Search

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Self-Harmony of the Bible - 4 (Part Fourteen)

Should Practicing Homosexuals Be Executed or Exiled?
            Leviticus 20:13 (WEB) states: “If a man lies with a male, as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” However, according to the skeptic, 1 Kings 15:11,12 contradicts it. It (WEB) states: “Asa did that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh, as did David his father. He put away the sodomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his father had made.” The skeptic alleges a contradiction: “You must execute practicing homosexual” versus “you must exile such ones.” However, we see that the latter scripture was not a command, but a historical account – so, no contradiction. Further, we can safely assume that “put away” means that he killed the cultic prostitutes.[1]

What Teaches us Right and Wrong?
            Romans 2:15 is used by the skeptic to make the exclusive statement that the conscience teaches us right and wrong. Romans 2:15 (NWT) states: “They are the very ones who demonstrate the matter of the law to be written in their hearts, while their conscience is bearing witness with them, and by their own thoughts they are being accused or even excused.” Further, he uses 1 John 2:27 to argue that our Christian anointing teaches us right from wrong. 1 John 2:27 (NWT) states: “And as for you, the anointing that you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to be teaching you; but the anointing from him is teaching you about all things and is true and is no lie. Just as it has taught you, remain in union with him.”
            We see, however, that Romans 2:15, is not an exclusive statement. Paul, referring to Gentiles, stated that certain moral aspects of the Mosaic Law were ingrained in the human heart, in the conscience. Therefore, since they act in accord with the Law sometimes, they act righteously (as he says in verse 13 (NWT): “the hearers of law are not the ones righteous before God, but the doers of law will be declared righteous”). He is building up to the statement that all are under sin even if not under law, therefore, all need the same undeserved kindness from God. He is not discussing what teaches us every particular detail of right or wrong.
            John, on the other hand, was describing the antichrists and warning against them. The anointing, then, does not teaches merely on right and wrong, but it confirms that which we have come to know. However, John did not say that it alone teaches us, but that it teaches us to “remain in union with him,” showing that it is not alone, for Christ, the sender, also taught us. So, there is only a garbled interpretation here, but no contradiction.



[1] If we think that he did not kill them, but took them to outside the border of Judah, we are likely misunderstanding the euphemism being employed. 1 Samuel 28:9, for example, pairs the removal of spirit mediums from the land with their deaths; so, we can safely conclude that Asa did not exile them – though some may have fled – but that they were executed for their pagan worship.

Further, other translations indicate that these were not just “regular” (as in the modern sense of the word) practicing homosexuals, but cultic prostitutes. This would seem fitting, for the context reveals that idols were involved, further it would be harder to find any given male who had sexual relations with another man, but to find cultic prostitutes would be easy enough, for it was done in publically known places.

2 comments:

  1. I must admit, that is an argument I've never encountered before. However, I appreciate your analysis of it. Just one little concern here: While we are directed by scripture to "make a defense," that doesn't mean that we go out looking for wrong beliefs in order to disprove them. I can see how this is helping you to build your reasoning powers and prove to yourself that our belief system is right and most logical. Really, in some ways you are doing exactly the same as I am. Still I hope you are focusing even more so on spiritual truths. May Jehovah bless you always. Your brother, Bart

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hell Bart,
      Excellent point. For now, I am able to do both, but if my schedule became busy, then I would let this blog fall by the wayside.

      It does beat repeating that to focus on this alone would be foolish - How would this make us resist temptation? How would this enable us to draw close to God personally? - since it is has to deal with information, and not wisdom, understanding on a certain level, but not maturity.

      Take care,
      Sean

      Delete

Thank you for your feedback. Your comment will be posted after approval.