Leviticus Defiled

Here’s a larger taste of the latest post at Susan Pigott’s blog Scribalishess, “Leviticus Defiled”, from which the above quote is taken:

Leviticus is a book that most Christians simply don’t read—won’t read. They find it tedious and difficult to understand. They say it’s “Old Covenant” so they don’t have to observe any of its strange laws (especially the dietary ones). “Jesus freed us from all that,” they say, happily. They see no real use for it, and say that it has no relevance to them. They ignore it, and the pages of Leviticus still stick together in their Bibles, the gold embossed edges unmarred.

Leviticus is the ugly step-daughter of the Old Testament—easily forgotten, overlooked, and untouched like an unclean woman.

Except when Leviticus is useful.

It’s useful when you want to pluck a few convenient verses out of context from the book to condemn and humiliate and justify hatred. Or when a parent wants to keep his/her child from getting a tattoo.

Such “uses” of Leviticus are defilement. When you use a biblical book only to condemn but ignore it otherwise, that’s bibliolatry. You are defiling God’s word by using it wrongly and selectively. When you ignore a book filled with important (but difficult) theology only to appeal to it when it’s convenient, you are abusing it. This is biblical pornography—putting selected verses on display in a way that defiles them and uses them for your own perverted purposes.

“God hates fags!” (Lev. 18:22; Lev. 20:13). That is Leviticus defiled. Does Leviticus really say God hates fags? No. Do people who use such verses have any other purpose than to promote hatred? No. Have these people ever read Leviticus in its entirety? Likely, no. And have they ever bothered to read these verses in context? No.

Click through to read the rest.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship Censored

    It’s high time to be honest about the razor that everybody applies to the Bible. No more using “context” as a magic wand to neutralize troublesome verses in favor of preferred passages.

  • Guest

    Why are you so obsessed with homosexuals?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      If I’m obsessed with anything, it is with the fact that I consider conservative Christians’ obsession with homosexuals misguided. I don’t think that’s the same thing.

      • Guest

        Every other post of yours is about them.
        It doesn’t look good. I think you have a problem.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

          You must have missed a lot of my posts. And you may have understood the point of this one.

        • beau_quilter

          No, Guest.

          You’re the one with problem, if you think it’s clever to try to demean someone by associating them with “homosexuals”.

          The neanderthals who stand in the playground yelling “fag” at other kids to make themselves feel bigger and smarter – most folks these days recognize this stupidity when they see it.

          • Guest

            LOL, sure bud, tell yourself that.

            • beau_quilter

              OK, if we had any doubts that you were a thuggish idiot before, you have now proven the point. What’s really pathetic is that you think calling someone a “homosexual” is an insult.

              Don’t expect anyone to take your stupidity seriously on this blog.

              • Guest

                Child, no one takes this blog seriously. ‘Progressive’ Christianity? No fella, that’s adultery. You’re not us.
                Cry about your hurt feelings.

                • beau_quilter

                  “You’re not us.”

                  What an inane line ..

                • beau_quilter

                  … gee, even if you think homosexuality is a “sin”, it’s still not “adultery”. Stupidity on so many levels …

              • Michael Wilson

                Sounds like on the next episode Duck Dynasty papa Phill gets on the interweb.

        • David_Evans

          I can see 1 post relating to homosexuals in the last 14. That’s 7%. Considering the way in which so many Christians are obsessed with gay marriage, I think 7% is a reasonable proportion. Also it’s very far from being “every other post”.

          You might ask why so many Christians are not equally concerned with the plain words of Jesus. You know, the ones that start

          “Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.”

  • A Theist

    Atheists hate Christians.

    Reddit, the Slyme Pit, What Would JT Do?, PZ Myers, etc.

    They hate Christians’ guts.

    Heck, they might even kill Christians if they had the power.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      That’s way too broad a brush to paint with. Try reversing “atheists” and “Christians” and I hope you will see the problem.


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