Sunday, June 7, 2009

Does Romans 1:26 condemn lesbians?


Lesbos Harbor on the
Greek island of Lesbos

Rick Brentlinger Answers

(Stables Ministries adds comments in bold)

No, Romans 1:26 does NOT condemn lesbians.
Anti-gay Christians believe Paul is condemning lesbian sexuality in Romans 1:26.

"For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:" - Romans 1:26

5446 phusikos (foo-see-kos'); from 5449; physical", i.e. (by implication) instinctive: KJV-- natural. Compare 5591.

5591 psuchikos (psoo-khee-kos');from 5590; sensitive, i.e. animate (in distinction on the one hand from 4152, which is the higher or renovated nature; and on the other from 5446, which is the lower or bestial nature): KJV-- natural, sensual.

5449 phusis (foo'-sis); from 5453; growth (by germination or expansion), i.e. (by implication) natural production (lineal descent); by extension, a genus or sort; figuratively, native disposition, constitution or usuage: KJV-- ([man-]) kind, nature ([-al]).

Translated to English: This states a fact that must not be left out of the meaning a HUMAN by Paul is described to be in original form a “seed/egg” like any plant or animal. As all seeds will grow only into the plant that the seed was from (an apple seed will grow into an apple tree not an orange tree) as Paul continues saying there is a built in guarantee that it will indeed grow into an apple tree and no other tree.

Using Romans 1:18-32 requires the humans (the THEY people) absolutely had to be str8 to start out and remained str8 until adulthood where they did something (turned from GOD to gods). Well we have so much info in history that turning to others gods does not make a person gay. Yet to believe these verses talks about gays then verses 24 & 25 was the point in time as adults that str8s turned gay just after turning to other gods. Verse 26-27 is proof it cannot be about gays because gays were already gay and just no facts showing the 650 million gays today had turned to other gods. THERE ARE TONS of facts showing gays discovered they were gay while still children and that those that were Christian did not turn to other gods. Paul had a pet peeve that is well known. He just hated the fact that the Hebrew “married men” often went to fertility temples to have ritual sex with their sacred male prostitutes. Paul saw fertility temple where ever he went they were everywhere a temple on every corner as it were. Paul was not stupid about real gays, as it seems most pro-gays imply. Nine Greek words is really a lot to describe the gays in those days, Paul had plenty of access to gays. Gays were not rare in Paul’s day. If Paul really wanted to talk about real gays, he could easily do so because they were not scarcest. However, Paul was not interested in talking about gays; he felt a strong compellation to expound on the horrid sex orgies going on in fertility temples. One temple Paul visited had over 1000 temple prostitutes. Finally, verse 28-32 exonerates real gays because real gays in real life do about as opposite as describe in those verses as you can get. They are pillars in communities and they fill health facilities and often are caregivers. Employers often state gays are the best workers and leaders. These are the real facts about gays. It is so disgusting when people pick out one verse in a whole story then make a doctrine of that verse. 26 is just one verse 18-32 is the factual story with the cast selected by GOD not man. Christian all too often eliminate the original cast members and insert new characters at 26-27.

Anti-gay Christians arrive at their false conclusion because of other false beliefs they hold. For example, they believe that Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 condemn both gay male and lesbian female relationships (even though females/lesbians are not mentioned in the Leviticus verses).

All too often even gays assert these 2 verses must be pretty much about gays and have to revert to imaginations and guessing and wishing to fill in this exception to the rule that “gay is not sin at all” This wishing and guessing and imagining is what homophobes do with all 14 verses in the anti-gay doctrine. Again, the date of the writing and the place and the reason for that chapter is part of a larger story called”Moses leading the Hebrew to a land filled with Milk and Honey”. FACTs are important concerning the Bible. We just can’t wish whatever seems logical based on today’s ideas. You actually have to read the Bible page by page, Leviticus is a hard book of laws with tough consequences if disobeyed. You got to know many things about those days and this info is easy enough to get so there is not much of an excuse not to apply content to accusations. Again, Hebrew married men often went to male temple prostitutes at the local fertility temples along the way to Canaan. These temples always had their sex ritual orgy rooms too. Using the obviously in today’s world excuses to say many of the Leviticus verses don’t apply. But, there is a rhyme to the reason here and it is again a legal system based on God is a jealous GOD and you should not go to other gods period. But they did play around with other gods. We see this for the nation of Israel it seems they are always going after other gods and God has to spank them and even take their country always from them and not give it back for almost 2000 years. People of God just don’t have a good track record which should help you to understand you ain’t gonna be right on many things and you will be going against God often though of course you think you are not, still the fact is Christians and pre-Christians were always disobeying. So, back to FACTs, there are 13 ways to correctly translate to English the verse(s) in Leviticus. 3 of which would make sense for English readers, but would destroy understandability for Hebrew readers. Those 3 ways can make it in an English sentence sound like yes just man with mankind. This is what makes the verse so deceptive and defies discovery it meaning even to apparently the learned. It can keep it meaning a secret causing many gays even to submit to a lesser acceptance that makes gays under conditions imaged that it was to the Levites, as somehow gays can’t have sex while str8s can. This simply cannot be and should have been know by all gays that there is an absolute here and that is “gay is not sin” so somehow someway there is the answer and it has solid foundation. You can theorize all you like, but when you discover the equation does not work then your theory must be changed or modified. Finally, your theories arrive at a point that matches and works and it is a fact then. The word “man” in Hebrew is not like the word man in English. We have one word for man, but Hebrew has more than one word. For some reason it is just a fact translators do not bring over the word meaning when they come to only one English word to multiple Hebrew/Greek words. This word man actually means, “practicing str8 man” and in the sentence it is saying the “man” was almost if not always a str8 married man. The word abomination absolutely needs to be kept as it is supposed to mean. The Bible is not a book with word evolutions making the Bible a different Bible than it was in its origins. All words and its variances in the entire Bible for the word abomination means and has to include it is acts and worshipping of other gods. It simply cannot mean some hated disgusted thing. The other man was a male temple prostitute (sodomite). This is also confirmed in those days and that indeed Hebrew married men went to these fertility temple for ritual sex with their sodomites. Furthermore “Lev 20:13 1: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. (KJV)” is not a passing notion but a very specific edict. Those accusing the person had to cast the stones that would put them to death. So, Christians using this verse admit they defy God in disobedience because when they accuse someone they do not put them to death by their hand throwing stones at them. God relates to us as married to him, he using marriage often to give us example of us and God, meaning we commit adultery if we go to other gods. The “womankind” meaning is at best an adulterous woman. So being described is a str8 married man going to a male temple prostitute is like a married man going to another man’s wife. So, it is not even comparing a gay couple to a str8 couple. In conclusion the other 10 out of those 13 ways that can be correct in English is also correct in the grammar of Hebrew and so very readable and understandable in Hebrew is a man that has at least had sex with a woman sleeping with her then he goes to a male temple prostitute for ritual sex. God especially hates this because it is worshipping other gods.

Anti-gay Christians then assume that since Paul was brought up in the Jewish faith, he must have interpreted Lev 18:22 and 20:13 the same way anti-gay Christians interpret them today, as universal proscriptions of all homosexual behavior, including lesbian behavior.
So when they get to Romans 1:26, they interpret "against nature" to mean lesbianism and nothing but lesbianism. According to their opinion, Paul couldn't possibly have been referring to any of the other "against nature" behaviors I list at this Link.

It never seizes to be an uphill battle to get homophobes to back up anything they say about gays. Assuming Jewish faith in Paul’s day equaled anti-gay is a misleading lie. There are many very interesting stories about real gays in those ancient days that more than shows gays were not that much of an issue. If gays were really such an issue, we would have tons of info of the anti-gay rhetoric of those days. Only those that take the time discover in ancient days there really is a lot about gays, how they married in Jewish customs and much more. What terms were used and that Jesus used a phrase that means gays, as we understand them today. I think Paul was incredibly used of God. The Bible’s New Testament has more of his books than anyone else and really takes up a good part of the NT. How can we turn Paul into an idiot? However, all too often even gays badmouth him and many Christians don’t think he was to keen on woman. This simply again turns the Bible into a mistake, this can’t be. First thoughts should be “I don’t understand this writing Paul has about women”, but Paul was used by God and God didn’t make a mistake about Paul. Seems we love to play games guessing that Paul had a thing against women. This can’t be, it is just we love to interrupt the Bible into our own experiences and word evolution so we miss the teaching from God through Paul. In Romans, it took men and women in those fertility temple sexual orgy rooms. Had nothing to do with gays. The “THEY” people of verse:

Rom 1:20-21 20 …so that “they” are without excuse: 21 Because that, when “they” knew God, “they” glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; (KJV)

were who this story is talking about not gay.

If it does not fit,
you must acquit.

The anti-gay interpretation of Romans 1:26 does not fit the rest of scripture however, since lesbians are never condemned in the Old Testament or anyplace in the New Testament.

LESBIANS/GAYS are not condemned anywhere in the Bible. In around the 12th century a few powerful Catholic leaders decided it was time to invent a false doctrine to create scandal to purge leaders from high office that did not have the same ideals and they. 12 of the 14 verses were picked out at that time. 100 years later the Protestants adopted that and when Christians came to America they brought a heinous version of it here. In 1850 at a USA clergy convention they discussed 1 Cor 6:9 and all agreed that masturbators as taught had to change or heaven would be empty as all agreed everyone did it. This verse had under gone many transformations over the last 1000 years as was at masterbators would not inherit. They chose to replace masturbators with homosexual because no one would miss them and already 12 verses were being used against gays. In the late 1940s, the actual 2 Greek words were taken out of some modern versions and homosexual inserted, a word not in the Bible. In ancient days at least 9 Greek words could have been used, but Paul chose a word that meant the Hebrew word for sodomite and catamite (male temple prostitute and expensive call boy). In the Bible there are plenty enough lesbian and gay characters all in a positive stance some legally married according to those day’s customs.
Here is an interesting look at Romans 1:26 from Jeramy's helpful website.

"While Romans 1:18-32 is the primary text used from the New Testament by those people who condemn homosexuality, that interpretation has not always been the interpretation of this passage. 
For example, verse 26, which is the only verse in Scripture which is often interpreted today to refer to lesbian sexuality, is often used to round out the beliefs of those who condemn all homosexuality as sin, since all of the other alleged condemnations of homosexuality specifically refer to male-male behavior, linguistically excluding female-female behavior.

Also, does not matter the church or pastor, this verse(s) always has a complete sermon about the depravity of mankind with nothing at all mentioned about gays. It seems pastors can preach a sermon on any verse and slap in any old topic they want to cover. However, they quickly will use that verse to separate out gays when they want to do a sermon against gays. Yes, 100% I believe many verses have multiple uses and are overlaid to mesh together the whole picture of God’s plan. Generally, there are 3 presentations of each Bible subject. One represence the actual history of the event in the details it happened of God’s chosen people the Hebrews. Another, that detail as a representative of the Church and its 2000 year history as a spiritual embodiment of the actual historic events. Then specific to each individual in their personal walk and relationship with Jesus. Sort of a 3 in one story is what the Bible is, plus all the extra things stuffed in the LIVING word of God.

As to the getting specific to female aspect, a detailed in-depth research and study was done to determine was there info in writing about real gays as we would know them today. Again, I stand up for women as equals flat out and period personally, however, history does not do that very well and discovering did Jesus talk about real gays and were there gay marriages in his day written history in a study of 10s of 1000s of documents usually it is the male gay person that is available in writings. Enough though about lesbians are in these studies to know they indeed were there. My suggestion to help better understand lack of equality in researching this info without an extreme effort is explained in the Bible as a curse put on man and woman:

Gen 3:16-19 16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. 17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. (KJV)

“and he shall rule over thee” This as with “work till you sweat with difficulties thrown in” was not in the beginning but came after disobedience of eating that APPLE. We make laws today to keep men in line to respect women. Men just think they are women’s boss this is a 6000-year-old curse that will remain till the Rapture. So finding good info about women take a lot more effort but few seem to take up this effort. I appreciate those that have. It is amazing to learn what they learn God just does not have issues with using women for his Glory. There are some very fantastic stories available. History is full of lesbian heroes as it were.

Looking back at early interpreters of this verse, while some have believed that this verse referred to lesbians (John Chrysostom), many key church leaders have not held this view, such as Clement of Alexandria and Saint Augustine, who believed this to be anal or oral sex between heterosexuals (Brooten, 1985; Miller, 1995).

This is just why doing your own homework is what being a Christian all is about. Many think they are teachers; you can’t be a teacher unless you studied and not just things you agree with. Saint Augustine nearly single-handedly heaped sex guilt on probably all human on Earth after his message got out. He owned a concubine for a while and was very much a riotous liver for a good part of his early life. For the sake of a wealthy woman he sold his concubine and began his journey into creating a sex is sin Church.
One early Christian writer, Anastasios, clearly dismisses the view that Paul was referring to lesbianism in his comments on Romans 1:26:
Clearly they (the females referred to in Romans 1:26) do not go into one another, but rather offer themselves to the men. (Brooten, 1996, p. 337n)

And not just for sex pleasuring, but specifically in ritual orgies in fertility worship.
Augustine continues this line of thought (fairly explicitly):
But if one has relations even with one's wife in a part of the body which was not made for begetting children, such relations are against nature and indecent. In fact, the same apostle earlier said the same thing about women, "For their women exchanged natural relations for those which are against nature."  quoting Romans 1:26 (Marriage and Desire, 20.35)"

Other important history is sex with the wife was to make babies only (first 1000 years of Christianity) sex for love or pleasure legally could be done with a mistress or concubine. Augustine began a shift that would forever make the bi-product of sex to be guilt in many people. I hear often from a broad section of society that after sex they felt dirty and like they did something wrong. Then the 12th century brought in today’s style of dating and marriages. So many pagans came to Christianity that they brought their fertility marriages customs with them. Soon it became thought as Christian in origin.

Shrine Prostitution

There is however, ONE female sexual practice which IS condemned in the Old Testament, Deuteronomy 23:17-18, which is linked to Gentile idolatry and which perfectly fits Paul’s "against nature" argument.
That sexual practice is female shrine prostitution, using sex to worship Ashtoreth, the fertility goddess consort of the male fire-god Molech.

“Shrine prostitutes” seems a little misleading saying shrine is a word that became popularized with modern version bible which are satan counterfeit bible (see Westcott and Hort they got the modern versions in your hands) The word is FERTILITY Temple. Shrine seems to lessen the severity of the specifics of the sexual natural of the other gods’ temples. A shrine is like a simple a consecrated of hollowed place. By its simple meaning, it can mean church’s alter. It is the very sexual nature of these other gods that is the foundation of the condemnation of gays. Though for many gays the recognition that saying shrine prostitute makes it better that saying homosexual and it is mostly an ME thing of wanting it to be very very clear that the Bible is referring to the many FERTILITY temples in the day of Moses and the day of Paul. Also, what I have seen left out often is reference to Cybele the mother of the gods from about 2 centuries before Paul and for some centuries after Paul.
Qedesha-female shrine prostitutes, are mentioned in Genesis 38:21-22, Deuteronomy 23:17, and Hosea 4:14. It better fits the context of Paul's argument in Romans 1:26 (idolatry) to understand that Paul is referring to the illicit sexual practice of female shrine prostitutes who serviced men than that, suddenly and unaccountably, with no Biblical basis from the Old Testament, Paul injects into his teaching against idolatry, a one verse condemnation of lesbians, (which is unrelated to idolatry) and which is without any basis in the Old Testament.

Gen 38:21 21 Then he asked the men of that place, saying, Where is the harlot, that was openly by the way side? And they said, There was no harlot in this place. (KJV)

6948 qedeshah (ked-ay-shaw'); feminine of 6945; a female devotee (i.e. prostitute): KJV-- harlot, whore.

6945 qadesh (kaw-dashe'); from 6942; a (quasi) sacred person, i.e. (technically) a (male) devotee (by prostitution) to licentious idolatry: KJV-- sodomite, unclean.

Him can it be me not seeing this verse or connecting it to the list of anti-gay false doctrine. WOW, I am impressed. Heere is an example of just reading a verse and not paying attention to actual word meaning. I remember reading this verse many times, and just assume she was a prostitute after all a woman on the street as describe got to be a ordinary though obliviously important prostitute. See just clicking for the meaning and sure enough the female form of fertility prostitute. Yet all fertility prostitutes are almost if not all designed for men having sex with them in ritual worship. So, as was with this “harlot” men were seeking her.

Hosea 4:14 14 I will not punish your daughters when they commit whoredom, nor your spouses when they commit adultery: for themselves are separated with whores, and they sacrifice with harlots: therefore the people that doth not understand shall fall. (KJV)

2181 zanah (zaw-naw'); a primitive root [highly-fed and therefore wanton]; to commit adultery (usually of the female, and less often of simple fornication, rarely of involuntary ravishment); figuratively, to commit idolatry (the Jewish people being regarded as the spouse of Jehovah):

KJV-- (cause to) commit fornication, X continually, X great, (be an, play the) harlot, (cause to be, play the) whore, (commit, fall to) whoredom, (cause to) go a-whoring, whorish.

Well you got mostly ordinary sexual immorality in this verse but it does also have Harlot “female temple prostitute” too. So, I got 2 additional verses that I think really needed to be in the false anti-gay doctrine. Finally, a representation of Lesbianism is not sin. Like most of the verse used against gays are really about rape, fertility male prostitutes and ritual orgies so is the 2 verses some use to condemn lesbians they also are talking about fertility sexual rites to other gods.

It mentions here the marriage comparison of the people of God as being the spouse of God as I mention much earlier.

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