Defense of God being just, although He commanded killing homosexuals?

This is the second time in a week that a fellow computer programmer has opened a debate with me about religion. In both cases, after answering a few questions, the question (implicitly) came down whether God’s morality is just.

Here’s our conversation on twitter.

He cited this from the Bible:

If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death, their blood is upon them.

He hasn’t come out and explicitly said it, but I believe his argument is ultimately: “your god commanded killing homosexuals, which is unjust; therefore your god is unjust”.

I know God is just. But I don’t have anything to say in response to this argument.

I almost think Romans 9:20-24 applies here, but I think it will not be understood in correct context.

-What is being objected to as being unjust, the sexual act, the punishment, or both?
-How is this unjust by the Christian theology of morality and justice?
-If a non-Christian theology or belief system of morality and justice is being used, what is the evidence that this different system is more just (in other words, prove that the other system of morality and justice is more just instead of basing an argument on the assumption it is)?

Does the putting to death relate to hell, or a command for earthly justice?

Further, it is not homosexuals (by which I mean those with same sex attraction), but those who committed same sex acts which have done wrong, and to whom punishment is due if there is no repentance.

I thought it talked about Hell, not a literal earthly death. But I’m no theologian.

I grew up protestant and was taught “being gay is a sin.” Like, SSA is even sinful. I wish all people knew what the Church teaches about homosexuality, it is a lot easier, to me, than what I was taught growing up.

That’s Leviticus 20:13-23

He can also find that an adulterer and blasphemer should be stone according to Jewish law.

But God grew a Heart later in the New Testament “The Sacred Heat of Jesus” witnessed by how He saved the adulterous women and advised her “go and sin no more.” John 8:11

OK, here goes. There is much discussion about the verses from The Book of Leviticus concerning homosexuality within the Jewish community of rabbis and scholars. Even those Hebrew scholars who believe there is a prohibition against homosexual behavior found in the Torah (and not all do), state that the prohibition is quite limited. First, it is limited to the nation of Israel, and does not apply universally to other nations. Second, it is limited in the sense of a prerequisite condition for residing in the Holy Land. Third, it is limited to men (particularly anal sex) and does not speak against lesbianism, which was well known during that era. And finally, it is limited to the context of illicit heterosexual unions, of which explicitly included in the Torah are the prohibitions against sexual relations of nephew and aunt, grandfather and granddaughter, and stepmother and stepson. Thus, the limitation in this instance is one imposed upon male family members rather than males who are strangers and not related to one another.

Further, there are Talmudic responsa which point out that the prohibition is not one forbidding homosexuality per se, but rather male upon male heterosexual idolatry in imitation of the cultic fertility rites engaged in by Canaanite and Egyptian ancient cultures. Certain rabbis note that the prohibition is specifically in reference to sexual substitution of a male for a female ("as one lies with a woman’), which was found in such cultures. There is also discussion among some rabbi-scholars of the meaning of sodomy, defined as a violent act of rape, not expressing love, as well as the historical context involving eunuchs in ancient times and how this relates to the question of homosexual behavior.

The whole issue is a very complex one, which is nothing new for Jewish and Christian scholars, and, as usual with so many verses found in the Torah, the nuanced details must be filled in by means of an appreciation of the Oral Law and, when needed, the mystical writings of the Zohar.

That would mean, would it not, that G-d changed, which is contrary to both Catholic (Christian) and Jewish teaching. Besides, there are many instances of G-d’s mercy to be found in the Hebrew Bible.

Honestly, it is literally condemning people who commit homosexual acts to death by stoning. But look where it lies - in the middle of a list of other offenses (generally incestuous and/or adulterous relationships) that have punishments also deserving death. Included in this list is “Whoever curses his father or mother shall be put to death; since he has cursed his father or mother, he has forfeited his life”. Seriously.

The early Hebrews did not seem to have an understanding of the afterlife the way we understand it (partly because it (a) had not been revealed to them, and (b) the gates of Heaven had not yet been unlocked by Jesus’s sacrifice). It appears to me that God was telling them to inflict a punishment akin to the punishment the sinners would receive in the afterlife, so that they could understand the gravity of their sins.

since you’re just having a discussion, maybe share this with him He obviously has an interest in this subject. Is he by chance homosexual?

If he thinks only homosexuals get targeted for hell, have him look at this

1 cor 6: 9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral πόρνοι ] nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men****a] 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Homosexuals can’t complain they’re singled out. If one dies in these sins, they won’t inherit the kingdom of God, i.e.they go to hell for all eternity.

Perhaps. But this is the Law, believed by (some) Jewish people to be the divine command of G-d given to mankind to sanctify the people by enabling them to lead lives of moral worth and meaning. Further, one must wonder how many of these punishments were in fact carried out, since the threshold for execution was set quite high, requiring, in the case of adultery, for example, two reliable eyewitness accounts to the act.

Old Testament Law?

I think I know what you’re trying to say, The invisible God incarnated and now has a fully human body, heart and all.

However, It’s not good to say it the way you did because it looks like you’re saying God of the OT is a different God than the NT God. That belief has a name. That’s the Marsianite heresy

I don’t think you meant it the way it came out. :wink:

It’s the Torah Law, since the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible, Hebrew Scriptures, or Tanakh for Jews) consists of more than the Torah.

Maybe I didn’t phrase the question well enough. Let me try more succinctly:

“Killing homosexuals is immoral. God commanded homosexuals to be killed. Therefore God is immoral.”

How do you argue with that?

-How is this unjust by the Christian theology of morality and justice?
-If a non-Christian theology or belief system of morality and justice is being used, what is the evidence that this different system is more just (in other words, prove that the other system of morality and justice is more just instead of basing an argument on the assumption it is)?

As my prior post #7 suggests, there is some issue whether Leviticus is talking about homosexuality as we know it today.

There are many statements attributed to God in the Old Testament that appear to direct immoral acts. There are incidents of God instructing what we would today call genocide. I dont know if anyone has a proper understanding of these events, but to conclude that God is evil is to arrive at an untenable conclusion.

Yet this is not what the Church advocates. The church does not advocate the death penalty for sinners, and the Jews do not advocate stoning for adulterers. So something about the point in history - the “times” - must be relevant to explain why such a response was at that time just.

Homosexual acts involve the.gravest.of sins. To begin with, what St. Paul clarifies, is that it is idolatry - we can say even more strongly it is an idolatrous sacrifice performed by two people against the very Creator in which generative organs are turned against each other in what we know as narcissism in which there is no true other at all.
It also is an act of contact not only for the partner in the evil: it is pure contempt for the fundamental human community. It exemplifies ‘the man of lawlessness’ who exalts himself above all divine law as well as human.
It’s the moral corruption that results from the lack of the virtue of fortitude by which we can combat whatever proclivities we have in order to maintain the good of our souls, the good of our neighbors, and the whole communal good of the state.
We have a systematic dyseducational system in which people are hectored out the normal revulsion of innocence towards monstrous acts.
Our Lord makes it plain that He wasn’t abolishing the law but fulfilling; that He always offers forgiveness providing the person sins no more. It’s plain that people who enthusiastically endorse sapphic & sodomist acts are not only insisting that they be not punished, but that they be saluted for their behavior.
If someone’s going to reject Christ and the Church He founded and inhabits, then let him know that he’ll share the place reserved for the Accuser and his followers.

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