One of Those Circus Ponies

So what about today? Does the Leviticus 20:13 still apply today in a judicial fashion? Or could it? I will be getting to that shortly, and will be clear as a bell in my reply. But to the murky, all things will remain murky.

But a few observations first. These initial observations are my imitation of asking for a coin — since I have been asked their imitation of whether it is lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not. Believe it or not, not all questions are raised in search of an honest answer.

Those who raise this particular question do so because they believe it to be a loaded question, applying solely to those few Christians who still take the whole Bible as altogether good, straight up. But this is, I would suggest, a loaded question for lots of groups. Let me suggest three others besides the one I am (cheerfully) in.

First, Sharia law not only allows for the execution of homosexuals, it is a form of law that is being practiced today (in this aspect of it) in various parts of the world, and the regimes that do it have their secular apologists here making excuses for them, and this would include our present administration. A bunch of people who taunt me with verses from Leviticus voted for a presidential candidate who sends billions of dollars in aid to places that still stone the homosexuals. Remind me again why I am supposed to feel sheepish on this issue. So there is that.

Second, another group would be the homosexuals themselves. In Proverbs 8, Lady Wisdom declares that all who hate her love death (Prov. 8:36). Note that Wisdom is a lady, not another dude. 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.

A third group would be the ethical relativists who say that there isn’t anything wrong with anything, and the atheists, who need to say that, whether or not they do. They tell you first that it doesn’t matter what anybody might want to do . . . until they find out what somebody might want to do. Then they stoutly insist that they do not live in moral universe where — you could finish this for me — adults are punished for consensual sexual acts. What they actually need to do is learn how to finish their sentences earlier. They need to say that they do not live in a moral universe, period. Oh. Now what? If there is no absolute moral standard, then anything goes — including the worst forms of absolutism. Assuming that they would want to say that a society that executed homosexuals would be the “worst,” I would then reply that there is only “a worst” form of absolutism if you believe in absolutes. So relativists need to get used to the idea that their high horse, the one they need to get down off of, is actually one of those circus ponies that they use to give rides to three-year-olds.

One other thing. Some might feel that by veering off into a discussion of the greatness of the gospel, and its message of a substitutionary death for all our sins deserving death, as I did in my previous post, I have done a tricksy thing. I have been coy, declining to answer whether or not I believe the law in Leviticus could ever be legitimately applied in one of my postmillennial republics down the road. I will answer that question, but I wanted to do it in two parts this way.

What I have written earlier is the grand theme of the New Testament. It is all gospel, and that is what we were told to lead with. Only in this way can we distinguish the scriptural definition of justice from what the Lord has actually commanded us to do.

What He has commanded us to do is to preach the gospel, pure and simple. Apologizing for Scripture is not a good lead in to this, and so that is why this subject keeps coming up. Unbelievers insist we preach the gospel to them from a deficient book, and I insist on preaching it from a perfect book.

That said, here is a direct answer to the question. Could I ever envision such a penalty ever being applied by a civil magistrate prior to the Last Judgment? Certainly. Here is how I put it in 2005, on this blog:

The same thing is true of homosexuality. The Mosaic code did allow for the death penalty for certain homosexual acts. But for those benighted brethren who read Leviticus the way some people’s children read Moscow’s zoning laws (clunkity clunkity clunkity), they need to be reminded that this was not a mandatory penalty. It was not a minimum penalty — that was my reason for citing the fact that two of Israel’s kings were commended for actions that did not include executions. And, bringing the same principle down to the New Testament, we find the same glorious forgiveness offered to homosexuals that is offered to everyone else. As St. Paul says, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate [catamites], nor abusers of themselves with mankind [sodomites], Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, 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). . . Homosexuals commit sodomy, heterosexuals commit adultery, and thieves steal. Welcome to planet earth. But Jesus came to forgive sins. Christ saves sinners, all kinds. Not only that, but He welcomes them into His church. Notice what he says to the saints of the church in Corinth. Such were some of you. There was no requirement for those in the Corinthian church with a homosexual past to go jump off a bridge, thus fulfilling in a vigilante way the intent of God’s law given to Moses. Christ has come, and He has brought healing with Him. Those who want to clamp mandatory, inflexible penalties on us because of one verse in Leviticus want the Bible to do for them something it simply refuses to do. The Bible jumps through no man’s hoops.

But some will notice what they will call sleight of hand here. This is what happens when people comb through my words without reading them. “Yes, they will say, but notice that even if you don’t believe in the death penalty for homosexual behavior in all circumstances, you have (by implication) said that there could be occasions when it is called for. Admit it!” Okay, I admit it. And I will even give you one instance of the kind of thing that I think calls for it. The recent revelations of homosexual abuse of boys by various predatory priests over the course of many years is the kind of problem that I think should be addressed (in the civil realm only) with a tall tree and a short rope. Not only am I not ashamed of thinking this (because of Leviticus, in context), I believe that those who are willing to defend such predators should be ashamed of themselves. But there is no reason why such a homosexual predator, justly condemned to die, could not turn to Christ in faith and be received by Him into glory. Christ died on a gallows too, and He died to save sinners just like that and worse. He died with the Father’s judgment of homosexuality upon Him. He rose again from the dead so that we could rise with Him, and so that our old patterns of sin would no longer have dominion over us.

So I am not dismissing that one verse in Leviticus. It is righteous and holy and good, provided it is understood in context. The law is good, Paul tells us, provided it is used lawfully (1 Tim. 1:8). He notes certain men who want to exposit the law, but they don’t know what they are talking about (1 Tim. 1:7). So in a discussion of homosexuality, which is rejected with vehemence as gross immorality across both testaments, if folks try to equate it with our common acceptance of BLTs, clam chowder, and polyester, you may assume their hermeneutics instructor was Amelia Bedelia.

I believe that certain unspeakable things will be going on in Boy Scout tents within about five years — with our current tolerance pimps making it all happen — and they will be things that could best be addressed by a judicious use of the strongest form of disapproval a culture has. While I believe that the judicial law of Moses ceased when the nation of Israel ceased, as the Westminster Confession teaches, I also believe the general equity of the law remains. I believe that the general equity of the law includes this strong rejection of homosexual behavior. I also believe that the law of the Old Testament was the model for our common law system, and our system should work in the same way.

By the way, no need for any comments saying that I have confounded homosexuality and pedophilia. I haven’t, and am just giving an example of the kind of same-sex behavior I could see supporting the death penalty for.

But look what I just did. I cited an application of Leviticus 20:13 that could still have broad societal consensus, even in these jaded days. This being the case, what you will have to do is bookmark this page, wait about ten years, and send your outraged cries up to the skies then. By that point, a large number of boys will have been ushered into the fellowship of these men, and there will have been at least two HBO series exalting the lifelong friendships that resulted, and it will then be obvious and apparent to all (in 2023) that I am an incorrigible hater.

So make sure to give me a jingle, and demand your apology then. I will still say no, but at least you will have checked.

Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on Twitter1Share on Google+0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, off-topic, or semi-Pelagian.

45 thoughts on “One of Those Circus Ponies

  1. Thanks for that Doug. But I didn’t see a clear answer there.

    Leviticus 20:13 is about as clear as it gets in the Bible.

    ” 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.”

    That verse commands believers to kill non-celibate male homosexuals. It doesn’t say that there are certain circumstances in which they should be killed. It says they should always be killed. No other option is permitted — not therapy, confession, prayer, counseling, discrimination, imprisonment, or even exile. It says to kill them.

    You say you can imagine situations in which you might possibly be tempted to consider obeying Leviticus 20:13. (Like with pedophile priests) But in all other cases you’d do recommend something else — and you don’t say what that something else is.

    So what do you think, Douglas? You seem to think homosexual acts should be illegal. Is so, what should the punishment be?

    I’m not asking what you might consider in some (very convenient) cases. What do you think it should be in all cases?

    Leviticus 20:13 is clear. You haven’t been.

  2. Here’s the URL for the 2005 post that Doug quoted from, for those who (like me) were interested in reading the whole thing:

    http://dougwils.com/s7-engaging-the-culture/c68-moscow-diversity-cleansing/how-we-handle-words.html

    (I’d hyperlink it myself — and for all I know the blog software will automagically make it clickable when I submit this — but there is no indication that we can use HTML in the comments, and there’s no “Preview Comment” feature that I can use to test it first.)

  3. It is apparent that some people come to this site for the express purpose of catching out the host. When a finely reasoned answer of significant complexity is provided, there is still the demand, “so what’s the penalty? I want the penalty. Name the penalty!” Listen, this is not some silly kids game of shadow tag where you try to stomp on the shadow head of someone and call them out. This is the serious stuff of life (and death). Yet some just want to play the gotcha game. Give it a rest, eh? I am reminded of my own mother’s response to us when my brother and I would try to play this sort of sophistry with her. She would summarily dismiss us by saying “you boys go along and peddle your papers.”

  4. Steve Wells,

    The law doesn’t work the way you seem to think it does. If you don’t believe me, go find out how many inmates are on death row right now and see if you can figure out why there are so many when it would be cheaper and easier to just get it done without offering any other options. Leviticus is clear, to be sure, and Doug has been just as clear in his interactions with it. For some reason, however, you aren’t grasping these plainly ordered words. I mean, we aren’t talking about a 60,000 page tax code here…

  5. I agree with Steve. PLEASE provide a one-word answer that doesn’t require any awareness of the subtleties of real life. All this thinking and history and judicial practice stuff is just TOO hard.

  6. Based on the attention to historical and cultural context in the Skeptic’s Annotated Bible, Steve would fail a hermeneutics class on how to read “Dick and Jane”. He’s not here for honest discussion. He’s here to try to shame Christians for believing what Christians have always believed. He is also clearly a chronological snob, rejecting the rich heritage of the Western Tradition and thinking that humanity has somehow finally “arrived” in the last 200 years.

    I remember Sean Hannity once talking to a caller who was trying to articulate why he believed the war in Iraq to be unjust. Hannity’s response was to repeatedly ask him if Iraq had been better off under Saddam Hussein. When the caller tried to explain that his position was more complicated than that, Hannity continually interrupted him: “Just answer the question!” This same 3rd grader mentality of how to have a discussion can be seen in Steve. As such, it’s probably best not to waste your time carefully crafting half-page logical arguments for him not to read. Leave the clarification to Doug and deal with the grade-school level bravado however you think best.

    Speaking of which, how are those T-shirts coming along, Steve? I need something to complement my “Bernard Gui is my homeboy” baseball cap.

  7. Doug:

    1. I don’t know where you get the idea that gays support Sharia law. As for voting for Obama, I did so because I thought he was the best candidate of the guys who were running, and not because he’s perfect. That’s probably why the US sends money to various Muslim governments too.

    2. Worldwide, AIDS has killed far more heterosexuals than homosexuals; it’s mostly in the West that it’s a gay phenomenon. Check out the statistics for sub-Saharan Africa and East Asia and you’ll see what I mean.

    3. The title of your column should be “How to Change the Subject.”

  8. Steve, you keep demanding a specific answer to whether Doug supports the death penalty in this situation. Did you even read the whole article or can I simply assume you’re as sharp as a doorknob?

    ‘”Yes, they will say, but notice that even if you don’t believe in the death penalty for homosexual behavior in all circumstances, you have (by implication) said that there could be occasions when it is called for. Admit it!” Okay, I admit it. And I will even give you one instance of the kind of thing that I think calls for it. The recent revelations of homosexual abuse of boys by various predatory priests…’

  9. Doug,

    These posts are indeed very helpful. Any resources you might recommend for those of us who are still struggling with how to understand the relationship of law and gospel, specifically the concept of the “general equity of the law” remaining?

    My particular difficulty is in understanding how the law was intended to be understood by the original recipients. I get that the law was not given as a means of works-righteousness – Paul clearly abolishes that idea in several of his letters – but due to the conditional nature of much of the commandments & promises in the OT, I struggle to see how it would be taken differently.

    Anyway, I could write a full-blown letter here detailing my questions, but any resources you might recommend would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  10. Michael, as a starter book I’d highly recommend By This Standard by Greg Bahnsen. It’s a shorter version of Theonomy in Christian Ethics.

  11. @Steve Wells
    “That verse commands believers to kill non-celibate male homosexuals. It doesn’t say that there are certain circumstances in which they should be killed. It says they should always be killed. No other option is permitted — not therapy, confession…”

    That’s why you need to read the Rest of the Story. Deuteronomy 19:15, for instance. Putting someone to death is not a matter for vigilantes, not a “citizen’s arrest” kind of thing. There is a trial, and there must be 2 or 3 witnesses. The penalties for false accusations are as severe as for the alleged crime.

    So here is where there is mercy: if you can convince your accusers you are repentant, before the trial, there won’t be one. Jesus demonstrated this in a slightly more modern context when He refused to condemn the woman caught in adultery. Note He did not dismiss her sin or the law, only the unlawful way in which the crowd was seeking to enforce it. He also endorsed the practice of guilty persons seeking to resolve conflicts before a trial, noting that once their guilt was a matter of record, the penalty would be paid.

  12. What Howard said. Leviticus is clear, and so is the rest of the Law. Even in ancient Israel “believers” couldn’t just pick up rocks when they thought someone had “the gay.” Witnesses to the act would have to testify to the judges in full knowledge that false testimony meant they’d get the penalty instead. Chances are that few if any were ever executed under that system. Even if we carried that over verbatim into our legal system, it would be virtually impossible to execute someone for sodomy.

  13. Johnny, and Howard, I agree with you that practical difficulties would make it unlikely that many gay people would actually be executed, but that’s not the point.

    In the first place, every now and then there would be witnesses to an act of sodomy, and somebody would be in line to be executed, and when that happens, it’s entirely irrelevant that it doesn’t happen often. A decision would then need to be made about what to do about that particular case.

    In the second place, even if the law is never enforced, the mere fact that it’s on the books tells us about the kind of society that would put that kind of a law on the books. Suppose there were a law mandating the death penalty for eating chocolate ice cream instead of vanilla (which in my view is pretty analogous to criminalizing a preference for men over women). Even if nobody were ever actually prosecuted, the mere presence of the law on the books is an obscenity.

    Which brings us to the real reason these laws exist: You are right that people are hardly ever prosecuted, and were hardly ever prosecuted in this country back when sodomy laws were on the books (though occasionally some were,as evidenced by the case that made it to the US Supreme Court). Rather, the purpose of these laws is to remind gay people that they are second class citizens; that their lives are less important than the lives of straight people; that their most intimate personal relationships are something to be ashamed of, and that society is at war with their very essence. Since that’s the real purpose of these laws, at least be honest about it.

  14. Could some Israelites go to another nation, or remain outside the Promised land, and be free from the civil penalties of Leviticus?

  15. Eric,

    Criminalizing homosexuality is like criminalizing an ice cream preference? And which demographic is this supposed to convince? I know some homosexuals that probably wouldn’t appreciate your viewpoint…

  16. Eric: What if instead of choosing a same sex partner someone chooses their sister as a sex partner? Just like ice cream right?

  17. Doug,

    Please consider the following reasons why the narratives regarding Asa in 1Ki 15:12 and Josiah in 2Ki 23:7 do not imply that Leviticus 20:13 must only be a maximum punishment.

    As a preliminary, the language of “you shall do something” when some condition is fulfilled does not with a plain reading render as being optional command to be followed if one chooses to follow it as a maximum penalty.
    - It does not appear that when Moses describes Pharaoh as using that “you shall” language to put the males to death, that he is giving the midwives the option to do so at their own discretion Ex 1:16.
    - When Pharaoh disobeys God, it does not appear that God gives Moses an option to choose to poor water from the Nile on the ground to turn the Nile to blood as an optional maximum penalty for their disobedience at that moment in time when God employs the “you shall” language to Moses in Ex 4:9.
    - Pharaoh does not seem to be telling Moses that there will be a penalty of death for seeing his face again that just could possibly be invoked as a maximum penalty when Moses uses the “you shall” language for the words of Pharaoh in Ex 10:28.
    - If there is further injury other than a premature delivery (e.g. the baby or the mother dies) the shall language doesn’t seem to convey that an optional maximum for the judges to decide is a fine and up to a life for a life … and a fine and up to a bruise for a bruise in Ex 21:23-25. Rather, the punishment is to fit the crime, so that justice is not underhanded (such as by simply fining someone a few bucks/shekels for murder) or overhanded (life for bruise or for burn).

    Likewise, when God says that men shall surely be put to death in Lev 20:13 as their bloodguiltiness is without question/doubt upon them, the notion that God is really saying that it is now just OPTIONAL to SURELY put them to death as a maximum punishment to make some room for seems to be on a prima facie basis without exegetical warrant with proper due process.

    If further revelation in God’s word (e.g., 1Ki 15:12; 2Ki 23:7) does clarify that the prima facie “you shall” language for penalties/judgment for a certain condition means “you have, among the range of options, the option of maximally doing such and such as a penalty if you’d like to,” then so be it; but, we need to be sure that we would be on reliable exegetical grounds to overturn the original reasonable prima facie bias.
    However, I don’t believe we ought to think such a certain and necessary implication is the case because:

    (1) These two texts (1Ki 15:12; 2Ki 23:7) say that male cult prostitutes were put away from the land or that their houses/brothels were destroyed. This implies Asa or Josiah putting an end to male cult prostitution in accordance with a faithful obedient application of Dt 23:17.
    However, this does not necessarily imply that Asa or Josiah did not seek to put homosexuals to death. The death penalty is sometimes referred to as being “cut off” [from the land of the living] (Is 53:8; Jer 11:19; Ge 9:11; Ex 31:14). Therefore, remembering that the language “cutting off” (from the land) to speak of the death penalty, the phrase, “put away the male cult prostitutes from the land” would not necessarily be inconsistent with putting such criminals to death per what I referred to as the “prima facie” (i.e., obligation vs. maximum-option) “you shall” plain rendering of Lev 20:13. Thus, without such a necessary implication of exile (or at least not putting to death) in these two texts, we would be on insufficient hermeneutical grounds to override the plain reading of Lev 20:13 as always an obligatory punishment for the crime of homosexual sexual relations.

    (2) Another reason is that even if Asa or Josiah did have incomplete obedience even to the extent that they never obediently followed Lev 20:13 as the chief sword bearing civil authority (being king), this does not imply that they could not be commended in their corresponding narratives for their obedience to Dt 23:17 by taking efforts to bring an end to male cult prostitution (and any corresponding homosexual practices) in the land.
    Peter commends Lot as being righteous and tormented by lawless deeds when rescued (2Pe 2:6-8), when during the rescue operation Lot unrighteously engages in the lawless deed of attempting to having his daughters engage in sexually immoral relations with a mob (Ge 19:4-8).
    Thus, Lot’s obedience to righteous conduct in opposition to lawless deeds was not complete or perfect; yet, he is still generally commended by Peter as righteously hating unrighteous deeds as implied by being tormented by them. Likewise, there is nothing necessarily inconsistent with Asa or Josiah being commended for seeking to faithfully fulfill Dt 23:17, even if these kings never in complete obedience faithfully fulfilled/upheld Lev 20:13 in the prima facie plain reading sense by not putting male prostitutes to death for any homosexual crimes. Therefore, this is a second reason for insufficient grounds to dismiss Lev 20:13 as an obligatory command for the civil authorities to always follow (given proper due process in Dt 17:6-13, to include stare decisis in accordance with Dt 17:8-13).

    With these considerations in mind, please reconsider your teaching that Lev 20:13 is a maximum (and thus optional) penalty under due process. I think we are on Solid Rock ground to view “you shall” language in Lev 20:13 as we normally do throughout the Bible in a obligatory-command sense (rather than in an optional sense) when “you shall” pertains to the penalties in God’s awesome and gracious revelation on crime & punishment — as the perfectly just (Heb 2:2) retributive means for restraining our depravity (Dt 17:13) in the fear of Christ, the resurrected King of kings.

  18. Seth B, Abraham did choose his sister as a wife/sex partner, along with her maid Hagar. But incest causes harm in a way that gay sex doesn’t, because incest can result in children and homosexuality normally doesn’t.

    Jared, my ice cream analogy was intended to say that homosexuality doesn’t cause harm, any more than preferences for different ice cream flavors cause harm.

  19. Iohannes, if we are talking about homosexual incest in which both partners are of legal age, then even though I have the same “ooh, ick” visceral reaction that everyone else does, I don’t really see the harm. What harm, other than “ooh, ick”, do you see?

  20. Steve Wells’s responses have been annoying for some time.

    That being acknowledged, it seemed like Pastor Wilson had said, “I’m going to answer the question”, and then didn’t answer the question.

    Is Pastor Wilson saying that the death penalty is acceptable for raping little kids, or for simple homosexual acts? Those are two completely different questions. I assume that Pastor Wilson feels the same way about raping little kids regardless of sexual orientation, so that example was just evading the question.

    And, as I asked earlier, do we believe that homosexual acts should be illegal in the current government structure, like the recent anti-sodomy laws? And if so, what is the difference between that and enforcing other Levitical law in the current system?

  21. The Old Testament suggests execution for those who violate the Sabbath by “doing work” on it. Moses had a man stoned to death for merely gathering wood. Christ did not invalidate this moral law by saying the Sabbath was made for man, and he didn’t display a violation of this law by healing a man (any more than the Pharisees violated the Sabbath by preaching or reading the Torah).

    Thus, it seems logical that it is still a sin of the highest order to “work” on the Sabbath.

    Of course, this “impossible” mandate will be interpreted away by folks like Doug and other inerrantists to mean something completely different because … well … it’s just too onerous and inconvenient to bother with.

    (Note: I don’t actually believe there is anything immoral about working on the Sabbath any more than I think long hair on men – or exposed hair on women – is shameful … it appears lots of “fundamentalists” agree with me on this as well whatever Scripture happens to say about these matters).

  22. Jonathan, you have to understand that there is a long tradition of evading simple questions that one doesn’t want to answer among the religious. “Render under Caesar that which is Caesar’s” does not answer the simple yes-or-no question of whether it is lawful to pay the tax; it is a simple evasion. Yes or no would have done quite nicely. As a simple yes or no would also do quite nicely to the straightforward question of whether homosexuals should be executed. Don’t hold your breath.

  23. @ Eric

    “…Ifwe are talking about homosexual incest in which both partners are of legal age, then even though I have the same “ooh, ick” visceral reaction that everyone else does, I don’t really see the harm. What harm, other than “ooh, ick”, do you see?”

    The damnation of their souls. What could be worse? How unloving to think it’s only an “oohh ick” kind of thing.

  24. Doug,
    Please dig into why God spends ink on this. Lust as orgasm quest isn’t the core. Maybe misrepresenting the God (husband, male) / mankind (wife, female) reality for a world of our own choice? I mean, if I self-identify as a transgendered lesbian black lady, we should all honor that, right?

  25. Eric the Red handed,
    I’m trying to imagine you in your mom’s basement right now. Ok, got it, typing away, you figured out that your genius outshines Jesus and now you are setting the world free. Got it right in my mind. By the way, when you talk about evasion is that like when you evaded the reality that homosexuality does hurt people to the tune of 500,000 dead AIDS victims by talking about how AIDS was being transferred globally more by heteros than homos? And that is, shall we say, just the tip of the tip of the iceberg. There are Levitical laws for frivelous spilling of the seed by heteros as well. “All like sheep have gone astray and The Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” I and my extended family have been hurt because of the direct influence of a homosexual lifestyle. Does that make you squirm? I have a briefcase of evidence with many plaintiffs involved. I have an even larger briefcase for the heteros. Both are under the law. Those who live under the law will die by the law. Except this: The Lord has laid on him our iniquity. Jesus took the due penalty of the law for those who will believe both to the homo and the hetero. Do you believe?

  26. Doug,

    I enjoyed your post on this subject, and I respect the courage it takes in this wicked day to post something like this.

    Would you consider an additional post explaining the exegetical basis for viewing a passage like Lev. 20:13 as dictating the maximum civil penalty for outward, proven displays of homosexuality, as taken up in civil court, but not being the mandatory penalty for every outward, proven act of homosexuality?

  27. I think it is a good question of whether some Israelites could go to another nation and be free from the civil penalties of Leviticus.

  28. James, does stumping believers (seemingly) on this ease your mind about sodomizing another man or do you truly care about biblical teaching?

  29. @Michael, I have no need to “ease my mind” about anything. I do like to underscore the fact that no one actually takes the Bible at face value. They interpret it in a way that makes them comfortable. If you don’t like the idea that God predestines the majority of humanity to Hell, you become an Arminian. If the idea that you can lose your salvation makes you wet your pants, you become a Calvinist.

    If you’re a right-wing male zealot like Bradley Dean or Ted Nugent who thinks long hair makes you look “tough”, you ignore Paul’s condemnation of long hair on men. If you’re a rigid believer of Scripture who “likes the ladies”, you ignore the condemnation of divorce in Luke 16:18, Matthew 5:32 and Matthew 19:9.

    I could go on but you get the idea.

    By the way … my conscience is pretty clear. Yours should not be. You’re the ones supporting human slavery, genocide, rape and torture. I’m not going to bother appealing to empathy because none of you have it.

  30. So you don’t care about biblical teaching. If your conscience were clear I don’t believe you would troll Christian blogs as you do looking for the topic of homosexuality to pop up.

    Consider this from the Westminster Confession of Faith: “All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all: yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed for salvation are so clearly propounded, and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them.”

    You can bring up tricky Bible passages all you want, James. The Bible is plain concerning your lifestyle. Repent.

  31. Tricky Bible passages? What you’re referring to are passages that, if interpreted literally, are incredibly inconvenient.

    So tell me since apparently one can forfeit heaven by “doing the wrong things” (ie, sinning)

    1) Is masturbation a sin or not?
    2) Is buying and selling human beings for one’s own profit a sin or not? (Ask Doug about this one)
    3) Is working on the Sabbath a sin or not?
    4) Is heterosexual remarriage a sin or not? If it is, how does one “repent” of remarriage?

  32. 1) Yes.
    2) yes.
    3) If you’re working it’s not a sabbath.
    4) possibly, if so repent by not getting divorced and remarried again.

  33. “Jonathan, you have to understand that there is a long tradition of evading simple questions that one doesn’t want to answer among the religious. “Render under Caesar that which is Caesar’s” does not answer the simple yes-or-no question of whether it is lawful to pay the tax; it is a simple evasion. Yes or no would have done quite nicely.”

    I think you’re missing the context – what did Jesus say before that line? He asked them whose image was on the coin. The coin had an image of Caesar and a subscript calling Caesar the son of God. Anyone familiar with Judaism in that time period would realize that Jesus is exposing the hypocrisy of the Pharisees for carrying blasphemous images and thereby compromising themselves with the powers in charge.

    Jesus isn’t avoiding the question. He’s telling the Pharisees that they need to start giving God what God deserves, and stop compromising themselves with the pagan authorities (which they eventually do to the strongest extent by joining with them to execute Jesus himself). At the same time, they need to give Caesar what Caesar deserves – which is NOT lordship, NOT authority over the matters that they were allowing themselves to be compromised by.

  34. It does still appear to me that Doug hasn’t answered the question. He’s said that he supports the death penalty for homosexual pedophiles who rape. But that doesn’t answer the question – I assume the reason for the death penalty in that case is pedophilia rape, not homosexuality.

    “Do you support the death penalty for jaywalking?”

    “Yes, in some circumstances. For instance, if the person was killing someone as they jaywalked.”

  35. A civic law can appear as a corral to trap and ensnare as many as possible, or as a deterrent to protect against a dangerous cliff. It all depends a great deal on which side of the fence the vulnerable ones are on when the fence goes up.

    This is one reason why I’m not advocating a death penalty for homosexuals today (but I would in the future). Another reason is that our government currently thinks that the death penalty against unborn children deserves explicit legal sanction (even out of mere convenience for the mother). Given this demented inability to discern civic guilt and innocence, our government is simply not in a condition to be trusted with responsibility for life and death decisions. Period. They have disqualified themselves, as Doug has pointed out before. They are almost disqualified from rendering justice outside the realm of life and death consequences. Until the bloodbath against the unborn is resolved, death penalties for homosexuals is a long way off.

    Again, the idea is not to slap all sorts of legal penalties and requirements on an unchanged people to trap them. The idea is not to pretend to have a legal code that honors God when the people do not. That would be a false testimony. Rather the idea is to have a legal code that honors God because the people honor God. Truth in advertizing. Politics and laws can act as deterrents for individuals, but are of limited influence on the broader culture, and are downstream of the culture. God demonstrated this plainly for us with Israel. Even after He had purged them and fenced them with His perfect Law, they still went astray, necessitating the Law written on the heart.

    Until we repent through the Gospel, legalized abortion and legalized homosexual acts (even to the point of punitive civil action against those who consciously object) is an accurate reflection of the depravity of our culture. We are clearly under judicial blindness when we think that sawing up our own offspring is a “freedom of choice”. This is the judgement, and our laws are accurately painting the target on us for deeper judgement once our cup of iniquity is full. Repentance is the only way to walk this back. It’s still called Today.

    I am thankful that God is patient, but also that He does not strive with men forever. I am thankful that He has purposed to save the world through His Son, and that He will do it. May His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.

  36. The recent revelations of homosexual abuse of boys by various predatory priests over the course of many years is the kind of problem that I think should be addressed (in the civil realm only) with a tall tree and a short rope.
    How on earth do you square this with your support of the child rapist Steven Sitler, and your choice to officiate at his wedding after his ludicrously short sentence?  Have you no shame?

Comments are closed.