Homosexuality in the Bible

Romans 1:26-27

“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.”

You need to read this in the context of the entire letter. Paul is arguing that such attitudes are divisive and urges the Romans to abandon bickering and arguing over what does not matter in Christ.

An examination of Paul's letter to the Romans:

To better understand Rom 1:26-27 we need to place it back into it's context. Why is Paul writing a letter to the Romans?

Paul intended to visit Rome, and he wanted the Christian church there to welcome him. But the Christians in Rome were a mix of both Jewish and Gentile converts who were often at each other's throats. Paul wants to promote harmony between these two warring factions, to bring them together, to unite them. But how is Paul going to accomplish this seemingly impossible task? How did Paul handle this matter? Pretty shrewdly. Paul's plan, an outline of his letter to the Romans, is:
  1. First gain the sympathy of the Jewish Christians by seeming to side with their prejudices;
  2. Then show that the Jewish Christians were as guilty as anyone else in breaking the Jewish Law;
  3. Then argue that in Christ the Jewish Law was superseded and that, above all, purity issues in the Law do not matter; and thus incline the Jewish Christians to better acceptance of the Gentile Christians;
  4. and finally, rebuke the Gentile Christians sharply for any smugness they might by then be feeling.
So, following this plan, Paul begins his letter by appearing to sympathize with the common Jewish feeling that the Gentiles are dirty. Those dirty Gentiles, they do all sorts of impure things, like having sex with other men.

But already by chapter 2 Paul turns the tables on the Jewish Christians and rejects their prejudices:
"You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things." —Rom 2:1
Paul's ploy is to hook the Jewish Christians on their sense of superiority over the Gentile impurities, and then use this Jewish prejudice to teach his lesson about Christian community.

To insure the unity of believers was a major reason for Paul's writing. Paul insisted on faith and love as the things that really matter in Christ. Stop arguing about what's dirty or clean; stop disputing who's pure and impure; stop begin zealous in social prejudice and sexual self-righteousness; stop pitting heterosexual against homosexual; stop dividing and splintering the church over what does not matter in Christ.

In Romans, homogenitality serves merely as an instance of Gentile "uncleanness", judged by Jewish standards. Paul introduces this "uncleanness" precisely to make the point that such matters have no importance in Christ. The Letter to the Romans certainly does not consider homogenital acts to be sinful. Indeed, the success of Paul's letter to the Romans depends on this being so.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10

You need to go back to the original Greek.

In English the word “lady killer” means neither a lady who kills, nor a person who kills ladies, but a man who knows how to charm women.

1 Cor 6:9 in the original Greek reads:
ἢ οὐκ οἴδατε ὅτι ἄδικοι βασιλείαν θεοῦ οὐ κληρονομήσουσιν μὴ πλανᾶσθε οὔτε πόρνοι οὔτε εἰδωλολάτραι οὔτε μοιχοὶ οὔτε μαλακοὶ οὔτε ἀρσενοκοῖται
That last word, ἀρσενοκοῖται, translated in some Bibles as "men who lie with men", is made up of two words, ἀρσενο = male, κοῖται = bed. This translates to “man-sleeper”. It could refer to a man who sleeps with anyone.

In other parts of the Bible we find opposition to prostitution, incest, and adultery, but that doesn't mean the Bible forbids male-female sex acts altogether. What the Bible opposes is abuse of male-female sex acts.

The same is the case of male-male sex acts. The Bible is opposed to exploitation, inequality, abuse. “Slut” and “whore” are insulting terms that refer to people who are wildly promiscuous and unrestrained  in their sexual activity. “Chicken hawk” refers to men who take advantage of attractive, inexperienced, young gay men. Yet it refers to neither a “chicken” nor a “hawk”. “Chicken hawk.” “Lady killer”. “Man-sleeper” (ἀρσενο-κοῖται).

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