Friday, March 10, 2006

Hanky Panky and the New Testament/Covenant – Part 1

Many people are very thankful that there is a New Testament to complete the work of the Old Testament. Some of the ancient holiness code was removed; other parts were given clearer definition and meaning. Take food for example. A group of men from our church meets each Tuesday morning at 6:30 a.m. for breakfast and fellowship. Being the carb conscious person that I am, my ordinary breakfast order is a side order of scrambled eggs, a side order of sausage and a side order of bacon. Praise God for the New Testament! I love bacon. I digress…

Jesus shed a lot light on sexual ethics. He was very aware of the teachings in the Torah concerning adultery. He took those teachings and moved beyond the sexual acts into the realm of thought and fantasy. Jesus said that if a man looks lustfully at a woman he already has committed adultery with her. He made the Old Testament commandment more restrictive, not less!

Some would argue that since Jesus doesn’t specifically speak of homosexuality then he must not have been against it. To follow this type of logic is very dangerous. Jesus did not speak about zoophilia (sex between humans and animals). Was he in favor of such sexual acts? Absolutely not! He didn’t speak about incest. Was he in favor of incest? Absolutely not!

In his book titled, The Bible and Homosexual Practice, Robert Gagnon says, “On matters relating to sexual ethics Jesus often adopted stricter, not more lenient, demands than most other Jews of his time.” (page 197) He held people to a higher standard—God’s standard.

Jesus was revolutionary in that he did not view women as property. He gave them dignity. His views on divorce would make it more difficult for a man to divorce his wife. Jesus gave women stature and importance.

Now let us turn to Paul, the “apostle” to the Gentiles. His writings are clear concerning sexual intercourse between persons of the same gender. He said that such sexual activity is wrong and immoral. He also believed that sexual activity outside of marriage is wrong. On the topic of sexual ethics, his teachings echoed the beliefs of Jesus.

This is a short summary of sexual ethics in the New Testament. Next time we will dig a little deeper.


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