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Should Homosexuals Be Put To Death?

Romans 1:18-32
(18)  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
(19)  Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
(20)  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
(21)  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
(22)  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
(23)  And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
(24)  Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
(25)  Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
(26)  For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
(27)  And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
(28)  And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
(29)  Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
(30)  Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
(31)  Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
(32)  Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.


In this quote from Romans 1:18-32, I have highlighted the portion of the verse where St. Paul states that 'they which commit such things are worthy of death'. Was St. Paul calling for the death of homosexuals; and, if he was, should Christians today do the same?

In this Gospel Age, Christians are given the commission to call to others to repentance:

Acts 17:30-31

(30)  And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
(31)  Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

Certainly, the scriptures testify that those who practised the sin of Sodom in the past were specially destroyed by God as a warning example (Jude 1:7; 2 Peter 2:5-7), as well as laws given to Israel to put to death those who practised such things (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13). Likewise, many from amongst God's people were destroyed as warning examples for falling into fornication (1 Corinthians 10:5-11).

Still, St. Paul makes clear that homosexuals are able to cease their 'vile affections' and, through faith in Christ, be 'washed' clean - see 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.

The fact is that such ones 'treasurest up unto [themselves] wrath' (Romans 2:5) on the 'day of wrath' (the great time of trouble - culminating in the great tribulation or the battle of Armageddon) at the end of this age, as well as stripes and discipline during the millennial reign of Jesus Christ. God will '...render to every man according to his deeds...' (Romans 2:6).

The Bible reveals that such ones, even now, are '...receiving in themselves that recompence of their error...' (Romans 1:27). It is medially proven that those who engage in such homosexual practises suffer from various diseases, and other health related problems - more so than so called 'heterosexual' persons.

Adam Clarke's commentary:

'Receiving in themselves that recompense, etc. - Both the women and men, by their unnatural prostitutions, enervated their bodies, so that barrenness prevailed, and those disorders which are necessarily attendant on prostitution and sodomitical practices.'

Albert Barnes commentary:

'And receiving in themselves ... - The meaning of this doubtless is, that the effect of such base and unnatural passions was, to enfeeble the body, to produce premature old age, disease, decay, and an early death. That this is the effect of the indulgence of licentious passions, is amply proved by the history of man. The despots who practice polygamy, and keep harems in the East, are commonly superannuated at forty years of age; and it is well known, even in Christian countries, that the effect of licentious indulgence is to break down and destroy the constitution. How much more might this be expected to follow the practice of the vice specified in the verse under examination! God has marked the indulgence of licentious passions with his frown. Since the time of the Romans and the Greeks, as if there had not been sufficient restraints before, he has originated a new disease, which is one of the most loathsome and distressing which has ever afflicted man, and which has swept off millions of victims. But the effect on the body was not all. It tended to debase the mind; to sink man below the level of the brute; to destroy the sensibility; and to “sear the conscience as with a hot iron.” The last remnant of reason and conscience, it would seem, must be extinguished it those who would indulge in this unnatural and degrading vice.'

But God does not desire these outcomes. In fact, the scriptures state:

Romans 2:4

(4)  Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

Many in today's world think the scriptures harsh and unloving which condemn such abominable practices. Most believe that the Law of God (Mosaic), wherein practisers of such iniquity were put to death, was, and is, barbaric. St. Paul counsels Christians 'Be not deceived' (1 Corinthians 6:9). The standards of the world change, but God's standards never change. As our Creator and Father, He knows what is good for us and what is not. The fruitage that results from such practises is death-dealing; whereas, heeding the counsel from God's word means life. Actually, it is because of God's intense love for His creation that He so strongly condemns such practises, as well as Him providing stark warning examples for us today (recorded in the Holy Bible). God does not want any to be destroyed (or perish):

2 Peter 3:9

(9)  The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

He loved the world so much that, while we were yet sinners, He sent His beloved Son, Jesus Christ to die for all. He has also provided for mankind in other ways, the good and the wicked, with rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons (Acts 14:17), as well as ensuring that the Gospel message is available for all to hear (the Bible being the most widely distributed, and most translate book in world history).

Also, as opposed to what many believe (eternal torment in hell-fire), God has arranged for a 1000 year period in which He will judge the entire inhabited earth in righteousness through His Son, Jesus Christ. During that period, all who are willing will be raised up to perfection, physical, moral and spiritual - no corrupt thing will be permitted during that period. God promises that:

Isaiah 1:18

(18)  Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Yes, through the application of the merit of Christ's sacrifice, all will be able, through faith, to have their sins 'washed', their 'garments' made as white as snow, through the washing in the blood of the lamb. These former practise, all hurtful things, 'shall not be remembered, nor come into mind' (Isaiah 65:17).

Contrary to what many are instructed today, homosexual practises are not 'love', or loving, in any way, shape or form. Our Creator knows what is best for us and desires that we avoid such unholy, detestable, practises. Christians today, then, must abhor this great evil, and yet strive to encourage those ensnared by these fleshly perversions to recognise how strongly God feels about such behaviour; while, at the same time, revealing the fact that God loves these people and wants what is best for them. As such, we too should love our neighbours and share with them God's truth about such matters - regardless of how the world in general reacts to this message. Yet, we, like our God, do not desire the death (Ezekiel 18:23; 33:11) of such ones (as worthy as such abhorrent practises makes an individual), but would rather they repented and became Christians. Let's keep in mind that while some sins are of a more severe nature than others; ultimately, we are all under the sentence of death, and are all in need of redemption through Jesus Christ.

Please feel free to leave a comment and share your thoughts, or ask a question.

Romans 13:1-7
(1)  Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
(2)  Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
(3)  For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
(4)  For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
(5)  Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
(6)  For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.
(7)  Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

In the above verses St. Paul exhorts Christians to be 'subject to the higher powers' - earthly powers which have been permitted to rule during the time of the gentiles. This subjection is relative; a Christian would not be required to be subject to an earthly government when there is conflict between God's laws and the law of man.

However, the point I wish to mention briefly is the fact that these governments are said to 'beareth a sword' - what does this mean?

'He beareth not the sword in vain - His power is delegated to him for the defense and encouragement of the good, and the punishment of the wicked; and he has authority to punish capitally, when the law so requires: this the term sword leads us to infer.' - Adam Clarke

It is apparent that the 'higher powers' are permitted to use the 'sword' to punish evil doers - this includes capital punishment. Does this change the outlook of the Christian as respects homosexuality - something that St. Paul stated that those who practised such things were 'worthy of death'?

As was previously pointed out, many who were once homosexual - sodomites - became Christian. Thus, while it would appear to be scripturally permissible for a 'higher power' to execute homosexuals legitimately.

Nevertheless, in view of the previous post and scriptural arguments provided, it does not appear that Christians of the First Century desired the 'higher powers" to exercise the usage of the sword against such persons who engaged in sodomy.Yet, it must be acknowledged that if the 'higher powers' enacted capital laws requiring that homosexuals be put to death for such practises, then these 'higher powers' would be within their rights to do so.

However, whether or not Christians would call for the 'higher powers' to enact such laws against homosexuals is another matter. Is it the place of a Christian, an alien and temporary resident in the earth - a person looking to share in the heavenly kingdom, and considered as an ambassador of Christ - to become embroiled in the politics of this world, seeking to change society and laws through lobbying government, etc.? I'd suggest that this is not the example we were set by Jesus Christ and his Apostles - Jesus Christ making clear that his kingdom was, and is, no part of this world.

Thus, while the 'higher powers' are within their rights to exercise the sword against evildoers (executing a murderer who took the life of another), it does not appear to be the place for Christians to seek to influence how this sword is used against certain groups of wrongdoers.

Other thoughts and comments welcomed.