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The Truth Behind Romans Chapter 1 Verse 26-27

25Sapagka't pinalitan nila ang katotohanan ng Dios ng kasinungalingan, at sila'y nagsisamba at nangaglingkod sa nilalang kay sa Lumalang, na siyang pinupuri magpakailan man. Siya nawa.
26Dahil dito'y ibinigay sila ng Dios sa mga mahahalay na pita: sapagka't pinalitan ng kanilang mga babae ang katutubong kagamitan niyaong nalalaban sa katutubo:
27At gayon din naman ang mga lalake, na nang iwan na ang katutubong kagamitan sa mga babae, ay nangagningas sa kanilang karumihan ng pita ang isa't isa, na gumagawa ng kahalayan ang mga lalake sa mga kapuwa lalake, at tumatanggap sa kanilang sarili ng kagantihan ng kanilang pagkakamali.
28At palibhasa'y hindi nila minagaling na kilalanin ang Dios, ibinigay sila ng Dios sa isang mahalay na pagiisip, upang gawin yaong mga bagay na hindi nangararapat; 

Ang mga verse ba na ito ay patungkol sa mga Homosexuals o may iba itong pinapatungkulan?Yan ang aalamin natin ngayon.
Romans 1:26-27 is one of the favorite verses nongays like to use to condemn homosexuality.  Was Paul really addressing homosexuality or was he confronting a completely different issue?  We know for a fact, temple prostitution was heavily practiced in Rome and we know immorality among the people was widespread.  So, let’s examine the scriptures and address the real issue behind Romans 1:18-28.

It is also important to keep in mind when Paul wrote Romans he was writing about the culture he knew in the first century and he wrote Romans in a manner in which the people living in the first century would know and understand.
In Paul’s day there were many temples in Rome and one of these temples was the temple of Cybele.  Cybele was known as the Magna Mater (Great Mother) and Mother of the gods and was worshipped as the Sacred Protectress of Rome.  She was also depicted on Roman coins.

Goddess worship and shrine prostitution was widely practiced in Rome.  Cybele worship included orgies and ritual bloodletting by both the priest and priestesses which was similar to the practices of those worshipping Baal in the Old Testament.

The priests were known as galli or gallus who were physically castrated.  They castrated themselves to honor their servitude to the goddess and offered themselves sexually to male worshippers.

Let’s begin the breakdown of the verses.

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of those who by their wickedness suppress the truth.  For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.  Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made.  So they are without excuse; for though they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their senseless minds were darkened.  Claiming to be wise, they became fools; and they exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling a mortal human being or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles.  Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the degrading of their bodies among themselves.”  Romans 1:18-24 NRSV

I believe the verses above describe two types of people.  First, the Gentiles who rejected God and worshipped false gods and second the nation of Israel who forsook God and turned to idol worship.

In the verses we are going to examine you will see a cause of God’s wrath toward these people and result of his wrath.  God is loving, patience, kind and merciful but one can only reject Him for so long before He pulls His hands of protection away and allows them to reap what they sow.  Obviously God wants to be first in everyone’s life but if someone wants to worship idols, He will eventually let them.

We need to take a closer look at Romans 1:23-24 where Paul states they exchanged the image of the immortal God and worshipped images.  One of issue’s Paul wrote about was the making of idols.  We are going to read 2 Kings 17:9-17 which shows the nation of Israel did exactly what Paul addressed in the verses in Romans.
“The people of Israel secretly did things that were not right against the Lord their God.  They built for themselves high places at all their towns, from watchtower to fortified city; they set up for themselves pillars and sacred poles on every high hill and under every green tree; there they made offerings on all the high places, as the nations did whom the Lord carried away before them.  They did wicked things, provoking the Lord to anger; they served idols, of which the Lord had said to them, “You shall not do this.”  Yet the Lord warned Israel and Judah by every prophet and every seer, saying, “Turn from your evil ways and keep my commandments and my statutes, in accordance with all the law that I commanded your ancestors and that I sent to you by my servants the prophets.”  They would not listen but were stubborn, as their ancestors had been, who did not believe in the Lord their God.  They despised his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their ancestors, and the warnings that he gave them.  They went after false idols and became false; they followed the nations that were around them, concerning whom the Lord had commanded them that they should not do as they did.  They rejected all the commandments of the Lord their God and made for themselves cast images of two calves; they made a sacred pole, worshiped all the host of heaven, and served Baal.  They made their sons and their daughters pass through fire; they used divination and augury; and they sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger.”  2 Kings 17:9-17 NRSV

The above text is certainly not the only text that speaks of the idolatry regarding the children of Israel but is just one example.  It verifies the issue Paul was addressing in Romans and we certainly do not need any proof text that the Gentiles engaged in idolatrous practices because the Bible is littered with those types of examples.

Examples like the one above tell me the children of Israel could not have understood nor had a personal relationship with the one and only God.  It is just more proof that the Law did not bring the nation of Israel closer to God; instead, they drew further away.

Now that we know the cause of God’s wrath, we need to look at the effect of His wrath.  Because both the nation of Israel and Gentiles made and worshipped idols and God allowed them to engage in temple prostitution and dishonor their own bodies between themselves.  He allowed them to do exactly what they wanted to do.

Paul is also addressing people who worship birds, four-footed creatures and reptiles.  I personally don’t know anyone who is Christian who worships such creatures so it is obvious Paul could not be talking to us.

When it is clear Paul is addressing idolatry it is hard to understand why nongays cannot or will not acknowledge this fact.  Paul is not condemning homosexuals who are in a committed relationship with a partner of the same sex.

“Because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever!  Amen. For this reason God gave them up to degrading passions.  Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural.”  Romans 1:25-26 NRSV

In the above verse we have another cause and effect.  Because they continued to reject God and worship idols God gave them up to degrading passions.  In the Greek, the term degrading passions is atimia pathos which means to lower down a person from a place of honor through lustful desire.

Since we know Paul is addressing the issue of idolatry and temple prostitution, it is reasonable to conclude that God giving them over to degrading passions refers to cult temple prostitution.  Those participating in temple prostitution used sex as a form of worship to their fertility goddess.  This practice had nothing to do with love or a normal relationship.

The above verses speak of women exchanging natural intercourse for unnatural intercourse.  I have searched for any evidence that women had sex with other women concerning temple prostitution and I have been unsuccessful in finding any such evidence.  I have even talked to a local minister who has studied ancient temple prostitution and she has never found any such evidence either.  It is possible women to women sex could have happened in wild orgies, but that is just a guess.

I am more inclined to believe the exchanging of natural intercourse for unnatural intercourse deals with the prostituting of one’s body.  Certainly prostitution is not the intention God had in mind concerning sexual relations.  To me, prostituting one’s body is unnatural.

“And in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another.  Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error.  And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind and to things that should not be done.”  Romans 1:27-28 NRSV

We already know men had sex with other men as well as women in cult temple prostitution.  Again, the context is dealing with temple prostitution, not committed loving relationships, whether that relationship is heterosexual or homosexual.  God is allowing them to do what they wanted to do.  They wanted to engage in temple prostitution and He let them.

Jesus never spoke a word against homosexuality, but He did condemn idolatry and prostitution.  Also, since men were also having sex with women in temple rituals should we conclude that heterosexuality is wrong and God condemns that as well?

Obviously we know that is not true.  It is clear Paul is not condemning homosexuality, not as we know it.  We know those in temple worship engaged in homosexual acts but it is unlikely these people were truly homosexuals.  I believe most were heterosexually married and only engaged in such acts as a form of worship, it certainly was not their sexual orientation.

It is not to say that homosexuals did not engage in such activity, but I am saying the activity had nothing to do with a loving, committed relationship.  Paul is not condemning lesbianism or homosexuality.  The whole context of Romans 1:18-28 addresses the issue of idolatry and should be understood in that manner. 

Sana naintindihan niyo na ang mga verse na ito ay hindi tungkol sa Homosexuality bagkus patungkol ito sa tinatawag nating Idolatry.



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