Homosexuality and Dietary Laws
Commentary for April 1, 2004 — Newsletter and Articles
This months Newsletter and Articles are now on the ASK website. As always, the “April 2004 Newsletter” gives additional information from the articles. This months articles are “Homosexuality and the Bible” and “The Dietary Laws of the Bible.” Click on the link to read the Newsletter.
Dr. Martin’s article on homosexuality gives a precise understanding of God’s biblical prohibitions and explanations of this subject. At the same time he makes it clear that we are all sinners without distinction whether we sin, with a majority or a minority, or because of inferiority or superiority, with or without human authority, we are all sinners as far as God is concerned, and as far as God’s laws are concerned. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). We will all be saved by the incarnation, death, resurrection and glorification of Jesus Christ.
“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.”Gay Marriage
• Romans 3:24–25
To relate this article to current events, the term “gay marriage” is an oxymoron. It is not possible for either two women to marry each other or for two men to marry each other. I suppose culture could redefine the word “marriage,” but then it would dilute the word to mean nothing. No major dictionary definition — at present —defines marriage as between two people of the same gender.
While words take on new meaning constantly (the word “gay” itself used to have a different connotation that the majority usage today), what would it describe? It would purport to describe some kind of “committed relationship between two people that receives certain government benefits.”
Further, if two men can marry each other, what logical or legal argument could be made to prevent two brothers from marrying each other? Or, two sisters from marrying each other? How about fathers and sons? Am I being absurd? No. Actually there would be no logical or legal basis for denying such “marriage”.
While it is true that “marriage” in the biblical sense denotes a contract, without government involvement by the way, which God ordains as an institution, God does not “ordain” individual marriages. In fact ministers simply provide the public function as a different kind of witness to society that two people have bound themselves in marriage. Governments do not “legalize” marriage, nor do ministers “legalize” marriage. That is a theological concept of man, not from God. (See the articles noted in the Newsletter and Article on homosexuality, “Marriage, Divorce Living Together and the Bible” and “What Is God’s Viewpoint Regarding Sex?”)
As Dr. Martin points out the Bible speaks very little about the ceremonial aspects of marriage. Different cultures are able to make their own traditions and rituals. See the article, “Biblical Vows and Their Significance.” In this article you will see that marriages are not consecrated by vows, but by the personal commitment of individuals. Vows are not biblical.
Old Testament Dietary Laws
Homosexual actions are specifically forbidden in the Bible. At the other end of the sin spectrum, all too many people are concerned with sinning or offending God when they actually do not sin (and in fact cannot sin) in matters regarding the biblical dietary laws. The only thing you have to “worry” about is offending those who are weak, and think they keep such dietary laws.
Am I labeling people as “weak” if they do not believe as I say? Well, no. I am not saying it, but as Dr. Martin clearly explains, the apostle Paul labels such people as weak. If you are concerned about the dietary laws to please and obey God, forget it. He does not require it from you at this time. Those laws applied only to the circumstances of ritual while Israel is in the land, ritual purity. They have nothing to do with health. They have nothing to do with “honoring God.” Nor do the food laws have anything to do with “approaching the ideal” of God’s dietary laws.
In fact, you probably know of no one who keeps those laws, even though it is possible. Why? Because anyone who truly keeps those laws is likely not involved in normal society.
“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight.”What You Can Do
• Romans 3:20
Allow me to indulge in asking those of you who have been reading, studying and learning for months and even years without making a contribution to ASK, to please begin doing so according to your ability. If that is not possible, then help us by buying books. Buy more than one of each so you can loan them to friends.
If you are pleased with the information you have learned from Dr. Martin, well, then perhaps you should do a bit of discussing with friends, relatives, acquaintances or colleagues about the various topics covered in the ASK website. There are 160+ major articles (not counting complete books, many of which are published, in full), on the ASK website. I find that if I broach religious subjects carefully and with proper respect (and know when to stop a discussion), I am surprised how people are open to all kinds of subjects covered in the ASK material, subjects analyzed from a truly biblical perspective.
If you feel so moved, mention the ASK website, or print out an article, or loan a book of Dr. Martin’s or — horror of horrors — start a small group by inviting people to discuss a particular topic in depth, using the website material as your guide. Dr. Martin’s articles and books are comprehensive and varied in subject matter, and I would particularly recommend starting with Restoring the Original Bible.
Any Bible study that would use Restoring as a guide would move VERY quickly to essential and important matters of biblical study. Dr. Martin’s book is an excellent outline for the structure and understanding of the entire Bible. It will put the Word of God in context so you can understand any passages place in the larger scheme of the whole Bible. Do it now.
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