Exchange on Jesus and Homosexuality, and Relevance
of Levitical Teachings on Homosexuality to Christians Matt1618

A Response to claims that Old Covenant Prohibitions do not pertain to New Covenant Christians Matt1618

This is a record of an exchange that I had on a message board that deals with a focus on the relevance of the Levitical prohibition on homosexuality. The opponent also stated that Jesus never spoke on homosexuality, and as he did not specifically condemn homosexual activity, and since people are born homosexual, God would welcome homosexuals, as they are. He states that the Christian condemnation of the act of homosexuality means we are saying God hates homosexuals. He argues that since there are a lot of passages in Leviticus and Deuteronomy that Christians ignore, Moses is going by customs/traditions that are no longer valid today. Therefore the teaching on homosexuality does not apply to Christians today. He also argues that people who condemn homosexuality are hypocrites and pick and choose from the Old Testament what they want to apply. I argue that Jesus teaching on marriage by definition teaches that homosexuality is a sin, and homosexual activity must be opposed. I also argue that all of the basic moral teachings from the Levitical code still apply, even if punishments for violating those moral tenets are dramatically reduced on earth. There are some teachings that are ceremonial, or having to do with blood, that are no longer binding because Jesus’ sacrifice on earth for our salvation did away with the need for such laws. However, breaking the moral law, such as bestiality, incest, and homosexuality, leads to eternal consequences. If people die, unrepented from those sins, they will get eternal separation from God. The person I exchange with is in green, and my response will follow. Now, I have updated some of my responses with grammatical corrections as well as additional ideas and citations that I have since discovered. Please excuse some of the exchanges being repetitious, for example the opponent would bring up some of the same things repeatedly so I would answer back going back and forth with different explications of similar answers.

What did Jesus say about homosexuality, for or against?
Jesus never specifically used the words, ‘homosexuality is a sin.’ However, he did speak on the issue of sex, and marriage. But at a minimum we will see at least he infers to it, as a sin. He did speak about the nature of marriage. He never was asked directly about it because no one in the Jewish community thought that homosexuality was ok. There were divisions in the Jewish community, but there were no parties that thought homosexuality was ok, just as none thought bestiality was ok. Why would he have to speak about it if everyone knew that it was wrong? He wasn't asked about bestiality or incest; does that mean that since he wasn't asked about those issues, he thought that that activity was ok? Of course not. By the way, Christians do not disregard the Old Testament teachings on the matter of homosexuality. For Christians, the teaching on homosexuality in the Old Testament is not just relegated as inconsequential as Old Testament dietary laws that are no longer relevant for Christians. We will get to that. But besides that, he was asked about marriage, and this is what he said:

Mark 10:2-8

2 And Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” 3 He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” 4 They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce, and to put her away.” 5 And Jesus answered and said to them, Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. 6 But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female. 7 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, 8 and the two shall become one flesh[b] so then they are no longer two, but one flesh .
So besides pointing to the Old Testament, which elsewhere explicitly condemns homosexuality, he also says that the way people were to be mated was as male and female. Man shall be joined to his wife. Male and female. That by definition would exclude male male couples.

Also, we know that Jesus will not take anything out of context to prove a teaching matter. He quotes from two locations in Genesis, Genesis 1:27 and Genesis 2:24. He talks about God making human beings as male and female. An important passage is related:

Genesis 1:28:

28 And God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.”
Jesus is specifically uniting God making people man and woman, to man leaving his parents to go to be with a woman, with procreation, to be fruitful and multiply. So thus, when Jesus is uniting Genesis 1:27 with 2:24, where God said man and woman will become two flesh, we know that part of marriage is this very important part of it, which is to be fruitful and multiply. So automatically procreation is a part of the marriage package. Only man and woman united can be procreative. So Jesus by definition of marriage, which God defines is procreative, can only be man and woman. Homosexual sexual activity can not lead to being fruitful. Thus, Jesus’ definition of marriage, when taking from the context of the passages that is drawn from, automatically excludes any homosexual union.

Jesus was clear above. Jesus made an appearance to Paul (Acts 9), and he became a chief spokesman for Christianity (Acts 9:15). In effect Jesus endorsed him. Paul, who ran into the issue with the Greeks in Corinth, mentions it in 1 Cor. 6:9, we will see that further in this paper, who had people accepting the licitness of homosexual relations. Unlike Jesus, he ran into that issue, and he mentioned it. He mentions it as a sin in the same fashion as adultery, stealing, etc. He mentions it in Romans 1 quite extensively. He also refers to it in 1 Tim. 1:10. Another disciple, one of the apostles, Jude, in Jude 7 mentions it as well. All mention homosexual activity as a sin. Though we will mention these passages, the focus of this paper will be on Jesus’ teaching, and the Leviticus passage on homosexuality, and the appropriateness of the Levitical moral commands.

With that said, Jesus himself very well can be interpreted to at a minimum implicitly speak to the sin of homosexuality. Jesus speaks of sins that comes from the heart and defiles people. This list of sins is given in two places in the gospel, Mark 7 and Matthew 15. Here he is referencing man-made traditions and then goes on to speak of sins that defile men:

Mark 7:20-23 20 And he said, “What comes out of a man is what defiles a man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, fornication porneiai, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a man.”

Matthew 15:16-19 And he said, “Are you also still without understanding? 17 Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and so passes on?[d] 18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a man. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication (porneiai), theft, false witness, slander. 20 These are what defile a man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.”

Bible scholar Robert Gagnon goes over the meaning of the term ‘porneia’ in reference to the specific passage of Matthew 15:19:
No first-century Jew could have spoken of poerneiai (plural) without having in mind the list of forbidden sexual offenses in Leviticus 18 and 20 (incest, adultery, same-sex intercourse, bestiality). (footnote 8 notes: In this particular saying the sin of adultery is listed separately so the plural likely has incest in view, along with same-sex intercourse and bestiality, probably also fornication). The statement underscores that sexual behavior does matter. If Jesus made this remark, he would have understood homosexual behavior to be included among the list of offenses. Robert Gagnon, The Bible and Homosexual Practice, Texts and Hermeneutics, Abingtdon Press, Nashville, pp. 191-192.
So Jesus here speaks of sexual sins in plural, so specifically he is taking about multiple types of sexual sins, besides adultery, already mentioned. It is fornication plus other types of sexual sins and would include homosexuality. In addition, we will note that Porneia , the term translated as fornication, is reiterated in the apostolic decree in Acts 15. I will just focus on the passage that uses the term in Acts 15. Here is the decree where Gentiles were given the freedom to not be circumcised. But the Christians still had to not partake of particular sins. Here is the part of the passage I want to focus on. James proclaims:

Acts 15:19-21

19 Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, 20 but should write to them to abstain from the pollutions of idols and from unchastity (porneia) and from what is strangled[a] and from blood. 21 For from early generations Moses has had in every city those who preach him, for he is read every sabbath in the synagogues. .
Gagnon makes a very relevant point in reference to the term porneia as indicated in the passage in Acts 15. He notes that Moses is read every Sabbath. And since Moses by tradition is noted as writing the first five books of the Bible, that would include Leviticus and Deuteronomy. So what Christians are excluded from, are sexual sins noted in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. He is making a distinction between sexual sins that one is not supposed to partake of. Here Gagnon goes into some depth here, which I want to focus on:
That porneia would have included same-sex intercourse is evident from the fact that the prohibitions of the “Apostolic Decree” derive from the laws of Leviticus 17-18, among the few laws in the Hebrew Bible expressly enjoined even on resident aliens (Lev 17:8-10, 12-13, 15, 18:26). This approach was consistent with the development of so-called “Noahide laws” in early Judaism, commandments regarded as binding on all the descendants of Noah and constituting minimum standards for “righteous Gentiles.” Noahite laws always included a prohibition of sexual immorality, which for Jews in antiquity would have included same-sex intercourse. There is also every reason to believe that the use of porneia in Mark 7:21 (par. Mt. 15:19) should be taken in this broadest possible sense to include homosexual behavior. Gagnon, ibid., pp. 435-436.
We see that the term used by Jesus, in the two references in Mark and Matthew, is used in the very same manner to prohibit sexual sins, as identified by Moses, which includes homosexuality. Just like in the Old Testament passages, which we will see further down on here, speak not only to Jews, but Gentiles, the nations are to abide by. We see the apostles using the same term that Jesus did to note prohibitions on homosexual sins, also, incest and so forth. Therefore it is not a stretch to say Jesus prohibitions would include homosexual behavior.

One other thing is just pulling up the definition of the word, porneia in Strongs concordance #4202:

1. illicit sexual intercourse
a. adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc.
b. sexual intercourse with close relatives; Lev. 18
c. sexual intercourse with a divorced man or woman; Mk. 10:11,
2. metaph. the worship of idols
a. of the defilement of idolatry, as incurred by eating the sacrifices offered to idols
The KJV New Testament Greek Lexicon, Strongs # 4202, Porneia
So even included within Jesus’ use of the word porneia, which defiles the soul of one, homosexuality is included as one of the meanings of the word.

As noted earlier when Jesus speaks of marriage, he included procreation as a part of it. Another passage that shows relevance is shown in Jesus’ speaking of it in Matthew 22:22-30: As noted here:, (sorry if you want to see, copy and paste, unable to link to) God and the Gay Christian? A Response to Matthew Vines , written by the author R Albert Mohler, he notes that Jesus ties in procreation to marriage. Jesus is asked about who the wife would be married to, Mt. 22:23-32 if a woman was married, and seven husbands eventually died, though she was childless. Jesus answered that in heaven, there is no marriage, as it is in heaven. Life in heaven there is no marriage, where on earth, part of the purpose was procreation, there is no need for procreation in heaven. As Mohler rightly indicates in page 48, footnote 3:

3 The fact that Jesus read Genesis 1:27 and 2:24 together in Matthew 19:4–5 speaks against what Vines asserts, “While Genesis 1:28 does say to ‘be fruitful and increase in number,’ Genesis 2 never mentions procreation when describing the first marriage” (143). The connection between marriage and procreation, however, is so obvious it does not need to be stated. When Jesus speaks of the resurrection of the dead and says that the raised “neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like the angels in heaven” (Matt 22:30), part of his point is that in the resurrection, as with the angels, there will be no procreation, so there will be no marriage.
But someone may say well, does that mean men and women who do not procreate, are not married? The fact is, there are still people who no doubt have fertility issues. Abraham and Sarah lived as husband and wife, they were married, even though she had a fertility problem. Also Elizabeth was married to Zechariah, and that was a marriage, even though she was barren. Of course God miraculously made it possible that both Sarah and Zechariah would bear a child. Most infertile people nowadays however, do not have a miraculous intervention by God to make them fertile. Married people who are widowed and marry at a later stage can’t bear children. So is that saying infertile couples can not be married? No, Jesus and the Church do not say that. The order of their beings are still towards procreation, even if they can not procreate. They are not at fault for their inability to procreate. However, their natural function is still towards procreation. Homosexual sex is by its nature non procreative. That makes the difference. Jesus teaching thus, when looked at in a fuller context, does show, even if Jesus does not explicitly say ‘homosexual activity is a sin’, in his teaching on the nature of sex and marriage, and in his proclamation of sexual immorality as impure and makes us unclean, gives every hint that such activity is sinful.
Originally Posted by indemiddle

The verse that is quoted from the book of Mark was addressing the issue of divorce - there was a specific question (Mark 10:2) that preceded that answer - "The Pharisees came and asked Him, 'Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?' testing Him." The text was not addressing sexuality or sexual sin for that matter.

Apostle Paul, not to diminish his work in any way, shape, or form, taught some things that Jesus never proclaimed - 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 for example:

"Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church."

Is the church today not adhering to these edicts out of political correctness or because it is not Christ like? I believe it is the latter. The first person to see Christ after the resurrection according scripture was a woman who went on to proclaim the good news. See Mark 16:9 and Matthew 28:7. We could also talk about the Gospel of Mary, but that may prove too controversial.

Forget the dietary laws. There are many other things we could go into that Christians today do not practice. We could talk about maidens who allow themselves to be defiled (Deuteronomy 22:13-21), a stubborn child (Deuteronomy 21:18-21), making of carved images (Exodus 20:4), etc.

In one sense you are correct he is just answering on divorce. If he just said yes or no on divorce and kept it at that, you may have a point. However, he goes much further than answering the specific question. Divorce is obviously directly tied into the issue of marriage, and he goes back to its foundation. And he went to the beginning of creation to say that in the beginning, he made man and woman as partners. They come together as one. Of course there is a reference to sex, that is how they come together. The quote is from Genesis 2:24, back to Genesis 1:27 which follows where he says he made man and woman, he said be fruitful and multiply. They come together in sex, the natural way. So if he was talking about that, that would preclude homosexual sex. Again, no Jew thought it would be spiritually okd by any leader to practice homosexuality so of course no asked him directly, just as no one asked him about incest or bestiality.

In reference to the idea of Paul's writing being ignored because 'well we don't go by 1 Cor. 14:34' so we can ignore him about his condemnation of the action of homosexuality. It must be looked around what he wrote about elsewhere. He wrote it was okay for women to pray and prophecy in the assembly earlier, 1 Cor. 11:5 (as long as her head was covered, clearly a cultural context). But it would mean that they couldn't be elders or in the modern sense (pastors), and preach as pastors. The early church in the historical context only had male priests or pastors only. So it must be speaking as pastor that they are forbidden, not that they couldn't speak at all.

Let’s take a look at the three examples. Deuteronomy 22:13-21, does show that a virgin who is stoned because she was not shown to be a virgin. Heterosexual sin, is still heterosexual sin, fornication is termed fornication, and that activity without repentance will still lead to eternal separation from God. Yes, the girl is stoned. Now that is a penalty context for sure. Not technically a cultural context, because the sin of premarital sex was wrong in the Old Covenant. It is still wrong in the New Covenant. However the penalty is not the same, that is the cultural context. The concept is still right, that it is better to be a virgin than not. The penalty is big, the father tries to bring up his daughter right, being obedient to God’s law so that when she marries a man, she would go into marriage as a virgin. I know not too common nowadays but still something which is a good guide. Now, the idea is the daughter represents how the Father has raised her. Sexual purity was highly valued, unlike today. Very good concept I wish we had today. So the concept of sexual purity is still important today in God’s eyes. But obviously in the New Covenant, there are no such penalties of death. The principle and calling for the unmarried to be pure, is still a valid teaching.

The other passage you referred to where a child who was disobedient to their parents, and were killed via stones, in the Old Covenant law. The commandment to honor father and mother, and to obey them, is still valid in the New Covenant. However, in the New Covenant, the teaching is still valid, but disobedience does not lead to death. Carved images just was tied into worshipping false gods. Before that statement it says you shall have no other gods before me. God commanded Moses to make carved images at a later point, Exodus 25:16-20, 26:1, 31: The proscription of that was because it was against making following those images as gods. It doesn't mean carved images could never be made, you just don't worship them as gods. That is why Israel was condemned when they made carved images and saw them as 'These are your gods' (Exodus 32:4), that is why they got punished. Carved images are never meant to replace God. That is still the teaching. As a Catholic I've written on this specific issue:

Christians are not to disregard the teachings on not being a fornicator, and not disobeying parents, and not making carved images and worshipping them, even if they are in the Old Testament. Those teachings are still valid today, even if the punishment for violating those teachings is not the same. Nonetheless the sins mentioned in those three passages are still sins in the new covenant, and if one dies with any of those sins on their soul, just like homosexual sins, unrepented of, that person will not inherit the kingdom of heaven.

One minute the argument is that Old Testament is as relevant today, and when it is said, OK, let's examine the book, it then turns to but...this and that let's talk about the New Testament instead.

God did not tell Moses homosexuality was a sin - he was only preaching customary traditions, the same way he instructed (Leviticus 15:19) that a woman should be put away during her monthly cycle and anything or anyone she touches will be unclean and must be washed.

I do not run away from the Old Testament teaching on the sinfulness of any sinful act. In the New Covenant however, the death penalty for such sins, do not apply. The teaching on homosexuality in the Old Testament is affirmed in the New Testament. The penalties are not for sure. Paul didn't say that homosexuals need to be killed, but as quoted, offer them freedom in Christ, to turn away from the act of homosexuality. Jesus is not speaking of cultural issues in Mark 10 in reference to marriage. When Jesus says ‘from the beginning’, it is not a cultural context. The meaning of sex was affirmed, the union of one man and one woman. Moses ideas on that in Leviticus go back to what Jesus himself is affirming. Tradition has it that Moses wrote Genesis 1 and 2, which confirms that man and woman were made for each other and they were made to go with each other and be fruitful and multiply. Something that is not possible for homosexual couples.

Let us go to the prohibition against homosexuality in Leviticus, whether Moses is speaking only of cultural issues specific only to the Jews of Moses’ time, and of no relevance for humanity in general, as you apparently are asserting. With its background in Genesis, of course Sodom and Gomorrah the act of homosexuality is condemned, as affirmed by Jude 7. So the background to Moses’ writing in Deuteronomy, predates Moses’ time (Moses writes Genesis, but it predated himself). Now in reference to Deuteronomy & Leviticus, sure sometimes there are references to specific things that God is speaking just to ‘sons of Israel’, that is the context. In Leviticus 4, 7, 11-15, 23, 24 (15:19 is dealing with ritual purity and cleanliness dealing also with health matters at the time, not eternal laws) Moses is speaking just to the sons of Israel. But looking at Leviticus 18, the context for example, here God is relaying his teaching as applying to all people, beyond the Jews.

Lev. 18:22-30

"You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination. 23 Also you shall not have intercourse with any animal to be defiled with it, nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it; it is a perversion. 24 Do not defile yourselves by any of these things; for by all these the nations which I am casting out before you have become defiled 25 ‘For the land has become defiled, therefore I have visited its punishment upon it, so the land has spewed out its inhabitants. 26 But as for you, you are to keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not do any of these abominations, neither the native, nor the alien who sojourns among you 27 (for the men of the land who have been before you have done all these abominations, and the land has become defiled); 28 so that the land may not spew you out, should you defile it, as it has spewed out the nation which has been before you. 29 ‘For whoever does any of these abominations, those persons who do so shall be cut off from among their people. 30 ‘Thus you are to keep My charge, that you do not practice any of the abominable customs which have been practiced before you, so as not to defile yourselves with them; I am the Lord your God.’"
So here, these are specific things that are done by all the nations (v. 24), ones outside of Israel. And these specifically are called an abomination. So this subset right here applies to all people. These sins defile the nations. These prohibitions apply to even the aliens or natives who sojourn with Israel (v. 26). He is not speaking only of Israel. Immediately after the condemnation of homosexuality is the mention of intercourse with an animal. Thus, bestiality and homosexuality are likewise condemned. In the beginning of Chapter 18, God is talking about how they dwelt in Egypt and Canaan, with Egyptians and Canaanites. Those nations have practiced these things that are called abominable. So God is talking more than what is happening just to the Jews. Here God is going beyond what kind of meat they are supposed to eat, or other ritualistic practices unique to Israel. Leviticus 18:6-18, says don’t have all kinds of incestual sex, sisters, cousins, mother, father, etc. Don’t do these abominations. They are detestable. So it is not merely talking about a Jewish cultural context. Even today look at chapter 18, all the sex with individuals are condemned. No one today says it is ok to have sex with their mother, father, brother, and sister. Moses uses the term ‘Uncovering’ is another term of having sex with that person. That is not just a mere cultural concept that has no relation to reality.
Apostle Paul too, like Moses, taught tradition and what was customary at the time. Paul taught that a woman who prays without covering her head dishonors her head, but you say he was only teaching tradition.

With regards to the Epistle of Jude, Martin Luther said, "although I value this book, it is an epistle that need not be counted among the chief books, which are to lay the foundation of faith." You believe however that Luther was giving his own opinion, just as you are, and myself included.

The 2nd commandment is as clear as daylight in language forbidding making for yourselves venerated images of any likeness, whether of things of this earth or heavens. Christians disobey this law and try to rationalize with unscriptural justification.

If God is the same today as He was yesterday, and will be tomorrow, and does not change, it would seem too many followers of Christ love to pick and choose which part of scripture is fitting for the moment when it is convenient and to disparage others especially homosexuals.

"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?" ~ Jesus

No, I don't believe for a second Christ hates homosexual and would not welcome with open arms people born as such.’

Paul is talking about the nature of sex, and the nature of man and women, that is not a cultural thing. It is a different category from what a woman wears on her head in 1 Cor. 11. In 1 Corinthians 6, he is writing of who will go to heaven and who will go to hell, based on their activity, that is not a cultural context. He's laying down eternal consequences. Jude also affirms it in Jude 7, Luther practically threw the book away, fortunately Protestants did not go along with him, who did not ultimately throw those books away (Hebrews, James, Jude, etc.) but relegated them to second class status.

I am not rationalizing images, God commanded Moses to make images as I specifically quoted and you ignored. That traditionally has been seen as a continuation of the first commandment to not have other gods. I have written on that. It is not a rationalization, but a look at that scripture in context. And it acknowledges that elsewhere he commanded Moses to make carved images so it is not carved images in and of themselves but the use of them as gods, which is condemned.

You are creating a straw man when you say that we believe that God hates homosexuals. As Paul writes, he provides freedom to get away from that sin. Paul says you were washed, you were justified (cleansed) from that, you can get out of that. God loves them not by them saying it is ok to do what is unnatural. One can get cleansed.

You said judge not lest ye be judged as though Jesus is condemning those who are against homosexual activity. Jesus himself knew and judged that the women he caught in adultery (Jn 8), had done a wrong, but offered grace, so she would turn away from that sin. He still had made a judgment that it was wrong, and said to her ‘sin no more.’ As noted before, Jesus himself in Mark 10 and Matthew 19 specifically judged that marriage, going back from the beginning of time is between man and woman, and in that very context of Genesis 1 that he was quoting from, he judged that man and women were made to come together, and they were to be fruitful and multiply. That judgment of Jesus, is that the only thing proper in God’s eyes is where the nature of the couple, is that they were to be procreative. Now, if it is true that some may not be able to procreate because either the man or woman, may be infertile, the nature of the union is procreative. The nature of homosexual union is not procreative. Jesus also judged that sins that defiled the heart was sexual immorality, or ‘fornication.’ The way that the term was used by Jesus made the judgment that any sex outside the marriage union, is sinful. The language that Jesus used, in Matthew 15:19 and Mark 7:21, porneia, as documented, and the same word was used and confirmed by his apostles in Acts 15, that specifically dealt with people being barred from Levitical sexual sins, which also included condemning homosexuality activity.

Looking at the exchange in context, known customary practices and history in response to the specific question, "is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?" was used to address it, and the text went on to say, "He answered, 'Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.'" Marriage was addressed the only it could have been given the setting. This is not an indication Jesus was implicating or omitting homosexuality.

Are we really going to address incest if one truly believes the Adam lineage was the beginning, followed by the destruction of Earth, and Noah's continuation of mankind as the Bible teaches?

My interpretation of 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 is not much different but I do believe the text is clear that women need to be submissive and silent in church. It continues on verses 36-38; "Or did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached? If anyone thinks they are a prophet or otherwise gifted by the Spirit, let them acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command. But if anyone ignores this, they will themselves be ignored." I don't disagree that Paul is saying women cannot be in leadership. Do you believe and practice it? You don't have to answer.

Besides the subject of defiled maidens, stubborn children, there is also the teaching on how to address rape, especially, that of a maiden, Deuteronomy 22:28-29. I don't believe Moses was given instruction by God that it's OK to rape a virgin and then force her to marry her rapist. There are so many more to touch upon that are neither preached nor practiced today. The carved image was brought up because of love of engraved images that is ever so common among followers of Christ - the cross and the crucifix specifically - contrary to the 2nd commandment, "You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below."

So, I don't for one second believe God hates homosexuals and death is to be administered with stones. Moses taught customs and traditions as the did Apostle Paul on the matter. If you believe Paul was teaching traditions regarding head coverings for women, why can't it be accepted that his teachings on homosexuality was also cultural - I mean, how does one pick and chose?! Jesus in his 3 years of ministry never once addressed the subject, and neither did any of the disciples.

Again, Jesus is going to detail on why divorce is not something that God would approve of. He goes back to the beginning of creation. As he goes back he specifically ties two passages together on the nature of marriage. As shown earlier, the passage from which this is drawn from specifically points to being fruitful and multiply, and between a man and woman. They are complementary, and of one flesh, and bear children. This by definition excludes homosexual coupling. When Jesus condemns sexual immoralities, that term encompasses homosexual actions. Of course penalties are not the same in the New Testament. In the Old Testament, there was the death penalty. In the New Testament grace is offered through Jesus Christ even while condemning homosexual acts as sinful, 1 Cor. 6:9-11, Paul relates:
9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals,[c][d] 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
So homosexuality is seen as a sin just as thievery. However, it doesn't say we kill them on earth, God offers grace, washing away of the sin. So groups like Courage, which offer a way to escape that activity, fits right in. Paul writes, such 'were some of you.' But you were washed, cleansed. So God offers grace, so that you can turn away from that sin. It is love to offer grace to turn away from any sin that can cause one’s eternal damnation. Paul warns people to turn away from that sin for the sake of one’s own eternity. Just as people who participate in sins, don't have to be killed here on earth, but as Christians we can encourage them to turn away from these sins.

Jude 7, obviously not Paul, also gives a clear reference against homosexuality, not talking about mere culture:

7 just as Sodom and Gomor′rah and the surrounding cities, which likewise acted immorally and indulged in unnatural lust, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.
Now, in the beginning of course Adam and Eve were perfect at the time, they were not created as sinners. The book of Genesis does not prohibit brother/sister marriage. Hugh Ross notes the following here:, (sorry if you want to see, copy and paste, unable to link to) How did Adam and Eve’s kids procreate without committing incest, Peter Mattice:
The Levitical laws, however, must be considered in their proper historical context. Though the book of Genesis condemns sexual relations between children and their parents, it nowhere prohibits a man from marrying his sister or niece. Abraham, for example, married his half-sister without compunction. Not until the time of Moses were laws established forbidding a man from marrying a sister or niece. The timing of this command makes perfect sense biologically, for genetic defects as a result of intra-family marriage would not begin to crop up until after the first few dozen generations.
In other words, of course out of necessity, there had to be brother/sister sex in the beginning, as that was the only way to procreate. Until the time of the Levitical laws, brother/sister incest was not prohibited. However, as defects in the human race increased, at the same time, and as the population grew, genetic mutations grew as well. Incest was clearly avoidable by the time of Moses, and there is no excuse for it. Levitical laws reflect that, which at the beginning of time, was not necessarily sinful, became sinful and is condemned in Scripture by the time of the Levitical law.

The love of the cross and crucifix does not violate exodus 20:4 as long as that crucifix is not treated as God. That is a continuation of the first commandment to have no other gods. They were condemned in Exodus 32 because they treated the golden calf as a god.

The teaching in 1 Cor. 14 I believe as lived out, that women can't be priests. And preach from the pulpit, as priests. Not that they can't contribute to the church in many capacities.

I will look at Deuteronomy 22:28-29, and the alleged forcing of a woman to marry a rapist later.

The scripture on women who are found not to be virgins must be stoned to death was not addressed. The scripture on disobedient children being stoned to death was not addressed. The scripture on a raped virgin being forced to marry her rapist was not addressed. The scripture on a woman being put away during her menstrual cycle was not addressed. These are the laws as commanded. You might argue that death penalty was replaced with grace, but is it God's will that a raped woman should be forced to spend the rest of her life with a rapist or could it be that Moses was teaching tradition? Does God condone incest or not?
Ok, one by one:
It is still a sin in the new covenant for anybody to have sex before marriage, for anyone, child or adult. So though there is no death penalty, it is still discouraged and termed as sinful in the new covenant. There was ongoing obstinate rejection of their parents, turned over to elders of the city who likewise could not calm them down. They became gluttons and drunkards (Lev. 21:18-21). And the sins that they were committed were huge. So they got stoned. It is still wrong for kids to be wrong & drunk & disregard their parents in the New Covenant.

In the New Covenant, Jesus tells us about the importance of children honoring their parents, refers to it as a commandment. That is God’s law. Jesus criticized the Pharisaic tradition (Matthew 15, Mark 7), the Korban rule which ignored the commandment if they offered a gift to the temple instead of giving their parents the honor that they were due. He stresses the importance of that commandment of honoring ones parents, but he does not affirm the killing of children but does castigate the Pharisees for doing away with the commandment. Old Covenant teaching is affirmed, the penalty is not.

Deut 22:28-29 which your translation incorrectly talks about a person seeming to be forced to marry the rapist. You can’t read that in isolation of a precedent that deals with the same issue. This background in Exodus helps to color Deuteronomy.

Deuteronomy 22:28-29“If a man meets a virgin who is not betrothed, and seizes her and lies with her, and they are found, then the man who lay with her shall give to the father of the young woman fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife, because he has violated her. He may not divorce her all his days."

Exodus 22:16-17“If a man seduces a virgin who is not betrothed and lies with her, he shall give the bride price for her and make her his wife. If her father utterly refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money equal to the bride price for virgins."

You bring this passage up later so I will give a fuller response when you bring up the background to this passage just a little bit later. The main thing is that you will see the correct translation of the passage is not rape. However, notice that this thing about the 50 shekels of silver. It is under the control of the Father. We will see that is consensual sex. So the Father is the head, in effect will get paid 50 shekels to marry his daughter to a man she consented to have sex with. No rape involved. And No Dad is ever going to want have their child marry a rapist and this passage does not teach that. But the premise that you state is totally false, as will be documented later when you bring up the context of the passage, I will respond then.

The main thing is that the Old Testament strictures are not to be ignored but depending on what it is, there is less of a penalty. So the three passages you point to, are not anything to be ignored, because they teach truths that are true now. Those actions are sins. Nonetheless, the Old Covenant Mosaic laws penalties are no longer in existence. In the New Covenant, though many of the things in the Levitical code are still important, there is no longer the death penalty for doing such sins.

The one about not having sex during menstrual cycle. Lev 20:18 “If a man lies with a woman during her monthly period and has sexual relations with her, he has exposed the source of her flow, and she has also uncovered it. Both of them must be cut off from their people.”
This goes back to the thing about blood. In the sacrificial system, blood was sacred. It was symbolic of the value placed on blood. This has to do with the Levitical sacrifices, which ended by the way during the destruction of Jerusalem 70 AD.

In the New Testament Christ paid the ultimate sacrifice. His once and for all sacrifice does away with the need to be concerned about menstrual cycle blood and any other sacrifices besides his sacrifice on behalf of men. Galatians 3 and Romans 3 show the Levitical sacrifices, ‘works of the law’ and the other things that deal with blood, do not guide Christians.

You have given an opinion on the subject of the 2nd commandment criticizing the Protestant interpretation; in essence, saying scripture can be interpreted in various ways. I don't agree with your interpretations, as I am sure you don't with mine. You believe in a certain deity whom you worship, then carve and engrave images in similar likeness - it violates the law.
The Jews were condemned because they said that these images were god. The Catholic Church does not treat those images as gods. We don’t worship images at all, and the Church condemns worshipping images. God commanded images to be made and that was even used in the temple itself, where worship was done, but not of the images themselves. The Christians sees the images point to God but are not God himself. The Christian does not worship the images. The idolaters in Exodus, saw those idols as God (Exodus 32:4).

God did not command Moses to make images in the likeness of one or a thing that is worshiped, and that is where you're wrong and your argument fails. In reference to the Ark of Covenant (Exodus 25:10-22), Moses gave description of its design, which included the fashioning of two cherubim - no one is worshiping cherubim, similarly to the serpent (Numbers 21:4-9) which is neither considered a deity nor worshiped.
I and the Church do not worship the statues if that is what you are crassly arguing. Yea, statues are not considered gods, yea, got it, that does nothing against Catholic teaching. Catholics don’t worship statues so my argument doesn’t fail.

Jesus addressed the issue of marriage as it related to divorce. He was neither asked if marriage was between a man and woman only, and given the question and setting, the answer was also neither dictating what the "nature of sex" was to be. You've conceded once that Apostle Paul's teaching in a particular case was "clearly a cultural context," yet, unwilling to accept that it is for others. How do you pick and chose which ones are cultural or which are precepts directed from God?
Jesus indeed volunteered the answer. He was asked about divorce. But divorce deals with what? Marriage. And he elaborates much, much further than what he was asked. He went back to when man and woman were created, as shown earlier. He went back to the way God designed man and woman. And he went and said he made man and woman, and the two will become one flesh. He himself went back to what marriage was: One man and one woman.

Now, there is no idea that Jesus relaxes anything in a sexual way which you are somehow inferring. He doesn’t let up on anything sexually in the New Covenant. People were asking him for his view on divorce and he said that isn’t the way to be. There were competing Jewish factions, both which accepted divorce; one where it was fairly easy to divorce, and the other, a little more difficult but both factions accepted divorce. Jesus did not. He points back to Genesis, to say that it was meant to be man with a woman for the rest of their lives. Let no one man separate from his wife. It is a lifelong commitment. There was no hint of him liberalizing the concept of marriage in any fashion. In fact, he even expands the idea of the meaning of adultery. If one lusts in his heart, that would be a sin (Mt. 5:27-30). He ate with the prostitutes, but his goal was to convert them to following him so they’d no longer be prostitutes. There was no one at that time who argued that homosexuality was ok, all Jewish religious people condemned homosexuality, so no one at that time would have even thought of asking him.

In the context of the time, Jesus was radical. He challenged the Pharisees (Mt. 15). He talked to a Samaritan woman (Jn 4). Jesus knew homosexuals existed. If he thought homosexuality was okay, even if no one would have the nerve to question him, he would have volunteered this information to his disciples. Without a doubt, he knew of homosexuality, and for sure, if a change in the morality of homosexuality was something he approved of, he would have taught it.

In reference to Paul and 1st Corinthians, look at the context, to see if what one is talking about is only cultural and what is not. When Paul is talking about people going to heaven or hell based on their activity, he’s not talking culture. In 1 Cor. 6:9-11 he’s talking eternity. If he’s talking about what type of food is ok to eat or not eat, that is cultural. In Romans 1 he’s talking about mankind in general, not only talking about Jews. So the thing in Romans 1 he is talking about God’s grace, and mankind in general, and so he’s talking about everybody. He’s talking not about Jews, but mankind in general when he writes Romans 1:26-27:

26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men, and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error.
So his reference to homosexuality as sinful is talking about it being wrong for all mankind. He is pretty clear there. Of course I as a Catholic go by the Church to help decipher this stuff and I understand that you don’t, here I just go by the answer that seems most reasonable. It is unreasonable to look at Paul’s condemnation of what he calls shameless acts when talking about mankind in general, and say oh well, he’s only talking about a Jewish cultural thing.
‘It is not a straw-man argument questioning whether or not God hates homosexuality. If you're instructing one to stone another to death because of something that is perceived to be abominable, or as you believe will lead to eternal damnation in hell, then the questioning is valid. And I will repeat, I don't share the view that God hates one who is born a homosexual.
It is a straw man to say that we say God hates homosexuals. I don't believe, and there is absolutely no science that says that one is 'born' homosexual. I deny the premise that one is born that way. What I am arguing is that God does hate the act of homosexuality. He hates the act of adultery. He hates the act of stealing. He does not hate homosexuals, adulterers, or thieves themselves. As I noted Paul says that Jesus offers freedom from that sin, 1 Cor. 6:11. That is why I encourage people to go to groups like Courage; their web page here. That is a Catholic group that offers help for people who would like to be in accord with God’s word. They are not a hate group, but are termed so by Homosexual activists. No one says that for those who have same sex attraction, that it is easy to stop having those attractions. Deep psychological issues are involved, and no one says that you pray it away. It takes a lot of work to get away from that attraction. Just as some may try and fail in dealing with alcoholism and drug abuse, it doesn’t mean that it can not succeed. Organizations such as Courage have a record of success. I think there is hope for them. I think that is better than to say, ‘oh well, you are stuck that way and have no need to change.’ God loves them, but not the act of homosexuality. Just as he loves heterosexual singles, but hates their sin of fornication, or he loves married people but hate when they commit adultery.

No one is asking for homosexuals to be stoned or says God hates homosexuals. In the New Covenant, no one is asking for the OT laws to be applied via the death penalty. In the New Covenant, no one is asking for children to be killed. Some of the prohibitions in Leviticus and Deuteronomy were ceremonial laws that don't apply because Christ fulfilled the law, his death put away the need for ceremonial laws. In the New Testament Jesus and Paul still confirmed the need to honor their parents, which the Old Covenant Scriptures refers to. No one is asking that people get killed if they disobey parents, as done in Leviticus/Deuteronomy. That was a moral law, one of the ten commandments to honor parents, it is still incumbent to honor parents, but no death penalty in the New Covenant if one does not. In Leviticus 18, the homosexual reference is a part of the moral law that all nations were told to observe. Menstruating women had to do with hygiene, uncleanness in blood at that time. That part wasn't a part of the moral law. Leviticus 18 for the most part was about the sin of incest as well as homosexuality, also some of which was practiced which other nations did, and was condemned. Again, this teaching is confirmed by Jesus saying that marriage is between one man and one woman, and Paul confirms the teaching in the New Testament against homosexuality, Romans 1, 1 Tim 1, 1 Cor. 6, just as he condemns in 1 Cor. 5, the sin of incest, also condemned in Leviticus 18:6-18.

Indemiddle: The interpretation that has been offered on the law specifying how rape was to be handled does not confirm to scripture, no matter how the text is translated or softened, the language is very clear. How do you seize someone and then claim the person had a choice in the matter?! Examining the law, it differentiates between a willing participant and one that is raped. Deuteronomy 22:23-29
23"If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her, 24 you shall take both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to death—the young woman because she was in a town and did not scream for help, and the man because he violated another man’s wife. You must purge the evil from among you.

25 But if out in the country a man happens to meet a young woman pledged to be married and rapes her, only the man who has done this shall die. 26 Do nothing to the woman; she has committed no sin deserving death. This case is like that of someone who attacks and murders a neighbor, 27 for the man found the young woman out in the country, and though the betrothed woman screamed, there was no one to rescue her.

28 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. 29 He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives."

The punishment for raping a betrothed or married woman was death, but if you rape a virgin that has not been given unto for marriage, you can choose to pay a fee and marry her, per dictation of her father - the woman has no say on the matter. Now, do you believe this was God's will or was Moses simply teaching customary laws and traditions? I don't believe it is or ever was God's will for a raped woman to marry her rapist.

You concede however that stoning of a woman discovered to not be a virgin was cultural, and probably not commanded by God. Perhaps the same holds true for similar teachings on homosexuality or that which commands putting a woman away during her monthly cycle because she is unclean and everything she touches or comes in contact with, too become unclean. Who gets to decides what came down from the mouth of God and what was man's?

Ok, I will deal with your faulty premise here, about accepting of a rapist raping the woman, and her being forced to marry the rapist, according to your translation. There are three sets of circumstances, let’s go over each one, and we’ll get to the third circumstance, where I said your premise is fully mistaken.

The first circumstance is verses 23-24, it is not rape. Notice Moses writes that ‘she did not scream out.’ Here when a woman who is married or engaged, they consensually have sex, they are stoned. This is consensual sex. This is just plain adultery. This is condemned in both the new and old covenants, though there is no death penalty in the new covenant.

The second circumstance, verses 25-27 is clearly rape. We will note the difference between the second circumstance verses 25-27, and the third circumstance, 28-29. The woman is pledged to be married. She is violated, and as verse 26 says it is as though the person attacks and murders his neighbor. She did not consent to this rape, and it says she has no fault. This is clearly rape, and in verse 25, it says she cried out. So for this rape, the man is stoned. In the new as well as old covenant, rape is condemned.

Then we finally get to your third circumstance, noted verses 28 and 29. Moses you claim seems to have a double standard. The one who is betrothed gets raped, and the perpetrator gets stoned, but for verses 28 and 29 the person who is raped is forced to marry the rapist, and the father pays the fee. However, you gave us a bad translation. The passage in verses 28 and 29 does not mean rape , even if your translation does say that. This passage is often used by skeptics to decry the God of the Old Testament however, the word used in v. 28, which you incorrectly translated as rape, is totally different from v. 25, which was rape. BTW, the RSV that I use, in verse 28 speaks of the term ‘seize’ not rape. Take a look at the definition of terms used:

When most English speakers hear that a person has “seized” another person, we necessarily jump to the conclusion that it is a violent action against the will of the other person. This problem has been aggravated by the fact that some translations inaccurately and mistakenly translate the word as “rape.” The truth is, however, the Hebrew word in this case translated “seizes” (tapas) can mean many things. Here are some examples of the way it is translated in Deuteronomy 22:28 in several different English translations:

• “lay hold on her” (ASV)
• “taking her” (DRA)
• “and takes her” (NLV/NAB)
• “and hath caught her” (YLT).

By looking at other passages that use the word, we can see that the word tapas sometimes has nothing to do with force, and therefore nothing to do with rape. As Greg Bahnsen has written:

The Hebrew word tapas (“lay hold of her,” emphasized above) simply means to take hold of something, grasp it in hand, and (by application) to capture or seize something. It is the verb used for “handling” the harp and flute (Gen. 4:21), the sword (Ezek. 21:11; 30:21), the sickle (Jer. 50:16), the shield (Jer. 46:9), the oars (Ezek. 27:29), and the bow (Amos 2:15). It is likewise used for “taking” God’s name (Prov. 30:9) or “dealing” with the law of God (Jer. 2:8). Joseph’s garment was “grasped” (Gen. 39:12; cf. 1 Kings 11:30), even as Moses “took” the two tablets of the law (Deut. 9:17)… [T]he Hebrew verb “to handle, grasp, capture” does not in itself indicate anything about the use of force (italics in orig.)
In truth, we use English words in this way on a regular basis. For instance, a brief look at the English word “take” illustrates the point. You can take someone’s cookie, or take a person’s wife, or take a bride to be your wife. The idea of force is not inherent in the word at all. If you take a person in your arms, what have you done? Or if a young man takes a young woman to be his wife, is there force involved? No. Also, think about the English word “hold.” You can take hold of something in a number of ways. We often say that a woman will hold the child in her arms, or a bridegroom takes a bride to “have and to hold.” The Hebrew word tapas is acting in exactly the same way as the English words “hold” and “take” are.

In addition, it is clearly evident from the immediate context of Deuteronomy 22 that rape is not being discussed in verses 28-29. We know that for two primary reasons. First, verses 25-27 give a clear instance in which rape is being discussed. In that case, a man raped a woman, she “cried out” (v. 27), but she was in the country and no one was there to help her. The text says that the man who committed the crime “shall die” (v. 25), but the Israelites were supposed to “do nothing to the young woman” since “there is in the young woman no sin worthy of death” (v. 26). It is of great interest that in this clear case of rape, the text uses a completely different word. The word translated “forces her” in verse 25 is the Hebrew word chazaq and yet in verse 28, the verb has been intentionally changed to tapas (see Shamoun, 2015). Second, the natural reading of verses 28-29 makes it evident that both parties are guilty of at least some of the blame. Notice that at the end of verse 28 the text says, “and they are found out.” When the passage discusses the obvious case of rape, the text specifically only mentions the man in verse 25 when it says “then only the man who lay with her,” and conspicuously leaves out any indication of “they” being involved in the sin. Dr. Bahnsen compares Deuteronomy 22:28-29 to Exodus 22:16, which reads, “If a man entices a virgin who is not betrothed, and lies with her, he shall surely pay the bride-price for her to be his wife” (1992). Notice that in this verse in Exodus, there is no force and both parties shoulder some of the guilt.

The practical value of God’s instruction in Deuteronomy 22:28-29 is easy to see. A man has sexual intercourse with a young woman who is not betrothed to anyone. There is no force involved, and it is not rape. But their action has been discovered. Now, who in the land of Israel wanted to marry a young girl who has not kept herself pure? The man cannot walk away from his sin. He has put the young woman in a very difficult life situation, in which there would be few (or no) other men who would want to marry her. Since it was often the case that women had an extremely difficult time financially without the help of a husband, this would be even more devastating to the young woman. God holds both the parties accountable, instructing them to get married and stay together, both suffer the shame, and work through the difficulties that they have brought on themselves. Nothing could be more moral, loving, and wise than these instructions. Once again, the skeptical charge against God’s love is without foundation. Deuteronomy 22:28-29 and Rape, Kyle Butts

So now you can see your premise was wrong, based on a faulty translation. If someone was raped, they are stoned as shown in verses 25-27. The woman in verses 28-29, who was single, even if she was taken a hold of, she did not cry out, she consented to the sexual activity. They give account for it, the man/boy pays the father a fee, and they get married (although the father technically does still have to give the ok). In any case, no woman is forced to marry a rapist, when the proper translation is given. There is no case after the law is given, in the Old Testament, where any woman who was raped, was forced to be married by her father in exchange for money. And this passage does not teach that, despite your faulty translation.

Now, look back at my analysis of the Leviticus analysis. I gave reasoning why that is to be interpreted as a wholesale condemnation of the act of homosexuality, just as in the same chapter incest, and bestiality was condemned. The reasoning that it was not a part of only addressing what the Jews did, but was warning to not do such things as practiced by other nations, and the sojourners who traveled with the Jews, had to obey these laws. That included incest, homosexuality, and bestiality. It is also noteworthy that just before homosexuality was one of the things talked about in 1 Cor. 6:9-10 as wrong, before that in 1 Cor. 5 there had been incest among the Christian community. That goes back to the same sin talked about in the same Leviticus chapter. What applied in Leviticus to sexual acts, applies to Christians as well. Don’t practice homosexuality, do not practice incest.

All of the other examples you gave on moral issues still would teach that the things done were wrong, but in the New Testament, though the things were wrong, punishment for those wrongs are less as far as punishment on earth, they still can lead to punishment to one’s soul after death.

In fact previous to that Dinah was raped back in Genesis 34. Jacob horribly consented to letting her become married, but his children were astounded by his lack of leadership. Then they went overboard the other way by getting the rapist and others circumcised so they would be weakened so they could be killed. And they did kill him and others. But back then girls had little rights and so going to the Father was for protection, and no Father had to turn his daughter over to the rapist. That is why they were outraged.

The one about blood was about the importance of blood, but with Christ's sacrifice, all those prior blood rituals no longer guide people in the new covenant. So that is more of byproduct of a ceremonial law that goes away in the new covenant.

Finally about Jesus when mentioning marriage in the context of divorce, he mentions the purpose of the uniting of man and woman. Just that excludes the union of two men or two women. Jesus again was never asked about homosexuality, so he wouldn't answer. All of Jewish teaching on the issue was united that it was a sin. No one deigned to ask him that. His teachings on sexual morals was actually stronger than those at the time, (though he certainly wasn't for physical punishment he wanted to give the sinners opportunity to turn from those sins) so to imagine he would ok that is not plausible. And he knew what his apostle Paul would write, who would also condemn the act of homosexuality while still offering grace to them. As mentioned in 1 Cor. 5 & 6 he refers to eternal consequences of those sins, and affirms the teaching on incest and homosexuality of Leviticus 18. Eternal is not merely cultural.

It has already been expanded upon - the difference between designing with graven images versus graven images of one or a thing that is worshiped. There is no way to spin this; if you worship a deity and create graven images in similar likeness, it is explicitly forbidden in scripture which has been quoted multiple times. There is no place in scripture where the people were commanded to carve or make graven images in the likeness of any deity that was not condemned.
Okay, look at John Damasene on the Divine images, 1:16-17. But the main thing is that we do not worship those divine images, therefore it is not a sin to have images. Jesus was word made flesh, and so now we have an image. He is God made flesh. In Exodus time we had no image:
You see the one thing to be aimed at is not to adore a created thing more than the Creator, nor to give the worship of latreia except to Him alone. By worship, consequently, He always understands the worship of latreia. For, again, He says: "Thou shalt not have strange gods other than Me. Thou shalt not make to thyself a graven thing, nor any similitude. Thou shalt not adore them, and thou shalt not serve them, for I am the Lord thy God." (Deut. 5.7-9) And again, "Overthrow their altars, and break down their statues; burn their groves with fire, and break their idols in pieces. For thou shalt not adore a strange god." (Deut. 12.3) And a little further on: "Thou shalt not make to thyself gods of metal." (Ex. 34.17).

You see that He forbids image-making on account of idolatry, and that it is impossible to make an image of the immeasurable, uncircumscribed, invisible God. You have not seen the likeness of Him, the Scripture says, and this was St Paul's testimony as he stood in the midst of the Areopagus: "Being, therefore, [8] the offspring of God, we must not suppose the divinity to be like unto gold, or silver, or stone, the graving of art, and device of man." (Acts 17.29)

These injunctions were given to the Jews on account of their proneness to idolatry. Now we, on the contrary, are no longer in leading strings. Speaking theologically, it is given to us to avoid superstitious error, to be with God in the knowledge of the truth, to worship God alone, to enjoy the fulness of His knowledge. We have passed the stage of infancy, and reached the perfection of manhood. We receive our habit of mind from God, and know what may be imaged and what may not. The Scripture says, "You have not seen the likeness of Him." (Ex. 33.20) What wisdom in the law-giver. How depict the invisible? How picture the inconceivable? How give expression to the limitless, the immeasurable, the invisible? How give a form to immensity? How paint immortality? How localise mystery? It is clear that when you contemplate God, who is a pure spirit, becoming man for your sake, you will be able to clothe Him with the human form.

When the Invisible One becomes visible to flesh, you may then draw a likeness of His [9] form. When He who is a pure spirit, without form or limit, immeasurable in the boundlessness of His own nature, existing as God, takes upon Himself the form of a servant in substance and in stature, and a body of flesh, then you may draw His likeness, and show it to anyone willing to contemplate it. Depict His ineffable condescension, His virginal birth, His baptism in the Jordan, His transfiguration on Thabor, His all-powerful sufferings, His death and miracles, the proofs of His Godhead, the deeds which He worked in the flesh through divine power, His saving Cross, His Sepulchre, and resurrection, and ascent into heaven. Give to it all the endurance of engraving and colour. Have no fear or anxiety; worship is not all of the same kind. Abraham worshipped the sons of Emmor, impious men in ignorance of God, when he bought the double cave for a tomb. (Gen. 23.7; Acts 7.16) Jacob worshipped his brother Esau and Pharao, the Egyptian, but on the point of his staff.* (Gen 33.3) He worshipped, he did not adore. Josue and Daniel worshipped an angel of God; (Jos. 5.14) they did not adore him. The worship of latreia is one thing, and the worship which is given to merit [10] another. Now, as we are talking of images and worship, let us analyse the exact meaning of each. An image is a likeness of the original with a certain difference, for it is not an exact reproduction of the original. Thus, the Son is the living, substantial, unchangeable Image of the invisible God (Col. 1.15), bearing in Himself the whole Father, being in all things equal to Him, differing only in being begotten by the Father, who is the Begetter; the Son is begotten. The Father does not proceed from the Son, but the Son from the Father.

In the New Covenant Jesus was word made flesh. In the Old Covenant, God had been pure spirit so there was no image possible. Now we can have an image, as St. John Damasene notes. We all understand that even if we make images of Jesus, who is God, those images are not to be worshipped. They remind us of the God-man though we know that the images are not the Godman. As noted in my paper even in the Old Testament there are explicit commands of God, and other actions by believers of God, that God approved of making images, just that they are not to be worshipped.

If one believes homosexuality is a choice, then it is reasonable to conclude then that individual made a conscious effort to avoid same-sex attractions - this was why the question was asked. No one wakes up one day and say 'today is a good day to be gay,' not that there aren't those who experiment, which is human nature, but these people are not in the truest of definitions, homosexuals.

Prenatal sexual and hormonal differentiation tell us more than enough. Between 7 and 14 weeks when the gonads is taking form of either female or male organ, a lot can happen. We know females carry XX, and males, XY sex chromosomes, but it's not always the case. There are males born carrying XXY chromosomes, and females with XY chromosomes. The pituitary gland and hypothalamus, if you will, control sexuality through hormonal secretion.

I am simply using the examples above to demonstrate how things do not always go as planned and would add that this is in no way suggesting homosexuality to be a disability or deformity; it has no incapacitating or debilitating factor in one’s ability to live a productive, successful, and fulfilling life, similarly to handedness.

When I say I think it is a choice to choose homosexuality, I do want to temper that some. I do believe that everyone is by nature heterosexual. However, there are many cultural backgrounds & influences which will cause one to have that can influence someone. There is a much higher rate of abuse of them as children, which can lead to them being more likely to choose homosexuality at a later point in time. Influences of fathers & mothers impact that as well. I am not saying that one man will just happen to wake up and say, ‘well, I’m going to choose to be homosexual, let me go have sex with a man.’ No there are a whole bunch of factors that go into that. For example there in this article that goes into it, there are 10 things that happen with homosexuals as children more often than heterosexuals, that leads to the proclivity of same sex attraction:

This is shown here: Catholic Medical Association, Homosexuality and Hope

1. In males, a weak masculine identity and loneliness resulting from a lack of male peer acceptance due to an inability to play team sports requiring eye-hand coordination, such as baseball, soccer, and basketball.6, 7

2. Sadness and loneliness in the father/son relationship because the father was perceived as distant, critical, selfish, angry, or alcoholic.8-12

3. Failure to identify with and establish friendships with same-sex-peers and to embrace one’s own masculinity or femininity.13, 14

4. In females, a father who deserted the family or who was angry, critical, distant, selfish, or alcoholic; a mother who was emotionally distant, critical, or domineering; peers who were rejecting; important males who traumatized them; and severe loneliness.15

5. Poor body image.7

6. In males, a mother who was perceived as controlling10, 16, overly dependent, angry, or demanding.7

7. Sexual abuse or rape.17, 18

8. Separation from parent during the critical time of development.17

9. Failure of parents to encourage same-sex identification and friendships.17

10. Narcissism or profound selfishness.15

Those who have such tendencies, especially those who have those tendencies are more likely to go towards homosexuality. If one wanted the documentation for the findings, and more detail, that is available on the web site referred to.

A detailed scientific study of studies on this issue, from an unbiased source, also says that it is not a biological thing, where one is born homosexual;. That is found at the following web site: Sexuality and Gender Findings from the Biological, Psychological, and Social Sciences, Lawrence S. Mayer, Paul R. McHugh Included in the introduction is the following:

While some people are under the impression that sexual orientation is an innate, fixed, and biological trait of human beings — that, whether heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual, we are “born that way” — there is insufficient scientific evidence to support that claim. Studies of the brains of homosexuals and heterosexuals have found some differences, but have not demonstrated that these differences are inborn rather than the result of environmental factors that influenced both psychological and neurobiological traits. One environmental factor that appears to be correlated with non-heterosexuality is childhood sexual abuse victimization, which may also contribute to the higher rates of poor mental health outcomes among non-heterosexual subpopulations, compared to the general population.
This study is a comprehensive “study of studies,” taking a look at the accumulated body of credible scientific research on LGBT issues. The study is by Lawrence Mayer, a scholar-in-residence at Johns Hopkins University, and Paul McHugh, the former psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital. It has looked at the studies that some use to argue that it is inborn, but the study destroys any idea that one is born that way. Now, that does not mean that someone just ‘chooses’ homosexuality. There are environmental factors that can make someone more vulnerable, and tend in that manner.
Jacob sons (Genesis 34) did rightly what any brother should have done when Shechem raped Dinah, and this was of course before the law. Tamar was not raped by a stranger but her own brother, Ammon, the first son of David, and by then, the law prohibited siblings’ marriage. A father may not have to accept the payment of a rapist to give his daughter away, but it was an option where the raped virgin has no say - just as Dinah did not have a choice when she was given to Shechem who raped her. The only "punishment" for a rapist, in context was, should the father of the victim forces a marriage between the two, the rapist was not allowed to ever seek divorce - I can't imagine it was God's will, but rather tradition.

How can God both be for and against incest? It does not make sense. The issue of the blood, specifically, putting women away during the monthly cycle is still the law if one practices Judaism, so does this mean God has separate rules for different people?! Moses again, was teaching tradition.

In this scenario, you are reading the Deuteronomic code back to the time of Genesis. That code did not apply back to this time. And forcing the reading of Deuteronomic back to Jacob and Dinah, and Jacob obeying the code supposedly getting Dinah’s brothers mad, is incorrect. Jacob did not say anything about obeying God’s code, and that is why he was willing to turn Dinah over to Shechem. Jacob was a horrible father to Dinah, and that bad precedent would lead to no one else taking that option of just taking payment when the law came later. Remember, Exodus says that there was a choice that the Father had. It did not mean that Jacob was forced to give his daughter to the rapist. The Father in the time of the Law would not hand her over to any rapist. As I’ve documented the law nowhere permits rape, and in the Old Covenant, the rapist was stoned, as shown in Deuteronomy 22:22-27. Verses 28-29 do not show any rapist getting any benefit of marrying anyone. Rape meant death for the perpetrator. So there is no issue of God being for or against rape. We’ve discovered the translation you gave to indicate that, was faulty. The principle is still that rape is bad in the Old Covenant, and in the New Covenant rape is bad as well. So though there is something different culturally in reference to penalties, the teaching that rape is bad is still there.

The new covenant replaces the old covenant, hopefully Jews convert to Christianity, if they do not, it is their issue on dealing with the blood issue. I would always prefer that all convert to Christ, and that teaching is preeminent over other religions. With that said, I do believe since Jews are unable to sacrifice after the temple was destroyed in 70 AD, the blood issue is no longer applicable, but the best way even for them is to follow Christ and his kingdom. The issue about incest was already answered previously. Again, before genetic deformities happened closer to the time of creation, incest was tolerated at the beginning, so the population could be fruitful and multiply, but by the time of Moses, genetic mutations occur with incest and after the Levitical laws were imposed, incest is forever sinful.

When Jesus gave an answer which now is being used to shun homosexuality, it was specifically addressing divorce between man and woman - the question was not whether or not if it was OK for same-sex union to exist.

Jesus never once addresses the subject of homosexuals in any of the gospels including the Apocrypha. What I see is a lot of twists and turns to say, those teachings were cultural, that was tradition, and this one is a sin which God condemns. For this reason Matthew 7:2 was quoted earlier. You are breaking the law, but have convinced yourselves that certain sections of the law no longer apply today for one reason or the other, but see it fit to condemn others under the same law that you openly violate. Jesus described such behavior in Matthew 7:4.

Jesus did specifically define the uniting of man and woman as the way God designed it, and referred to Genesis 1 which specifically speaks of being fruitful and multiply. His definition of marriage of what God has joined let no man put asunder, only applies to the coupling of man and woman. His emphasis on Genesis 1 and 2, specifically excludes any approval of homosexual activity, and marriage

Jesus in the New Covenant even identified sexual lusts in the heart as sinful. To think that he would be open to something identified in Leviticus, as an abomination, not just to Israel but to all nations, is not even a possibility. Jesus says what tastes, or touches from the outside, does not cause one to be polluted but what comes from the heart defiles souls, Matthew 15:17-19. That points that in the New Covenant the things exterior, are not important, as confirmed by Paul, one does not have to abide by the Levitical ceremonial laws. Paul, still says the importance of the commandments 1 Cor. 7:19 as confirmed by Jesus in Mt 19:16-17, while saying that the ceremonial laws and circumcision are no longer the guide for Christians Gal 3, 4, Rom. 3, 4. With that said, specifically in Matthew 15:19 Jesus condemns, porneia , which is a word by definition includes a definition of unnatural sex, which is homosexual sex. This same term porneia was used in Acts 15, which specifically said that Christians accepted the sexual laws of the Levitical code, which includes the condemnation of homosexual activity. So Jesus uses a term which causes the pollution of one’s soul which includes homosexual activity and is condemnatory towards it.

Matthew 7:2 and 4 do not apply because I am not picking and choosing what Old Testament moral teachings to ignore. Moral teachings are still true. Ceremonial laws, laws that have to do with blood emissions and such no longer apply. The moral teachings that are found in Leviticus and Deuteronomy still apply, just in the new covenant, the death penalty and other penalties no longer apply. We are called to holiness and need to attempt to stay away from any sins, including heterosexual or homosexual sins, and if we do fail, we can put ourselves out of God’s grace. Catholics do have the sacrament of confession if we sin mortally, confess such sins to get back in God’s grace.

Jesus did not make sexual laws laxer, for example when he said that one can commit adultery in the heart (Mt. 5:27), and made it so the Moses exception was not ok for divorce because he went back to the beginning. So he was not liberalizing teachings on sexual ethics, I guess which you infer. He specifically spoke about marriage: One man, one woman. Jesus was not asked about homosexuality, because all Jewish teaching was united in condemnation of homosexuality as well as the incest and bestiality of Leviticus 18. He didn't answer using the term ‘homosexual’ or ‘incest’, but as noted, his use of the term porneia includes the condemnation of such activity.

His apostle that he appointed to teach, Paul, dealt with the Corinthians who had people who had homosexual background. Paul replied that such a sin had eternal consequences, and that Paul referred to the grace provided by Jesus Christ, which would make them washed, cleansed justified. Such were some of you. But now you are washed, cleansed, 1 Cor. 6:9-11. So help can be given for those who have been in that sin.

Using the judgment from the Bible, Genesis, Deuteronomy, Leviticus, Romans, 1 Cor 6, Jude 7, 1 Tim 1, and other locations not quite as direct, (such as Mt. 15), and 2000 years of Christian history, Christianity has taught that the act of homosexuality is a sin. We do not teach God hates but offers hope to those who have homosexual tendencies, that through his grace, and help of others in his church who have successfully overcome that sin, that they can live in accord with God’s Word and grace.

To all visitors Grace of Christ to you!

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Exchange on Jesus' Teaching, and Homosexuality, and Relevance of Levitical Teachings on Homosexuality to Christians Matt1618... This text may be downloaded or printed out for private reading, but it may not be uploaded to another Internet site or published, electronically or otherwise, without express written permission from the author.

Work completed on Sunday, December 31, 2016