2016 Banquet

Video: Gagnon Paper Debunks Homosexual Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson’s Claim that New Testament Book of Romans Does Not Apply to ‘Gay Monogamy’

Robinson claims homosexuals are “born” that way despite lack of evidence and his own abnormal upbringing

“Every piece of evidence that can be culled from the text’s literary and historical context confirms that the Bible’s prohibition of homosexual practice, like its prohibition of adult incestuous unions, is absolute, rejecting all forms of homosexual practice regardless of consent and commitment.” —  Robert Gagnon, Associate Professor of New Testament, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary 

“St. Paul was talking about people that he understood to be heterosexual engaging in same-sex acts.  It never occurred to anyone in ancient times that a certain minority of us would be born being affectionally oriented to people of the same sex.  So it did seem like against their nature to be doing so.” — Homosexual Episcopal Bishop V. (Vicky) Gene Robinson, interview with CNSNews.com

TAKE ACTION AND LEARN: Educate yourself about the Bible’s clear teaching against homosexual conduct and relationships. Begin by reading the article below, taken from Prof. Robert Gagnon’s paper, “What the Evidence Really Says about Scripture and Homosexual Practice: Five Issues, and sharing it with your Christian friends, especially those bending to pro-“gay” advocacy. And please support Prof. Gagnon by ordering his excellent 2008 DVD series, “Love, the Bible and Homosexual Practice” (cost is $42 including shipping & handling). As Christians, it is our duty to respond intelligently to false “gay” theology, which is gaining a foothold in the Church and in the culture. And for those who are not Christian, you need to understand the bogus history that activists like (Vicky) Gene Robinson are using to advance their pro-homosexuality agenda.

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Dear Readers,

Please watch this short video interview of homosexual activist and Episcopal Bishop V. (Vicky) Gene Robinson’s latest attempt  to discredit the biblical (Romans 1) prohibition against homosexual practice (courtesy Eyeblast TV and CNSNews.com):

You can read a transcript of Bishop Robinson’s CNS interview HERE. It is extraordinary to behold a major denominational “Christian” leader dedicate a sizable part of his professional life to undermining the clear witness of the Bible and tradition against a particular sexual sin  — which just so happens to be the one with which he identifies. Unfortunately for Robinson, his rehashed “gay” theology does not square with history, as Prof. Robert Gagnon — the world’s leading orthodox authority on the Bible and homosexuality — reveals below.

Note Robinson’s assumption that homosexuals are “born.” Despite the existence of a small cottage industry of pro-homosexual researchers — e.g., geneticist-turned-“gay”-activist Dean Hamer — seeking to prove inborn homosexuality, they have not succeeded in doing so. (Hamer’s media-hyped 1993 male “genetic homosexuality” study in the journal Science could not be replicated in the same journal.)

Also note that despite Robinson’s claim about innate homosexuals, the peculiar and obviously dysfunctional circumstances of his own life — starting at his birth — support a “nurture” rather than “nature” model for the causation of homosexuality. Robinson’s parents, expecting him to die, gave him two female names — Vicky Imogene — because they had hoped for a daughter. Then when he survived, they allowed him to live as a boy carrying those feminine names — a parental act that was irresponsible at best and cruel at worst. (Remember the Johnny Cash song, “A Boy Named Sue”?)

Thus, the abnormal factors that undoubtedly contributed to Bishop Robinson’s deviant proclivities and homosexual self-identification as an adult undermine his current, self-serving, specious claim that modern, “monogamous” homosexuality is some kind of benign, naturally “oriented” variation on life that was not yet discovered by the Apostle Paul. [See related AFTAH article: “Researcher: Half of Gay Couples Choose to be ‘Non-Monogamous.’”]

Prof. Rob Gagnon

Moreover, if we know that thousands of men and women have left homosexuality through faith in Jesus Christ and through various methods and circumstances — why would we treat this particular sin as somehow special and unchangeable — or not sinful at all, as long as it is “domesticated”?

Professor Rob Gagnon and other scholars — including some homosexuals — who have studied the context of the New Testament Book of Romans take issue with Bishop Robinson’s claim about monogamous homosexuality not being proscribed. TAKE ACTION AND LEARN:  Please share this article with your friends and support Prof. Gagnon (www.robgagnon.net) — a rare, indefatigable foe of pro-homosexual political correctness in the academy — by ordering his 2008 DVD series, “Love, the Bible and Homosexual Practice” (cost is $42 including shipping & handling). The excerpt below is taken from Gagnon’s 2009 paper, “What the Evidence Really Says about Scripture and Homosexual Practice: Five Issues.”

— Peter LaBarbera, www.aftah.org

“Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.” (I Corinthians 16: 13-14)

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Prof. Gagnon Responds to “Gay” Theological Arguments on the Book of Romans:

3. Romans 1:24-27 and the Erroneous “Exploitation Argument”

Claim: The Bible’s prohibition of homosexual practice in Romans 1:24‐27 applies only to exploitative and hedonistic forms of homosexual practice such as sex with slaves, prostitutes, and adolescents.

What the evidence really shows: Every piece of evidence that can be culled from the text’s literary and historical context confirms that the Bible’s prohibition of homosexual practice, like its prohibition of adult incestuous unions, is absolute, rejecting all forms of homosexual practice regardless of consent and commitment.

Five lines of evidence make this point clear. First, Paul in Rom 1:24-27 rejects homosexual practice because it is a violation of the God’s creation of “male and female” as a sexual pair in Genesis. In Rom 1:23-27 Paul intentionally echoed Gen 1:26-27, making eight points of correspondence, in the same tripartite structure, between the two sets of texts (humans/image/likeness, birds/cattle/reptiles, male/female). Paul was rejecting homosexual practice in the first instance because it was a violation of the male-female prerequisite for sexual relations ordained by the Creator at creation, not because of how well or badly it was done in his cultural milieu.

Second, the kind of nature argument that Paul employs in Rom 1:18-27 isn’t conducive to a distinction between exploitative and nonexploitative forms of homosexual practice. For Paul contended that female-female and male-male intercourse was “contrary to nature” because it violated obvious clues given in the material structures of creation that male and female, not two males or two females, are each other’s sexual “counterpart” or “complement” (to use the language of Gen 2:18, 20) in terms of anatomy, physiology, and psychology. What Paul says regarding the vertical vice of idolatry (1:19-23) is equally true of the horizontal vice of same-sex intercourse: male-female complementarity is “clearly seen, being mentally apprehended by means of the things made” (1:19-20). Some have argued that the ancients had no comprehension of a complementarity argument. Yet as classicist Thomas K. Hubbard notes in his magisterial sourcebook of texts pertaining to Homosexuality in Greece and Rome (University of California Press, 2003): “Basic to the heterosexual position [among Greek and Roman moralists in the first few centuries A.D.] is the characteristic Stoic appeal to the providence of Nature, which has matched and fitted the sexes to each other” (p. 444). Hubbard is supportive of homosexual relationships, yet admits the point.

Third, the fact that Paul in Rom 1:27 specifically indicts male homosexual relations that involve mutual, reciprocal affections—“males, having left behind the natural use of the female, were inflamed with their yearning for one another”— precludes any supposition that Paul is thinking
only of coercive relationships.


Fourth, Paul’s indictment of lesbianism in Romans 1:26 further confirms that his indictment of homosexual practice is absolute, since female homosexuality in antiquity was not primarily known, or criticized, for the exploitative practices of sex with slaves, prostitutes, or children.
And there can be little doubt that Paul was indicting female homosexuality, as evidenced by:

  1. the parallelism of the language of 1:26 (“females exchanged the natural use”) and 1:27 (“likewise also the males leaving behind the natural use of the female”);
  2. the fact that in antiquity lesbian intercourse was the form of female intercourse most commonly labeled “contrary to nature” and paired with male homosexual practice;
  3. the fact of nearly universal male opposition to lesbianism in antiquity, even by men engaged in homosexual practice; and
  4. the fact that lesbian intercourse was the dominant interpretation of Romans 1:26 in the patristic period.

Fifth, contrary to false claims that people in the Greco-Roman world had no concept of committed homosexual unions, there is plenty of evidence for the conception and existence of loving homosexual relationships, including semi-official “marriages” between men and between women. Moreover, we know of some Greco-Roman moralists who acknowledged the existence of loving homosexual relationships while rejecting even these as unnatural (indeed, we can trace this idea back to Plato’s Laws). This is also true of the Church Fathers. For example, Clement of Alexandria (late second century) referred to “women … contrary to nature … marrying women” (Paidagogos 3.3.21.3). Obviously marriage implies commitment (else there is no need to marry) yet commitment does not change the unnatural and sinful character of the relationship. And it should go without saying that Jewish writers in Paul’s day and beyond rejected all forms of homosexual activity. For example, the first-century Jewish historian Josephus stated the obvious to his Roman readers: “The law [of Moses] recognizes only sexual intercourse that is according to nature, that which is with a woman…. But it abhors the intercourse of males with males” (Against Apion 2.199).

It is hardly surprising, then, that even Louis Crompton, a homosexual scholar, acknowledges this point in his massive work, Homosexuality and Civilization (Harvard University Press, 2003; 500 pgs.):

“However well-intentioned,” the interpretation that Paul’s words were not directed at “bona fide” homosexuals in committed relationships….seems strained and unhistorical. Nowhere does Paul or any other Jewish writer of this period imply the least acceptance of same-sex relations under any circumstance. The idea that homosexuals might be redeemed by mutual devotion would have been wholly foreign to Paul or any other Jew or early Christian. (p. 114)

Also worth noting is the falsity of claims that the ancient world knew nothing akin to our understanding of a homosexual orientation or of congenital influences on at least some homosexual development. As classicist Thomas K. Hubbard (cited above) notes:

Homosexuality in this era [i.e., of the early Imperial Age of Rome] may have ceased to be merely another practice of personal pleasure and began to be viewed as an essential and central category of personal identity, exclusive of and antithetical to heterosexual orientation. (p. 386)

Bernadette Brooten, a lesbian New Testament scholar who has written the most important book on lesbianism in antiquity also acknowledges this point. She states that “Paul could have believed” that some persons attracted to members of the same sex “were born that way and yet still condemn them [better: their behaviors] as unnatural and shameful…. I see Paul as condemning all forms of homoeroticism as the unnatural acts of people who had turned away from God” (Love Between Women: Early Christian Responses to Female Homoeroticism [University of Chicago, 1996], 244).


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