THE ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION IS NO!
We will address ourselves to that to a greater degree momentarily.
There are several places in the Word of God that addresses itself to this perversion (Gen. 19:1-13; Lev. 18:22; 20:13; Deut. 23:17-18; Judg. 19:22; Rev. 22:15); however, we will address ourselves primarily to Romans 1:24-28.
Hopefully in these passages given by the Holy Spirit to the Apostle Paul, your questions will be answered.
Paul said, “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves”(Rom. 1:24).
The phrase, “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts,” presents mankind not merely drifting toward, but actually, in a sense, being shoved by God in that direction.
Since men chose to give up God and worship the creature, God could do nothing but give men into the control of the sinful things they preferred. In other words, God would not violate man’s will and force him to do something he did not want to do. When men persisted in following their totally depraved natures, God allowed them free rein. The natural result was immorality of the vilest kind.
Biblical scholar Henry Alford says of God’s act of delivering mankind over into the control of utter human depravity, “Not merely permissive, but judicially, God delivered them over. As sin begets sin, and darkness of mind, deeper darkness, grace gives place to judgment, and the divine wrath hardens men, and hurries them on to more fearful degrees of depravity.” God, in other words, delivered man to uncleanness.
The word lusts is epithumia in the Greek text, and means, “a passionate craving, longing, desire,” and in this sense, an inordinately sinful one.
Alford again says, “Not by or through the lusts; the lusts of their heart were the field of action, the department of their being in which the dishonor took place.” In other words, this was what their hearts wanted.
The phrase, “To dishonor their own bodies between themselves,” carries with it more than mere profligacy in the satisfaction of natural lusts, but rather bestiality, which refers to impurity in the physical, and not only in the social and religious sense. In other words, man is grossly immoral.
It speaks of adultery, fornication, pedophilia (sex with children), bestiality (sex with animals), lesbianism, and homosexuality. In other words, this “dishonor” includes all of these things mentioned.
CHANGING THE TRUTH OF GOD INTO A LIE
Paul said, “Who changed the Truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, Who is blessed forever. Amen” (Rom. 1:25).
The phrase, “Who changed the truth of God into a lie,” refers back to Verse 23, which speaks of spiritual and sexual uncleanness.
In the realm of idolatry, it refers to the images of men, birds, cattle, dogs, crocodiles, frogs, and snakes, which are common among all idolaters.
Such idolatry has been the root of all the abominable immoralities of the heathen. The idols have been the patrons of licentiousness.
When they formed their gods in human shape, they endowed them with passions and represented them as slaves to disgraceful sex perversions and as possessing unlimited powers of sexual gratification.
However, this condition of men’s hearts in purposely refusing the truth of God, led to the Lord using no restraining force over man whatsoever, allowing him without restraint to push headlong into this lie of darkness, which, in effect, is the same as God giving man a push. Considering man’s already depraved condition, the slide even further downward was terrible, to say the least!
As we see here, the words, “God also gave them up,” as given in Verse 24, is a restraining force exercised by God even on unregenerate mankind, unless refused, which it was and continues to be.
As well, there is far greater restraining force on believers as should be obvious (Job 1:10; Ps. 91; Rom. 8:28).
However, this restraining force even on believers can be removed, as well, through disobedience and rebellion.
The phrase, “And worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator,” (Rom. 1:25) presents that of which Paul spoke in his message to the Athenians (Acts 17:29-30).
For man to worship and serve the creature, means he is doing such to something he has made with his hands and is, therefore, less than him.
Regarding the “creature,” even if man worships himself or other men and women, which most of the world does, still, what good does that do him?
The phrase, “Who is blessed forever,” should have been translated, “bless-ed,” because it refers to God.
The word blessed refers to one receiving a blessing, in which, as should be obvious, God needs nothing.
The two syllable word bless-ed, in effect, refers to the One doing the blessing, in this case, the Lord.
The idea is all true blessings come exclusively from the Lord, with idols or anything else for that matter, able to produce none at all.
The word Amen means that this is anchored in the Word of God, and, as such, will not change.
WOMEN AND HOMOSEXUALITY
“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” (Rom. 1:26).
The phrase, “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections,” presents once again the people purposely and with forethought rejecting God, desiring instead a way of gross evil, with the Lord removing His restraints and, therefore, giving them unimpeded access to their desires. It must be remembered that the way down picks up speed as it goes, therefore, making it more and more difficult to stop or turn around, even though desire to do so may ultimately come about.
I speak of the untold millions who are hooked on alcohol, drugs, immorality, gambling, or any vice one may name. It begins oftentimes as a lark, but as the acceleration downward increases, it becomes more and more difficult to stop, actually impossible without the help of God.
The word vile in the Greek text is atimia, and means “dishonor, ignominy, and disgrace.”
The first word in this meaning is dishonor, and looking at the meaning of its opposite “honor,” means to evaluate the worth of a person and to treat him with the consideration, respect, and love due his character and position
Conversely, to dishonor a person is to either put an incorrect appraisal upon his worth and treat him accordingly, or, having properly evaluated his character, to refuse to treat him with the respect and deference that are his due.
Paul is using this in the sense of the world putting an incorrect estimate upon the sacredness, dignity, and purity of the physical body which was made by God and, in effect, in God’s image, and thus, using it in a way which dishonors it.
In that this is what the world wanted, they were given over to a “condition,” and not merely to an evil desire. It is one thing for an individual to do something which is very evil, but something else altogether for that person to “become” what they do, which is always where sin leads one. As stated, the problem can only be rectified by the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The phrase, “For even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature,” in short, speaks of lesbianism - unnatural sexual relations between women (homosexuality). Several things are said here:
The word women as used here is not the word used as in John 4:9, which simply speaks of designation, but rather the Greek word thelus which means “a female.” In other words, the Holy Spirit through Paul is pointing to the gender, meaning that it is to stay that way.
That women tried to “change” the purpose of their gender, is the reason that Paul used the Greek word for female. They were not trying so much to change the gender, but rather its purpose respecting the sexual sense.
Consequently, they were changing what God had designed, and doing so in a rebellious, base, and ignominious way. They went from a far higher use down to a far lower use.
Even though this is one of the worst, or possibly the very worst example, still, this is the great sin of man, changing God’s ways for man’s ways, and in every capacity.
The “natural use” presents that intended by God, in this sense, the way sexually that women were originally created.
The word natural in the Greek is phusis, and means “the nature of things, the force, laws, order of nature, as opposed to that which is monstrous, abnormal, perverse.”
That which is “against nature” respects that which is against nature’s laws, or God’s laws, which are one and the same.
MEN AND HOMOSEXUALITY
Paul said, “And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet” (Rom. 1:27).
The phrase, “And likewise also the men,” presents the word men used in the same fashion as the word women in the previous verse.
The Holy Spirit through Paul is not pointing out the mere designation of man, but rather the male as distinguished from a female. These terms are used because only the distinction of sex is contemplated.
The phrase, “Leaving the natural use of the woman” speaks of the sex act which is to be performed between the man and his wife. This natural way formed and made by God, is set aside, in favor of that which is far, far lower.
Let it ever be understood, man can never improve upon that which God has done. He cannot add to it, or take away from it, at least with any positive results. He always drops down to a lower level, which is the problem with the world, and always has been since the fall.
The Holy Spirit through the apostle is using this example of lesbianism and homosexuality, because it portrays in the most glaring way, the obvious truth of these statements. In other words, this example portrays in the worst way the folly of changing God’s designed
direction, and designed, I might quickly add, for our good and not harm. Actually, this is one of Satan’s greatest ploys, even as he tempted Adam and Eve in the garden. He tried to make them think that God was withholding some good things from them, exactly as men think today; however, let it ever be known, that all good things are found in the ways of God, and not outside those ways. Satan has no good ways, only bondage. While he is able to offer some pleasure and can titillate the flesh somewhat, without exception, his efforts will lead to destruction. In other words, the Marlboro man dies of cancer.
The phrase, “Burned in their lust one toward another,” refers to that which is terrible in its intensity.
The word burned in the Greek is ekkaio, and means “to burn out,” and can be explained as “the rage of lust.” New Testament Greek scholar A. T. Robertson defined it as, “to inflame with lust.”
In other words, this type of lust satiates or consumes the entirety of the individual. It is an all-out endeavor to satisfy their totally-depraved natures. Once again, we are speaking here of homosexuality.
The phrase, “Men with men working that which is unseemly,” specifies its direction.
The word, working taken from Verse 27 in the Greek is katergazomai, which means “to perform, accomplish, achieve, to do that from which something results, to carry to its ultimate conclusion.” It is a “lust” which will not be satisfied until it obtains its desired results.
Many would ask as to how a man could take advantage of a little boy, sexually molesting him, when the man knows in his heart the child will be greatly affected mentally and emotionally.
The answer is obvious, it is “lust” which drives the person and will not quit until it is momentarily satisfied. As well, each act takes the man lower and lower in its depravity.
At this stage, it is not why the man does such a thing, but that he has reached the point to where he has no choice in the matter. That is the reason that many pedophiles openly state, if given the opportunity they will do such again. They are right! Within themselves it is not possible for the situation to be changed.
At this stage and even long before, the favorite word used, and even by the church is, “they need professional help!” Of course, they are speaking of psychological counseling, etc.
However, I must remind the reader, that there is no professional help for something of this nature or any sin for that matter, be it great or small.
I would ask the reader to think back to the Catholic situation, where scores of priests have been exposed as being pedophiles. The Catholic system has the greatest psychologists in the world. As well, many, if not most, of these priests have undergone untold hours of psychological counseling, but with no positive effect. To be sure, if psychological counseling was the answer, it would have worked in those situations. It didn’t work, because it cannot work.
CHRIST AND HIM CRUCIFIED
The only answer is Jesus Christ and what He did for us at the Cross (Rom. 6:1-14; 8:1-2, 11; I Cor. 1:17-18, 23; 2:2; Col. 2:14-15).
As we have previously said, and will continue to say over and over again, if, in fact, man has the answer for these problems in the realm of psychoanalysis, or any other way, Jesus Christ made an unnecessary trip down to this sin-benighted world to die on Calvary, thereby, paying a terrible price to redeem humanity. Once again I remind the reader, man’s problem is sin, not environment, association, or education, even though these things certainly may have some affect.
And once again I say, man’s solution is Jesus Christ and Him crucified, and that alone! In other words, there is no other answer.
Also, I remind the reader, Jesus needs no help in this capacity, for, in effect, He has already effected the cure, which is His shed blood coupled with His power. For the church to look elsewhere, to do otherwise, to think otherwise, is not just sin, but actually, rank, raw, ignominious blasphemy.
This article will be continued in the August issue of The Evangelist.