Sunday, July 12, 2009
"The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them." (Romans 1:18-32, NIV)
1:27 "In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion."
Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, gonorrhea, HIV, and the enteric parasites collectively known as the Gay Bowel Syndrome are some of those "due penalties." Since many contacts occur between strangers (70% of gays estimated that they had had sex only once with over half of their partners), and gays average somewhere between 106 and 1105 different partners/year, the potential for infection is considerable. In a San Francisco study of 655 gays, only 24% claimed to have been monogamous in the past year. In one study, the annual incidence of hepatitis A in homosexual men was 22 percent, whereas no heterosexual men acquired hepatitis A. In 1976, a rare airborne scarlet fever broke out among gays and just missed sweeping through San Francisco. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported that 29% of the hepatitis A cases in Denver, 66% in New York, 50% in San Francisco, 56% in Toronto, 42% in Montreal and 26% in Melbourne in the first six months of 1991 were among gays. A 1982 study "suggested that some transmission from the homosexual group to the general population might have occurred."
25% of white gays admitted to sex with boys 16 or younger as adults. In a 9-state study, 33% of the 181 male, and 22% of the 18 female teachers caught molesting students did so homosexually (though less than 3% of men and 2% of women engage in homosexuality).
70% to 78% of gays reported having had a sexually transmitted disease. The proportion with intestinal parasites (worms, flukes, amoeba) ranged from 25% to 39% to 59%. As of 1992, 83% of U.S. AIDS in whites had occurred in gays. 10% came down with hepatitis B and 7% contracted hepatitis A during the 6-month study.
The typical life span of homosexuals suggests that their activities are more destructive than smoking and as dangerous as drugs. Obituaries numbering 6,516 from 16 U.S. homosexual journals over the past 12 years were compared to a large sample of obituaries from regular newspapers. Less than 2% of homosexuals survived to old age. If AIDS was the cause of death, the median age was 39. For the 829 gays who died of something other than AIDS, the median age of death was 42, and 9% died old. The 163 lesbians had a median age of death of 44, and 20% died old.
Two and eight-tenths percent (2.8%) of gays died violently. They were 116 times more apt to be murdered; 24 times more apt to commit suicide; and had a traffic-accident death rate 18 times the rate of comparably aged white males. Heart attacks, cancer and liver failure were exceptionally common. Twenty percent of lesbians died of murder, suicide, or accident--a rate 487 times higher than that of white females aged 25-44.
Those who treat AIDS patients are at great risk, not only from HIV infection, which as of 1992 involved over 100 health care workers, but also from TB and new strains of other diseases. Those who are housed with AIDS patients are also at risk. Dr. Max Essex, chair of the Harvard AIDS Institute, warned congress in 1992 that "AIDS has already led to other kinds of dangerous epidemics...If AIDS is not eliminated, other new lethal microbes will emerge, and neither safe sex nor drug free practices will prevent them." At least 8, and perhaps as many as 30 patients had been infected with HIV by health care workers as of 1992.
The typical sexual practices of homosexuals are a medical horror story. I will spare you the extremely perverted and disgusting details.
Unfortunately, the danger of these exchanges does not merely affect homosexuals. Travelers carried so many tropical diseases to New York City that it had to institute a tropical disease center, and gays carried HIV from New York City to the rest of the world. Most of the 6,349 Americans who got AIDS from contaminated blood as of 1992, received it from homosexuals, and most of the women in California who got AIDS through heterosexual activity got it from men who engaged in homosexual behavior. The rare form of airborne scarlet fever that stalked San Francisco in 1976 also started among homosexuals.
Those are some of the physical consequences of homosexuality. So when Romans 1:27 says "Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion," Paul is speaking volumes.
Society is legitimately concerned with health risks---they impact our taxes and everyone's chances of illness and injury. Because we care about them, smokers are discouraged from smoking by higher insurance premiums, taxes on cigarettes and bans against smoking in public. These social pressures cause many to quit. They likewise encourage non-smokers to stay non-smokers. Homosexuals are sexually troubled people engaging in sinful and very dangerous activities. If we care about them and those tempted to join them, it is important that we neither encourage nor legitimize such a destructive lifestyle.
Verses 18-20 answer the question that has been asked by many, "What about those who have never heard the gospel? Is it fair for them to go to Hell?" It's basically the argument from design. Proof of God's existence is in nature (a building requires a builder; a painting requires a painter; similarly, the extreme complexity in nature, including things like the equivalent of many factories in a single cell, etc., require an intelligent Designer), so people are without excuse. Although people have knowledge of the existence of God through nature, they act as if the true God does not exist.
Verse 18: "the wrath of God..." Wrath is retributive punishment for an offense or crime. Today, "God's wrath" is a politically incorrect term. Acceptance and tolerance have replaced it. Just as respect for authority is gone, so the fear of God is gone. The message today is that God is a God of love. Though this is true, this is only one side of God, and ignores the rest of His characteristics.
Verse 23 talks about people worshiping images made to look like the things God created, instead of God Himself. This is absurdly foolish. Today in the West, we often tend to give our passion to creations of man: cars, clothes, sports, etc.
Verse 28: "a depraved mind." If it weren't for God's providential election, including the Holy Spirit working in men's hearts to change them, we would ALL be in that same boat.
Romans chapters 1-4 contain the most penetrating and perceptive analysis of human nature in its relationship to God ever written. Paul analyzes the condition of human beings and explains the work of Christ as God's provision for that need.
Romans 1:18-32 shows that people have knowledge of God through nature, and some may even acknowledge Him verbally, but they distort this understanding so that they worship the creation rather than the Creator. But God has not overlooked this willful ignorance. Rather, He has punished it by abandoning people to the natural outworking of their sins. This spiritual outworking of sin drags the race downward and enslaves us in invisible chains. Hence, the mess that people are in.