By Paul Casebolt
The apostle Paul speaks of those who would change the glory of God into an image, the truth into a lie, and the natural use of men and women “into that which is against nature” (Rom. 1:23-27).
In order to place the all-to-common sin of homosexuality between women and men in perspective, maybe we need to notice the practice in the above context. We surely cannot learn the truth from modern societys usage of the term “gay,” and similar efforts to accord a degree of respectability to the vile behavior which affects even the church of the Lord.
Where the King James translation uses the word “change(ed)” in all three of the verses mentioned, the ASV uses “exchanged” (v. 25), or ” changed . . . for” (v. 23). The idea is that we can no more “change” the ways and the truth of God into something else than a leopard can change its spots (Jer. 13:23-25). But, we can exchange, or trade, one doctrine or practice for another. Even the King James text conveys this idea, as expressed perfectly in v. 26.
“God Into An Image”
Man cannot actually change the glory of the uncorruptible God into graven images, but he tries. Really, all he does is exchange “the fountain of living waters” for “broken cisterns, that can hold no water” (Jer. 2:13).
“Men With Men”
When I said that the practice of homosexuality, including lesbianism, affects the church of the Lord, I did not mean just in the sense that any worldly practice may adversely affect those who have been called out of the world. Like fornication was “named” among Gods people at Corinth, so illicit sexual relations between men and men, and women and women have disrupted the unity of peace of congregations, and families within those congregations.
The claim that homosexual activity is not on the increase, but has just” come out of the closet” will not hold up. While the more liberal attitude of society may encourage some to be more open, even brazen, with such behavior, the church as a whole still does not encourage homosexuals to come out into the open. Still, the church continues to be affected by this ungodly practice which precip8itated the destruction of Sodom an Gomorrah. Some factor, or a combination of factors, is contributing to the unnatural practice of homosexuality.
The Catholic church has suffered much adverse publicity because of homosexual activity between priests, and between priests and male parishioners, including young boys. There is no question but that the unnatural attempt at celibacy, or the “forbidding to may,” contributes to the problem of homosexuality in the Catholic Church.
The natural rule is for male and female to satisfy their sexual needs in the marriage relationship (Gen 2:18; 1 Cor. 7:2-5). If God had intended for men to be homosexuals, he would have given Adam a man instead of a woman. Forbidding to marry is a mark of apostasy, and will contribute to fornication and homosexual conduct (1 Tim. 4:1-6).
Brethren, while I do not profess to be an expert on the subject, I think I can see some customs which may contribute to the unnatural relations of men with men, and women with women.
Some women have tried their best to look, dress, talk, and act like a man. Some flaunt their domineering, independent attitude, and then wonder why men have lost respect for femininity and womanhood. Why should a man desire a woman who has exchanged her female characteristics for those of a male, when he can have a real man, and not some artificial hybrid?
Conversely, if men are going to be effeminate (1 Cor. 6:9), why should a woman settle for a half-breed when she can have the real thing? I can sympathize with young people of today who have to first decide whether a prospective mate is male or female, then decide if they have enough of those qualities peculiar to either sex to make the effort of marriage worthwhile. A woman or man regarded as purely a sex symbol is not conducive to a good marriage relationship, but neither is a man or woman who tries to usurp the role of the other going to accomplish much in the way of meaningful relations. Men and women have sought fulfillment and satisfaction outside of God’s divide order so long that the term “meaningful relation” doesn’t mean a thing.
“Who Did Sin?”
The psychiatrists profess to have an explanation for every facet of man’s conduct, but I believe that there are situations which defy interpretation or solution. The disciples thought that the blind man’s condition could be traced to some definite cause visible to the human eye or mind, but Jesus neutralized their theory (Jn. 9:1-3).
Why some people exchange the truth of God for a lie, the true God for an idol, or the natural use of a man or woman for something else, may not always be a discernible. But the sinfulness of such acts is no less sinful, just because men and women do those things, or “have plea-sure in them that do them” (Rom. 1:32).
Even as the blind man said “one thing I know,” so we can know that “evil communications corrupt good manners (morals, ASV)”; sin begins in lust and ends in death; we are to “abstain from all appearance of evil”; and, when caught up in temptation, we are to find the way of escape and “flee” (1 Cor. 15:33; Jas. 1:13-15; 1 Thess. 5:22; 1 Cor. 10:13, 14).
By following this formula, it may be that we can keep God from giving us up to things which are worthy of death.
Guardian of Truth XXXVII: 15, p. 21-22
August 5, 1993