Answering the Objections of Barring Homosexual Practice in the Church (Part 2)
Objection: Arsenkoites was not widely used if at all by other Greek writers. We don’t know what Paul was trying to say exactly when he used this term.
It is an interesting word. A compound word. Arsen is the Greek word for male while koites is the Greek word for bed or lay. The English word coitus comes from the Latin, which borrows from this Greek word, Koites. The two would then be “male-bed”. I think this can easily be understood as a euphemism for sexual relations. As the Hebrews did in both Leviticus 18 and 20. In both of these passages both of the words making up this compound word are present. The teaching conveyed in both of these passages is that “man shall not lie with man as with a woman.” Lie and bed are usually understood together. That’s why when those who knew Hebrew translated these passages to the Greek, they presented both arsen (male) and koites (bed/lie) into the Greek translation of the Old Testament. The Septuagint showing both as present provides a very real corroborative proof that the Jewish Saul is referring to homosexuality. More precisely male homosexuality. The Septuagint is a Greek work that Paul and other Jews and Christians would have be intimately familiar with. The Scriptures are a center piece for the religion after all. So it may be true that this word is not widely represented throughout classical Greek I still think there is plenty of available content for us to get a good idea about what this word means.
Objection: “Malakos” just means soft or effeminate. There are many homosexuals who practice homosexuality yet do not act effeminate or feminine.
I touched on this in the previous part. The reason that people in the 1st century would refer to someone, in the context of same-sex relations, as “Malakos” is because they would be the one taking the female role during sex. It does not have to do with feminine attributes or behavior as we typically think of effeminacy today. In these contexts it’s about a man becoming as a woman when he receives as a woman normally would during sex. So being feminine in this context means that man is taking the role of a female sexually.
Objection: Homosexual relationships can be quite peaceful, fulfilling, and look pretty similar to heterosexual relationships. Therefore God could never band same gender intercourse.
If the Apostles and Prophets received word that the action was impermissible then it still remains that the action is impermissible. I don’t really doubt any of these things are true, but the Christian’s priority is faithfulness to God and bending the rules just because “it doesn’t seem bad to me” isn’t going to make the action justifiable with God. What impermissible thing couldn’t be changed on the reasoning as above? I am not sure it if there is one. What it comes down to is if one wants to submit to God or if they want to call the shots as authority. This is the battle we all face in each area of our lives when it comes to what we want to do. I always take issue when someone says God can’t do something or when someone assumes that God has to a have back up reason for why He does something as modern apologists suppose. Let God be the law giver and let us follow in faithfulness.