The Early Church on Homosexuality

Posted at Reformed Reader:


In the days of the early church – I’m thinking specifically of the 2nd century – Christian apologists had to defend the faith against false charges, accusations, and misrepresentations. One such apologist, Athenagoras (d. 200 AD?), wrote a booklet to Roman rulers called A Plea for the Christians. This apology by Athenagoras is still quite relevant today because it discusses things we still talk about today. I’ll come back to this booklet later, but for now I want to point out what this 2nd century Christian apologist said about sexual immorality and homosexuality.

Athenagoras refuted the claim or accusation that Christians were very sexually impure compared to non-Christian Roman citizens. He said Christian spouses – man and wife – were committed to one another and instructed to avoid and detest adultery while the same could not be said of the Romans. He also argued that Christians avoided and detested homosexuality. As Athenagoras introduced this topic, he noted that he is not comfortable to “speak of things unfit to be uttered.” But he briefly did in order to defend Christian sexual morality: ...

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