Archive for the ‘Agabus Notes’ Category
Those who trust in the Lord
are like Mount Zion never shaken,
settled forever. — Psalm 125:1, Alter
Come what may, come what may. He who trusts in the Lord, who dedicates his life to the Father Eternal, shall be saved. His life shall be preserved, for God is mighty and just. Such a man is “never shaken” — he is like a tree planted by streams of water, his roots firmly planted. Such a man is like Mount Zion, a monument of testimony, and his ways are established forever. For great and merciful is our God. Great and merciful is our God.
“You shall not approach a woman to uncover her nakedness while she is in her menstrual uncleanness. And you shall not lie sexually with your neighbor’s wife and so make yourself unclean with her. You shall not give any of your children to offer them to Molech, and so profane the name of your God: I am the LORD. You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. And you shall not lie with any animal and so make yourself unclean with it, neither shall any woman give herself to an animal to lie with it: it is perversion. (Leviticus 18:19-23 ESV)
“If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. If a man lies with his father’s wife, he has uncovered his father’s nakedness; both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them. If a man lies with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall surely be put to death; they have committed perversion; their blood is upon them. If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them. If a man takes a woman and her mother also, it is depravity; he and they shall be burned with fire, that there may be no depravity among you. If a man lies with an animal, he shall surely be put to death, and you shall kill the animal. If a woman approaches any animal and lies with it, you shall kill the woman and the animal; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them. (Leviticus 20:10-16 ESV)
Some scholars (typically liberal) suggest that the prohibitions above (boldface passages) relate to pagan temple practice and not normative human behavior. As such, they argue, the Bible does not prohibit homosexuality in general, only homosexual practices in pagan ritual. For this view, see here (as an example). The first passage references sacrificial offerings of human children to Molech (18:21), thus establishing a temple-worship connection.
Such an argument is specious. First, the second passage (20:10-16) does not mention Molech, but rather focuses on immorality in general. Second, the first passage references Molech only after enumerating different types of immoral, procreational sex, suggesting that the product of such relationships should not be discarded on the alter of Molech. The passage then moves to immoral, nonprocreational sexual acts: homosexuality and bestiality (or zoophilia). Third, neither passage is restricted nor directed toward temple practices. If this statement is false, then bestiality is permitted outside the temple. The same would apply to adultery, incest, and various other immoral practices enumerated in the passages. As such, the prohibitions in these passages relate to general human behavior, not specific temple practices — the prohibitions stand among (are couched in) commandments that pertain to morality in general. Thus, the passages enjoining homosexual behavior (above) define conduct that is outside normative morality.