Today's topic today ran somewhat off the financial path. Our desire had nothing to do with condemnation, sensationalism, or any other 'ism, but by the prompting of the Holy Spirit last Friday, I was encouraged that we should take a look at some topics that have caused many people to turn away from God. Our program was created to call people to God, not push them away. Over the next few days our goal will be to embrace those touchy topics with love and grace.
Homosexuality and Abortion are the first two topics we will approach.
Most Christians are either for or against. Period! Our discussion will not be so much what you believe, but why you believe it. Anyone who has listened to this show for any length of time has heard me discuss both issues. Sometimes with anger, sometimes with arrogance. If you will bear with me and actually "listen" to today's show, you may find some things you didn't expect.
Jesus said "Love God, Love People,You'll Be OK!"
He didn't say love some people, love people who do right, love people who follow the letter of the law...
What He said was "Love God, Love People,You'll Be OK!"
Am I suddenly coming out of the closet as a Pro-Choice Rainbow Coalition Preacher? No.
When I could simply talk about Fibs, Stochacstics, Moving Averages or Debtors in Dubai, why would I choose to walk a path that will make me no friends and perhaps even cost me a few listeners? Because I really want to do what Jesus would do. I know, I know, you have the T-Shirt, the Bumper Sticker and the Bracelet, right? Of course you do! But do you really know what He would Say? Think? Do?
I choose this unfavorable path for two very good reasons. I said 2 very good reasons.
#1) A famous Christian author posed this question which is part of every Stand-Up Christian Comedian's routine. I know you've heard it, but here it is again -
"God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve"
I've heard it, I've used it on this radio program, but now, here's the Jesus Question -
"Who created Steve?"
#2) My wife and I spent some time this summer with a friend whose father is gay. Not only is he gay, he is a Minister. (go ahead - Gasp!) But just for a minute let's forget his sexuality, let's forget his profession, let me just tell you that he is one of the kindest, most thoughtful, caring, insightful, loving, giving, God fearing, God loving and humble men I have ever known. Yes his Church accepts him, but the Christian world at large condemns him.
I know, it's easier to just wear the T-Shirt and tune out.
But you could take the high road and TUNE IN as we discover TRUTH together.
Until our next program, I offer some thoughts for you to consider and I encourage you to email your thoughts and questions as well.
The Mosaic code, and its applicability today:The Torah is composed of the first five books of the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament). It contains numerous laws which make up the Mosaic code. Rabbi Simlai wrote in the Talmud (Jewish traditional commentary about the Hebrew Scriptures) that God gave 613 commandments to Moses. One list finds 3 commandments in Genesis, 111 in Exodus, 247 in Leviticus, 52 in Numbers and 200 in Deuteronomy. These included 365 prohibitions -- a number equal to the nominal number of days in the year. Also included are 248 positive commandments which Rabbi Simlai said corresponded "to the number of organs and limbs in the human body." Hundreds of these dealt with animal sacrifices and other topics that are not currently practiced. That leaves about 300 commandments that can be practiced today.
The Holiness Code in the Torah permits:
|slavery (Leviticus 25:44)|
|A child to be killed if he/she curses their parent (Leviticus 20:9)|
|All persons guilty of adultery to be killed (20:10)|
|The daughter of a priest who engages in prostitution to be burned alive until dead (21:9)|
|The bride of a priest to be a virgin (21:13)|
|Ritual killing of animals, using cattle, sheep and goats (22:19)|
|Observation of 7 feasts: Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, Feast of Firstfruits, Feast of Pentecost, Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Feast of Tabernacles (23)|
|A person who takes the Lord's name in vain is to be killed (24:16)|
|Heterosexual intercourse when a woman has her period (Leviticus 18:19),|
|Harvesting the corners of a field (19:9),|
|Eating fruit from a young tree (19:23),|
|Cross-breeding livestock (19:19),|
|Sowing a field with mixed seed (19:19),|
|Shaving or getting a hair cut (19:27),|
|Even a mildly disabled person from becoming a priest (21:18),|
|Charging of interest on a loan (25:37),|
|Collecting firewood on Saturday to prevent your family from freezing,|
|Wearing of clothes made from a blend of textile materials; today this might be cotton and polyester, and|
|Eating of non-kosher foods (e.g. shrimp). This prohibition has been satirized on the God Hates Shrimp website.|
|the Ten Commandments found in three places -- one of them being Exodus 20:3-17.|
|Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 which relate to sexual behavior of two men.|
|Sexual contact between individuals who are too closely related, |
|Bestiality: out-of-species sexual contact, |
|Some laws regarding the execution of properly convicted murderers.|
But further examination found the reason. Using an Protestant English translation of the Bible, conservative Christians believe that the validity of the two anti-homosexual "clobber" passages in Leviticus has been verified by passages in Paul's Epistles. The NIV and KJV of the Bible clearly condemn homosexual behavior at 1 Corinthians 6:9 and Romans 1:28 in the Christian Scriptures. These translations generally interpret the Greek words "malakoi" and "arsenokoitai" as referring to homosexuals.
We can be fairly certain that this is not the meaning that Paul wanted to convey. If he had, he would have used the Greek word "paiderasste." That was the standard term at the time for males who had sex with males. We can conclude that he probably meant something different from persons who engaged in male-male adult sexual behavior. Down through the years, Christians have interpreted these words as referring to people of lacking a high moral standing, or to masturbators, or to men who sexually abuse boys, or to boys who are the victims of sexual abuse. Interpreting these passages as referring to sexually active homosexuals appears to be simply the latest in a long series of attempts to make sense out of obscure words. The precise meaning is unknown; it was buried with Paul.
The meaning of To'ebah (often translated abomination)The Hebrew word "to'ebah" (or a form of the word) appears over 100 times in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament):
|Twenty-six times in the Torah:|
|It is in the Major Prophets 58 times. |
|In the Writings, it is found:|
|It was not used by the Minor Twelve Prophets, or in Numbers.|
|Genesis 43:32" "...because the Egyptians could not eat food with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians." So, the President of Egypt meeting the Prime Minister of Israel sitting down to a meal together would be committing an abomination.|
|Leviticus 11:10" "But all in the seas or in the rivers that do not have fins and scales, all that move in the water or any living thing which is in the water, they are an abomination to you." Eating a lobster is an abomination.|
|Leviticus 11:41" "And every creeping thing that creeps on the earth shall be an abomination. It shall not be eaten." We have been told that rattlesnake tastes just like chicken.|
|Deuteronomy 17:1: "You shall not sacrifice to the LORD your God a bull or sheep which has any blemish or defect, for that is an abomination to the LORD your God." When engaging in ritual animal sacrifice, it is an abomination if the animal is not perfect.|
|Deuteronomy 22:5: "A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman's garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the LORD your God." Presumably this would include a woman wearing jeans or slacks or a man wearing a kilt.|
|Deuteronomy 24:4" "then her former husband who divorced her must not take her back to be his wife after she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before the LORD." This relates to a woman who has been divorced by two husbands. If she decides to be loyal once more to her original marriage vows and returns to her first husband, then she commits an abomination.|
Rabbi Gershon Caudill wrote that:
"Jews do not obligate any other religion to the observance of the Torah laws, which were given specifically to the Jewish people and their descendants, including converts. This is with the possible exception of the seven Noahide Laws, and there is dispute among the halakhic authorities as to which seven laws non-Jews need observe IF they are indeed required to observe any Torah laws at all." 2
Do you have any idea how far I went out on the limb today? The friends I spoke of listen to this broadcast. How will they respond? In love I hope, for I love God and I love them. Am I endorsing the homosexual lifestyle? No!Will many of my faithful longtime listeners swear me off? Maybe...
I have opinions on politics, our economy, and how people should raise their kids.
But from this day forward, when it comes to the things of God, I will no longer offer you my humble opinion.
From this day forward I will only offer you the Truth.
What's the difference?
That's your homework!
Pray Hard and Trade Safe