Homosexuality's proper place in Romans 1

To properly understand Romans 1, we must acknowledge that homosexuality alone is not in view in this text. To use this text simply as polemic against homosexuality is not appropriate exegesis or application.

In Romans 1:18-32 Paul is condemning the human race generally, and he uses a large brush covering a gamut of actions to do so. Here he speaks about Gentiles and their general rejection of knowledge about God. Paul sees various sins stemming from this: (1) idolatry which often involved general sexual sin in v. 24-25, perhaps a veiled reference to temple prostitution common among Gentiles, (2) homosexual sin in vv. 26-27, (3) multifaceted sinfulness in vv. 28-32. Thus in this passage Paul shows how a general rejection of knowledge about God works its way out into the human race in multiple ways. Homosexuality is not singled out. Sexual sin is not singled out. All sin is in view as under the wrath of God. Thus the idolatry myth I mentioned in a prior post does not work here, because there is a deeper cause in view: the rejection of God by the human heart. Idolatry is a result, a punishment, not a cause. Same thing with homosexuality: It is ultimately a result of not acknowledging God and does not stem from idolatry specifically.

Thus anytime we argue that homosexuality is condemned in this passage, in the same breath we must acknowledge that all human sinfulness is condemned. If this passage applies to anyone, it applies to me.