Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Chapter 16: Leviticus



In this video, Brian Anthony Bowen reveals Scriptures the Church never talks about which prove that Jesus taught that LGBT people are born this way...and that prove the Apostle Paul ordained Gay Marriage...IN THE BIBLE!

This changes EVERYTHING!
More info:
http://BrianBowenMinistries.com

************************************************************** 


Traditional Christian teachings regarding those of us who identify as gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transgender have based their positions on a few passages of Scripture commonly known as "the clobber passages."  We’ll recall from Chapter 14 of The Bed Keeper that Ham had uncovered the nakedness of his father and proffered that perhaps that was not an indication of some act of homosexuality between two heterosexual men, but rather may have instead been a reference to Ham having had relations with Noah’s wife.  Let’s take another look at that:

18 The sons of Noah who went forth from the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Ham was the father of Canaan [born later].

19 These are the three sons of Noah, and from them the whole earth was overspread and stocked with inhabitants.

20 And Noah began to cultivate the ground, and he planted a vineyard.

21 And he drank of the wine and became drunk, and he was uncovered and lay naked in his tent.

22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, glanced at and saw the nakedness of his father and told his two brothers outside.

23 So Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it upon the shoulders of both, and went backward and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they did not see their father's nakedness.

24 When Noah awoke from his wine, and knew the thing which his youngest son had done to him,

25 He exclaimed, Cursed be Canaan!  He shall be the servant of servants to his brethren!  Genesis 9:18-25

Let’s now look at a passage that tends to teach us that “uncovering the nakedness of your father" is a Hebrew idiom for a saying something quite different than what we may think:

7 The nakedness of your father, which is the nakedness of your mother, you shall not uncover; she is your mother; you shall not have intercourse with her.

8 The nakedness of your father's wife you shall not uncover; it is your father's nakedness.  Leviticus 18:7-8

So what appears on its surface to be a reference to some act of homosexuality on the part of Ham may have in fact been an act of adultery instead.  Not only was Noah and Ham both married, but both had children.  If this was an act of homosexuality it would have been between two heterosexual, married men.  In either case, Leviticus18 has much to say about both subjects.

I would say that first it's important to understand that the Scriptures from the Old Testament that spoke about prohibitions against same-gendered sexual relations were always addressed to heterosexual married men, and not gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.  Just as we saw from our examination of Sodom in the previous three chapters of The Bed Keeper, we’ll now see how Scripture interprets itself when it comes to the subject audience being addressed in Leviticus 18 (and 20), as well as who the objects of the instructions are: women. 

That doesn't mean that gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people are exempt from God's sexual morals, including choosing either celibacy or faithful gay marriage (as we learned in Chapter 2 of The Bed Keeper), but it does mean that certain passages from Leviticus 18 and 20 have been grossly misapplied to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.  What we’ll see when we examine the entirety of the text is that they are actually condemnations of various forms of adultery, including heterosexual married men who would seek the companionship of other men as a way around the death penalty due anyone caught in the act of heterosexual adultery.  It would seem that many heterosexual married men at the time did not consider sex with another man as an act of adultery, because it did not involve sexual acts with another woman.  However, as we’ll see, Leviticus 18 and 20 are clarifying what God meant when He said, “Thou shall not commit adultery,” and is expanding the definition of adultery to include heterosexual married men having sex with other men on the “downlow.”

To illustrate this, let’s take a forensic look at Leviticus 18 and 20.  We’ll notice that by using the phrase “keep My statutes,” these verses provide significant insight into what God is talking about: The Ten Commandments.  Therefore, I have included referenced violations of the Ten Commandments in parentheses after each applicable verse:

1 And the Lord said to Moses,

2 Say to the Israelites, I am the Lord your God.

3 You shall not do as was done in the land of Egypt in which you dwelt, nor shall you do as is done in the land of Canaan to which I am bringing you; neither shall you walk in their statutes.

4 You shall do My ordinances and keep My statutes and walk in them. I am the Lord your God.  (You shall have no other gods before Me)

5 You shall therefore keep My statutes and My ordinances which, if a man does, he shall live by them.  I am the Lord.  (You shall have no other gods before Me)

6 None of you shall approach anyone close of kin to him to have sexual relations.  I am the Lord.  (You shall honor your father and mother)  Leviticus 18:1-6

NOTE:  The following Scriptures all speak to sexuality with a woman as the object of the verse, which clearly indicates that the understood audience (with only a couple of exceptions) are being addressed is heterosexual married men.

7 The nakedness of your father, which is the nakedness of your mother, you shall not uncover; she is your mother; you shall not have intercourse with her.  (You shall honor your father and mother, and You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife…a man having relations with his mother would be to have relations with another person’s WIFE and You shall not commit adultery…while the man would not be personally committing adultery, having relations with his father’s wife would mean she would be.)

8 The nakedness of your father's wife you shall not uncover; it is your father's nakedness.  (You shall honor your father and mother, and You shall not commit adultery…while a man or woman having relations with their father would not be a personal act of adultery, having relations with one’s mother’s husband would mean the father would be)

9 You shall not have intercourse with or uncover the nakedness of your sister, the daughter of your father or of your mother, whether born at home or born abroad.  (You shall honor your father and mother)

10 You must not have sexual relations with your son's daughter or your daughter's daughter; their nakedness you shall not uncover, for they are your own flesh.  (You shall honor your father and mother….and even your own children’s children, because their children are also commanded to honor their own father and mother)

11 You must not have intercourse with your father's wife's daughter; begotten by your father, she is your sister; you shall not uncover her nakedness.  (You shall honor your father and mother)

12 You shall not have intercourse with your father's sister; she is your father's near kinswoman.  (You shall honor your father and mother)

13 You shall not have sexual relations with your mother's sister, for she is your mother's near kinswoman.  (You shall honor your father and mother)

14 You shall not have intercourse with your father's brother's wife; you shall not approach his wife; she is your aunt.  (You shall honor your father and mother and You shall not covet your neighbor's wife and You shall not commit adultery…while the man would not be personally committing adultery, having relations with his father’s brother’s wife would mean she would be.)

15 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your daughter-in-law; she is your son's wife; you shall not have intercourse with her.  (You shall not covet your neighbor's wife and You shall not commit adultery…for the man to have a son is to assume he is already married, and so this would be personally committing adultery against his own wife, and having relations with his son’s wife on top of that would mean she would be also)

16 You shall not have intercourse with your brother's wife; she belongs to your brother.  (You shall not covet your neighbor's wife and You shall not commit adultery…while the man may not be married, he would not personally be committing adultery, but having relations with his brother’s wife would mean she would be) 

17 You shall not marry a woman and her daughter, nor shall you take her son's daughter or her daughter's daughter to have intercourse; they are [her] near kinswomen; it is wickedness and an outrageous offense.  (You shall honor your father and mother and You shall not commit adultery…for a person to have a son or daughter is to assume they are already married to their mother, and would be a personal act of adultery) 

18 You must not marry a woman in addition to her sister, to be a rival to her, having sexual relations with the second sister when the first one is alive.  (You shall not commit adultery…having already been married to one woman would mean any relations with any other woman, related to their wife or not, would be a personal act of adultery) 

19 Also you shall not have intercourse with a woman during her [menstrual period or similar] uncleanness.  Leviticus 18:7-18

NOTE:  We learned in the previous chapter of The Bed Keeper that the Book of Enoch 15:4 explains this saying:  And though ye were holy, spiritual, living the eternal life, you have defiled yourselves with the blood of women, and have begotten (children) with the blood of flesh, and, as the children of men, have lusted after flesh and blood as those also do who die and perish.”

20 Moreover, you shall not lie carnally with your neighbor's wife, to defile yourself with her. (You shall not commit adultery and You covet your neighbor's wife…while a single man would not be committing a personal act of adultery, having relations with anyone else’s wife would mean she would be) 

21 You shall not give any of your children to pass through the fire and sacrifice them to Molech [the fire god], nor shall you profane the name of your God [by giving it to false gods]. I am the Lord. (You shall not murder and You shall have no other gods before Me)

22 You shall not lie with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination.  (You shall not commit adultery…even if it’s with another man)  Leviticus 18:20-22

NOTE:  As we learned from verse 4, the statutes God refers to are based on the Ten Commandments.  There are no prohibitions in the Ten Commandments regarding same gender relations per se’, however there is a prohibition against adultery.  Having already examined a multitude of references to another person’s wife up to this point, it is clear that the context of the passage would include verse 22 as a prohibition against adultery, even if it was sex with another man.

It does not however speak to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, as we see the specificity of the verse itself, saying “as with a woman.”  Gay men do not "lie with women."  It is clear that in order to “lie with a man as with a woman" these men being addressed would have had to be heterosexual in order to have a reference for comparing “lying with a man” to “lying with a woman.”  

Further, it does not reflect God's wisdom to be speaking to heterosexual married men in a long list of prohibitions against adultery, and then suddenly throw in one regarding gay men, nor does it make sense for God to omit any reference to female/female relations if homosexual expressions were the point of this particular prohibition.  As we’ve already seen, God holds the penalty of adultery, regardless if a person is single or not.  If even one partner is married, it is still considered an act of adultery by God.

Finally, it’s interesting that God doesn’t say “You shall not lie with any beast “AS WITH A WOMAN” when prohibiting relations with animals as acts of idolatry.  This provides yet more evidence that the specificity of the language God uses in Leviticus 18:22 indicates the men being spoken to were heterosexual and married who were accustomed to lying with women.  This would not include gay men, who are not.  

The interesting thing about the next verse is that God does not need to clarify “as with a woman” when describing relations with animals, because this prohibition applies to all people, not just heterosexual married people.  Otherwise, it would also be worded as “You shall not lie with any beast as with a woman.”  Instead, we find it actually reads:

23 Neither shall you lie with any beast and defile yourself with it; neither shall any woman yield herself to a beast to lie with it; it is confusion, perversion, and degradedly carnal. (You shall not commit adultery and You shall not commit idolatry and You shall have no other gods before Me)  Leviticus 18:23 

NOTE:  This is the only time in this passage that a woman is specifically addressed as being spoken to.  This would be more evidence that all the aforementioned Scriptures were addressed to men (except perhaps Leviticus 18:8 in regards to a person having relations with their father, which in actuality could apply to men or women).  

Aside from that, historical accounts of idol worship abound wherein men and/or women would have sexual relations with animals as part of their worship to false gods.  We’ll see in Chapter 18 of The Bed Keeper, the same practice continued up until the Apostle Paul’s day as we see him describe it in Romans 1.  Lastly, besides being an act of idolatry for a man or a woman to defile themselves with a beast, it would also be an act of adultery if he or she was married.  When examined against the Ten Commandments (which we have already established is the foundation of Leviticus 18), we see three Commandments being violated in this one act of what most people only view as bestiality.  To God, it is much, much more than that, just as Leviticus 18:22 is much, much more than homosexual acts being committed by homosexual men.  

(Please also see Chapter 19 of The Bed Keeper for a more detailed explanation of the differences between “homosexuality,” “homosexual people,” and “homosexual acts engaged in by heterosexual married men.”)

24 Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, for in all these things the nations are defiled which I am casting out before you.

25 And the land is defiled; therefore I visit the iniquity of it upon it, and the land itself vomits out her inhabitants.

26 So you shall keep My statutes and My ordinances and shall not commit any of these abominations, neither the native-born nor any stranger who sojourns among you  Leviticus 18:24-26

Notice how verse 26 calls ALL of the things listed in this passage “abominations” and not just men lying with men as with a woman.  So much for Christians using this Scripture to support the idea that same gender expression between two gay people is an "abomination."  Firstly, it's not the only abomination included in Leviticus 18, and secondly, Leviticus 18 is not addressed to gay people nor to Christians, but rather to heterosexual married Israelites.  Thirdly, these acts are all violations of the Ten Commandments, of which “Thou shall not be gay” nor “Thou shall have no sexual relations with another gay person” is not among them.  While Leviticus 18 provides a more comprehensive definition of various violations of the Ten Commandments for the Israelites, Leviticus 20 then assigns the penalty for such violations:

1 And the Lord said to Moses,

2 Moreover, you shall say to the Israelites, Any one of the Israelites or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech [the fire god worshiped with human sacrifices] shall surely be put to death; the people of the land shall stone him with stones.  Leviticus 20:1-2

NOTE:  Once again, we immediately we see that this message is being addressed to the Israelites (not Christians). 

3 I also will set My face against that man [opposing him, withdrawing My protection from him, and excluding him from My covenant] and will cut him off from among his people, because he has given of his children to Molech, defiling My sanctuary and profaning My holy name.

4 And if the people of the land do at all hide their eyes from the man when he gives one of his children [as a burnt offering] to Molech [the fire god] and they overlook it or neglect to take legal action to punish him, winking at his sin, and do not kill him [as My law requires],

5 Then I will set My face against that man and against his family and will cut him off from among their people, him and all who follow him to [unfaithfulness to Me, and thus] play the harlot after Molech.  Leviticus 20:3-5

NOTE:  Again, God issues a stout statement against any practice of idolatry.  We’ll recall from Leviticus 18:3 that He is specifically referring to the practices of the people in Egypt, as well as those who live in the land of Canaan (again, named after Ham’s son whom Noah had cursed after “uncovering his nakedness” or what appears more likely to be after having sexual relations with Noah’s wife).  As stated already, we’ll see that Leviticus 20 now issues the various punishments that God proscribes for various violations of the Ten Commandments.

6 The person who turns to those who have familiar spirits and to wizards, [being unfaithful to Israel's Maker Who is her Husband, and thus] playing the harlot after them, I will set My face against that person and will cut him off from among his people [that he may not be included in the atonement made for them].

7 Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy; for I am the Lord your God. (You shall have no other gods before Me)

8 And you shall keep My statutes and do them. I am the Lord Who sanctifies you.  Leviticus 20:6-8

NOTE:  Here God repeats His former reference to the Ten Commandments, calling them “My statutes.”

9 Everyone who curses his father or mother shall surely be put to death; he has cursed his father or mother; his bloodguilt is upon him.  (You shall honor your father and mother)  Leviticus 20:9

NOTE:  It’s important to understand this did not mean that any child that disobeyed their mother or father should be put to death.  If we are to maintain the drift of God’s prohibitions from Leviticus 18, we must then look at what His prohibitions involving children were, which we saw were also very specific:

7 The nakedness of your father, which is the nakedness of your mother, you shall not uncover; she is your mother; you shall not have intercourse with her.  (You shall honor your father and mother, and You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife…a man having relations with his mother would be to have relations with another person’s WIFE and You shall not commit adultery…while the man would not be personally committing adultery, having relations with his father’s wife would mean she would be.)

8 The nakedness of your father's wife you shall not uncover; it is your father's nakedness.  (You shall honor your father and mother, and You shall not commit adultery…while a man or woman having relations with their father would not be a personal act of adultery, having relations with one’s mother’s husband would mean the father would be)  Leviticus 18:7-8

Many people reading the penalty for “cursing one’s father or mother” would think it applies to killing children for cussing them out.Actually yet another verse of Leviticus 18 specifically condemns killing children.The above verses from Leviticus 18 are the only reasons God explains are grounds for putting to death one’s own children.  It only included incidents of a child sexually violating a parent (much as Ham did to Noah or his wife).We’ll see that verified as we progress through Leviticus 20.  A couple points to keep in mind is that this penalty would obviously not apply to children who are not yet sexually active, nor does it apply to Christians.

Resuming our examination of Leviticus 20, let’s pick back up from verse 10:

10 The man who commits adultery with another's wife, even his neighbor's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. (You shall not commit adultery & You shall not covet your neighbor's wife)  Leviticus 20:10

NOTE:  For all the “justification” many Christians find for killing gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people based on Leviticus, it seems the height of hypocrisy when they don’t include putting to death disobedient (incestuous) children, nor when it comes to adulterers.  Compare that observation to the high rate of adultery and divorce among heterosexuals and it should be enough to convince Christians to abandon their use of any Scriptures such as Leviticus for justifying discrimination and death toward the members of the gay community.  If we were to kill adulterers, not only would the divorce rate plummet, but married heterosexual men may finally become faithful to their wives.  It’s little wonder then that Jesus forgave the woman who had been caught in adultery, saying to those who planned to execute her death by stoning, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”  

(See Chapter 19 of The Bed Keeper for a thorough examination of that account, as well as a parallel look at the case if the adulterous woman had been a homosexual man caught in the act of adultery with a heterosexual married man).

11 And the man who lies carnally with his father's wife has uncovered his father's nakedness; both of the guilty ones shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon their own heads. (You shall not commit adultery and You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife and You shall honor your father and mother)  Leviticus 20:11

NOTE:  This verse supports the earlier assertion that those who cursed their mother or father would have done so through prohibited incestuous sexual relations.

12 And if a man lies carnally with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall surely be put to death; they have wrought confusion, perversion, and defilement; their blood shall be upon their own heads.  (You shall not commit adultery…if the man had relations with his daughter-in-law, he would be having relations with his son’s wife, and both the father and the daughter-in-law would be engaged in personal acts of adultery)

13 If a man lies with a male as if he were a woman, both men have committed an offense (something perverse, unnatural, abhorrent, and detestable); they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.  (You shall not commit adultery…even if only one of the men was married, and heterosexual, and the other man was single and homosexual.  Leviticus condemns both men for the act of adultery, because the married homosexual man would be committing a personal act of adultery, and the homosexual single man would be an accomplice to his adultery…whether he knowingly had relations with a married man or unknowingly did so.  

There are many other cases of two men lying with each other as with a woman that Leviticus does not go into, such as 2 heterosexual men raping one another in prison, or a heterosexual man who prostituted himself to other men to fuel a drug habit.  We explore various other scenarios in minute detail in Chapter 19 of The Bed Keeper)

NOTE:  Again, we cannot escape the specificity of this passage.  Not only is it once again set within the context of violations of the Ten Commandments, but also says, “as if he were a woman,” or the King James Version translates this passage, “as he lieth with a woman.”  In both translations, it is clear that what is being referred to is a heterosexual married man who turns to other men for pleasure on the “downlow.”  It is not the act of homosexuality that is being condemned here, but the act of adultery.  Many modern men continue to justify their sexual infidelity with phrases like, “well it was just oral sex, so it wasn’t really sex” or “that was sex with a man so it doesn’t really count as sex.”  I am convinced that Jews under the Old Covenant often attempted to rationalize their adultery with the same kind of phrases, even as they viewed relations with other men as convenient means of sexual gratification without the worry of unintended pregnancies.  Given the stigma against gay men around the globe, it also then provided a sense of shame that tends to keep such liaisons a secret.

I believe God is clarifying what all counts as adultery, and herein includes sex with another man if one is a married heterosexual male.  Again, this is included in a passage addressed to the Israelites, and again does not apply to Christians.  It’s simply sad how many continue to turn to this passage to “justify” the death of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, and do so with no consideration for our parents, who may wish to see us live.  They do so with no consideration to the economic impact as an estimated 10% of the population would suddenly be off the tax rolls if this practice became law.

Sadly it is an all-too-frequent occurrence in many parts of the world where being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender is a death sentence.  I believe our study of the fallen angels would demonstrate the distaste Satan has for homosexuals because we don’t tend to procreate, thereby working against Satan’s efforts to extend his progeny.  While I believe that since Jesus defeated Satan and his angels that there is no longer any threat to the human race of once again becoming a hybrid race of Nephilim, I believe that we see too many Christians point to the Old Covenant when addressing homosexuality and insult Christ and His sacrifice in doing so.  He ratified the New Covenant with His Own shed blood, and those who disregard His gift of grace blaspheme His very name every time they point to the Old Covenant in an effort to justify killing those whom He Himself said are “eunuchs who are born so form our mother’s wombs…for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven.”

14 And if a man takes a wife and her mother, it is wickedness and an outrageous offense; all three shall be burned with fire, both he and they [after being stoned to death], that there be no wickedness among you. (You shall not commit adultery and You shall honor your father and mother)

NOTE:  Here we see yet another severe penalty that does not apply to Christians, even though it indeed applies to a select few heterosexuals.  I just pray they are Christians, because once again this verse applies to the Israelites, not Christians.

15 And if a man lies carnally with a beast, he shall surely be [stoned] to death, and you shall slay the beast. (You shall have no other gods before Me and You shall not commit adultery)

NOTE:  Again, we see God omits the clarifying phrase “as with a woman” when assigning the penalty here.  Again, that is because the prohibition against men lying with men was addressed to heterosexual married men who had relations with women, not gay men.

16 If a woman approaches any beast and lies carnally with it, you shall [stone] the woman and the beast; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them. (You shall have no other gods before Me and You shall not commit adultery)

NOTE:  Here we see yet another severe penalty that does not apply to Christians even though it does apply to a select few heterosexuals, although mostly women.  However, in the context in which this passage is written, it is a punishment for idolatry.  A study of idolatry throughout the Old Testament reveals a stubborn willingness on the part of even the Israelites to engage in the worship of various gods and goddesses.  Once again, through our study of the Nephilim, it would appear that part of this practice was based on the efforts by Satan and his fallen angels to procreate through beasts of the field rather than human beings once the flood and Sodom and Gomorrah had transpired.  This would also explain why Jesus consistently referred to the Pharisees as “spawn or offspring of vipers,” and even why Satan appeared to Eve in the form of a serpent himself.  

While that’s just an educated guess on my part, I have learned that much of human nature can be traced back to the attempts by the fallen angels to either become equal to human, or to destroy humanity in an effort to prevent the birth of Jesus Christ, and overcome good with evil through procreation with human women (or as it turns out) with animals.

17 If a man takes his sister, his father's or his mother's daughter, and sees her nakedness and she sees his nakedness, it is a wicked and shameful thing; and they shall be cut off in the sight of their people; he has had sexual relations with his sister; he shall bear his iniquity.  Leviticus 20:17

NOTE:  Why isn’t the death penalty ascribed for a case of sibling incest?  I believe it’s because there is no direct violation of any of the Ten Commandments.  While honoring your father and mother comes close, we see that incest could not be equal to sexual violations of one’s own parents or the penalty would be the same.  Further, one’s own parents would be married to each other, so such relations would be acts of adultery on their part, while brothers and sisters are not exactly committing adultery.  While obviously God doesn’t excuse incestuous relations between unmarried brother and sister, He doesn’t turn a blind eye to it either, assigning a lesser punishment than that for adultery, but a punishment nonetheless.

18 And if a man shall lie with a woman having her menstrual pains and shall uncover her nakedness, he has made naked her fountain, and she has uncovered the fountain of her blood; and both of them shall be cut off from among their people.

NOTE:  Again, we don’t see the death penalty for this, but we do see banishment.  Again, if it’s related to what we learn of the fallen angels it makes sense that anyone engaging in such relations would be banished from the Israelites, because failing to do so would run the risk of re-contaminating the human race from which Jesus would eventually descend.  As we saw in Chapter 15 of The Bed Keeper, relations with offspring from the sons of God is what brought The Flood in the first place, and as Enoch tells us, And though ye were holy, spiritual, living the eternal life, you have defiled yourselves with the blood of women, and have begotten (children) with the blood of flesh, and, as the children of men, have lusted after flesh and blood as those also do who die and perish.”  Enoch 15:4

19 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother's sister or of your father's sister, for that is to make naked his close kin; they shall bear their iniquity. (You shall not commit adultery and You shall honor your father and mother)

20 And if a man shall lie carnally with his uncle's wife, he has uncovered his uncle's nakedness; they shall bear their sin; they shall die childless [not literally, but in a legal sense]. (You shall not commit adultery & You shall honor your father and mother).  

NOTE:  It’s interesting that there is no death penalty here, even though an uncle’s wife would indeed be married, and indeed engaged in an act of adultery by having relations with anyone.  

21 And if a man shall take his brother's wife, it is impurity; he has uncovered his brother's nakedness; they shall be childless [not literally, but in a legal sense]. (You shall not commit adultery & You shall not covet your neighbor's wife)

NOTE:  Again, it’s interesting that there is no death penalty here, even though a brother’s wife would indeed be married, and indeed engaged in an act of adultery by having relations with anyone.  The only thing I can think of as to why God did not proscribe the death penalty for apparent acts of adultery is because a wife whose husband passed on was to marry his brother.  

22 You shall therefore keep all My statutes and all My ordinances and do them, that the land where I am bringing you to dwell may not vomit you out [as it did those before you]. (You shall have no other gods before Me).

So at any rate, we can hardly conclude that Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 were simply referring to loving expressions between gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender people, because once we look at the whole of what God was speaking through Moses, we see He begins by talking about God's statutes--the Ten Commandments--and is addressing the Israelites, not Christians.  And He is discussing adultery, not homosexuality.

I believe the punishment for "men lying with men as they lie with a woman" was an abomination and punishable by death because "adultery" and “idolatry” were abominations and punishable by death. 

Even today, a heterosexual man who cheats on his wife by having relations with another man is indeed an abomination, and you don’t have to take God’s Word for it…just ask his wife!  It completely denigrates the woman's self-esteem, and brings an emotional wound that cannot be inflicted in many other ways.  But loving sexual expressions between two people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender does not fit here.  Clearly, over and over again God is referring to acts of adultery, idolatry, and other violations of the Ten Commandments.

I see the same thing with all the "clobber passages."  Others do not.  But to me, we still apply these definitions of "adultery," “idolatry,” "murder," "covetousness," and "honoring our father and mother," and I believe it still applies to Christians as well--but also applies to gays and straights both.  I believe this is because whether gay or straight, "adultery" is "adultery." Jesus even said,

17 ...Why do you ask Me about the perfectly and essentially good? There is only One Who is good [perfectly and essentially]--God. If you would enter into the Life, you must continually keep the commandments. 

18 He said to Him, What sort of commandments? [Or, which ones?] And Jesus answered, You shall not kill, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness,

19 Honor your father and your mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself.  Matthew 19:17-19

For the scholars who would say we are no longer under the Law, I would say that is correct (and thank God we’re no longer subject to the same severe penalties described in Leviticus!)  As we learned in Chapter 5 of The Bed Keeper, the penalty for these violations was paid for once and for all when Jesus died on the Cross, and ratified the New Covenant with His Own shed blood.  But Jesus still says we must keep the Ten Commandments even as Christians.  

I also believe the admonishments against adultery would also apply then to gays, lesbians, bisexual or transgender people who are married to each other.  This does not give us a "license to sin” though.   Sexual relations outside of marriage are continually defined throughout the Old and New Testaments as being a sin.  But I also believe marriage is defined by the two people who have come into a covenant relationship between themselves before God, forsaking all others, and who commit to remain faithful, "till death do us part," whether gay or straight, and whether the Church or the state recognize the couple as married or not. 

Thank God we are no longer punished for adultery by death, or we would all be in a lot of trouble!  Remembering however that these passages of Scripture were God speaking to Moses about adultery and idolatry, and the fact that they were addressed to heterosexual married men, helps me discern how to rightly divide the Word of God. The way I have learned that process is by 3 scholastic tests:

1.  Who is doing the speaking in the Scriptures? 

2. Who are the Scriptures addressed to?

3. How does a passage of Scripture fit into the rest of Scripture?

As mentioned previously, please see Chapter 19 of The Bed Keeper for a more in depth look at other scenarios of two men engaged in sexual relations in different contexts other than that which is addressed in Leviticus.

***************************************************************

Dear Valued Readers,
This blog continues to be a work in progress. As recent revelations and events throughout Christendom have created an increasingly fluid situation, updates will no longer be published at the end of each post, but rather only at the beginning of the corresponding posts so impacted.  As of August 1, 2013, the only updates to appear at the end of each post will be churches that are personally endorsed by The Bed Keeper as a "SAFE SPACE."

Readers may email thebedkeeper@gmail.com to discuss or comment on any posting.  Please note that while all feedback is highly valued and appreciated, it may not be possible to reply to each email.
 
UPDATE 01.15.12:
Lakewood Church officially endorsed as a SAFE SPACE for LGBT people to worship! Details here.

UPDATE 11.22.11:

Eagle Mountain International Church officially endorsed as a SAFE SPACE for LGBT people to worship! Details here.

THANK YOU for your generous support of this work!
 
Let him who receives instruction in the Word of God share all good things with his teacher, contributing to his support.
Galatians 6:6