A Planet Full of Sexual Pirates

A commenter in the earlier post about Exodus International is checking to see if I am ashamed of Leviticus 20:13 yet, which I am not. But before proceeding, let me quote that verse in full.

“If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them” (Lev. 20:13).

This passage is the Word of God, and before moving on to how we are to receive and apply it today, let us — by which I mean all Christians who believe the Scripture — affirm that this law, as originally given, was holy, righteous, and good. This means that in the time of Moses, if a homosexual acted out his impulses, doing what is here forbidden, and was caught in that deed, and was duly tried and executed, no injustice whatever was done. This law, along with the rest of God’s law, teaches us what holiness means. To apologize for it, or to refuse to talk about it, because the perpetrators of unholy deeds today might find it offensive, is to contribute heavily to the lostness of a very lost generation.

So what about today? How should passages like Lev. 20:13 be received and applied? There are legitimate secondary questions that arise from this, like what the ideal law would be in a postmillennial republic. I have written about this elsewhere, but our chief task is to get there, and not so much to speculate about what it might be like when we do. And so how are we to get there? The answer is gospel, and nothing but gospel, and passages like Lev. 20:13 (unapologized for) play a key role in this.

Taking the flow of redemptive history into account, the central use of such passages must be evangelistic, which they cannot be if we spend our time being sorry about their existence. The law condemns sinners, and convinces them that they are under the just sentence of God’s holy wrath. This wrath manifestly includes those who pursue the unnatural lust that leads to same sex copulation. God hates it, and because He hates it, He will condemn to Hell those who live this way without repentance and faith in Jesus.

This means that execution for homosexual behavior is not passé. It still happens, and when it happens — at the hand of our most holy God — it is a judgment that is righteous and good. And without repentance, the sentence will fall on everyone who sins in this way, and it would be better to have the Grand Tetons fall on you than that. The wrath of the Lamb will be as furious as His blood was red. And unlike Leviticus, this sentence is forever.

“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections . . . who, knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them” (Rom. 1: 26, 32).

Note that Paul is echoing the teaching of the law here, in complete agreement with Moses, and he is telling us about it in terms of what we deserve. This is not necessarily what we get, but it is most certainly what we deserve to get.

Another passage like it is found in 1 Corinthians, and it gives us some additional guidance on how we are to treat sins in the time of the new covenant, if those sins were also capital crimes in the time of the old covenant.

Paul says this:

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither . . . effeminate [catamites], nor abusers of themselves with mankind [sodomites] . . . shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:9, 11).

And such were some of you. Paul gives us a list of sins, a number of which were capital offenses under Moses, and he tells the saints at Corinth that a number of them used to live this way. But they were accepted by God now; they were now saints. They were cleansed, washed, holy. They were justified — declared righteous. He does not argue that because they had this guilty past, they were now required to go throw themselves off a bridge. They deserved death, but the mercy of God had now arrived in Christ. But note — the arrival of mercy in Christ did not mean that this guilty past wasn’t really a guilty past.

The giving of the law under Moses was a rough tutelage, designed to teach holiness to a planet full of sexual pirates. When the time was fulfilled,God sent His Son to be a sin offering in order to accomplish what the law — however holy it was — could not accomplish. The holiness of the law could not make us love the law of holiness. But what the law could not do, seeing that it was undone by our lusts, God did by sending His Son in the form of a sinful man. And He took on this body in order to make an excruciating death on a cross of wood possible. This is something He did for sodomites.

Get that? The new era arrived, but it was not a new era because we finally realized that homosexuals didn’t deserve to die because of their alternative life choices. Of course they deserved to die, and they deserved it precisely because of those choices.

I should also note that it is de rigueur these days for all good Christians to hasten to say at this point that heterosexuals are big, fat sinners as well, also deserving of death for their corruptions and misdeeds. And if you are asking me to say this because it is the truth of God, I am happy to do so. It is the truth of God, as amply demonstrated by the rest of those lists in Romans and Corinthians. But if you are asking me to do so in an attempt to pull the punch in what I am saying about homosexuality, I am not going to do it. Not the right time. Practicing homosexuals deserve to die, and without repentance they will die everlastingly, under the horrific sentence of the Lord Jesus. Depart from me, He will say, you workers of iniquity. The doctrine of Hell cannot be understood as an instance of God walking Leviticus back. No, it is more like Leviticus everlasting.

And if you want to accuse Him of eschatological hate crimes, remember He is the same one who died on the cross so that we might have the tremendous privilege of offering free forgiveness, free grace, and imputed righteousness to homosexuals everywhere. Friend, the reason Jesus died on the cross is precisely because your sodomy is worthy of death. He died there so that we might have the great joy of telling you here that the sentence of death you so richly deserve has already been executed. God made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf. Jesus died so that we might rejoice to say . . . and such were some of you.

We know this, in part, because of the passage in Leviticus, and others like it. Backing away from such passages is backing away from a possibility of salvation for those trapped in same sex lust. The demand that we back away from this is a demand for us to stop loving homosexuals, and to start hating them. The homosexual movement, as it is playing out in America today, is a loud concerted demand that the church agree  together that God’s revealed pattern of law and grace is not for homosexuals. Unbelievably, many quarters of the church are going along with it — withholding the gospel from homosexuals in the name of loving them.

Now what I have written above is the grand theme of the New Testament. It is all gospel, and that is what we were told to lead with. This message is what we are to use to tear down strongholds. When we do that, we may turn our attention to other lesser matters. So why needn’t the blood of a homosexual be upon him, as Leviticus says? The short answer is because the blood of someone else is on him.

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76 thoughts on “A Planet Full of Sexual Pirates

  1. “all Christians who believe the Scripture”

    I just pause my reading here to remark on how sad it is that you have to add the qualifying clause, in what should be a tautology.

    But you do, because it isn’t.

  2. Mr. Wilson,

    Greg Bahnsen argues against this and says it really should be literally applied today. You say, “Paul didn’t tell them to go throw themselves off a bridge.” Well of course; it was the job of the state, not the individual to execute judgment. The Roman state was rebellious and wasn’t executing judgment in this way, but it should have, according to theonomy.

    And couldn’t this argument be applied to murderers and rapists? In this new covenant era, we shouldn’t really execute them. Just replace all of the references above with “murderer” or “rapist” and there you go.

  3. Seth, I made a point here of not saying what I think the law should be in a hypothetical biblical republic down the road. Not because I am ashamed of what I think — I have stated it elsewhere — but because I think the above the thrust of the NT message.

  4. Thank you, Doug, for not compromising one bit on this issue. This is a biblical model for other Christians, especially younger gospel ministers, like myself. God bless you.

  5. This is true. Rapists and murders are also so condemned. Yet all have sinned and all have fallen short of the glory of God. None of this is OK and unless we all repent and confess all our sins. And rely on the Mercy and salvation of the blood of Jesus. Then we will all spend eternity away from the Lord. My point is share Jesus in love and truth. Not what we want to believe but the Word of God.

  6. If the appropriate punishment for other capital crimes like murder, rape, or infanticide has not changed, is there any reason that the sexual crimes would receive different punishments now?

  7. This blog posts reminds me why I stopped believing in the christian god long before I stopped believing in god altogether. You people believe that it is righteous and holy to kill people for engaging in consensual sexual activity, of which your god does not approve. To me that is sickening. You have a moral viewpoint that sanctions murder, slavery and rape – because your god told you that under some circumstances such actions are morally okay. Thankfully for me I have been able to leave your god behind and make moral choices for myself. In my moral universe it is never okay to kill someone because of their consensual sexual activities. I am happy to leave your god behind.

  8. Thanks Wilson.

    It is absolutely crazy that this is even a topic of discussion. It is crystal clear to any honest reader of the Bible that unrepentant Homosexuals will not inherit the Kingdom. Any “Christian” who compromises on this issue is not in line with the Scriptures. The most loving thing to do is warn the Homosexual of the certain death that will follow.

  9. Good job, Doug, in hiding your views on Leviticus 20:13

    II made a point here of not saying what I think the law should be.

    But of course the question that I have repeatedly asked you to answer was precisely that — What do you think the law should be?

    Most of your followers who read this post will believe that you answered the question by saying, “I do not believe that homosexuals should be executed according to the command in Leviticus 20:13.” Which is completely false. You believe that homosexuals should be executed and they would be if you got your way.

    Of course, I might be mistaken about this. Maybe you’ve changed your mind. If so, why not say so?

    I think its time to clear this all up by “saying what I think the law should be.”

  10. “This means that execution for homosexual behavior is not passé. It still happens, and when it happens — at the hand of our most holy God — it is a judgment that is righteous and good.”

    Can you clarify what you are referring to here? There seems to be some innuendo and dog-whistles, but it comes along with the typical plausible deniability. I would prefer if you actually spelled out an example of the “it still happens” thing that you are referring to as “righteous and good”.

  11. I do think that there is some relevance in this passage:

    “They said to him, ‘Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?’ He said to them, ‘Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.’”

  12. I made a point here of not saying what I think the law should be in a hypothetical biblical republic down the road. Not because I am ashamed of what I think — I have stated it elsewhere.

    Could you provide a link to what you have said elsewhere, or say what you “think the law should be” here? (If you can’t find a link or are too ashamed of what you think to repeat it here, I’ll find a link or a quote of your previous statements for you),

  13. Jonathan,

    In context, it seemed fairly clear to me like the “it still happens” is referring to the eternal application of a death sentence by God himself at death. (Read the sentence immediately following the one you’re asking about.) In other words, while cultures don’t necessarily apply the death penalty to homosexual sin, God still does. He does so eternally, and it is righteous and good that He does so.

  14. @ jonathan : Of course there is relevance in the passage, it is scripture, after all. He is explaining the relevance of case law, as it had developed during the time of Israel. Understand that even though the law prescribes the just punishment, that punishment is not always carried out, even by a just judge. Circumstance, leniency and pardon are available to the judge as well. It doesn’t lessen the prescribed result for breaking the particular law.

  15. Steve,

    I have another post on this coming up, in which I will state my position (again), and quote profusely from previous times of not getting through.

  16. Rich, that’s not at all how I read it the first time, but with your guidance I can see that interpretation easier now. I think the statement has the right dog-whistles, but yes, Pastor Wilson will give your interpretation if challenged.

  17. I have a sincere question:

    Does the Body turn a capital offender over to the law for criminal prosecution and execution?

    So if there is a member of the body who shoots somebody or rapes somebody or sodomizes somebody (maybe that last one was even “consensual,” ha) and then comes clean, confesses, repents, etc, is it the responsibility of the body to turn that person over to the secular legal system for execution?

    Maybe this is a case-by-case thing?

    I have been mulling this over for a while, and I want counsel.

    RK

  18. Both St. Paul and Pastor Wilson were writing in a society in which the State does not enforce Biblical law for Biblical crimes. So we can say people guilty of sodomy, kidnapping, or reviling parents DESERVE execution, but they aren’t going to get it. This is God’s mercy, that they can repent and escape both temporal and eternal punishment.

    A postmill Biblical law order might punish sodomy with death, after a fair trial and with witnesses, but in order to get to such a society you’d have to convert so many people to Christianity that the chances of that happening would be very low.

  19. Thanks for using the word “trapped” because this topic does demonstrate that the “will” is truly in bondage to the fallen desires of human nature.

  20. Doug,

    I look forward reading your next post on this topic, as you address Steve Wells’ concern on whether or not homosexuals ought to be put to death. Although, Steve doesn’t seem to realize that the law calls for this to be done in accordance with stare decisis due process (Dt 17:8-13), and not as an autonomous vigilante mob in Jn 8:1-11 against the decree of Caesar (Jn 18:31) as Jerusalem’s “judge” (Dt 17:9,10-12; Ro 13:1-2) or civil authority.

    Paul in writing to the church in Rome, writes that Christians should not count on Jesus’ atonement to necessarily save them from God’s wrath from the State if they are found by the State who do not bear the sword for nothing against evil doers (Romans 13:3-4).

    Knowing this, Paul says before the State and his accusers who want the State to execute him for committing capital offenses that if he has committed a sin worthy of death, then he does not refuse to die by the State (Ac 25:10-11) — rather than refusing to be put to death by the State if he has committed a sin because after all Paul is a repentant Christian who has the blood of Jesus on him.
    When you write Statements like “Why needn’t the blood of a homosexual be upon him as Leviticus says? … because the blood of someone else is on him,” then it seems like that you could have also just as written: “Why needn’t the blood of a homosexual be upon an abortion doctor like Kermit Gosnell as Leviticus says… because the blood of someone else in on has the blood on him.”

    Although not necessarily true in strict logical fashion from what you have written in this article, your position is sufficiently ambiguous to that reasonable folks would understandably seem to translate that you are saying that even though a Christian 3000+ years after Moses should communicate that a person is still obligated to not lie with a person of his same sex, and just as Gosnell is obligated to not murder children; in contrast, the Christian need not communicate that the civil authorities who bear the sword do not need (or are without obligation) to put evil doers like homosexuals or Dr. Gosnell and other abortion doctors to death (in a nation’s due process as the Law in Dt 17:8-13 calls for).

    I hope you are not meaning to say this, but even so, if you do contradict Greg Bahnsen’s claim that the Bible teaches that Leviticus as all of Scripture is a standard for civil magistrates to follow as God’s prescriptive will under the New Covenant (and I hope you are not contradicting Bahnsen), then you would at least be forthcoming about that so that Steve Wells doesn’t have opportunity to Congratulate you for hiding/concealing the truth on your views as it pertains to punishment inflicted by one’s society (via the State) as stated in Leviticus 20:13.

    As for Steve Wells, my prayer is not that he would be for the sake of ridicule tallying up those Christians who do not follow the soft-Marcionist doctrine of we don’t need to worry about the God of wrath Levitical judicial passages so much (just consign that for God’s standard for the final judgment, rather than also being the standard for civil magistrates as His ministers of wrath per Ro 13), but just focus on the New Covenant’s God of love passages in the New Testament.
    Instead, my prayer is that Steve by God’s grace would repent and believe that as Paul wrote, God is just, His law is just, and justly justifies the repentant sinner through Jesus Christ who necessarily/always saves those from God’s from wrath in before the ultimate/final judgment (even though in God’s sovereignty and decretive will, God does not necessarily apply the blood of Jesus to repentant sinners to save them from His wrath through His ministers of wrath against evil doers, per Paul’s warning to the church in Rome in Ro 13).

  21. Doug, your flip answer seems to assume that unless one believes in god there can be no basis for moral behaviour. I was fortunate enough to develop the capacity to put my self in the place of others. I can imagine the pain and the hurt caused not only to the executed but to their families and loved ones. This ability to put myself in the place of the other, what your jesus referred to loving your brother as your self, is the reason why I would care. From an evolutionary perspective, groups of humans that developed basic rules, like no murder, no rape, no stealing, would lessen the amount of stress they had to undergo in their daily lives, which in turn makes it more likely for those groups to sucessfully bear and raise children. One does not need a supreme being for the existence of “good“ just evolution.

  22. @Fernando: in other words, on your worldview you may ‘choose’ to ‘care’. But your ‘choice’ is nothing more than the result of chemical collisions. Neither is your ‘care’ more than a certain feeling brought about by chemical collisions.

    People who choose to not ‘care’ in the same way as you do also have their own chemical collisions to back up their argument.

    So what you are really saying amounts to “My chemical collisions are better than yours”.

  23. Since you believe the Bible is infallible, I would like you to note that in fact that one Book in the Old Testament contains many, many laws, the vast majority I’m sure which you violate. If you demand others must follow these laws, I’m sure you plan on following all o them to the letter. You know, because it’s the inerrant word of God, you can’t just pick and choose.
    1. Don’t cut your hair nor shave. (Leviticus 19:27) You don’t look like some shaggy hippy to me.
    2. Psychics, wizards, and so on are to be stoned to death. (Leviticus 20:27), I don’t see you clamoring for this one either.
    3. People who have flat noses, or is blind or lame, cannot go to an altar of God (Leviticus 21:17-18), Gee I hope you throw out all the ugly and disabled people in your church. After all, this is God’s decision, not yours.
    4. Don’t mix wool and cotton (Leviticus 19:19) Given the fact you’re wearing modern clothes, I know you’ve violated that one. It’s funny, you demand everyone else follow only the verses you pick and choose, not the actual letter of the Bible. Maybe some Biblical scholarship and a lot less hypocrisy might do you good.

  24. Henrybish-
    Maybe that is the case. However, just because you “believe” in the truth of free will doesn’t mean we have free will. Cognitive Neuroscience is a very young and rapidly growing field that may answer some of these questions. However, a philosopher I read but cannot for the life of me remember makes a very nice argument that free will or not, it’s pointless to behave as if outcomes are predetermined. The point you’re making is a very important one, logically, it follows that if we’re all matter, than everything we do is pre-determined just as an object will accelerate 32 feet per second, per second when dropped. However, how we should act upon that is still one of the most important questions in philosophy and by no means resolved.

  25. Hey Doug. You seem to like seeing blood spilled. You should check likeleak.com out. It has some pretty good pictures and videos of beheadings, public stonings and the like. I know it must be rough not being able to publicly smash in the heads of “queers” until their brains are leaking out of their ears, so perhaps this will satisfy you a little.
    Cheers!

    Here’s a good video of a stoning. It’s fiction but it’s a nice portrayal that I’m sure you’ll enjoy.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_DFbw4IW-s

    Of course, none of this will compare to what Jesus has in store for these people, right? We’d have to show clips of the Nazi death camps , but even that would be like a walk in the park.

    Praise God for His Goodness!

  26. Very interesting, well-written and certainly solidly, bilbically grounded. Always interesting to see people try to argue for an agreed upon morality with nothing other than subjective, evolved “feelings” to support that such a thing could actually occur. Makes me think of the monkeys typing and eventully producing a Shakespearean play :-)

    The idea of consquences for “sin” and the possibility that no fair, merciful God could possibly exact penalties for said willful behavior is simply beyond those ears to hear and hearts to understand until a sovereign God chooses to open them. The attempt to compare a just God to Nazis and terrorists is such a desperate reach for comparison but perhaps that desperation will eventually lead to an intellectully honest search for the Creator of all things.

  27. @ James

    I support the death penalty for murder. Do you?

    If so, does that mean you want to sit around and see prisoners executed all the time? I doubt it.

    Grow up and stop trolling.

    Also read the Commedia by Dante. It’s one of the greatest works of literature ever written. And it would probably help you.

    A lot.

  28. Doug,

    I look forward to reading your next post on this topic, as you address Steve Wells’ concern on whether or not homosexuals ought to be put to death. Although, Steve doesn’t seem to realize that the law calls for this to be done in accordance with stare decisis due process (Dt 17:8-13), and not as an autonomous vigilante mob in Jn 8:1-11 against the decree of Caesar (Jn 18:31) as Jerusalem’s “judge” (Dt 17:9,10-12; Ro 13:1-2) or civil authority.

    Paul, in writing to the church in Rome, writes that Christians should not count on Jesus’ atonement to necessarily save them from God’s wrath from the State if they are found by the State who do not bear the sword for nothing against evil doers (Ro 13:3-4).

    Knowing this, Paul says before the State and his accusers who want the State to execute him for committing capital offenses that if he has committed a sin worthy of death, then he does not refuse to die by the State (Ac 25:10-11) — rather than refusing to be put to death by the State if he has committed a sin because after all Paul is a repentant Christian who has the blood of Jesus on him.

    When you write Statements like “Why needn’t the blood of a homosexual be upon him as Leviticus says? … because the blood of someone else is on him,” then it seems like that you could have also just as written: “Why needn’t the blood of a homosexual be upon an abortion doctor like Kermit Gosnell as Leviticus says… because the blood of someone else in on has the blood on him.”

    Although not necessarily true in strict logical fashion from what you have written in this article, your position is sufficiently ambiguous so that reasonable folks would understandably seem to translate that you are saying that even though a Christian 3000+ years after Moses should communicate that a person is still obligated to not lie with a person of his same sex, and just as Gosnell is obligated to not murder children; in contrast, the Christian need not communicate that the civil authorities who bear the sword do not need (or are without obligation) to put evil doers like homosexuals or Dr. Gosnell and other abortion doctors to death (in a nation’s due process as the Law in Dt 17:8-13 prescribes).

    I hope you are not meaning to say this, but even so, if you do contradict Greg Bahnsen’s claim that the Bible teaches that Leviticus as all of Scripture is a standard for civil magistrates to follow as God’s prescriptive will under the New Covenant (and I hope you are not contradicting Bahnsen); then, you would at least be forthcoming about that so that Steve Wells doesn’t have opportunity to Congratulate you for hiding/concealing the truth on your views as it pertains to punishment inflicted by one’s society (via the State) as stated in Leviticus 20:13.

    As for Steve Wells, my prayer is not that he would be for the sake of ridicule tallying up those Christians who do not follow the soft-Marcionist doctrine of we don’t need to worry about the God of wrath Levitical judicial passages so much (just consign that for God’s standard for the final judgment, rather than also being the standard for civil magistrates as His ministers of wrath per Ro 13), but just focus on the New Covenant’s God of love passages in the New Testament.
    Instead, my prayer is that Steve by God’s grace would repent and believe that as Paul wrote, God is just, His law is just, and justly justifies the repentant sinner through Jesus Christ who necessarily/always saves those from God’s from wrath before the ultimate/final judgment (even though in God’s sovereignty and decretive will, God does not necessarily apply the blood of Jesus to repentant sinners to save them from His wrath through His ministers of wrath against evil doers, per Paul’s warning to the church in Rome in Ro 13).

  29. Doug, does it occur to you that the reason Christianity is basically dead in Europe, and on the way out in the United States, is that it was already given a chance and produced miserable results? For centuries, Christianity controlled the legal system in Europe and the United States. It isn’t that your gospel has never been tried; it’s that it was tried and the results were not what anyone with an actual say in the matter would choose.

  30. “Fernando, if there is no God, what could possibly be wrong with executing homosexuals? Who cares?”

    Well, people who understand the concept of “first they came for the homosexuals, but because I was a homosexual I did not speak up.” Do you really not get that social policy has practical consequences beyond the immediate policy?

  31. James, it’s interesting how you have commented at another blog how you appreciate it when folks refrain from calling you names and treating you kind. Yet, I’ve seen nothing but hatred from you on Doug’s blog. Does that somehow help you justify your lifestyle? Does that make it easier for you to continue to hate God and love your sin? Here’s a challenge to you: quit trolling Christian blogs and find a Bible-believing church. Share your issue (homosexual lifestyle) with the pastor and see if you are treated with the contempt you seem to believe is felt toward you. I would even push the challenge further and urge you to go to a church that is like Doug’s.

  32. Looking forward to living in Doug’s postmillennial republic where, after an exhausting day of murdering gays, we can relax with a light evening of stoning adulterers and those who shave with a safety razor.

  33. So what you are really saying amounts to “My chemical collisions are better than yours”.

    Yes, and they’re most notably better than yours, which appear to have convinced you that a magical but strangely impotent sky fairy is terrified of consensual sex between adults.

  34. @ Eric

    Yes, Christendom in the Middle Ages only ended slavery, gave numerous rights to women (including rights to vote, own property, and run a business), created a society of upward mobility for lower classes, set numerous precedents for just law courts, and saw great advancements in education, architecture and technology. Modernity, on the other hand, brought a return of slavery, removed many rights from women, and brought about sharp class divisions, especially in France where it eventually led to the Revolution (another wonderful bloodbath courtesy of irreligious modernity).

  35. Rick, you seem to be confusing Christianity with the Enlightenment. Certainly in this country, Christianity kept slavery going a lot longer than it would have otherwise, and did everything it could to slow down racial equality. You are aware that the KKK was basically the political and social wing of various Southern fundamentalist churches, aren’t you?

  36. Dr King was going up against Southern Baptists, Methodists and Presbyterians, almost all of whom supported racial segregation. They’ve mostly apologized for it now, but that was then. IIRC, didn’t the PCA split from the PCUSA over racial segregation?

  37. Eric,

    Nope, all those things I mentioned happened waaaay before the Englightement. We’re talking AD 1000 – 1300 ish time period. Slavery ended in Europe DURING the Middle Ages. All the negative things I mentioned (reduced rights for women, the return of slavery, sharp class divisions) came about in the 1500s and 1600s, AFTER the Middle Ages ended. For some beginning resources check out:

    “Those Terrible Middle Ages!” by Regine Pernoud
    any of the “Life In A Medieval…” books by Frances and Joseph Gies
    “A Short History of England” by G.K. Chesterton
    “Gods Battalions” by Rodney Stark

    or, if you’ve got a shorter attention span, you can watch the BBC “Medieval Lives” series starring Terry Jones of Monty Python fame. The truth about the Middle Ages (i.e. Christendom) is light years away from the “dark ages” stereotype foisted upon us by high school teachers and Hollywood movies.

  38. By the way, David, some of us are old enough to remember just how vicious the Southern churches were during the Civil Rights movement. My pastor called Dr. King “Marrin Lucifer Koon” and preached sermon after sermon about how the Communists were behind it. So do not give me any crap about how Christianity (the conservative wing of it, anyway) was helpful to the civil rights movement. As best as I can tell, the only Christians who favorably distinguished themselves during that era were those liberal Christians most of the people here despise so much.

  39. Rick, assuming you are right on your dates, and I will candidly admit to not having the time tonight to go on line and research it, how much good stuff does it take to balance the scales against the Inquisition, the New World genocide, the hostility to science (the inventor of the clock was tried for witchcraft and heresy), et al? When the Spanish tried to exterminate the Mayans, Incas and Aztecs, they were basically following in the footsteps of Joshua exterminating the Canaanites, and openly said so.

    How much good stuff does it take to balance the scales against Southern support for slavery and racial segregation? Are you aware that Spanish slave ships were chartered “in the name of the most holy trinity”?

    At the lesser level, how about all the European peasants who lived their lives in dire poverty so that the cathedrals could be built? Sure, I enjoy admiring them as much as the next tourist, but an awful lot of people went hungry so they could be built.

    I would not say that Christianity has uniformly been evil; you are correct that it has done some good stuff too. But there is certainly enough ammunition for people who don’t want it to be making civil law any more.

  40. As best as I can tell, the only Christians who favorably distinguished themselves during that era were those liberal Christians most of the people here despise so much.

    Weird, because this for example comes out of one of the two mainline, liberal Presbyterian denominations of the 1950s. The very denomination, BTW, from which the OPC broke in the 1930s (because of Liberalism) and the PCA broke in 1973 (because of Liberalism).

  41. Rick writes: “I support the death penalty for murder. Do you?”

    In rare, rare circumstances, maybe (my preference would be life without parole). When it is used, it should be only when it can be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that a murder was committed and if the execution is done humanely. The difference is that it the punishment would be proportionate to the crime. I’m not advocating people be killed for consensual sex or picking up sticks on the “wrong” day of the week. I’m also aware of the impact that taking another life has on the executioner (another reason I’m generally not in favor of the death penalty). You cannot take the life of another without staining your own soul, no matter what the reasons. There’s a reason why our troops are coming home with PTSD. (Before you even ask me: yes, I oppose abortion. )

    “If so, does that mean you want to sit around and see prisoners executed all the time?”

    Of course not. Even when used, it troubles me. I don’t detect that same sense of regret when Doug references the punishments of the Old Testament. You can practically hear him smacking his lips with delight over the thought.

    “Also read the Commedia by Dante. It’s one of the greatest works of literature ever written. And it would probably help you.”

    I read the Inferno in high school. It’s informed our Western ideas of Hell and inspired numerous horror films. Whenever you see a film like “Hellraiser” that depicts sadistic torture and gratuitous violence, we can probably thank Dante.

  42. Just to be clear, Ray, it would be a logical falsehood to equate “the only Christians who favorably distinguished themselves were liberal” with “all liberal Christians favorably distinguished themselves.” Disproving the second statement says nothing about the first statement.

  43. The thing I’m still trying to understand is how many people here support anti-homosexual sex laws, like the ones that were on the books within the last couple decades. I thought that Pastor Wilson was disappointed that those laws were repealed, but he hasn’t said so directly in the recent spat of posts.

    And if you support laws like that, what’s the difference between support those laws and executing homosexuals, or supporting any other of the Levitical laws against things like cursing your parents or having sex with a woman during her period?

  44. Jonathan,

    The same is true about the conservatives, isn’t it?

    The statement “the only Christians who favorably distinguished themselves were liberal” assumes that no conservative Christians favorably distinguished themselves. Seems an impossible thing to prove. More of a biographical statement than anything.

    Anyhow, the reason I linked that pamphlet was because of the link to Eric the Red’s old pastor’s sermons in which the commies were blamed.

  45. James,

    It’s an absolute travesty that high school students are asked to understand or form an opinion on Dante based on Inferno. It would be like trying to understand Lord of the Rings by only reading Fellowship of the Ring. Far from being sadistic, Dante is one of the most humane writers out there with a sensitive understanding of the human condition. Read the whole Commedia if you ever get the chance. It may place the Christian view of sin and punishment in better perspective for you.

  46. Yeah Ray, I think that Eric’s claim is not 100% true in its use of the word “only”.

    From my study of that period, the vast majority of the Christians who were actively participating in and supporting the Civil Rights Movement were considered “liberals” by the conservative denominations, and the vast majority of those who made a point of calling themselves “conservatives” either opposed the movement or simply didn’t participate.

    That would make it quite odd for those same conservatives to count it as a feather in their cap today, especially if they’re associated with people publishing things like “Southern Slavery As It Was”.

    But, as it often is, the use of “only” was likely too extreme.

  47. “For centuries, Christianity controlled the legal system in Europe and the United States. It isn’t that your gospel has never been tried; it’s that it was tried and the results were not what anyone with an actual say in the matter would choose.”

    To quote Chesterton ‘Christianity hasn’t been tried and found wanting, it has been found hard and left untried.’

  48. @ Eric

    I don’t want to derail the comments by talking about the Medieval Christenom, so I’ll stop after this comment. If you want a picture of the life of the average Medieval Peasant, this is a fun video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yg3YDN5gTX0

    For more myths about the Middle Ages, including the Inquisition, check this out. http://oldeship.blogspot.pt/2011/12/medieval-quiz.html I’ll be glad to interact with you there if you’d like. (note to webmaster: this is a link to my blog. If linking to it is a violation of proper etiquette here, just delete the comment.)

    Cheers.

  49. Ray, and Jonathan, I qualified my “only” with “as best as I can tell”. Obviously it is possible that some conservative Christian somewhere supported the civil rights movements. However, speaking as someone who lived through it, the overall trend was obvious: liberal Christians tended to support the civil rights movement; conservatives tended to oppose it. Had a black family accidentally wandered into the church in which I grew up, it would have been immediately apparent to them that they would probably be more comfortable worshiping somewhere else.

  50. Eric and Jonathan,

    Perhaps the problem is one of definitions:

    If by “liberal” you mean “for cultural change” then, of course it is the case – at least in the south – that the “liberals” thus defined were championing the cause. That would include, BTW, the Roman Catholic Church, the Bible Presbyterians, Baptists galore that were not identified with the Southern Baptist Convention, some Baptists that were part of the convention, most all of the “northern” churches – the Disciples of Christ, the Church of Christ, etc….

    If by “liberal” you mean “wishy-washy on the resurrection, the deity of Christ, with a modernist view of man” (which is what most of us “conservative” Christians decry – though I prefer Machen’s distinction of Christianity and Liberalism) then the “liberals” thus defined are a mixed bunch at the time.

  51. Doug,

    A profoundly loving, pastoral post.

    At some point you might dig into the “why” of sin. Folks I know with this sin above, plus the me I know with my other sins, have more than just unnatural lusts and greed perverting us.

    Take Eve’s new found taste for SinFruit. She got her mind and soul set before she salivated. That, like homosexual pursuits, is a sign of something more sinister bubbling up. We’ve all been plagued by unhealthy predilections since we were made. Honoring those self-destructive, self-idolizing behaviors and mindsets is a form of throwing ourselves off the bridge.

  52. @Henrybish why stop Fernando? Lets just see where it leads. If evolutionary morality is for preserving the next generation, as Fernando says, then what is done with homosexuals should not matter at all. At best.

    I’m kind of interested to know how Fernando got from “morality evolved to protect the young” to “morality is putty in my hands to do with as I wish”. Fernando, you can’t evolve new fingers, why do you believe you can change your morality? Isn’t it baked in already?

  53. My favorite part of the civil rights movement is the part where many black families moved out of the South into the Northern cities and found the same prejudice and discrimination as in the South like being told they could only live in certain parts of the city and go to certain schools and could only have certain jobs. Maybe the big, bad white people of the South wasn’t the problem but it was the big, bad people everywhere.

  54. Brother Wilson,
    Thank you for speaking the truth of God’s word without compromise or fear. My wife and do that on a consistent basis. Please pray for our blog talk radio show. This month the title of our show is “NATIONAL STRAIGHT AND NARROW MONTH”. We have ex sexual sinners, mostly ex gays share their testimony of deliverance from the sin of homosexuality.
    This is the second blog that I have read of yours and I say a big GOD BLESS YOU!! We are praying for you.

  55. well, I suppose I can forget ever getting an answer to my question.

    In other news, I’ve been reading the lurid gore-trail of blasphemies dribbling along under my last post, and I think that all I want to say is,

    Rick Davis, I love you.

    Of course, marriage is out of the question, so I will simply salute you thus:

    “They shall come as mild as a monkish clerk,
    with many a scroll and pen;
    And backward shall ye wonder and gaze,
    Desiring one of Alfred’s days,
    When pagans still were men.

    What though they come with scroll and pen,
    And grave as a shaven clerk,
    By this sign shall you know them,
    that they ruin and make dark;

    By all men bound to Nothing,
    Being slaves without a lord,
    By one blind idiot world obeyed,
    Too blind to be abhorred;

    By terror and the cruel tales
    Of curse in bone and kin,
    By weird and weakness winning,
    Accursed from the beginning,
    By detail of the sinning
    And denial of the sin;

    By thought a crawling ruin,
    By life a leaping mire,
    By a broken heart in the breast of the world,
    And the end of the world’s desire;

    By God and man dishonoured,
    By death and life made vain,
    Know ye the old barbarian,
    The barbarian come again”

    (G.K.C., from the “Ballad of the White Horse.”)

  56. Here’s what I’d like to know as a professing evangelical and Calvinist: Would you support capital punishment for homosexuality in America today as prescribed by the Levitical text?

  57. Just to help clarify my understanding, and maybe someone would like to take this on: Do homosexual apologists who think of themselves as Christian believe that God changed his mind on his own laws between the giving of the Old Testament and the New Testament? And if Jesus is God, did he come to abolish the law?

  58. Elise – I’m not one of them, so I can’t speak for them, but I’ve heard a lot of different arguments. Most are either that the homosexual relationships referred to at that time had nothing to do with the homosexual relationships that are in existence now, that the law has evolved the same way the laws towards divorce or unclean things or the Sabbath evolved, or that people didn’t accurately represent what God had told them.

  59. Rick Davis – it looks like we were wrong. Pastor Wilson showed in the next post that he doesn’t mind using the exact kind of dog whistle I thought he was implying here.

    “Over the course of the last generation, numerous homosexuals have pursued a self-loathing death wish in such a way as to sentence thousands of other homosexuals to death. This is apparently okay to do, provided the motive is an internal and insistent state of lust, an external state of arousal, and the instrument of death is not using a condom. How many in North America died from AIDS again? The number I read recently was somewhere in the neighborhood of half a million. So looking at the raw numbers, it seems to me that killing homosexuals is pretty much a non-priority for me, but has a great deal more oblique appeal for those who worship at the Altar of Orgasm. So there is that too.”

  60. Jonathan,

    Maybe I’m not understanding. What exactly to you mean by the expression “dog whistle”? I thought it meant something like a special code for something controversial that only those “in the know” would get.

  61. I thought that either one of those passages, and especially both of them expressed in consecutive posts, lent themselves strongly to the often-privately-expressed, occasionally-publicly-expressed view held by some Evangelicals that God sent AIDS to kill gay people.

  62. Elsie, do you think that God changed his mind about the Sabbath between the Old and New Testament? Or divorce? Or what foods make you unclean? Or what people are unclean? Or what the effect of bleeding or skin diseases or personal defects are on your relationship with God? Or what races you can marry? Or animal sacrifice? Or circumcision? Or what kinds of images you can display and where? Or what you should do to someone who curses their parents or has sex with a woman during their menstrual cycle?

    I can’t equate homosexuality to any of those. But could you see how some of those who do argue that Leviticus doesn’t have the same relevance today might not have an answer as simplistic as “God changed his mind”?

  63. Althought most of the article I enjoyed reading and found great truth in, there was one part that did not sit well with me. I do not agree with the statement, ‘The demand that we back away from this is a demand for us to stop loving homosexuals, and to start hating them.’ I do not think any person walking with the Lord is called to hate anyone. I believe we are to love everyone- murderers, thieves and homosexuals alike. I wish more people understood that and carried it out in their every day life.

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