Tag Archives: homosexuality

Romans 1 and natural desires / functions

warning.gifIn Romans 1 and temple prostitutes I addressed the myth that the homosexual sins mentioned in Romans 1 were really just about temple prostitutes. 

Another argument pro-gay theologians try to use against the clear and emphatic teaching of Romans 1 is that it is only sinful when people act outside their sexual desires.  That is, if you have heterosexual desires but go and deliberately have homosexual sex then you are sinning.  If you have homosexual desires with homosexual sex that is OK.  But if you have homosexual desires and have heterosexual sex then that is a sin. 

As you might have guessed, that is a poor argument.

Who has consensual sex with someone without the desire for it?  For men, it would be virtually impossible from a physical standpoint.  Some think that prostitutes don’t have the desire, but that view was debunked in the link above and Romans 1 makes it clear that both parties are fully responsible and are sinning. 

And if everyone just follows their natural desires when it comes to sex, to whom is Paul speaking?  There would be no one to talk to!  And wouldn’t anyone charged with this sin just claim to be bisexual? 

And the born that way argument is irrelevant.  Even if it were true, predispositions don’t excuse behavior.  And this view would assume that the Holy Spirit wasn’t aware of this alleged genetic link.

The main problem for the pro-gay theologians is that the original Greek says that they abandoned their natural functions, not their natural desires.  Romans 1 mentions three times that “God gave them over . . .”  He gave them over to these desires.  They burned in desire for one another, so they weren’t acting outside their desires.  But they weren’t using their natural functions.  Read this carefully:

Romans 1:26-27 (NASB95) For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,  and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

Some people try to say that function is synonymous with desire, and that the gays “function” as gays so they are doing what comes naturally.  But this view requires that you ignore the plain meaning of function plus the part of v. 27 that says “the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another . . .” 

There is no way around this.  No matter how hard people try to twist it, this passage is about people abandoning the opposite sex for same-sex partners.   It is very tightly and clearly written – almost as if God anticipated all the arguments that would be brought against this passage today.

Homosexual behavior is rebellion against God.  Heterosexuals who help rationalize this behavior (and any other sins) join in the sin.

Romans 1:32 (NASB95) and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

God’s way is the best way.  I plead with anyone involved with this to trust Jesus to help you overcome your false beliefs. 

Does that mean heterosexuals should grandstand on this sin because it isn’t a temptation for them?  Of course not.  We should defend the truth of the Bible against false teachers, but we should also teach that all sexual sin is sin, and that we are all sinners in need of  a Savior. 

Also see Romans 1 and homosexuality and Paul, Romans and Homosexuality by Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason.