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More Mindless Misotheists Mangling Scripture

Jun 18, 2017

Having debated atheists, homosexual activists, and hard-core lefties for many decades now, I find that there is nothing new under the sun coming from these guys. We just get the same old tired objections which have been answered multiple times, but they keep dragging these things up, thinking they are somehow making a new and challenging argument.

They actually think they are laying a knock-out blow when they open their mouths, but all they do is shoot themselves in the foot, showing how woefully ignorant and utterly out of touch they are with the issues at hand. You would think that they would give up with these tired and totally debunked clichés they toss around, but nope – they keep them coming.

scripture twistingConsider a comment that just came in to my website from some guy who seemed to think he really had me pinned down on an issue. It was in response to a piece I had written on homosexuality, and his really poor comment came in – one which is so typical of how the other side “argues”.

It was an entirely vacuous and useless “comment” and just another example of the paucity of argument and reasoning found on the other side. They are unable to string together a rational argument or actually make any sense. Instead they just throw out the tired old red herrings, straw men and non sequiturs.

And it gets real scary when these guys think they are some sort of biblical experts, or some sort of authority on all things theological. It is simply embarrassing to see what these guys cough up. Consider this comment which I of course did not post on my site (it was also an anonymous comment, which is contrary to my rules):

Can we truly trust what is expressed in Holy Scriptures?
Take this for example,
The Bible suggests homosexuality is an abomination. Twenty or so lines after it suggests eating crayfish (crustaceans) is also an abomination.
Well… you just got prankd

Um, sorry, not quite bud. I can’t even say, ‘Nice try’ because you didn’t even get close to saying anything remotely sensible, rational or effective in seeking to make your case. Simply regurgitating third-hand clichés by the militant homosexual activists does nothing to make your case, and being clueless about what you are talking about is not very flattering either.

Not only has this guy got everything wrong here, but he has no idea where in the Bible these things can be found, if indeed they can be. Nor would he likely even know which Testament they might be found in – if he even knows the Bible is made up of more than one Testament!

So let me try to help him out here a bit, since he clearly is really struggling in all of this. He may have in mind some prohibitions found in the book of Leviticus. That is in the Old Testament mate, the third book in from the beginning, in case you are having trouble finding it.

Homosexuality is twice mentioned in the book: in Leviticus 18:22 and in 20:13. The only talk about ‘crayfish’ is not found 20 verses later – not even close. In a much different section (Lev. 11:10-11 to be precise) we do find a discussion about this. The prohibitions of homosexuality are part of what is known as the Holiness code – it is found in Lev. 17-26 (some include chapter 27 as well).

I have often explained these matters, including in my book Strained Relations. Let me quote from part of it here:

In Lev. 11-15 we find laws concerning the clean and unclean. In Lev. 17-26 we find what is known as the “Holiness Code”. These are the main chapters dealing with holy and unholy, pure and impure, clean and unclean…. Israel was to be a holy and clean people before the Lord. It was also to be clearly distinguished from the surrounding cultures. That in part explains the various laws about distinction, division, and separation. Holiness always implies separation, being set apart from that which is unholy, and devoted to that which is holy.

As Bruce Waltke explains, “The Israelites were commanded not to mix seeds or crops and not to mix different types of cloth in sewing. Therefore, the theme of purity was worked into the everyday life of the Israelites and safeguarded them from mixing their human seed with pagans. These purity laws inculcated the notion of holiness so that Israel would learn that they were to be a pure people, set apart for God.”

Or as John Goldingay puts it, “Israel’s holiness lies in distinctively belonging to Yhwh. Distinguishing holy and ordinary, and also pure and taboo, then contributes to its manifesting its distinctiveness over against other people. . . . Israel’s observance of these distinctions is an expression of its accepting its position as a people that God has distinguished from the rest of the world.”

And one must bear in mind the differences between the realm of the clean/unclean, and the realm of the holy/profane. Ceremonial uncleanness was particularly associated with Israel in Old Testament times, while moral holiness is forever enjoined upon all peoples. Thus while it is true that we are no longer under the ceremonial and civil laws of ancient Israel, the moral laws remain. As Allen Ross explains, “To be free from the regulations of the law is not a license to be free from obeying what the law revealed.” He continues,

“The New Testament makes this very clear: moral imperfections and impurities – that is, the sinful activities that rendered a person unclean in the Old Testament – are still sinful in the new covenant and still require repentance and confession and forgiveness in order to comply with God’s standard of holiness. It is folly – it is dishonest – to argue that because the purification regulations of Old Testament Israel were fulfilled by the death of Christ, the sins listed in Leviticus are no longer sins.”

And Ross reminds us of the differences between the ceremonial and moral when we consider the means of absolution: “Homosexuality was never merely part of the purity problem that sanctuary ritual covered; it was a major offense for which there was no ritual law – it required forgiveness because it violated the moral code.”

Thus the Old Testament dietary laws were provisional and temporary, designed for ancient Israel, while the laws on human sexuality are absolute and permanent, applying to all peoples in all places at all times. As Peter Saunders summarises in his own article on this issue: “So Christians can eat shellfish, in fact they can eat all foods, but they cannot have sex outside marriage. And that includes homosexual sex.”

So the next time you hear some guy throwing around the red furphy about not eating crayfish and the like, you know where they are coming from, and you know how to answer them. They may think they are being so very clever, but they simply reveal their ignorance and irrationality.

Let me conclude by making this sad observation: we of course expect militant homosexuals and raging atheists to throw around this sort of foolishness and demonstrate such appalling biblical ignorance. But the regrettable thing is far too many clueless Christians are in the same camp.

They should know better, but instead of carefully studying the Word of God, they just rehash brainless clichés and objections thrown around by atheists, theological revisionists, and homosexual activists. Shame on them. They need to either get with the program and do some careful Bible reading and theological study, or stop pretending they are followers of Christ.

pjsaunders.blogspot.com.au/2013/04/why-christians-may-eat-shellfish-but.html

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5 Responses to More Mindless Misotheists Mangling Scripture

  • Hi Bill, it’s great to getting back into dealing with our “theologically impoverished” LGBT community friends. I fully understand that they never give up trying to defend their position through blatant ignorance of Scripture, however, because some of them hold key positions within government, education, and industry, we have to be ever vigilant. Particularly in Western Society, the Christian way of life is under more threat than ever before. Bill, I hope you don’t get too miffed with me for diverting off topic. In the O.T. food laws, I have understood the dangers that were present with eating pork with their bacterial worm infestations in that time & culture. I am curious as to why crustaceans were prohibited. Putting on your O.T. theology hat, was there a public health risk for people consuming crustaceans in that time and it that culture? Regards, Kel.

  • Thanks Kelvin. Biblical scholars have offered various reasons why some foods were prohibited for ancient Israel, and these have included possible health concerns. Some have said shellfish are scavengers and may be carriers of parasites, etc. Someone just said on another site that shellfish are high in cholesterol. I am not a nutritionist so I cannot reply to that.

    As to Christians today, if some want to avoid certain foods for health reasons I have no problem with that. Those who would seek to put all believers under a new legalism however I would take issue with. Jesus made it clear in Matthew 15:11 and Paul in Romans 14, etc., that all foods are to be received with thanksgiving.

  • You say this is complete foolishness, Bill but this is the exact argument many in the Church of England have used.

    For those who need a simple rule we see the English translations saying that these (food law) things were to be an abomination “to you” i.e. specifically the Jews under Moses. This is opposed to homosexuality, which is in fact the first unconditional abomination as described from Jehovah’s own words direct to Moses, mentioned anywhere in the scriptures. There are no ifs, buts or conditions. Homosexuality is simply detestable which of course in modern vernacular makes Jehovah “homophobic.” This is an issue that people will have no choice but to come down on one side or the other.

    If you look at the words used here הֵמָּה הֵם (hem hemmah) this is an emphasis that we can link back to the word הָמָה (hamah) meaning to make a load sound. The whole purpose of these laws was to emphasize the separateness of the Jews and keep them as a separate example for all time. There had to be a “loud” distinction otherwise the Jews would have been absorbed into the other cultures as has happened with other small groups.

    There also were very good reasons to not eat crawling things out of the waters given the normal issues with waste disposal and of course we have Peter’s vision in Acts 10 calling unclean foods now clean. We have no such direction anywhere in the scriptures making the unconditional abominations and immoral practices from the Old Testament clean. If this were the case then adultery, bestiality and incest would also now be clean.

    The whole modern idea that there is no purpose to morality and that morality is simply arbitrary and we have no right to democratically impose morality is extraordinarily wrong but while people are conditioned to not listen to arguments on the basis that those making the arguments are “bigoted” then of course, that untruth is allowed to stand and have influence and allows laws to be made based on that lie.

    Of course the other big argument made is that if animals do it then it must be OK.

    Rom 1:22 Professing to be wise, they became fools
    Rom 1:23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man, and birds, and four-footed animals, and creeping things.
    Rom 1:24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves. (MKJV)

    To those that understand, the idea that we now know better than God what sin is and are now able to declare what God has called evil good and good evil, is in fact the highest form of idolatry. This is exactly what Satan did. This is man putting himself in the position of God. When you see situations such as in the U.S. where a Satanic church blessed an abortion clinic and shortly afterwards we see a group of Episcopalians including a lesbian priest doing likewise, then anyone with knowledge of the truth should be able to see where these things are coming from. This is exactly having a form of godliness but denying God’s power and authority. The argument that the problems with homosexuality were simply cultural fits exactly into the prophecies given to us to warn us such as those that relate to the “Whore of Babylon” who contains “all” of the abominations of the Earth. Any claims that this relates to the Catholic Church (who of course deny that that they worship Mary) pales to absolute and complete insignificance compared to this level of idolatry. The idea that Mary adoration contains “all of the abominations of the Earth” is in fact quite sick when you look at the actual abominations that Episcopalians and others are now blessing.

  • If I recall correctly, Acts 15:18-20 and 23-29 says that non-Jews/Gentiles do not have to follow all the Old Testament laws but the Leviticus sexual prohibitions still apply. And that rules out homosexuality and some others.

  • A thought-provoking contribution to the understanding of the original significance of the dietary prescriptions and prohibitions in Leviticus and Deuteronomy is that of anthropologist, Mary Douglas in her Purity and Danger (1966), especially Chapter 3, “The Abominations of Leviticus”. The classification of fauna into clean and unclean categories apparently has deeper didactic meanings under the Old Testament order than it being a matter of mere niceties of ritual purity… Ceremonial matters need not be empty traditions, if their symbolisms and deeper meanings are accurately understood and taught to the participants.

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