Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for August 1st, 2013

A Cartoon

A few Sundays ago, the Old Testament reading were selected verses from Leviticus 18-19, specifically Leviticus 18:1-5;19:9-18 ending with “…but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord” because the Gospel was The Parable of the Good Samaritan. At that time I blogged an article by the editor of Touchstone magazine about Leviticus 18.  As the Israelites were to cross over into the promised land, they were crossing over into a new way of life and living and they were not to do as the people there, in particular in regards to marriage and  sexual immorality: see chapter 18.  These chapters are called the “holiness code”.  The refrain is “I am the Lord” and the theme verse is:

 Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy. Leviticus 19: 2

Many verses in Leviticus are dismissed by liberal Biblical scholars because of 18: 22: 

You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. 

They surmise it is  a time-conditioned way of thinking which we have gone beyond now with same-sex pseudogamy,  even to the point they say, “the Spirit has shown us a new way”:

But in chapter 19, those same scholars in the Liberal Protestant Church, love Leviticus 19: 9:

“When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest.”

This is the Lord’s way of helping the poor.  Do not be so greedy to get every grain but leave some for the needy. Why is this verse liked?  It’s about ‘social justice’ and care for the poor.  I believe it is meet, right and so to do and so is Leviticus 18: 22.

So it has come down to this:  conservatives are about “personal morality” and liberals “social morality”.  But note that in Leviticus the Lord’s imprimatur is on both ‘personal’ and ‘social’ morality, as He said, “I am the Lord”.  “Personal” and “social” morality are not different categories in Leviticus. The Lord’s moral code is indivisible.  Neither should  man lie with man as with a woman and neither  curse the deaf  nor rearrange the furniture on a blind person, see Leviticus 19:14.  Now I do not understand many of these verses in these chapters,  but  all these verses are together and so speak to the fact that we select morality to fit what we want. (BTW:  I would then throw away most of the Bible!)  The Lord’s moral code fits the man to His way of living which is life, what He commands, not the other way around.  But we don’t fit into His way of living (more on that in a bit).  

Next it teaches that love is  holy.  Secular/atheistic society has divorced love from holiness.  It is not divorced in God’s holy Word.  In a  similar vein to the division of morality is the saying. “Conservatives are about the truth and liberals love”.  Once that move is made, that love has nothing to do with the truth, then the way is open to license or legalism.    The word heresy comes from a Greek word, haeresis, meaning choice. The ‘sovereign’ self, the god who dies, chooses “social” or “personal” morality.  It is moral heresy.  Then we love in Scripture only that which is agreeable to me, the same (“homo”). This is at the very least intellectually dishonest because the Lord addresses the whole man and woman, the whole of our societies and the whole of our world.  

As I was writing this, our weekly town newspaper came on Wednesday in our college town.  It is a liberal paper.  There is a new columnist to write on things religious and sure enough the article is entitled, “The Bible Buffet”.  The author begins by citing by name conservative theological and political commentators decrying the Supreme Court decision regarding the Defense of Marriage Act as risking God’s judgment.  The author cites…Leviticus!  Almost on cue for this posting.  He cites the dietary laws in Leviticus 11 as basically primitive so why not Leviticus 18: 22 regarding homosexuality.  His conclusion  is really his beginning premise:

“The Bible has always been a smorgasbord, with all its believers choosing what to include and exclude in their faith (he then cites  Christian denominations as a kind of a ‘proof’ of this)…We are free to take, or not, on an individual basis, the things in the Bible we think are important to follow in our lives.

This article demonstrates my assertion of “moral heresy”.  The author further asserts that Christian church bodies exclude Bible passages.  Those church bodies  who believe the Bible is the inerrant and faithful Word of God, do not “exclude” Scripture verses but interpret them differently.  Interpretation and exclusion are not the same, but it is the liberal, as I have stated, who excludes and then divides the Lord’s moral code.  As I wrote,yes, certain passages are difficult, as the dietary laws but they, with all the Law, were fulfilled in Jesus Christ, see   Matthew 5:16-18.  As His apostle wrote, “All things are lawful…”,as the Corinthians were saying.  Paul agreed with them, but the Apostle concluded, “…but all things are not helpful” (see  1 Corinthians 6:11-13  and 1 Corinthians 10:22-24). As in I can eat and drink whatever I like, but all of it’s not necessarily good for me or for thee!   Jesus and His Church take seriously the whole Word of God, Law and Promise.  Once I begin to choose then I am ‘god’.  This was the serpent’s false promise in the Garden: “You will be like God…”.  Once I begin to teach others that we are not under the whole of Scripture, then we are in trouble:  

Matthew 5:19

Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Yes, says Jesus, even the “least of these commandments and TEACHES others the same”, that is,  relaxation of the Law’s demands. What we teach is what God’s Law which says: Fit in and you don’t.  His Law is a tight fit but just to say, “I don’t like it” will not make His Law go away.  We don’t fit in and Jesus Christ by His forgiveness makes us fit by faith in His grace, mercy and peace and the  whole of His Word, distinguishing what the Law does and the Gospel fulfills.  His Word is then a delight for the Church and her people.
Psalm 119: 174 I long for your salvation, O Lord,
    and your law is my delight.
175 Let my soul live and praise you,
    and let your rules help me.
176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant,
    for I do not forget your commandments.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: