10a My Scriptural Response to William Wheeler

Willy, I appreciate your desire to give a thoughtful response.  I will share with you scriptures from Old and New Testaments that I consider to be conflicting on their face, challenging us, which I include in discussion of GLBT issues:

Guiding principles:

Micah 6

8 He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.

What does it mean to act justly? To love mercy?  To walk humbly with your God?

Mark 12

The Greatest Commandment

28One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

29″The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one..[e] 30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[f] 31The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[g]There is no commandment greater than these.”

Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 19:1-11), interpreted to be condemnatory of homosexual acts.

Biblical provisions:

Abominable and detestable things

The Old Testament clearly calls homosexual acts abominable or detestable.  There are other things and acts that are also abominable or detestable:

Meat that touches anything ceremonially unclean, Leviticus 7:19; eating fat of blood of otherwise clean animals, Leviticus 7:22; anything in the water that does not have fins or scales,  Leviticus 11:12; certain birds, Leviticus 11:13; all flying insects that walk on four legs, Leviticus 11:20; every animal that moves about on the ground, Leviticus 11:41; do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman, Leviticus 18:22; and anyone who does any detestable thing must be “cut off” Leviticus 18:23.

Commandment not to kill, but commands to kill

Exodus 20

13 “You shall not kill.

Exodus 21

12 “Anyone who strikes a man and kills him shall surely be put to death.

15 “Anyone who attacks his father or his mother must be put to death.

16 “Anyone who kidnaps another and either sells him or still has him when he is caught must be put to death.

17 “Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.

Leviticus 20

1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 “Say to the Israelites: ‘Any Israelite or any alien living in  Israel who gives any of his children to Molech must be put to death. The people of the community are to stone him.

9 ” ‘If anyone curses his father or mother, he must be put to death. He has cursed his father or his mother, and his blood will be on his own head.

10 ” ‘If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife—with the wife of his neighbor—both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death.

11 ” ‘If a man sleeps with his father’s wife, he has dishonored his father. Both the man and the woman must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

12 ” ‘If a man sleeps with his daughter-in-law, both of them must be put to death. What they have done is a perversion; their blood will be on their own heads..

13 ” ‘If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

14 ” ‘If a man marries both a woman and her mother, it is wicked. Both he and they must be burned in the fire, so that no wickedness will be among you.

15 ” ‘If a man has sexual relations with an animal, he must be put to death, and you must kill the animal.

16 ” ‘If a woman approaches an animal to have sexual relations with it, kill both the woman and the animal. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

27 ” ‘A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist among you must be put to death. You are to stone them; their blood will be on their own heads.’ ”

Leviticus 24

15 Say to the Israelites: ‘If anyone curses his God, he will be held responsible; 16 anyone who blasphemes the name of the LORD must be put to death. The entire assembly must stone him. Whether an alien or native-born, when he blasphemes the Name, he must be put to death.

17 ” ‘If anyone takes the life of a human being, he must be put to death.

Numbers 21

1 When the Canaanite king of Arad, who lived in the Negev, heard that Israel was coming along the road to Atharim, he attacked the Israelites and captured some of them. 2 Then  Israel made this vow to the Lord : “If you will deliver these people into our hands, we will totally destroy their cities.”3 The Lord listened to  Israel ‘s plea and gave the Canaanites over to them. They completely destroyed them and their towns; so the place was named Hormah.

Deuteronomy 7

1 When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations—the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you- 2 and when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy.

and it went on and on and on . . . to this day

Deuteronomy 7?

2 If a man or woman living among you in one of the towns the LORD gives you is found doing evil in the eyes of the LORD your God in violation of his covenant, . . . 5 take the man or woman who has done this evil deed to your city gate and stone that person to death.

Deuteronomy 13

6 If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” . . . 9 You must certainly put him to death.

Deuteronomy 21

18 If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son . .  . 21 Then all the men of his town shall stone him to death.

Deuteronomy 22

21 A woman who has been given in marriage and who is found not to be a virgin shall be stoned to death.

22 and 23 Both adulterors shall be stoned.

Hosea 6

6 For I desire mercy, not sacrifice,
and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.

Zechariah 7

8 And the word of the LORD came again to Zechariah: 9 “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. 10 Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other.’

Matthew 5

The Beatitudes

1Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2and he began to teach them saying:
3″Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.
10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11″Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Mark 12

The Greatest Commandment

28One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

29″The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

Luke 6

Judging Others

37″Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

. . .

41″Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 42How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

A Tree and Its Fruit

43″No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. 45The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.

John 8

1But Jesus went to the  Mount of Olives . 2At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

9At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

11″No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

Romans 1:24-27

Men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

Romans 13:10 

10Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

1 Cor. 10:13

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

1 Corinthians 13

Love

1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known..

Colossians 3

12Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Rob

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10a My Scriptural Response to William Wheeler

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