This blog post is being written in hopes to put scriptures being used in these two tv clips into context. It is clear that people take issue with the Bible and that ABC and NBC have their own agenda in what message is being sent through their show, I just wish they would at least use the scriptures in context.
Contrary to what the clip from NBC’s West Wing is suggesting, slavery is not commended in the Bible, in fact it is recognized realistically in respect to the economic need where people sold themselves into slavery to pay off a debt (Ephesians 6:5-7) and the evil in racial discrimination such as the oppression of the Israelites by the Egyptians (Exodus 1:8-14). The Bible also provides tools for the slave and master in how to treat one another (1 Peter 2:18-25; Colossians 3:22-25; Colossians 4:1-6) and why (Ephesians 6:8-9), in becoming free (1 Corinthians 7:20-22; Jeremiah 34:8-22) and finally shows us that the laws are for those who break the laws (1 Timothy 1:8-11 references slave traders amongst others in which the law is for).
The Sabbath day of rest, holy to the Lord, was commanded to be observed in Exodus 31:12-18 as a sign between us and God for generations. We see more in depth that Jesus is the rest that the Sabbath is set aside for in Matthew 11:25-30. It is talked about in Hebrews 4:1-13 and speaks of how God set aside a day for the disobedient, people who were not resting at all (again, a law made for the lawbreakers 1 Timothy 1:8-11). A day was set again so that the example of the disobedient (those who were not setting aside time to rest in Christ) would not cause others to stumble and do the same. This day is set aside for those who are not already resting in Christ.
Unclean foods of the Bible have been proven with modern science over the years that they are not healthy for our bodies nor for our emotional, spiritual and mental health. Many foods can effect us in negative ways and thus are not healthy for us. They were declared unclean because there is an ideal diet in mind for us as we are caring for the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Pigs eat slop and therefore are unclean and absolutely non-beneficial to our health. With that said, ceremonial practices in our diets are still equally important today in reference to being at our best as well as moral principles in doing what is pleasing in God’s sight. With each we still stumble but this does not mean that eating pig meat is right just as well as murdering someone.
The president’s final attempt in this clip to invalidate “Dr. Jenna Jacob’s” appeal to Scripture as an authority on the moral status of homosexuality involves the command against seeding “different crops side by side” and sewing garments together “from two different threads.” Though done well to reach many on an emotional level with his argument in the role played by Martin Sheen, he once again has taken his slight knowledge of what is in the texts of the Bible to spread this deceptive ignorance of what the scriptures say.
The reference made of planting two kinds of seed is either from the passage Deuteronomy 22:9 or Leviticus 19:19. While there is reference to blessings and consequences in Deuteronomy 28 (which also includes wearing clothes of wool and linen woven together in Deuteronomy22:11 as well as several other commands in the previous and following chapters as well as specific laws throughout that were directed to be put to death), nowhere does it speak of man stoning or setting ablaze those who disobey these specific laws.
While at first, it may appear that the president portrayed on The West Wing is a benevolent learned man and the doctor is a narrow-minded blockhead (rather she was prideful and arrogant in answering the president’s question in the manner that she did and could easily be compared to a pharisee), but I hope that what I’ve shared has portrayed a more objective and in context view of what the scriptures say and have well expressed that the statements made by this character were flawed.
:39 (start of scene) 1:31 (start of quoted text)
Below is the conversation between Callie and her father, I’ve put the scripture references below it.
Dad: Leviticus: Thou shalt not lie with a man as one lies with a female. It is an abomination.
Callie: Oh don’t do that daddy, don’t quote the bible at me.
Dad: The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and their sin is exceedingly grave
Callie: Jesus: A new commandment that I give unto you. That you love one another.
Dad: Romans: But we know that
Callie: Jesus: He who is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone.
Dad: So you admit it is a sin
Callie: Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.
Jesus: Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.
Jesus: Blessed are those who have been persecuted for righteousness sake.
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus is my savior daddy. not you.
And Jesus would be ashamed of you for judging me.
He would be ashamed of you for turning your back on me.
He would be ashamed.
Jesus is my savior, Daddy. Not you. And Jesus would be ashamed of you for judging me. He would be ashamed of you for turning your back on me! He would be ashamed!
“Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.” Leviticus 18:22
“And the LORD said, “The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave. I will go down now, and see if they have done entirely according to its outcry, which has come to Me; and if not, I will know” Genesis 18:20-21
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” John 13:34
I am unsure of the father’s Roman’s reference.
“But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7
“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God… Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:7-8 & 10
Before I get started in putting these particular passages in context I want to note that I do not agree with how the father in this clip presented himself to his daughter nor his condemnation. He in no way displayed the same love that Christ has bestowed on all of us, nor did he follow Biblical principles in approaching his daughter.
With that said, it is dangerous to hold on to these scriptures in the context that each character was using them. Leviticus 18:22 has become the scripture that stirs up hatred for God’s Word and His people because of how it’s been presented. We would do well to recognize that the God of the Bible does not condemn homosexuality in an tyrannical or power hungry way. Rather, He carefully defines the borders for sexual intimacy in this particular passage.
The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were wicked and had no reverence for God. Their sins included but was not exclusively homosexuality. In Genesis 18:20-33, Abraham spoke with the Lord regarding their destruction. He asked Him what if He found fifty righteous within the city. The Lord said that if he found fifty righteous that He would not destroy it. Abraham then asked of forty, twenty, down to ten righteous being found and the Lord agreed that if he found ten righteous that He would not destroy it.
The cities were destroyed because they were completely unrepentant for their sins of adultery, lies, arrogance, gluttonous attitudes, and selfishness – without care for those in need. They were haughty and shameless. We see this in other passages like Ezekiel 16:48-50, Isaiah 3:9, Jeremiah 23:14, and Luke 17:28-29. Jesus said in Mark 6:11-12 that some cities were more condemnable because of their response to His disciples even under greater grace than before.
This has been yet another scripture taken by the arrogant and hatefully thrown into the faces of those who are living in sin. One would have to question the motive of such an approach. The Bible is perfect and all scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). Since that is so, there is a Biblical manner to do these things.
The reference in John 13 that was used regarding the new command to love one another is a perfect example of this. If we read on from verse 34 to 35, we read – “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Our actions are to express that we are Christ’s disciples. If we are arrogant or hateful, all people will see is that we are judgmental – and it is because we were behaving as such. The father in this clip was in fact judgmental, having already decided that her sin was greater than his own.
“For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.” Romans 2:13
“Callie,” continuing to quote scriptures to her father regarding his actions then goes on to John 8:7 which is regarding teachers of the law and the pharisees who brought woman out to be stoned for her adultery. Jesus said to them that the one without sin is to cast the first stone and all walked away. Jesus’ words to the woman were “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”and she replied “No one, sir,” “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:10-11) Though Jesus forgave the adulteress, He at no point approved of her actions. In fact he stated “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
We are to be merciful, we are to be pure in heart, and we are to know that God is ever working on us despite the persecution we receive for our love for the Lord in all of our failings. These scriptures in no way condone the approach of the father against her daughter, nor do they support a life of sin.
We must remember to commit ourselves to know the truth so that when such counterfeits loom on the horizon, we recognize them instantaneously. At worst, even when we do not have an immediate answer, we should be aware that answers exist. At best, we should be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks us to give the reason for the hope that we have — and to do this with gentleness and respect.
The homosexual topic is a touchy subject for most to say the least. It is sin. BUT it should not interfere with our adoration, appreciation, and love for that person.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:43-48
The Bible calls us to do this with everyone. To love and speak in love, not to the perfect and sinless alone but to everyone – which we ought to be thankful for otherwise we would not be loved. As I’ve said before in other blogs, we can love a person without loving their choices – God loves us but hates our sin… this includes lies, murders, hatefulness, thievery, etc. His hate for sin does not take away from His love for His children and thankfully so because if it did then he would not have come for us.
For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. Romans 5:6-11
Jesus came to fulfill the law, not do away with it; as well as to be the living example of God’s righteousness. We have been saved through grace, but this does not do away with our responsibility to continue to follow His law.
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:17-19
What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! Romans 6:15