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How does Leviticus apply to us today?

Discussion in 'Whosoever Will, May Come - Liberal' started by sniperelite7, Feb 22, 2012.

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  1. sniperelite7

    sniperelite7 Junior Member

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    So i've recently got into a discussion with a fellow brother regarding how Leviticus applies to us as Christians. He sent me this.

    I replied in this fashion.



    Sorry for the wall of text, but this is the first time i've seen someone refer to Leviticus in such a selective manner, that the word Toevah can just magically refer to an eternal mortal sin in the absence of God saying "it is an abomination to you" perplexes me. Thoughts?
     
  2. hedrick

    hedrick Senior Veteran CF Ambassador

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    I'm asking the question in the topic title. I am not responding to the issue of homosexuality, since the CF rules do not permit such discussions, and do not permit the presentation of my views on that subject.

    While most of the things on the 28 point list are bad, I don't think it makes sense to use Leviticus as a basis for that. Leviticus was part of a covenant with the Jews, which even Jews don't consider to be binding on the rest of humanity. The conventional Jewish view was that a few principles were incorporated into God's covenant with Noah, and those apply to us. The agreement of Acts 15 is often tied to that. I would say that Christian ethics should be based on Jesus' teachings. You can find all of the 10 commandments there, although in a non-legalistic fashion.

    As you point out, the holiness code was tied to ritual cleanness, a concept that does not apply to us. On the other hand, the OT and NT God is the same, so presumably basic moral principles are the same. But as a Christian I'd like to see ethics based on things that appear in the NT. I think there's enough ethical content in the NT for this to work.
     
  3. Jase

    Jase New Member

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    As was already stated, To'evah only refers to something that's ritually unclean or taboo for the Israelites. It was used to set them apart from their pagan surrounding cultures. To'evah does not denote a moral sin. Abomination is a horrible corrupted translation of that word, that unfortunately due to the influence of the KJV has become the mainstream connotation among Conservative Christians.

    Most Jews consider the Torah laws archaic and irrelevant to the modern era. Why on earth would Christians still consider them applicable?
     
  4. Izdaari

    Izdaari Episcopalutheran (TEC/ELCA)

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    Leviticus applies only to the Jews, and much of it is specifically for the Tribe of Levi, the Jewish priestly caste. As is made clear in Acts and several of the Epistles, the Apostles did not expect non-Jewish converts to follow Mosaic laws... and the Apostles themselves mostly gave up following them too, and they were all Jews. Paul explains why they don't apply to Christians in Galatians.
     
  5. sniperelite7

    sniperelite7 Junior Member

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    Thank you for the responses, the idea that God singled out specific ritual sins as "abominations" for all eternity was a new one and caught me off guard, had to double check I wasn't missing something.

    george, i'm not trying to justify any sin here. Just promoting critical reading of scriptural texts. ;)
     
  6. hedrick

    hedrick Senior Veteran CF Ambassador

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    OK, Lev 18:24 pretty clearly sees some practices as unacceptable for anyone. My concern is that trying to distinguish specific rules in Lev based on their wording seems artificial. Plenty of practices that are not called abominations are just as serious as those that are called abominations, and may incur the death penalty, and some abominations are ritual uncleanness that later Jews didn't think applied to everyone. I don't think Lev was designed with the goal of separating laws intended for Israel from principles intended for all nations, and using it that way is bound to produce misleading results. It's the ultimate in "picking and choosing."
     
  7. sniperelite7

    sniperelite7 Junior Member

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    However, just to play the devil's advocate. As his argument seems to be revolving around this.


    Now, I am beginning to see the root of his argument. It is that because Toe'vah also denotes things which we would find morally unacceptable today and what was mentioned as abominable to God, like human sacrifice, and incest; so though we are out from under the old law. Things like murder, incest, and in the argument of my friend-homosexuality are still in that list of things that are morally, not ritually acceptable.

    Though at this point, i'm thinking that such an assertion would be false. Yes child sacrifice, and incest are morally wrong. But, this provision from Leviticus occurs within the context of the surrounding verses. That is, verses 6-18 are forms of incest. 19-20 continue the theme of forbidden sexual activity. After that, the pattern changes to condemnations of pagan practices.

    So though it would be hard to argue against certain moral principles of the torah, one could take issue with the placement of verse 22. That because of the usage of the word Toe'vah, and its placement within pagan ritual practice. Leviticus 18:22 is referring exclusively to male-male sexual intercourse within a pagan cultic setting.
     
  8. Jase

    Jase New Member

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    Correct. It's obvious based on the odd placement of verse 18:22 that it's referring to Caananite temple worship. It completely changes subject matter and shifts to discussing child sacrifice to Molech, and then immediately following that is the man lying verse. I will also point out those men are without a doubt primarily heterosexuals, not gays. It was heterosexual men that engaged in pagan sex rituals in order to gain favor with the gods. Gays are too small of a minority to be the target of the verse (ignoring the fact that gays were unknown concept back then).

    Most Jews now view it as pagan prostitution and worship rituals, not a condemnation on gays.

    Fundies, however, always ignore the preceding Molech and child sacrifice context, and attack people with the stand alone verse.

    They will resort to any level to demonize gays.
     
  9. LawsonAlan

    LawsonAlan Guest

    The bible has "plainly written" so many obvious mistakes that it cannot be taken as concrete fact. Judas' death is written two different ways. One of them has to be wrong. Rainbows existed before Noah saw his. Bats are not birds. Pi is not 3. I could go on and on.

    What matters is that we have intelligence. We can sort through chaff. We are left with an amazing story of God's love and a message of mercy and equality for all of God's children.

    The rules also limit our ability to actually post anything regarding the "facts" as we see the them in regard to God's love and acceptance of certain people who this site has deemed unworthy of God's love.

    So, don't feel shocked that we don't have to accept a literalist style of belief. It's actually not that much of a protection for us at all, given that we are gagged by rules that do not allow us to speak of a truly loving and merciful God. This site won't allow that kind of discussion.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2012
  10. FreeinChrist

    FreeinChrist CF Staff Trainer Staff Member Administrator Supporter CF Staff Trainer

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    MOD HAT


    This thread has undergone a small clean up. As a reminder, the Statement of Faith for this forum is this:

    Please stay on topic
     
  11. lismore

    lismore Legend

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    I have some interesting books at home on the Feasts of Israel, the Laws and such like.

    Leviticus points to Jesus. Some of the pointers are very subtle, but they are there.

    The punishment for our law-breaking was on him.
     
  12. artybloke

    artybloke New Member

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    Of course it does. With a little imagination, you could make it refer to computers and Barack Obama. All you need is a pair of scissors and a pot of glue.

    That Bible verses can be taken out of context and so easily made to refer to things that were never even a blip in the original writers' heads is not one of the things that make me want to read again.
     
  13. nationwide1

    nationwide1 Guest

    What do you mean how does that follow? I have just explained, not seeing homosexuality as a sin is by definition promoting it, which is against the forum rules. Promotion by definition incorporates furthering the cause.


    So are you advising people not to indulge in homosexuality, or what is your point?
     
  14. non-religious

    non-religious Veteran

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    Because some believers are so zealous for their interpretation of the Word of God; they feel utterly compelled to make others see things as they do. I'm not suggesting their moives are not sincere, it just seems odd that people who have such a flagrant disdain for homosexuality, perhaps even homosexuals themselves, would feel the need to venture over here and continue to articulate their prejudice/ignorance. You'd be surprised how offended some people can get about two people of the same sex falling in love and having a relationship.
     
  15. FreeinChrist

    FreeinChrist CF Staff Trainer Staff Member Administrator Supporter CF Staff Trainer

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    Sorry, had to do a clean up because of inappropriate posts. As a reminder, the site rules include:


    Congregational Forum Restrictions, Christian Only Forums, and Off-Topic posts
    Do not teach or debate in any Congregational Forum unless you are truly a member and share its core beliefs and teachings. Questions and fellowship are allowed, proselytizing is not.​
    Teaching against the beliefs of a congregation is not allowed. This thread is staying closed for now.
     
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