Vile affections - out of context?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Johnv, Feb 5, 2004.

  1. Johnv

    Johnv
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    In another thread, LadyEagle said,

    LadyEagle's assertion that the Bible is clear is correct. However, she neglected to include verse 25, which reads,

    "...Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever..." (Romans 1:25, KJV)

    Note that Paul in this context did not condemn homosexuality. He explained it. For Paul, homosexuality happens when God gives a people up to vile affections. Paul saw these vile affections, which lead to homosexuality, as a direct result of God's action. The question we should now ask is, why would God take such an action? The beginning of the passage explains it. It says: "For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections..." What was that cause? Verse 25 has the answer. Paul described idolatry, that is worshipping and serving a false god, or raising a creature up into the status of the creator. According to Paul, when a group of people practice idolatry, God responds by releasing the inhibitions of that people so that they have vile affections which results in homosexuality. (Note that this also corresponds to the OT frequent use of male temple prostitutes in regards to temples of idol worship.

    According to Paul, God took the action of releasing vile affections as discipline for idolatry. The goal of discipline is to correct the behavior that is being disciplined. Paul believed that the subjects of this discipline should be so distraught over the prevalence of homosexuality in their midst that they would give up idolatry and return to God. You find this concept in the next following verse, which begins:

    "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind..." (Romans 1:28, KJV)

    According to Paul, a people committed idolatry, God took provisions to allow for homosexuality to become prevalent hoping that they would give up their idolatrous ways, and the people refused to be corrected. God responded by releasing the inhibitions even more, giving them over to a reprobate mind, which resulted in much worse sin.

    Now, that does not mean that homosexuality isn't a sin. Paul's not saying that. (While Paul was merely explaining homosexuality in this passage, he obviously considered it to be a grave sin.) The purpose of Romans 25-27 was not to address that topic. Elsewhere in the Bible, same gender intercourse is listed as an abomination, along with heterosexual fornication, lying & false witness (note that they're listed separately), shedding innocent blood, oppressive treatment of others, sowing discord among the brethren, and dishonest business practices.
     
  2. russell55

    russell55
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    Please indulge me and allow me to nitpick. I don't think that Paul is saying that the vile affections are a direct result of God's action. The vile affections were already there for people to be "given over" to. God took away whatever it was that was keeping people from indulging in those vile affections. They were permitted to do what they already were wanting to do. The seed was already there--God allowed it to grow.
     
  3. Walls

    Walls
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    I believe that Romans chap 1 has been take out of context by quite a few.

    Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

    These people knew God, but glorified him not as God!

    Romans 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

    They claimed to know God but denied Him in their actions.

    Romans 1: 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

    These people knew God and His word.

    Romans 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge,

    Romans 1: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

    They took pleasure in the sin that they were involved in even though knew of God's coming judgment.

    Their sins that they took pleasure in were: Romans 1: 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
    30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
    31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

    Who are these people that God gave over to a reprobate mind. Not the common sinner but those that know the truth and deny it.
     

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