Open letter to the Dominica Bible Scholars.
I am confused and would be grateful if you could give me some advice regarding God's law. I realize, for example, that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states homosexuality to be an abomination. Anyone who tries to defend homosexuality is told that because the Bible says so, end of the debate.
But what of the many other laws and punishments that the Bible lays down. Could you give me some guidance about these?
When, for example, I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Leviticus 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. How should I deal with this? If they try to stop me from burning my sacrifice, may I stone them to death as the Bible states for offending God?
On the matter of slavery, the Bible seems clear. I would like to sell my two daughters into slavery, as allowed in Exodus 21:7. But in this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for them? Leviticus 25:44 states that I may buy slaves from the nations that are around us. Is it OK to buy them from the Caribbean islands?
Even more confusingly, Deuteronomy 22:13-21 says that a marriage shall be considered valid only if the wife is a virgin. If the wife is not a virgin, she should be executed. This is a serious issue in today's secular society because, after all, most of our young men and women are sleeping around before they marry.
There are other questions that I would like explained. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly state he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself or should I get all of my neighbors together as a group? A friend of mine says that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Leviticus 10:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. If homosexuals should be stoned to death, should we just whip shellfish eaters? Can you settle this?
Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Leviticus19:27. How should they die? What should I do about my boss who insists that I cut my hair?
These are just a few of the many, many ways in which modern society does not conform to the one truth posed by the Bible. I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help.
Finally, I am very confused by one passage in particular. 1 Peter 2:13a says: "Therefore submit yourself to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake." Does this mean what it says? Does that really mean that if the laws of my country hold human rights as a higher standard than God's law that I must conform to those laws of man? Does this also imply that if the laws of man change, then I must change my behavior? It seems like another way to word this is "go with the flow". Is that what is really meant? After all, such flow could lead to anything from the freeing of slaves the Bible says I can own, to the genocide of entire populations like Indians or Jews, to allowing abortion, accepting my slaves as equals in society, or accepting homosexuals and lesbians and demanding that we can't stigmatize or discriminate against them.
I would appreciate if the issues mentioned in this article could be responded to, taking into consideration that we are becoming a modern, thinking nation that will no longer accept answers such as "because the Bible says so".