Thursday, 17 January 2013
Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. Romans 1:27
Again as in 1:26, Paul uses a word for “men” which indicates “males.” What he will speak of concerns acts of debauchery and perversion in which “males” go against the natural order. What is normal and right with “man” is excluded in his thoughts here. “Likewise” is speaking about what he stated concerning the “females” in verse 26 and he will now apply that same logic to the “males.”
These “males” whose mental state has fallen to the basest form of depravity leave “the natural use of the woman.” Neither a rocket scientist nor a specialist in anatomy is needed to determine what the different sexual organs of the male and female are meant for. Like the knowledge of God, it is self-evident. It is the deviant who shuns this knowledge and goes about using their parts in an inappropriate manner.
Not only do they act out their abnormal thoughts, but they actually burn “in their lust for one another.” The verb translated as “burned” is the Greek word exekauthesin. This is the only time it is used in the Bible and it is in a way (aorist indicative passive) that indicates these people “were set ablaze” in their passions. What we have seen is the morally depraved downward spiral as men reject God. When He is completely turned away from, there is nothing left but a total consuming of the individual in a mental state which is acted out in that which is contrary to nature.
Paul describes this mental/physical state as “men with men.” Like the females in verse 26, these males have committed the ultimate act of what is shameful and yet because they have departed so far from normal and right thinking they continue on in their vile actions. Paul says that because of this they receive “in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.” This penalty comes because “God gave them up” to their vile passions.” (v. 26) This is what one would term “judicial abandonment.” Instead of active prosecution of the sin, God in essence removes Himself from the equation and allows nature to take its course.
If what is natural and ordained by God leads to life, then what is unnatural and opposed to Him will lead to death. Diseases such as AIDS are the inevitable result of such perversion. Throughout history, when homosexuality becomes prevalent in a society, the incidents of plagues targeted at the offenders arise. Venereal diseases mutate as the unnatural habits spread and very quickly they take over the entire population. Along with these obvious signs are those which need to be seen from a wider angle – mental problems, shortened life spans, societal conflicts, etc all result from the entry and acceptance of homosexuality into a culture. These are “the penalty of the error which was due.”
The most egregious part of what occurs though is the purposeful blaming of God for their penalty – as if He was mean or capricious. Rather, they are getting what they deserve by acting in a manner contrary to normalcy. Thus even their concept of right and wrong about their judgment is convoluted.
Life application: How many times do we see people, even within the Christian community, who blame God for adversity? However, the opposite is usually not the case. Life, food, friends, income, etc. are looked as a deserved, and thanks aren’t forthcoming. Let us be quick to be thankful to God for every good blessing and slow to blame or show anger when adversity comes.
Heavenly Father, give me a grateful heart for the many blessings I enjoy each day. At the same time, help me to overcome thoughts which would accuse You for difficulties that occur in my life. I deserve far worse than I have ever received and with Jesus as my Lord, I know that eternity will be perfect. Help me to keep my eyes on that! Amen.