Understanding Romans chapter one

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Farm_shep
Understanding Romans chapter one

In the years I have been interested in polygyny, the subject of what is morally allowed between a man and his wives, or even what is moral between wives, come up many times. Over the years I have read many posts and articles on the subject. It is apparent the possibility of a man having two wives in his bed stirs people up on both sides of the issue. I understand people having strong feeling on the matter, whatever they believe about it, but as Christians, the relevant issue should be what does the word of God say on the subject, NOT how we "feel" about it.
Now the law God gave us is recorded in the Bible back in Leviticus and other books contemporary to it, like Deuteronomy. In searching those books you will find that male homosexuality is clearly prohibited, along with beastiality for both men and women, and about every kind of incest one can think of including those involving polygynous families (father's wife, a woman and her daughter) adultery is also clearly prohibited.
I would say what is missing here, but that would imply YHWH was not thorough and left something out, so I'll just say what is NOT here is any limiting regulation on what a man may do with his wives, or what those wives may do with each other, in the context of their marriage.
People that would condemn certain activities often cite Romans 1:26 as a prohibition, but lets look at what that verse says, and keep in mind that they would have in no way been adding a law, as God's word forbids that explicitly! This means that whatever the author had in mind would not contradict, or add to, the rest of the scripture, but would rather have a foundation in it.
Romans chapter one, if you read the context leading up to the verse in question, is describing people who were unthankful, unrighteous, and involved in idolatry, then it begins in v26 with "For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature." When you look up those words natural and nature you find there are two Greek words. Natural is translated from the Greek word Phusikos (Strongs 5446) Strongs says this is taken from the other word rendered "Nature"(#5449 Phusis, see definition below)  and that word is in turn taken from one that means to puff or blow (as in swell up) germinate or grow (sprout, produce) I think the idea here is pretty plain.

#5449 Phusis,  from 5453 growth (by germination or expansion), i,e. (by impl)natural production (lineal descent); by extens. a genus or sort; fig. native disposition, constitution or usage:--- ([man-]) kind, nature ([-all])

Now while lesbianism, as it is called today is contrary to natural reproduction, I doubt seriously in the patriarchal society we are discussing, where the men were the providers, that this is what is being referenced here. There is no mention of these women leaving their husbands to be with women. In the next verse we have Paul saying likewise the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men, committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
The phrase I would like to call attention to here is "leaving the natural use of the woman" because I really believe that is the key to understanding what is being discussed here.
If you start with what the men do with each other, which God has clearly called abomination, and apply the "likewise" backward, to what the women were doing, you realize there is an un natural use, which is against "nature" (procreation) which God HAS already addressed in the old testament, and which could be participated in by the women and their husbands.
The total absence of biblical condemnation for what the world calls "lesbianism", should give one pause, and may be rooted in who God holds accountable for the activity of the women. Back in Genesis when Adam tried to blame his wife for his actions, God told the man he would now "rule over his wife."  The places in scripture that allow a man to over rule, or make void, any vow that his wife may make, prove that he is the one responsible to God for her actions, as long as she is his wife.

Another scripture relevant to this is the parable of the ten virgins. The five who were wise went into the marriage chamber with the groom. Nothing is said about what transpired there, but one can only conclude that  anything not prohibited in the law is allowed.
A final thing to consider, is that the word God uses to condemn the most vile of acts is abomination. There is a sobering verse in the proverbs that states "He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, both of these alike are an abomination to the Lord." Proverbs 17:15
As believers our words and actions need to support God as the ONLY moral authority, and affirm that His law is complete.  Without this solidarity, how can we hope to sway any other to our belief? 
If anyone has scripture that is relevant to this discussion, or challenges the position I have stated here, I hope they will bring them forward.  The truth sets us free, but only when we are willing to let go of error. May God grant us the desire and the strength to do so.

Other subjects related to this are the purpose God had in creating woman, which does condemn women who think they don't need a husband. "The woman was made for the man"
Also one can ponder the implication of the verses that state that those married do not have authority over their bodies, but rather their partner does.
And finally one can try and discern the implication of those verses that relate to cleanliness following sexual relations, and see if they would have a limiting effect on a man with more then one wife.

Just as a side note. There is a verse in Ecclesiastes (1:9-10) that says there is nothing new under the sun, and that which we think is new has already been in ancient times before us. Deut 22:5 says a man is not to wear a woman's  garment, and a woman is not to wear that which pertaineth to a man.  Since sex has existed from the beginning, and mankind has perverted it for as long as history records, it is possible that what "pertains to a man", especially a warrior, is his manhood.  A modern woman trying to be a man in dress, and attitude, often uses "strap on" devices and, if Ecclesiastes is correct, women may have done so in ancient times as well. Just something to think about.

Apostle
It is plain

Comment: 

You do not understand scripture and you misquoted the part about Adam. If natural use was speaking about having babies then barren women would be sinning.

"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
Gandhi

Farm_shep
You missed the point

Comment: 

Perhaps we need a thread reviewing the birds and the bees, and what actually makes babies?

Barns is a term applied to women who were unable to conceive. How would they know they were unable, other then engaging in natural procreatice activity that was fruitless?

Un natural relations (using the back door) on the other hand, cannot result in pregnancy, and one could not know they were baren if that is the only type of sex they engaged in.

Natural relations produce children, barring God shutting up the woman's womb.

If you have superior knowledge of scripture please share. So far all you have done is disagree, without offering any scripture to substantiate your position.

You are right, God was speaking to the woman there. The end result is the same. God holds the man accountable for the actions of his wife.

Apostle
No the point is

Comment: 

God condemns it and you are trying to justify your flesh and the abomination of homosexuality. I posted the scriptures that make it plain God calls it an abomination but man thinks he is smarter than God and can change God's laws.

"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
Gandhi

Farm_shep
You make assumptions

Comment: 

I have no desire to bed two women simultaneously, or observe two women engaging in any kind of erotic activity.

Perhaps your problem with my understanding of the verse is that you enjoy "back door" relations, and don't want to give it up?
Why else would you stubbornly try and make one new testament verse say something the old testament never did?
I am only trying to understand God's law. From my perspective you are adding to it.

Apostle
The old testament also forbids

Comment: 

The same abominations. Seems you need a revelation from God on how to read scripture.

"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
Gandhi

Farm_shep
Where?

Comment: 

Would you kindly point out the verses?

Apostle
No

Comment: 

I am not your pastor and that one verse should help you on your journey. If it doesn't then try seeking God on it.

"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
Gandhi

Apostle
I did post the scripture

Comment: 

Read the threads instead of acting like you are smarter than God.

"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
Gandhi

Farm_shep
The only verse you have mentioned

Comment: 

Is the subject of this original post, and I dealt with it on a far deeper level then you seem to comprehend.
Did you even read it?

Having a different opinion does not negate mine.

Bring a substantive argument, or agree to dissagree.

Your contrary opinion is noted.

Apostle
According to Merriam Webster

Comment: 

Homosexuality is erotic activity with another of the same sex. Lesbianism is homosexuality and no matter how you try to twist it 2 women together sexually husband present or absent is Lesbianism and forbidden by God.

"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
Gandhi

Farm_shep
Merriam Webster?

Comment: 

That's probably where the miss understanding is coming from. My Bible has no such book, and I prefer to avoid man's changing standards.

Did you know nice used to mean ignorant, foolish and stupid?

The way heterosexuals avoid the term gay, it will soon excusively mean homosexual.

I could go on with examples of changing language, but the importance of context, and sticking with scripture should be obvious.

Apostle
Romans 1:26

Comment: 

Rom 1:26
For this reason God gave them over to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged the natural sexual relations for unnatural ones,

"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
Gandhi

Pluto8
Pluto8's picture
Shep

Comment: 

The person you are arguing with is brainwashed by the doctrines of men, and will not heed simple scripture. I cannot add much to the well stated and biblical doctrine you have painstakingly posted. Some people you just can't reach, and I suspect you already know this, and are posting for the benefit of other readers

If you don't stand for something you will fall for anything

Apostle
Pluto8

Comment: 

If you honest to God truly believe that the bible doesn't condemn bisexuality among women you are deceived beyond redemption. The bible truthfully says they will teach the doctrines of men and demons as the gospel.

"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
Gandhi

Joleneakamama
Joleneakamama's picture
Apostle, if someone anti polygyny

Comment: 

Claimed to be christian, yet refused to post scripture, and had an argument as weak as yours is for this subject, you would probably mock them.

What is a doctrine of men, but a "Thus sayeth the Lord" without a sciptural foundation?

It is a scriptural principle that two or more witnesses are required in a capital crime.
The verses at the end of Romans 1 make a reference to The offenders being "worthy of death."
The passages in The law condemning homo men are in The chapters referenced below. Where are the verses that would condemn The bi wives?

The comment about "even their women" makes sense with Farm_shep's understanding, because anal sex, when there is a God approved procreative alternative, two inches away, is really beyond comprehension, AND because anal sex between men is a CAPITAL CRIME. See Leviticus chapters 18 and 22.
Sound doctrine is grounded in Scripture, NOT man's feelings.

Here is a typical anti polygyny, so called Christian, argument......."I just know polygyny is wrong, because it just feels wrong. And anyway, if bishops can only have one wife then that must be the higher law. Shouldn't we all follow their example?"
We tell these people that they don't have to live it, but that it is wrong to add to scripture, or twist it to make other's lives conform to their preferences.

Can you practice what you preach on other points of doctrine?

A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes~

Apostle
Jolene

Comment: 

I am right the scriptures prove it. You are wrong and I am done with this discussion.

"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
Gandhi

Joleneakamama
Joleneakamama's picture
LOL. You were done before you started

Comment: 

since, from the beginning you've repeatedly declined to participate in the discussion.

There is also a scripture that says "Every man is right in his own eyes." This means that you'd better trust in something bigger then your own opinion!

A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes~

Apostle
Looks like summer

Comment: 

Has finally arrived in Washington state.

"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
Gandhi

Joleneakamama
Joleneakamama's picture
Summer everywhere

Comment: 

Had to go to Phoenix on Monday for a piece of equipment, and saw 118 on the truck thermometer.
What a way to start the summer!
Thankfully we don't live there!!!

A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes~

atrueone
atrueone's picture
Digging deeper

Comment: 

Sometimes in a desire to find an alternate meaning we end up misconstruing scripture to our own purpose, which by the way is a variation of adding law: which is definitely wrong. Most of the time Scripture means exactly what it says.

T. D. Bennett

Pluto8
Pluto8's picture
If one begins

Comment: 

With an agenda, instead of seeking truth...

If you don't stand for something you will fall for anything

atrueone
atrueone's picture
Ironic

Comment: 

It is ironic that the original post was an obvious attempt to promote an agenda that would alter what we know to be God's law, yet Romans 1 shows the reprocussions of moving away from God's law.  In the end as I said before most of the time what is said is exactly what is meant.  If you want to understand how the world has arrived at where it is, read Romans 1.

T. D. Bennett

Joleneakamama
Joleneakamama's picture
Another thing to consider

Comment: 

I read Leviticus 18 last night, and realized another aspect to consider.
Most law is negative, in that it comes into effect when someone has been injured. In the case of adultery, the husband is injured, and if it is not discovered, may even raise another man's child. In the case of incest, it is the children with a family pole, rather then a properly branched tree, who will bear the brunt of those sins. With homo men, or beastiality, it is God himself who is offended by the act, and so He spoke a law against it.

Back to the subject now.. Even if you call two women touching each other a sexual act, and put it on par with hetero relations, (just for the sake of argument, as it seems to me touching is more like foreplay. I mean what man would call touching sex, or be satisfied with it?) who is being defrauded?
To put it in King James english, who's nakedness is being uncovered? Their husband's!

I am only discussing bi wives that share a husband, as I agree with scripture, that woman was created for man, and so lesbians who reject men are outside of God's purpose.

I also wonder, how do those who condemn bi wives in a plural marriage explain the parable of the ten virgins?

Thoughts anyone?

A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes~

Rock
Do as thou wilt

Comment: 

bibilical discussion in a public forum alwyas creates conflict and the spirit of contention. . It is quite ironic that those which ostensibley follow God/Christ are so divided ....so easily.

of course, there are what,..about 6 billion people on this planet...all are children of God. and..maybe 1.5 billion which follow judeo-christian teachings. hmm. so..that leaves about 4.5 billion which find the other 1.5 billion as being outright 'wrong' and 'mislead'. Interesting isnt it?

Now among those 1.5 billion , there are about 10,000 different sects/divisions which differ one from the other...substantially enough to call each other WRONG. Now, among that 10,000 there are maybe a 100,000 congregations...where in each congregation they have a difficult time agreeing on what WHAT IS RIGHT..but are close enough to stay in the same group.

now..here in this forum...one points their finger and the other points their finger...both are damn sure they are right...and the other is WRONG. Why is that? Answer: because everyone is where they are in their beliefs because they THINK they are 'right'.. (their personal belief system MUST be right, or they wouldn't believe it!) lol. ...therefore the other 5.99 BILLION MUST BE WRONG AND EVIL!!!!

The mind of man is so ridiculously fallable that to not give this fact serious contemplation is to be BLIND. and Self Deluded.

in regard to the topic here...

Perhaps Hermes Trismegistus said it best: 'Do as thou wilt is the whole of the law'.
This quote can be taken many ways depending on where you will entertain it. Will you use it to consume it upon your lusts? or will you use it to be more personally responsible and productive? Therein is the will of God...to choose wisely because you ARE doing as you will...whether you understand this or not.

now..back to your regular programming . 'The days of our lives' ...where you are an actor in a soap opera as the 'man or woman that is RIGHT'. ...and in contention with 5.99 billion people that are WRONG. oh the drama.

Rock
on subject

Comment: 

ever notice how cheeleaders run out onto the field holding hands? ...yet the guys don't?
ever notice how women touch each other's hands or body while talking? (most men don't like this)
ever notice how women can sit close to each other and like it? (men don't)
ever notice that women look at other pretty women in public as much as men do..(although they hide it better than men do)

but I am not referring to being sexual. I am just pointing out the obvious....
Women naturally like to be close to each other. ...its the way they are designed.

As the bible is not very clear about what is 'right and wrong' in regards to the sexual relationship in a polygamous marriage...it is certainly not 'barring' that two wives can be in the same bed with their husband during sex. How far you take that is your decision and how it relates to your PERSONALLY FABRICATED BELIEF.

i personally have never observed a polygamous marriage with bi-sexual wives survive for long. That observation leads me to beleive that those types of relationships are 'generally' dysfunctional. I could explain in more detail...but why? Suffice it to say that homosexuality is plainly dysfunctional. Anyone that cannot see that deserves the pain they now live in. (otherwise known as 'hell')

That is my personal guide in life ...that which works is of God. That which is dysfunctional is not of him.
What is dysfunctional?
lies. deciet. selfishness. uncontrolled desire.
anger. resentfullness. self righteousness.
righteous indignation. vengefullness,
impatience, rage, jealousy, idleness, lazyness
condemnation, (you can judge without condemnation btw).(understanding replaces condemnation, and this allows judgment to work correctly) Judgment with pride and anger is condemnation. Judgment with understanding calls it straight without being wound up in anger and arrogance..

what is functional works by any standard and any religion.
what is dysfuntional is of the adversary to peace and life itself.
in my opinion, all the rest of the doctrines and beliefs of 6 billion people are of no consequence.
prayer , stillness, meditation....these lead to God.

Contending over scripture is of the adversary .

Did you want the truth?

Joleneakamama
Joleneakamama's picture
Thanks

Comment: 

I appreciate you sharing your observations.
I once asked a plural wife of many years if she thought there was any advantage to the wives being bi. She said no, in her opinion it was of no benefit, and complicated the relationships. She then told me about a young woman who shared her interest in polygyny with her friend. The friend assumed she was interested in women, and propositioned her,....and it was the end of the friendship right there!

And that's the kind of gal I'd recruit as a co-wife! I would like a close relationship with a co-wife, but not a sexual one.

A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes~

Lion
Many of the hetero wives

Comment: 

Many of the hetero wives consider the genders to be interchangeable, everywhere else, besides the bedroom.

Or, they dominantly force their decisions upon the men, making themselves superior, in practice. I think of the old show tune, in which Annie says anything you can do, I can do better. 

The same attitude carries out of the home, and into the entire Earth.

But, you're still assumed to be hetero, in just one small bedroom. 

Perhaps, this can be measured on a sliding scale, involving chores and errands. For instance, over what percentage of the time are you considered to be passive. 

Are bisexual women authoritative, whether over men or over eachother. Are they submissive helpmeets, whether in the bedroom or in society.  

Over what percentage of the time, is she yeilding and useful, if it is fair to say that a person can have a function.