Leviticus 15 – 18
So we have more on health and sterilisation, this time it’s bodily discharges. Various discharges are covered here including, puss; semen; blood; blood from menstruation. All these discharges are seen as unclean, so the baby making process seemed to be seen as something which should be sterile, which is probably not a bad thing. This all seems odd to us, but if we look at our own context with STDs and so on, we should probably think carefully about this. I’m not saying we should perform all the things here, but we should be careful about cleanliness. We should consider that sexual partners may have STDs and find out before hand (best before you marry the person.
The Day of Atonement
The instructions for the Day of Atonement are given in Chapter 16. Adventist theology gets really controversial, in particular with regard to the scapegoat, so I’m not going to say much here. What I can say is that this festival is generally accepted as representing Judgement, and is obviously very important to Christians. Not that we should keep it, since sacrifice is no more, but that we should carefully consider what the various aspects represent.
Blood was forbidden in the diet, and this is one dietary law that is explicitly reinforced in the New Testament (Acts 15:29). I’ve had some interesting discussions about this with people, especially regarding how rare your steak can be. One could take away from this that a well done, grilled steak would be preferable to a rare fried steak (frying it seals the blood in). I’m a vegetarian, so it doesn’t really bother me, but I find the discussion interesting, and for the record, when I ate meat I enjoyed my steak rare.
Sex and nakedness
Unsurprisingly beastiality is forbidden. Looking at family when they are naked is forbidden, I guess because it may tempt you toward incest.
Incest is banned here, so although in the past people were allowed to marry relatives (normally siblings and cousins, never parents), it was no longer to be permitted.
Homosexuality is called an abomination. I’m not going to offer an opinion regarding homosexuality, just my take on the issue. I don’t have the right to judge others (regardless of my opinion or what the Bible says about things). Actions can be judged right or wrong, but condemnation of people is wrong, that is God’s place to judge. The Bible has a lot that I need to think about and that directly addresses problems I have, but what meat you can eat, and homosexuality have no bearing on how I live my life, so I read the pieces and try not to judge people. We’re commanded to love our neighbours, without exception, which means we should treat everyone with love, even if we think they are doing things wrong.
What are your thoughts?
Please give the reading through the Bible page a look if you haven’t already, there are some background posts and the index to this reading plan. Share it with others who you think can benefit from Reading the Bible.