Sunday, July 20, 2014

Putting The Gay Argument In Its Place

 This sentence supports what Paul has just stated but it does not advance his point. It strengthens what Paul has just said while adding nothing new to discourse. 

The wrath of God is is being revealed against all men suppressing the truth of God in unrighteousness.
18. Fort he wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
 The causal dioti and the sub-point that which is known about God serves to support the point that men have and suppress the truth of God. The causal adverb tells us why the wrath of God is revealed from heaven. It is because men have this truth of and suppress it that the wrath of God is being revealed from heaven.
19. Because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.
 Explanatory or expositional of what has preceded it. This verse explains how God has made Himself, His truth evident to humanity: through creation. What is unseen is known and understood through what is seen.
20. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
 Explanatory or expositional of the clause "so that they are without excuse." This verse contains a counter-point/point construction. A counterpoint is a device that is used when a writer is connecting two related points of information. The CP is the first sub-point supporting "so that they are without excuse." That phrase itself is a sub-point strengthening v 20. The point begins with the contrastive conjunction alla and includes a second point with the conjunction kai.
21. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Participial clause, modifying those who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. Professing is actually strong asserting, or affirming themselves to be wise.
22. Professing to be wise, they became fools,
kai is a conjunction joining "the previous sentence with this one." Fallen humanity exchanged the glory of God for an image, singular. This has nothing to do with the Greek pantheon. It has to do with the fact that if the true God is not worshipped, then a created god will take his place in the mind of man. Man worships and image of his own making. Man has not created gods that are all derived from an image of man's own making. This image may take the form of man, birds, animals and crawling creatures. But it is one image; a created image.
23. And exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.
dio, therefore. The principle here is that this sentence relates an inference drawn from the previous section. dio is an inferential conjunction and it is giving a deduction, conclusion, or summary to the preceding discussion. It was not because men were engaging in same sex relations while worshipping false gods that God gave them over to impurity. It was because they 1) suppressed the truth in unrighteousness by refusing to acknowledge God and 2) because they worshipped their own created image of God. For this reason, God poured out His wrath on them so that they were given to impurity. The idea of this impurity is sexual in nature. It is recognized as filthy behavior. God turned them over to this state.
24. THEREFORE God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them
Actually, "who": this is a relative clause. The relative clause refers back to v. 22, the ones that had become fools.
25. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
Dio touto. The clause introduced by dio touto is constrained to have a causal relation with the preceding discourse. In other words, God gave them over to degrading passions not because they were engaging in degrading passions during idolatry, but rather, because they were idolaters. It was their idolatry that provoked God to give them over to these degrading passions.
Note the epexegetical gar in the next sentence, expounding on the specifics of these degrading passions.
In addition, we have elaboration of the point "men with men." The cause of this state was produced by humanity's suppression of the truth and its consequent idolatry. Confusion in worship produces confusion even in the most basic of natural behavior such as human sexuality.
FOR THIS REASON God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27  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.
Kai conjunction now connecting the results of God's wrath with the sinful behavior of human autonomy. Because they did not acknowledge the truth of God and because they refused to worship the uncreated God, God gave them over to a depraved mind.
28. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,
Participial clause expounding on "those things which are not proper."
29. being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips,
continued exposition of "those things which are not proper." This is a bleak description of the human condition.
30. slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,
31  without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful;
Two groups are condemned: those who practice these things stand condemned along with those who approve of such things. This is a sobering rebuke that every interpreter should heed. Cranfield notes, "and a good many others have seen, that the man who applauds and encourages others in doing what is wicked is, even if he never actually commits the same wicked deed himself, not only as guilty as those who do commit it, but very often more guilty than they."
32. 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.
A Rough Discourse of Romans 1:18-32

The "gay Christian" debate is so lacking in credibility that it hardly merits much more than an answer and a sharp rebuke. We would not debate with a prostitute or a whore or a murderer or a pedophile would we? I suggest we answer these cavils with the kind of sharp and stinging rebuke their vile teachings deserve and excommunicate them and their supporters from the Church. This debate is a debate about men wanting to have sex with men and still be in the Church. It is a debate about women wanting to have sex with women and still wanting to be in the Church. It is about a group of perverse humans engaging in unnatural acts and demanding to be treated as if their behavior is perfectly natural. We must answer their challenge. That is a given. But we must do so in a way that makes it clear that we do not give any consideration to their claims for even a second. Their arguments are baseless, without exegetical support, and deserve ridicule and rejection. We cannot afford to inadvertently communicate even an ounce of respect for their claims.

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