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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A Radical Suggestion
|Posted By: Susan Williams on August 16, 2005|
|Your sarcasm, hostility and blasphemy are very disappointing. They say good teachers love to be taught. I hope you'll change course here, and learn. And I certainly hope you'll refrain from "teaching" others, especially other people's children, about these matters, especially homosexuality, until you have given yourself a decent grounding in what the Bible really says instead of what you THINK it says.|
I'd recommend you get a good Bible commentary on the Book of Leviticus to understand its importance and how its passages relate to those of us living in the Age of Grace, after Christ's coming, instead of the Age of Law, which set the stage for Him.
I have a good one on Leviticus by Samuel E. Balentine from the series, "Interpretation" (John Knox Press, 1999). It does a good job of explaining almost all of the questions you posed, above. I got it at a college bookstore. Christian bookstores are good sources, too. There may be good explanations online; your questions come up often on the atheist sites, so I bet some good Christian apologetics sites have already explained them better than I could. Type in the chapter and verse of a Bible passage you don't understand, and you'll probably be routed to a hermeneutical exposition on it.
In a nutshell, though, God gave the ancient Israelites a set of laws in Leviticus that were basically to instruct them on how to live holy lives, and also for their protection. A lot of them had to do with matters of health that those ancient people couldn't possibly have understood scientifically, but of course, now we do. As I go along, I become more and more in awe of God's wisdom and how He has helped people throughout the ages with language and customs appropriate to them, only with principles still appropriate to us now, thousands of years later. I truly believe one reason Christian-based western civilization is so much farther along than non-Christian societies is that we had better sanitation practices, and still do, thanks to ancient Biblical admonitions like the ones in Leviticus! Of course, modern-day sanitation and refrigeration and so forth make a lot of that stuff moot from a practical standpoint. But the principles are timeless and still true: there are things to do that are right, and there are things to do that are wrong. There are things that honor God, and there are things that dishonor Him.
Remember, the Levitical law was separate from the Ten Commandments. Those are examples of eternal law -- unchanging -- as relevant today as 'way back then. They're divine law. The Levitical rules and regulations, in contrast, were human laws, set up to establish purity before God, order for the society, and reverence for God, but they fall far below the higher forms of law, including divine, eternal law. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross did away with the need for all of the ritualistic laws, including those dealing with animal sacrifice, because through His death, God cleansed all of us from sin. So we no longer need to be purified by outside means in order to be acceptable to God despite our sinfulness. And we have the protection that comes from the indwelling of Christ's Holy Spirit, so we don't need protection from a million rules and regs any more. We live by faith and grace, and the Spirit's life within us helps us avoid major sin, for the most part. It's freedom from micromanagement, you could say. I think a lot of your problem is that you are what they call "unregenerated" -- not yet born again -- spiritually blind -- so when you read the Bible, you don't "get it," literally. There's still hope for you 'til you draw your very last breath, though, so hang in there, and stay open to the working of the Spirit. Who knows? He might be working through me right this very minute, and I would be privileged if so!
As for the Levitical food laws being irrelevant after Christ, see Acts 10:15 -- the Holy Spirit tells Peter "what God hath cleansed, that call not thou common." So it's no longer verboten to eat pork and shrimp, though of course, you don't HAVE to, and you wouldn't do it if you were having Orthodox Jews over for dinner, or Muslims, because they are the "weaker brothers" we are supposed to be fishing for, and under the Law of Grace, it's more important to be loving and winsome than exercising your own rights all the time.
The laws against homosexual practice, however, were not merely ceremonial, and did not dissolve any more than warnings against apostasy, murder, theft and the other Ten Commandments "biggies" did, after the Cross. Homosexuality is classified along with rape, incest and bestiality (Lev. 18:6-14, 22-23), and those are as wrong today as they were then. The penalty for eating pork or shrimp was a few days' isolation; for homosexuality, it was capital punishment (Lev. 18:29). Quite a bit of contrast there, wouldn't you say? God condemned homosexual sin among the Romans in Romans 1:26, implying that they should have known better since homosexuality is the "crime against nature," and they of course did not have the Levitical law (Romans 2:12-15) -- because they didn't need it for such a "biggie" as sexual immorality. We all know what's OK, and what's not. Homosexuality also is why God condemned the Canaanites of Sodom and Gomorrah back in Genesis.
There are several good books explaining the Biblical view of homosexuality, and exposing the lies of the people trying to say today that gay is A-OK by God. Of course, it is not. Just as in the days of Leviticus, He wants us to be holy -- for He is holy. (Leviticus 11:44)
I truly hope this is helpful to you, and I truly hope that you will change your attitude toward people like me. I hope you will consider the amount of time I put into my replies on this website as evidence of good faith on my part. 'K? Now, get thee to a good Christian bookstore, and read up.
| A Radical Suggestion by Susan Williams on June 1, 2005|