I was asked to give my opinion on the conclusions of Justin R. Cannon regarding Romans 1:24-27. Cannon’s commentary appears in a Bible study on a pro-homosexual website called truthsetsfree.net. Cannon is the founding director of the website which touts itself as an affirming Christian outreach ministry to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.
I have been involved with apologetics for many years, but never delved into this arena until now. I never realized the impact the gay agenda had on the Christian church until it hit home, when my grown stepdaughter was seduced by the doctrines of the “Christian” gay agenda.
Romans, chapter 1, is one area of Scripture I always felt was so non-ambiguous regarding the condemnation of homosexuality that the homosexual community couldn’t possibly formulate a coherent argument to the contrary. Reading Cannon’s commentary affirmed my assumption.
Cannon is praised by the LGBT community because of his efforts to justify homosexuality in God’s holy word. Cannon’s work is comforting to many in the gay and lesbian community, but do his arguments make sense? How, for example, does he justify homosexual behavior from Romans, chapter 1, when it appears to so strongly condemn that behavior?
Cannon first wants his readers to believe that anti-homosexual sentiment in the church is a result of bad teaching and a lack of contextual understanding. But what Cannon offers his readers is something far worse than “bad teaching;” he offers them a twisted view of Scripture designed to fit his gay agenda.
In his Bible study, Cannon draws the attention of his readers to a single Greek word, aphente (to give up, divorce), appearing in verse 27. He asks his readers to ponder these questions: “How can you give up something you do not have? How can you divorce something you are not bound to?” He answers the questions by misrepresenting Paul’s teaching on God’s natural creation. Instead of recognizing the true context: “they gave up the natural use of women,” Cannon changed the meaning to: “they gave up THEIR natural use of women because they were heterosexual.” This, of course, implies that God also created homosexuals who have a different nature than those to whom Paul is referring.
This raises some obvious questions: If God created man in His own image, why do men possess two different natures? Does God have two natures? If God calls a man’s leaving the natural use of women dishonorable, then the same must be true for a homosexual man leaving his “natural” use of a man for a woman?
Nobody needs to explain to a child, for instance, that homosexuality is unnatural; it is evident from creation. Men and women are different and compatible. When God made Eve from Adam, Adam declared, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” The following verse, therefore, affirms, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” It is evident that God designed nature such that a young man would expect to have a mother and father, leave home, and marry a woman. This nature is clearly evident from the creation. To the church in Corinth Paul asserted this: “For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.” (1Cor. 11:8-10)
Man was not created for man or woman for woman, but woman was created for man. That is the way God made us. It is the result of our fallen state that has perverted the truth of God’s creation. The creation itself is evidence of what natural relations are. Those who practice unnatural relations are without excuse because of that evidence.
Even marriage is a model of God’s relationship to us who believe. Paul elucidates to the Ephesians in chapter five that the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church. Christ is the Bridegroom and the church is His bride. If homosexuality was intentionally created by God, who is the head in those relationships? And what do such relationships represent spiritually, that God is the Bridegroom of Himself, or that the church is her own bride without God? And if a homosexual man were to abandon his same-sex relationship and join himself to a woman, thus becoming a model of Christ and His church, are we to believe that God will find this dishonorable? If the gay and lesbian community wants to ponder spiritual questions, let them chew on these.
Cannon further attempts to distort the context by introducing an unfounded connection to orgies. Cannon concludes that since Paul refers to lust and dishonorable passions being practiced, he must be talking about orgies. Yeah, that’s the ticket. It is a matter of historical fact that the pagan world indulged in orgies so this must be what Paul is referring to. Cannon’s conclusion is nothing short of a blatant denial of the true context of Paul’s words.
The only thing Cannon accomplishes in his Bible study is to introduce to his readers a different gospel than the one preached by Christ’s holy apostles. Take head to what the Apostle Paul sternly warned, “If anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.” (Gal. 1:9)
Our prayers cry to God through our Savior Jesus Christ that those homosexuals compelled to follow Christ will receive strength to overcome their carnal desires and cleave onto His amazing grace and healing. Many have left the gay community by turning to Christ for help. Contrary to the lies propagated by gay activists, former homosexuals live happy normal fulfilling lives. We all have our cross to bear, so we ask that you bear your cross and turn to Him. He will not disappoint you; He will not leave you in confusion.
For resources and information to help understand this issue from a Christian perspective, please visit www.focusonthefamily.org