There is a plethora of objections that I can share from the LGBT movement, but for time’s sake, I will try to provide you their main arguments:
LGBT Objection: The biblical prohibition against homosexuality is ancient and not to be followed anymore.
Response: Then why not apply the same logic to other sexual perversions too? Should the prohibition extend beyond the scope of homosexuality to other sins too (i.e. adultery, etc.) if one operates off of a presupposition of the ancient? Just because something is ancient does not mean it no longer has relevant and direct applications for us. For example, the murder is an ancient and wicked sin that can traced back to Genesis. Should we stop prohibiting the act of murder because it is ancient? Can you imagine the repercussions if this logic was followed. The implications brings about other forms of sexual immoralities such as bestiality, pedophilia, bestiality, necrophilia, etc. This can of worms opens up because ones thinking is not submitted to the Lordship of Christ in the realm of knowledge. Greg Bahnsen stated this concerning the Lordship of Christ in the realm of knowledge,
Paul infallibly declares in Colossians 2:3-8 that ‘All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hid in Christ.’ Not he says all wisdom knowledge is deposited in the person of Christ–whether it be about the War of 1812, water’s chemical composition, the literature of Shakespeare, or the laws of logic! Every academic pursuit and every thought must be related to Jesus Christ, for Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life” (Bahnsen, Always Ready: Directions for Defending the Faith, 4-5).
To disconnect oneself from Christ is problematic because it leads to deception and moral suicide.
LGBT Objection: The biblical prohibition against homosexuality is addressed only to Jews. Non-Jews are only affected by this prohibition if they reside in the Jewish land.
Response: Rabbi Jacob Milgrom is one person who espouses this belief. He quotes form Leviticus 18:24-30, but he forgot about verses 25-27 (defilement and acts of abominations attributed to non-Jews too). The passage states:
‘Do not defile yourselves by any of these things; for by all these the nations which I am casting out before you have become defiled. 25 ‘For the land has become defiled, therefore I have brought its punishment upon it, so the land has spewed out its inhabitants. 26 ‘But as for you, you are to keep My statutes and My judgments and shall not do any of these abominations, neither the native, nor the alien who sojourns among you 27 (for the men of the land who have been before you have done all these abominations, and the land has become defiled); 28 so that the land will not spew you out, should you defile it, as it has spewed out the nation which has been before you. 29 ‘For whoever does any of these abominations, those persons who do so shall be cut off from among their people. 30 ‘Thus you are to keep My charge, that you do not practice any of the abominable customs which have been practiced before you, so as not to defile yourselves with them; I am the LORD your God.’ ”
- Clearly verses 25-27 refer to the other nations committing acts that is considered wicked and abominable before the Lord that the Jewish people were prohibited from following. If God is using the other nations as examples, then clearly the Gentiles are people too that can commit abominable acts. The criteria of abominable deeds is not determined by where you live or what race you belong to. The prohibition against abominable acts can take place anywhere and by anyone. Both Jews and Gentiles are culpable. He does not have laws of morality only for one group of people or only for a specific region.
Objection stated: What is “natural” in Romans 1 is not in reference to natural homosexuals but to heterosexuals who go beyond their natural bounds and engage in homosexuality.
Response: These proponents have a complete misreading of Romans 1. It turns the argument of Paul on its head. The sin of homosexuality just like any other sin is never natural.
- Romans 1:26-27, For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
- Romans 1:26-27 is in reference to all formerly heterosexuals who exchanged their natural function for the unnatural function. Why? because there is no such thing as natural homosexuals. Espousing that belief is tantamount to saying that Bruce Jenner was naturally a woman. Anything sinful is unnatural. You are what God intended you to be. What is natural is to operate as beings that reflect the created order. If homosexuality is a natural state, then it will be illogical and contradictory for God to prescribe prohibitions. Nice try LGBT movement, but this just shows your desperation in order to propagate your false teaching so you could justify your sin.
LGBT Objection: Paul is only speaking of pederastic homosexual behavior here, not adult homosexual relationships.
Response: Paul speaks of “men committing shameless acts with men….” This statement when studied in the Greek text is prohibiting all sorts of homosexual behaviors. The argument concerning whether it is in reference to pederastic behavior or not has to do with the word meaning of arsenokoitai and its cognates in extant usage. Here is where I think Dr. Robert Gagnon’s (since I have not done complete research, I can’t fully vouch for all of Dr. Gagnon’s theology such as soteriology, bibliology, etcc.; so please use discernment to see if it aligns with Scripture) commentary from his Facebook post concerning arsenokoitai is helpful. I am also thankful that Cripplegate was able to compile it and archive it for us.
The term arsenokoitēs and cognates after Paul (the term appears first in Paul) are applied solely to male-male intercourse but, consistent with the meaning of the partner term malakoi, not limited to pederasts or clients of cult prostitutes.
For example, the 4th century church historian Eusebius quoted from a 2nd–3rd century Christian, Bardesanes (“From the Euphrates River [eastward] . . . a man who . . . is derided as an arsenokoitēs . . . will defend himself to the point of murder”), and then added that “among the Greeks, wise men who have male lovers are not condemned” (Preparation for the Gospel, 6.10.25). Elsewhere Eusebius alluded to the prohibition of man-male intercourse in Leviticus as a prohibition not to arsenokoitein (lie with a male) and characterized it as a “pleasure contrary to nature,” “males mad for males,” and intercourse “of men with men” (Demonstration of the Gospel, 1.6.33, 67; 4.10.6). Translations of arsenokoitai in 1 Cor 6:9and 1 Tim 1:10in Latin, Syriac, and Coptic also define the term generally as “men lying with males.”
- Dr. Gagnon is correct concerning his above commentary. Furthermore, according to Dr. Gagnon, if Paul wanted to refer only to prohibition of pederastic behavior he would of used a different term.
The terms paiderastai (“lover of boys”), paidomanai (“men mad for boys”), or paidophthoroi (“corrupters of boys”) could have been chosen.
- Here is more commentary from Dr. Gagnon concerning the implications of arsenokoitai in Romans 1:24-27:
It is bad exegesis to interpret the meaning of arsenokoitaiin 1 Cor 6:9 without consideration of the broad indictment of male-male intercourse expounded in Rom 1:27 (“males with males”). The wording of Rom 1:27(“males, leaving behind the natural use of the female, were inflamed in their yearning for one another”) points to an inclusive rejection of all male-male relations. Paul here does not distinguish between good non-exploitative forms of male homosexual practice and bad exploitative forms but rather contrasts all male homosexual relations with natural intercourse between a man and a woman. He also emphasizes reciprocity (“yearning for one another”), a fact that rules out an indictment only of a coercive one-sided homosexual desire.
Other factors confirm the inclusive rejection of all male homosexual practice in Rom 1:27: Paul’s intertextual echo in Rom 1:23–27 to Gen 1:26–27 (which contrasts male homosexual practice with God’s intentional design in creation, “male and female [God] created them” and the consequent marital bond), his use of a nature argument (which transcends distinctions based on coercion or promiscuity), and the parallel indictment of lesbianism inRom 1:26 (a phenomenon in the ancient world not normally manifested with slaves, call girls, or adolescents).
The fact that semi-official same-sex marriages existed in the Greco-Roman world and were condemned by Greco-Roman moralists, rabbis, and Church Fathers as unnatural, despite the mutual commitment of the participants in such marriages, is another nail in the coffin for the contention that the term arsenokoitai had only exploitative or promiscuous male homosexual relations in view.
- What I also found astonishing while studying this word arsenokoitēs, I came across this in the book called The Same Sex Controversy: Defending and Clarifying the Bible’s Message About Homosexuality by Dr. James White and Jeff Neill, I came upon this discovery that somewhat startled me. I found out some disturbing news concerning the influence of the LGBT pressures upon Christian scholarship in some lexical works concerning the changes from BGAD (2nd edition) to BDAG (3rd edition). You can see the subtle compromises. Limiting the meaning of the word arsenokoites should not even be a option. Here is the excerpt below from the book:
“Some scholarly sources limit the meaning in just this way. The impact of political pressures appears even in the realm of Christian scholarship and publishing. For example, the second edition of A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature by Bauer, Arndt, Gingrich, and Danker (University of Chicago , 1979) defines arsenokoites as ‘a male who practices homosexuality, pederast, sodomite’ (109). The listed sources were fairly small at this point but included Bailey’s work. With the advent of the third edition (now known as BDAG) in 2000, the entry more than tripled in size, with the main definition dropping the term ‘homosexual.’ The definition given is, ‘a male who engages in sexual activity w . a pers. of his own sex, pederast.’ The first part of the definition, however, defines a homosexual, not a pederast. The largest portion of added ‘sources’ are revisionist in nature and have already been addressed . However, BDAG does note the formation of the word based upon the LXX usage at Leviticus 20: 13, even though this very fact militates strongly against the dropping of the term ‘homosexual’ from the definition (while retaining the description of homosexuality!)” (159-160).
Objection stated (Rom. 1): Paul is speaking solely of Jewish purity laws, and hence this is irrelevant in a modern, enlightened society.
Response: This reveals their desperate revisionism of the text. We know that Paul is prohibiting all homosexual acts whether it be done religiously or not. There is no indication anywhere whereby the sin is limited only to a religious homosexual act. If that is their logic, can we say that murder, adultery, other sexual deviant acts that are not done religiously be accepted? Paul is condemning the total homosexual orientation because it is not natural. They love to blame totalitarian regimes such as Nazis or communists being revisionists, but they are doing the very same act of error.
Objection stated (Rom. 1): Paul is not giving a binding, universal or timeless prohibition here, but is speaking only about what was then “natural” in a conventional or social sense.
Response: Paul is not intending this to be limited to a cultural climate. This is timeless and universal. In every generation, this sin is condemned. Why is it only wrong in terms of under the guidance of social norms? No where in Scripture is God’s moral law to be governed by society? Do you see that in Leviticus 18 and 20? If it is subjected to social norms, that means prohibitions from God are not immutable and therefore are tossed to and fro by the gross immorality of arbitrariness. Who knows then what the next new norm would be in the coming future. Should the Gospel change too then? Of course not. If so, the message we preach has no transforming power and no binding authority upon all people in all ages. God is not mocked. He will not be limited by social norms or time. He is the Ageless and the Eternal one. May this stir up our hearts to preach the eternity of God and the immutability of God.
Stay tuned for part 3.
Helpful resources consulted:
Bahnsen, Greg L., and Robert R. Booth. Always Ready: Directions for Defending the Faith. Atlanta, GA: Tenth Printing, 2009.
White, James; Niell, Jeff (2002-04-01). The Same Sex Controversy: Defending and Clarifying the Bible’s Message About Homosexuality (p. 135). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.