This began with a question that was posted, and then re-posted to me. Here is the text that was forwarded:
If you believe that the bible is the word of God, you need to believe in all of it. I don’t like how people choose to believe in one part over another because it suits them. The sentence before the one about a man laying with another man says you can’t eat shellfish. You’re also not supposed to eat pork. Or cut your hair. Or do a bunch of things that I see Christians doing on a daily basis. Where is their passion for all those other things? I see them talking about homosexuality all the time. Where are their down with pork, shellfish, or barbers protests? I know this seems like I’m making fun of people that believe in the bible, but I’m very serious. You still need to follow federal and state laws so you can’t stone someone for eating shellfish, but I think Christians really should follow everything in the bible.
And I would really love an answer to my comment. If you are not judging, and one sin is as bad as any other, where are the protests for everything else the bible says is wrong? There is way more hair cutting, and pork and shellfish eating than homosexuality. Shouldn’t anyone who believes in the bible be outraged by those other things? Please anyone who believes in the bible answer this for me.
Not knowing the context in which the original was posted it is difficult to know how to answer. We by necessity will need to make a few assumptions, and then answer from within them.
The Verse in Reference
Verses about eating shellfish
The first is to assume which verse in the old testament is being discussed. Some of the verses that speak about not eating shellfish are:
‘These you may eat of all that are in the water: whatever in the water has fins and scales, whether in the seas or in the rivers–that you may eat. But all in the seas or in the rivers that do not have fins and scales, all that move in the water or any living thing which is in the water, they are an abomination to you. They shall be an abomination to you; you shall not eat their flesh, but you shall regard their carcasses as an abomination. Whatever in the water does not have fins or scales–that shall be an abomination to you.
Leviticus 11:9-12 NKJV
“These you may eat of all that are in the waters: you may eat all that have fins and scales. And whatever does not have fins and scales you shall not eat; it is unclean for you.
Deuteronomy 14:9-10 NKJV
Chapter 14 of Deuteronomy also contains verses that prohibit the consumption of pork and the cutting of hair.
Also the swine is unclean for you, because it has cloven hooves, yet does not chew the cud; you shall not eat their flesh or touch their dead carcasses.
Deuteronomy 14:8 NKJV
“You are the children of the LORD your God; you shall not cut yourselves nor shave the front of your head for the dead.
Deuteronomy 14:1 NKJV
Dietary law (code) not found with sexuality law
None of the verses about dietary procedures are found mixed with the verses about sexuality, let alone about homosexuality. Perhaps, the search should be amongst the verses that prohibit a man lying with another man.
Verses about man not lying with another man
There are relatively few (or fewer) Verses about dietary law (code) then those about homosexuality. The verses that directly prohibit a man lying with another man are:
You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.
Leviticus 18:22 NKJV
If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.
Leviticus 20:13 NKJV
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,
1 Corinthians 6:9 NKJV
[1 Corinthians is in the New Testament and we will examine its importance later.]
Sexuality law not found with dietary law (code)
The verses that directly prohibit a man from having sex with a man are not found mixed with the dietary law (code).
Repeating a talking point
My best guess is that the original author did not really know the verse(s) that he was referring to, but in fact was stating a talking point that he had read or heard previously. Often times I have someone make a claim about the Bible when they themselves have not read it and are only repeating what they heard someone else say.
They often make their claim because they want to justify their own life choices. If they are in a homosexual relation or feel sympathy for someone they know in a homosexual relation they may believe that this question will prove that homosexuality is the same as not following a dietary law (code), and therefore is not bad, or even acceptable.
Once when someone raised a straw-man argument with Jesus by speculating on something that was not Biblical, Jesus called them out for not knowing their Bible.
Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God.
Matthew 22:29 NKJV
Jesus answered and said to them, “Are you not therefore mistaken, because you do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God?
Mark 12:24 NKJV
So, the one asking the question is incorrect about the proximity of the Sexual Law verses to the Dietary Law does that make the question invalid?
It is common for teachers to quote to their class, “There are no dumb questions1.” This is one of those that is not dumb. This question is asked both by those that are just repeating a talking point, or something they heard and thought was a good question, as well as those that have given careful thought and study of the scriptures.
Therefore, the question posted is a valid one. As such, we will attempt to answer the question.
Rewording the Question
At the risk of putting words in the mouth of the original author I would like to reword the question to a more general but inclusive form.
Why are some commands in the Old Testament followed by Christians while others are not? Shouldn’t all of the commands be followed?
Dietary Law vs Sexuality Law
The Bible does not name the verses in chapter 14 of Deuteronomy “Dietary Law”. Equally, the Bible does not name the verses in chapters 18 and 20 of Leviticus as “Sexuality Law”.
Trinity and Rapture
Trinity and Rapture are words not found in the Bible. But, they are recognized as concepts that are found in the Bible.
Even though these words are not explicitly found in the scripture, they are found to be part of the Bible by the very teachings therein.
It is convenient to speak of the verses that deal with one topic as a group and as such to give them a name for reference. Though the scriptures do not name them we will call the scriptures that deal with diet as the Dietary Law.
For the same reason the group of verses that speak about sexuality will be referred to as Sexuality Law.
The Early Church’s Position
Paul, the apostles, and the elders of the whole church gathered together to consider the very question that has been raised here. That is, what of the old testament laws is required of the Gentiles, the non-Jews to follow, and what of the Old Testament laws may they ignore?
After some debate the conclusion was:
Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God, but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood.
Acts 15:19-20 NKJV
They sent a letter to the gentiles, the non-Jews saying:
Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, “You must be circumcised and keep the law”–to whom we gave no such commandment–
For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.
Acts 15:24, 28-29 NKJV
Circumcision is No Longer Required
The very sign of belonging to God was Circumcision. This was what distinguished the Jewish male from the Goyim (Gentiles). This was a ritual with very strict adherence by those that are called, the Chosen Ones, the Jew. But, the early church decided that this part of the Law was no longer required for the Goyim (Gentiles).
Yet not even Titus who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised.
Galatians 2:3 NKJV
And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased. I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off!
Galatians 5:11-12 NKJV
The Message has a very colorful rendering of verse 12.
Why don’t these agitators, obsessive as they are about circumcision, go all the way and castrate themselves!
Galatians 5:12 MSG
1 We all know that this is not 100% accurate. We have heard some very unintelligible questions. But, for the most part, if the question is sincere it is not a dumb question.