Gay Christian is OK – Romans Chapter 1 is Not a Clobber Passage

Romans Chapter 1 (specifically verses 26-32) is often held up as a gay Christian “clobber passage”, that is, evidence that God hates homosexuality and that someone cannot be Christian and gay. However, this passage was not about homosexuality at all.

What was it about? Let’s look at the context. Paul (the writer of Romans) starts of by saying that when we look at creation, we can see God in it, but that certain ones didn’t praise God for this or even thank him. He says they worshipped idols instead. In verse 24, Paul says “for this reason” God handed them over to ritual uncleanness. Now the clincher. In verse 26, Paul states that the females exchanged natural sex for what is “other than nature”. In the next verse, he says the same goes for males too. In following passages, Paul gives a list of their wrongdoings.

In the passage Paul follows Jewish literature in speaking of idolatry and people who did not acknowledge God, and both women and men who went against nature due to their own burning passions. This has been thought to refer to homosexuality, but it is not even about the union of humans, same sex or not. The Aphrocryphal literature well documents certain angels (known as “The Watchers”) as going “against nature” and “whoring after” humans. In Romans 1 verses 28-32, Paul gives list of their wicked deeds, and this list can be found also in 2 Enoch 10. The context in 2 Enoch 10 was also about those who did not know their creator but worshipped idols, and about angels who lusted after humans.

The ancient Jewish Testament of Naphtali 3.3.4-5 likewise states that the women of Sodom had sex with angels, and that in doing so The Watchers had “changed the order of their nature”. Sound familiar?

Ancient Jewish literature had several accounts of angels (“The Watchers”) coming to earth and “whoring after” humans. This was described as “going against nature”. In these accounts, it is mentioned that they did not worship the creator but made idols instead. There are also lists of their wicked deeds. This is precisely what we find in Romans 10. ‘Religious’ Christians in Western cultures in the last few centuries have seen homosexuality as a sin, so have read their own personal beliefs back into the original words of the Bible when they are in fact not there at all. Many Christians did not and do not realize that there was a strong Jewish tradition of angels coming to earth, changing their nature, and lusting after humans.

Romans 10 is not about homosexuality, but about the union of angels with humans.

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