In reponse come Christian stands versus homosexuality non-Christians often point to Old Testament laws that space no longer adhered to by new Testament Christians, such as the Leviticus 11:9-12 forbidding that the usage of shrimp. Why perform Christians proceed to adhere to part Old testimony laws and also not others? Why do Christians eat shrimp however oppose homosexuality? Fr. John Whiteford answers this questions:

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The scriptures says that homosexuality is one abomination (Leviticus 18:22), but it likewise says that eating shrimp is an abomination (Leviticus 11:9-12), so why execute Christians eastern shrimp, however oppose homosexuality?

together these messages are analyzed by the King James Version, and in several various other translations, girlfriend do find the very same word ("abomination") is used, yet in the Hebrew text you discover two different words:

Leviticus 18:22 reads: Thou shalt not lie v a man, as with a woman: it is abomination <tô‛êbah>.

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Leviticus 11:9-12 reads: "These candlestick ye eat of every that are in the waters: whatsoever afoot fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and also in the rivers, lock shall ye eat. And also all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of every that relocate in the waters, and also of any kind of living point which is in the waters, lock shall it is in an abomination unto you: lock shall be even an abomination depend you; ye shall no eat of your flesh, yet ye shall have actually their dead body in abomination . Whatsoever afoot no fins no one scales in the waters, the shall it is in an abomination depend you.

These two words, while they have actually some overlap in terms of their range of meaning, do not have the same variety of meaning. The NRSV translates "sheqets" as "detestable," which at least alerts the reader to the fact that the words room not identical. Follow to the Theological Wordbook that the Old Testament, words "sheqets" is used "mostly in recommendation to unclean and also forbidden foods items ... Relegating certain animals to the classification of "unclean" and also "abominable" might in a number of instances indicate considerations of health. However the main consideration here need to be that, every little thing the reason, or yet much or small it was understandable to the Israelites, particular foods were forbidden and regarded as detested. This to be to be welcomed on the straightforward basis of trust in, and obedience come God" (Vol. II, ed. R. Laird Harris, et al. (Chicago: Moody Press, 1980), p. 955).

when "tô‛êbah" deserve to refer to that which is ritually offensive, it also includes matters that are morally repugnant, such as homosexuality (Leviticus 18:22), person sacrifice (Deuteronomy 12:31), routine prostitution (1 majesties 14:23f), etc. "Whereas tô‛êbah includes that i m sorry is aesthetically and also morally repulsive, the synonym sheqets denotes the which is cultically unclean..." (Ibid., p. 977).

even when one provides the really same word, this does no necessarily mean that they lug the exact same weight. I can say that i love Blue Bell ice Cream, and I have the right to say that i love mine wife, yet while I would certainly die for my wife, i will generally only purchase Blue Bell when it is top top sale. Despite the same word is used, the is supplied in two an extremely different senses.

In the case of eating shrimp vs. Homosexual sex, you have the right to tell a lot about the degree to i beg your pardon these things were pertained to as sinful by the punishments meted out to those that violated them. In the instance of eating shrimp, there was no mentioned punishment at all. The human being who shrimp would certainly have certainly been considered unclean for some duration of time, pending routine purification. follow to Jewish tradition, lock might additionally have been subject to corporal punishment. The punishment because that engaging in homosexual sex was fatality (Leviticus 20:13).

we can additionally tell that these things space viewed really differently by the truth that just Israelites were supposed to abstain indigenous non-kosher food. ~ above the other hand, the passage the the ban against homosexual sex is listed (in Leviticus 18) is in the context of a list of sexual sins for which God judges even the gentiles. This is stated before this list, and repeated again at the end of it:

And the lord spake unto Moses, saying: Speak depend the youngsters of Israel, and also say depend them, ns am the Lord your God. After the doings of the floor of Egypt, within ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and also after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I lug you, candlestick ye not do: no shall ye to walk in their ordinances. Ye shall execute my judgments, and also keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: ns am the Lord your God. Ye shall as such keep my statutes, and also my judgments: which if a guy do, that shall live in them: i am the Lord (Leviticus 18:1-5).

Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: because that in every these the nations are defiled which I cast out prior to you: and also the soil is defiled: therefore I execute visit the iniquity thereof top top it, and the land chin vomiteth the end her inhabitants. Ye shall because of this keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations ; neither any of your own nation, nor any kind of stranger the sojourneth amongst you: (For all these abominations have the guys of the soil done, which were before you, and also the soil is defiled;) that the soil spew no you out also, once ye defile it, as it spewed out the countries that were before you. Because that whosoever candlestick commit any of these abominations , also the souls that commit them shall be cut off from among their people. Therefore shall ye save mine ordinance, the ye walk not any one of this abominable customs, which to be committed prior to you, and also that ye defile not yourselves therein: i am the Lord your God (Leviticus 18:24-30).

There to be no point out that non-kosher foods items were forbidden prior to the legislation of Moses. For example, God stated to Noah: Every moving thing the liveth shall it is in meat because that you; even as the green herb have actually I offered you all things (Genesis 9:3). And also when Gentiles started entering the Church, the Apostles asserted that the Gentiles were not bound by the kosher laws of the Mosaic Law:

For that seemed an excellent to the divine Ghost, and to us, come lay upon you no better burden 보다 these necessary things; the ye abstain indigenous meats offered to idols, and also from blood, and from points strangled, and also from fornication: from which if ye store yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well (Acts 15:28-29).

and also it need to be detailed that the word interpreted as "fornication" is the Greek indigenous "porneia," i m sorry includes any kind of kind of sex-related immorality, consisting of those noted in Leviticus 18. This also fully ignores the vision offered to St. Peter which specifically finished the necessity for christians to abstain indigenous non-kosher food (Acts 10:9-16), and also that there room several other new Testament passages the condemn homosexuality. Therefore the dispute that Christians space hypocritical in their appeal to the half on homosexual sex in in Leviticus 18:22, which still each shrimp, lobster, clams, and crawfish is fully consistent with testimony the Scripture.

Some points are inherently sinful, and some things room sinful in particular contexts. Because that example, that is sinful because that an Orthodox Christian to disregard the fasts because that no compelling reason, and also to eat a hamburger on a fast day, however there is nothing inherently sinful about hamburgers. Likewise, for Israelites, no eating particular kinds of foodstuffs had a symbolic meaning, and also was a matter of obedience, yet there was nothing naturally sinful around eating shrimp. However, it is inherently sinful for a male to have actually sex with one more man, and also the holy bible is completely unambiguous about this.

A current Example:

A recent instance of pro-homosexuals trying to argue versus taking seriously Leviticus 18:22 by appealing to the biblical illiteracy the the median American is the following clip indigenous the TV show "West Wing," which "Occupy Democrats" have actually been circulating via social media recently, which even resulted in CNN's Don Lemon playing parts of it:

(the pertinent part of this clip starts at around 1:18)

This line of dispute is really no just against the Church's position on homosexuality. It is also an argument against taking the bible seriously in ~ all. No one that considers himself a Christian need to have any type of sympathy because that such arguments. But we need to know exactly how to respond come them, and also so let's look in ~ the passages referenced in this video:

Exodus 21:7-11: This passage offers some one-of-a-kind protections for female slaves, because they obviously were in a an ext vulnerable position. For an ext on this question, watch "Stump the Priest: What around Slavery in the Bible?", however suffice it to say here that this passage does not command the anyone very own slaves, nor the anyone sell their youngsters into slavery—it puts borders on how slaves could be treated. This was rather in contrast with roman inn law, because that example, in i beg your pardon a master can do every little thing he wished come a slave, increase to and including death them, for any kind of reason.

slavery is no whereby in the holy bible presented together a an excellent thing. A Christian can absolutely not very own slaves and oppose most creates of enslavement without violating any type of tenet of scripture or Church tradition (we still permit for involuntary servitude together a punishment because that a crime, and also in the type of the military draft). And also so the compare of this worry to the inquiry of even if it is or not homosexual sex is a sin is a ref herring.

Exodus 35:2: This passage calls because that the death penalty for those that break the Sabbath. The Church quiet believes that the Ten Commandments, including the commandment to remember the Sabbath day, apply to Christians, however we consider the Lord's work (Sunday) to have taken the location of the old Sabbath together the main day that Christian rest and worship, despite we also continue to observe Saturday the day of creation. The Church walk not contact for the death penalty for violating this, no one does it call for it in the case of homosexuality. For an ext on this, you can listen to the sermon: The fourth Commandment: remember the Sabbath day to save it holy.

The Old commitment was offered to human being who to be at a very low level of spirituality understanding. The harsh penalty that space often uncovered in the Old Testament regulation were due to this. St. John Chrysostom, commenting ~ above the law which condemned Sabbath breakers come death, said that it was "Because if the legislations were to be despised even at the beginning, of course they would certainly scarcely be observed afterwards" (Homilies ~ above the Gospel that Matthew 39:3). However while the harsh and also immediate penalties for the violation that the law are peaceful in the brand-new Testament, the strictness the the laws themselves are not just not relaxed, yet are fairly enhanced. Just as girlfriend spank younger children, but expect much less of them, and also expect much more of larger children, there is no spanking them, the Old Testament faced the Israelites wherein they were, but brought them progressively to a greater level of spiritual understanding.

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climate Martin Sheen's character simply starts to do stuff up. He speak of the scriptures calling for stoning someone who plants various seeds together, and also burning to death someone that mixes various kinds that fabrics. When Leviticus 19:19 go say: Ye shall keep my statutes. She shalt not let thy livestock breed through a varied kind: you shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: no shall a garment mingled the linen and also woollen come upon thee, girlfriend will keep in mind that it claims nothing around anyone gift stoned or burned alive for fail to observe these customs. This shows the finish dishonesty of those who make together arguments. These customs were component of the ceremonial legislation of Moses (which still has actually symbolic value, but which is no much longer directly uses in the brand-new Testament), no the moral law of God—which was in effect before the legislation of Moses, and also remains in complete force and effect today. See: The proceeding Validity the the Moral law of the Old Testament.

For more information top top the Levitical Law and homosexuality , see:

"Dan Savage Savages the Bible, Christianity, and the Pope," by Dr. Michael Brown