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What were the Early Teachings on Homosexuality?

We have seen that the Bible condemns homosex whenever it is mentioned.  The Bible condemns not only specific forms of homosex but all prossible manifestations thereof.  But,  what did the Church Fathers say about homosex5?

The Didache (2.2: 70 AD)

You shall not commit murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not commit pederasty, you shall not commit fornication, you shall not steal, you shall not practise magic, you shall not practise witchcraft, you shall not murder a child by abortion or kill one that has been born.

The Letter of Barnabas (10:70 AD)

You shall not commit fornication;  you shall not commit adultery;   you shall not be a corrupter of boys.  You shall not be a corrupter of boys, not be like unto such.

Justin Martyr  (First Apology 27:151 AD)

[W]e have been taught that to expose newly-born children is the part of wicked men;  and this we  have been taught lest we should do anyone harm and lest we should sin against God first, because we see that almost all so exposed (not only the girls, but also the males) are brought up in prostitution.  And for this pollution a multitude of females and hermaphrodites, and those who commit unmentionable iniquities, are found in every nation.  And you receive the hire of these, and duty and taxes from them, whom you ought to exterminate from your realm.  And anyone who uses such persons, besides the godless and infamous and impure intercourse, may possibly be having intercourse with his own child, or relative, or brother.  And there are some who even prostitute their  own children and wives, and some are openly mutilated for the purpose of Sodom;  and they refer these mysteries to the mother of the gods.

Clement of Alexandria (Exhortation to the Greeks 2: 190 AD;  The Instructor 6: 193 AD)

It is not, then, without reason that the poets call him [Hercules] a cruel wretch and a nefarious scoundrel.  It were tedious to recount his adulteries of all sorts, and debauching of boys.  For your gods did not even abstain from boys, one having loved Hylas, another Hyacinthus, another Pelops, another Chrysippus, [and] another Ganymede.  Let such gods as these be worshipped by our wives, and let them pray that their husbands be such as these – so temperate; that, emulating them in the same  practices,  they may be like the gods.  Such gods let your boys be trained to worship, that they may grow up to be men with the accursed likeness of fornication on them received from the gods (Exhortation).

The fate of the Sodomites was judgement to those who had done wrong, instruction to those who hear.  The Sodomites having, through much luxury, fallen into uncleanness, practising adultery shamelessly, and burning with insane love for boys;  the all-seeing Word, whose notice those who commit impieties cannot escape, cast his eye on them… Accordingly the just punishment of the Sodomite became to men an image of salvation which is well calculated for men.  For those who have not committed like sins with those punished, will never receive a like punishment (The Instructor)

Tertulian (Modesty:  220AD)

[A]ll other frenzies of the lusts which exceeds the laws of nature, and are impious towards both [human] bodies and the sexes, we banish, not only from the threshold but also from the shelter of the Church, for they are not sins so much as monstrosities.

Novatian (The Jewish Foods 3:250AD)

[God forbade the Jews to eat certain foods for symbolic reasons:] For that in fishes the roughness of scales is regarded as constituting their cleanness; rough, and rugged, and unpolished, and substantial, and grave manners are approved in men; while those who are without scales are unclean, because trifling, and fickle, and faithless, and effeminate manners are disapproved.  Moreover, what does the law mean when it… the swine to be taken for food?  It assuredly reproves a life filthy and dirty, and delighting in the garbage of vice…. Or when it forbids the hare?  It rebukes men deformed into women.

Cyprian of Carthage (Letters 1.8:  253 AD)

[t]urn your looks to the abominations, not less to be deplored, of another kind of spectacle… Men are emasculated, and all the pride and vigour of their sex is effeminate, in the disgrace of their enervated body; and he is more pleasing there who has most completely broken down the man into the women.  He grows into praise by virtue of his crime; and the more he is degraded, the more skilful he is considered to be.  Such a one is looked upon – oh shame! – and looked upon with pleasure.

Eusebius of Caesarea (Proof of the Gospel:  319 AD-Lv.18:24-25)

[H]aving forbidden all unlawful marriage, and all unseemly practice, and the union of women with women and men with men, he [God] adds:  Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for in all these things the nations were defiled,  which I will drive out before you.  And the land was polluted, and I have recompensed [their] iniquity upon it, and the land is grieved with them that dwell upon it.

Basil the Great (Letters 217:62,367 AD)

He who is guilty of unseemliness with males will be under discipline for the same time as adulterers.

John Chrysostom (Homilies on Titus 5:390 AD; Homilies on Romans 4:391 AD)

[The pagans] were addicted to love of boys, and one of their wise men made a law that pederasty … should not be allowed to slaves, as if it was an honourable thing;  and they had houses for this purpose, in which it was openly practised.  And if all that was done among them was related, it would be seen that they openly outraged nature, and there was none to restrain them… As for their passion for boys, whom they called their paedica, it is not fit to be named (Titus).

All of these affections (in Rom. 1:26-27)… were vile, but chiefly the mad lust after males;  for the soul is more to the sufferer in sins, and more dishonoured than the body in diseases.  [T]he men have done an insult to nature itself.  And a yet more disgraceful thing than these is it, when even the women seek after these intercourses, who ought to have more shame than men.

Augustine (Confressions 3:8:15-400 AD)

[T]hose shameful acts against nature, such as were committed in Sodom, ought everywhere and always to be detested and punished.  If all nations were to do such things, they would be guilty of the same crime by the law of God, which has not made men so that they should use one another in this way.

The Apostolic Constitutions (AC 6:11 – 400 AD)

[Christians] abhor all unlawful mixtures, and that which is practised by some contrary to nature, as wicked and impious.

It is clear from the quotations that the early Christians (before 400 AD) regarded homosex as disgraceful and vile, and not to be practised at all. It went against God’s law (sexual) for humanity and constituted a rebellious act against God’s intention for humanity.  All the Church Fathers are unanimous in their rejection of homosex as a possible expression of human sexuality.

It is clear from the writings of the Fathers that homosexual practise was to be rejected in whatever form it manifested.  The first instance of homosexual practice in Jewish antiquity was recorded in the fourth century.  This does show that it was a practise not tolerated.