Picking up from last week: “Pastorized” New Covenant.
Here’s my point: context is everything.
Take, for instance, the current rage to denounce homosexuality as a sin against God by quoting two passages from The Book of Leviticus, thusly:
“You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; such a thing is an abomination.” Lv. 18:22.
Tell Adam and Steve what they’ve won, Johnny!
“If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives.” Lv. 20:13.
Sorta settles that “Hate the sin, love the sinner” hash, don’t it?
(Lesbians, take note: I’ve scoured Chapters 18 and 20—a beggar’s banquet of consanguineous No-Noes, with shunning and death at the other end—and it appears girl-on-girl was overlooked. Sometimes it’s good to be chattel.)
Let’s see; Leviticus, the third of the five books in the Pentateuch in the Old Testament, wherein Yahweh lays down the laws and rites of legal purity, primarily for the priests of the Levites. (Hence, the name assigned by its Greek translators.) Leviticus I opens up in Chapter 1 with a short primer on the Dos and Don’ts of ritual animal sacrifice; Chapter 2 gives the formula for making a Just and Vengeful God breakfast. (God, I don’t kid; look it up.)
Here’s the catch: If you buy these injunctions, seems fairly clear you have to go with the whole program; no picking and choosing the Word of God, right? Try these on for comfort:
“Anyone who curses his father or mother shall be put to death; since he has cursed his father or mother, he has forfeited his life.” Lv. 20:9.
What did you say to me, you little brat? Screw the belt; Honey, where’s my Nine Millimeter?
“You shall not approach a woman to have intercourse with her while she is unclean from menstruation. Lv. 18:19.
“If a man lies in sexual intercourse with a woman during her menstrual period, both of them shall be cut off from their people, because they have laid bare the flowing fountain of her blood.” Lv. 20:18.
Well—there goes the neighborhood!
“You shall not have carnal relations with your neighbor’s wife, defiling yourself with her.” Lv. 18:20.
“If a man commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall be put to death.” Lv. 20:10.
Pastor! I think I’ve found a way to get “Desperate Housewives” off the air!
Just a few more gems, for effect:
- After childbirth, make certain that Moms observes the proper numbers of days for recovering from unclean blood and for purification thereof. (They’re different by gender—and be sure to call the Moyl and have little Chad snipped within the week.) And, for God’s sake, don’t forget to order the lamb and/or turtledoves for the holocaust and sin offering. Lv. 12:1-8.
- If you’re balding and expose a zit, you have to uncover your head, muffle your beard, rend your garments, and cry out, “Unclean! Unclean!” Lv. 13:40-46.
- If it’s priesthood you covet, cover your head; don’t shave; no rare meat; and marry a virgin—absolutely no whores, Jezebels, or divorcees. Lv. 21:5-8.
- Oh—and, Vicar: If your daughter gets deflowered? Sorry; it’s the Salem sauté for her. Lv. 21:9.
- To end on an up note, it’s okay to do the horizontal Mambo with another man’s female slave, as long as you’re prepared to cough up a Grade-A ram for the next sacred barbecue.
Long story short, words to live by—if you’re descended from the Tribes, keep Kosher, have strong feelings about traditions, and are too busy or too conservative for the Talmud. The five books of the Pentateuch are the foundations of the Laws of the selfsame tribal People of God—the Torah. I’ll only say this once:
Wrong side of Scripture, Sparky, if you’re going to insist that Jesus is the Messiah—you know, Lord and Savior. That flight ain’t landed in Tel-Aviv yet.
Hint: Here’s a quick way to determine your Levitican eligibility, if you’re a male Bible Hawk; most of those in charge are, it seems. Check your underpants. If the Twinkie is still in its original wrapper—sorry. T ry again next time. (Like me, you may have lost your On-board Stimulator in the Boomer Gentile Medical “Sanitary Safe, Not Sorry” Campaign; if you’re not certain, ask a parent. Still—if you were not Brissed, you are dismissed.)
Even then, you don’t see that many of our Jewish brethren—not even Hassidim—lathered up in public about gays, certainly with nowhere near the frequency of your card-carrying Baptists. Why, you ask? My theory is they’re too busy keeping a weather eye on us. The last time we Christians got up a good head of steam on the subject, the Sons and Daughters of Abraham got the first one-way tickets to Kamp.
Next Week: Straight from the Paraclete’s mouth.