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Just to clarify, so we don't get any wrong ideas here. I am a baptist. I believe that faith in Jesus Christ ALONE will save you from death and that baptism isn't necessary for salvation. I study the KJV, although I acknowledge the MEV, NKJV, and ESV as legitimate translations of the Bible.

About a week ago, an acquaintance and I were having a discussion about God and about my faith in Jesus Christ. He was trying to find reasons to prove to me that God was not the loving almighty father that I believed him to be. He used the verse Leviticus 20:13:

If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

to try and prove to me that God advocates for the murder of homosexuals. I told him it was untrue and after that my argument kind of fell apart. I didn't really know what to tell him without confusing him and proving his point. I told him I needed to study up on this and come back to him with a better answer.

I'm asking this because this passage has me incredibly confused. In the passage, God is giving the law to Moses so that the Israelites know what to do and what not to do. the Bible constantly refers to this as the Law of Moses. In the book of Romans, Paul goes on to say that the law is no longer relevant and that God freed us from the law when he died on the cross for us.

My question is this: is God advocating for the murder of homosexuals? And, how do I counter this argument without confusing the lost person that I'm debating with.

  • Are you asking from a baptists perspective? – depperm Jul 16 '18 at 20:08
  • Yes. I just want to know how I can combat this in an open conversation that won't seriously confuse the person I am conversing with. – E. Huckabee Jul 16 '18 at 20:09
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    I'ts important to note that in both Old and New Testament, there is only the homosexual act itself that is condemned, not 'homosexuals.' – Sola Gratia Jul 17 '18 at 13:22
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    The word "murder" means unlawful killing, so the legal death penalty is not "murder" by definition. – DJClayworth Jul 17 '18 at 13:39
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    Just to be clear, this passage doesn't say anything about homosexual people, but rather about the commission of homosexual acts. That's an important distinction to draw. – Mason Wheeler Jul 21 '18 at 2:18
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I will give you a quick answer for this, because I feel for you in your state of confusion! this can be a tough predicament, but this is really no predicament at all, like most seeming "contradictions" in the Bible, the problem is with our understanding, and not with the Bible itself.

A classic approach to attacking the Christian faith / Bible is to cherry pick verses out of the Mosaic Law that are particular out of place in our modern culture.

The idea is this, if the Christian agrees with the Scripture, then they are a labeled as hateful, bigotted, or possibly even criminal (which is what stoning a homosexual in the USA is, it is called murder.) So the Christian is put in a seeming dilemma, Either admit you are a murderous hateful biggot, OR admit that the Bible is wrong, and you are just a hypocrite. Either of these choices are ideal for the person who is attacking the faith/Bible.

But really we just need a better understanding of God's word to clear this all up.

Traditionally the Law of Moses is divided into 3 sections. The Ceremonial, Civil and Moral.

Basic over-view of each:

The Civil Law: Israel was LITERALLY a brand new nation. They needed laws, judges, and regulations of every kind. God gave this to them in a set of Civil laws, for the Jews, in the nation of Israel. I am not a jew, but a Gentile, and I live not in Israel, but under another nation altogether, The United States. It is commanded clearly in the new testament that believers should behave orderly and not break the laws of the nation whenever possible. Think of Jesus statement about paying taxes, in

Matthew 22:20-21 And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?" 21 They said to Him, “Caesar’s.” And He said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” NKJV

Also see Paul in

Romans 13 :1-7 13 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. 4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. 5 Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. 7 Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.

So as long as we are not ordered by the goverment to do anything immoral, and are not ordered against worshipping God (This is another question in itself) We are to honor the Government's laws as good citizens. Note that he also says "He does not bear the sword in vain" The "power of the sword" AKA the ability to take life in punishment of crime is reserved to the governing authorities. And not for us as individuals, or even as a church whole.

OK so that basically answers your question. The Bible, when taken as a whole, does NOT order Christians to kill homo-sexuals. Quite the opposite, we should count homo-sexuals as people who need god's grace and the forgiveness freely offered to men because of the death of the God Man, Jesus the Christ on the cross for the salvation of sinners of all stripes, Of whom i am the chief! Praise God!

Just for completeness we will touch on the other two aspects of the law.

Ceremonial. : We no longer sacrifice sheep and goats have you ever noticed that? (would make for an interesting church service) This is because Jesus has FULFILLED the ceremonial portion of the law.

Hebrews 10:12-14 12 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, 13 from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. 14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.

Also,

Colossians 2:16-17 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.

Finally, the Moral Law. Best shown in the 10 commandments. This aspect of the law stands for all time, Thats because it shows what God thinks is Good, and What is Bad. It is consistent with his Character, which never changes.

The Commandment says "You shall not bear false witness" Lying is wrong, because God is True. The Commandment says "You shall not commit Adultery" Adultery is wrong, because God is Faithful. (adultery being unfaithful). (You can find the 10 commandments in Exodus 20 if you are interested)

These things stand for all time!

Hope this helps you, and answers your question. Be encouraged, and continue to "Study to Show yourself approved"!

  • What fantastic answer! Thank you so much for sharing. You really helped me out, and strengthened my faith. Now I can combat even the most despicable of arguments against God and the Bible. – E. Huckabee Jul 18 '18 at 7:12
  • praise God! glad to be of service! – L1R Jul 18 '18 at 16:34
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Numbers 23:19 says:

God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?

Since He handed down the Ten Commandments, which includes "Thou shalt not commit murder," then he does not advocate murder. The important distinction is that the commandment does not say, "Thou shalt not kill." Killing and murder are not the same. Murder is the unjust taking of a human life. Killing can be in self defense, in defense of others, or to fulfill the just requirement that murderers be executed.

The Old Testament required due process, not vengeance by lawless vigilantes. There were evidenciary rules. For those accused of murder, there were cities of refuge that the accused could flee to until things calmed down and they could get a fair trial. You need to take all these things into account, all evidence of God balancing justice and mercy so that society could function in an orderly fashion and protect the interests of the community and the individual. Permitting and promoting anarchy would not be the act of a loving God.

If you do that and then approach the problem of homosexual activity and how society should face the issue, then you have this result: God in love has expressed through his laws and commands what behavior he requires of his people, and clearly set forth the consequences for breaking those rules. He is not capricious, does not constantly change his mind and throw society into chaos. When changes and refinements to his ways of dealing with people are in the offing, he gives warning through his prophets. For example, in the case of Sodom and Gomorrah, God warned them repeatedly, starting at least twenty-five years before he destroyed their cities, as can be seen in Scripture (Genesis 14:11) and in archaeology. (See http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2008/04/16/The-Discovery-of-the-Sin-Cities-of-Sodom-and-Gomorrah.aspx) Then again the coming of Christ and the delivery of a new covenant was foretold centuries beforehand.

He is firm but just. People who do not want to suffer punishment have but to change their behavior and they will not be punished. God's rules are also reasonable and explicable. For example, we know today that those who have many sexual partners spread many diseases. In ancient times, many of those diseases were fatal, or caused sterility or madness. Thus sexual misconduct was a serious public health issue and a proper concern of the state. Additionally, it is debated whether it was strictly homosexual activity that was prohibited, or such activity when it occurred in the context of pagan religious rites which incorporated sexual activity into their regular rituals.

  • You say that it can be seen in scripture that a warning was issued to Sodom and Gomorrah a hundred years in advance of the judgement upon them. Could you please reference the text ? – Nigel J Jul 20 '18 at 17:20
  • Checked my references and I was off on the timescale. The warning was 25 years in advance. The hundred year warning I believe was for the Amorites. – Paul Chernoch Jul 20 '18 at 17:46
  • I don't see anything in Genesis chapter 14 that could be seen as a warning for the future. – Nigel J Jul 20 '18 at 21:27

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