Bible and Homosexuality and the Term Paper

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Paul is explicit: any deviation from not even the divine law but merely the natural law will result in expulsion from Paradise -- just as happened to the first man and woman when they violated the only law that God gave them.

Or we may look at Paul's epistle to the Romans: "God has given them up to shameful lusts; for their women have exchanged the natural use for that which is against nature, and in like manner the men also, having abandoned the natural use of the woman, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men doing shameless things and receiving in themselves the fitting recompense of their perversity."

Now, a modern exegesis would claim that Paul is only applying a Jewish standard on the Romans -- but as Malick notes, such is certainly not the case. Certainly, Judaic law opposed homosexuality, but Paul was well-versed in Roman and Greek propriety. Paul is addressing the Romans, not Jews in Rome, but Christian Romans who struggled to maintain the natural order that God intended as recorded in Genesis. As Malick asserts, Romans 1:26 "bears the idea of a natural constitution as established by God in the creation of the human race. Qusi may have the figurative sense of a natural endowment or condition inherited from one's ancestors, as in Romans 2:27. However, there is also the literal sense of a physical naturalness that is beyond heritage and is based on creation. Paul clearly used the term this way in 1 Corinthians 11:14 when he referred to 'nature' as an argument for head coverings."

The original injunction from God to Adam and Eve remained -- as both Paul and Genesis show. The world was to be populated and men and women were to be fruitful following the natural order of the sex function. The sexual instinct was not designed primarily as a source of pleasure any more than the instinct to eat was designed primarily as a source of pleasure; but rather both instincts provide pleasure when they are used to facilitate their end: the impulse to eat (the satisfaction of which is pleasurable) allows us to continue to live; the impulse to procreate (the satisfaction of which is pleasurable) allows us to generate life and thus assure the continuation of humanity. Either impulse may be perverted: one may eat or not eat to excess, both of which may be detrimental to physical and psychological health (as well as spiritual); one may likewise pervert the procreative impulse (which also has psychological, physical, and spiritual consequences).

Malick contends that this is surely the case when he expostulates that

Homosexuality…is a movement away from God's design and thus from godliness… The word paredwke (He 'give them over') is not simply permissive or even privative but is descriptive of a judicial act of God giving men over to judgment for turning from the Creator. & #8230;Therefore homosexuality is not another proper expression of sexual relationships but is a perversion of God's created order. Homosexuality in itself (and not homosexual acts by heterosexuals) is the talionic expression of judgment against man's movement from the Creator."

From this perspective, objectively gleaned by reviewing the Pauline Epistles which complement the injunction in Genesis, an exegete may assert that despite modern exegesis which argues that homosexuality per se is not condemned but rather deviation from love. But as Augustine and Dante remind us, homosexuality (or any perversion of the sexual nature or natural law or lust of any kind) is a deviation from love, which must be rooted in God and exhibited in the following of his natural and divine law.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the divine injunction given to the first man and woman from God in the Garden of Paradise remains true for all men and women today who desire to follow Christ -- for Christ did not remove the old law so much as fulfill its covenant. Therefore, the command to "Be fruitful and multiply" may be understood as an imperative of the Divine Will that the human natures we possess (which have been created in a very specific way for a very specific purpose -- to give glory to God) be used as directed; in other words, when operated according to the original intention of the Creator, our persons show the ultimate expression of love -- love that is rooted in God rather than in his creations. Love that is sought outside of God's law (whether natural or divine) is misplaced love -- and, therefore, no real or true love at all. True love, rather, is conformity to the Will of God, as Christ showed to the very death.

Bibliography

Bird, Phyllis A. "Male and Female He Created Them." The Harvard Theological

Review vol. 74, no. 2, 1981.

Elwood, Christopher. "A Singular Example of the Wrath of God: The Use of Sodom in Sixteenth-Century Exegesis." The Harvard Theological Review vol. 98, no. 1, 2005.

Hayes, John; Holladay, Carl. Biblical Exegesis: a beginner's handbook. London:

Westminster John Knox Press, 2007.

Jones, E. Michael. Libido Dominandi: Sexual Liberation and Political Control. (South

Bend, IN: St. Augustine's Press, 2000.

Malick, David E. "The Condemnation of Homosexuality in Romans 1:26-27."

Bibliotheca Sacra vol. 150, no. 599, 1993.

New Revised Standard Version Bible. New York, NY: HarperCollins, 2009. Print.

Sheen, Fulton. Three to Get Married. Princeton, NJ: Scepter, 1951.

Gen 1:28

Fulton Sheen, Three to Get Married (Princeton, NJ: Scepter, 1951), 134.

Phyllis A. Bird, "Male and Female He Created Them" (The Harvard Theological Review vol. 74 no. 2, 1981), 129.

John Hayes, Carl Holladay, Biblical Exegesis: a beginner's handbook (London: Westminster John Knox Press, 2007), 1.

Christopher Elwood, "A Singular Example of the Wrath of God: The Use of Sodom in Sixteenth-Century Exegesis" (The Harvard Theological Review vol 98 no 1, 2005), 67.

David E. Malick, "The Condemnation of Homosexuality in Romans 1:26-27" (Bibliotheca Sacra vol 150, no 599, 1993), 327

E. Michael Jones, Libido Dominandi: Sexual Liberation and Political Control. (South Bend, IN: St. Augustine's Press, 2000), 334.

Christopher Elwood, "A Singular Example of the Wrath of God: The Use of Sodom in Sixteenth-Century Exegesis" (The Harvard Theological Review vol 98 no 1, 2005), 67.

David E. Malick, "The Condemnation of Homosexuality in Romans 1:26-27" (Bibliotheca Sacra vol 150, no…[continue]

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