Silly Arguments from a letter sent to DR. Laura Schlessinger
A sarcastic letter came out many years ago to a famous radio personality named Dr. Laura Schlessinger. This letter was highlighting so-called fallacies in Biblical anti-homosexuality arguments. It is the old “homosexuality is wrong because the Bible says so argument.” Just because the Bible said so doesn’t mean it’s true or valid and we should follow it. Or, that it was for another time and it doesn’t apply to our modern day today some argue.
This piece struck a note with many people, and by June and July of 2000 it had made its way into a number of newspapers, including the Knoxville News-Sentinel (7 June), Seattle Weekly (8 June), OC Weekly (9 June), The [Syracuse] Post-Standard (11 June), [Madison] Capital Times (13 July), and the Modesto Bee (22 July). Even the television show the “West Wing” used it to justify the homosexual lifestyle.
Another argument is that we cannot pick and choose what we believe in the Bible. If we believe what it says about homosexuality, then you must believe in the other laws referenced in this letter as well that are ridiculous-they claim; and if they are ridiculous, then so is the condemnation of the homosexual lifestyle. Are we to pick and choose what we like and what we don't in the law of God? No! God said not to be partial in his law (see Malachi 2:9). The whole law must be accepted. But are these laws that are pointed out in this letter ridiculous? Or are they practical laws that if applied will better society and the individual?
If you wish to read the letter you can find it here ( https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/letter-to-dr-laura/ )
Here are the answers to those arguments to show that God's words are living words, NOT empty words with no consequences. These are living laws that work upon us for our good and if obeyed guarantees a civil, healthy and free society.
1) Argument: "I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?"
A Rebuttal to the "Sabbath Keepers Refuted" Website https://www.british-israel.ca/SabbathRefute.htm
2) Argument: "I know from Lev 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?"
Answer: Here is your typical argument where this person does not look into the subject thoroughly as the Bible tells us to, to compare scripture with scripture to get the entire truth. The person who wrote this just looked at this on the surface, and did not dig into the true meaning and context, as to why God does not want us to touch pigs.
The scripture says, "And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you...Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you." (Lev 11:7-8).
When it comes to eating pork. Clearly science has shown that eating swine's flesh causes inflammation, heart disease, cirrhosis of the liver, and on and on. see Here Here Here and Here
The fact is, Pigs eat everything, literally everything, and digests it quickly so their bodies do not get rid of the toxins, but goes straight to their fat cells. "It is a filthy, foul-feeding animal, and it lacks one of the natural provisions for purifying the system, 'it cheweth not the cud;' in hot climates indulgence in swine’s flesh is particularly liable to produce leprosy, scurvy, and various cutaneous eruptions. It was therefore strictly avoided by the Israelites." (JFB Commentary). So God clearly commands not to eat swine's flesh-it's for our health. This is not a case of "just because the Bible said so." These are not empty words with no consequences. These are living laws that operate on this earth for our good and if followed you will be blessed!
Now verse 8, says, "...and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you." Why doesn't God want us to touch the flesh of a pig? Notice what the Cambridge Bible for schools and Colleges says, "The word carcase is the same as that translated ‘that which dieth of itself’ (Lev 17:15; Deut 14:21). Here and in Deut 14:8 contact with the dead bodies of these unclean animals is prohibited." (emphasis added). God says not to touch these bodies that "dieth of itself." Deuteronomy 14:8 says, "ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcase." Seeing a dead animal that dies of natural or unknown causes God says not to touch, this even applies to clean animals as well (see Lev 11:39). The meat could be diseased and also not good for human consumption. Even in today's world we have standards when it comes to meat. Meats today are inspected and the ones not fit for consumption are thrown out. This is the reason why God says not to touch the dead carcases of animals clean or unclean.
When it comes to the football, the person who wrote this letter to Dr. Laura I guess was ignorant of the fact that footballs today are made from rubber and cowhide leather even though people still call them "pigskins." That comes from the fact that in the 1800's footballs back then were made out of inflated "pig bladders" but such is not the case any longer. And even if it still was, as we have seen from the Bible, God said not to touch the skin of a pig that dies of "itself." The Israelites put to use, and touched many unclean animals like camels (Gen 26:64; Matthew 3:4). Gill's commentary writes, "Meaning, not of swine only, but of the camel, coney, and hare: and their carcass shall ye not touch; which must not be understood of touching them in any sense; for then it would have been unlawful for a Jew to have rode upon a camel, or to take out and make use of hog's lard in medicine; but of touching them in order to kill them, and prepare them for food, and eat them; and indeed all unnecessary touching of them [like finding a dead carcase] is forbidden, lest it should bring them to the eating of them;" (emphasis added). All unnecessary touching was unlawful, but to make good use for them was not prohibited. So even if the football was still made from pig skin it would not be breaking the law of God!
3) Argument: "I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?"
Answer: Go to this Article "Exodus 21-Slavery in the Bible?" Here
4) Argument: "A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an Abomination (Lev 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?"
Answer: This is easy to settle. Both are abominations for the simple fact that both have the same consequences. Both acts contribute to an unhealthy society. Eating shellfish results in terrible consequences for the body that one will eventually DIE due to continual eating them. Shellfish are full of toxins because shellfish are basically the cockroaches of the sea. Here is an article on the subject here
The same can be said for homosexuality. All one has to do is look into the histories of Rome, Greece and others, one can see that homosexuality was one of the contributing factors that led to the demise of society. Family is the backbone of a civilization and homosexuality undermines the institution of the family. In addition to that, the consequences of the homosexual lifestyle, Aids, other STD’S etc.…, (see this article on the effects of Homosexuality https://www.british-israel.ca/gay marriage.htm) eventually, like the shellfish, it leads to one’s demise-so both are abominations because both lead to the same end!
5) Argument: "Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev 19:27. How should they die?"
Answer: First, it says nothing about imposing the death penalty. These are miscellaneous laws that were, "collected here [and] were decisions or warnings given by Moses in cases where there was some doubt about what was right or wrong. Often all that was needed was a reminder of existing laws;" (Bridgeway Bible Commentary). Clearly the critic does not see the cultural background to this scripture. This has nothing to do with hairstyles and trends of today. The reason God says not to do this with a man's hair or beard is for the simple fact that there were, "superstitious practices that the heathen thought brought good luck. These included the cutting of the hair or beard into certain shapes" (ibid, emphasis added). Are we not in this modern day taught not to believe in superstition? Everyone knows that superstition, "lead[s] to irrational decisions, such as trusting in the merits of good luck and destiny rather than sound decision making." (The Science of Superstition). Superstition leads to anxiety, fear, and insecurity. Superstition also leads one in false beliefs about the afterlife that the Bible says, "through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." (Heb 2:15). The underlying principle here is, God is telling them not to believe in the superstitions of the heathen; these things do not bring you good luck or anything else for that matter. Again, God words are not empty words, but living words for a healthy mind and body, and for us to, "know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32).
6) Argument: "I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense."
Answer: First of all, who goes around asking women if they are on their period? That's strange in and of itself. There are several reasons why God imposed these laws of hygiene in Israel. One is to quell any superstitions about discharges and a woman's menstrual cycle. Again with this scripture cultural background is key. Ellicott's Commentary, states, "...it is necessary to bear in mind not only the gross superstitions which obtained among the ancients about women in this condition, but the cruel treatment to which wives and daughters were subjected, and in some countries both in the Old and New Worlds still are subjected. It was believed that if a woman in this condition sat under a tree, all its fruit fell off; at her approach the edge of a tool became blunted, and copper utensils contracted a fetid smell, and meat got sour, and a thousand other things. Hence the Parsees not only isolated her from the rest of the family, but forbade her speaking to any one, and those who took food to her in her seclusion had to put it at some distance from her. The Zabii purified with fire every place which she trod. Even if the wind which came from the quarter where she was blew upon any one, he became polluted. To this day the in Issing, the Calmucks, and many others, have special houses for them outside each town and village; and at the River La Plata they are sewn into hammocks, with only a small aperture for the mouth, till they are well again."
God now gets rid of all of the superstitions and beliefs about a woman's menstrual cycle with these laws, this source writes, "Well, in many ancient cultures, including Egyptian culture and the cultures of Canaan, temple prostitution was common. Sexual discharges —both semen and menstrual blood— were often used in pagan rituals. In many cases, potions or ointments were made of each and were believed to give those who used them special powers or connections with the gods. In one fell swoop, God eliminates all these detestable practices. Not only does he say that these practices garner no merit or favor with him, but he excludes them from use in worship altogether. It is not only ineffective to worship by means of sex, or by using sexual discharge… it is impossible." (Leviticus 15:16-24, Temple Prostitution, and the Regulative Principle, by Tony Arsenal, emphasis added). Again are we not taught to not believe in superstitions? Many of these cultures thought that you can worship God through sex including their discharges. Here God says, you cannot, (see Lev 15:28-31).
Now God also says that everything that she touches is unclean including anyone that has sex with her (Lev 15:24). Why is that? Why is everything unclean? To prevent the spreading of disease! In ancient times religious places of worship that involved sex were basically like the filthy bathhouses that we see in the major cities in North America. These places are just filled with bacteria and pathogens that cause disease. God put these laws in place to prevent that from happening. Isn't that what we do today? Remember the lockdowns of 2020-2022!
Notice what this source says about a woman's period, "From a modern medical point of view, the health risks from sexual intercourse with a menstruating woman are the following: I. Vaginal sexual intercourse without precaution (e.g., use of condom) during or shortly after menstruation is a risk factor for the heterosexual transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or other sexually transmitted pathogens and the subsequent development of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) affecting, inter alia, the health of the reproductive tract (9-15). Although sexually transmitted pathogens can be transmitted regardless of menstruation, they may be passed on more easily during menstruation (both from woman to man and vice versa)...The transmission of STDs during menstruation is facilitated by loss of the protective barrier (cervical mucous plug), the presence of iron in the menstrual fluid, the dilated cervical opening, the elevated alkaline pH of the vagina and the premenstrual peak of estrogen and progesterone...Vaginal sexual intercourse with a menstruating woman could lead to an increase in the flow of menstrual blood...Sexual intercourse during menstruation can affect negatively the man’s sexual desire (libido) and make him temporarily impotent because of the presence and smell of menstrual material. Also, the bad physical and psychological state of women before (e.g., premenstrual syndrome [PMS]) or during menstruation due to a variety of factors (e.g., painful cramps [dysmenorrhea], anxiety, depression, migraine headaches, low blood pressure, and reduction of temperature) most times does not favor their mood for sexual intercourse....Thus, it cannot be ruled out that the classification of a menstruating woman as unclean and the prohibition of sexual intercourse were to protect her from the transmission of STDs given the inadequate conditions for hygiene of her body, the ignorance of the existence of microbes and viruses, the absence of condoms and so on at that time. This view is advocated by the order to purify the body with water, not only for the unclean men or women, but also after every sexual intercourse (see Leviticus 15:17)...These Provisions, aiming to promote the health of Israelites and prevent them from contracting STDs, proved God’s providence for the preservation and growth of His chosen people. In modern times, the prohibition of sexual intercourse during menstruation and other relative sexual hygiene rules might have a significant benefit for people of a similar social and cultural status and circumstances to people of that time (30-32). Besides, we cannot ignore the fact that the Old Testament and the Mosaic Codes provided the basis for modern public health and hygiene rules (preventive medicine) practiced in our times...Although sexual intercourse without precautionary measures during menstruation is likely to be the time of the greatest bacterial contamination of the reproductive tract, it is normal and not perversion. It is sufficient that the couple know and apply the rules of safe sex to avoid an undesirable pregnancy and to prevent the development of STDs or possible endometriosis. The same rules are also suggested in the case of sexual intercourse when the woman has no menstruation." (Article: Is Vaginal Sexual Intercourse Permitted during Menstruation? A Biblical (Christian) and Medical Approach by Elias E. MAZOKOPAKIS, and George SAMONIS, emphasis added). Again God gives these laws to us for us to be healthy and to create a society free from disease, superstition etc...it's all for our good and benefit!
7) Argument: "When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?"
Answer: Clearly this person is not educated in the sacrificial law ordained by God and what this expression means. First of all, this person writes it in this tone to make it seem like this law is really stupid, and that we should not take it seriously, but again, the person has no clue about the purpose of the sacrificial law in the Old Testament.
The sacrifices were instituted for the sole purpose of "atoning" for the sins of the people-nationally and individually. These sacrifices were to solve the problem of sin. The life of the animal was poured out so that the life of the repentant sinner could be saved. When repentant sinners brought their sacrifices to the Lord, they were acknowledging that they were sinners who deserved death. But they also were manifesting faith, trusting that the Lord would grant them forgiveness by accepting the life of the sacrificial victim in their stead, and God's judgment would pass from them because of the shed blood of the sacrificial victim. Pretty important don't you agree? This same system is carried over into the New Testament, the one difference being the sacrificial victim. Jesus is now the "lamb of God" that takes away and "Atones" for the sins of the world, so that we "through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;" (Rom 3:25).
Once that is done, the sacrifice is "a sweet savour [Heb. re'cha nichocha] unto the LORD" The word for "sweet" is nichocha which means "restful" (Strong's #5207), relaxing peace. It is a peace that comes after an intense emotional experience. Our living in sin is a very tense emotional experience for God and until we repent and accept the sacrifice, God cannot rest. Once God does accept the sacrifice and the sinner is redeemed, God can enter into a rest and a sense of peace over his/her well being. It's Not the literal smell but the peace and reconciliation in the sacrifice that was sweet to God. All was forgiven, the sacrifice accepted-it's the spiritual aspect of the sacrifice that mattered not the literal smell. Doing God's will "was as sweet to God as the fragrance of a garden of flowers to us." (Meyer). Notice the fourth verse of the same chapter, "And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him." In the New Testament this was understood, "But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well-pleasing to God." (Phil 4:18); this applied to the sacrifice of Christ, "And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour." (Eph 5:2). This source sums it up perfectly "In the laws of sacrifice it is generally associated with the expression, 'a sweet savour unto Jehovah' (ὀσμὴ εὐωδίας: lxx): an anthropomorphic description of the divine satisfaction with the sacrifices offered, or the gracious acceptance of them on the part of God (see Gen 8:21), which is used in connection with all the sacrifices" (K & D Commentary, emphasis added). This is what the sinner was looking for, assurance that his sins were taken care of and having peace with God, and God being at peace with the sinner. Pretty important, and the centre of the whole Gospel message.
With man reconciled to God, God will in turn bless the works of our hands and gives us blessing beyond our imagination if we just do his will (see Deuteronomy 28, Lev 26). Both chapters show the consequences of doing or not doing his will. Again these are not empty words but living words with good or bad consequences, the choice is ours, either "Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in [Heb. Because, or as a result of] them: I am the LORD. (Lev 18:5); OR, "(For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled;) That the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you." (Lev 18:27-28).
And if you are worried about your neighbors, DON'T BE! These particular sacrifices, "The burning carcass of a dead animal may not, in itself, smell good. This was noted by Matthew Poole ('it rather caused a stink') and by John Trapp: 'The burning and broiling of the beasts could yield no sweet savour; but thereto was added wine, oil, and incense, by God’s appointment, and then there was a savour of rest in it."' (David Guzik Enduring Word Commentary, emphasis added).
The "smiting"? There is nothing in the chapter that says anything about smiting anyone!
8) Argument: "Lev 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?"
Answer: First, this is taken completely out of context. Verse 17 shows us the context, "Speak unto Aaron, saying, Whosoever he be of thy seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God." This is specifically to the high priest that did his duties in the tabernacle performing the rituals in the presence of God! (see vv.21-24). Now when it comes to people with deformities in Israel, these people were NOT neglected but taken care of in the Israelite community and had all the same rights as everyone else (see Lev 19:14; Deut 27:18).
But why was a deformed person excluded from becoming a High Priest? There are two reasons:
1).The expression "without blemish" in the Bible means "without sin" as it clearly states about Jesus and the church (see 1 Peter 1:19 Hebrews 9:14; Ephesians 5:27). Sin and sickness are linked in the Bible. Sickness is the result of sin. Jesus when he healed a man "sick of the palsy" (Matthew 9:2), he said to him first, "Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee." Afterwards he healed him. He was healed of his physical, and spiritual sickness, which resulted in his physical sickness. So the "blemish" really represents sin. So the high Priest when approaching God, had to be perfect "without blemish" which represented a holy Man without sin in the presence of God! It had nothing to do with physical deformities! It's what they represented! Notice, this source writes that defects were, "... a symbol of (more serious) moral defects. God understood (and understands) that people learn spiritual lessons from physical symbols and observances. The unmarred physical priests and physical offerings without defects were supposed to be a symbol to the people (and leaders) of ancient Israel that God had strict ethical demands of His believers. Laxity in offering the lame, or having priests with deformities led to a mindset among believers that godly behavior and obedience was unimportant. This was unacceptable to God in Leviticus and Malachi..." (Article: Leviticus 21:17-23: For Any Man Who Has A Defect Nathanal Bright, emphasis added). And God being King of all the earth and being holy, deserves a man in his presence to be holy as well. Would you stand in the presence of a king any other way to perform your duties? See Malachi 1:6-8; how God says to them, "offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts." God-the creator deserves honor and respect when the High Priest performs religious services in his presence-and the priest should holy and without sin, which his appearance represented!
2). The second important reason why God prohibits people with blemishes to perform priestly duties, again culture and understanding religious practices at that time is key. "...many of the Levitical prohibitions are direct condemnations of the symbolism of the Babylonian glorification what was freaky and abnormal, because of their immoral consequence and implications. Specifically, many Babylonian worship systems glorified transvestism, had eunuch priesthoods (like the priesthood of Attis), or had 'limping' and marred priests who cut themselves (see 1 Kings 18:26, 28). For to the Babylonians and those who copy their vile and satanic culture, abnormality is glorified because it is a break from what is conventional, something to be celebrated and praised because it is symbolic of the unconventional morality desired by such heathen throughout the course of human history. God wanted no inroads of that mentality within His religious system." (Article: Leviticus 21:17-23: For Any Man Who Has A Defect Nathanal Bright, emphasis added). Deformities should not be MOCKED, but healed and cared for. Immortality should be repented of not celebrated.
People who come up with such lame arguments to try and disprove the Bible clearly have no understanding of the scriptures!
9) Argument: "My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Lev 24:10-16) Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)"
Answer: Let's begin with the first part of the argument that states, "My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend)." First there is NO death penalty for this violation. The scripture says, "thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee." Again, this law must be understood with the cultural practices at that time and certainly applies today as we have noted above when it comes to superstitions. The Enduring Bible Commentary calls these laws, the "Laws of purity in response to pagan practices." God did not want the Israelites to do this because, "This also was directed against an idolatrous practice, namely, that of the ancient Zabians, or fire-worshippers, who sowed different seeds, accompanying the act with magical rites and invocations; and commentators have generally thought the design of this and the preceding law was to put an end to the unnatural lusts and foolish superstitions which were prevalent among the heathen...[Wool & Linens]...Although this precept, like the other two with which it is associated, was in all probability designed to root out some superstition" (Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary, emphasis added). Again, are we not taught to not believe in superstitions?
However put into practice makes a lot of sense also. When it comes to mingling seeds, "Crops that grow in entirely different ways and that strangle each other out were not to be planted in the same field. In Deuteronomy 22:9, the example is given of planting grain seeds in a vineyard. Wheat and other grains will not grow compatibly with grape vines. The natures of the two plants are so different that each will destroy the other. This law is practical and logical." (Leon Hyatt, Civil Laws relating to many subject, p.9, emphasis added). So God is not only getting rid of this silly superstition, but also showing the Israelites that it benefits one to not mingle the seeds but to keep them separate and pure to grow the best quality of crops.
What about the mixture of wool and Linen, how does that apply today? Wool refers to the textile fiber one can obtain from the hair of sheep. It is used specially to make warm clothes. Linen is the material obtained from flax, a grass-like plant which gives soft fibers for making cooler clothes. The principle here is not so much wool and linen, but, "weaving together two different kinds of thread that have such different characteristics that they will not blend together into one piece of cloth. ...The King James Version translation does not come from the meaning of the word but from the example given in Deuteronomy 22:11. In Deuteronomy 22:11, Moses gave an example of two different kinds of thread that cannot be woven together successfully. The example is mixing wool thread with linen thread. Wool is course and soft, while linen is slick and hard. The two are so different they will not bind together to make a usable piece of cloth. Material made from that mixture of threads will not last." (ibid, p.9, emphasis added). Today clothing manufacturers don't mix these materials, "The specific application involves linen and wool, and Israel was not to mix the fibers from a vegetable product and an animal product into the same piece of material. It expands in its practical application when we understand that mixing animal and vegetable fibers makes poor quality material. Therefore, the intent—its spirit—is to teach us to purchase the best quality that we can afford." (Foreunner's Commentary). Why the best quality? The Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary offers the following explanation, "...the observations and researches of modern science have proved that 'wool, when combined with linen, increases its power of passing off the electricity from the body. In hot climates, it brings on malignant fevers and exhausts the strength; and when passing off from the body, it meets with the heated air, inflames and excoriates like a blister'" [Whitlaw]." (emphasis added).
Now the next part of the argument: "He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Lev 24:10-16). The scripture says that, "And the Israelitish woman's son blasphemed the name of the LORD, and cursed." (v.11). What this person fails to realize about this is, what a "name" meant in ancient times. God is king of the universe, He saved the people of Israel from slavery, giving them all the blessings and the truth of his word, freeing them from sin and all sorts of superstitions. God-the creator of all must be reverenced with the utmost respect. "holy and reverend is his name." (Psalm 111:9). A name meant, "In biblical times, a name was more than a means of identification; it represented a person’s character, reputation, and origin. God is holy, and he was to be regarded as holy in all of Israel’s life (see Lev 10:3). The Israelites had been instructed to treat God’s name with reverence (Ex 20:7). Using his name in a curse reflected a sinful attitude toward God himself..." In fact, "the crime of blasphemy, which is to attack someone—especially God—with your words. It is somewhat like the modern idea of 'verbal abuse,' but usually directed at God." It's not like the way people blaspheme now (although still wrong), this was attacking the very nature, character and reputation of God himself. "In Israel a name represents the whole person and thus becomes a powerful force, as powerful as the person named. A name could be blotted out, redeemed, praised, prayed to, preserved for an inheritance, made famous, win battles, or dwell among individuals. The 'name of the LORD' is clearly a force to be reckoned with in the Old Testament because it represents the divine nature, all that God is known to be (Exod. 34:4–7; Isa. 9:6–7). To sanctify the name of the LORD does not simply mean to use the name carefully; it means to sanctify the LORD himself. And in this passage the improper use of the name was no mere utterance of a name, but the outward expression of contempt for the person of God." (All Quotes from Leviticus 24 Commentary, emphasis added). Not just words but attacking God himself. Does this deserve the death Penalty? Of course it does! Attacking a person today, abusing a person today we in our western world punish people for it; and some how when it comes to God it's ok? What will society look like if this went unpunished? But and all the congregation shall certainly stone him:" does NOT mean the whole town comes out and stones the person who committed a crime, but the and
Now the last part of the argument that says "Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)" Notice the tone, the way this person writes this. This person writes it in this way to make it seem like these laws don't make sense or don't apply today, when in fact they do and are for our good, for us to benefit in every way possible in this life and the next. Let use a translation with modern English, "If a man marries both a woman and her mother, he has committed a wicked act. The man and both women must be burned to death to wipe out such wickedness from among you." (New Living Translation). All parties consented to this marriage. Bigamy and polygamy are illegal in the USA and Canada. In Canada a person can get up to five years imprisonment. Why is it when the Bible says it's illegal some how we must ignore it? Or we think its ridiculous? We all know the problems that come with polygamy. "It is a very common experience that discriminative behaviour of the husbands and unequal treatment with their wives causes several mental health issues in polygamous families. These are jealousy, poor marital satisfaction, unhealthy competition, lack of trust, and many other mental health problems" (Causes and Consequences of Polygamy, by Sabila Naseer). This is why the Bible says, "If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly." (Titus 1:16). Genesis says, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." (2:24). So why then are so many of God’s Old Testament saints polygamists? The reason? "Scripture records so many instances of polygamy and concubinage is not to endorse these actions, but to condemn them and show just how destructive such sexual perversity proved to be." (See here https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/why-did-god-allow-polygamy ).
When it comes to the punishment. Again it was not "a family affair" nothing in the scripture suggest that. Only the government can execute the death penalty on its citizens. Back in ancient times the mode of execution was stoning to death. It is equivalent to a firing squad today. (read this for more details https://www.british-israel.ca/Capital Punishment.pdf ); Not like the cruel and long suffering process done by the Islamic countries. If this was written in our day its would most likely say "firing squad." Death by stoning concerning the Israelites was quick and instantaneous. God cannot be harmed physically, so the death of a person for crimes against God had to be done as quickly as possible-this is why stoning was chosen.
Now in this scripture it says, "it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they;" (Lev 20:14). But not burnt alive! It doesn't say that! "It is to be understood, that, whenever mention is made that the offender was 'to be put to death' without describing the mode, stoning is meant. The only instance of another form of capital punishment occurs in Lev 20:14, that of being burnt with fire; and yet it is probable that even here death was first inflicted by stoning, and the body of the criminal afterwards consumed by fire (Joshua 7:15)." (Jamieson Fausett and Brown Commentary, emphasis added). These miscellaneous laws benefits society immensely, with good quality food supplies, strong families and our health; at the same time ridding the land of all sorts of superstitions and crime. God's words are living words that apply today!
10) Argument: Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?
Answer: Looks like this persons "friend" is just as clueless as the person who wrote this letter about the Bible. First of all, the Old Testament did not establish slavery. It acknowledged its reality and sought to work to curb its practice. God allowed slavery to exist in the world, just as He allowed poverty and war in the world to exist due to God allowing us to make our own choices and rebellion against Him. But in the Kingdom of Israel, a kingdom established by God, slavery was outlawed!
Two verses make the entire matter clear:
“Whoever steals a man and sells him, and anyone found in possession of him, shall be put to death.” (Exodus 21:16, ESV)
“You must not return an escaped slave to his master when he has run away to you. Indeed, he may live among you in any place he chooses, in whichever of your villages he prefers; you must not oppress him.” (Deut 23:15–16,ESV).
These two passages outlaw slavery.
You cannot steal a person, which means you cannot enslave a person against their will.
You cannot sell a person, which means people are not property.
The law protects escaped slaves and gives them refuge in Israel.
Slavery cannot survive in a society that follows these two laws. They lay a framework of freedom that shapes how every other law is read!
Furthermore, There was no differentiation between Israelite and non-Israelite. Both were under the same law (Numbers 15:15–16), under the same punishments (Deut. 25:1-3; Exod. 21:20-21; Prov. 22:15; 23:13-14; 26:3), could not be murdered (Leviticus 24:21–22), and were to be treated properly (Exodus 23:9). They would be set free if they were injured (Exodus 21:26-27). Gentiles were treated "as one that is born in the land:" (Exodus 12:48). All were treated with the same rights. Today, Canadians, Americans Mexicans all have the same rights regardless of what this person's friend says or his ideas about the Bible. Instead of listening to your friend you should investigate these things for yourself and not just take his word for it.
But does Lev 25:44 really speaking of slavery? As noted in this article ("Exodus 21-Slavery in the Bible?" Here ); correct words in the proper context must be used in translating the Hebrew. The word "slave" is a very narrow term used in the translation. Also, many times the translators translated certain words according to their biases and preconceived ideas as the case is here with the word "slave." Here is an article by Kyle Davison Bair called "Rejecting the Ridiculous Idea that the Bible Ever Allowed Slavery" This article plainly proves that these passages do not condone slavery whatsoever. ( https://medium.com/koinonia/rejecting-the-ridiculous-idea-that-the-bible-ever-allowed-slavery-53ce4959f1ee ) It is really speaking of foreign workers. God was allowing Israel to take in foreign workers if they wished to do so. Something that we practice today in the west.
The simple fact of the matter is, people will try and distort and twist the scriptures anyway they please to try and justify a sinful lifestyle. But the truth of God always prevails. The living words of God have been reveals to us for our good, for us to live and enjoy the blessings of this life and the life to come. These are not empty words, but living laws that have consequences, if obeyed, or broken.
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