Refuting Gay Scripture Twisting 2

Title: Refuting Gay Scripture Twisting 2
Text: Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13, 1 Corinthians 6:8-10, 1 Timothy 1:9-10
Time: February 18th, 2015

Last time I talked about the original created pattern for marriage given by God in Genesis 1 and 2. I also showed how certain gay activists try to twist these passages in order to somehow justify same sex relationships, to somehow legitimize what the Bible describes as sinful behavior. I showed how all attempts fail to justify sinful homosexuality when we consider God’s original intent for marriage as outlined in Genesis. But the gay activists aren’t finished. What can’t be justified in one portion of the Bible is attempted in another section. After reviewing the original teachings on marriage in Genesis of the Old Testament one might conclude that the case for homosexuality is done with, finished, futile, since if the Bible so clearly states the heterosexual nature of marriage in its very first pages, what’s left to discuss? Well, any reasonable person would conclude that trying to justify same sex relationships from the Bible is about as futile as freezing water in hell, but for these gay activists, it just presents another challenge that they seemingly never tire of trying to overcome. They move on to the next series of Bible passages that condemn homosexuality, Leviticus 18 and 20, and they try to explain these passages away. They readily admit that these Old Testament verses forbid homosexual activity. Leviticus 18:22, “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.” And Leviticus 20:13, “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.” Now what gay activists try to do with these clear prohibitions against homosexuality is say that while these were binding laws for ancient Jews they no longer apply to us today. So instead of “messaging” the passages in order to twist them to fit the homosexual agenda for society and the church, these activists don’t even try to deny that in these instances the Bible clearly condemns homosexual activity. They concede that. But what they try to do is say these prohibitions don’t apply to Christians today. They say, “These were old laws for the ancient times. Nobody obeys these old laws today. Why pick laws against homosexuality and then permit other practices the same law code forbids?” So the argument is that it’s inconsistent to single out laws against gay sex and then allow for other things also prohibited in Leviticus. How do we answer such a charge? Are Christians being inconsistent when we don’t enforce some prohibitions while enforcing others? Do the gay activists have a point? No they don’t, but it will take some explaining to make this clear. So let’s look at Leviticus and try to make sense of the matter.

First, the Book of Leviticus contains many different types of laws, not all the same type. Leviticus 18:22, “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.” This is clear moral law, an ethical command. But it isn’t the only kind of law given in the Book of Leviticus. There are, for example, ritualistic laws, such as those governing worship and the procedures concerning the Tabernacle (or portable tent used for Jewish worship). There were dietary laws governing what foods could and couldn’t be eaten. There are agricultural laws that regulated what kinds of crops could be grown, and so forth. So in other words, Leviticus contains many different types of laws, some of which were temporary situations, others for more long lasting and binding use. For example, the rules and regulations concerning the Tabernacle in the wilderness, obviously, don’t apply any more because there is no Tabernacle today. These were temporary laws. Others applied more specifically for the Jews in the wilderness. Some would apply to the Jews long after they left the wilderness and entered into the Promised Land. Some obviously don’t apply to Christians today. So it’s inaccurate to see Leviticus as one book of one type of law. That’s what gay activists try to do. Even though most of them don’t read the Bible, don’t believe the Bible, and don’t particularly care what the Bible teaches, they want to use the Bible to convince people who do read and believe the Bible that they should change their minds on the sinfulness of homosexuality. So activists try to use the Bible and appeal to believers to accept gay relationships as okay by the Bible. And then again, there are some, a few, gay activists who do read the Bible and want to be both gay and Christian, and they want to convince others to agree with them and affirm the compatibility of homosexuality and the Bible. Well, this can’t be done with Christians who understand the Bible, who take the time to read it, and who take the time to study what the Bible teaches. The Bible condemns all same sex sexual relations – and no amount of scripture twisting and explaining it away works. But the first thing we need to understand with respect of the Book of Leviticus is that it contains many different types of laws that apply in many different contexts. What about homosexual prohibitions? Do these apply today or are they part of the laws that don’t apply any more? Christians have always understood that they still do apply today, while the new gay activists want to say no they don’t apply to people today. Which is it?

Second, prohibitions against homosexuality carry over into the New Testament. Leviticus 20:13, “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.” I’ll be explaining in more detail the New Testament passages that prohibit homosexual activity in greater detail in another message, but to summarize the whole situation – The New Testament writers, whenever they speak about homosexuality, condemn or prohibit or speak negatively of it. There is no hint of anything changing from the Old Testament to the New Testament on the question of homosexual behavior. There are many of the laws of Leviticus that were dropped as far as New Testament Christianity was concerned. The dietary laws were essentially done away with as Christianity emerged out of its Jewish background into a more Gentile church. Of course, the Jewish rituals that were so important to the worship in the Tabernacle and even later in the Temple worship were done away with. But the basic and essential moral laws found in Leviticus for the most part are retained and carried over from Judaism to Christianity. In fact, New Testament writers used basically the same language, the same vocabulary of the Old Testament in their New Testament writing to reaffirm the ban against same sex activity. The Apostle Paul, for example, writing in the book of 1 Corinthians, picks up on two very key words in the Leviticus passages and uses them in connection with the condemnation of homosexual activity. 1 Corinthians 6:8-10, “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” The phrase “homosexual offenders” is a compound word that takes the two words found in the two Leviticus passages in question prohibiting homosexuality, “man” and “bed” and puts them together to communicate “those men who lie with other men in bed,” or same sex relations. As far as we know the Apostle Paul was the first to use this word in Greek, so where did he get it? He got it from the Greek Old Testament translation from the Book of Leviticus, from the section dealing with homosexual prohibitions. So we know Paul was bringing the moral prohibition against homosexuality directly into Christian teaching. The divine law against homosexuality applies to us today, it’s binding today.

Third, other New Testament teachings carry over the Leviticus prohibition against homosexuality. Leviticus 20:13, “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.” Again, the same two words found here in Leviticus in the passage that condemns homosexual activity, “man” and “lying in bed” is used by the Apostle Paul again in a compound word in 1 Timothy 1:9-10, “We also know that the 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 murders, for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers – and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.” The word “perverts” found in this passage is the compound word made up of the two elements “man” and “bed” – or “men in bed.” It’s the word that, as far as we can tell, the Apostle Paul coined from his reflection upon the Leviticus prohibition against homosexuality in the passages we’ve examined. Using the language and vocabulary of Leviticus, Paul brings these same words from the Greek Old Testament translation of the original Hebrew into the New Testament not only here in 1 Timothy, but like I’ve shown also in 1 Corinthians as well. Clearly, Paul is consciously trying to communicate the same prohibition against homosexuality as we see in the Old Testament Leviticus. So it is obviously impossible to claim that the moral law of Leviticus shouldn’t be applied to Christians today. There is no doubt that the Apostle Paul and others intended to do just that – apply the Old Testament moral prohibition against homosexual activity to the Christian church. Therefore, because the command against gay sex is carried from the Old Testament into the New Testament it is binding upon Christians today, contrary to what so-called Christian gay activist assert. But if we don’t know the Bible, if we are uninformed about these things, then of course gay activists will run up and down the Christian rank and file due to ignorance in the church. The really bad thing is that many Christian leaders and pastors and denominational leaders are even fooled due to ignorance of the Bible. And many of these same people have been to seminary! In that case it’s just either carelessness or outright spiritual rebellion against God. In either case, there’s no excuse.

Gay activists try to argue that Leviticus prohibits eating shellfish, but we don’t follow that law, so we shouldn’t follow the law against homosexuality. But again, dietary laws aren’t binding upon us New Testament Christians, and this has been understood for two thousand years. The moral law against fornication, adultery and homosexuality still apply; they are still binding, as I’ve demonstrated. In fact, the famous Jerusalem Council in Acts 15:20, specifically states that Christians should not engage in sexual immorality, and uses the word porneias which covers all forms of sexual immorality, including sodomy or homosexual activity. Where did these Christian leaders get the moral prohibition against homosexuality and other forms of sexual immorality? From the Old Testament moral commands carried over into the Christian era. Now many Christians intuitively know that same sex relationships are wrong because of the Christian tradition, but they unfortunately can’t go to the passages in the Bible like I’ve done today to prove it. Roman Catholics trust the teaching magisterium of the church to guide them into spiritual and moral truth. On this point, on the issue of homosexuality, the Catholic church is correct. In the new Roman Catholic Catechism homosexuality is described as an “intrinsic disorder” as well as sinful; I believe it even calls it a grave sin. That’s also accurate. But as Christians we need to know more than just what the church teaches. We need to know why the Christian church teaches that homosexuality is wrong. We need to be able to go to specific verses and explain them in context like I’ve tried to do today. When we do that there is no question, no doubt that God disapproves of same sex sexual activity of any kind. Gay activists try to argue that there is a different between lustful homosexuality and monogamous, faithful same sex relationships. That is a lie. From the Bible’s perspective there is no legitimate homosexual relationship. Gay activists say that the Bible doesn’t speak to faithful, loving homosexual relationships, only lustful, immoral ones. Wrong. Any kind of same sex sexual relationship is wrong, according to the Bible. It doesn’t have to outline all the many different types and variations of perversions there are to say it’s wrong. Any honest reading of the Bible will yield the same result – gay sex, of any type, is a sin, is wrong, is a perversion of the original design of God for men and women. We must not allow lies and distortions by so-called gay Christian activists to lead us astray. We must defend the truth.

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