Sunday

Pastor Tim Keller

The Joe Dallas post left a really bad taste in my mouth, so I want to be fair with showing what others have to say who are less loathsome with this topic even though they still believe homosexuality is not compatible with the Biblical ethic. Tim Keller is one of those people who even though we disagree fundamentally on this (his "flourishing' argument is one of the easiest to take apart), I respect his Christ-like approach and tone.

9 comments:

InsightSeeker said...

Hello,

Great blog. I've read your interpretation/argument that allows homosexual relations in the Mosaic Law, but I see a hole that I was hoping you could comment on.

I will paraphrase, and if I am incorrect in my understandings please correct me, but from what I understand you are saying essentially that the prohibitions in Leviticus are ceremonial, and where they are not ceremonial but also moral, they are repeated in Deuteronomy. You pointed out that homosexual relations aren't repeated in Deuteronomy, therefore it is morally and lawfully permissible.

The problem I see is that the laws are written addressed to men, in Leviticus, so there are commands not to lay with your mother, sisters, aunts, etc. Where it addresses women, it specifies women, for example in the verse about beastiality. But it forbids sexual interactions with the female relatives you have, BUT, there are no commands to not sleep with your father or brothers or uncles, HOWEVER there would not need to be such a command if the verse about homosexual relations being forbidden is indeed referring to homosexual relations, because it would forbid all male-male sex acts, whether incestuous or not, so forbidding it and then detailing more commands would be redundant.

I am sure you already see the issue, but it seems to me that if that verse isn't forbidding homosexual relations, then incestuous homosexual relations are permitted, but this definitely doesn't seem correct. What are your thoughts?

rottenqueerchristian said...

Welcome.

I don't know exactly what you read, but when I say homosexual relationships are not forbidden, I say that as coming from the Leviticus passages themselves and not just because they are absent in Deuteronomy.

Leviticus is coming from a place of idolatry, I posted about it here:
http://rottenqueerchristian.blogspot.com/2013/04/leviticus-loves-deuteronomy.html

I also posted a "what if?" the Leviticus passages WEREN'T in the context of idolatry here:
http://rottenqueerchristian.blogspot.com/2015/01/baby-got-back.html

With the accompanying links.

If I didn't clarify myself, please, tell me or if I didn't answer your question.

InsightSeeker said...

Thanks for the quick reply. I re-read your links, but the problem I see is still present.

It is basically this: under your interpretation of the subject, where is the prohibition against homosexual relations with your father, brothers, uncles, and father-in-laws?

I see prohibitions against having incestuous sex with close female relatives (mother, sisters, aunts, mother-in-law) in both Leviticus and in Deuteronomy, but I don't see prohibitions against incestuous sex with close male relatives (father, brothers, uncles, father-in-law). If the verses in Leviticus are a general prohibition against homosexuality, then commands against incest with males would not need to be stated because it would necessarily be included in the command against homosexuality (where all homosexual relations would be prohibited, both incestuous and otherwise).

But if the verses in Leviticus (and elsewhere) only prohibit such relations in the context of idolatry, then you have a situation (referencing Deuteronomy) where you are not permitted to have incestuous sex with sisters, mother, and mother-in-law, but there are no restrictions on having incestuous sex with their male counterparts. This intuitively seems wrong to me.

Under your interpretations, where are the prohibitions against incestuous sex with MALE close relatives?

Does that make sense? What are your thoughts?

rottenqueerchristian said...

Oh, I get what you're saying now, I think.
Let me try this again and tell me if I still didn't get it.



Leviticus 18:6 makes the general prohibition of ALL incest right from the start:

"No one is to approach any close relative to have sexual relations. I am the Lord."


So God IS being redundant because verse 6 makes verses 7-20 redundant (off the top of my head I don't know the name of the style the Jews write in that re-states what is already said that we would find redundant in our modern syntax). Notice the break after verse 20 (all the incest prohibitions are now finished)? Now it changes over to an idolatry context with verse 21 saying; "Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molek, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the Lord." That sets up verse 22 that says; "Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman..."

rottenqueerchristian said...

By the way this is a great question and I have a few more thoughts.

If Leviticus is making a blanket statement with prohibiting homosexuality, it's still missing in Deuteronomy. All the variations of male with female relations incest are there even though there's a blanket prohibition of all incest in Leviticus 6.

Now if you had the Qu-desh verse WITH the verse, or any variation of, "man shall lay with male," the case could be made it's a general prohibition, but you don't find it in Deuteronomy.

As I pointed out in one of my links, the Leviticus passages CAN'T give a general prohibition by it's very wording with "ish" being with "Zakhar" in verse 22 because the prior verse gives "Zakhar" it's idolatry interpretation with Molek worship. The incest verses are prior to the mention of Molek worship, so yeah, you can say those verses are outside of idolatry if you want.

The verses don't need to bring up men with their male relations because it's covered with verse 6 that in no way speak on two homosexual men who are not related.

InsightSeeker said...

Very interesting points! I am really close to being convinced on this specific hole. You approached it a little differently than I intended, but you are addressing what I am asking either way. Let me just make sure I am getting the right understanding from you.

Do you believe that Lev 18:6-20 are speaking generally or in the context of idolatry?

If you believe that Lev 18:6 specifically is speaking only in an idolatrous context, where is the general prohibition against male-male incest in Deuteronomy or otherwise?

Or do you believe that Lev 18:6 carries over as a general prohibition into Deuteronomy? If so, why were the male-female incest prohibitions restated, but not the male-male incest prohibitions?

This is very interesting. Thanks for the quick replies!

rottenqueerchristian said...

There is one thing I think will surprise both of us, the smoking gun, Did you know male incest is mentioned in verse 7?
I went to the Hebrew and it read:

"עֶרְוַת אָבִיךָ וְעֶרְוַת אִמְּךָ, לֹא תְגַלֵּה: אִמְּךָ הִוא, לֹא תְגַלֶּה עֶרְוָתָהּ."

Translated:

"The nakedness of thy father, AND the nakedness of thy mother, shalt thou not uncover: she is thy mother; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness."

I checked the Hebrew with the Torah and I don't know why it's not reflected in modern Christian translations. With your argument it's very important and until you made the argument I didn't know this myself.

Ass to your question...

I believe ALL of Leviticus is God giving the standard of how the ancient Jews were to live that separated them from the practices in Canaan because that's stated in Leviticus 18:2,3. That being said, I believe God is going out of his way to bring up the SPECIFIC practices of Molek worship that involved male homosexuality with verses 21 and 22.

I also believe the big picture is getting lost here when the New Birth/Covenant prevents us from running back to these old laws.

InsightSeeker said...

Thanks for the replies bro, I will have to think and pray about these findings, but they have been great.

I agree with your comment about the New Covenant, but I find that a lot of understanding of how God thinks and prefers can be demonstrated in the OT. The Bereans searched the OT scriptures for truth, if I understand correctly, so I like to take the same approach and have it all line up, keeping in mind the New Covenant reality.

It would be great to correspond some more if I find anything else. You are literally the only person I have found that has analyzed the topic this deeply and precisely; I literally have not been able to talk with anyone else about this on this level - and I don't mean that in a proud way, I just wish there was more people who read and believed the Word of God! So if you're open, let me know.

Peace man.

rottenqueerchristian said...

Absolutely. I would love to correspond with whatever you find or question.

I have to thank you for getting me to look at this angle in Leviticus. Excellent argument.

Keller is right in that Christians who are advocates for LGBT feel they have to compromise the Word to be accepting, my argument has always been they don't need to or fear what they might find if they search the Word as a Berean like you do, I praise God for people like you with an open heart.



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