I think Paul had his answer to that question tied up in worship of all sorts of other deities--I think it was all one giant hairball in Paul's day, and that, for him, there was the temple, and there was the temple of other gods who were opposed to the God of Israel, and that went on in there. So I think when Paul was talking about this issue, for him it's tied up in all sorts of idolatry, it's all sorts of rejection of God, so I would wanna like--pull the various issues apart, and I don't think they had a cultural conception.In a lengthy piece for The Christian Post today, Lutheran pastor Dan Delzell explains why there can be no separation of homosexuality from idolatry. The former is a natural consequence of the latter.
In the first chapter of Romans, the apostle Paul describes the sequence of events which brought about the same-sex revolution. Notice the progression. First, God revealed His "eternal power" and "divine nature" to man through Creation. Next, man chose not to glorify or give thanks to God. Instead, he "exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles." (Romans 1:23) As a result of this idol worship, "God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual immorality." (Romans 1:24) Man began to burn with this particular passion and desire only after he "exchanged the truth of God a lie." (Romans 1:25)
Did you catch that? Due to their rebellion and idol worship, God allowed their souls to enter an unprotected area. In that spiritual realm, the demons caused them to start burning with homosexual lust. The devil will always pervert God's design with a counterfeit approach.
Since they chose to worship a counterfeit god, the Lord "gave them over" to the counterfeit desires of same-sex lust. They became inflamed with these passions only after they persisted in deliberately disobeying God and engaging in idol worship. That worship of false gods is what spawned the same-sex revolution, and people have suffered greatly from it ever since.As for the current fascination with same sex relationships, the same idolatrous rebellion lies at its core.
Remember that God had given man the honor of being created in God's image. So how did man show his thanks to God? By crafting false gods made in man's image. No wonder this caused the Lord to burn with anger. And so God let them experience what life is like when Satan has control of your sexual appetite. "Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural desires for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another." (Romans 1:26,27)
A particular Greek word is used three times by St. Paul in Romans 1:24-28 to describe how God "handed them over" to homosexual desires. Interestingly, it is the same Greek word which St. Matthew uses in his Gospel to describe what Pilate did with Christ. Pilate "handed him over to be crucified." (Matthew 27:26)
What a contrast! Jesus, the innocent One, was "handed over" by man to be executed. Whereas sinful man, after creating images of men and animals to worship, was "handed over" by God to even greater depravity. Since they chose to reject God, He allowed them to be overtaken by the demons that entered their life through their idol worship.
What about today? Why do a significant number of people today, including teenagers, experience same-sex attraction? That "spirit" and those desires have been with us ever since the idol worship from centuries ago opened a "pandora's box" of sexual immorality upon the world. Once out of the box, sexual counterfeits tend to take on a life all their own. And there have always been plenty of people lining up to try out the latest sexual experiment, even if it's just out of a spirit of rebellion. Like many drugs, a sexual experiment will easily become an addiction.There is a very simple reason why the first commandment is, "You shall have no other gods before me" (Exodus 20:3). Every other transgression of the law follows from the first.
If you are someone who experiences same-sex attraction, you can thank in part the "founders" of your orientation who decided to worship false gods many centuries ago. They of course had no idea at the time how their demons would "birth a movement" so to speak and instill this spirit in our world. There is a strong spiritual dynamic connected to sexual immorality. There is no getting around it. In fact, demons instantly begin oppressing anyone who engages in sexual immorality, be it fornication, adultery, homosexual behavior, etc.
Demons were certainly involved when male temple prostitutes and the false worship of gods like Baal and Molech provided a lethal injection of demonic possession. The demons were given a tremendous foothold through this wicked behavior, and it launched a global attack upon God's design for marriage. Since that time, the evil spirits have stirred up same-sex lust from one generation to the next, and the demonic attachments have continued to enslave those who choose to give their bodies over to these carnal lusts and affections.
By the way, evil angels are always heavily involved whenever a false religion is being introduced, or a counterfeit form of sexuality is being launched. How do you think these profane beliefs and unclean behaviors get planted so firmly in our world? These are a couple of Satan's biggest weapons against humanity in his losing battle against the truth.
Many Christians today are unsure how to speak about these issues in a culture where God's plan for sexuality is often mocked by those enslaved to false ideas. You are not being judgmental by believing that the sexual alternatives listed above are just as sinful today as they have always been. On the other hand, you are being judgmental if you look down on someone because of his or her lifestyle. Remember that we are all sinners. And we all need God's grace in Christ