Question:

I actually have a legit question for you, thank you for responding to my previous message by the way. Anyway here goes: What makes it OK to take some of Leviticus seriously but not all of it? I don't see Christians not eating pork or staying away from women while they menstruate. It would be interesting to know a minister's take on the subject, and also what constitutes a lie of Satan.

Answer:

In our court system you will often see judges citing older cases when handing down their decisions. This citation is considered important in keeping decisions consistent. Sometimes citations will even reach back to English common law or the Magna Carta. It is not that these laws are binding on United States citizens, but because our laws were derived in part from these laws, the citations show the consistency in application.

If you understand this, then you should also understand that God wrote both the Law of Moses and the Law of Christ. The Law of Moses is no longer in effect, being replaced by the Law of Christ. "He takes away the first that He may establish the second" (Hebrews 10:9). But we recognize that the Old Law had the same author and when it comes to matters of right and wrong, these things really don't change even though the law we are under has changed. For example, the New Testament is clear that lying is wrong (Revelation 21:8). But if I would like to present how God treated liars in the past or to get greater details about just what constitutes lying, I can turn to God's Old Law for illustrations. As Paul points out, "Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come" (I Corinthians 10:11). But notice that we first establish from Christ's law what is required of us and then we turn to Moses' Law for illumination.

There is precedence for doing so in the pages of the New Testament. When making various points, both Jesus and the Apostles often backed up their assertions by quoting what God had said before. As an example: "Therefore, putting away lying, "Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor," for we are members of one another. "Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil" (Ephesians 4:25-27). Notice there are two quotes, one from Zechariah 8:16 and the other from Psalms 4:4. The quotations do not establish the law, but they serve to illustrate the consistency of God's expectations upon mankind.

Thus, we take all of the Bible seriously because we can learn much from the prior law as well as from our law. "For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope" (Romans 15:4). For authority for today's practices we go to the New Testament. To illustrate what is meant we can use the Old Testament.

The reason we don't worry about the eating of pork is because Christ changed that law. "And He said to them, "Are you so lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him, because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated?" (Thus He declared all foods clean.)" (Mark 7:18-19). Also, "For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer" (I Timothy 4:4-5).

The point of about menstruation is not supported or denied in the New Testament. I know some Christians who avoid it just to be certain. I know of others who understand that God has not forbade it. This would be one where I would urge people, "Let each be fully convinced in his own mind" (Romans 14:5).

I know that behind this question is concern over Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13. If this was all God ever said about homosexuality, there might be a point. However, Christ's law clearly condemns homosexuality. Thus I can go to the Old Testament to illustrate what God meant as being wrong.