I don't mean to upset people, I really don't. And I'd never intentionally upset a guy like Eaglewood, who seems like an extraordinarily nice man, a loving husband and a good father.
But today, he holy-rolled his way off my blog in a righteous snit, claiming that I was attempting to portray him as a hypocrite.
For the record, I did not call Eaglewood a hypocrite and never would. I simply asked him a question:
If Christians are going to use a law from Leviticus to show that homosexuals are living in a state of sin inconsistent with a repentant Christian, how can they claim to be any different when Leviticus contains many other laws they admit to ignoring themselves?
Homosexuality is quite clearly forbidden under Levitical law. Here is the verse that Erik, another contributor, posted as proof that homosexuality is a sin:
"Lev 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it [is] abomination.Lev 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination"
You can't argue with that. Under Levitical law, two guys doing it is wrong as wrong can be.
But curiously enough, there are other laws in Leviticus, laws Christians never mention and certainly don't follow. Here are a few:
In the 12th chapter of Leviticus, a woman is considered unclean seven days after having a boy child, and fourteen days after having a girl child. (As an aside, I'd love it if one of you folks who so revere Leviticus can tell me why a woman is twice as "unclean" after bearing a daughter than a son, especially given that the process for birthing either is identical.)
In Leviticus 20, it say if a married couple has sex while a woman is menstruating, they must both be banished from the community. Leviticus 20 also calls for both parties in adultery to be executed.
I was surprised to learn that not only is homosexuality an abomonation, but so is the consumption of shellfish:
Leviticus 11:10 - 12 And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you. They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination. Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.
Oh yes, my dumplings, it appears that there are enough Levitical laws to go around.
So I asked Eaglewood - since Christians often cite Levitical law to prove that homosexuality is a sin - whether he himself followed Levitical law. He said he doesn't on the grounds that it was "impossible." Besides, he said, as a born-again Christian, he's exempt from Levitical law.
That's where I get confused. Christians use the Levitical reference time and time again to back up the claim that gays are living in state of sin and are, therefore, not True Christians. But ask them if they follow Levitical laws themselves and - even as they admit they don't - they get offended if you ask them how this makes them any more Christian than the gays. After all, if the Christian takes his church group to the Red Lobster for the shrimp special, that's the Levitical equivelant of going in a bathhouse.
So really, unless True Christians are going to follow Levitical law themselves, they need to stop using Leviticus as an example when condemning homosexuality.
Now, the New Testament does address homosexuality. In Romans, Paul rebuked the practice of same sex activity. But there's some controversy about whether Paul was talking about homosexuality or binging Pagan temple sex rituals into God's house. I guess it depends on what you believe - or what you want to believe.
But the New Testament also contains a lot of obscure rules that Christians don't seem to talk about, and certainly don't seem interested in following.
First Corinthians 11 says if a woman enters church with her head uncovered, it must be shaved. First Corinthians 14 commands women to be silent in the church.
First Corinthians 7 says that if a man is single, he should stay single. If he's "loosed" from his wife, he shouldn't seek another.
These are inconvenient requirements, especially if you're a talkative woman who likes to show off her hair, or if you're divorced. Of course, Christians dodge these rules with the convenient cry of "They weren't meant for us! These rules are out of context!"
Others will say that since they live by grace, they laws aren't so important any more. But if grace covers a woman who continually refuses to cover her head, or a man who remarries after un-Biblically divorcing his wife for someone else, wouldn't it also cover two gay guys living together? Under that definition of grace, you can't say they are any less Christian, can you?
Wouldn't it be nice if , rather than applying Biblical rules to others while weaseling out of the ones we don't like, we could just try and love one another? That's the one commandment that everyone can understand. I can see studying the Bible and trying to live within the law yourself, but given that some of it is so open to inerpretation, it seems a fool's errand to rush to apply it to others.
I'm light years away from being as good as I'd like to be. But I'm working on it. I admire people who think they've spirutally arrived at a superior place from which they can coach others. I admit to not being there yet. I'm merely a traveler. But I rather like the view from my simple path. I feel far closer to God when listening for His voice than I ever could if I spent my time screaming in someone else's ear.
If I'm off base on this, and I may be, I'd love to hear your perspectives...
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