Because of their idolatry, God gave them up to . . . square dancing?!

Well, not exactly.

Romans 1 has a tightly written explanation of why homosexual behavior is an example of rebellion against God’s created order.

Romans 1:26-28 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.

I am very familiar with the objections and counter-arguments about Romans 1 and have written about them in Romans 1 and natural functions and Romans 1 and temple prostitutes.

But I was re-reading the False Teacher Profile post and something struck me that I hadn’t noticed before.  Uber-commenter Bubba made the following observation about the pro-gay theology views of the false teacher in question (bold added):

Paul is also quite clear in Romans 1: because of man’s idolatry, God gave up the unrighteous to impurity (1:24), to dishonorable passions (1:26), and to a debased mind (1:28), leading to all manner of evil, including envy, murder, and slander. Even if one were to put a heavy emphasis on the fact that this consequence of homosexual behavior was in the context of idolatry, it’s still impossible to conclude that homosexual behavior is biblically permissible.

AFTER ALL, God wouldn’t “hand over” an idolator to behavior that is good or even morally neutral. “They were idolators, and so God gave them over to prayer and almsgiving” DOES NOT WORK as a logical progression, nor does the idea that they were idolators, and so God would give them over to morally neutral behavior like square dancing and poetry readings.

No matter how you try to spin it, God was punishing their idolatry with something negative.  No matter what completes the “God gave them up to ____” passage, it is, by definition, a negative thing.  So those who claim that the “real” sin is idolatry are missing the point.

As Bubba noted, God didn’t “give them over” to square dancing or some benign thing, He gave them over to homosexual behavior.

Yes, idolatry is a sin that we all have to fight, and there is a laundry list of sins at the end of Romans 1 that we can be tempted by.  We shouldn’t grandstand on the sin of homosexuality just because it isn’t a temptation for us.  But neither should we lie and say it isn’t sinful.  And when the world and false teachers are trying to force us to change our religious beliefs on this topic, we need to defend the truth.  They brought up the topic, not us.

God “gave up” the false teachers as well, as their idolatry leads them to sit in judgment of God and to give approval to those who practice homosexual behavior and other sins.

Despite what the media, government and countless false churches will tell you, homosexual behavior is still a sin.  It is a forgivable sin, and one that people can be rescued from, but it is still a sin.  If you can’t bring yourself to say that then Christianity may not be for you.

7 thoughts on “Because of their idolatry, God gave them up to . . . square dancing?!”

  1. Dan, lol!

    I also like to note that the things He gives them up to, are judgments upon them for their idolatry. So a homosexual is under God’s wrathful judgment already. The very lifestyle is His wrath because such a lifestyle produces nothing but evil fruit. There are no benefits at all to the lifestyle since it’s beginning point is idolatry.


    1. I’ve heard many things said about the gay lifestyle, but calling it “idolatry” is a new one for me.

      I suppose you could apply the term if you use a more figurative definition. That is, if you hold the view that it is more than simply bowing down to little statues made of gold, stone, or wood….and regard idolatry as being any lifestyle choice which fails to place Jesus at the top. I’ve tended to take a similar broad view of the word “infidelity,” defining it as any life choice which fails to place your spouse in the #2 slot (and ahead of your own needs and wants).

      I’ve referred to communists and Muslims as idolaters, but never gays. If you believe they truly worship sex (rather than simply committing sexual acts in a sinful way), well and good.


      1. Matt,
        Ultimately, they are worshipping themselves, both in their acts they perform and the lifestyle the lead. For the gay man or woman, they are the ones on the thrones, not Christ. This is why it is idolatry.

        But also listen to Paul’s words:
        Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

        The creature gays worship is themselves, and this is idolatry. Remember Christ calls us to die to ourselves and live to Christ. They are living unto themselves and will lose all.
        Hope that helps.


  2. If we believe what the Apostle Paul is saying, then the only conclusion we can come to is that because of a person or culture or nation’s idolatry (suppressing God’s Truth, unwilling to acknowledge and bow down to God, refusing to honor or be thankful to God), then the consequence or punishment is God giving them up to all kinds of unrighteousness. Homosexuality is one of many sins mentioned, but Paul didn’t mince words about homosexuality: “contrary to nature” and “shameless acts” and “dishonorable passions”.

    Homosexuality is both a sin and a punishment for the sin of idolatry. That is, if you believe the Apostle Paul. I do, so looking at our culture, our nation, and even our churches, then it looks like we are under God’s wrath and punishment for worshiping other gods, whether it be self, entertainment, money, etc. We shouldn’t blame homosexuals that God is punishing us. Homosexuality is the result, not the cause.


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