Disciple of Thecla
1/23/12 at 07:50 AM 7 Comments

Is there GLBT equality in the eyes of God? The Sacrifice of Jesus and Multiple Contexts for Leviticus 18:22

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There is this false belief that somehow heterosexuals are immune to sexual sin or are somehow automatically assigned to Heaven, just for being heterosexual. With this false belief in mind, some people conclude that homosexuals should also be assigned to Heaven, just for being the way they are. Both groups are prone to sin. Both groups can go to either Heaven or Hell. I will discuss my readings of scripture as well as heterosexual sin, homosexual sin, and equality with heterosexuals and homosexuals in the eyes of God.

In decades past, Christians have unfortunately misused scripture and have selectively-cited scripture to justify their own wants and selfish desires. These people focus upon what they want and refuse to look into what the Bible says. Selective citations and self-serving goals continue to this day.

An advocate of the LBGT lifestyle, Bill Wylie-Kellerman claims that Leviticus 18:22, which forbids homosexual sex, to be merely a law separating Israel from Babylon instead of an absolute. Wylie-Kellerman makes the assumption that homosexuality was forbidden but is now acceptable. God condemned the sins of the Canaanites and Babylonians because those were sins. If they did not sin, then He would not have condemned them. Completely illogical to claim that God would condemn what He considered good.

Now, keep in mind that he uses a selective reading (Leviticus 18:3) but does not use the whole scripture. God would never condemn anything that actually had His approval. God's moral code is absolute and unchangeable. All of the laws and statues that God gave to the Israelites were part of a long-reaching goal to bring humanity closer to the original God-like nature in the Garden.  The logic based upon a selective reading of scripture is skewed. There are more precise references to Canaanite homosexuality later in the Bible.

Leviticus comes right after Exodus, which is after the Ten Commandments yet is before the Israelites begin their march to the promised land. At that time, the Israelites did not necessarily need any laws separating them from other nations. However, the Israelites did in fact need laws regulating their contact among each other. In its scope, Leviticus 18:22 is not a law separating the Israelites from the Canaanites or Babylonians, but a later law to separate them does fall into the umbrella of this verse.

So, in its scope, Leviticus 18:22 does in fact forbid any and all gay sex. Now, we should take a look at what else Leviticus says about sexual sin. 18:6-20 forbids most types of heterosexual sex as well. To insist that the 18:22 prohibition is no longer valid or is not the genuine intention of God would be to insist that the prohibition on incest and adultery (both classified as heterosexual sin) is no longer valid or is not the genuine intention of God.

Now, some of you might cry out "she is comparing homosexuality to incest and pedophila! How bigoted!" Allow me to clear up this fallacy. From what I have learned, homosexual pedophiles rarely (if ever) molest their own children while the majority of heterosexual pedophiles typically do. Incest is more of a heterosexual sin. Most homosexuals that I know personally oppose pedophilia and vow to kill any pedophile they ever see. Now, homosexuality, adultery, incest, and bestiality - all of these are listed in Leviticus 18:6-20, which Kellerman asserts are part of a purity code to separate Israel from Babylon.

Wylie-Kellerman argued the law in Leviticus barring the Israelites from homosexual relations was part of a purity code meant to keep the Israelites separate from Babylon. Because Jesus welcomed the “unclean” to him throughout his life’s ministry and fulfilled the purity code in his body on the cross,

According to Kellerman's interpretation, because the purity code of Leviticus 18:6-20 is now fulfilled and because Jesus died to bring the unclean to Him, everything that was prohibited is now acceptable. This does refer to - or at least strongly imply - homosexuality, adultery, incest, and bestiality because those are included in the prohibitions of the purity code. According to his logic, to state that homosexuality is now acceptable means that those other things prohibited in the purity code are also now acceptable. Now, I do not think Kellerman actually approves of those other things, but this is the conclusion following his logic that what was once unacceptable in Leviticus is now acceptable.

Leviticus is not an outdated purity code, and those prohibitions remain in place. Another law appears later that does separate Israel from Babylon.

In the book of Numbers, the Israelites begin their march to the promised land. Following Numbers, Deuteronomy 23:17 states that "There shall be no qedeshah of the daughters of Israel, or qadesh of the sons of Israel." Qedeshah and qadesh refer to female and male temple prostitutes. Deuteronomy 23:17 is the law actually separating Israel from the other nations because the other nations did have temple prostitutes.

In addition, Deuteronomy 23:17 falls under the umbrella of the Leviticus 18:22 law. Although Leviticus 18:3 says "according to the doings of the land of Canaan where I am bringing you, you shall not do," Deuteronomy 23:17 is the more precise reference to the practices of the Canaanites. However, anyone obeying Leviticus 18:22 would automatically understand that using qadesh is immoral and improper. God never wanted His people to follow the ways of the other lands because the other lands were sinning. If the other lands did not sin, God would not have condemned them.

That Deuteronomy 23:17 - NOT Leviticus 18:22 - is the more precise law separating Israel from other nations is reinforced in 1 Kings 14:24.

"And there were also qadesh in the land. They did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel."

There were male temple prostitutes (homosexuality) in the land. In gendered language, masculine is the default, so there were also female temple prostitutes. This means that both the homosexuals and heterosexuals were committing abominable sins in the eyes of God.

Furthermore, people such as Bill Wylie-Kellerman misuse scripture to advocate gay marriages. With their goal, they imply through their argument that the other nations permitted gay marriages. This shows a lack of historical knowledge. By and large, marriage throughout the Middle East has always been between one man and at least one woman. A man never married another man, and a woman never married another woman. In the Middle East, gay sex was permitted through qadesh. In Greece, gay sex was permitted through men with their younger boyfriends, never male husbands. And those relations were often temporary. The notion of gay marriage would have seemed strange and perverse in those cultures, so citing them to advocate gay marriage is inaccurate and is blinded by bias.

Kellerman also states that "“In Christ, there is neither gay nor straight.” Very true! This false belief exists that homosexuals cannot enter Heaven just for being the way they are. This false belief has no basis in scripture, just as the idea of gay sex now being acceptable lacks any basis in scripture. Scripture affirms that homosexuals can enter Heaven just as heterosexuals can enter Heaven.

Heavily implied in 18:22 is that some of the Israelites were homosexual. This means that God freed them from slavery in Egypt where they complained about the food, rebelled against Moses and Aaron, or helped Joshua take down Jericho. Another freedom from slavery is in the sacrifice on Jesus on the cross to free us from slavery to sin. The freeing of the Israelites from Egypt foreshadows the freeing from sin. because God freed everyone from slavery, God does not consider whether you are heterosexual or homosexual, and all are capable of entering Heaven. Hallelujah!

But the sexual prohibition remains in place! Homosexuals are capable of entering Heaven, but if they sin and refuse to repent from gay sex, then they will go to Hell. Then again, heterosexuals can also go to Hell if they commit sexual sin (1 Corinthians 6:9). Now, there is nothing homophobic about calling gay sex a sin just as there is nothing heterophobic about calling premarital sex a sin. This is the equality between heterosexuals and homosexuals. All are capable of entering either Heaven or Hell. All are capable of accepting Jesus as the savior or denying the salvation of Jesus. All must repent from their sins and cease sinning.

Jesus loves you regardless of whether you are homosexual or heterosexual. All have sinned, and all equally capable of receiving salvation or damnation. Jesus did not die to invalidate some ancient purity code. In fact, Mathew 19:1-12 is a complimentary passage to Leviticus 18:6-23. God the Father states what we can not do while the Son of God states what we can do. Father forbid all sex acts outside of heterosexual marriage while the Son stated that acceptable sex can only occur within heterosexual marriage. Jesus died on the cross to cleanse believers from their sins and to atone for their sins. Repeatedly, the apostles emphasized the need to repent from sin and to cease sinning (Acts 3:19).  To say otherwise goes against scripture.

"What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin continue any longer in it?" (Romans 6:1-2)

"Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be indeed dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you obey it in its lusts." (Romans 6:11-12)

"What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!" (Romans 6:15)

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