Favorite dish of liberal theologians & skeptics: Shellfish

shellfish.jpgAs always, this is about careful thinking and proper analysis of the Bible and not about picking on homosexuals.  We are all sinners in need of a Savior.

Many liberal theologians, skeptics and pro-gay lobbyists use the “shellfish” argument to undermine and/or dismiss parts of the Bible they disagree with, often mocking about how they love shrimp and such.  They use the same reasoning with other Old Testament restrictions such as not eating pork or mixing fibers in garments.  This video by Jack Black is a recent example.

Their argument goes like this:

  • Yes, Leviticus 18:22 says Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
  • But Leviticus 11:10 says, And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of all the living creatures that are in the waters, they are an abomination unto you
  • Therefore, the Bible cannot be the word of God and homosexual behavior must be moral because the Bible is an undependable, contradictory book that equates shrimp eating with sexual immorality.  And people who teach that homosexual behavior is a sin are bigoted hypocrites who only follow the parts of the Bible they like.

Search for Leviticus shellfish or see sites like God Hates Shrimp for more examples.

The above exercise proves that anti-gay fundamentalists selectively quote the Bible. They enthusiastically and openly embrace those parts of the Bible which affirm and justify their own personal, pre-existing prejudice against gay people, while declining to become as enthusiastic about verses like the ones listed above.

After all, how many times have you heard a fundamentalist say that eating shellfish was an abomination? But they sure don’t hesitate to say it about gay people, do they? What does that tell you?

Actually, I find those questions to be ironic, because I think the facts will show which side is most likely to pre-judge, selectively quote the Bible and take it too literally.  I hope they take this analysis seriously and reconsider whether their premises and conclusions were sound.

On the one hand, their argument is effective because it is catchy and very few people know how to respond to it.  Many people claiming the name of Christ can’t even articulate the simple Gospel.  When was the last time anyone read Leviticus?

On the other hand, their argument is ineffective because the facts do not support it.  Also, it deliberately and unnecessarily undermines confidence in the word of God.  I expect that from skeptics and non-believers, but I am always disappointed that those claiming to be Christians use it to attack the word of God.

The argument appeals to those who take passages literally when it suits them.  Both passages say abomination (or detestable, depending on what translation you read), don’t they?  And if eating shellfish is obviously a morally neutral act, then homosexual behavior must be as well, right?

However, if you follow the basic principle of reading things in context and you attempt to understand the original languages better on difficult or controversial passages, then you’ll realize that the shellfish argument is not supported by the facts.

The short version: There were different Hebrew words translated as abomination.  They were used differently in the individual verses and were used very differently in broader contexts.  The associated sins had radically different consequences and had 100% different treatments in the New Testament.  And the claim that Christians are inconsistent if they say homosexual behavior is a sin if they don’t also avoid shellfish, mixed fibers, etc. would mean that they couldn’t complain about bestiality, child sacrifice, adultery, etc.  

The longer version

1. The words translated abomination in the original Hebrew are different.  In Lev. 11:10, it means detestable thing or idol, an unclean thing, an abomination, detestation.  This word is typically used in the Bible to describe unclean animals.

In Lev. 18:22 the Hebrew term תּוֹעֵבָה (toevah, rendered “detestable act”) refers to the repugnant practices of foreigners.  As noted below, the word is also used used to describe bestiality, child sacrifice and incest.

Therefore, the “same word!” argument self-destructs immediately.

2. Even a plain reading of the passages shows that the homosexual behavior is considered detestable to God, whereas the shellfish are to be detestable to the Israelites because it made them ceremonially unclean.  Those are key differences.  Being detestable to God is different than being detestable to a person.

3. The broader contexts show completely different types of regulations.  Read Leviticus 11 and Leviticus 18 yourself and note the contexts.  I’ll wait here.

The beginning and end of chapter 11 make it clear that this passage is about dietary rules just for the Israelites:

Leviticus 11:1-2 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Say to the Israelites: ‘Of all the animals that live on land, these are the ones you may eat:

Leviticus 11:46-47 These are the regulations concerning animals, birds, every living thing that moves in the water and every creature that moves about on the ground. You must distinguish between the unclean and the clean, between living creatures that may be eaten and those that may not be eaten.

Now consider the beginning and end of chapter 18, where the Israelites are told not to be like the pagan Canaanites.  God expected the Canaanites to follow these moral laws and was about to vomit them out of the land for failing to do so.  Therefore, they obviously weren’t Jewish ceremonial laws.

Leviticus 18:1-3 The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘I am the Lord your God. You must not do as they do in Egypt, where you used to live, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. Do not follow their practices.

Leviticus 18:30 Keep my requirements and do not follow any of the detestable customs that were practiced before you came and do not defile yourselves with them. I am the Lord your God.”

4. The punishments for eating shellfish and homosexual behavior were radically different.  There were about 15 things in the Israelite theocracy that could result in capital punishment, and homosexual behavior was one of them (And no, I’m not suggesting that should be the punishment today.  The punishments were for the Israelite theocracy, which is clear when you read the context of those passages.)  But eating shellfish just made one ceremonially unclean for a period of time.

Again, note how the moral laws with their steep punishments are tied to offenses God held the pagans responsible for, yet the unclean animal passages were for the Israelites only and were brief (It could have been for health reasons and/or symbolic reasons.  Animals on the ground were like the serpent and thus symbolized sin and pagan religions often sacrificed pigs).

 Leviticus 20:13 “‘If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

Leviticus 20:22-26 Keep all my decrees and laws and follow them, so that the land where I am bringing you to live may not vomit you out. You must not live according to the customs of the nations I am going to drive out before you. Because they did all these things, I abhorred them. But I said to you, “You will possess their land; I will give it to you as an inheritance, a land flowing with milk and honey.” I am the Lord your God, who has set you apart from the nations.

‘You must therefore make a distinction between clean and unclean animals and between unclean and clean birds. Do not defile yourselves by any animal or bird or anything that moves along the ground—those which I have set apart as unclean for you. You are to be holy to me because I, the Lord, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own.

5. The ceremonial dietary laws were clearly and emphatically overturned in the New Testament, whereas the commands against homosexual behavior (and other sexual sins) were not.   Also see Acts 15:28-29 (It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell.)

6. The claim that Christians are inconsistent if they say homosexual behavior is a sin if they don’t also avoid shellfish, mixed fibers, etc. would mean that they couldn’t complain about bestiality, child sacrifice, adultery, etc.  After all, those things are also considered to be wrong in Leviticus 18 and elsewhere.  That is a transparently false argument.

And if someone tries to play the “Leviticus is outdated” card, remind them of this verse and ask if it still counts: Leviticus 19:18 “‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.”

Remember, anyone calling themselves a Christian should be seeking to hold the same views as Jesus.  And Jesus fully supported the Old Testament — every last letter and mark.

Here’s another answer from Tektonics, a terrific apologetics website:

A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination – Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this? Aren’t there ‘degrees’ of abomination?

The point of this question – aside from the matter of not knowing what ritual purity is all about – is lost; if there is a sincere interest in knowing if there are “degrees” of abomination, just ask this simple question: Are there degrees to which things may be found “abominable”? Are the works of a robber baron not less abominable than those of a murderous dictator? In any event, if shellfish is a matter of ritual purity only, and homosexuality is a matter of higher morals as argued, then indeed, eating shellfish would have been a lesser abomination. (Indeed, the fact that the words used for “abomination” in both passages are different suggests that by itself.The word used for the shellfish is used only a few times in the OT, always of unclean animals, whereas the word used for homosexuality is used for things like bestiality, incest, and child sacrifice!)

So if anyone uses the shellfish argument with you, ask a few questions to see if they have really thought it through.  Everyone I have ever seen use it was either unaware of these responses or deliberately ignoring them. 

And as always, remember that the Bible couldn’t be more clear. Bible-believing Christians and even two out of the three types of pro-gay people* (religious or not) can see these truths:

– 100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior describe it as sin in the clearest and strongest possible terms.
– 100% of the verses referring to God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman.
– 100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children).
– 0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions of any kind. There are no exceptions for “committed” relationships.
– 0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to LGBT couples parenting children.

* The three general types of pro-gay theology people:

1. “The Bible says homosexuality is wrong but it isn’t the word of God.” (Obviously non-Christians
2. “The Bible says it is wrong but God changed his mind and is only telling the theological Left.” (Only about 10 things wrong with that.)
3. “The Bible is the word of God but you are just misunderstanding it” (Uh, no, not really.)

Also see Problems with Pro-Gay Theology and Responding to Pro-Gay Theology.

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195 thoughts on “Favorite dish of liberal theologians & skeptics: Shellfish”

  1. I read all the threads Neil and paid special attention to Hokku.

    What amazes me is that after 14 yrs of higher education in academic theology (grk & heb)with extensive study in biblical, feminist, womanist, black and liberal theology, including world religions (17 yrs) the arguments have not change – nothing new under the sun. There always seems to be a lack of contextual / cultural and social understand of ancient culture. Example the Septuagint use of the same word for detestable. Somehow we assume that the people of the time lived in vaccums, not knowing the nuances of their vernacular. septuagint greek words with hebrew meanings and implications.
    Although it is good to see that there is a dialogue the hope is that while alot of information is given that the information is dealt with integrity. Hokku I am sorry to say that in many ways you are going in circle and that has been pointed out already by Neil. Neil it would be beneficial to deal the main crox of Hokku’s argument and that is the use of the term for detestable in the Septuagint.
    To be honest Hokku there are too many books already defining the authenticity of authorship when it comes to the gospels. Your careful investigation seems to only look at accounts that support your initial hypothesis/bias. Church history recounts numerous councils that dealt with this. Even liberal theologians concede at that point, esp since it is noted that the dead sea scrolls have no negative weight to ortho-xty, hence the introduction of the Gospel of Thomas and Judas to add current arguments.

    Neil, not wanting to get too deep into this but only to remark that I like your treatment of the shellfish argument. Dietary vs Moral law and tribal vs universal jurisdiction. Neil well done, acts 15 also added by another writer was well stated.

    To all. . .
    Make sure that when you are pointing towards the truth you don’t get caught focusing on the finger.

    so long.

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  2. I enjoyed perusing your site: it fully confirms that a person with preconceived notions like yourself is invulnerable to reason. Once you accept a Source (Bible, Koran, Plates of Nephi, etc.) on faith, there is no contortion, no contradiction, no twist of the clear meaning of words that you will not put yourself through to affirm that faith. This may be entertaining for a blog, but one day — unless science and the faith’s institutional echo chamber keep you safely cloistered from reality — you will be forced to choose: Do I follow the arbiters of the Source, or do I follow my own mind? Thanks, Neil!

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  3. Speaking of preconceived notions, thanks for your fact-free self-parody. You merely repeated tired stereotypes without engaging any of the facts and reason presented, which was ironic because your premise was that I don’t use reason.

    Are you the guy that was saying that reading things in context is meaningless and that we can’t be sure of what words mean? If so, why bother typing anything here?

    If you want to stop back sometime without your strawman arguments and other logical fallacies you are welcome to.

    Just for the record, this post addressed several questions about the use of the word abomination in two passages in Leviticus. The questions I addressed were:

    1. What were the words used in the original Hebrew?
    2. How were the words used in the context of the sentence they were in?
    3. How were the words and sentences used in the broader context?
    4. Were the associated penalties the same?
    5. Were the treatment of these topics the same in the New Testament?

    Perhaps you can explain which of these questions or the conclusions I drew were contorted, contradictory, twisted, or in any way unreasonable.

    P.S. Sorry to correct your cheery name, but the truth is in Hebrews 9:27: “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.”

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  4. I think the only problems I have here is your arrogant, flippant attitude you use towards people. It’s condescending in tone, saying you’re only responding because it humorous that they are so stupid.

    Another point is that 100% of the passages about marriage are not monogamous relationships. God said to David, “if you wanted more wives, I would have given them to you.” The only place in scripture talking about one wife is when Paul writes to Timothy that an elder should only have one wife.

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  5. Hi Steven,

    If your only problem is with the tone of my post then I consider that a victory. I really didn’t think it was that bad. I was having a bit of fun with those who mock the Bible. I’m glad you agree with me that the theological liberals should not use this argument and that homosexual behavior is indeed a sin.

    Re. the “only place” about one wife? See Genesis 3 plus the multiple places Jesus is quoted as saying God’s design was for one man and one woman – e.g., Mark 10:7-8 “‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one.”

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  6. Hello 4Simpsons,

    Nice blog you have here. As usual the gay-advocates are serving up another bowl of “shrimp dumbo”, I see, along with their shrimp-sized excuses for immorality.

    I’ve debated so-called “gay-sex-affirming Christianity” long enough to know that the arguments boil down to a denial of the authority of the scriptures.

    We that believe in Christ place our hope of eternal life in the scriptural promises. All the arguments that condone same-sex conduct place the authority of the scriptures in doubt.

    I have a web-site blog that covers this. I agree with you that this gay-sex-affirming argument is pretty dumb. When God says He despises something in the OT, some dummy will come along and defend it.

    One of my blog-posts is about God Hating Shrimp, and I share your views :

    http://scripturerefinersfire.blogspot.com/2007/12/about-god-hating-shrimp.html

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  7. Seeing this post, I notice that right off the bat you address the concerns of many of us in a snide tone that’s alienating. For instance, the following:

    “As best I can tell, many liberal theologians, skeptics and pro-gay lobbyists really love shellfish. They use the shellfish argument reflexively to undermine and/or dismiss parts of the Bible they disagree with, often mocking about how they love shrimp and such. ”

    As if there aren’t many of us who are sincerely trying to arrive at truth by applying intelligent skepticism (as we see it.)
    In order to win us over, wouldn’t it be more reasonable to open with something like:

    “Many atheists, agnostics and even people of spiritual bent see passages like that out of context and (somewhat understandably) believe The Bible to be ridiculous and full of contradictions. In this post, by examining the issue more closely, I hope I can clarify the issue for those people.”

    I look forward to reading the rest of this when I have more time.

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  8. Hi Seejaye,

    Although the part you quoted was 100% factual, you bring up a fair criticism. I had pretty much given up on convincing the skeptics, because in my experience they are not interested in any facts that go against their cherished beliefs. This was mainly to equip believers with factual responses.

    I hope you come back to read the rest. And thanks again for the insights. Maybe I’ll come back and edit this to make it less strident. If any of these people could be swayed to the truth that would be great.

    Peace,
    Neil

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  9. To be fair, many of my fellow agnostics/atheists also have a belittling tone with statements like “If you want to believe in your fairy-tales, fine–just don’t impose them on the rest of us.”

    A statement like that has an undertone of “Christians are gullible children who won’t grow up” that’s every ALSO snide. One can express doubts about the Bible’s validity without that kind of ridicule.

    Anyway, I have to finish up loose ends of my work–I’ll read the rest after I log off and have more time.

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  10. Agreed – I think we could all stand to tone things down a bit. I’ll work on my part.

    I gotta run for a few hours but will respond later if you comment more.

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  11. Yes, many. We get along splendidly. I’ll be hanging out with several this weekend while participating in the Nutcracker Ballet.

    What was the point of your question?

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  12. Do you feel similarly about them (despite the apparent pleasantries of your interactions) as you would about people who practice bestiality, infanticide, or incest?

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  13. Yes, in the sense that they are sinners in need of a Savior — just like me. Prison ministry and crisis pregnancy centers are two of my passions, so I come in regular contact and am friends with murderers, thiefs, drug dealers, drunk drivers, people who had abortions or pushed others to have them, etc. I’m pretty hard to shock.

    No, in the sense that I think murder (infanticide) has more direct and severe consequences to innocent people than homosexual behavior.

    At the risk of getting back to the original post, my point here was that if people claim to take the Bible seriously then they shouldn’t put forth arguments like the shellfish bit. That is, unless they can demonstrate where I have either missed a key point or where my five points are incorrect readings of the text. Christians should hold the views that Jesus did, and He had no issues with the text in Leviticus.

    The real question is how God views the behavior. Those ignorant and/or fake and/or deceitful Christians who insist that the Bible is wrong or that it condones homosexual behavior are guilty of sin.

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  14. “Yes, in the sense that they are sinners in need of a Savior[.]”

    My understanding is that the disproportionate emphasis of the conservative movement on homosexuality – compared with other, “lesser” sins – is due to the believe that, while gays are technically equal in their need of a Savior as anybody else, their sin is proportionately more egregious and in need of intervention in this world. Please feel free to explain if you feel that this is incorrect or incomplete.

    “No, in the sense that I think murder (infanticide) has more direct and severe consequences to innocent people than homosexual behavior.”

    Why, then, do you feel that homosexuality is harmful?

    “At the risk of getting back to the original post…”

    The relevance is that, when you said, “In Lev. 18:22 the Hebrew term תּוֹעֵבָה (to’evah, rendered ‘detestable act’) refers to the repugnant practices of foreigners. As noted below, the word is also used used to describe bestiality, child sacrifice and incest[,]” you draw an equivalency among homosexuality and these other sins. The shellfish argument suggests that homosexuality is, at worst, as benign as shellfish consumption. Your argument claims that it is as abominable as child rape. And, as I wish to judge your exposition by the fruit it produces, I note that you recognize the dramatic difference that homosexuality does not have “direct and severe consequences to innocent people”. The appeal to Hebrew semantics leaves us wondering why homosexuality is grouped with those other sins in the first place, and why you acknowledge that it is different from them — ironically, what the shellfish argument attempts to do.

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  15. My understanding is that the disproportionate emphasis of the conservative movement on homosexuality – compared with other, “lesser” sins – is due to the believe that, while gays are technically equal in their need of a Savior as anybody else, their sin is proportionately more egregious and in need of intervention in this world. Please feel free to explain if you feel that this is incorrect or incomplete.

    If you read my piece on Problems with pro-gay theology you’ll see that I noted that some people may grandstand on a sin that isn’t a temptation for them, and that is not a virtue.

    Having said that, your point is mainly a common straw man / ad hominem argument. When I write against abortion I get the same dodge – “All you care about is fetuses — why don’t you focus on hunger, etc.” The thing is that I focus on all sorts of things. People are just lazy debaters sometimes and resort to such silliness. Sadly, too few people know how to recognize the logical fallacies and to call people on them.

    I know more than a few Christians and we aren’t shocked that some people mock God with their sins. It is when they want to teach those sins as normal and demand civil rights for sexual preferences that we object — especially when it is for oxymoronic things like “same sex marriage” that inevitably lead to perversions being taught to children as “normal.”

    Why, then, do you feel that homosexuality is harmful?

    As with any sin, it tends to be addictive. Witness the unbelievable promiscuity that typically defines the movement, poster-children “monogamous couples” aside. I suggest you do your own research if you aren’t familiar with the health issues of gay behavior. I’ve read the pro-gay apologetics sites, so spare me any of your links. The whole movement is founded on lies.

    The relevance is that, when you said, “In Lev. 18:22 the Hebrew term תּוֹעֵבָה (to’evah, rendered ‘detestable act’) refers to the repugnant practices of foreigners. As noted below, the word is also used used to describe bestiality, child sacrifice and incest[,]” you draw an equivalency among homosexuality and these other sins. The shellfish argument suggests that homosexuality is, at worst, as benign as shellfish consumption. Your argument claims that it is as abominable as child rape. And, as I wish to judge your exposition by the fruit it produces, I note that you recognize the dramatic difference that homosexuality does not have “direct and severe consequences to innocent people”. The appeal to Hebrew semantics leaves us wondering why homosexuality is grouped with those other sins in the first place, and why you acknowledge that it is different from them — ironically, what the shellfish argument attempts to do.

    You’ll have to ask God about that. What is unmistakable is that He considers it a very serious sin.

    Actually, He tells you more in Romans 1. Read it very closely and several times. People reject God in unrighteousness and basically have turned the world upside down with their rebellion. Many sins are listed as manifestations of this, but exhibit A is people abandoning their natural sexual functions. It is basically shaking your fist at God every day. Countless people do this in countless ways.

    I’ve been charitable with your off topic comments. If you want to address any gaps / issues you see in my post and how you would read the Bible, please feel free. Otherwise, all the best to you.

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  16. Thanks for the comment. I just read your post. Very informative, but very flawed. According to my copy of Strong’s Concordance, the term ‘abomination’ in the original Hebrew was the same word in both verses. But even if it was a different word as you claimed – what does this have to do with you? Because I am gay, you go to lengths to assume that I have not studied the Scriptures or the words of Christ. Your are in error, my friend. I promise I have fought long and hard with this issue and have studied every verse quite more than you have.

    The issue of Hebrew word origins aside, I just have to ask you one question; this question has nothing to do with word origins or Levitical law: Where is the grace and love and compassion that Christ commanded you to have?

    The title on your blog says “Eternity matters.” Does it really matter to you, or is the only thing you care about is how much you can put others down? In your entire post you are wrapped up in word studies and legalism. You claim to be a ‘Christian’ – that is, follower of Christ. Can you please point to any bit of your research that shows that commitment to Christ?

    Keep in mind – I’m not asking for commitments to Old Testament law, religious studies, or the words of the Apostle Paul – I’m talking about your commitment to Christ. There’s no love, forgiveness, or mercy anywhere in your post. There is damnation. Is your life so clean as to bring this, and then also so clean as to try to “witness” around to various blogs? You are not doing the work of Christ; you are a disciple of Satan, doing his bidding, doing your best to spread hate and contempt while ignoring the very foundations of love and grace and forgiveness.

    Maybe, just maybe, if you truly followed Christ – you would be making a case for the poor and less fortunate or at the very least, approaching topics with love. We have not turned deaf ears to you, my friend, because we could not handle the truth. We are turning deaf ears to you because you approach us and spit at us with hate, THEN try to get us to listen to your words.

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  17. Our great interpreter of the Word, kindly explain the justifying historical context or religious necessity of this passage from one version of the Christian Bible which expressly condones human slavery:

    When a slave owner strikes a male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies immediately, the owner shall be punished. But if the slave survives a day or two, there is no punishment; for the slave is the owner’s property. (Exod. 21:20-21)

    And lest you think the New Testament is any better:

    Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, in singleness of heart, as you obey Christ; not only while being watched, and in order to please them, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. (Eph. 6:5-6)

    You may wish to run your life around some iron age thinking, but count me out.

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  18. Thanks for the comment. I just read your post. Very informative, but very flawed. According to my copy of Strong’s Concordance, the term ‘abomination’ in the original Hebrew was the same word in both verses. But even if it was a different word as you claimed – what does this have to do with you?

    It has to do with me trying to understand what the text said. Does that seem illogical to you?

    Because I am gay, you go to lengths to assume that I have not studied the Scriptures or the words of Christ. Your are in error, my friend. I promise I have fought long and hard with this issue and have studied every verse quite more than you have.

    To knowledge we have never met, so I’m not sure how you arrive at any of those conclusions. My claim was that those who use the shellfish argument do so in error. If you use it then you are in error.

    The issue of Hebrew word origins aside, I just have to ask you one question; this question has nothing to do with word origins or Levitical law: Where is the grace and love and compassion that Christ commanded you to have?

    Please notice what you have just done here. You try to dismiss one argument of five, then you change subjects to an illogical personal attack. Why is my analysis of a biblical text evidence that I lack grace, love and compassion?

    The title on your blog says “Eternity matters.” Does it really matter to you, or is the only thing you care about is how much you can put others down? In your entire post you are wrapped up in word studies and legalism. You claim to be a ‘Christian’ – that is, follower of Christ. Can you please point to any bit of your research that shows that commitment to Christ?

    Your off topic attack continues here. Again, how about addressing the content of the post? If you claim to follow Christ then you should hold the view that the Old Testament is accurate down to the last letter, and you would want to understand the text properly. I could go on at length about the evidence for commitment to Christ but it would end up being prideful and counterproductive. You are just doing anything you can to change the subject.

    If you claim to be a follower of Christ, then you should know that He is God and the author of all scripture. And the Bible is quite clear that God’s ideal for marriage is for one man and one woman and that homosexual and heterosexual behavior outside this relationship is a sin. So do you seek to follow Christ’s commands? Are you as committed to him as you challenge me to be below?

    Keep in mind – I’m not asking for commitments to Old Testament law, religious studies, or the words of the Apostle Paul – I’m talking about your commitment to Christ. There’s no love, forgiveness, or mercy anywhere in your post. There is damnation. Is your life so clean as to bring this, and then also so clean as to try to “witness” around to various blogs? You are not doing the work of Christ; you are a disciple of Satan, doing his bidding, doing your best to spread hate and contempt while ignoring the very foundations of love and grace and forgiveness.

    No, what you are doing is commiting the logical fallacy attacking the person, not the message (not to mention assuming what you should be proving and changing the subject).

    Please explain to me why trying to properly understand a controversial text is doing the work of Satan. Even if I was in error that wouldn’t mean I was doing the work of Satan.

    Countless sites and the Jack Black video advance the pro-gay interpretation of the Bible. Do you chastise them for hating orthodox Christians and for not spending their time helping the poor instead?

    Do you believe Satan is real, or do you just throw that out to demonize your opponents?

    Maybe, just maybe, if you truly followed Christ – you would be making a case for the poor and less fortunate or at the very least, approaching topics with love. We have not turned deaf ears to you, my friend, because we could not handle the truth. We are turning deaf ears to you because you approach us and spit at us with hate, THEN try to get us to listen to your words.

    I hope you’ll re-read your words and realize how they betray your real motives: Ignore the biblical arguments, accuse your opponents of hate, change the subject, etc.

    Do you know how I spend my time? Do you know how much money I donate? Or do you just reflexively launch into attack mode to try to discredit those with the audacity to point out biblical truths?

    And aren’t you being a bit hypocritical here? Instead of trying to attack me for explaining the Bible, shouldn’t you be out helping the poor?

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  19. Very very nice post. Thank you so much Neil. I especially enjoyed the link to the site about the differences between NTS and NWS. It always bugs me when unbelievers think they know more about the Bible than we do. But praise God that He gave you this wonderful post to post. It’s taught me a lot actually. I especially like the difference between homosexuality being an abomination, and eating shellfish being an abomination unto the Israelites. Thanks again
    Your brother in Christ,
    Jacob

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  20. 1) I do not run a personal blog where I claim any religious beliefs. I do not run a blog where I claim to be portraying the message of Christ to the world. Therefore, unlike you, I do not hold the responsibility of making sure that what I say is full of grace and love. The blog is my personal views and what I find to be personally entertaining, insightful, or just plain interesting to me. Your blog portrays you as a follower of Christ – therefore content containing of the above would be your responsibility, not mine. In addition, I have come across several blogs denouncing the nature of that video, and I have not commented on them. I have taken a “to each your own” mentality, as it would have been (in my view) inappropriate to being a conversation that is in contrast with the blogger’s personal views. However, you came onto my blog, did the same thing I wouldn’t do, and opened the door. In the interest of conversation, I approved your message and responded to it. Do you not understand that when you go onto a blog that holds an obvious point of view other than your own, and post a comment with a link encouraging others to read your blog and why the intention of posting the video and its content are wrong, that someone might not be too happy about that?

    2) Your work is the work of Satan, not Christ, because you are the best kind of Satan’s servants, at least when it comes to this issue: you are a wolf in sheep’s clothing. When one comes in the guise of being a follower of Christ, but ends up spewing hate and then going to great lengths (to other people’s blogs) and propagating that hate, you are doing a greater harm to the Kingdom of Christ and a great favor to Satan.

    3) Again, your argument is based in fiction, not fact, and your errant note that the word ‘abomination’ is different in both verses. I have a great appreciation for one who tries to understand things – and I even commend you for that – but twisting things once understood and then going into extremes is a different story.

    4) You state, in your response to me, that the Bible clearly defines marriage to be heterosexual between one man and one women. Yes, there are examples of marriage being this way, but nowhere in the Bible is this defined. If you insist on this being Biblical truth, please provide the exact scripture reference. You won’t find it. Thus, you are treading on dangerous ground of proclaiming that the Bible, and therefore God, says something that it/He does not.

    5) As stated above, I do not chastise the other sites for not being fans of the Jack Black video. I chastise them in their ignorance on the subject only when they approach me and open the door to the conversation.

    6) We have never met, but my attack to you was personal, yes. Why? It was a personal attack from me to counter your personal attack to me. When you criticize the content of my site, that is a personal attack. When you post a link full of hate and ignorance on my blog for my readers to visit, that is a personal attack. When you place a link on a homosexual’s blog to an article you wrote where you belittle homosexuals and refer to their lifestyle as sinful, that is a personal attack. Can you appreciate this?

    7) You are right – I have no idea how you spend your time, what you study, or what money you give to what organizations. But that isn’t the point here? I never judge a person on what their actions are on a piece of paper; I judge them by personal interactions. Judging from my personal interaction with you and what you claim to be on your site, I find you to by hypocritical.

    8) I would be out helping the poor if I was claiming to live such a life as a follower of a person who heavily emphasized this. I don’t claim this. You do. So how am I being hypocritical?

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  21. Neil, good post.
    I’ve come up against the shellfish arguement before and being a Christian, one who follows Christ, I just give them what Christ himself said: “You are not defiled by what you eat; you are defiled by what you say and do”

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  22. “Thanks for visiting, but I prefer that people comment on the topic at hand.”

    *********

    Funny I prefer people who answer the tough questions that were asked. I can only assume you have no answers.

    My, my so dismissive for an advocate of Christian world-view. I see your preaching is reserved for the choir!

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  23. Funny I prefer people who answer the tough questions that were asked. I can only assume you have no answers.

    My, my so dismissive for an advocate of Christian world-view. I see your preaching is reserved for the choir!

    I encourage you to read the pearl holding / dust shaking passages of the Bible. I am under no obligation to answer any and every question that anyone on the Internet stops by with. I have a pretty good ability to detect sincere seekers vs. time wasters.

    But hey, prove me wrong and find a post where you are on topic and I’ll be glad to address that.

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  24. You state, in your response to me, that the Bible clearly defines marriage to be heterosexual between one man and one women. Yes, there are examples of marriage being this way, but nowhere in the Bible is this defined.

    What bible are you reading? Well obviously you are not reading it because it is defined that way in the Bible! Read Matthew 19:4-6 (The Pharisees questioned Jesus about divorce for any cause and this is how he answered)
    And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female 5 And said, for this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh. 6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

    Let’s not forget Genesis, you don’t have to read that far to even find it:
    Genesis 2:23-25 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called “Woman because she was taken out of man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife and were not ashamed.

    If you insist on this being Biblical truth, please provide the exact scripture reference. You won’t find it.

    Yeah that is why I found at least two scriptures, do you need more! Maybe crack your bible once in a while and stop letting it collect dust.

    Thus, you are treading on dangerous ground of proclaiming that the Bible, and therefore God, says something that it/He does not.

    Funny he did say it after all. Now you owe Neil an apology! It is obviously you that is treading on dangerous ground proclaiming to speak for God when he has already spoken on it himself and quite clearly I might add!

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  25. 2) Your work is the work of Satan, not Christ, because you are the best kind of Satan’s servants, at least when it comes to this issue: you are a wolf in sheep’s clothing. When one comes in the guise of being a follower of Christ, but ends up spewing hate and then going to great lengths (to other people’s blogs) and propagating that hate, you are doing a greater harm to the Kingdom of Christ and a great favor to Satan.

    Please do not be surprised when I dismiss your un-biblical views about Jesus and Satan. When you make comments like that it appears that you are speaking as a Christian who takes the Jesus of the Bible seriously, when in fact you are just making up your own God to try to dismiss his clear word.

    3) Again, your argument is based in fiction, not fact, and your errant note that the word ‘abomination’ is different in both verses. I have a great appreciation for one who tries to understand things – and I even commend you for that – but twisting things once understood and then going into extremes is a different story.

    Nice try. You are wrong on that point and have used all sorts of logical fallacies to avoid the other arguments, which would be valid even if I was wrong on #1.

    4) You state, in your response to me, that the Bible clearly defines marriage to be heterosexual between one man and one women. Yes, there are examples of marriage being this way, but nowhere in the Bible is this defined. If you insist on this being Biblical truth, please provide the exact scripture reference. You won’t find it. Thus, you are treading on dangerous ground of proclaiming that the Bible, and therefore God, says something that it/He does not.

    Thanks for the attempted Bible lesson, but you don’t have to look farther than Genesis 2, which is reiterated countless times. Here are some facts for you:

    100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior denounce it as sin in the clearest and strongest possible terms.

    100% of the verses referencing God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman.

    100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children).

    0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions.

    7) You are right – I have no idea how you spend your time, what you study, or what money you give to what organizations. But that isn’t the point here? I never judge a person on what their actions are on a piece of paper; I judge them by personal interactions. Judging from my personal interaction with you and what you claim to be on your site, I find you to by hypocritical.

    You seem kinda prejudiced to me.

    8) I would be out helping the poor if I was claiming to live such a life as a follower of a person who heavily emphasized this. I don’t claim this. You do. So how am I being hypocritical?

    You gave a misleading impression — though perhaps innocently — of actually understanding and caring about what Jesus said. I encourage you to learn more about them. Even if people don’t sin sexually they are still sinners in need of a Savior. Eternity is a mighty long time.

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  26. Neil:

    “I encourage you to read the pearl holding / dust shaking passages of the Bible. I am under no obligation to answer any and every question that anyone on the Internet stops by with. I have a pretty good ability to detect sincere seekers vs. time wasters.”

    ***************************

    I read it. I thought it was a tap dancing site. No addressing of the issue except to quibble with the words or completely dismiss the problem as some historical anomaly. Typical I’d say for a cult bent on propagating the myth that their iron age philosophy is correct despite it’s lack of rational basis. The problem with all of it is that just when you hope to pin it down, it takes another slippery turn to insure its unfalsifiablity.

    By the way, I have read the text,cover to cover, and I can assure you every form of perversion is expressly attributable to and sanctioned by the religion to which you subscribe. But then this wouldn’t just be my opinion, but the opinion of most every person who approaches it with an unbiased mind free from the dogma so essential to the propping up of your value system –men like Jefferson and Thomas Paine who saw religion for the fraud most of it is.

    I have no idea what the quote in the midst of your reply on the Turley website refers to since they are not my words. Contrary to the usual organ backed rantings I hear in church, my comments are born or rational thought unfettered by belief that the outcome is a foregone conclusion and that I must pound the facts to fit that preconceived notion. I suppose attributing quotes to those who don’t make them is indicative of the quality of your research anyway.

    Lastly, I stay with my original assertion that providing you a counter-example to your foolish argument that all contradictory Bible verses are taken out of context or the result of some mistranslation is intellectual gymnastics at best, or cowardice at worst. I still await your rebuttal to my assertion that the Christian Bible expressly approves human slavery. Like Adlai Stevenson I am prepared to wait until hell freezes over–which is just about the time it will take for you to contrive some idiocy to justify the unjustifiable.

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  27. Hi Meso – You demanded information on a completely off-topic subject. I provided a link as a courtesy. If you didn’t like it, I’m OK with that. But you are tipping your hand as to your real motives when you pretend like I should spend time responding to your random request and skeptic sound bites. Keep telling yourself how open minded you are. I’m skeptical of your skepticism.

    All the best to you.

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  28. Neil,

    Thank you for your reply … although I did find it very interesting that you completely dismissed my discussion of why opening the door to the argument by propagating your personal beliefs on other’s blogs – uninvited – would be received wrong by the visitor. To that point, you failed to post the reply on my blog as you did your first reply. Interesting.

    The issue at hand, however, is that I stand correct in my stating that the Bible does not define marriage as one man and one woman. Both verses described, the Genesis quote and the Jesus quote, discuss love-making. They do not discuss marriage. I asked you for a verse that SPECIFICALLY backs up your assertion: Marriage is COMMANDED to be between one man and one woman ONLY. You and your friend failed to provide this.

    What I said, however, was that there are verses where this is an example – on that end you both proved me right: you provided two examples.

    You failed to provide the exact commandment/declaration as you both would like to interpret it; you failed to provide the quote from Christ that defines this to be an exclusive arrangement.

    Most of all, you failed to provide the quote from Christ that affirms your tactics and attitude as being Christ-following.

    And for someone who originally detested my own personal attacks, you and your friends are certainly serving up plenty of your own. Again, you are a gang of Pharisees, so pious in your own beliefs that you have to condemn others, and end up truly offending Christ more than helping Him.

    Flame wars and attacks aside, let’s move onto something else I think we can both agree on: You are working on the assumption that the Bible is the error-free Word of God. You, and many other Christians, are working under the assumption that this Scriptural book is INDEED the end-all-be-all, word-for-word accurate, life guide that everyone MUST abide by.

    I have my views on the Bible, many of which are positive, but I do not subscribe to this view of it. I believe it to have errors and be erronous in some places. I also am at a place in my own life where I have trouble listening to evangelical Christians who claim the Bible to be the end all be all, Islamists claiming the same for the Koran, the Mormons claiming the same for the Book of Mormon, the athiest claiming the same for the lack thereof, et cetera. In a way, you are faulting me and many others for failing to hold the Bible in this supreme authoritive state, when we never claimed to. Can you at least understand my point of view on this? I’m not asking you at all to agree with it – I’m just asking you to understand it.

    I am not going to take my doubts around to other people and other blogs and hold them over the heads of others – my doubting beliefs in the authenticity of the Bible hold just as much weight as your beliefs in it. And honestly, Neil, I DO respect your beliefs and your perspectives … what i don’t respect is the continual effort of Christians to try to force their lifestyle and views on everyone else. I understand that Christ commands his followers to spread the Gospel, that’s fine. I respect you for the attempt. But when one is clearly not interested, why can you not respect their choice and then still have intelligent conversations them without condemnation? Is arguing with them until they break and convert or get pissed and walk away really the best way to go about this task?

    Of course, you’ll probably dismiss my thought-out question with a quick, holier-than-thou self-important comment about how you are not obligated to answer such questions, or about how I am blind to the truth, or how I am prejudiced, or how you “see through to my real motives”, or some other personal attack – like you have everybody else. And by me, really, that’s okay. You began a discussion that you seem to be unwilling to actually engage in. And with that end result, your means of beginning the conversation were wrong, immoral evening.

    I’m not claiming to believe the Scriptures are essential. I’m not claiming to believe in the same Christ you do. So why hit me over the head for it? I’m not a fraud, I’m being transparent. You just end up looking stupid when you condemn people for not believing what they never claimed to believe.

    I really don’t know why I continue to battle with Christians about this matter – the results are always the same. I’m not attempting to convert you to my views; I just want to have an intelligent TWO-WAY conversation; maybe I’m wrong about you and you CAN engage in that. But at least I still try to actually hold the conversation with your kind of people; I still try to actually learn and discuss things on a personal level, even with all of my past experience and frustration.

    That’s more than I can say for the Christians.

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  29. Thank you for your reply … although I did find it very interesting that you completely dismissed my discussion of why opening the door to the argument by propagating your personal beliefs on other’s blogs – uninvited – would be received wrong by the visitor. To that point, you failed to post the reply on my blog as you did your first reply. Interesting.

    Let’s recap: You posted about the Jack Black video. I posted a comment which linked to this piece analyzing where I think the video completely misunderstands the text. You may want to make your blog private if comments like that bother you that much. I didn’t say anything personal about you at all, unlike what you have done here. I’m used to the personal attacks. I just get tired of responding to them.

    Please know that you have my permission to take any comments I make to you here and copy them to your blog. I don’t have any obligation to run multiple threads of the same discussion.

    The issue at hand, however, is that I stand correct in my stating that the Bible does not define marriage as one man and one woman. Both verses described, the Genesis quote and the Jesus quote, discuss love-making. They do not discuss marriage. I asked you for a verse that SPECIFICALLY backs up your assertion: Marriage is COMMANDED to be between one man and one woman ONLY. You and your friend failed to provide this.

    You are mistaken. If you can’t see from what I and the other commenter provided re. marriage then I’m not going to press the matter. I’m really not on commission here.

    Most of all, you failed to provide the quote from Christ that affirms your tactics and attitude as being Christ-following.

    A couple basics of the Christian faith may help clarify this for you: Jesus is God. The Bible is the word of God. So the Bible is the word of Jesus. It is all his. He is the creator of the universe. So your angle of only looking at the words of Jesus doesn’t make sense to a Christian.

    Having said that, keep reading the Gospels and you’ll see Jesus define marriage.

    And for someone who originally detested my own personal attacks, you and your friends are certainly serving up plenty of your own. Again, you are a gang of Pharisees, so pious in your own beliefs that you have to condemn others, and end up truly offending Christ more than helping Him.

    Oddly, you have condemned me in every post, then retreated to your “it’s OK, because Jeff doesn’t claim to be a Christian” theme.” I’m not interested in that game. And you are once again pretending that you actually care about Christ, know what He really thinks and are concerned that He might be offended by something. I find that to be disingenuous.

    Flame wars and attacks aside, let’s move onto something else I think we can both agree on: You are working on the assumption that the Bible is the error-free Word of God. You, and many other Christians, are working under the assumption that this Scriptural book is INDEED the end-all-be-all, word-for-word accurate, life guide that everyone MUST abide by.

    I have my views on the Bible, many of which are positive, but I do not subscribe to this view of it. I believe it to have errors and be erronous in some places. I also am at a place in my own life where I have trouble listening to evangelical Christians who claim the Bible to be the end all be all, Islamists claiming the same for the Koran, the Mormons claiming the same for the Book of Mormon, the athiest claiming the same for the lack thereof, et cetera. In a way, you are faulting me and many others for failing to hold the Bible in this supreme authoritive state, when we never claimed to. Can you at least understand my point of view on this? I’m not asking you at all to agree with it – I’m just asking you to understand it.

    I don’t expect non-Christians to follow the Bible. I didn’t fault you for that. I analyzed a portion of text from the Bible and pointed out how the Jack Black video was perpetuating a lie. You took the discussion off track from there.

    I do encourage you to continue to compare the truth claims of these texts to see which correspond to reality.

    I am not going to take my doubts around to other people and other blogs and hold them over the heads of others – my doubting beliefs in the authenticity of the Bible hold just as much weight as your beliefs in it. And honestly, Neil, I DO respect your beliefs and your perspectives … what i don’t respect is the continual effort of Christians to try to force their lifestyle and views on everyone else. I understand that Christ commands his followers to spread the Gospel, that’s fine. I respect you for the attempt. But when one is clearly not interested, why can you not respect their choice and then still have intelligent conversations them without condemnation? Is arguing with them until they break and convert or get pissed and walk away really the best way to go about this task?

    I’m not sure I follow. Re-read the original post. It takes a completely misunderstood portion of the Bible and analyzes it. I didn’t go to your blog to spread the Gospel (though I’d be glad to share it with you if you are interested).

    What you are missing is that no one has to believe the Bible is inspired to analyze this portion of the text. The issue isn’t inspiration, it is what the words mean in context, in the original language, their treatment in the New Testament, etc. The video and everyone else who uses the shellfish argument get it grossly wrong. Oddly enough, the comments I get tend to be like yours, ignoring the text of the post and launching into personal attacks. It is revealing.

    The claim that we are forcing your beliefs on you is a straw man. You posted a link about the Jack Black video. I posted a comment with a link to the analysis exposing some of its lies. That isn’t forcing anything more than you are “forcing” me not to believe.

    Of course, you’ll probably dismiss my thought-out question with a quick, holier-than-thou self-important comment about how you are not obligated to answer such questions, or about how I am blind to the truth, or how I am prejudiced, or how you “see through to my real motives”, or some other personal attack – like you have everybody else. And by me, really, that’s okay. You began a discussion that you seem to be unwilling to actually engage in. And with that end result, your means of beginning the conversation were wrong, immoral evening.

    I see you are now moving to pre-emptive personal attacks that accuse me of making personal attacks, ironically enough.

    I’m not claiming to believe the Scriptures are essential. I’m not claiming to believe in the same Christ you do. So why hit me over the head for it? I’m not a fraud, I’m being transparent. You just end up looking stupid when you condemn people for not believing what they never claimed to believe.

    Who hit you over the head with it? Re-read your original comments. It appeared to me that you were taking Jesus seriously and claimed to believe in him.

    I really don’t know why I continue to battle with Christians about this matter – the results are always the same. I’m not attempting to convert you to my views; I just want to have an intelligent TWO-WAY conversation; maybe I’m wrong about you and you CAN engage in that. But at least I still try to actually hold the conversation with your kind of people; I still try to actually learn and discuss things on a personal level, even with all of my past experience and frustration.

    That’s more than I can say for the Christians.

    Jeff, you are welcome to comment here and have those kinds of discussions. I have regular commenters who are atheists, liberals, etc. who don’t hold my views. I just ask that people not use logical fallacies to demonize those they disagree with. Go read your original comment, which accused me of being graceless, loveless and compassionless, among other things.

    If I came by your place preaching my views on a completely off topic post I wouldn’t expect you to be receptive.

    So feel free to come back and start fresh on another topic, or get back to the topic of this post here. Fair enough?

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  30. Wow, bro. First, even though I don’t run a blog claiming to be a Christian, I do follow Christ and know my Bible intimately well. When my points against you reveal this, you dance around the topic and tell me I am someone who does obviously not know the Bible or Christ. Insulting to me at the best, dangerous to your own spiritual life at worst.

    You did exactly as I expected you to do – you dismissed many of my points in this post, didn’t respond really at all to most of my questions, and hid behind snide comments such as, “I’m not on commission here.” Thanks for proving me right.

    I did write a fairly large blog this morning about the Bible and what it does or does not say on marriage, also explaining the difference between example and definition. I invite you to read this.

    I attempted, in the last half of my post, to invite you into some serious, solid questions regarding perspective, and those were ignored. Thanks for being a stereotype for your faith.

    One of your last comments: “If I came by your place preaching my views on a completely off topic post I wouldn’t expect you to be receptive.”

    Well, you did come by my place, preached and linked to your views, and you were off-topic. Yes, the topic was the Jack Black video, but all I wrote about it was that it was amusing. I wasn’t debating or discussing or inviting a discussion about its political or religious merits. So yes, you were off topic and quite out of place there. But that’s fine – I just would like you to be aware of how that could make someone not so happy.

    The assertion by you that I should make my blog private if I don’t care for comments not agreeing with me is completely off base. Disagreeing comments are fine – rude intrusions are not. My issue with you is that both myself and numerous people have come to you on this post alone and attempted to begin dialouge, but you coward back when confronted with tough questions and provide smart remarks. Very telling, indeed, my friend.

    I have some great apologetics books for you to check out. I’ve read them many times, I’ll be happy to mail them to you if you like. You could use the studying if you’re going to conduct your public faith in such a matter.

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  31. Jeff, I am weary of you going in circles with your claims about Christ. You can’t dispute the facts here and are just using smokescreens.

    Again, Jesus is God and Leviticus is his word. If you think I’ve misinterpreted it, go ahead and show me. But what have you offered? A logical fallacy-fest.

    So again, feel free to come back and start fresh on another topic, or get back to the topic of this post here.

    You ignored that the first time, so you are on moderation now. Follow the rules and your comments get posted.

    P.S. Thanks for your indirect affirmation of the original post. If someone as knowledgeable as you claim to be must restort to your tactics that is quite an encouragement of the post’s veracity.

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  32. Neil,

    I too, am growing weary of you avoiding the facts in many of posts…

    My original post to you was informing you that my copy of Strong’s Concordance refers to ‘abomination’ being the same word (and same meaning) in the Hebrew … a direct conflict of what you stated in your original post. I asked you to provide the reference you were using, you have not done this.

    In numerous posts, I have asked you to tell me exactly where in the Bible marriage is defined as you claim it to be. I told you I knew of some examples of unions in the Bible being this way. What you and your friend provided were examples. But examples are not definitions. My most recent post on my blog uses websters to define ‘definition’ and ‘example.’ They are not the same. You have not done this.

    You claim, in your second to most recent response, that I will see this definition if I read further. So here, I am sincerely asking for your help – so me the definition (again, not example) of where Christ says this, and I will happily post a comment here and a post on my blog announcing that I was wrong. This isn’t a challenge, this is a sincere request for assistance – I do not want to be a person who does the opposite of what I’m accusing you of: claiming that something is not in the Bible when it is. Can you do me this one favor?

    I am fearful that in your most recent response, you are illogical again: “Jesus is God and Leviticus is his word.” Jesus claims to have come to abolish the law, does He not? So how is applying (in this day and age) the rules of Levitical law to Christians even at all relevant? The whole word-origin issue of “abomination” aside, why would Christians even attempt to discuss Levitical law when Christ came to abolish it? Please advise.

    In addition, Levitical Law does advise of many other things (pointing out that the video says “The Bible says alot of things” was one of your beefs, if I recall). Say that you’re right and the word “abomination” around the shellfish argument does not mean what we mean it to mean. You want to apply the verse regarding men laying with men, but what about the other Levitical verses about being unclean after men’s semen ejaculations? About women’s menstruation cycles? Sincerely, I am in all seriousness asking you … do you apply this to your life? If not, why? Do you feel that modern hygenics has overruled the scriptures? How do you feel that this relates to Jack Black’s claim that Christians “pick and choose” what they want to believe from Levitical Law?

    These are all honest, sincere questions, not sarcasm or personal attacks. I do invite you to my blog to engage in discussion when I post religious-oriented content. To that end, I do acknowledge that I have been harsh with the personal attacks and I apologize for any offense. I invite you to my site and offer the apology in hopes that we can continue this discussion and have future discussions … it is clear we will not agree on many things, but that is the purpose of discussion, to work things out, no? The only conditions of this (and your response, even on your own blog) is that you, too, will avoid the personal attacks or any semblance of them, as I will.

    If you are up for this, please directly (not indirectly) response to my questions with definitions and the requested scripture references. If not, then you can choose to delete this comment, obviously, and you will have to forgive me if at that point I lose any respect for you or your word. Regardless of the outcome, I will be posting this response as a new post on my blog with a link back to your site and this post. This is your chance to prove me wrong and validate your claims in a fashion where we both act mature and logical … are you up for it?

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  33. Neil:

    Your patience and grace are second to none. I pray that I can do the same the next time I am in a similiar situation with someone who is disagreeable when disagreeing. You and your blog are truly inspiring my brother!

    Best,
    Joseph

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  34. Sharoute,

    Thanks for your reply. I mean this a completely non-snarky way: The answers to your questions are in the post. I’m not sure how else to answer it.

    The Israelite laws had moral, civil and ceremonial components. How do you know which is which? Read the passages in context. We don’t pick and choose what we like, we read in context and see what was Israelite-specific (shellfish and such) and what was moral and universal (don’t sacrifice your children, don’t have sex with animals, etc.).

    If you take your literalist view that Jesus fulfilled the law in such a way that it all goes away, then I don’t have to love my neighbor as myself (Leviticus 19:18), I can sacrifice my kids to idols, and so on.

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  35. Sahroute,

    Since you have asked for verses where marraige is defined in the Bible, It seems only fair that you should provide some verses that speak of homosexuality in either a positive or neutral way.

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  36. Craig,

    Thanks for your response, and no worries on the misspelling – my name’s Jeff, that’s just my blog name. It’s Hebrew for “taxi” by the way. 🙂

    In regards to your question – I never claimed homosexuality was either neutral or okay, and I never claimed the Bible made any mention of that being the case. Some of the posts I above, and a recent main post on my own blog, actually state that I am not trying to convince anyone that homosexuality is moral, God’s will, or that gay marriage is okay. My argument is simpler than that – my argument is that Neil said “the Bible clearly defines marriage as being between one man and one women.”

    My argument is that Neil misquoted the Bible here – the Bible does not “clearly define” that. I do agree, however, that the Bible provides examples of unions being between man and a women. Neil provided those. The Bible does not provide a “clear definition” of marriage. One of my recent posts on my blog, http://www.sharoute.com, use Websters and some other examples to differentiate between “example” and “definition.”

    It would be perfectly acceptable for Neil to say, “I disagree with gay marriage because the only examples of unions in the Bible are between a man and a women.”

    This is saying what’s in the Bible, and is not claiming that a specific definition exists in the Bible when it, in fact, does not. When discussing word origins and the like, I assuming Neil likes to get technical, so in turn, I wish to be technical as well when discussing what’s at hand.

    So, to answer your question directly, I cannot provide those verses because the Bible doesn’t have those verses. I never claimed they did, either. Neil, however, claimed that the Bible says something very specific, and I am just asking for those exact verses.

    Fair enough?

    P.S. – I just realized now that I’m logged in as a different user …. not intentional, just working on a different WordPress project, so yeah. But this is Jeff from Sharoute. 🙂

    -Thanks

    Like

  37. And Neil,

    Thanks for your explanation of the Leviticus issue as far as context. I accept and appreciate you taking the time to explain that to me. My other unanswered Levitical question was the concordance source, either book name or website, you were using for the ‘abomination’ interpretations?

    Thanks

    Like

  38. Hey Neil,

    When I saw a clip of that silly “Prop 8 – the Musical” starring Jack Black, I thought of your post here. Looks like it has been revived with comments again. I don’t have time to read through them all, but have you heard about this yet?

    In the clip, Jack Black uses “the shrimp theory” to claim that if homosexuality is an abomination in the Bible – then so is eating shrimp. Isn’t it a riot how people can twist Scripture to say what they want it to? The man obviously hasn’t a clue about dietary laws vs. moral laws in the Old Testament.

    I hope they keep up their ridiculous protests. People are starting to realize what their real motives are – and they don’t like it.

    Like

  39. Thanks, Christine. Yes, I’ve seen the video. I may do a fresh post on the Jack Black / Newsweek themes that are getting a lot of press. I think the best way to address them is for Christians to be informed.

    Like

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