"Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it." Matthew 7:13
Jesus said..."I am the gate..." John 10:9


I've seen this letter all over the place. Typical of still other arguments down through the centuries. Wanted to respond. Finally did, for what it's worth. Wrote this quickly--probably needs editing. Thought I'd share and ask for thoughts. Here's one of the versions going around. My pretend letter follows.

So.... homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstances as preached by many, including a certain Dr Laura from a well known US radio talk show. The following was an open letter to that doctor! 

Dear Dr. Laura

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them.
1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?
2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.
4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?
6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?
7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?
8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?
9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)
I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I'm confident you can help.
Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.
Your adoring fan,
James M. Kauffman,
Ed.D. Professor Emeritus,
Dept. Of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education University of Virginia
P.S. (It would be a damn shame if we couldn't own a Canadian.)



Dear James M. Kauffman (whoever you are),

Dr. Laura (whoever she is) is unavailable at the moment, so allow me to respond to some of these. (I got tired after a while and had to take a break.) I'm sure she would advise you to double check your Biblical references and place verses in context to be sure they mean what you seem to think they mean, and are addressed to you in the first place. (Are you a son, that is a descendant, of Israel living in Old Testament times who is being addressed at the start of most of these chapters out of which you have liberated verses?)

It is nice that you complement and acknowledge a radio talk show as the source of your “learning”. But did you know that God specifically honored the Bereans for putting his Word above what anybody told them, even the Apostle Paul? Even when Paul was telling them the central message of the Old and New Testaments and how it had recently been fulfilled? (Acts 17:11) “Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”

You are correct that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states homosexuality (not homosexuals, mind you) is an abomination to God. He is speaking directly here to His people who he had rescued from Egypt. And, unlike everything else you try to tie in with this verse, it is applicable to all people, being supported throughout the rest of Scripture. Just keep in mind that it is not our job as Christians to beat everyone over the head with this. Our job, our 'Great Commission' (Matthew 28:18-20) is to spread the Good News of Jesus' death and resurrection that paid the price for our sin and gives us eternal life—the fact that God loves us so much (even though we all sin against him) that He would become flesh and blood and die on the cross in our place. Romans 5:8 – “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, (which even as Christians in this life we still are) Christ died for us.” If God doesn't love homosexually active people, then we are all in a lot of trouble. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 2:23) “The wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23)

1. Leviticus 25:44
 
2. Exodus 21:7 does not “sanction” slavery but it does lay down very specific protections and rights for people, especially women, who were slaves in a time when this was a common practice. Check out all the restrictions (ordinations) in the entire 21st Chapter or Leviticus. God is certainly not ordering you or in any way encouraging you to sell your daughter or anyone else into slavery. Where do you get such ideas?

3. Lev.15: 19-24. (see 6)
  1. Why do you insist on burning a bull on the altar as a sacrifice? Are you a descendant of Israel living in Old Testament times? And do you really believe the Lord wants you to smite your neighbors for not liking the odor? Where do you read of this in the Bible? (Admittedly, it is hard to understand neighbors not liking the odor. I very much like the odor of my neighbors' cook outs. Especially steaks.) BTW, did you know that according to I Samuel 15:22 – "Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.”
5. Exodus 35:2 does clearly state to the congregation of the sons of Israel (Exodus 35:1—context, remember?) that any of them working on the Sabbath should be put to death. But rest assured, you are not morally obligated to kill anyone for this yourself. First of all, are you a member of that Old Testament congregation? And keep in mind that the Sabbath is not Sunday. Don't confuse the day New Testament believers got together to celebrate the risen Lord with the Hebrew Sabbath. And the new testament tells us – “... no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day—things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ. (Colossians 2:16-17)

6. Your friend's question raises an interesting point. Since hating your brother is the same thing as committing murder from God's point of view (I John 3:15), and lusting after someone is the same thing as adultery from God's perspective (Matthew 5:27–28), I suppose eating shellfish is as much an abomination to Him as homosexuality. I guess there are no 'degrees' of sin to the Lord. Although I would not concern yourself with the shellfish issue since, again, these were dietary laws given to the children of Israel for their protection and health in an age that had little understanding of medicine, sterilization, refrigeration, or disease control.
  1. Lev. 21:20 is addressed to His priest, the sons of Aaron. Are you a priest in the Jerusalem temple that doesn't presently exist? Don't worry about it.
8. Are you a member of the tribe of Israel (Leviticus 19:2)? And though trimmed hair is expressly forbidden to them by Lev. 19:27, where does it say they should die? You seem obsessed with slaying people for sin.
  1. Lev. 11:6-8
  2. Lev.19:19 says nothing about stoning people who plant two different crops in the same field or wear garments made of two different kinds of thread. Lev.24:10-16 and Lev. 20:14 are other matters entirely. But, again, if you are not a descendant of Israel in Old Testament times you needn't concern yourself about cursing or blaspheming God or sleeping with in-laws. People do it all the time nowadays and rarely die as a result.

You are correct in saying that God's Word is eternal and unchanging. The best advice I can give you is to dig into the Word of God. Read the Bible the same way you read any other history, biography, poetry, song, letter, etc. The basic rules of solid, astute reading don't change suddenly when you open the Bible. The critical reading process (observing, inferring, analyzing, explicating, synthesizing, evaluating, and applying within textual and historical context) must still be studiously applied.



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