CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Romans 1 and the Death of a Nation

Aug 14, 2010

There is hardly a more frightening and sobering passage in all of Scripture than Romans 1:18-32. Yet, sadly, it may be one of the more neglected texts in contemporary Christendom. And no wonder, since it cuts across so much of the trendy mumbo jumbo which is being taught about God and morality nowadays.

I urge every believer to pull out their Bible and re-read this important passage – or read it for the very first time if need be. It is especially relevant given next week’s federal election. It tells us much about how both individuals and nations self-destruct as they jettison God and establish themselves as the sovereign centre of the universe.

It tells us that the righteousness of God (discussed in vv. 16-17) is intimately bound up with the wrath of God. Paul argues that everyone has all the knowledge of God that they need, yet they choose to suppress that knowledge of God, and embrace a lie, and as a result descend further into barbarism and degradation.

While he lists a number of sins which result from this suppression of the knowledge of God, he singles out one as the epitome of this revolt against God. To highlight this one sin of homosexuality immediately challenges all the theological revisionism taking place in the churches today.

God makes it absolutely clear that this sin is the pinnacle of man’s rebellion against God. It is the ultimate sign of the unrighteous shaking their fists at God and proclaiming, “We will not have you to rule over us!” And it is also seen as the result of God’s judgment as well.

Paul argues here that homosexuality goes against the natural order as God created it. Says Thomas Schreiner, “Paul rejects homosexuality as contrary to the created order – homosexual activity is a violation of what God intended when he created men and women.” Or as John Stott remarks, “to act ‘against nature’ means to violate the order which God had established”.

C.K. Barrett reminds us of just how pronounced this sin was: “No feature of pagan society filled the Jews with greater loathing than the toleration, or rather admiration, of homosexual practices. Paul is utterly at one here with his compatriots; but his disgust is more than instinctive. In the obscene pleasures to which he refers is to be seen precisely that perversion of the created order which may be expected when men put the creation in place of the Creator. That idolatry has such consequences is to Paul a plain mark of God’s wrath.”

Sproul 2R.C. Sproul cuts to the chase here: “When we become involved in homosexual practices, we are not only sinning against God but against the nature of things. All the debates today about whether homosexual behaviour is acquired or inherently genetic can be answered here in this text. The Word of God says that such behaviour is not normal. It is against nature as God created it.”

And it is not just homosexual acts that Paul condemns. He speaks of those who were “inflamed with lust for one another” (v. 27). The desires are just as evil as the acts, Paul says. But some revisionists claim that Paul simply warns against pederasty (having sex with boys) here. But the bulk of New Testament scholarship rejects such views. As James Dunn notes, “Paul’s indictment seems to include all kinds of homosexual practice, female as well as male, and was not directed against one kind of homosexual practice in distinction from another”. Or as Leon Morris puts it, “Paul is saying in strong terms that the men were burned up with a powerful but unnatural passion.”

This entire passage teaches in unmistakable clarity that homosexuality is a prime example of the rebellion and idolatry that fallen mankind is a part of. As Fitzmyer puts it, “Homosexual behavior is the sign of human rebellion against God, an outward manifestation of the inward spiritual rebellion. It illustrates human degradation and provides a vivid image of humanity’s rejection of the sovereignty of God.”

Sproul concurs: “When the apostle Paul describes the radical corruption of the human race, he sees the sin of homosexual behavior as the sin most representative of the radical nature of our fall. It is seen here not simply as a sin, nor even as a serious sin or a gross sin, but as the clearest expression of the depths of our perversity.”

Or as Dr J.J. Davis has said, “In Romans 1, homosexuality is seen not merely as a violation of some Jewish or Christian sectarian code, but as a transgression of the basic moral law of God known in all cultures.”

Yet incredibly we have some who call themselves Christian who seek to tell us that there is nothing wrong with homosexuality, that it is God’s gift to us, and we should just stop carrying on about it. They are in effect saying they know better than Paul, and God himself who inspired him to pen these words. Indeed, they are calling God a liar.

In fact Paul addresses this very issue in verse 32: “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”. That’s it, they approve of those things which God warns against, and approve of those who do them.

(BTW, some will complain that we are singling out one sin, when all sin is equally bad. Well, yes and no is the reply. The truth is, as Peter Barnes rightly notes, Scripture does make distinctions between sins, and so should we: “Rather than declare that all sins are equal – which violates both common sense and Scripture – we ought to recognise that any sin cuts us off from God. It is misleading to say that God is equally opposed to each of our sins, but it is true to say that He utterly opposes all of our sin.”)

Giving them up

One of the most jolting thoughts found in this section of Romans is the thrice-repeated phrase, “God gave them over” (vv. 24, 26, 28). God finally abandons rebellious mankind to its own perversions and sin. That is the ultimate judgment of God.

Sproul is worth quoting at length here: “The worst thing that can happen to sinners is to be allowed to go on sinning without any divine restraints. At the end of the New Testament, in the book of Revelation when the description of the last judgment is set forth, God says, ‘He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still’ (Rev. 22:11). God gives people over to what they want. He abandons them to their sinful impulses and removes his restraints, saying in essence, ‘If you want to sin, go ahead and sin.’ This is what theologians call ‘judicial abandonment.’ God, in dispensing his just judgment, abandons the impenitent sinner forever.”

That paragraph alone should send shivers down the backs of every one of us. But Sproul is not finished yet. What he goes on to say needs to be proclaimed from every pulpit in the nation:

“We hear all the time about God’s infinite grace and mercy. I cringe when I hear it. God’s mercy is infinite insofar as it is mercy bestowed upon us by a Being who is infinite, but when the term infinite is used to describe his mercy rather than his person, I have problems with it because the Bible makes very clear that there is a limit to God’s mercy. There is a limit to his grace, and he is determined not to pour out his mercy on impenitent people forever. There is a time, as the Old Testament repeatedly reports, particularly in the book of the prophet Jeremiah, that God stops being gracious with people, and he gives them over to their sin.”

Or as he writes elsewhere: “God’s grace is not infinite. God is infinite, and God is gracious. We experience the grace of an infinite God, but grace is not infinite. God sets limits to his patience and forbearance. He warns us over and over again that someday the ax will fall and His judgment will be poured out.”

In the light of where this nation currently stands, morally and spiritually, are we not reaching the point of no return? As I wrote recently in another article, if God had to act in judgment on Sodom for its grievous sins, chief of which was rampant homosexuality, then is not God required to move against us right now?

Indeed, I would even suggest that a particular outcome of next week’s election may well simply see further promotion of the very sins listed here in this passage, and will provide all the more reason for a holy and just God to rightly unleash his well-deserved wrath against this sin-soaked nation.

The choice, as always, lies with us. This election is not just some inconsequential matter in the greater scheme of things, or in God’s eyes. It is a vitally important moment in this nation’s history, and how we vote may well determine not if, but when, God must finally say to Australia, “Enough is enough”.

The scariest and most shocking thing we can experience is for God to remove his restraints, and abandon us completely to our unrighteousness, ungodliness, and arrogant rebellion against him. Let us all pray that this day does not come soon. But if it does, we surely deserve it.

And as Romans 1 makes so very clear, we cannot say we have not been warned.

www.revesby.pcnsw.org.au/?p=270

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42 Responses to Romans 1 and the Death of a Nation

  • Good work compiling the works of these various commentators concerning this very important passage, Bill.

    Given that gay activists will always respond that conservative Christians give far too much attention to the sin of homosexuality, I think it is worth highlighting some of the Biblical texts which show that, while all sin merits God’s judgment, not all sins are equal. There are grades of sin (just as there are grades of righteousness), and some sins are clearly more serious than others.

    Many of these texts are supplied in the article by Peter Barnes that Dr Sarfati helpfully pointed to, and Bill has referenced above.

    Luke 12:47-48 “And that servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating. But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.”

    1 Cor 6:19, 20 “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?”

    Luke 7:47 “Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven–for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”

    1 Tim 1:15 “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. ”

    Romans 5:20 “Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more”

    Jer 16:11-12 “Because your fathers have forsaken me, declares the LORD … and because you have done worse than your fathers, for behold, every one of you follows his stubborn, evil will, refusing to listen to me.”

    Num 15:28-30 “And the priest shall make atonement before the LORD for the person who makes a mistake, when he sins unintentionally, to make atonement for him, and he shall be forgiven. … But the person who does anything with a high hand, whether he is native or a sojourner, reviles the LORD, and that person shall be cut off from among his people.”

    John 19:11 ‘Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”‘

    Matt 12:31 “Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.”

    1 John 5:16 “If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life–to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that.”

    Heb 10:28-29 “Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God…?”

    Matt 11:22 “But I tell you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you.”

    1 Kings 16:30 “And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD, more than all who were before him. ”

    2 Kings 21:9 “But they did not listen, and Manasseh led them astray to do more evil than the nations had done whom the LORD destroyed before the people of Israel.”

    Prov 21:27 “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination; how much more when he brings it with evil intent.”

    Matt 12:43-45 “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. … Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation.”

    Jereth Kok

  • Thanks for presenting the tragic truth of this issue. Like many Christians, I know people I care about deeply who are enmeshed in this perverse life style and it seems to me the cruelest thing is to hide the truth from them that the power of the gospel can free and liberate and bring forgiveness to even the vilest of rebellions against God.
    Incredibly as you know Bill, large sections of the professing church have not just abandoned declaring the truth of God’s word on this issue but have accepted embraced and even exalted those who practice such things. I remember seeing on youtube A young man bringing a godly rebuke to gay Bishop Gene Robinson and the young ‘prophet’ was driven out of the church rather than the active sodomite who was blasphemously claiming to speak in Christ’s name.
    Are we living in a parallel universe or something?
    Glenn Christopherson

  • A well thought out article, Bill. No doubt this article would upset a lot of people, but you’ve remained true to God’s word, and that’s all that matters.
    Marcus David James Anderson

  • Bill, I thank God for people like you. He has made you a watchman and posted you on the wall. He has given you the abilities to recognise the issues and address them with clarity and forthrightness. I admire your boldness. Let me encourage you in your ministry. Large sections of the Church have been seduced by the world. One wonders how they can condone homosexuality and still have Romans 1:18-32 in their Bibles.
    Des Morris

  • Thanks Bill.
    Now expect the wrath of the secularists, religious liberals, and even the evanjellyfish Christians who will take you to task for daring to suggest that (1) homosexual behaviour is especially depraved, and (2) that God’s mercy is not infinite. I can see them coming now!

    On the degrees of sin the Westminster Larger Catechism has this to say:
    “Q.150 Are all transgressions of the law of God equally heinous in themselves, and in the sight of God?
    Ans. All transgressions of the law of God are not equally heinous; but some sins in themselves, and by reason of their several aggravations, are more heinous in the sight of God than others.” It then cites John 19:11; Ezekiel 8:6, 13, 15; 1 John 5:16; Psa.78:17, 32, 56.

    Bear in mind that the Larger Catechism is for those who “have made some proficiency in the knowledge of the grounds of religion.” “Some proficiency” indeed! Where does that leave the many ignorant upstarts who fill the pulpits in our land, who spout theological drivel Sunday by Sunday? The subjects you are talking about here are just the prime examples of such drivel.

    One other thing: not only will Labor get back in federally, but they will get back in here in Victoria. And when they do, expect their thought police to come after you pursuant the expanded powers granted to the EOC earlier this year. Your site will be shut down; Saltshakers will be shut down, and faithful churches and Christian organisations across the state will be harassed. When the wicked seize the city, and the country, expect evil to go berserk, and the righteous will be targets.

    Murray R Adamthwaite

  • “…all the more reason for a holy and just God to rightly unleash his well-deserved wrath against this sin-soaked nation.”

    Yes. And we should not take too narrow an understanding of God’s wrath. It may not take the form that many people expect — plague, pestilence, calamity, war, and so on. In some ways more frightening than overt acts of divine retributrion is the silent withdrawal of the Holy Spirit from a nation, and the hardening of its peoples’ hearts, so that they will no longer be receptive to the gospel.

    ‘And he said, “Go, and say to this people: “‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’ Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”‘ Isaiah 6:9, 10

    The very fact that so few people seem to respond positively to the gospel these days is evidence that God’s judgment is already heavily upon the nation. We need to plead for mercy.

    Jereth Kok

  • Thanks Murray

    I believe you are quite right. All true bible believing Christians and Christian ministries will be under very real threat if Labor gets in on a state and federal level. I do not doubt for a moment that this ministry will be shut down, and others like it. How we vote next week is so vitally important. Yet I suspect most believers are completely asleep at the wheel. Indeed, I just received an email today from someone saying she never even knew Julia was an atheist. We do not seem to know and we do not seem to care. Woe is us. God have mercy on us all.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Thanks Jereth

    Yes absolutely right. Indeed, one of the saddest and most disturbing verses in the entire Bible is Judges 16:20: “Then she called, ‘Samson, the Philistines are upon you!’ He awoke from his sleep and thought, ‘I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.’ But he did not know that the LORD had left him.” Australia may well be on the way to such a godless destiny unless the church starts to wake up and a lot of repenting starts to kick in.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Romans 1: 18-32 is a wonderful passage in its confirmation of Natural Law theory as Thomas Aquinas pointed out many years ago. The passage points out that, as created beings, humans have certain biological ends that have been instantiated by God (and able to be known by every human being). The reason homosexuality is sinful is because it frustrates the ends of human reproduction as grounded in our biology (which derives its being/essence from God). The male reproductive system is evidently designed for the female reproductive system. Male to male sexuality frustrates these ends and is thus objectively wrong.

    The problem with the modern mind is that all natural ends and final causality has been banished from the natural world (through the mechanisation of nature) and thus morality has been left to the subjective world of personal taste. The church has, unfortunately, played a role in spreading such a false metaphysical picture of the world (or at least has done nothing to combat it). This makes it seem bigoted and intolerant to condemn certain sexual practices when there doesn’t appear, to the modern ethicist, to be any objective grounding for morality.

    I also think philosopher Ed Feser is right to emphasise this critical point in the debates over sexual ethics;

    “I hasten to add that this is nothing peculiar to traditional sexual morality, though. No morality whatsoever is defensible apart from a classical essentialist metaphysics. If there are no ends set for us by our nature, then there can in principle be no objective, non-arbitrary way of determining what it is good for us to do, and thus what we ought to do. Hence in the final analysis, and in the main if not in all details, traditional sexual morality and morality full stop stand or fall together. Though liberal advocates of “same-sex marriage” are fervently moralistic, they have no rational basis whatsoever for their moralism.”

    edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2010/08/some-thoughts-on-prop-8-decision.html

    Damien Spillane

  • “And no wonder, since it cuts across so much of the trendy mumbo jumbo which is being taught about God and morality nowadays.” Truer words you won’t find on the internet. There’s a really animated debate that I thought would be of interest on evolution vs. intelligent design going on at www.intelligentdesignfacts.com
    Cammie Novara

  • Bill, so many of us are indebted to you for your research into this exposition of Romans I. It certainly shows why the Uniting Church and it’s supporters are apostate.
    Stan Fishley

  • Hi Bill & Everyone

    In terms of religious freedoms, is there anywhere now people can practice their beliefs without being harrased? I believe there was a time people in the 19th Century Euroupe went to countries such as the America and Australia to flee religious persecution. Where could we go today if the same thing happens here?

    Carl Strehlow

  • Thanks Carl

    In one sense there is no such place, because wherever the gospel is proclaimed, there will always be opposition. But certainly the opposition is the most fierce in Muslim nations and in atheistic dictatorships like North Korea. Then the secular West is where the persecution is on the increase in more subtle forms.

    But church growth is now most pronounced in the developing world. Africa, Asia and Latin America is where the gospel seems to be most readily and widely received.

    However, the question may not be so much where we can flee to, but what are we doing to turn this around as we take a stand for religious freedom?

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Hi Bill,
    I have been reading your blog for years and have recommended it to others. Thank you for your honesty and courage to speak out against the evil that is creeping swiftly into our country, Australia. Our church has been reminding us to be in prayer and fasting on 19 – 21 August for the election. God moves when His people humble themselves and pray. I hope and pray that Christians will become aware of all the parties policies and be wise and vote according to the Holy Spirit’s guidance.
    Christine Robinson

  • Thanks Bill for this article, and for highlighting this profound and serious warnings in Romans. I agree with the quote by Peter Barnes “It is misleading to say that God is equally opposed to each of our sins …”

    I think however we need to be mindful of the last past of that quote when he says “…but it is true to say that He utterly opposes all of our sin”.

    The more our eyes are focused on God, we start to realise that every act of rebellion against our Holy, majestic and awesome God is a heinous crime against Him. I agree we need to be vocal against the increasing attempts of others to limit our freedom to worship God and our freedom to live our lives reflecting that worship. However is it true that a corresponding (or maybe greater) level of attention should be given to make sure that we continue to search our own hearts and actions, and make sure there is nothing there that is also grieving God.

    Peter Baade

  • Thanks Christine

    Yes we all need to pray and fast like never before in these next 7 days. This election will be a real turning point for our nation.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Thanks Peter

    Yes you are quite right.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Hi Bill,

    It is awesome to see someone not afraid to proclaim the truth of the Word of God. I particularly love the way that Paul un-sheaths and wields the Sword of the Word of God. It IS living and active and sharper than a double edged sword because a sword can only pierce a mans flesh. The Word of God is a powerful weapon that pierces the soul of a man, leaving him with no doubt as to his standing before an infinitely holy, righteous, perfectly just and wrathful God.

    Paul, is very wise and also very specific in his proclamation in the book of Romans chapter 1. The essence of his teaching can be seen however in the beginning of Chapter 2. He immediately sets people in their place and reveals that this is not a passage where WE are called to judge others, because ‘we do exactly the same things.” He is using great wisdom here and telling us to examine ‘ourselves.’ Therein I believe lays the key to the profession of those who not only practice those sins, but also condone and even encourage others to do the same. Paul teaches that men who practice such sins will receive in themselves, the penalty that is due them (Now, in this lifetime) He reveals that the sickness and disease is the fruit of the said depravity, thus demonstrating the evidence of the failure to listen to and obey God.

    If we are to line this up with the truth concerning the supernatural, life transforming power of the Spirit of God, how can one who professes to be born again of the same Spirit, then profess to be in disagreement with that Spirit as to what is sinful and what is not? Jesus himself taught the evidence of a man being born again is revealed through the work of the Holy Spirit in convicting a man of sin. It is only the work of the Holy Spirit that has the power to change a mans heart from one who ‘hates God’ and ‘loves sin,’ to a heart that now Loves God and HATES sin.
    Part of that ‘good fruit’ is evidenced by the man now hating the sin that he once loved. There can only be drawn one conclusion for any ‘professing believer’ who claims that sin is NOT sin. That man is NOT, nor has he EVER BEEN born again of the Spirit of God. That man is NOT saved. God saves a man supernaturally through a process that gives ‘life’ to what was once ‘dead’ in sins and transgressions. The one who is not in agreement with the Spirit of God is still ‘dead’ though he professes life.
    He is a false convert who has never been saved for he feels justified in his sins. This is simply not possible for the man truly born again of God.

    I believe this to be the fault of an evangelistic lie that has been perpetrated for many years now. The lie that all you have to do is ask Jesus into your heart. Come forward in an invitation from the pulpit and say a little prayer. Then someone tells them they are saved. They walk straight back out into the world justified in their sins because there was no true repentance. No man can tell another that he is ‘saved.’ It is the work of the Holy Spirit to witness to a man’s own spirit that he is saved. The witness to being sealed by the Holy Spirit as belonging to God. It is also the work of the Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us into all truth concerning the scriptures. Not only does the man who feels justified in his sin ‘deny’ that he sins, but he is in direct conflict with the very word he ‘professes’ to believe.

    It is a sad indictment on the desire to build numbers in the churches that many live on a foundation of false conversion. They believe themselves to be ‘saved’ but they are not. They are merely men who have been told they are saved by a shocking evangelistic lie. They have Jesus as an ‘accessory’ to their already sin filled life. They have looked to Christ as the means to ‘happiness’ not realizing that what Christ stands for is ‘Righteousness.’

    The man who is truly born again of the Spirit of God does not require ANY man to tell him that he is saved, for he KNOWS he is saved. There is evidence in his life of a supernatural outworking of Gods’ power to transform him into the image of his only begotten son. A power that comes only from faith given by God himself and sustained by that same faith. It is a faith that lasts and will never walk away because God promises to finish what he has begun.

    The number of apostates are far more than any of us can truly imagine, but God also said not to try to pull the tares out for in doing so, we may accidentally throw out some of the wheat. God will bring them out and expose them. Because their repentance is not real, neither is their faith so unless they truly do repent and cry out for God to save them, they will eventually ‘come out’ and by doing so, demonstrate that ‘they were never one of us from the beginning.”

    John Chapter 16

    5″Now I am going to him who sent me, yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6Because I have said these things, you are filled with grief. 7But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: 9in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; 10in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.
    12″I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. 15All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.

    How can any man who is filled with the Holy Spirit of God through the supernatural power of being born again claim to love God, when he still loves the sin that God hates???

    Regards,
    Bennett Donelly

  • Hi Bill, thank you for another excellent article.
    Why is gay marriage wrong? Let me count the ways!
    First and foremost is because it violates the revealed Will of God as seen in Scripture. There are few things as clear in God’s revelation as the sacred institute of marriage between a man and a woman. In Gen. 1 the marriage of Adam and Eve, and God has had only one model for marriage and it is not a gay marriage. Even polygamy and divorce was done away with in the Christian Church as Our Lord reminded all of the essence of marriage as it was “in the beginning.” This Christian view of marriage became the norm of Western society and it most basic societal unit, undoubtedly allowing the West to flourish.

    A close second to this is that gay marriage distorts the very concept of parenting as well as marriage. Even if you overlook the fact that gay marriage is by definition sterile, every child of a gay marriage has to be adopted or artificially inseminated, and that in itself is a violation of the whole concept of family. Adoption of children by homosexuals does violence to the child.Kids model their lives, their concept of family, their morals and oftentimes their whole worldview on their parent’s attitudes and values. These kids get a totally distorted view of all these basics.

    Third but by no means the last reason, all of society suffers because of the public endorsement of an intrinsically disordered lifestyle and practice. In recent debates, the term “human right” to describe gay marriage and the charge that anyone who stands against it is guilty of “discrimination” are examples of these fundamental distortions. A society cannot long survive this kind of violence done to its basic values, and history surely shows many societies like Ancient Greece, whose rapid decline was preceded by the proliferation of the gay lifestyle and ots public acceptance.

    While we respect all people, we don’t have to respect such a wholesale assault on everything that is sacred to us and good for our society. In fact we must fight against it with all our might. We are called to be faithful and obedient to the Plan of God for our world, and within that, God will bring forth victory. There is no doubt that gay marriage will be coming to our country, and if we don’t fight it, our families and basically our very civilization will find themselves at “the end” of the line in the very near future.

    Anne van Tilburg

  • Good article as always Bill. I join you in praying for our nation as we are at a critical time in our history.

    May God have mercy on us.

    Chris Cullen

  • Refreshing thanks Bill.
    Martin Snigg

  • Thanks Bill,

    I was meditating on the state of our nation not so long ago, and similar thoughts to these came across my mind. Is our nation coming to or perhaps beyond the point where a true spiritual revival is possible?

    I believe western society in general is increasingly facing God’s judgment. As a society (in Australia and other western nations), we have historically enjoyed the benefits of a godly heritage – even today the potency of this heritage can be seen in some ways. But in the arrogance and pride of our ‘knowledge’ (so-called) we have rejected God, and militantly wage our humanistic war against Him. What a tragedy, not unlike in proportion to that of the nation of Israel, as you mentioned.

    My Pastor recently went to Africa, and he told of a seemingly unremarkable man with no great giftings. This man pastored a church which sees thousands come to Christ each year. It is common in our nation to see few to zero true conversions per yer in the average church. I think this is very telling. It seems that the less hard hearted and arrogant nations are recieving God’s mercy in a greater measure.

    Regardless of God’s will for the future of our nation, we have a responsibility to proclaim God’s righteousness and plan of reconciliation – and I am thankful that you are one who does this Bill. Lord willing the few will be able to wake up the Church, particularly the Australian church, and we will see the mercy of God poured out, in our lives, our churches, our families, and on our nation.

    May we be found faithful regardless.

    Blessings,
    Isaac Overton, ACT

  • Thanks Isaac

    Yes you raise a good point here. The more light an individual or nation has, the greater the responsibility and the greater the judgment when that light is spurned. Australia has been a “lucky nation” with widespread exposure to the gospel. It is now well on its way to rejecting it entirely. That puts us in a very precarious position indeed.

    That is not to say that revival will not happen here. But it may happen only after a severe persecution of true Christians. Things may have to get much worse before they get better. But as always, much of this lies in our hands. Do we repent now and get our act together, and be salt and light, or do we simply go on, business as usual? How will we decide?

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • This is not just a problem in Australia, but all over the world and it’s part of the AC’s agenda (Daniel 11:37 “….nor the desire of women….” one of the attributes of the AC) Here in Europe the European Union is pushing this agenda full force. Somehow, because we believe in God’s standard in the Bible we are accused of “hating the homosexual and not being tolerant etc.” Compromising with sin, by not exposing it for what it is leads to total spiritual compromise and blindness. Because of compromise, we lose conviction and then we cannot stand up for the truth. Once Gay rights and marriages are lawful, they start teaching the acceptance of it in school textbooks in grammar school like they have done in Spain. Children at taught that a “family” isn’t necessarily a father and a mother, but can be two fathers, or two mothers. Wasn’t it the famous evangelical from America who preached all over the world who said that if God doesn’t let America be judged for her sins, He would have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah. If we read Revelations 16 we see righteous judgments poured out on the wicked. So there is definitely a time when God’s patience comes to an end. Psalm 9:17 “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” No wonder our nations have turned into hell. We have forgotten God and are suffering his righteous judgments. Psalm 7:11 “God jugdeth the righteous (thanks for that) and God is angry with the wicked every day.” As Christians, we are the salt of the earth, and we need to keep stirred up against evil and compromise daily or we are salt that has lost its flavor and is fit for nothing but to be cast out. Keep yourself stirred up by reading the Bible daily.
    John Angel, Portugal

  • Thank you Bill for another good article.

    The article is now published also in Swedish on rilnews.org:
    rilnews.org/article/homosexualitet-romarbrevet-1-och-en-nations-dod (and only a teaser in English, with backlink)

    Thank you for your courtesy.

    In Christ,

    Rolf Lampa, Sweden

  • If homosexuality were the norm from the day of creation. If God had created Adam and Steve rather than Adam and Eve It would have ended full stop in their generation. If we include homosexuality in the theory of that very young apprentice Charles Darwin then the entire creation would have stumbled to a halt very quickly and the earth would truly be be void.
    Jesus would never have come for where was the purpose.
    To assign such a gross mistake to God is blasphemy of the the most extreme kind.
    Years ago I thought a preacher I once new was to heavy on the fire and brimstone of Gods wrath and sometimes having taken friends I was embarrassed at his fire.
    Not any more ever.

    Brilliant article Bill
    Dennis Newland

  • Many people decry “Crimes against Humanity”, and so they should, but how many of us decry “Crimes against Divinity”. I for one struggle greatly at that. May God forgive me. Thanks Bill for take a stand and to point out the Crimes against Divinity.

    Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light. As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him. Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it? (Amos 5:18-20)

    Jeffrey Carl

  • I spoke to a friend at church yesterday. She told me that she had relatives who were being taught in year 7 sex-ed (government school) that homosexuality is normal. But that’s not all — these kids were taught about the “mechanical” details of gay sex.

    Horrifying.

    Jereth Kok

  • It is fearful to see supposed Christians being numbered amongst those who “call evil good and good evil”. Isaiah 5:20

    …And we’re still wondering if God’s hand is on our nation’s. In most western nations, the body’s cold and they’re still wondering if the patient is dead or alive?

    Look at the western world. We have Obama, a Muslim president in a supposedly Christian nation defending the building of a $100m mosque at Ground Zero, where persecution against Christians is ignored but the smallest word against gay activism is hounded. We have an atheist who is previously aligned with the Socialist party as Prime Minister in our own country who is part of a group that promotes abortion and other socially-destructive feminist and socialist ideals. The UK is ruled by the pro-Muslim, pro-gay, pro-abortion factions and openly persecutes Christians.

    This election maybe the last gasp for Australia. So much damage can be wrought in a short time, that another 4 years with Julia at the helm will not only be the last nail in the coffin but will see the cremation of the body as well, spiritual pun intended.

    What I fear most is the spiritual complacency that defines western Christianity.

    Garth Penglase

  • A timely and important warning Garth.

    Just moments ago I posted these two items on Facebook. Both fit in exactly with your comment:

    -More Obamanations from the Islamophile: www.nationalreview.com/david-pryce-jones/243738/barack-obama-apologist-chief

    -If there was ever a time we need to pray and fast for our nation’s future, it is now. Who will stand up and be counted?

    It appears we are on the same page here!

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Thanks Bill. Your article on Romans is of great importance to us. I hope that many on this list post it to their FB pages and elsewhere.

    Great article from David Pryce-Jones. I just commented on a another post: blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/why_build_the_mosque_here/
    where Obama made his defence of this building while at a White House dinner celebrating… wait for it… Ramadan, a Muslim holiday. Since when is a supposedly Christian nation, one that was founded by Christian men in a nation where men ceremoniously swear on the Bible, supposed to be ‘honouring’ other faith’s holy days? Doesn’t anyone see this is as just a bit contradictory? Obama must go… as anyone knows one defends what one believes, and he spends more time defending the faith and denigrating Christianity.

    Garth Penglase

  • Just in case they claim our homophobia is just a religious bias note what the famed and aged Plato wrote as he summarised his life’s wisdom in Laws 636c – from a life lived in permissive Athens:
    “Whether one makes the observation light-heartedly or in all seriousness, one must observe that when the male body unites for procreation with the female, the pleasure that goes along with this is understood to be in accordance with nature, but that when male joins with male, or female with female, it is outside the bounds of nature. This outrage was first done by people whose desire for pleasure was without self control.”
    Stephen White

  • Maybe the Muslims in their full religious reglia will put an end to practicing homosexuals, fornicators etc….thank God for Jesus, who saves us from Satan.
    Angie Volmensky

  • Hi Bill,

    I may have gotten the wrong impression, but It seems that homosexuality is being singled out as a particularly grievous sin – a sin that is worse than all other sins – and that is why Paul used it as an example of humanity’s unrighteousness and alienation from God. I certainly agree that some sins are worse than others. As you rightly point out, common sense alone should alert us to the fact that some sins are more harmful than others, and that God himself would not treat individuals sins equally.

    However, I must point out that Paul’s use of homosexuality was not simply a reflection of his disgust at this particular sin (though, of course, he, like most other Jews of his day, was repelled by it). It should be noted that Paul was using the creation narrative of Genesis 1-3 as his theological backdrop, painting the fall of humanity on a broad canvas. In Genesis 1-2, we are given a theological picture of the union between man and woman. It represents a reflection of the unity of creation and the life-giving potential with which God endowed it. That complementary union is therefore a part of God’s created order.

    In speaking about homosexuality, then, Paul is using it as a particularly obvious manifestation of the sin that has infected all humanity. The fall, as recounted in Genesis 3, is now writ large and the created order we find outline in Genesis 1-2 is now corrupt and disordered. That is so clearly exemplified by the disordered relationships of men and women. I don’t think Paul’s words against homosexuality make complete sense without this background, and without understanding the creational context, it perhaps doesn’t make sense as to why he would single out homosexuality in his polemic against human sin.

    If we were arguing purely from common sense, then I would suggest, for example, that murder is worse than homosexuality. It is interesting to note that the Bible doesn’t say all that much about the subject (though, like you Bill, I am quite convinced that when it does speak about homosexuality, it does so in unambiguously negative terms). However, I still agree with the main thrust of your article. Romans 1 is a passage we as Christians have to absorb, again and again. It will teach us that a sin-soaked world will face consequences, and that whilst God is a loving and gracious one, that love and grace are inextircably bound up with his holiness and his wrath.

    Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not trying to minimise the sinful nature of homosexuality (hopefully, I have given a good, theologically informed account of why I believe it to be a violation of the created order). My point was to try and get at the actual reason for Paul choosing homosexuality over, say, other sins to make his point.

    Scott Buchanan

  • Thanks Scott

    Yes the Genesis background is vital to Romans 1, and I basically concur with you. And it is not my intent to belabour this point, but the basic truth remains which Barnes and others rightly note: Scripture speaks of degrees or levels of punishment for sin and rewards for the righteous. That in itself indicates levels of sinfulness if we can express it that way. Indeed, the fact that some OT sins required the death penalty while others didn’t is another indication. Of course, every single sin in the world does merit God’s death penalty, so in that sense all sin is heinous and an affront against a holy God, and therefore all are equally abhorrent. The point is simply that when Scripture makes distinctions, so should we. But a whole article on this would be required to properly tease it out. It is a complex and nuanced discussion, one not well suited to short comments! But I am with you basically!

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • emails are cheap. I hope you also put your money where your mouth is. I stand guilty too. We need to support Christian candidates. We ran out of cdp leaflets by 9:30. I know they don’t have the monopoly on Christian commitment but were others getting support. The Liberal supporter giving out leaflets near us had given up a day he normally works and he is self employed. I was impressed at his commitment.

    Katherine Fishley

  • Good quotes by R C Sproul, Bill. The Lord has been showing this to me of late, that for many many years He had Noah preaching grace to the sinners of his time, but one day the door in the side of the ark was closed, and there was an in-group and an out-group. Ditto with the parable of the wise and unwise virgins at the wedding feast. The bridegroom tarried long, but when He appeared, some went in to the feast, then the doors were shut, and there was an in-group and an out-group. He is slow to anger, showing great forbearance. He knows that we are but dust, but given all the opportunities to repent, a time comes when the 2 groups must be decided. God bless you good warrior in this mighty fight for human souls.

    Ian Brearley

  • I have five grandchildren, all girls from seven to 18 months. Every time I see them I melt as they are the most beautiful things in the world (as are all grandchildren).

    When I meet them, they give me a big loving hug which I return. They love to tell me about their world and what they have been doing.

    They have impacted me so much that when I am in the supermarket, I can’t help gazing at cherubic babies and toddlers. I guess this is what happens to you when you become a grandfather.

    If anything happend to any of my grandchildren I would be totally distraught. Besides myself even. And this brings me to the point.

    How can anyone do harm to little ones like these? Yet last year about 50,000 children were abused sexually, physically and emotionally.

    Are we not already under God’s judgment when things like this happen. When the most defensless in society are treated like dirt and don’t get me onto abortion.

    What do others think?

    Roger Marks

  • “God gives people over to what they want. He abandons them to their sinful impulses and removes his restraints, saying in essence, ‘If you want to sin, go ahead and sin.’ This is what theologians call ‘judicial abandonment.’ God, in dispensing his just judgment, abandons the impenitent sinner forever.”

    I’d like to submit that this tendency doesn’t solely concern sexual sin. As someone raised Catholic, I think that God has abandoned the Catholic Church not just to internal sexual sin (the roots of which go back centuries) but also to its own regal, monarchistic pretensions that encourage institutional arrogance and discourage accountability. Most Catholic bishops (at least here in the USA), for example, are very favorable toward Islam. Some support the mosque being built near the site of the destroyed World Trade Center in New York. Some things I have read from bishops are rather stupid. I wonder if God allows stupid people to rule institutions that have abused the authority He gave them? I’m beginning to think so.

    There’s another reason why I think the way I do. In the 1870s, while saying Mass at the Vatican, Pope Leo XIII ostensibly saw a vision of Christ and Satan conversing. Satan brags that he can destroy the Catholic Church. Christ asks how many years Satan would need. Satan says 100. Christ says, essentially, “go ahead.” In the 1960s, Pope Paul VI said, “The smoke of Satan has entered the sanctuary.” I know this is very anecdotal and subjective (all visions are, ultimately) and I know that visions alone need some corroboration. Nevertheless, I don’t think the coincidence is coincidental.

    Joseph D’Hippolito

  • The West has long gone wrong in terms of standing for the truth of the bible and taken a convenience of compromising traditions with the prevalent culture, thus there is no basic differences in the lifestyle of christians or non-christians, let alone being a salt or the light of the world. However, if the true followers of Christ wants to live for Christ until the end then they still have opportunities to stand firm in faith and face the so called persecutions (if any) in the guise of political corrections, bigotry, tolerance etc. They may have to give up their comforts and be ready to face the legal system. At least they have the legal system to fight unlike lots of other non-christians nations in the third world where christians cannot even raise their voices, but still the faith in the living God is rising. Bible is clear enough that these events will occur as it was and God knows it, its only due to His compassion and mercy that He has not brought destruction. Maybe one of the reasons that Jesus is delayed in coming back to the earth is that no one is ready!
    Nirmal Sodemba

  • I understand eye-scales on those who continue to practice these un-natural acts, but I cannot fathom why governments and leftie-christians accomodate them, indeed encourage and legitimise them. We should be/keep addressing those who think they are being kind, compassionate and equity minded that they are indeed rejecting God too.
    Johannes Archer

  • Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
    Rom 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
    Rom 1:20 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:
    Rom 1:21 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.
    Rom 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
    Rom 1:23 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.
    Rom 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
    Rom 1:25 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.
    Rom 1:26 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:
    Rom 1:27 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.
    Rom 1:28 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;
    Rom 1:29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
    Rom 1:30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
    Rom 1:31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
    Rom 1:32 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.
    AMEN!!! Come Lord Jesus!!!!
    Cheryl Haurik

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