The “Clarity” of I Cor. 6:9, the “Choice” of Homosexuality, “Abominations” Forever

A reader called “theologyarchaeology” commented to the note from Rick James with the following short reply.

The problem for Rick James is 1 Cor. 6:9 clearly states that the homosexual will not see the kingdom of God.  No God did not create an abomination but His creation can choose to become one. Homosexuality is a choice. Since God does not change, what He considers to be an abomination in the OT is an abomination in the New.

This is my reply to “theologyarchaeology.”

“The problem for Rick James is 1 Cor. 6:9 clearly states that the homosexual will not see the kingdom of God.”

No, the problem for you is that I Cor. 6:9 does not clearly mention homosexuals at all. The Greek word μαλακός (malakos) has a root meaning of soft, luxurious, or dainty. There is no clear statement in I Corinthians 6:9 regarding homosexuality for the simple reason that homosexuality did not exist as a concept in the first century C.E.  The word “homosexuality” didn’t even appear in print until 1869, just after the American civil war.

“No, God did not create an abomination but His creation can choose to become one.”

Don’t be silly. God most certainly did create what are called toeba in Hebrew. There are scores of animals that God created that were toeba for the Jews.   I once made a list of over 100 animals that were toeba for the Israel.

These foods were taboo.  They were forbidden for the Jews, but not for everyone.  And Gentiles were never under Torah anyway.

These other animals did not choose to be placed on someone’s non-kosher list.  No owl, snake, pig, rabbit, or clam ever chose to be an abomination.  They were given that label by someone, within a particular group, and that label was later rescinded.  The owl, snake, pig, rabbit, and clam were born that way, and given a label by someone at some point in history.

This image is in the public domain because it contains materials that originally came from the Agricultural Research Service, the research agency of the United States Department of Agriculture.
Six “Abominations” created by God. “Abomination” label rescinded via supernatural vision, early 1st century (Acts 10).

“Homosexuality is a Choice.”

Choice?  Please be serious.  Even Romans 1 says it wasn’t a choice.  In Romans 1, no one “chooses” to do anything.   Give me a break.  As an Accuser of the Brethren, you are invoking the greek scriptures like a replacement for the Torah, but you haven’t even read it closely enough to misuse it well!  What is repeated three times?  God gave them over.  God gave them over.  God gave them over.

Since you’re making the charges, let’s look at what Romans 1 actually says.

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. (Romans 1:21)

First of all, everyone knows God.  Second, everyone fails to perfectly glorify and thank God.  According to traditional doctrine, we all fall short of the glory of God.  We all “miss the mark,” which is the root meaning of ημαρτια (sin).

And what happens as a result of our failure to be grateful to God and to increase his good reputation?  God gives us over to three things.  GOD himself, according to this passage, gave us over to the following three things.

  1. Therefore God gave them over to sinful desires. (1:24)
  2. God gave them over to shameful lusts. (1:26)
  3. He gave them over to a useless mind. (1:28)

I don’t see anyone choosing anything here, unless it’s God.  No one chooses to fornicate.  No one choose to have same-sex partners. No one choose to have a useless mind.  Most Christians are guilty of many of the 25 or so sins in Romans 1, including those 21 listed as sins of the depraved mind, as well as the first four.  None of us chose to have a useless mind.  I didn’t choose to have a useless mind. You didn’t choose to have a useless mind.  We were born with useless minds.

We hear so much about seeing things from God’s perspective.  Here you have it, God’s perspective.  So stop all this blathering about people choosing to be homosexuals. 

God gave them over.  God gave them over.  God gave them over.

Why?  Well, there are answers to this question sprinkled througout the book of Romans, but the most straightforward answer is this:

God has imprisoned all in disobedience, so that He may have mercy on them all(Romans 11:32)

Yes, re-read that verse friends.  It says what it says. God will have mercy on us all.

Homosexuality is not a choice.  Romans 1 says so.

“Since God does not change, what He considers to be an abomination in the OT is an abomination in the New.”

I’m really surprised at you.  Remember those 100+ animals in Leviticus that were toeba?  Well, God took them off the toeba list in Acts 10: 9-16, which is in the New Testament. I’m sure you remember Peter’s vision of the large sheet lowered from heaven covered with animals on the toeba list, and how God said, “Get up Peter, kill and eat!”  You have clearly misrepresented what is in the Bible.

When you make such a categorical misstatement, one so easily proven incorrect, it’s hard for me to know how you expect to be listened to.  You are an unreliable guide. (Proverbs 13:17 and 25:19)

God may not change, but “he” certainly seems  to “change his mind” about things. For one, God gave the Law to Moses, others expanded on it, and finally God canceled it through the Apostle Paul.  A second, lesser example, is the Bronze Snake that God ordered to be cast and placed on a tall pole to halt a plague (Numbers 21), and then ordered destroyed when it became an idol (II Kings 18).  God certainly does “change his mind” about things.

And when God doesn’t change his mind, we as the εκκλησια (church) are able to change our minds when necessary.  Exercising the εξουσια (authority) given us by Christ and the gospel, by discerning the mind of Christ and following his example, the εκκλησια disregards certain scriptures on issues both large and small. Most of us have no problem with women speaking in church.  Most of us have no problem with divorce and remarriage (a sexual sin).  Most of us wouldn’t think of requiring women to wear head coverings. And I am aware of no church that  excommunicates couples for having sex during the woman’s period (a sexual sin).

Most of us would, however, have serious problems with the restoration of slavery in the U.S., even though slavery was acceptable in both the Old and New Testaments and in every section of the Bible (The Gospels and Epistles, the Historical Books, the Law and the Prophets, and Wisdom Literature).

So, God created and labeled over 100 animals as abominations for Israel, and then changed his mind, canceling those taboos for the church.  God created the Torah for Israel, and canceled it for the church.  Exercising the εξουσια (authority) given us by Christ, the εκκλησια disregards certain scriptures on issues both large and small. God changes his mind over small things (the Bronze Serpent) and large (the Law).  While it does mention softness, luxury, and daintiness, I Corinthians 6:9 says nothing about homosexuality.  And God himself gave people over to sinful desires, shameful lusts, and useless minds; there was no choice on the part of anyone.

There is one thing that may be a choice, however: your refusal to re-examine the interpretation of scripture handed down to you by your ancestors.  But I guess that comes under the heading of the useless, or depraved, mind.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

For posts on the Cancellation of the Law, click here.

For posts on the Clobber Passages, click here.

About Ron Goetz

My first wife used to say, "There's nothing so sacred that Ron won't pick it apart." My desire to be a pastor -- that was a temperamental mismatch. She was so patient. If my birth mother had lived somewhere else, maybe I would've become a cold case detective. But I would have had to be J instead of a P, I think. And that mid-life reevaluation, starting adolescence as a GARB fundamentalist and transitioning to a non-theist, that gave me an unusual skill set.
This entry was posted in Christianity, Clobber Passages, Gay Marriage, Homosexual Marriage, Homosexuality, Homosexuality and the Bible, Marriage Equality, Religion, Theology and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to The “Clarity” of I Cor. 6:9, the “Choice” of Homosexuality, “Abominations” Forever

  1. JiMMie Lee says:

    Hi. Can you please define the term or phrase, “gave up”? Thanks.


    • Ron Goetz says:

      Jimmie, here are the meanings of the word παραδίδωμι (Strong’s G3860 – paradidōmi)

      1) to give into the hands (of another)
      2) to give over into (one’s) power or use
      –a) to deliver to one something to keep, use, take care of, manage
      –b) to deliver up one to custody, to be judged, condemned, punished, scourged, tormented, put to death
      –c) to deliver up treacherously
      —-i) by betrayal to cause one to be taken
      —-ii) to deliver one to be taught, molded
      3) to commit, to commend
      4) to deliver verbally
      –a) commands, rites
      –b) to deliver by narrating, to report
      5) to permit allow
      –a) when the fruit will allow that is when its ripeness permits
      –b) gives itself up, presents itself

      Paul uses the word παραδίδωμι elsewhere meaning “to deliver one to be taught, molded.”


    • Randi says:

      The core problem according to Romans is Idolatry. “God gave them over” always was a result of Idolatry and the violation of the first Commandment. The only way to obey the first Commandment is through the power of the Holy Spirit and the abandonment of self-energy. God has to do it for us, we, however, have to be willing and obliging.


      • Ron Goetz says:

        And the command to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength is the first. And the measure of how much we love God is how much we love our neighbor, how much we love those around us.

        I don’t measure up in that department the way I’d like. But I’ve resigned myself to not being perfect.


    • galactusx says:

      The ChristoSharians can place themselves under The Law if they want to. But, they better bone up on all the rules and regulations because they are damned if they violate even one! These idiots are like the Judaizers that wanted Christians/Gentiles to follow the Jewish Law and Paul said: “NO!”


  2. Daniel Halkyard says:

    I am sorry, you are a false teacher in the worst sense. Take me off your list…now!


  3. Johnny says:

    I like the way that you explained that….too many people take a scripture and go to town on it accusing everyone else….when they should be cleaning up their own sin and life….when God opens your mind to understand it all better, The Bible isn’t as cut and dry as people want to make it….they use certain scriptures but leave the rest for someone else….it’s like the pan calling the kettle black….these same people are motivated by fear fear fear….listen to them….they fear gays, they fear the government unless its a Republican government….they live by rumors and lies and use the Bible to clarify their narrow beliefs…(basically what someone else has told them to believe)….Ron, I enjoy your messages…’s refreshing and needed at this time in all of our lives….there is too much hate spread by people that claim to be called of God….I don’t think so!!!!!!


  4. Stuart Barrett says:

    I guess some people have a hard time accepting truth. The way you laid all this out and went over each point seems factual and researched. You made it rather easy to understand also, which I appreciate. Thanks for putting so much effort into all your research.


  5. Duncan Beach says:

    Interesting. Mr. Halkyard seems to think that since you and he are disagreeing about the effects of a single passage, that the incident gives him the right to libel you a ‘false teacher’. Evidently, he didn’t read Romans OR Acts, and gave no thought to the Teachings of Jesus, either. Does that make him a ‘false follower’, Pastors?


    • Ron Goetz says:

      🙂 I’ve been called worse, Duncan. One of the reasons I started this blog was because I got weary of wandering into the territory of other tribes, although I still walk through their camps sometimes…gives me thicker skin.


  6. Duncan Beach says:

    Oh, yeah, and yes, I WAS grinning when I wrote that… Still am.


  7. Dan says:

    Ron, I would have phrased the answer differently, but that is mainly due to the fact that we are different and approach this matter from our own viewpoints. That said, you did a fine job!

    I appreciate your posts a lot, looking at these issues from a slightly different perspective is always a growing experience. Please, keep up the good work.


    • Ron Goetz says:

      That’s one of the reasons that there is no single rebuttal to the anti-homosexual fundamentalist case, we’ve got a many different viewpoints. One person’s rebuttal doesn’t seem important to some other person, and vice versa.

      I’ll keep writing if you keep reading, eh? 🙂


  8. I guess Daniel needs some History lessons.


  9. It is possible quite possible that the Rabbi from Nazareth may have said something about homosexuality as a condition from conception after all.

    The Hebrew word for a Eunuch, סריס, is the generic word that probably included those who were homosexual, a term unknown to Jews of the 1st century. It simply referred to those who would not produce offspring, not just castrated individuals. Though I am not a Christian in any way or form, and I believe that the Nazarener Rebbe, Jesus, the son of Joseph, was not a Christian either. Thus I offer the following quotation:

    יש סריסים אשר נולדו כן מבטן אמם ויש סרסים ויש המסרסים על-ידי אדם ויש סרסים אשר סרסו את-עצמם למען מלכות השמים

    “For there are some who are homosexuals, which were born so from their mother’s impregnation: and there are some who are castrated ones, which were made eunuchs by men: and there be those who are celibates by vow, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake.”

    (Rabbi Jesus ben Joseph of Nazareth, 1st century CE; Matthew 19: 12)


  10. I am thinking that the author of that post doesn’t know what he is talking about. #1. His rendition of the Greek words are not of God thus they are his personal preference for hisown agenda. #2. He argues apples for oranges. He thinks ‘taboo’ means the same thing as ‘abomination’ It doesn’t. Not even close. His point is useless. #3 For God to ‘give them over’ they must be desiring and practicing the abomination. He doesn’t just pick people and say, you are given over.#4. God didn’t change, His view of the animals was still the same. He hasn’t changed about homosexuality.

    So we can see that the authorof the article isout tolunch and trying desperately to call sin not sin, evil good and that is wrong by God’s standards.


    • Ron Goetz says:

      Theo-archaeo, you’ve made four points and a total of six or seven statements, but you haven’t documented a single one. You haven’t presented any Biblical evidence to support your assertions. You have simply shared your opinions with us. But I will respond to your assertions.

      1) I haven’t translated or rendered any Greek word. If you’ll take a few moments the root meanings of μαλακός are easy to verify. And the words “God gave them over” are the typical rendering of παραδίδωμι (paradidōmi). Theo-archaeo, I haven’t done what you allege.

      2) Again, there are over 100 animals labeled “abominations” in the Torah. If there was ever anything repulsive about eating shrimp, rabbit, or pork, then it was strictly cultural, strictly a cultural taboo. There is nothing intrinsically repulsive about eating shrimp, rabbit, or pork, any more than there is anything intrinsically abhorrent or offensive about eating monkey brains (as people do in South America), or dog (as they do in southeast Asia), snail (as they do in France), or grubs and maggots (as they eat in Thailand).

      3) You said, “For God to ‘give them over’ they must be desiring and practicing the abomination. He doesn’t just pick people and say, ‘You are given over.'” No, not really. The problem is that you’ve mixed something correct with something incorrect. Yes, God gives them over to their desires, but the text says nothing about practice. Nothing about people doing anything prior to God giving them over to their desires. God takes the initiative here. No choosing is involved.

      4) You said, “God didn’t change, His view of the animals was still the same. He hasn’t changed about homosexuality.”

      Theo-archaeo, it seems you haven’t studied this at all. In Leviticus over 100 animals are labeled as unclean for Jews to eat, but in Acts 10:15, “The voice spoke to him a second time, ‘Do not call anything unclean that God has made clean.’”

      I do have to agree with you on one point. God’s view of the animals is still the same, because the uncleanness of the animals always was just a cultural distaste for those animals.

      Theo-archaeo, does it bother you that you keep saying things that aren’t true? You seem to be willing to say anything necessary to try to win an argument. If you hope to have a Christ-honoring ministry, there are two things you need to do.

      First, resist the temptation to say anything that pops into your head to “prove a point.” Second, if the Biblical evidence doesn’t support your beliefs, then reconsider your beliefs and whether they really are Bible-based.

      A third option would be to continue propagating your beliefs even though you know they do not have a Biblical basis.


      • You still do not know what you are talking about and calling my words assertions is just one way to ignore them. John 14 & 16 records Jesus telling us that those who believe have the Holy Spirit to guide them to the truth. The unbelieving and false teachers do not getthat aid. 1 John then tells us that those who continue to practice sin do not have fellowship with God nor know him. Other passages tells us that evil men are deceived and deceiving and are the blind leading the blind.

        This all means that even if you think you know the Greek and Hebrew languages, you still do not know anything about what scripture teaches or what meaning applies to which biblical word. Back in my undergrad days and for a few years afterwards, it became a fad for preachers to say in their sermons–the greek word for this is…’ but that doesn’t mean they got what God was saying correct.

        We do not have to return to the original languages to get God’s meaning. If He is incapable of translating His words to English or any other language then we do not have a very good God. The words of God are not for the ‘elite’ translators only. God made sure all people could understand what He wants without that filter.

        Your use of the word ‘abomination’ seems to have a flexible definition to suit what various point you want to emphasize. The homosexual community has a deep problem. They just cannot accept the fact that their preference is actually wrong and sin.


      • Ron Goetz says:

        I agree with much of this. We know that the priests were especially impressed with the fact that Peter and John were unlearned, ordinary men, and realized that their boldness came from having been with Jesus.

        I am not proficient in Greek or Hebrew–only in English. I use Bible helps, just like any ordinary person has access to. But I’m not at the mercy of Bible translators who give us renderings that are often biased and misleading, renderings that they admit are offered despite massive amounts of academic ignorance.

        Theo-archaeo, it is not God who translates the Bible into English or Arabic or Mandarin, it is fallible men and women, and actual translators are quite aware of what they really don’t know about the language, about word meanings, and about the cultural connotations of various words. Actual translators can actually be humble people, and most will readily admit that they can only guess at the meanings of many verses, that many verses can be interpreted in many ways.

        But even more important than this is the fact that God created us in his image, that we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, are guided by the Royal Law of Love, and have consciences given us by God.

        Theo-archaeo, based on Romans 1:28-32 and using your words, I believe that the fundamentalist community has a deep problem. They just cannot accept the fact that their approach to the Christian life is actually wrong and sinful. And let me clarify what I mean.

        They have exchanged the glory of the immortal God for books made of wood pulp, ink, and glue, and marketed by Holman, Oxford Press, Tyndale, and Zondervan.

        Go in peace. I would really like to see God richly bless you and your blog.


  11. Sarah says:

    A lot of people just have a hard time accepting the truth. Those of us who read and study the bible in context for ourselves do accept it. The problem is too many folks take one little scripture and run with it instead of actually understanding the meaning behind it, and several scriptures are mistranslated in several English versions of the Bible… I love your perspective of the truth, and I couldn’t agree more with everything you just said. I’m not one just to blow out hot hair over a subject without researching it myself… and to the guy who called you a “false preacher” – the only false preachers are the ones condemning homosexuals with the word of God.


    • Ron Goetz says:

      Yup. If we claim we base everything on the Bible, then we’d better be sure that we really do!

      And that’s part of “judge not lest ye also be judged.” What follows that is, “for the measure you use to measure will be used against you.”

      If you use the Bible as your measure, then that is the measure that will be used against you. And, to paraphrase something the Mission Director says in Armageddon, “And it’s a big-ass book, sir.”


  12. I thought “sin” was “hamartia” — alpha, not eta. And I thought the Hebrew word was “tōʻēḇā.” I very, VERY much like and approve of translating it “taboo.”

    It’s tōʻēḇā to eat rare steak. It’s tōʻēḇā to wear cotton-poly or other fabric blends. And if a cockroach runs across your cookpot, you have to throw your cookpot away.

    Funny how to bibliolaters, the 600+ laws of the Bible only apply to them othern folks that we’uns don’t like, never to us pure-whited sepulchres….


    • Ron Goetz says:

      A problem for young people like Archaeo-theo is that they pretty much believe what they’re taught. That’s why Jesus’ brother said there shouldn’t be many teachers, because teachers will be “judged with a stricter judgment.” Their influence will hurt, or help, more people.


  13. Sherry says:

    And then there’s the verse following similar stuff in 1 Corinthians that says “and such were some of you” so clearly none of the sins mentioned are unforgivable.

    Praise God.

    Also lying and greed are called abominations in the scripture, but I don’t hear a lot of sermons about those — seems we like to preach against the sins we don’t commit.


    • Ron Goetz says:

      When I was growing up I remember hearing someone say that even our best deeds were tainted by sins like selfishness, since we like to feel good about ourselves and doing good makes us feel good, and is therefore selfish.

      This reasoning isn’t that important a point to me, but I think it left a trace of humility that is healthy. This good effect is that it can keep you from feeling self-righteous.


  14. jo says:

    I love God. And regardless of what the Bible says for me to do…I choose to obey my own sense of what is right and loving. God knows me better than anyone else and knows that I could never arbitrarily hate anyone and moreover, if he wanted me to hate – then he would have to justify that to me before I would find him to be a God worthy of my worship. I am brave with God, and I love God. I have found that God has graced me with the the most marvelous of religious experiences as a result including dying and being born-again, and experiencing the Holy Spirit in my life. .God has always treasured those who stood up for others. Those who begged God for mercy from his wrath and judgement against their fellow man. Some of these just men he made covenants with, Some of them he described as his most faithful. These are my role models. Noah, Lot, Job, Jesus. They all asked God to save their fellow man. We should be more like those that God himself has described as his favorites. Those who speak out for love and mercy.. As Jesus said, I desire mercy not sacrifice. We will have to answer to God for our positions and our justifications for hate. And to say YOU told me to hate – hardly seems enough. That’s what people said about following Hitler. I have found that God loved me more for my fight for righteousness and love. And God permitted me to know him and his ways better as a result of seeking out his best nature instead of his worst.


  15. Colin Smith says:

    It seems to me that Romans 1:26-27 does show choice, not choice by homosexuals but choice by heterosexuals. Verse 26 says that women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones, and verse 27 says that men abandoned natural sexual relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another.


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  17. Andy Ringotum says:

    Romans 3:31 asks that “do we nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law”. The Law was abolished for those who are under the Grace being holy and righteous before God. But if you practice habitual sin then you are under the law, Romans 6v14. Period. Please get this distinction right otherwise you seem to be confusing everybody. Under the spiritual law of love, the Bible says that all the prophets and law hang on that law. Matthew 22v40. So if you sin then Leviticus is your portion to contend with. I am surprised how you get these mixed up. With all respect I think you approach the bible in the fleshly mind. Please note that the bible is not a story book or an academic book to be read with the human mind.You need to be in the Spirit to get it.


    • Ron Goetz says:

      Andy, you are free to believe and practice whatever you deem fit. It is not necessary for you to agree with my understanding of the Paul. If this understanding enhances your abilitty to love, to have communion with God, to resist judgmentalism and self-righteousness, then God bless you, my friend.


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