Leviticus 20:13 -- death for homosexuals?

My friend has recently sent me the Leviticus 20:13 passage which condemns same-sex behavior and says the participants must be put to death. He asked, “So this is what your God commands?” How can I respond to him? I can I explain to him why God commanded the death penalty as certain punishments for certain sins in the Old Testament?

New American Standard Bible
If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them.

I believe your friend is quoting leviticus out of context.

Leviticus on the sexual acts of homosexuality -

Leviticus on Adultery -

Jesus regarding the Old Testament -

Jesus’ Fulfillment of the Old Testament -

I believe the sexual acts of homosexuality should be viewed likewise.

I hope this has helped, please feel free to reply/refute anything

God Bless

Thank you for reading
Josh

Well, done.
I would also refer OP to the CCC - vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a6.htm 2357 thru 2359

Thank you. :slight_smile:

Well my friend wants to know why God commanded the death penalty in the OT. He knows that we no longer adhere to these cultural teachings of ancient Israel – he just wants to understand why God would command such a thing to begin with. He said this to me, “If I shot you in the leg and then later became a pacifist, that doesn’t mean that my actions I did before were right or just.”

Basically he is saying that us Christians try to sweep these icky OT passages under the rug by saying that “God changed his mind,” which I know is theologically impossible for a changeless being.

There is a reason why we needed Jesus, and it’s because the Old Law was insufficient.

And that’s one example.

It doesn’t sound like your “friend” is interested in a friendly debate. I wonder if he’d say that to you if you were a Muslim. You could and should ask him/her if that would at least merit a change in tone----or if he’d have the courage to confront you at all.

In response to what he wrote:

  1. Anyone who has a problem with following the Old Testament law should** talk to the Jews**. I know no one will take me up on that offer, probably because they aren’t interested in a serious conversation or are worried they’ll be called an anti-Semite by a minority group, and we all know how devastating that is to the mainstream progressive psyche.

  2. Christians follow the New Testament.

  3. In Catholic teaching, homosexual actions are sins. Homosexual preference cannot be a sin because temptations are not sins.

  4. Your friend has wrapped up two issues into one.The other, being the death penalty, is something the Church frowns on. It really isn’t necessary in practice in a country like America.

  5. As I suggested earlier, ask if he/she is as concerned about homosexuals when it comes to Islam, or if Muslims get a free pass.

=YosefYosep;12547909]Well my friend wants to know why God commanded the death penalty in the OT. He knows that we no longer adhere to these cultural teachings of ancient Israel – he just wants to understand why God would command such a thing to begin with.

A logical argument is that the Israeli tribers were a nomadic people without a homeland for some time. In order to keep order in society, such laws were probably necessary.

He said this to me, “If I shot you in the leg and then later became a pacifist, that doesn’t mean that my actions I did before were right or just.”

In God’s case it does, because God created life and so can take it away. As a human being, your friend would have no right to harm you except in self-defense.

Basically he is saying that us Christians try to sweep these icky OT passages under the rug by saying that “God changed his mind,”

No one is sweeping them under the rug. Christians do not follow the Old Testament, and Jesus said in the New Testament we are not condemn in that matter as evidenced by the woman who committed adultery.

Your friend is just cherry-picking Bible passages to justify support for homosexual actions. That is incredibly short-sighted and selfish.

The biggest problem is your friend is reading something written to a people 4,000 years ago as if it were written to him today.

It is completely ripping it from its context and the culture of the time.

For example, In the 1800’s, american teachers were allowed one night a week for courting, a second night if they attended church regularly. If I gave a new law at that time saying, date anytime anywhere, the culture would reject it. Likewise, if a neighboring culture practiced that, they’d likely be destroyed for their evil suggestion.

And today we look at such things as silly, even though they were essential then.

Another case might be in 1800’s America you were hanged for stealing a horse. This was the predominate cultural belief. If someone came and said, horse thieves should just do 30 days in jail, then no one would accept it and it would be completely rejected and no mercy would come to horse thieves. But perhaps the people would have accepted life in prison for the horse thief. Today it would look barbaric, but at the time, very merciful.

This same idea is in play in Hebrew times. At that time people raped and murdered each other for mundane reasons, they acted barbaric in many cultures at the time.

So God gave them laws and rules that gave justice despite their harshness by today’s standards. Even the idea of due process in the Old Testament law was something no one else received.

So it would be helpful for your friend to try and understand human culture at that time, and then study the Old Testament law, he will see how it is a refreshing change compared to how the rest of the world operated at that time.

Josh - what does Jesus mean when he says he comes to “fulfil the law”?

Thanks for the replies. I’ll email him back and see what he thinks.

God initially established that He was the authority, the only authority, the one and true God. He gave His guidance and assurance to the people of Israel and set the standards He expected them to adhere to in exchange as His chosen people. As the chosen people, they were to adhere to His standard of conduct- or face the consequences. A sign of their obedience were their acceptance of His laws and the punishments. He did not give them the authority to forgive sins, that was reserved to Him.

Christ gave His Church the authority to forgive sins vice having to adhere to punishments. The law and rule on behavior didn’t change, the commission of homosexual acts, adultery etc. were still wrong. Christ refused to condemn the adultress and instead forgave her, and He bestowed that same authority on to the Church.

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