by Bill Nugent
The Judeo-Christian view of morality, which is the very foundation of the laws of western civilization, has recently been the subject of some rather cruel satire.
Dr. Laura Schlesinger recently made reference to the fact that the Bible forbids homosexual relations. Dr. Laura has been criticized for her stand by those who promote special legal protection for homosexual behavior. A popular line of attack consists of many postings on the Internet that are written in a mocking style that attacks any moral argument based on the Bible.
A case in point is a posting on the Internet that consists of an open letter to Dr. Laura Schlesinger that begins by thanking her for pointing out that the Bible, in Leviticus 18:22, forbids homosexuality. The letter then goes on in a sarcastic tone to ask Dr. Laura questions about certain other Old Testament laws and how to obey such laws. One question in this mocking letter asks about an Old Testament dietary law that forbids eating shellfish. The question is asked in such a mocking tone that it touches the fringes of anti-Semitism. As you know, Jewish people observe Bible dietary laws to this day. They should be respected.
After belittling the law regarding shellfish, the letter goes on to ask a clever and deviously mocking question regarding Leviticus 11:8 that prohibits the Jews from touching the carcasses of pigs and other ceremonially unclean animals. The letter writer asks“may I still play football if I wear gloves?” By the way, footballs are made of leather not pigskin.
The obvious intent is to equate Bible based prohibitions against same sex intercourse with prohibitions against touching dead pigs. What the letter writer doesn’t understand is that the civil and ceremonial laws that applied to the Jewish people before the coming of Jesus the Messiah have been superseded and no longer apply in their literal force. In other words, since the dietary and similar laws have been superseded it is now permissible to eat shellfish and touch pigskin.
The New Testament says in Colossians 2:16-17 “Therefore let no one act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day — things which are a mere shadow of what is to come: but the substance belongs to Christ” (NASB). My book titled “Messianic Jews and the Law of Moses” gives an in depth teaching on this principle. The book is available for free download at the following links;
The moral content of the Old Testament Laws including the 10 Commandments and laws against homosexuality, etc., have been reaffirmed in the New Testament and therefore do apply to all persons as God’s moral law today. The New Testament in Romans 1:22-27 reaffirms that homosexuality is an abomination.
The Bible plainly teaches that the Jewish people are a uniquely chosen people and were given a unique set of ceremonial laws regarding diet, clothing, etc., and a set of civil laws to govern their ancient agrarian society. Some of those laws seem strange to modern ears but were just, reasonable and practical in their proper context. The Jews were also given a sacrificial system in which they sacrificed animals on altars to atone for sin. The civil and ceremonial laws kept the Jews as a separate, holy and prophetic people through whom Messiah was to come to die for the sins of all people of all nations.
The slavery practiced in the Jew’s ancient, labor intensive, farm economy was regulated by God’s laws that gave the slaves certain rights and privileges. It can be argued that the rights and privileges of slaves in ancient Israel exceed those accorded the wage slaves in today’s sweatshops in low wage countries. Citizens of communist countries, living under nationwide slavery, certainly have a worse life than the regulated slavery of ancient Israel. I wouldn’t be surprised if the person who wrote the sarcastic letter to Dr. Laura was wearing clothes made by modern day wage slaves!
I would also remind him that Christian Europe was the first continent to abolish slavery. Bible believing Christians were, down through history, at the forefront of every movement to abolish slavery. The Bible’s teachings on the sacredness of human life, the dignity of the individual and the equality of all people certainly compelled the ultimate abolition of slavery.
The Bible teaches that the animal sacrifice system and dietary laws and other ceremonial laws were fulfilled In Jesus the Messiah who kept all aspects of the Old Testament law perfectly in His life among the Jews and then fulfilled the sacrificial system by becoming the ultimate sacrifice when He died for the sins of all people.
The Bible’s place at the center of moral, legal guidance is indisputable. Every law student in England and the United States used to have as a classroom textbook Commentaries on the Laws of England by Sir William Blackstone (1723-1780). This influential legal commentary relies heavily on the Bible in explaining the origin and meaning of laws. America’s founding fathers and the framers of the U. S. constitution quoted from the Bible in their writings more than any other book. The Bible, therefore, has been the source of moral guidance for centuries.