Monday, September 25, 2006

Questions of the Day

When I express my belief that homosexuality is perfectly acceptable—not offensive or immoral in the slightest—many Christians vehemently object. In doing so, they often cite the Bible’s explicit condemnations of homosexual behavior. Here’s one of the most oft quoted:



Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind: it is abomination

Leviticus 18:22 (KJV)



Now, Leviticus is part of the Old Testament. Considering the frequency with which I hear this verse quoted, certainly Christians must think Old Testament moral prescriptions still are relevant and valid today. For, if they no longer were relevant and valid, there would be no reason to quote Leviticus to make a moral point.

So, now let me quote from another part of the Old Testament: Deuteronomy.



(6) If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;

(7) Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth;

(8) Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him:

(9) But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.

(10) And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the LORD thy God....

Deuteronomy 13:6-10 (KJV)



Just to be 100% clear: Both Leviticus and Deuteronomy are part of the Old Testament. As most everybody would agree, many Christians still cite Levitical law in order to condemn homosexuality. Clearly, that implies that Levitical law still is relevant in 2006. It stands to reason, then, that the laws of Deuteronomy also must be relevant, as they are in the same Testament as Leviticus.


Onto the questions:

1. Would you agree that the passage from Deuteronomy that I quoted still is relevant and ought to be followed by the true Christian faithful?

2. If not, then why is Levitical law still applicable? [Consider, again, the fact that Leviticus and Deuteronomy are from the same Testament and, thus, should be equally relevant or irrelevant.]

3. If Levitical law no longer is applicable, then why do Christians continually repeat the verse I quoted? Why not, instead, quote Jesus condemning homosexuality?

14 Comments:

Blogger pgc1981 said...

To Jolly,
I would still like you to answer my post from your last "question of the day"

The plain and simple answer to 1 & 2 is NO! The Old Testament Covenant ended with the Death and Resurection of Jesus! Jesus died for all mankinds sin, this is the New Covenant. Things in the old testament are still usefull to follow buth the covenant ended with the Death and Resurection of Jesus.

As for #3
References in the New Testament towards homosexuality and Sexual immorality.

Romans 1:24-27
Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator - who is forever praised. Amen.
Because of this God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

1 Timothy 1:8-11
We know that the law is good (Romans 7:7-12)if one uses it properly. We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers for murderers, for ADULTERERS, and PERVERTS, for slave traders and liars and perjurers - and whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11
Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be decieved: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanders nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed you were sanctified you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

1 Corinthians 6:13 & 18
"Food for the stomach and the stomach for food" - but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord and the Lord for the Body.
18. Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.

I could go on with more but I won't
19 references in my bible to sexual sin 9 come in the New Testament(Rom 1:26-27(2), 1 Thes 4:1-8,Mt 27-28(2), 1Cor 6:13 Rev 2:20(2), 1Cor 6:19-20, 1Cor 7:3-5)10 from the Old Testament

I Condemn only the practice not the people who commit the acts. They can be forgiven and their lives can be transformed.

Lets make one thing clear, Homosexuality is no different than a man or woman commiting adultery or any other impure sexual act. All can be washed clean for their acts.

It's nice to see that you are looking in the Bible.

11:39 PM EST  
Blogger TheJollyNihilist said...

OK, I'm glad we're crystal clear about one thing: Old Testament moral prescriptions are invalid and should not be quoted in contemporary debate.

To be clear, I reject both the Old AND New Testaments. This should be obvious, as I am an atheist. I reject Yahweh's existence, the resurrection tales, the "soul," an afterlife, etc.

I'm just sick and tired of people quoting Leviticus to me when I stand up for gay rights. If you're going to quote Leviticus, you ought to quote that nonsense from Deuteronomy, as well.

But, as I mentioned earlier, even on the tiny chance that Yahweh does exist, I still would not worship it. As previously mentioned, I deplore Yahweh's bigotry against homosexuality and distasteful moral opinion that it's wrong. I certainly would not worship an entity that holds distasteful moral opinions that are tinged with outright bigotry.

I reject Yahweh mostly for lack of supporting scientific evidence, and, additionally, on the grounds of its repellent moral opinions.

11:53 PM EST  
Blogger Tommy said...

pgc, why whould God need to change covenants with mankind?

I mean, if the OT covenant was no longer necessary, why not have had Jesus be born to Adam and Eve and get things right from the start?

12:19 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You'll note that still no one has quoted Jesus himself saying homosexuality is wrong. According to the various theologeans I've spoken with all say that Jesus never did mention it. I also note that for something so important, you think it might have rated at least one commandment.
Google Jack Rogers, a higher up in the U.S. Presbyterian Church for his take on things, his book on this topic is an excellent read. read
Gotta love some Christians.

12:28 AM EST  
Blogger pgc1981 said...

Tommy said...
"pgc, why whould God need to change covenants with mankind?"

It's very simple, The old testament was written to the Jews and the Covenant from God to Noah after the flood was with the Jews. Jesus came, died and resurected for all mankind, not just Jews, thus you have the new covenant.

Tommy said,
"I mean, if the OT covenant was no longer necessary, why not have had Jesus be born to Adam and Eve and get things right from the start?"

God wanted man to work and earn the kingdom of heaven if he simple gave it to everyone their would be no point to earth or living on earth. God wanted to give man a choice and not force them to follow Him if they didn't wish to, but if they didn't follow He made it crystal clear what their eternity would be like. God also wanted to give man the great gift of life. Lastly I can't explain all of Gods ways I just believe what He tells me.

Anonymous said...
"You'll note that still no one has quoted Jesus himself saying homosexuality is wrong. According to the various theologeans I've spoken with all say that Jesus never did mention it. I also note that for something so important, you think it might have rated at least one commandment.
Google Jack Rogers, a higher up in the U.S. Presbyterian Church for his take on things, his book on this topic is an excellent read. read
Gotta love some Christians."

The Bible is the Word of God. spoken to man and written down by man. Paul was a great apostle God choose him and worked through him. The words Paul wrote down were the words directly from God. The Trinity = God+Jesus+Holy Spirit, God speaks through Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
Plus you just brough something into this debate that I didn't want to go to but since you brought it up I will mention something briefly.
You brought MAN'S Denomination (groups created by man, Catholic, Protestant, Reformed, Baptist etc.)(this does not mean these denominations are bad or the people of these denominations are bad) of Church. I don't believe in Denominations. Personlly Denominations were developed from Christians arguing about the word of God, who was right who was wrong. The Bible, the word of God speaks differently to every person. I do not read it the same as my wife, things apply to one person more so than other things that apply to another. Man created denominations, in my opinion, based on what the Word spoke to them. I don't believe God wanted man to create denominations.

Revelations 22:18 & 19
I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

I believe denominations add and take away words from the Bible. I believe the entire word of God that has been written down in the Bible, I do not follow the Denominations of man.

Lastly, Jesus speaks directly about sexual immorality in Matthew 5:27 & 28 (i forgot the 5 in my first posting) Jesus didn't come to condemn man He came to show love, compassion and the path to Heaven.

10:29 AM EST  
Blogger pgc1981 said...

this is something I posted in another debate on a different site.

God gave man the ultimate gift when he set us free and that gift was choice. Everyman makes every decision based on choice, conscious or unconscious. We either choose to follow the narrow road to Christ, which may be difficult, or we choose to follow the broad road to destruction or satan, which can be easy and sometimes gratifying. You see their is one good thing about the broad road to satan and that is it has many detours along the way created by Jesus so one can get off at anytime before their end comes to follow Him, much like the man who was crucified with Christ that came to know Christ right before he was killed on the cross. He led an evil life right up until he last seconds of breath, but he still found Jesus. So I encourage all of you who are on that broad path to take one of the detours towards Christ so you can have eternal life.

Gods Love is unconditional!

10:33 AM EST  
Blogger Tommy said...

PGC wrote:

"It's very simple, The old testament was written to the Jews and the Covenant from God to Noah after the flood was with the Jews. Jesus came, died and resurected for all mankind, not just Jews, thus you have the new covenant."

Don't even see how ridiculous that is?

1:35 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God's love is unconditional?

But if you don't find Jesus in your lifetime, He will condemn you to an ETERNITY OF TORMENT.

Sounds like a condition to me!

Christ, an eternity of surfing the Lake of Fire. Wow, that's love. I'm overwhelmed by His love.

1:49 PM EST  
Blogger pgc1981 said...

To Tommy:

"Don't even see how ridiculous that is?"

No I don't God's choosen people our the Jews. (This is why they have persecuted so badly by all except true Christians for the last 4000 years or more.) God saw that the Jews hearts were hardened and set to the law not Him, plus he wanted all mankind to know Him, not just the Jews, this is why He sent Jesus, His son (new covenant).

You really don't say much about what you believe and why you believe it, you write very short passages with very little points to your side, Jolly is a very good debater because he provides facts and reasons why he believes much like I do. So tell us your side.

To Annonymous
you didn't respond to my posting before that, you asked a direct question and I answered, you only responded to my second post.

As to Jesus' Unconditional Love;
Everyone is aware of God and Jesus, everyone makes a choice to follow Him or not to follow Him. God gave us this freedom, He doesn't make us follow Him. All people sin everyday, this is what Jesus died for, to forgive us of our sins. Man is sinful by nature ever since Adam & Eve. So no matter our sins Jesus still loves everyone, believer or nonbeliever. Jesus is very clear about the path to Heaven. If everyone was deemed for heaven their would be no point to God giving us life, this is why He made it our desicion to believe or not believe in Him.
If you want to enter the Kingdom of Heaven you must follow Christ accept Him as Lord of your life believe He died on the cross and rose 3 days later and you are washed free of your past sins no matter what your sins are, He loves you and will accept you as long as you accept Him. If you don't except Him, He will not know you at your judgement because you didn't want to know him. He has given every person that choice with the gift of life.

Think of it this way
John Doe works for me as a training salesman. However John is a poor salesman because he is lazy,unmotivated and doesn't want to work hard. I tell him constantly, I give him motivation, I send him on training to get better, I work non stop to try and help John, but he doesn't want my help because he thinks he knows all. I tried my absolute best to try and make him better (unconditional love). John decides he wants to move on and get a real job so he interviews for a new job, he puts me down as a reference but I tell the company that he was a poor worker lazy and unmotivated, I tried to help him but he didn't want to listen because he thought he could do it on his own. After countless times trying to help John, he ignored me, it came time that John need me but I didn't want to help because now he was just using me to get someplace better (judgement).

4:10 PM EST  
Blogger Tommy said...

If you want my side PGC, I invite you to visit my blog.

I will lay it out for you though. It is absurd to think that some all powerful entity is going to create essentially an infinite universe filled with countless galaxies which themselves are filled with countless stars and planets and a host of other celestial bodies.

And then you expect us to believe that this supreme deity is going to choose one small group of people on one planet in this vast universe and behave like a tribal god instead of a universal deity? And then after thousands of years go by, said supreme deity is going to decide, well now I will offer salvation to all humans after I get this virgin women impregnated and my boy gets nailed to a cross and rises from the dead.

That is very silly and stupid. Of course, you are free to believe it if you want to, far be it from me to stop you.

The God of the Bible is not the Creator of the Universe. The Jews were not the chosen people of God. Jesus was not born from a virgin and he did not rise from the dead after being crucified and he was not the son of the creator of the universe. Get your head out of the mental prison of the Bible!

8:18 PM EST  
Blogger pgc1981 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:57 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand your argument, as it is well founded. You views appear to come from our country's laws pertaining to freedom of individuality and freedom of expression. This is something that cannot be denied to anyone, even if those people disagree with our beliefs. I do not agree with Christians quoting scriptural text because it does not start the dialogue on an agreed upon benchmark, or common understanding, if you will. It's a lopsided dialogue that will only end in frustration.

Because our constitution is based largly on biblical law and declares freedom as its hallmark, it would be rational to state that the bible does not condemn or restrict freedom either. It is a roadmap or rule that people perscribing to that particular religion need to live by. Other people who do not perscribe to that religion, whether it be Judaism, Christianity, or Islam, do not need to abide by these laws. I can liken it to an American citizen: he or she needs to abide by American law while living in America, but an Italian, Israelite, or Iranian living in their respective country does not need to abide by American law. If that American does not want to abide by American law he or she can give up their citizenship and start afresh in another country with laws more to his or her liking. Law is objectively moral according to each society, but it is not absolutely objectively moral since not all socities must abide by it. Our law, in the US, was created mainly by deists and protestants. As such, our law was based on the only "authoritative" source they had at the time...the bible.

I think the question that really needs to be asked is why the OT and, implicitly the NT, calls certain behaviors / activities sin in the first place. What is the purpose and what's in it for us to live them? Your question could have been aimed at any behavior / activity that is denounced as sinful in the bible, not just homosexual activity.

What if homosexual behavior / activity was denounced in the bible because the "creator" did not intend for its creation to fulfill its sexuality in such a way because it would either cause harm to the Creator's creation or fall short of its intent? I would argue that if there is a creator, that creator could not separate its laws from the physical world, since both came from and were created by this creator.

2:31 PM EST  
Blogger Tommy said...

Anonymous, how is our Constitution based on Biblical law?

Last time I checked, I don't recall anything in the Bible about the right to bear arms, or trial by jury, or bicameral legislatures, the powers of the president, etcetera.

With respect to homosexual acts, I would strongly argue that those who engage in such acts should take care to use appropriate protections to prevent the spread of disease. Apart from that, I don't see how it harms society that such a small percentage of the population is gay.

Gay people who engage in sexual relations with others of the same gender obviously do it because they find the experience pleasurable, just as people who engage in heterosexual sex do it for the sake of pleasure regardless of whether there is intent or not to have children result from the act.

Ultimately, the argument of those who oppose homosexuality on religious grounds believe, consciously or not, that the Creator of the Universe has a major problem with the idea of sexual pleasure in general, whether hetero or homo, and that even married couples should not have sexual relations if they do not intend to produce children from the act. That means when I make love to my wife and use a condom (since we are not having anymore children), the God of the Bible, if he is real, is angry with me.

But back to gays. One could argue that maybe there is a biological purpose in having a small percentage of the population being gay. Because gays are not inclined to father or give birth to children, they are generally free from the obligations of child bearing, except of course for those who want to adopt and raise children because they find some sense of fulfillment from being a parent.

When you look at how prominent gays are in the arts and fashion, which requires a lot of free time for creative expression, one can see how not having to raise children can provide one with the free time necessary to engage in such pursuits. Eliminate gays and the arts will be greatly diminished as a consequence. Of course, we can still survive as a species without the arts, but it would probably make our culture the poorer for it.

1:01 PM EST  
Blogger Jon said...

The Faith argument always relies on snippets from one of the "Holy" texts. These snippets are always taken out of context. Christians follow rules set out by people that lived thousands of years ago, in a culture and society that they probably would not accept today.

One thing I like to remind people, is that if Jesus died for all mankind's sins, then surely it is OK for us to "sin" now, because Jesus has already received punishment?

Cheers,

Jon.
http://www.radicalatheism.org/

3:38 PM EDT  

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