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Study Of Romans 1 "Unnatural Acts"

Paul is warning that many were guilty of worshipping man instead of God and therefore was becoming an idol. The love for that idol is an unnatural love called lust. Some men and women allowed sex to become their god (vile affections) and the result is turning the natural love for sex into something unnatural (verse 26). Paul does not specify what that unnatural sexual conduct is, but it is something not natural for those that have made sex their God. He could have been talking about both the male and female sex goddess prostitutes in the Temple like he was clearly discussing in 1 Cor. For homosexuals this part of the passage should not apply. To a Christian, God is first in their lives and not sex so they would not fall under this condemnation.

HOWEVER, the issue is that Paul describes men as naturally preferring women. For men whose natural preference is for women, to have sex with a man would violate this, as in the case of pederasty. It is also interesting to note that these men must "katergazomai" the act of sex with other man. In Greek this means extreme energy is required to accomplish the deed referred to. This would also support the view that it was heterosexual males having anal intercourse with heterosexual males such as to degrade those captured in battle which was a common practice under pederasty. For a gay male, clearly this extreme energy is not required so it does not appear to have that meaning. Many heterosexual couples also enjoy anal sex, which is naturally enjoyable to them, not just to homosexuals.

From this same understanding of Paul's use of the term "natural" there are many churches who would condemn a man whose hair is too long, based on 1 Cor 11:14. Or "natural" can mean what is customarily observed (cp. Romans 11:24). Certainly in Paul's day the usual preference of people was for the opposite sex. It appears more and more that homosexuality is a redundant characteristic of birth just as is being left-handed. If heterosexuality is the norm, that doesn't mean those naturally born homosexual are any less blessed by God.

The Importance Of Romans 2

To read Romans 1 without Romans 2 is a great error, for Paul goes on to say that we are not to judge each other! He points out the self-righteousness of those who have judged the pagans just described in Romans 1. Then he reiterates Jesus' command of the Golden Rule in his own words: "to those who by patiently doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life (2:6)".

So what's happened between Romans 1 and 2? Paul is using an "attention grabbing" technique like any good writer or speaker. In this letter, he is concerned with trying to bridge the gaps between Jewish Christians and Greek Christians who were judging each other and putting each other down.

Paul starts by talking about those "awful pagans" -- a group which both Jew and Greek Christians felt superior to. He gives a laundry list of "sins" and the Christians are probably going "yeh, yeh, those bad people, we are better". Then, after having caught them in their judgementalism, he says "by judging, you pass judgement on yourself." By using a pagan example of sins, he could then go on to say, in effect-GOTCHA! Do not judge! He said, "God shows no partiality" (2:11).

Romans 1 is being misused today to bash homosexuality much as the Jewish and Greek Christians were bashing each other in his day. He did not write Chapter 1 to be used apart from Chapter 2. His point was not to reinforce judgementalism but to say stop judging.

Historical Reasons For False Teaching About Against Nature

The idea of "against nature" had anything to do with homosexuality only occurred with the increasing emphasis of Hellenistic Jewish and Christian moralists on sexual purity gave rise in late Jewish apocrypha and early Christian writings.

In the intellectual environment vehemently opposed to the casual hedonism of the Hellenistic world, many issues which had not been specifically sexual became so; this was the case with marital questions such as adultery, onanism and homosexuality. This was done by just slightly altering the greek words!

The Judaeo-Platonist schools such is in Alexandria, greatly influenced some early Christians, since they combined the authority of classical learning with a tradition of Old Testament scholarship (responsible for the Septuagint translation which most Christians used).

For Christians, The Alexandrian rule had great influence in what was considered "natural". In the third century Clement of Alexandria asserted that "to have sex for any purpose other than to produce children is to violate nature."

This concept was also taught by Philo to Platonist Jews. Any use of human sexuality, potential or actual, which did not produce legitimate offspring violated "nature": all moral issues were subordinate to the primary duty of males to procreate. Celibacy was as unnatural as homosexuality, failure to divorce a barren wife was "unnatural" as was masturbation.

Unfortunately Church tradition bought us these twistings of scripture and ignores true biblical research to find the truths of scripture. But many Christians and ministers just think they know it all and many are totally unaware of the background of some of their false teachings. That is why some of today's Christianity is such a travesty. But it need not be, if it taught more of Christ's teachings of love and acceptance rather than legalisms that have had their meanings twisted and were redefined by no other than Christ himself!

Pederasty Was Against Nature Not Today's Homosexuality

Many biblical scholars show that the Bible says nothing about today's homosexuality. In the new testament, a greek word study clearly indicates that Paul was discussing the Greek-Roman practice of pederasty or male prostitution.

The practice of pederasty falls into three distinct styles. First is the voluntary relationship between an older man and a young boy. Second is the practice of slave prostitutes. Third is that of the effeminate "call boy" or prostitute. Other homosexual practices included a heterosexual male degrading another heterosexual male by anal intercourse after capturing them in battle.

Pederasty including young boys acting as prostitutes for older males. In the greek, "Erastes" and "paiderastes" are the terms which describe the older adult who takes an active role in pederasty. "Eromenos" and "paidika" are the terms for the younger passive partner. There are two sub classifications "pais" means a boy before puberty, and "meirakion" means a youth past puberty. The noun "charis" and the verb "charidesthai" refer to the granting of sexual favors, as in the younger partner granting favor to the older man. There is no evidence of any references to same-age, same-sex, equal loving relationships in the Bible.


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