In the wake of the tragic slaughter and maiming of over 100 people human beings at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida by a young Muslim claiming allegiance to ISIS, Christians must be prepared to make a defense for their faith. In both Christian and Muslim theology, homosexuality is considered an abominable sin. Under (Muslim) Sharia Law, those committing homosexual acts can be executed as a matter of criminal justice. There are currently 10 (Islamic) countries in which homosexual acts are legally punishable by the death penalty. Historically, the death penalty as criminal punishment for homosexual acts has not been limited to the Muslim religion. According to Old Testament Law, homosexuality was punishable by death:
If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them. (Leviticus 20:13)
Christians should and are rightly decrying the heinous crime committed upon law abiding citizens of the state of Florida. To the theologically uniformed observer, however, it may appear that the Christian is being inconsistent in repudiating this crime. After all, don’t the Christian scriptures prescribe the death penalty for homosexuals?
The answer to that question is “Yes, but not in the United States.” The Levitical civil code, as laid out in the Old Testament, while just, is not binding upon modern secular nations or Christians living in New Covenant times. Furthermore, Omar Mateen, the perpetrator of Sunday’s shooting, was not acting in a capacity of civil authority. He was not carrying out death sentences as matter of lawful punishment. To the contrary, he was breaking the law and was subsequently killed by those civil authorities who have been appointed to administer justice. In Old Testament times, those who administered the death penalty to homosexual offenders did so under the authority of the Mosaic Law. They killed but did not murder; there is a difference between killing and murder. Those who are executed after proper legal due process are not murdered. Those who were killed by Mateen were.
Christians should be ready to explain these facts to nonbelievers. It is the mission of modern-day Christians to share the love of Christ and preach the good news of Jesus Christ. Any sinner, homosexual or otherwise, may repent of his sins and submit himself to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Anyone who does that will, according to the Apostle Paul (and the Prophet Joel) in Romans 10:13, be saved. Christians should also, during this time of reaction to destruction, remember another truth delivered to the church by the Apostle Paul…
Or 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 effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
Such were some of you.
For more on this subject, refer to the episode of The Christian Commute embedded below:
*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.
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