Homo Behavior: “Dirty” or “Sinful”?
General James Green
T HE DEFENDERS of homosexuality ask, “Did Paul think that homo behavior was ‘dirty’ but not ‘sinful’?” Well, a simple and plain reading of Romans 1:26 and 27 pretty much points to the latter. There is no way an honest reader of these texts, if in their rightful contexts, can’t see that homosexuality, i.e., sodomy, isn’t SINFUL!
It doesn’t take one very long when reading homo/pro-homo exegesis (rather, eisegesis) to see how they twist and pervert Scriptures:
L. William Countryman is such a person; he aggressively supports the idea that Paul did not believe sodomy was “sinful” (see his book, Dirt, Greed, and Sex, 1998, pp. 117, 123, 104-23). Most queer Bible scholars and authors believe that homosexuality was an “unpleasingly dirty aspect of Gentile culture...”—as Countryman writes concerning Paul’s supposed view! Others, a small minority, disagree.
My point in all this is to point out that OUR OPPONENTS IGNORE “OBVIOUS SIGNALS,” as one straight Bible scholar writes: “In 1:18-32 and the larger context of Romans and other Pauline letters, with regard to the language of 1:18-32, there is a clear parallel between the statements that ‘God handed them over in the desires of their hearts to the UNCLEANNESS of dishonoring their bodies among themselves’ (1:24) and ‘God handed them over to dishonorable (homoerotic) passions’ (1:26) on the one hand, and ‘God handed them over to an undiscerning mind, to do what is not proper, having been filled with all unrighteousness, evil, greed, malice..., (things) worthy of death’ (1:28-32) on the other hand” (R. A. J. Gagnon, The Bible and Homo Practice, 2001, p. 274).
Implication IS Clear
SO, THE IMPLICATION is very clear: same-sex sex, like the vices enumerated in 1:29-31, were SINFUL CONDUCT deserving death.
To twist (a pink Twist!) Paul’s writing, Countryman and others contend that, in Paul’s mind, God handed Gentiles over to homosexual (both male and female) behavior only AFTER they “were already filled” with the sinful vices in 1:29-31. We contend that he clearly viewed those vices as a concomitant (accompanying) sinful consequence, along with the homo-sex sex of 1:26, 27, of being handed over by God to sinful passions AFTER they had “exchanged” the True God for false gods (1:28).
It is obvious to all that “gay” and “lesbian” sex is simply singled out at the get-go as a particularly egregious example of the Gentile’s SINFUL VIOLATION of God’s truth available in nature.
WELL, YES! I’m not saying all sex is “dirty,” but butt-sex does qualify as such—The mixing of excrement and semen (I will not put forth all the vile things, mostly men, do, but they are “filthy” to say the least).
“Dirty” but not “sinful”? Get serious folks!! Paul, in his writings, normally beings vice lists with sexual SINS (see 1 Cor. 6:9, 10; Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 5:3, 4; Col. 3:5-8). Unrestrained sexual activity also figures prominently in the middle of Rom. 13:13 (cf. 1 Tim. 1:9, 10) and at the very end of 2 Cor. 12:20, 21. The latter is really 2 lists, the second of which consists only of “uncleanness and sexual immorality (porneia) and licentiousness.” It must be pointed out that we do not believe that sex-sins are the worst of all sins, but we do point out that Scriptures suggests that sexual sin/vices are the most pernicious (in terms of temptation and addiction).