Sunday, March 4, 2012

Something to chew on.....

If the Bible is to be taken as the word of God, then why do the faithful pick and choose which passages to follow? Should they not have the religious liberty to demand adherence to all sections?

For example, Leviticus 18:22 says generally (depending on the version and translation):

"And if a man lie with mankind, as with womankind, both of them have committed abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them."

This is also used as one of, if not THE underpinning of opposition to homosexuals enjoying the same societal privileges as heterosexuals.

Yet, another Leviticus passage is viewed as abhorrent; Leviticus 25:44-46:

“Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

The disconnect is never explained to my satisfaction.....


  1. Can I help? For me, I believe the Bible. Yet I would agree with you that slavery is bad and that we shouldn't go out and kill homosexuals.

    Look at the context: Leviticus was written specifically to the nation of Israel, at the time, a theocracy. No one looks at the book of Jonah and says, 'Hey, God told Jonah to go to Nineveh - so we have to all make a pilgrimage to Nineveh.'
    I'm sure most people, if they cite Leviticus 18:22, are not advocating murder [the passage is talking about capital punishment, not murder by individuals, by the way], but are using the passage along with others as evidence of what God thinks about homosexuality. In no place in the Bible is there any inference that an act of homosexuality is right.
    The other passage was also written specifically to Israel. If you look at it along with Jesus' words to love your neighbor, Paul's letter to Philemon, and the idea that we are all equal at the foot of the cross - I would say the best interpretation would be that God does not approve of slavery. He set rules for the Israelite community in how they should work with it, but it we can infer from many other passages that slavery is not preferable and wrong.

    So, at least for me, there isn't any disconnect or picking and choosing. In both cases of slavery and homosexual acts, people should look at the whole Bible for help in interpreting stop-and-look-again passages.

  2. I enjoyed your response and appreciate you taking the time to explain your point of view. But aside from the fact that this is only one example of heavenly edicts listed in the Bible, but decidedly not followed by modern Christians, you state that the book was directed towards the nation of Israel.

    I understand, as anyone who pays attention, that many fervent strains of Christianity believe the US and Israel to be biblically related, at least regarding divine destiny. But if God's views on homosexuality are such that they should be put to the sword, why would Christians disobey? If the act of judgement should be reserved for God alone, then why the enormous effort to deny homosexuals the same privileges of earthly pursuits as others?

    There seems to be a rather stark disconnect between the treatment of slavery and homosexuality, echoed by your own explanation. God sets rules for working around the issue of slavery within the bounds of earthly governance. But not so for homosexuals; for this issue, there is only summary judgement. That's a bit of a chasm when papering over with a sentiment of disapproval.

    My problem is not with the tenets of a religion, and I hope my rantings don't come off as such. My problem arises when people of a faith intend to legislate their beliefs on the entire society, when those beliefs run contrary to the professed tenets of liberty and freedom.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.