Leviticus 20:13 - Reason to execute homosexuals?


#1

All right, while I know the answer to my question is “no”…I would like a clear answer and explanation (as detailed as possible, please) to this question.

I ask this because I have a very intelligent 14 year old friend, just a year younger than I, who I somtimes have debates with about ethical and religious issues. Though he isn’t a religious person and doesn’t practice any particular faith (he believes in God…but that’s about it. He also disses Jesus and says some very blasphemous things about Him.), he usually seems to “win” in these debates, mostly because he either leaves me at a loss for words or interrupts and distracts me when I try to make my point.

One day, he learned about a certain Bible verse condemning homosexual behavior from my older brother, which was Leviticus 20:13. The verse said: “*And a man who will lie down with a male in beds of a woman, both of them have made an abomination; dying they will die. Their blood is on them.” *

He likes to use this Bible verse as just another tool to back up his argument that to be homosexual merits execution. He believes that there is justification in murdering gays, as he extremely hates them and would very much love to see them all put to death. He questioned me, asking me why I was rejecting the Bible itself.

“Are you some sort of atheist, Max?” laughed the hypocrite.

I didn’t quite know what to say to him about that, when he showed me the quote. I tried to argue against his absolutely ludacris suggestion, but it was really no use. He simply smirked and gave an argument that somehow sounded so much more convincing, even though I knew he was wrong.

Can anyone help me out on this? I swear, sometimes he seems to get his words straight from the devil himself, and I would like to learn to better defend my faith.


#2

Those rules listed are in the OT, being Catholic is about the NT. We also break the OT by eating pork. Here’s more:

20:9 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.

How many kids have talked back to their parents or thought the above?

20:10 If a man commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall be put to death.

Parents who get divorced, then remarried or move in with someone else would be guilty of this.

Your brother is just trying to start a fight, like I said before being Catholic is about the NT, not the OT.


#3

Actually we aren’t breaking the Levitical rules. There are two types of laws in the OT, customary laws and natural laws. The following of the customary laws was done away with in the NT by Jesus either explicitly or implicitly. Explicitly via lines in the NT where Jesus talks about (paraphrasing) that nothing that enters the mouth makes a person unclean, just the things that come out of it. Implicitly by lines in the NT that talk about following custom just for the sake of following custom is bad.

You are still required to follow the Natural Laws in the OT. To determine which laws in the OT are customary laws and which are natural we in the Catholic church have a hierarchy and church Tradition to tell us what laws are customary and which are natural. Different Protestant churches have different ways of determining which are which.

#4

[quote=Max]…I have a very intelligent 14 year old friend, just a year younger than I…

…He believes that there is justification in murdering gays, as he extremely hates them and would very much love to see them all put to death…
[/quote]

Max,

Have you discussed this with your parents? I would be extremely concerned to find out that one of my fifteen year-old son’s teenage friends hated any group of people strongly enough to justify murdering them, and would take pleasure in their deaths.

I am glad to see that you are concerned with your friend’s spiritual welfare and that you wish to be able to better defend and explain our faith, but there is a significant difference between evangelizing a non-Catholic friend who has no known inclination toward violence and arguing with one who “…extremely hates [anyone] and would very much love to see them all put to death…”

Perhaps you are exaggerating your friend’s attitude somewhat, but then again perhaps not. As a father my duty is first toward the safety of my own children, so if I was to become aware of such an attitude on the part of one of my own children’s friends, I would talk to that friend myself, and to his parents. Possibly he is only using hyperbolic language, such as we use when we say the Bears are going to kill the Packers. It is possible to disagree with something quite strongly, and even to express that disagreement in strong terms without really intending the literal meaning of our words. Maybe he really doesn’t advocate murdering homosexuals even though that’s what he says.

But I apply the airport rule to situations such as these: If you go to the airport and say you have a bomb, the security people are going to presume that you do indeed have a bomb and will deal with you accordingly, even if it turns out that you don’t. So you shouldn’t say you have a bomb in an airport, even as exageration or hyperbole. In the same manner, having been alerted to the possibility that this young man might be violent, unless I later had absolutely clear reasons to think this not to be the case, I would presume this young man to mean exactly what he says and I would not permit my son or daughter to have further contact with him. They probably wouldn’t like it, but that’s too bad.

Please discuss this matter with your own parents, and I hope you will respect and abide by their decision if they should think likewise.

Yours in Christ,

Joseph Bilodeau.


#5

Max,

Joseph makes a very good point. This person has a much bigger problem that needs to be addressed beyond needing a better understanding of scripture. But, to try help you a little bit…

I think it’s important to understand the distinctions of “life” and “death” (or, punishment by death) between the old covenant and the new. Before Jesus’ resurrection, life was the earthly life or existence, and death was simply a person’s actual physical death. One was “given” life (a long and fruitful earthly existence), as long as God’s law was obeyed. And death as punishment, due to disobedience to God’s law, meant the earthly life was the sacrifice to be paid.

Prior to Jesus’ ascension, when a person died, his soul did not, and could not go to heaven. It went to the “land of the dead”, or Sheol. Jesus’ crucifixion, death, resurrection and ascension opened the gates to heaven for all believers, which also brought new meaning to the words “life” and “death.”

Remember, our Lord said, “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them.” (Mt 5:17). By fulfilling the law, Jesus “perfected” the law. And by perfecting the law, he perfected life and death. Life perfected is the joy of eternal life in Heaven. Death perfected is eternal damnation.

As Marauder mentions in his post, the natural laws are still binding. The sins are what they were. The sin is still sin, and the punishment for the sin is still death, but it is death perfected - eternal damnation. And ONLY GOD can execute that punishment.


#6

I can’t help you on the apologetics.

I can help you on the arguing.

In any debate, the person who controls the subject of the debate usually wins. When I can’t win an argument on a subject, I change the subject to one I can win. You need to keep the subject in mind, and you need to bring the debate back to the subject you want to talk about.

Don’t be distracted by:

–personal attacks (“You only believe that because you’re stupid.” “I’m not stupid.” All of a sudden you’re not talking about what you believe; you’re talking about whether you’re stupid.)

–trivia (if I’m in trouble, it’s always fun to throw out an incorrect, irrelevant fact. All of a sudden, the debate becomes about my incorrect fact, not the larger point.)

–subject changing (stick to the points you want to make)

–the other person’s behavior or tone.

Keep your eye on the ball. You’d be surprised how much easier this makes stuff.

Does that van have a wireless internet connection?


#7

Hold on here.

He wants to practice Lev 20:13, but what about the rest of the old testament?

C’mon, ask him if he follows the rest of the old testament?

Oh wait, he wants to pick and choose what he wants to believe? Then where is the Truth? “I am Truth!!!” is his attitude.

The levitical law applies to Jews. Is he Jewish? Has he gotten circumcised? I bet the answer is NO.

Frankly, there’s only one word for these kind of actions: hypocrisy.


#8

Maybe he really doesn’t advocate murdering homosexuals even though that’s what he says.

Actually, when we argued about that I said something similar. I said something like, “Oh, well I know you wouldn’t actually *kill * one of them (a homosexual) if it wasn’t breaking the law.”

After I said that, he made it quite clear that he meant what he said about literally wishing them dead, and that he seriously hates gay people that much.

Hold on here.

He wants to practice Lev 20:13, but what about the rest of the old testament?

C’mon, ask him if he follows the rest of the old testament?

Oh wait, he wants to pick and choose what he wants to believe? Then where is the Truth? “I am Truth!!!” is his attitude.

The levitical law applies to Jews. Is he Jewish? Has he gotten circumcised? I bet the answer is NO.

Frankly, there’s only one word for these kind of actions: hypocrisy.

Well, actually, he is Jewish. His dad is Jewish, his mother is Catholic. Still, he laughs at the idea of following any religion. I guess he has the idea that doesn’t need it…it’s a bit sad, and sometimes I wish I could help change it somehow. Still, I suppose being around him isn’t very good for my well-being, in some ways…the things he says, the points he makes…they throw me into doubt at times, and sometimes I all of a sudden feel unsure about the values I believe in. Perhaps you’re right Joseph, maybe I shouldn’t be around this kid. But I guess I’m still holding out for hope for the dude, in a way.

Does that van have a wireless internet connection?

:smiley: Haha, well, I never questioned how it worked, I just use it!

But, thanks everyone for the tips, I really appreciate it.


#9

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Thank you to all those who have participated in this discussion. This thread is now closed.


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