Are we still supposed to stone to death those found guilty of homosexual practice (Leviticus 20:13)? No, for the civil law that God gave to the nation of Israel is no longer in effect, since that theocracy no longer exists. Does the null-effect of that civil law mean that homosexual practice is now okay with God and His people living in other nations? No, for God’s moral law behind that civil law is still in effect, prohibiting all sexual sin, among other sins.
Finland’s prosecutor general is reportedly currently investigating Lutherans there for publishing in 2004 a booklet that upholds the historic Christian teaching on human sexuality, alleging that the booklet incites hatred against homosexual people (same-sex “marriage” has been legal in Finland since 2017).
In the booklet, author Dr. Päivi Räsänen whom the government is also investigating, writes that a failure to recognize sin as sin undermines the very need for a Savior. “The certainty of heaven,” a translation of her booklet reads, “rests on Christ’s assured atonement for our very real sins and on His resurrection from the dead.”
Yet, people want to deny homosexual and other sins that would damn us all eternally, apart from repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. And, there is confusion over what other prohibitions in the Bible still apply and how widely.
At the recent sixth-annual symposium in Kilgore, there was much unclear discussion along those lines about hats, braids, and female “pastors.” The church in Corinth apparently required women to cover their heads, but the Divinely-inspired St. Paul said that neither he and his coworkers had that practice nor did the other churches of God (1 Corinthians 11:2-16). Yet, Paul and his coworkers wanted women to avoid not all but excessive braiding of their hair, not only in Ephesus but in all places (1 Timothy 2:8-10). And, based on the unchanging order of creation and events of the fall, not Paul but the Lord commanded that women not serve as pastors in any church (1 Corinthians 14:33b-40; 1 Timothy 2:11-15).
When we ignore God’s proscriptions and unrepentantly sin against them, we set ourselves off from His Church and from the Gospel of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ that the Church administers. However, when we recognize sin as sin and repent, then we can rejoice that both God’s moral law and His Gospel are still in effect.
The Rev. Dr. Jayson S. Galler is Pastor of Pilgrim Lutheran Church in Kilgore. ou can reach him through the congregation’s website:www.pilgrimlc.org.