Clobber 6: Romans 1:26,27
The first five clobber passages have become a loosing point of contention for the Christian Right as their case is much weakened by obvious flaws in translation when the original Greek is referenced which points to a inherent prejudice in modern translators against gays. The remaining clobber passage Rom 1:26,27 became the standard passage for condeming gays.
The issue here is of interpretative challenges where the model of sexuality is not addressed at that time. The model of sexual behaviour were temple prostitution, dominant humiliation, gay sex for some new sexual trill not done by gays but by straight guys. The model of homosexuality that we have is an innately loving, long term relationship with the blessing of God. When we examine the biblical text, we have to understand the model of sexual behaviour, what were the concerns that motivated these prohibitions and whether this apply. It would be grossly unjust to consider a ruling based on a set of facts, and arbitrarily apply it to another set of facts without consideration whether the facts are similar enough to address the same concerns.
Paul's letter to the Romans was written to the Jewish community in Rome. After spending many years establishing churches in Asia Minor, he wanted as the final mark of his ministry to preach the gospel to the Jews in Rome (Rom 1:15). Despite being severely criticised over the last 20 years for preaching that Christians are no longer bound by Jewish law, Paul unrepentantly declared that he would not back down from preaching the gospel of Christ that Christ is alone is sufficient - the so called Gospel of Grace in modern day terminology that only by Grace and not by law that we are saved and that Christians need not abide by the Jewish law (contrary to the strong move by the Christian Right today to do so). We partake of His righteousness by faith through Grace no longer by works for which the Jewish law requires (Roms 1:17).
Paul's gave a strong warning of those who oppose the truth concerning the gospel of grace, that Christians are not required to follow the Jewish law. He declared to the Jews in Rome who is so adamant about the need to follow the commandments to be saved and to abide in it even after you believe in Jesus, that they are in reality totally ungodly and unrighteous despite them piously following these commandments and would suffer the wrath of God for their attempts to suppress this truth about grace. Why, because the truth of God's grace has been shown to them. (Roms 1:19). Since the beginning of time, God have shown himself to the Jewish nation as a God of mercy and grace (Roms 1:20) God delivered them out of the hands of Pharoah not because they deserved it, it is by grace, totally unmerited. In Roms 1:21, instead of being thankful, they became foolish they turned the blessings of God, the very gold and precious metal out of Egypt that God blessed them and mold it into an idol of a golden calf to worship instead of God. Even when God gave them the law and declared curses if they failed to obey, it did not changed them.
The Isralelites took up the worship of Baal involving mass sexual orgies. Their sexual rampage and passion for the sexual orgies were so widespread in their worship of idols that the mass sexual orgies between opposite sexes were not sufficient that they even had sex with the same sex which is totally unnatural for straight people of whom the majority of Israel was and still is until today. (Roms 1:24-28). Paul was reminding the Jews what their ancestors did despite having the law, and despite claiming to be pious and holy to have a passion not to sin and follow strictly the torah. They are no different and were still the same like their forefathers " ... filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful;" (Roms 1:29-32). In essence, in the defence of the true Gospel and Christian walk which is by Grace against the demands of the observance of the law by the Jews, Paul launched one of the most heated judgmen against the artificial religion of the Jews, claiming to follow the law yet have never changed since the ancient of days.
The Christian Right today have so conveniently emphasized the apparent condemnation of homosexuality in Roms 1:26,27. They did not see that the passages refers to them, straight men so eager to adhere by God's law which will lead to bondage rather by God's grace through Jesus which leads to freedom and an inward change of lifestyle. The whole bible hinges upon the surpassing supremacy of Grace versus Law. Without understanding the grace message, there is no freedom. We are no better than other religion as Jesus is of grace, but law is achieved by man's religious self effort.
Many churches have stepped into grace, maybe knee high and is truly blessed despite having received much criticism. To enter truly, they may need to feel the heartbeat of God, a heart beat of grace that extended even to Gays. For even the prophet Isaiah saw a special place in God's house for gays. Of course , gays would like a family. But how can? But God will honor gays in His ways and give them a special name. But with just 5% of the population being Gays, it would not increase their popularity if the church are for gays. (We are a good punching bag) However, it may be more important to do what God thinks rather than abiding man's opinion. If grace does not extend to the lowest levels of society, the mainstream churches preached half the deal.
In order to condemn Gays, the Christian Right have emphasized on the law. By doing so, they themselves will come under the law and will be condemned by it. The bible is nothing but the insufficiency of the law versus the over sufficiency of grace. Therefore, when we used law as our tool, we are the biggest losses for we will missed out on the grace of God. In addition we come under the curse of the law and will exhibit the vices and sin described in Romans. In summary, what we condemn the Gays, we ultimately condemn ourselves to much more sin in our lives. We may also draw to ourselves similar judgment by the community where one day in the same manner we treat gays, we too will be treated and persecuted. Condemning Gays does much more harm to the church for it stops the move of God, the Grace of God, to be received and understood.