"Execute gays," said Pastor Steven Anderson on a radio show, which he also filmed for YouTube. The Christian Post has been gracious enough to provide the hour-long video within its article about Pastor Anderson. Anderson refers to Leviticus 20:13 to support that gays should be executed. I watched part of the YouTube, then I paused it to write, but then when I returned to it, the videos were inoperable. Anderson actually sounds nice, sincere, and sensible; the sensibility, however, is cut short with legalism. Jesus disdains legalism.
This should be a short blog as I provide some information. For anyone who has been reading this for a while, it might seem repetitive; for new readers, this might intrigue you. I hope Pastor Steven Anderson reads this and considers this information. If he is truly sincere, then he will consider these scripture. How Jesus behaved in the New Testament tells us how we should behave as followers of Jesus, so I will go through the OT into the NT and then explain His actions according to the OT.
Old Testament scripture:
"If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. they shall surely be put to death. their blood shall be upon them." (Leviticus 20:13)
That certainly sounds simple and straightforward, does it not? But wait! There is more!
"The man who commits adultery with another man's wife, he who commits adultery with his neighbor's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death." (Leviticus 20:10)
The same punishment for gay people and straight people. At least there is that. Gay people and straight people are punished the same - treated the same - if they sin according to their inclination to sin. Okay, so what did Jesus do regarding this issue?
In John 8, Jesus forgave and pardoned the adulteress. The Pharisees came to Him and said, "Now Moses in the law commanded us that such should be stoned." (John 8:5, Leviticus 20:10) Actually, Leviticus 20 does not state how these sinners be killed, but anyway... Jesus said, "he who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first." (John 8:7)
When all those sinful men left, Jesus pardoned the woman and told her to stop sinning, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more." (John 8:11)
Now, the law did state she should have been killed. Jesus did indeed "break the Law," so to speak. Actually, I wonder where the man was who should have been caught in adultery with her. The Pharisees should have had brought the other culprit, but the other person is mysteriously absent. Pharisees probably had some personal motivation for letting the other person go.
Jesus has no personal motivation except His own righteousness. Jesus is never a legalist. Jesus sees that she is repentant, so He pardons her and tells her to stop sinning. (John 8:11)
"I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance." (Luke 5:32)
Even so, Jesus clearly went against the Law because the Law did state that she should have been killed. Jesus also acknowledged that she had been sinning when he told her "sin no more," implying that she stop her previous sins. Jesus discarded Leviticus 20 and kept Leviticus 18.
Why is this?
There are some big differences between Leviticus 18 and 20. Leviticus 18 is heavy-handed on calling the sins listed abominations and declaring "I am the LORD your God." Leviticus 20 is not so much. The only authoritative command from God within the punishments listed in chapter 20 is:
"Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am the LORD your God." (Leviticus 20:7)
Leviticus 18 is really intriguing and fascinating. Lev 18 is the only chapter in which the structure itself educates the reader of God's moral code. God used the phrase "I am the LORD your God" extensively. 18:2, 4, 5, 6 for the intro. 18:30 for the conclusion. God refers to all the sins listed as abominations extensively in the conclusion. 18:26, 27, 29, 30.
The sins listed within Lev 18 is enclosed with God's proclamation of authority. Lev 20 does not have this proclamation. The only proclamation within the punishment list is the command to be holy. Because the sin list is enclosed by an intro and conclusion, and because God refers to all the sins as abominations, all the sins there are pretty much the same in God's eyes. Therefore, you can substitute one sin for another and get the same result; when considering what to do about a particular sinner whose sin is in Lev 18, you can take a look at how Jesus reacted to other sinners whose sins are also listed in Leviticus 18.
The only way to call out the sinfulness of homosexuals is to call out the sinfulness of heterosexuals. In order to declare gay sex a sin with any scriptural backing, we must declare the sinfulness of heterosexuals because God considers them all the same as stated through the structure of Leviticus 18.
In John 8, when Jesus pardoned the adulteress, He overturned the entire death penalty for all sexual sin. Jesus was able to do this for two reasons.
- 1) Leviticus 20 did not have God's proclamation of authority backing it.
- 2) Because all the sex sins in Leviticus 18 are enclosed within an intro and conclusion, what applies to one applies to another, and they are all the same in God's eyes. Replace the adulteress with a lesbian, and you get the same reaction, the same response.
Leviticus 18 is a really fascinating chapter because its own structure tells the reader about God's moral code and how God views sexual sin. I should type it up and post it sometime, but not today. Because of this, readers, we can take any passage whether Jesus deals with adultery and either forgives or condemns adultery, and apply it to gays and lesbians. In figuring out what to do, we can take a verse, substitute the adultery with gay sex, and see what we should do and how we should react according to scripture.
This way, we can point to scripture and say that "yes, gay sex is a sin," without hate or condemnation. This way, the only way we can affirm gay sex as a sin with a scriptural backing is to acknowledge and admit the sinfulness of heterosexuals. This acknowledgment removes any potential for hatred or bigotry. This acknowledgment humbles the Christian and lets Christians know they are also sinners in need of saving grace. Once they realize they are also sinners, then they can strive for holiness with the power of the Holy Spirit to cleanse them of their own sin nature. With this realization, Christians can warn against sin, encourage love and repentance, and strive for holiness with the power of God's Holy Spirit.
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