I should start with an apology, I was told that my last piece was too technical. I really do try to water these articles down, though sometimes that can be difficult without rendering the arguments I’m making incorrect. I will therefore skip one of two more points I wanted to cover, which is also a matter of theological heresy that has been allowed to spread within Evangelicalism. But there is one final point to be addressed, and that is the issue of homosexuality, bisexuality, gender dysphoria, etc. This is an area Christian should be cautious, some have a tendency to forget that Christ died to save sinners, including homosexuals. Nor should we be any more surprised to find some Christians have homosexual temptations anymore than we should be surprised to find some Christians are tempted by other sins, including other sexual sins. We should remember that we are but branches snatched from the burning.
But what has changed today are teachers who seem to feel we should forget the Bible’s teachings about homosexuality, and live by the postmodern standard. Presidential Candidate Pete Buttigieg, who claims to be a Christian and a practicing homosexual. The problem, of course, is that the Bible, the final authority of faith and practice, including the Christian view of ethics is clear on this matter, though some false teachers are attempting (and in some cases succeeding) in presenting bad exegesis to claim the Bible does not say what it, in fact, says. There is a hidden premise, however, that seems to underlie these approaches, and that is an adoption of an non-Christian view of mankind, and that is a denial of the impact of the fall. As Christians, we believe we are born in sin, our natural desires are tainted by our expressions of the innate depravity of our natures (and this is why Christians should moderate our language when it comes to homosexuality—homosexuality may be an expression of our depravity, so is greed, or the desires underlying substance abuse). One of the striking things about Lady Gaga’s song Born this Way is that she has the insight to see precisely this is the issue at hand (and one should always be surprised when a pop song is actually insightful). The view of God expressed in that song, which describes the gay Christian movement so well, is a view that is at odds with the Christian view, which expresses our profound, ethical brokenness since the fall.
But what is perhaps really interesting is, modern times have confirmed my own understanding of Romans chapter 1. Romans 1 does not seem to describe stages individuals move through. Rather, it seems to be describing the stages of the decay of true religion within societies lacking the oracles of God. Thus, the reference in Romans 1 is not to individuals acting out homosexual fantasies, it is rather about what we would describe as a gay affirming society. Further, it is a society that moves away from the divinely appoint end that God has created for sex and marriage. In Matthew 19:1-12 Jesus sets the pattern we are to accept for marriage and human sexuality, this is passage I’m working with for my dissertation studies, but Jesus here is presenting a theologically developed rule for interpreting the divine intentions for the authorship of a certain old Testament law, and his argument rests the design God has given for man in the garden. This is the great good in family life, a good that the church should not trade for the leeks and melons of this world’s system.
 While such attempts go back to John Boswell’s Christianity, Social Tolerance and Homosexuality, Boswell was a historian, but his arguments from the Bible are inadequate. There are a number of common fallacies or issues of poor technique (or unfamiliarity with the Biblical material that underlie these arguments. Among the most common is the fallacy of special pleading. In discussions of Leviticus 18 and 20 and Romans 1, the person arguing that we simply don’t understand the Bible will attempt to argue that some particular points only towards issues of Roman society of ancient near eastern pagan practice. The problem is, the discussions of homosexuality are parts of larger discussions, in Leviticus, the immediate context involves sexual activity not idolatrous practices, including incestuous relationships (likely forcible incest) and sex with animals. No one argues that bestiality or incest are merely elements of Ancient near eastern idolatry, and no one would argue we should abandon these mandates on these grounds. Similarly, no one argues that the warnings against idolatry are merely elements of Greco-Roman society (despite the fact that elements of these passages describe other nations better than they do the Roman state), nor the earlier references to promiscuity. This is fatal to the arguments being raised.
Paul references homosexuality (at least among males) more directly in 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10. It is sometimes argued that this should not be understood as an reference to homosexuality, since Paul does not use the standard terminology available in his own day. However, Paul’s list passages show some odd tendencies to avoid standard terminology, possibly because such terms implied some acceptability of the practices. There are two terms at issue, and it is usually implied that Paul only references Prostitution. However, a quick check of basic lexical sources for New Testament Greek show that, at a minimum, the latter of the two terms (αρσενοκοιτης) is a term for a homosexual. We also know that Paul appears to have drawn this term by combining terms used in the Septuagint’s translation of Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 20:13 , a 3rd century BC translation of the Old Testament into Greek that was used by Jews and early Christians in Greek speaking areas of the empire.
This is the second heresy this series of articles was originally going to include, a heresy known as Pelagianism that argues, while men may sin because of their environment, we are born somewhat morally neutral. Sometimes, this is tied into discussions of Arminianism and Calvinism, but this is faulty. First, because the commonly used phrase total depravity actually originates with Arminians, though some weaker Calvinists, such as myself use this particular phrase. Second, because for some reason, we tie the discussion improperly to freewill, this may actually be Calvin’s fault, at least in part. He attacked the belief in “free will” but makes it plain at the end he is not speaking of freewill in the same sense we usually mean it when discuss the subject of freewill today. Calvin is instead arguing that the will is depraved without regeneration not that our will is at all times coerced.