11 My Friend’s Scriptural Reply to Me

It, good and evil, certainly is true that you cannot build without a foundation as the host of the NPR show noted.  The fact that this guest didn’t find his answer satisfying is not the appropriate measure of whether it was true or not.  I didn’t see the show, I don’t know what was said or in what context, just wanted to note that truth matters, and ultimate truth matters ultimately.  So yes, I believe the foundation we build on is critical and it is obvious that you do as well, thus your emphasis first to cast doubt on Scripture so that we have to base our conversation on a different authority that fits us better – not so demanding.

I see that you “recognize the authority of ‘love your neighbor,” “do not judge,” and “show mercy”, but I’m curious how, for instance you can see an authority in “do not judge” without making an effort to understand what Jesus meant by that, beginning with the immediate context.  In the parallel passage in Matt 7 He goes on to say “first take the log out of your own eye, then you can see clearly to take the spec out of your brother’s eye”. Note that you have to be discerning of good & evil, seeing your own sin and dealing with it and are responsible then to help your brother with the spec in his eye, not leave the spec there – all of it requires recognition of right and wrong – judgement in the sense of being discerning but not in the sense of condemning since that belongs to God alone.  Jesus also says in the verses that follow to not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine – commanding us to judge what is a “dog” or “swine” based on some objective standard.

You reference what you call “conflicts” in Scripture that I “would seem to have to acknowledge.”  But there is no “black is white” contradiction or inconsistency in the Lord’s commands and I see none in those passages. It is easy enough to see that God has the authority to judge and to use His chosen people Israel to bring that judgement (or natural disasters or any other means He chooses).  The fact is that the people of Canaan got what we all deserve.  The root of the problem is that when we reject God’s authority over us and declare our own wisdom supreme, then His wisdom looks foolish and even illogical to us.  When Jesus was asked about the people whose blood was shed by the Romans while bringing their sacrifices, and about the people on whom the tower of Siloam fell, He responded that “the same will happen to you if you do not repent.”  Not really a very satisfying or solace giving comment, but a comment the King has the right to make and does so with the full authority to back it up.

In reference to idolatry you gave some food for thought – let’s say I’m standing before the throne of God and  I say, “Lord, I think you should commend me for doing as I felt was right, because I was being very careful not to turn You into an idol.  In fact, Lord, I heard Your voice but knew I was in danger of making Your voice an idol if I listened to it.  I think far to much of You to believe that you meant what it sounded like and I know that since I was made in Your image You must be pleased with my creativity to invent a righteousness of my own doing.”  Do you see the absurdity of charging that believing God is idolatry against Him?  How did you handle your children when they played that game?  Would you have bought that argument as a defense when you were judge?

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”  The antithesis to that statement is found in Is 8:20 “…if they do not speak according to this, they have no dawn in them”

You are wondering if the river we arrive at is that same.  I believe the answer is “no.”  Homosexuality is sin – period.  So is adultery, hatred, lying, even failing to do what we know is right for the Scripture says “he who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.”  What I am saying is that we ALL have sinned against a just and holy God.  What I am saying is that we ALL need to be delivered from the condemnation and guilt of our sin, delivered from its power in our lives, and given new life and a secure hope in Christ.  Julian’s problem is not sexual orientation or mixed up genome, it is sin.  Sexual perversion is a result of the sin in us, not the cause of it.  My hope is in Christ, He is my righteousness, He is my guarantee, His power brings about a desire for holy living in me….and it is unloving to look at another’s sin and say “but it works well for you.”  No, love demands that we reach out to others to warn them of judgement to come and point them to reconciliation in Christ.

So, is Julian welcome?  Yes.  Is Robert welcome?  Yes…through the gate of repentance and faith in the finished work of the Son of God.  The Gospel calls out that there is redemption by Christ’s own payment for all who repent and bow before Him.  It is for those who know their sin and hate it and know that they cannot save themselves.  He calls us to abandon our own will and submit ourselves to Him as Lord.  Jesus went to the people of the lowest reputation, lost, hopeless, and imprisoned in sin, and He rescued them out of it.  He did not leave them in it and try to make them feel better about it.  But for those who stubbornly cling to and justify their sin there can only be the dreadful anticipation of judgement to come.

“For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”  1 Cor 1:18

God is clear that there are two classes of people in the world – those who trust Him and put no confidence in themselves, and all the rest.

The call is not one of condemnation, but of warning to turn from the wrath to come and run to Christ.

I hope that gives a little better clarification of what the Christian issues are – just what Scripture says they are.

My Friend

 

12 My Response to My Friendhttps://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/351

11 My Friend’s Scriptural Reply to Me

8 Joann’s Reply

Dear
Rob,

I’m sure your friend Julian appreciates your friendship.  Of course he
should be welcome in the church.  The church is the body of Christ and the
pre-requisite to admission is a belief that Christ is the redeemer promised by
God and a desire to live as He taught and witness the fact to the world.
The church gives us communion with other believers and encourages us as we
worship, learn and share in each other’s lives.  Being composed of
imperfect people results in all kinds of imperfect behavior.  However, it
is blessed by Christ himself as we seek to worship truly and love as He loves.

It seems that the only examples of people being cast out of the early church
were those who professed Christian faith and lived arrogantly claiming they
were now free to do anything they wanted because they would be forgiven.
Obviously their focus was on themselves and not on pleasing God.

I’m not sure what you meant that Julian hasn’t been accepted into the
church.  Do they shun him?  Have they refused to let him
“join”?  Are they just rude?

Is it because some people think he is practicing homosexuality?  Even if
that were the case that is not a reason to not accept someone into your
fellowship.  However, the church has the responsibilty to give teaching
positions only to those who live as close to biblical teaching as
possible.  Julian’s genetic situation is not common but the situation of
his soul is common to all people.  We do all need to be forgiven and
changed. We all need to recognize that we are selfish creatures created by God
for communion with Him.  Christ came for the express purpose of making God
known to us and to substitute himself to pay the bill for our willful, sinful
core so we can be made like Him. So as Christians we know we are loved by God
and have the opportunity to accept Christ’s subsitution for our
wrongness.  I hope your friend knows the peace of God’s forgiveness and
love.

Have a great day.  Too bad we are separated by so many miles.  Love
to [your family],

Joann

 

Next blog post: 9 William Wheeler’s Reply to Me               https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/340

8 Joann’s Reply

5 My Response to Georgia

I have long thought that Mom was more the preacher than Dad.  I certainly take a lot of Mom’s character in that respect, and I note a lot of similarity in style as well as sentiment in your letters, mine and hers.  I think also we have inherited from both of our parents a spirit of sincerity and compassion.  And I appreciate your letter and your willingness to share it.  I will share (hopefully briefly) my difficulty with the “standard” church arguments against homosexuality and other orientation issues.

As to sexual orientation, the focus in the church has long been on homosexuality: choice or imposition.  As I look at the broader issue, I wonder about the hermaphrodite which is neither addressed, to my knowledge, by the Bible or the stated church positions on homosexuality.  Regarding it, a long standing medical practice has been to select a sex for that infant early so the child will not grow up confused and subject to ridicule, often later to find that the wrong choice was apparently made for that child, and that the process destroyed the sensations that are part of being human: akin to making the child a eunuch.  No one can argue that such individuals exist and they did not choose the dilemma.  The trans-sexual I know at church has XXY chromosomes: genetically that person has the wiring for both male and female.  For my friend, the male mentality predominated but also the female genitalia.  His condition and XXXY are called Klinefelter’s syndrome.  How would we handle that situation if that was our assigned inheritance?  Are we really in a position to judge his choice in a matter that does not affect us?  Turner’s syndrome is a condition in which an individual has one X and no Y chromosome, thus they are neither an XY male or a XX female. In addition, the gonads degenerate before birth. In most respects the person will be anatomically female, which is the initial course of all human development, however without hormone treatment there will be no secondary sexual characteristics.  Would the introduction of hormone treatment be a trans-sexual act and sinful insofar as it changes the state?  I wonder what the religious arguments would do to contribute to the lives and spirituality of these people.

What if these people, as my friend, profess the Christian faith but they don’t fit the normal pattern on the inside, on the outside or in their feelings or behavior.  Are we to assume that despite their professed sincerity they are ignorant and nonetheless persist in their sin?  Given those genetic and physical ambiguities, which can be objectively determined, and about which no one can reasonably argue, I wonder how clear really is the distinction assumed by the religious arguments.  I wonder, how much are we really in the position to judge any of these persons?  My position is that healthy judgment is for the purpose of making choices for one’s own life, as we are not in a position to make those choices for another.

Finally, I believe that when Jesus says, in Matthew 25:31-46 that those who were kind to the suffering [with no regard to any faith at all] shall enter into the Kingdom but those who do not, [with no exception for “right belief”]  shall go to eternal punishment, he mentioned examples of those who suffered and did not provide an exclusive list.  I believe he would have included the hermaphrodite, the XXY and XXXY, the sexually confused and the oppressed homosexual in that group deserving of our loving help.  Whereas one can cite Paul and other Biblical sources for the proposition that homosexuality is a sin, does anyone want to judge them, exclude them or just plain ignore them on that basis at the risk of eternal punishment?  It seems to me both kinder and safer just to accept them and love them as they are.

Love, Rob

 

Next blog post: 6 Joanne’s Reply https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/321

5 My Response to Georgia

Bob and Betty Dorr’s Story

OUR STORY—BETTY AND BOB DORR, First United Methodist Church, Omaha

In the late 1950s, Betty’s brother was seen in a gay bar while serving in the Army.  He received a dishonorable discharge.  That was when we learned he is gay. Betty’s parents, especially her mother, never wavered in their love for their son.  Betty’s brother remained an important part of our family.  In the mid-1960s, Bob’s brother told us he is gay.  It didn’t matter.  He is loved and accepted in our family.

As we raised our family of three sons, we didn’t bring up the subject of homosexuality with friends because we didn’t want to risk jeopardizing her brother’s public school teaching job.  In 1992, our youngest son Michael came out to us at age 27 while in Omaha to attend his best friend’s wedding. He knew we would still love him because his two uncles were loved and accepted within the family.

Why did he wait so long to tell us he was gay?  He said, “Mom and Dad, I know that you love me, but when I walk out the front door who else will?  My church has told me that they feel it is wrong and so does society.”  Michael excelled in academics both in high school and college.  He rose to senior management at the Chicago-based Leo Burnett advertising agency.  However, his personal life took a bad turn.  He struggled with alcoholism and drug abuse. He was diagnosed with bipolar mental illness.  In 2006 he died at age 41 in his Chicago apartment of cardiac arrhythmia, a heartbeat disruption.

After Michael came out to us, we joined the Omaha chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), and for about a dozen years one or the other of us led our local chapter. We also became active in efforts to win equal rights for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders in theUnited Methodist Church.  Betty testified in the defense of Jimmy Creech at his church trial for conducting a Holy Union commitment service for two lesbians at our church, First United Methodist in Omaha.  Creech was acquitted at that trial. Later he conducted a commitment service for two gay men. He was tried again and lost his ministerial credentials.  Betty served on the national board of Reconciling Ministries Network, which is committed to winning equality for GLBTs in theUnited Methodist Church, and also on the steering committee of the Parents Reconciling Network, a group affiliated with RMN.  She has retired from the board and the steering committee.

Along the way, we have helped many parents understand that their gay son or lesbian daughter still is the same person they always have loved. When we served as grand marshals of the Pride Parade in Omaha, Bob spoke these words for the two of us: “On behalf of all accepting parents of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender children we say this, If your parents for whatever reason don’t love and accept you just as you are, think of us as your parents. We are honored to be your parents.”

Young GLBT people need to know that there are pastors and lay members who care for them and that they can come home to their church.

 

12 Discussion Strings concerning the Bible and GLBT Issueshttps://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/304

Bob and Betty Dorr’s Story

Publications Concerning Hate Crimes Relating to Sexual Orientation

See http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/hate_bib.html for the source of the article, below, discussing hate crimes related to homosexuality.

Matthew Shepard, a 21-year old college student, was lured from a bar by two other men. He was beaten and robbed of his wallet and black patent leather shoes. Twelve hours later, passers-by found him unconscious and tied to a fence along a rural highway. He was suffering from severe head injuries and hypothermia. He was taken to a hospital where he died.

Gregory M. Herek, Ph.D.Selected Publications on Hate Crimes
Herek, G.M. (1989). Hate crimes against lesbians and gay men: Issues for research and policy. American Psychologist, 44 (6), 948-955. Antigay hate crimes (words or actions that are intended to harm or intimidate individuals because they are lesbian or gay) constitute a serious national problem. In recent surveys, as many as 92% of lesbians and gay men report that they have been the targets of antigay verbal abuse or threats, and as many as 24% report physical attacks because of their sexual orientation.
Herek, G.M. (1990). The context of anti-gay violence: Notes on cultural and psychological heterosexism. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 5 (3), 316-333. Hate crimes against lesbians and gay men occur within a broader cultural context that is permeated by heterosexism. Heterosexism is defined here as an ideological system that denies, denigrates, and stigmatizes any nonheterosexual form of behavior, identity, relationship, or community. It operates principally by rendering homosexuality invisible and, when this fails, by trivializing, repressing, or stigmatizing it.
Garnets, L., Herek, G.M., & Levy, B. (1990). Violence and victimization of lesbians and gay men: Mental health consequences. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 5 (3), 366-383. When an individual is attacked because she or he is perceived to be gay, the negative mental health consequences of victimization converge with those resulting from societal heterosexism to create a unique set of problems. Such victimization represents a crisis for the individual, creating opportunities for growth as well as risks for impairment. The principal risk associated with anti-gay victimization is that the survivor’s homosexuality becomes directly linked to her or his newly heightened sense of vulnerability.
Berrill, K.T., & Herek, G.M. (1990). Primary and secondary victimization in anti-gay hate crimes: Official response and public policy. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 5 (3), 401-413. Lesbian and gay male targets of hate crimes face multiple levels of victimization. In addition to suffering the effects of being a crime victim, they also face secondary victimization (i.e., additional victimization after a crime that results from societal heterosexism). Examples of secondary victimization include losing one’s job, being evicted from housing, or being denied public services or accommodations once one’s sexual orientation is disclosed as the result of an anti-gay attack.
Herek, G.M. (1993). Documenting prejudice against lesbians and gay men on campus: The Yale Sexual Orientation Survey. Journal of Homosexuality, 25 (4), 15-30. College and university communities recently have begun to confront the problems of harassment, discrimination, and violence against lesbians, gay men, and bisexual people on campus. A first step in responding to attacks against gay and bisexual people is to document their frequency and the forms that they take. . . . The Yale survey revealed that lesbians, gay men, and bisexual people on campus lived in a world of secretiveness and fear. Although experiences of physical assault on campus were relatively infrequent, many respondents reported other forms of discrimination and harassment. A majority reported that they feared antigay violence and harassment on campus, and that such fears affected their behavior. Replications on other campuses have yielded similar results. . . .
Herek, G.M., Gillis, J.R., & Cogan, J. C. (1999). Psychological sequelae of hate crime victimization among lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 67, 945-951. To assess the psychological correlates of hate crime victimization based on sexual orientation, and to compare the sequelae of bias crimes with those of other crimes, questionnaire data about victimization experiences were collected from 2259 lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals (total N = 1170 females, 1089 males) in the Sacramento (CA) area. Approximately one-fifth of females and one-fourth of males had experienced a bias-related criminal victimization since age 16; one-eighth of females and one-sixth of males had experienced a bias crime recently (in the previous 5 years). . . .  Gay and lesbian hate crime survivors manifested significantly more fear of crime, greater perceived vulnerability, less belief in the benevolence of people, lower sense of mastery, and more attributions of their personal setbacks to sexual prejudice than did nonbias crime victims and nonvictims. . . .
Herek, G.M., Cogan, J.C., & Gillis, J.R. (2002). Victim experiences in hate crimes based on sexual orientation. Journal of Social Issues, 58 (2), 319-339. . . .   Although many hate crimes are perpetrated in public settings by groups of young males who are strangers to the victim, the data show that victimization also occurs in a variety of other locales and is perpetrated by neighbors, coworkers, and relatives. Victims tended to rely primarily on explicit statements by perpetrators and contextual cues in deciding whether a crime was based on their sexual orientation, and interviewees’ categorization of incidents as antigay generally appeared to be accurate. Hate crimes were less likely than other crimes to be reported to police, and concerns about police bias and public disclosure of their sexual orientation were important factors for victims in deciding whether to report. Many interviewees weighed the severity or importance of the crime and the likelihood that the perpetrators would be punished in making their decision. . .
Herek, G. M. (2007). Hate crimes and stigma-related experiences among sexual minority adults in the United States: Prevalence estimates from a national probability sample. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, in press. . . .  Gay men were significantly more likely than lesbians or bisexuals to experience violence or property crimes. More than one third of gay men (37.6%) reported experiencing one or both types of crimes, compared to 12.5% of lesbians, 10.7% of bisexual men, and 12.7% of bisexual women. Gay men also reported higher levels of harassment and verbal abuse than the other sexual orientation groups. Employment and housing discrimination were significantly more likely among gay men and lesbians (reported by 17.7% and 16.3%, respectively) than among bisexual men and women (3.7% and 6.8%, respectively). More than half of the respondents manifested some degree of felt stigma, as indicated by their perception that most people think less of sexual minorities, that most employers will not hire qualified sexual minority applicants, or that most people would not want a sexual minority individual to care for their children.

DISCUSSION:

Why do you think that some people hate homosexuals?  Why would some of those people act violently toward them?
Anger and hatred are defense mechanisms.  That being said, what does the hatred say of one’s perception of self that the mere existence of the homosexual threatens?  Is it possible that the hatred of a homosexual person is reflective of self-loathing?  of fear?  What is the basis for such fear?

Is it possible to have “righteous hatred?”

Is it possible to hate the act but love the sinner?

How does any hatred impair our capacity to love?

 

Next blog post: Psychiatric Association: Homosexuality Is Not a Pathology               https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/92

Publications Concerning Hate Crimes Relating to Sexual Orientation

Offenses Punishable by Death

Exodus 20

13 “You shall not kill.

Exodus 21

12 “Anyone who strikes a man and kills him shall surely be put to death. . . .  14 [I]f a man schemes and kills another man deliberately, take him away from my altar and put him 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.

The Old Testament is clear that homosexuality is an “abomination,” as stated in Leviticus 18:22, just a few lines below the edict in Leviticus 11:10-12 stating that eating shrimp is an abomination.  (http://www.livescience.com/health/070320_bad_homosexuality.html)

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

10 Now the son of an Israelite mother and an Egyptian father went out among the Israelites, and a fight broke out in the camp between him and an Israelite. 11 The son of the Israelite woman blasphemed the Name with a curse; so they brought him to Moses. . . .

13 Then the LORD said to Moses: 14 “Take the blasphemer outside the camp. All those who heard him are to lay their hands on his head, and the entire assembly is to stone him. 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. 23 Then Moses spoke to the Israelites, and they took the blasphemer outside the camp and stoned him. The Israelites did as the LORD commanded Moses

Numbers 15

32 While the Israelites were in the desert, a man was found gathering wood on the Sabbath day. 33 Those who found him gathering wood brought him to Moses and Aaron and the whole assembly, 34 and they kept him in custody, because it was not clear what should be done to him. 35 Then the LORD said to Moses, “The man must die. The whole assembly must stone him outside the camp.” 36 So the assembly took him outside the camp and stoned him to death, as the LORD commanded Moses.

Numbers 35

16 ” ‘If a man strikes someone with an iron object so that he dies, he is a murderer; the murderer shall be put to death. 17 Or if anyone has a stone in his hand that could kill, and he strikes someone so that he dies, he is a murderer; the murderer shall be put to death. 18 Or if anyone has a wooden object in his hand that could kill, and he hits someone so that he dies, he is a murderer; the murderer shall be put to death. 19 The avenger of blood shall put the murderer to death; when he meets him, he shall put him to death. 20 If anyone with malice aforethought shoves another or throws something at him intentionally so that he dies 21 or if in hostility he hits him with his fist so that he dies, that person shall be put to death; he is a murderer. The avenger of blood shall put the murderer to death when he meets him.

 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, 3 and contrary to my command has worshiped other gods, bowing down to them or to the sun or the moon or the stars of the sky, 4 and this has been brought to your attention, then you must investigate it thoroughly. If it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done in Israel, 5 take the man or woman who has done this evil deed to your city gate and stone that person to death. . . . 7 The hands of the witnesses must be the first in putting him to death, and then the hands of all the people.

Deuteronomy 13

[If a prophet or soothsayer bids you follow other gods, 5 [t]hat prophet or dreamer must be put to death, because he preached rebellion against the LORD your God . . .  [If anyone tells you, “let’s go worship other gods], Show him no pity. Do not spare him or shield him. 9 You must certainly put him to death. Your hand must be the first in putting him to death, and then the hands of all the people. 10 Stone him to death, because he tried to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 11 Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and no one among you will do such an evil thing again.

12 [If you hear it said about one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you to live in, “Let us go and worship other gods,” and if it is true], 15 you must certainly put to the sword all who live in that town. Destroy it completely, both its people and its livestock. 16 Gather all the plunder of the town into the middle of the public square and completely burn the town and all its plunder as a whole burnt offering to the LORD your God.

Deuteronomy 21

18 If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, 19 his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. . . . 21 Then all the men of his town shall stone him to death.. . .

Deuteronomy 22

13 If a man takes a wife and, after lying with her, dislikes her 14 and slanders her and gives her a bad name, saying, “I married this woman, but when I approached her, I did not find proof of her virginity,”  20 If . . . the charge is true and no proof of the girl’s virginity can be found, 21 she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death.

22 If a man is found sleeping with another man’s wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die.

23 If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her, 24 you shall take both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to death—the girl because she was in a town and did not scream for help, and the man because he violated another man’s wife.

Joshua 7

[If someone steals something that was devoted to the Lord], 15 [h]e who is caught with the devoted things shall be destroyed by fire, along with all that belongs to him.

19 Then Joshua said to Achan, “My son, give glory to the LORD, the God of Israel, and give him the praise. Tell me what you have done; do not hide it from me.”  20 Achan replied, “It is true! I have sinned against the LORD, the God of Israel. This is what I have done: 21 When I saw in the plunder a beautiful robe from Babylonia, two hundred shekels of silver and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. They are hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath.”  24 Then Joshua, together with all Israel, took Achan son of Zerah, the silver, the robe, the gold wedge, his sons and daughters, his cattle, donkeys and sheep, his tent and all that he had, to the Valley of Achor. 25 . . . Then all Israel stoned him, and after they had stoned the rest, they burned them.

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.”

John 10

31Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, 32but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”

33″We are not stoning you for any of these,” replied the Jews, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”

34Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are gods’? 35If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and the Scripture cannot be broken— 36what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? 37Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does. 38But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” 39Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.

 

Next blog post: Scriptures on GLBT Subjects               https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/70

Offenses Punishable by Death

Thou Shalt Not Kill, but . . .

The Bible is often quoted as authority for action as applied to present circumstances.  As applied to the GLBT, it is often quoted for exclusion of them from the church community or its leadership, or to justify ostracizing them.  How sure can we be of such commands as we apply them to our circumstances?  Let’s look at the Ten Commandment command, “Thou shalt not kill” and its many permutations, its contradictions, or its exceptions.

Exodus 20:13

Thou shalt not kill.

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. . .

31 So Israel settled in the land of the Amorites. . . .

34 The Lord said to Moses, “Do not be afraid of him, for I have handed him over to you, with his whole army and his land. Do to him what you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon.”

35 So they struck him down, together with his sons and his whole army, leaving them no survivors. And they took possession of his land.

Numbers 25

1 While Israel was staying in Shittim, the men began to indulge in sexual immorality with Moabite women, 2 who invited them to the sacrifices to their gods. The people ate and bowed down before these gods. 3 So Israel joined in worshiping the Baal of Peor. And the Lord’s anger burned against them.

4 The Lord said to Moses, “Take all the leaders of these people, kill them and expose them in broad daylight before the Lord, so that the Lord’s fierce anger may turn away from Israel.”

. . .

16 The Lord said to Moses, 17 “Treat the Midianites as enemies and kill them, 18 because they treated you as enemies. . .

Numbers 31

1 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Take vengeance on the Midianites for the Israelites. After that, you will be gathered to your people.”

3 So Moses said to the people, “Arm some of your men to go to war against the Midianites and to carry out the Lord’s vengeance on them. . .

7 They fought against Midian, as the Lord commanded Moses, and killed every man . … 15 “Have you allowed all the women to live?” he asked them. 16 “They were the ones who followed Balaam’s advice and were the means of turning the Israelites away from the Lord in what happened at Peor, so that a plague struck the Lord’s people. 17 Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, 18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

Numbers 33

55 ” ‘But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land, those you allow to remain will become barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will give you trouble in the land where you will live. 56 And then I will do to you what I plan to do to them.’ ”

Deuteronomy 2

31 The Lord said to me, “See, I have begun to deliver Sihon and his country over to you. Now begin to conquer and possess his land.” . . . At that time we took all his towns and completely destroyed them—men, women and children. We left no survivors

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.

Joshua 6

20 When the trumpets sounded, the people shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the people gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so every man charged straight in, and they took the city. 21 They devoted the city to the Lord and destroyed with the sword every living thing in it—men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys.

Joshua 7

14 ” ‘In the morning, present yourselves tribe by tribe. The tribe that the Lord takes shall come forward clan by clan; the clan that the Lord takes shall come forward family by family; and the family that the Lord takes shall come forward man by man. 15 He who is caught with the devoted things shall be destroyed by fire, along with all that belongs to him. He has violated the covenant of the Lord and has done a disgraceful thing in Israel!’ . . .

19 Then Joshua said to Achan, “My son, give glory to the Lord,  the God of Israel, and give him the praise. Tell me what you have done; do not hide it from me.”

20 Achan replied, “It is true! I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel.

24 Then Joshua, together with all Israel, took Achan son of Zerah, the silver, the robe, the gold wedge, his sons and daughters, his cattle, donkeys and sheep, his tent and all that he had, to the Valley of Achor. . . .
Then all Israel stoned him, and after they had stoned the rest, they burned them.

Joshua 8

1 Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Take the whole army with you, and go up and attack Ai. For I have delivered into your hands the king of Ai, his people, his city and his land. 2 You shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king, except that you may carry off their plunder and livestock for yourselves. Set an ambush behind the city.”

. . .

24 When Israel had finished killing all the men of Ai in the fields and in the desert where they had chased them, and when every one of them had been put to the sword, all the Israelites returned to Ai and killed those who were in it. 25 Twelve thousand men and women fell that day—all the people of Ai. 26 For Joshua did not draw back the hand that held out his javelin until he had destroyed all who lived in Ai.

Joshua 10

13 So the sun stood still,
and the moon stopped,
till the nation avenged itself on its enemies,
as it is written in the Book of Jashar.
. . .

22 Joshua said, “Open the mouth of the cave and bring those five kings out to me.” 23 So they brought the five kings out of the cave—the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon. 24 When they had brought these kings to Joshua, he summoned all the men of Israel and said to the army commanders who had come with him, “Come here and put your feet on the necks of these kings.” So they came forward and placed their feet on their necks.

25 Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous. This is what the Lord will do to all the enemies you are going to fight.” 26 Then Joshua struck and killed the kings and hung them on five trees, and they were left hanging on the trees until evening.

. . .

29 Then Joshua and all Israel with him moved on from Makkedah to Libnah and attacked it. 30 The Lord also gave that city and its king into Israel’s hand. The city and everyone in it Joshua put to the sword. He left no survivors there. And he did to its king as he had done to the king of Jericho.

. . .

38 Then Joshua and all Israel with him turned around and attacked Debir. 39 They took the city, its king and its villages, and put them to the sword. Everyone in it they totally destroyed. They left no survivors. They did to Debir and its king as they had done to Libnah and its king and to Hebron.

40 So Joshua subdued the whole region, including the hill country, the Negev, the western foothills and the mountain slopes, together with all their kings. He left no survivors. He totally destroyed all who breathed, just as the Lord, the God of Israel, had commanded. 41 Joshua subdued them from Kadesh Barnea to Gaza and from the whole region of Goshen to Gibeon. 42 All these kings and their lands Joshua conquered in one campaign, because the Lord, the God of Israel, fought for Israel.

Joshua 12

7 So Joshua and his whole army came against them suddenly at the Waters of Merom and attacked them, 8 and the Lord gave them into the hand of Israel. They defeated them and pursued them all the way to Greater Sidon, to Misrephoth Maim, and to the Valley of Mizpah on the east, until no survivors were left. . . .

10 At that time Joshua turned back and captured Hazor and put its king to the sword. (Hazor had been the head of all these kingdoms.) 11 Everyone in it they put to the sword. They totally destroyed them, not sparing anything that breathed, and he burned up Hazor itself.

12 Joshua took all these royal cities and their kings and put them to the sword. He totally destroyed them, as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded. . . .

20 For it was the Lord himself who hardened their hearts to wage war against Israel, so that he might destroy them totally, exterminating them without mercy, as the Lord had commanded Moses.

21 At that time Joshua went and destroyed the Anakites from the hill country: from Hebron, Debir and Anab, from all the hill country of Judah, and from all the hill country of Israel. Joshua totally destroyed them and their towns. 22 No Anakites were left in Israelite territory; only in Gaza, Gath and Ashdod did any survive. 23 So Joshua took the entire land, just as the Lord had directed Moses, and he gave it as an inheritance to Israel according to their tribal divisions.
Then the land had rest from war.

Discuss

Do you see any conflict between the commandment not to kill and the Israelites’ perception that God directed Joshua to annihilate the inhabitants of the land?

If we see a conflict between “do not kill”  and “but kill and uterly destroy an entire people and all life associated with them”, can we reconcile these scriptural passages?  Are they reconcilable?

If either see no conflict, or if we reconcile them, have we used some form of the Wesleyan Quadrilateral in doing so?

If  you were living during the time of Joshua, how would you know when Joshua told you, “thus saith the Lord – kill all that lives and breathes in the land” that the order was in fact sanctioned by God?  If Joshua were living today and said God told him that you were to kill all people of a certain religion other than our own, would you believe it and act on it because he was Joshua?

Do Christians today claim God’s call to destruction of our enemies or of those that we believe are enemies of God?  How do we test the claims made for what is God’s will?

How do we reconcile these passages with the command of Jesus to love our enemies, or to turn the other cheek?

 

Next blog post: Offenses Punishable by Death               https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/68

Thou Shalt Not Kill, but . . .