What about this verse

Page:   1 2

Event Coordinator
Joined in 2009
October 26, 2009, 02:42

How do we respond to this verse:

And God gave them over to a depraved mind, men having unnatural relations with other men etc

Joined in 2007
October 26, 2009, 03:35

Hi topgun,

That’s an interesting question, and I will try to answer it as I understand it. The little piece you quoted is taken out of its proper context though, so I will give the whole passage further down in its proper context.

The “And God” tells me that there is something that came before the and, because that is a conjunction and is used to qualify what came before.

The passage in context is:

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

Can you see how when the entire passage is taken in context, that the passage is dealing with idolatry rather than a particular sexual practice.

When I was a young Christian, I was privileged to listen to the teaching of Trevor Maurice Chandler who was an excellent bible expositor who taught me that when there is a “Therefore” or a “Because of this” in Scripture, very careful consideration has to be given to everything that came before the “Therefore” so we can know what it is there for

Why did God give these men and women over? Because of their idolatry and their unnatural sexual practices with temple prostitutes. These (very likely straight) men and women were forsaking their natural orientation and having sex with same gendered prostitutes as an act of worship to an idol.

I don’t usually get into this discussion these days, but when someone takes scripture out of its proper context, the theological student in me rises to the occasion.

I do not mean any offense to anyone here, least of all topgun.

Event Coordinator
Joined in 2009
October 26, 2009, 03:53

no offense. Im gay christian trying to reconicle my faith and sexuality but that verse still troubles me. It says that men commiteed unnatura l acts with other men so doesnt that imply if iget a boyfriend, that that would be out of Gods order and UNnatural?

Joined in 2007
October 26, 2009, 04:09

I’d have to say that there is no easy answer to these troubling passages of Scripture, topgun.

I know how difficult this struggle was for me, until I finally resolved it for myself. I know that I am now at peace with myself and with God about my decision but I can’t advise anyone else.

In the end, these issues need to be resolved, whichever way we decide to see them for ourselves, and between ourselves and God. No one can answer that question for another person.

I wish I could.

The only one who can really resolve this issue for you, is yourself.

Joined in 2007
October 26, 2009, 13:07

no offense. Im gay christian trying to reconicle my faith and sexuality but that verse still troubles me. It says that men commiteed unnatura l acts with other men so doesnt that imply if iget a boyfriend, that that would be out of Gods order and UNnatural?

The simple, or simplistic response to this is that it was an unnatural act for THOSE men… and that doesn’t automatically mean it’s an unnatural act for every man.

I don’t expect you to be convinced by that one sentence! It took me years and years, and I still think that’s just about the toughest verse in the Bible. I just wanted to let you know that there is another way of looking at that verse. As a matter of logic, there is nothing in the verse that means you HAVE to read it as saying that you getting a boyfriend is unnatural.

Joined in 2008
October 26, 2009, 17:14

Goodness…. it’s been AGES since I posted on here!

Great question Topgun!

Personally, like Magz D when I started getting into the concept of reading scriptures in their entirety as opposed to picking out random verses (to back up or condemn myself (or, shamefully, others)) the Word began to take on much more meaning – and sense for me. So this particular scripture never really troubled me as a gay guy (who is in a relationship) because Paul is not describing me here!

The context has already been posted up by Magz, so taking it as a checklist: I know God and I glorify Him as God and am thankful to Him; I do not profess to be wise, but wait on God to show me the way; I certainly have not exchanged the glory of God for idolatous (is that a word) alternatives. I am a child of God and have a relationship with Jesus Christ, striving to live for Him as He empowers me by the Holy Spirit.

So, if Paul is not referring to me in these former verses (and, I reiterate, by the grace of God he is not!) how would it be that the latter part which begins “for this reason….” could refer to me?

But, as with all scripture, nothing beats personal reflection, conviction and guidance from God. No convincing argument or debate. As I always say to my friends: God called you and saved you. Trust in Him and He will lead you into all truth – as that is His role and He does it best! 🙂


Joined in 2007
October 26, 2009, 19:23

wow Nic,

What a great reply! I have tended to think about that passage in the same way, you know, so it’s nice to see I’m not the only one who sees it that way.

Thanks for the encouragement.

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
October 26, 2009, 23:26

hi topgun…..welcome to the forum.

let me tell you first the process we go through reconciling these things for ourselves.

1. We know deep within our hearts that we are okay no matter what certain verses say

2. If we begin studying a bit deeper we think that we and the authors we are reading are just trying to justify our positions – keep reading

3. The next step is that we fear being deceived by satan – keep reading

4. Next step is – You realise the evidence at least means no one can say for certain, absolutely, definitely without a shadow of doubt. – keep reading

5. The evidence is overwhelming that the interpretations have been based on reading English translations viewed through a limited cultural lens.

6. You realise that its not just you who believes this but also a growing number of heterosexual Christians and scholars.

The verse you’ve quoted can’t actually be taken out of context……Paul is building a case in his letter to the Romans. He begins by looking back at the history of humanity……it is past tense. they didn’t know God…they worshipped idols….fertility gods actually that goes way back to OT times. Paul finally says….and look what the end result of this is.

Paul was very familiar with the sexual pagan practices of both the Greek and Roman cultures….and finishes off with an example quite possibly from Corinth where it is believed he wrote the book of Romans.

He is possibly describing a pagan ritual of Aphrodite whose temple was on the hill of Corinth. During the rutual men and women dressed up as the opposite sex and part of the sexual orgy included people cutting themselves and men castrating themselves. Does this behaviour sound unnatural to you? it does to me. Was it talking about gay men and lesbians, NO. It is speaking about heterosexuals involved in debauched pagan rituals.

There is lots of stuff on the net about this you can read if you want to go deeper.

When two people of the same sex fall in love and live in a committed monogamous relationship…..there is nothing depraved about it any more than two people of the opposite sex in the same context……its about love….not sex.

Joined in 2009
October 28, 2009, 20:45

Thanks Topgun for asking this question- it’s important for us to think through these questions- and this is a good place to do it. Well considered answers and they are there for others.

And thanks to Nick and Meg for their answers- and lecture on hermaneutics!

Joined in 2008
October 28, 2009, 21:54

How do we respond to this verse:

And God gave them over to a depraved mind, men having unnatural relations with other men etc

I believe based on the historical context of when this was written that this is a reference to sexual practices used in idol worship, which involved very unnatural things. And as everyone else said, there is no way Romans 1 can apply to gay Christians, because Christians do not fit into the description of people described in the beginning of the chapter and gay people today do not participate in the kind of idol worshipping orgies (hopefully they do not anyway) described in Romans 1. Hope that is a satisfactory answer. 🙂

Page:   1 2
WP Forum Server by ForumPress | LucidCrew
Version: 99.9; Page loaded in: 0.051 seconds.