An expert believes that gay porn at Pompeii could change how the world thinks about religion and sex

Greg Evans
Friday 21 July 2017 12:45
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Picture:(MARIO LAPORTA/AFP/Getty Images)

Pompeii is best known as being the ancient Roman city that was destroyed by Mount Vesuvius around 79 AD.

This vast archaeological site has provided scientists and other experts with invaluable data about the the city and the people that lived there.

New discoveries are continuously being made at the location, including a preserved man in a less than flattering position.

However, the artwork that existed in the city could now provide a new insight into the bible's relationship with sexuality.

Many pieces of art found at Pompeii contain explicit images of sexual acts between members of the opposite sex and the same sex.

Rev. Steve Chalke a prominent Christian in the UK and an advocate for LGBTQ inclusion in the Church these images can help us better understand the context of the Bible.

In a video produced by his organisation, Oasis Open Church Network, Chalke details how gay sex was common in the Roman Empire, an era where many passages of the Bible were written.

Six different passages in the Bible refer to homosexual behaviour, according to Believe Out Loud they are known as 'clobber passages' as they are often used to demean or insult gay Christians.

However, Chalke claims that the Apostle Paul was writing these passage when rich Roman citizens were exploiting the lower classes for sexual favours.

In Rome sex was an important was an important thing. If you were a man you were expected to have sexual playthings apart from your wife. Your wife was to pass on the family line but you would have a mistress, a concubine, a boy that you would have sex with as well and all of that was expected. It was normal, it wasn't frowned upon and it was written about. But what you weren't allowed to do, under any circumstance, was to have sex with another Roman. Roman citizens were protected. You could only have sex with someone of a lesser status, with a slave or a gladiator.

So, where does this play into those aforementioned passages?

Well, Chalke believes that Paul and other writers in the New Testament were speaking out against the level of sexual debauchery on the grounds of exploitation.

The New Testament has nothing to say about same-sex relationships. None of this [Paul's writings] is about relationships at all. It's about the use and abuse of another person for an act of pleasure and it's right from the artwork and pictures that we now have from Pompeii. 

 Don’t exploit. Don’t abuse. Live together in harmony. Include. Work at relationships.

For example here is a passage from Romans 1:26-27 which is included in the above video.

Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

Whilst that could easily be misinterpreted, Chalke believes that these writings were sent as a warning to the Church against sexual relations based on abuse and not a direct criticism of homosexuality.

Chalke has publicly supported same-sex relationships since 2013 and has also spoken out about the damage that Christian attitudes can cause gay people but his stance resulted in his rejection from the Evangelical Alliance in 2014.

HT Huffington Post Vimeo Believe Out Loud Amusing Planet Christianity Today

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