Ta Ethne was recently part of a panel discussion concerning the acceptance of homosexual congregations among the Christian community. Involved in the panel were 5 different Baptist denominations (American, National, Cooperative, Reformed and Southern), representatives from different 7th-Day Adventist congregations, and an Anglican priest. 3 different nationalities (Cuban, American, Virgin Islander) were represented. Also present was a pastor in a local Metropolitan Community Church, who was giving her reasons for inclusion into mainstream Christiandom. Without going into all of the discussion, which would take up multiple columns, I want to focus on one particular issue. During the discussion, the MCC pastor (a self-professed lesbian) gave her interpretation of Romans 1:26-27. In her understanding, the natural affection was the affection for another of the same sex and it would have been unnatural to love someone of the opposite sex. In this way, she believed Paul supported her lifestyle in this passage. In other words, she believed that the verses condemn the act of going against what a person’s natural sexual orientation really is (which is a whole different debate for another time.)
A quick look at the Greek text shows us clearly what Paul is referring to:
The Greek for “natural function” are φυσικὴν χρῆσιν, phusikan krasis.
- “natural” – phusikan, 1) produced by nature, inborn, 2) agreeable to nature, 3) governed by (the instincts of) nature1
- “function” – Only two instances in N.T. Rom. 1:26,27. χρῆσις, εως, ἡ use made of anything, usage; more specifically of sexual intercourse function, sexual useI
It was disheartening for me to hear this and not have another church leader call her out on her twisting of Scripture. The MCC pastor was juggling, twisting and redefining words to try and justify a lifestyle and getting away with it because no one else had the guts to say, “You are wrong. You are not interpreting Scripture correctly.” Unfortunately, we live in a society where “tolerance” trumps truth. If you are going to sin, sin. Do not compound the sin by trying to justify your actions through a deliberate misuse of clear, Scriptural teaching. I fear for the churches the other leaders represent. If they could not face this without compromising, they will not face any error in their churches. More than ever we need pastors and leaders who are committed to godly principles and not afraid to stand for the truth. Pray for Ta Ethne as we continue to train leaders worldwide in how to stand on Scripture.