatry or other forms of lust.

"In the original Greek, 'shameful acts' probably not mean "passions" or "lust" or "vile affection"as people experienced in normal, day-to-day living -- the type of emotion that one encounters in a marriage or sexually active relationship. It seems to refer to the "frenzied state of mind that many ancient mystery cults induced in worshipers by means of wine, drugs and music." (

Also "unseemly work" would have to literally mean anal sex, and not other things which are wrong that men do together.

Also "natural use of woman" would have to mean "heterosexual intercourse for pleasure" and not spousing (hi misogynists).

Is the interpretation of passages driven by love or hate?

Aug 01, 2019
Independent thinking comes from the devil
by: Vickquin Williams

Why did Jehovah destroy Sodom and Gomorrah? What does the word Sodom make us think of- sodomize?

Rick's comment: Hi Vickquin - God created us to be independent thinkers, therefore, independent thinking comes from God, our Creator.

These links answer your interesting questions.

What really happened in Sodom?

Jude 7?
What about Jude?

Did Jehovah create Adam and Adam or Eve and Eve?

Adam and Eve?

Sep 06, 2019
Blown Away
by: Dunce Scotus

Brother Rick, I am truly blown away by the love you show God's people. Year after year going on a decade you patiently make your argument from the scripture with intelligence and compassion, answering everyone no matter how closed they are in mind or heart.

The Bible says what it says, how it says, where it says, why it says, etc. according to God's mind and plan. His word is "the letter that kills" and "the spirit that gives life." Its overarching purpose is to point to Christ, for in him lies salvation.

Lest God be deprived of his wisdom, the scripture remains sufficiently difficult to entrap anyone who desires to use it for entrapment.

Behind Pharasaic zeal for the " word of God" is a most hideous, paradoxical monster who despises "the Word who was made flesh and dwelt among us."

Rick's comment: Thanks for your kind words. God doesn't force His incredible blessings on anyone. Many people are so caught up in law keeping that they completely miss the truth of God and the grace of God in Jesus Christ.

What must I do to be saved?

Jan 18, 2020
by: Casey

Then why are so many homosexuals being delivered?

Rick's comment: Hi Casey -

Exodus International - Largest Ex-gay ministry on earth, shut down in June, 2013, and admitted: No one's sexual orientation changed in their 40 years of ministry.

There have always been people who claim to have been gay and now claim they are heterosexual.

In this age of fake news, you should read the Exodus International article, which answers your question, and don't fall for fake news from the ex-gay crowd.

Mar 24, 2020
by: Chris

The historical context that you described behind Romans 1:26 and 27 may be true. But that doesn't change the fact that Paul described sex between two women or two men as vile, shameful, and unnatural. You are very good at smoke and mirrors, which change nothing.

Jesus said, 4) "Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5) and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6) So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate." -Matthew 19:4-6

God joins a man and a woman together in marriage. Same-sex marriage was not ordained by God. Therefore, in states where same-sex marriage is legal, it is still not recognized by God. Jesus condemned fornication (pre-marital sex), adultery (extra-marital sex) and sexual immorality. In the mind of any rational believer, sex between two women or two men would be considered sexual immorality. It is vile, shameful, and unnatural according to the word of God.

Chris Alexander

Rick's comment: Hi Chris Alexander - Smoke and mirrors?

I. You cited Matthew 19, a passage where Jesus is asked, by heterosexual Jewish men, about the marriage practices of other adulterous heterosexual Jewish men, to prove that gay marriage is wrong. That's just plain weird.

II. In the OT, God accepted polygamy because it was a cultural norm. In the OT, polygamy: 1. was culturally accepted, 2. was legal, 3. was accepted by God and, 4. was practiced, even by saved and blessed followers of God.

III. Since God accepted OT polygamy, even for His saved followers, and still blessed them, it is not a stretch to believe that God also accepts gay marriage, even for His followers, and still blesses them.

IV. It may be time to throw off your yoke of bondage, leave your twelfth century mis-interpretations behind, and enjoy God's amazing Bible, God's amazing freedom and God's amazing grace as a born again, saved man in the twenty first century.

"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." Galatians 5:1.

Oct 11, 2020
Thank you
by: Gwen

Thank you for this website. I found the contextual analysis really helpful. I appreciate you.

Rick's comment: Hi Gwen- Thank you for commenting. I have a free, verse by verse commentary on Romans on the home page of this website.

FREE Romans commentary

May 30, 2021
Perverse lies
by: Judy Hansel

There are none so blind as those who refuse to see. Romans 1:26-31 is explicit and has nothing to do with idolatry.

Rick's comment: Hi Judy Hansel- Thank you for commenting.

I have a FREE phrase by phrase, verse by verse commentary on Romans chapters 1 - 16 on the home page of this website.

That you believe Romans 1:26-31, has nothing to do with idolatry, indicates lack of understanding of Romans.

FREE Romans commentary

Jun 10, 2021
Is it not written
by: William Brasky

What are your thoughts on Deuteronomy 22:5?

Rick's comment: Hi William Brasky- Here are my thoughts on Deuteronomy 22:5. Click the Link.

Deuteronomy 22:5

Jun 11, 2021
Fallen angels
by: Bill B

It has long been my speculation that the original inspiration of these pagan gods were actual fallen angels. If they were imaginary, why would God take the time to curse them in exodus?

That not withstanding, and I'm not an expert so I'm genuinely asking, were there any other activities in the worship of pagan gods that God found no fault with?

I may be missing something but I have always been under the impression that every activity in the ritual worship of these gods was evil.

It seems like the rituals were designed from the ground up to be an abomination to our God specifically. Homosexuality would seem to me to be a odd exception to me.

Rick's comment: Hi Bill B- Let's see if I understand your speculation.

a. The original inspiration for pagan gods was fallen angels,

b. The worship rituals for pagan gods were designed to be an affront to God, and therefore;

c. Their same sex rituals make all things gay an affront to God.

That seems to me, an attempt to condemn gays through speculation, without using any verse of scripture, because you cannot find any verse of scripture which, in context, condemns gays.

I address that kind of specious argument on my shrine prostitutes page. Click the Link.

Shrine Prostitutes

Jun 14, 2021
by: Bill B

Well I don't know that subject as well as you do, but I would like to know if there were any practices that were not an affont to God, for my own sake if you know of any.

Rick's comment: Hi Bill B- To answer that question, one would need a thorough knowledge of every pagan ritual involved plus thorough knowledge of the lives of the shrine prostitutes.

It is not possible from our vantage point, to obtain that information and without that information a fact based answer to your question is impossible.

Shrine Prostitutes

Jun 21, 2021
Contextual argument
by: Bill B

In the way of a contextual argument, I think the context of the entire bible is anti homosexual. 100% off the homosexuals are evil and there is no mention of a righteuos one. And it is my opinion that this whole website is based on a carefully crafted dillusion.

There is no argument I could not debate as long as i had the ability to dogmatically create whatever context I like. And the argument that a very clear edict to never practice homosexuality is some circuitous path to denounce idolitry is a premise that shows desperation.

Rick's comment: Hi Bill B, or, William Brasky- As most anti-gay folks, you deal in "I think," opinion and speculation, not facts.

It is only possible to believe what you believe when you ignore context. Then, when someone points out context, you continue to ignore context and assert your opinion in place of context.

You close with the assertion that when someone rightly divides the word of truth, 2 Timothy 2:15, they are taking a circuitous path to denounce idolatry out of desperation.

In plainer words, ignore the context, ignore the facts, ignore the history, ignore the idolatry and use ad hominem argument (attack the man who disagrees with you) by labeling him desperate.

Shrine Prostitutes

Jun 21, 2021
seems disingenuous
by: anon

Your argument is unclear as to why Paul can only be condemning idolatry and not homosexual acts. Why can it not be both?

Although Paul's core thesis is about idolatry, the language on its face appears to be pretty rough on homosexual acts. Yet, you fail to do a thorough exegesis on the verses at hand.

I don't think being gay is a sin, but your argument has holes that need to be patched in order to be convincing to people.

Rick's comment: Hello Anonymous- I think both my argument and Paul's argument is perfectly clear. Paul is talking about idolatry.

At no point in Romans 1 does Paul address gays or lesbians. All of Paul's argument is focused on idolatry.

Paul uses Greek words which also describe idolatry in the Septuagint version of the Old Testament.

I point out Paul's argument about idolatry and his use of Greek words in my verse by verse Commentary on Romans 1.

I have dozens of web pages and hundreds of pages of information about Romans 1, online for FREE, to anyone who wants to read it. I hope this is helpful to you.

Shrine Prostitutes

Jun 22, 2021
still seems disingenuous
by: anon

We agree that Paul is talking about idolatry, I never disagreed with you on that, but Paul is also discussing homosexual acts.

You seem to conflate my use of the term "homosexual acts" with the terms gay and lesbian. You say Paul never addresses gays or lesbians, as though he would ever address them in those modern terms. (a sort of definist fallacy).

Paul supports his argument against idolatry with an example of homosexual acts performed with shrine prostitutes. On its face, Paul obviously views these acts as sinful. Does he view them as sinful only because they are performed in an idolatrous context? Paul doesn’t say, he only condemns the idolatrous homosexual act.

Even in your extended discussion of the verses you skirt the issue. "That which is unseemly is repeated anal sex with multiple men, to worship a fertility goddess..." (p. 81) This make sense.

Then you make a wild logical leap for which you have no foundation in the text: "...not being lesbian and having sex with your wife or being gay and having sex with your husband." (Id.)

Rick's comment: Hello anon- You wrote: "You say Paul never addresses gays or lesbians, as though he would ever address them in those modern terms. (a sort of definist fallacy)."

Rick - Then you employ the modern term, homosexual, to support your opinion. Is that a bit disingenuous?

You wrote: "On its face, Paul obviously views these acts as sinful. Does he view them as sinful only because they are performed in an idolatrous context?"

Rick - Well yes, indeed he does. The entire focus of his argument is idolatry - not gays, not lesbians, not homosexuals.

There is nothing in the text of scripture, rightly divided and/or, read in context, that indicates Paul held the modern religious anti-gay view.

I point out Paul's argument about idolatry and his use of Greek words in my verse by verse Commentary on Romans 1.

I have dozens of web pages and hundreds of pages of information about Romans 1, online for FREE, to anyone who wants to read it. I hope this is helpful to you.

Shrine Prostitutes

Jun 22, 2021
You are ignoring context
by: Bill brasky

As I have already pointed out, you are the one who ignores context. And worse than that, you invent your own. Your debate strategy is to ignore someones main point, and than make a counter argument against a straw man you have invented.

Rick's comment: Wow Bill, just wow!

I point out Paul's argument about idolatry and his use of Greek words in my verse by verse Commentary on Romans 1.

I have dozens of web pages and more than one hundred pages of information about Romans 1, online for FREE, for anyone who wants to read it. I hope this is helpful to you.

Jun 22, 2021
still seems disingenuous
by: anon

So we are both disingenuous? Is that really the direction you want to go with this?

By "homosexual act" I mean a sex act between people who are the same sex. Not exactly a modern phenomenon. It is distinguishable from your use of modern terms. The term homosexual, gay, and lesbian as identities are certainly modern terms based on modern socially constructed sexual identities that may or may not actually exist. Or are you arguing that biological sex is a modern social construct and not inherent to a person?

Either way you don't address my main concern. That Paul ostensibly condemns homosexual acts in these verses. I'm not arguing Paul condemns homosexual people (regardless of sex). It would be anachronistic for him to do so. I'm arguing he condemns homosexual acts.

On its face, Paul obviously views these acts as sinful. Does he view them as sinful only because they are performed in an idolatrous context?

Rick's comment: So anon- Your main concern is that "Paul ostensibly condemns homosexual acts in these verses."

Ostensibly means: apparently or purportedly, but perhaps not actually.

We determine whether Paul actually condemns all homosexual acts by examining context.

You are careful to point out that "homosexual, gay, and lesbian as identities are certainly modern terms based on modern socially constructed sexual identities that may or may not actually exist."

That sounds like the old Exodus International line, that no one is really gay or lesbian. They're really all heterosexuals who've adopted a false gay identity.

If I understand your argument, homosexual, gay and lesbian identities may or may not actually exist and Paul ostensibly condemns homosexual acts, without his condemnation being limited to the context in which Paul and the Holy Spirit placed the ostensible condemnation.

The context of Romans 1 is ancient pagan idolatry.

Paul three times cites the OT about Israel's embrace of pagan idolatry:

"God gave them up" - 1:24,
"God gave them up" - 1:26,
"God gave the over" - 1:28.

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"

Let’s be clear about this. In Romans 1:24, 26, 28, Paul is quoting the Old Testament about God giving Israel up because of her idolatry and shrine prostitution.

He is saying that what happened in ancient Israel was happening in first century Rome. The sins of the Gentiles have not changed and the sins of the Jews have not changed.

Read Acts 7:42 and remember that Paul heard Stephen preach that sermon in person. It made an indelible mark on his heart and soul so that Paul quotes in Romans 1:24, the same passage Stephen quoted in Acts 7:42.

I point out Paul's argument about idolatry and his use of Greek words which were used in the Septuagint to describe idolatry, in my verse by verse Commentary on Romans 1.

Dec 30, 2021
by: Jasper Walls

Never saw such a convoluted,irrational attempt to justify behavior God has clearly condemned throughout Scripture.

Typical of liberals the author attempts slight of hand to suggest God's love for us means He relaxes His commandments.

This is utter nonsense; a clear example of "itching ears"; a blatant example of false teaching.

Rick's comment: Hi Jasper Walls - The context of Romans 1 is ancient pagan idolatry.

Paul three times cites the OT about Israel's embrace of pagan idolatry:

"God gave them up" - 1:24,
"God gave them up" - 1:26,
"God gave the over" - 1:28.

1 Kings 14:16 - "he shall give Israel up"

2 Chronicles 30:7 - "gave them up"

Psalm 81:12 - "so I gave them up"

Micah 5:3 - "therefore will he give them up"

The Holy Spirit has Stephen cite one of those verses in

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

Let’s be clear about this. In Romans 1:24, 26, 28, Paul is quoting the Old Testament about God giving Israel up because of her idolatry and shrine prostitution.

Paul is saying that what happened in ancient Israel was also happening in first century Rome. The sins of the Gentiles have not changed and the sins of the Jews have not changed.

Read Acts 7:42 and remember that Paul heard Stephen preach that sermon in person. It made an indelible mark on his heart and soul so that Paul quotes in Romans 1:24, the same passage Stephen quoted in Acts 7:42.

I point out Paul's argument about idolatry and his use of Greek words which were used in the Septuagint to describe idolatry, in my verse by verse Commentary on Romans 1.

Dec 30, 2021
Reply to Jasper Walls
by: Scott Golden

Jasper, your attitude and comments on the matter are truly a case of "there are none so blind as they who WILL not see". One can only pray for such as you that the eyes and ears of your heart as well as your intellect will be opened to the compassion and love of Christ. May the Lord bless you for the coming year.

Jan 05, 2022
Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?

It seems like homosexuality is just one in a long list of abominable things the can be used to worship idols. Are there any other things God finds acceptable? Or is homosexuality a special exception?

Rick's comment: Hi Bill Brasky - I encourage you to factor in context and what the Bible actually says.

The context of Romans 1 is ancient pagan idolatry.

Paul three times in Romans 1, quotes the OT about Israel's embrace of pagan idolatry:

"God gave them up" - Romans 1:24,
"God gave them up" - Romans 1:26,
"God gave the over" - Romans 1:28.

Psalm 81:12 - "so I gave them up"

1 Kings 14:16 - "he shall give Israel up"

2 Chronicles 30:7 - "gave them up"

Micah 5:3 - "therefore will he give them up"

The Holy Spirit has Stephen cite one of those verses in

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

In Romans 1:24, 26, 28, Paul quotes three Old Testament passages about God giving Israel up because of her idolatry and shrine prostitution.

Paul is saying that the pagan idolatry which happened in ancient Israel was also happening in first century Rome.

The sins of the Gentiles in the first century AD had not changed from what pagan Gentiles and Jews were doing in the OT.

Read Acts 7:42 and remember that Paul heard Stephen preach that sermon in person.

Hearing Stephen quote Psalm 81:12 made an indelible impression on Paul's heart so that Paul quotes in Romans 1:24, the same passage Stephen quoted in Acts 7:42.

I point out Paul's argument about idolatry and his use of Greek words which were used in the Septuagint to describe idolatry, in my verse by verse Commentary on Romans 1.

Jan 07, 2022
Great news!!!!

I've found that the bible only ever condemns child sacrifice in context of idol worship. So if you have any unwanted children feel free to set them on fire.

Rick's comment: Hi Bill Brasky - Obviously you are not serious about learning the Bible. I hope you will become a serious Christian at some point in your life.

Until then, it will be helpful to your understanding to read and study Romans using my verse by verse Commentary on Romans 1.

Feb 11, 2022
Reminds me of ZN
by: Thomas K

Hi Rick,you remind me of an Islamic scholar who tries to dismiss everything about Jesus and The Bible with his extremely well articulated ‘scholarly’ explanations!
He is called Zakir Naik.Lots of his Q&A sessions on You Tube.
I believe that people like him (and you) are sadly instruments that the devil is using to accomplish his agenda before Jesus comes back.
But there’s still hope for you as you seem to know about faith in Christ.
Pray you give up wasting your extreme talent trying to defend something scripturally indefensible.God bless.

Rick's comment: Hi Thomas K - What an odd comment. You have ignored the thousands of pages of biblical commentary I make available free on this website and instead, compared me to an unsaved Muslim.

It will help your understanding to read and study Romans using my verse by verse Commentary on Romans 1 - 14.

May 28, 2022
Romans 1:27
by: Joshua Ashwood

I hesitate to even leave a comment on your site, since, as it has obviously been your mission for years now to pervert God's Word and (unspeakable folly!) DARE to use the name of the Savior to excuse your abominable lifestyle, it would seem you have already been given over to the "reprobate mind" described in Romans 1:28. Therefore, my comment is probably going to be casting pearls before swine. Be that as it may, I do want to briefly address the "recompence of their error which was meet" in Romans 1:27.

While there are many theories, there is no general consensus among Christian commentators as to what this is referring to. It is, however, obviously describing a judgment (or judgments) of God, and therefore does not necessarily need to be limited to one particular manifestation of His wrath. Consider, Mr. Brentlinger, the FACT, that not only does Scripture condemn sodomy all through its pages in the strongest and clearest possible language (no matter how much you and others of your ilk try to squirm out of it), but God has left his witness to the vileness of your actions in your own bodies, souls, and spirits. Why is it that, of all the possible sexual pairings among humans, the only one that is absolutely immune from STDs is that which consists of a man and a woman who have been sexually pure before marriage, and remain so after marriage? (Consider Hebrews 13:4.) Why is every other sexual relationship outside of this biblical form of marriage prone to horrendous STDs? And, more to the point, why are sodomite relationships cursed with dozens of the more horrendous and debilitating STDs? Further, why do sodomites have one of the highest (if not the highest) rates of depression and suicide among any class of people? "Acceptance" is certainly not the answer. The public schools, most of the government, Hollywood, every major corporation, etc. are all rabidly cheering sodomy on, and thanks to constant indoctrination, probably the majority of sodomites' friends and relatives have accepted their wickedness. "Persecution" and "hardship" isn't the answer. Who have been more persecuted in the world's history than genuine Christians, and yet who have been more joyful, even when being tortured and murdered? And, are there any examples in all of history of any group of people undergoing severe hardship (the Israelites in Egyptian bondage, for example) committing mass suicide at the rate the sodomite community does? Let's face reality, Mr. Brentlinger. The STDs constantly raging through the sodomite community, the depression, the suicide all point to God's curse on your kind, not His blessing. What other way can this evidence be interpreted? (If you're stupid enough to believe in Darwinian evolution, I suppose you could interpret the evidence as indicating that straight, faithful, married couples are more highly evolved than people indulging in other sexual relationships, since, as I've already pointed out, the former are immune from the STDs which constantly plague the latter.) No, Mr. Brentlinger, all the evidence, Scriptural and physical is dead against you and your arguments. For your profanation of His Word and Truth, God may well have already reprobated you and sealed you up in the "strong delusions" which he sends to those who will not believe the truth, but take pleasure in unrighteousness (2 Thessalonians 2:11,12). I pray it is not so. I pray God may grant you grace to "consider your ways," that you may cease "sewing pillows to armholes" and cause you to realize that what you have been doing all these years is the same as that described in Ezekiel 13:22: "With lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life." May He deliver you from the "gall of bitterness, and bond of iniquity" (Acts 8:23) in which you are ensnared. May He grant you true repentance unto life and true faith in the only Savior from sin, the Lord Jesus Christ, and may it soon be said of you as of the former sodomites (and other sinners) in 1 Corinthians 6:11: "And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."

Rick's comment: Hi Joshua Ashwood - Thank you for making such an odd comment.

What you wrote confirms the Brentlinger Axiom - Caustic and vituperative comments indicate the lack of Bible knowledge of the commenter.

When you attack me as if I am unsaved, simply because I use biblical facts to disagree with your view, it indicates you don't know enough Bible to respond with biblical, in context facts.

If you haven't completely closed your mind to God's truth in the Bible, it will help your biblical understanding and your spiritual growth in Christ to read and study Romans using my verse by verse Commentary on Romans 1 - 16.

Thanks for commenting.

May 28, 2022
Final thought
by: Joshua Ashwood

And thank you for not even addressing the issue I brought up. I've never met a sodomite yet who would when confronted with it. It's because the argument is irrefutable. You may be able to lie about and twist Scripture (for a time, only for a time; the unspeakable eternity you have ahead of you, apart from your true repentance, will convince you if nothing in this life will), but the evidence God has left in sodomites' bodies, souls and spirits (the aforementioned STDs, depression, suicide, etc.) is undeniable and is plain for all to see.

Rick's comment: Hi Joshua Ashwood - Your argument is not irrefutable. It seems self-evident that you are grouping saved gay Christians in with unsaved gays and lesbians.

That is not a factual argument, a fair argument or an honest argument.

Based on your false presuppositions and your false argument, you wrongly extrapolate that everyone who says they are gay, including born again saved GLBTs has high rates of STDs, depression, suicidal ideation, etc.

Nothing will convince you otherwise so I don't spend much time on guys like you because you are anti-gay agenda driven, not truth driven, not Bible driven, not Holy Ghost driven.

Thanks for commenting.

Jan 10, 2023
Woe to you for perverting the word of god
by: Anonymous

You are perverting the gospel plain and simple. Homosexuality is clearly condemned multiple times in the bible. Genesis 19 obviously shows this with Sodom and Gomorrah being destroyed because of their homosexuality. Judges 19 with a levite and his concubine go to Jerusalem in a very similar account to that of the Sodom and Gomorrah account were the Benjamites wanted to sodomize him. And it is a clear command in the law of Moses in Leviticus 18:22 "Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman, that is detestable." and Leviticus 20:13 where if you did that in the old covenant you must be put to death. And yes there are these two versus in Romans were Paul clearly says it is a horrible sin and if you keep reading in verse 28 if you give in to that God gives you over to your depraved mind to do what ought not be done.

God does love you and is full of grace but homosexuality is a sin God really detests and a true Christian must repent of their sins and live holy because "without holiness no one will see the Lord" Hebrews 12:14.

Rick's comment: Hi Anonymous - If you are interested in truth, this website answers your illogical, non-serious comments. Click on NavBar buttons.

Hasn't anyone ever told you? It is not perverting the word of God when I disagree with you on the gay issue.

Jan 27, 2023
Response to previous comment
by: Ananymous

1 Corinthians 6 versus 9 and 10
From the New King James Version

"Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God."

Rick's comment: Hi Ananymous - These Links provides insight into the meaning of 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.

What does the Greek word arsenokoitai mean?

What does the Greek word malakoi mean?

Does the Greek word malakoi mean gay?

I hope this is helpful to you.

Mar 08, 2023
Always Learning - Thanks!
by: Kimberly P.

I am a church musician who recently left one job for another to be part of an affirming church. I’m cis and hetero, but I care deeply about our LGBTQIA+ community.

These verses were in the daily readings today, and even though I knew a little about the historical and cultural context, your site has been a treasure trove of new-to-me information.

Thank you for making it available. It’s fantastic and I’m bookmarking your site.

I don’t usually comment, but Lort. Thought it might be nice for you and others to see a positive comment from someone who actually read, considered, and appreciated what you took the time to so thoroughly research.

Let those who have ears, right? Love and light to you.

Rick's comment: Hi Kimberly - Thanks for your positive and uplifting comments. You are much appreciated!

Click here to add your own comments

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