On sticks and logs

Here’s a little story, picked up by the Friendly Atheist, that highlights why getting people who think they’re Christians to rightly understand how Biblical law works, how it should (or mostly shouldn’t) be applied today.

At the very least we should be able to point out that the law was written for the Jews, who were God’s people. So that they could be different to the people around them. It wasn’t written for the Jews to impose on everyone else.

An American redneck decided to use a little bit of Old Testament sanctioned force to bash a homosexual man.

He even has a tattoo that proclaims the need to understand homosexuality as an abomination.

Now, it’s all well and good emblazoning that sort of verse on your arm. But, as even atheists know, this is problematic given a verse that appears just a chapter later…

"You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD. Leviticus 19:28″

We need to fix this kind of thing if we want to (rightly) argue that God’s intention for relationships between humans is for sex to occur in a marriage between a man and a woman. And that Christians should not be practising homosexuals (because the New Testament reaffirms God’s intentions and understandings of sexual expression).

Even Answers in Genesis can understand that this definition of marriage applies to Christians – they commented on a recent story where a judge in the US ruled that an interracial couple could not marry because the Bible forbids it… Which is strange.

What the Bible does say in the Old Testament is that Jews (the people of God) should not intermarry, and in the New Testament that Christians should ideally marry Christians – but that if two non-Christians marry and one becomes a Christian they should stay married.

Here’s what Ken Ham said (again mentioned in an article on the Friendly Atheist) when he was asked about interracial marriage in the Bible. It’s somewhat convoluted, but at the end of the day it is useful. From the Answers in Genesis website…

At AiG we have always taught that biologically there is only one race (Adam’s race), however, spiritually, there are two races (the saved and unsaved). It is the two spiritual “races” that God clearly instructs in His Word not to mix in marriage. In other words, when someone asks me “does the Bible deal with interracial marriage?” I answer, “it sure does, it makes it clear the saved ‘race’ should never knowingly marry the unsaved ‘race’—and that’s all the Bible teaches about ‘interracial’ marriage.’” Biologically, there is no such thing as “interracial” marriage as there is only one “race”—we are all descendants of one man, Adam.

I’m not sure that Ham’s stance would extend to the unsaved being able to enter into any marriage they want…

But at the end of the day we (Christians) need to make sure our house is in order before throwing stones, literally or otherwise.

They even provide this helpful infographic.

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