Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Why Jesus Never Mentioned Homosexuality

Jesus never explicitly condemned homosexuality. To religious liberals, this means he had no problems with it.

Of course, he never condemned rape, and no one thinks he's OK with that. He never talked about health care reform or immigration, but people are sure his teachings should inform our views on that. But the fact that he never mentioned homosexuality is supposed to be a license to support it, legalize it, and bless it.

I recently came across an STR podcast that talks about this issue, claiming that Jesus' silence on the issue proves the conservative view. The argument is that Jesus modified Old Testament teachings (eg, Mark 7:14-19, Matt 5:31-32) and/or the contemporary understanding of OT teachings (eg, Matt 5:38-48) whenever he disagreed with them.

The fact that he said nothing about homosexuality means he agreed with their understanding of the OT rules on the subject.

I recommend checking out this podcast for Greg's discussion of the issue and their other podcasts — they've got a lot of great stuff on their website.

Did Jesus Say Nothing About Homosexuality?
One Among Many

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

The Legacy of Omri

Illuminating the Old Testament

My recent review of the ESV Archaeology Study Bible reminded me that I never came back to this idea. It's time to rectify that.

1 Kings 16:21-28 recounts Omri's reign over the northern kingdom of Israel. The text briefly mentions that he had to quash a competitor and that he moved the capital of Israel to Samaria. And that's all we would know about Omri's reign if we only had the biblical record.

Archaeology provides more detail. Omri didn't just pitch a tent and call it Samaria. He built a palace that has been compared to Solomon's work in Jerusalem. And he made Samaria a commercial power. Under his leadership, Israel prospered.

Part of that prosperity was due to the fact that he conquered Moab and forced them to pay tribute, a fact that the Bible only obliquely references later when the Moabites rebel against that tribute.

Omnri's wealth and military prowess so impressed outsiders that the Assyrians called future kings "son of Omri." He should, by all rights, have quite the legacy. He may not have been David or Solomon, but he was an impressive king.

God was not impressed. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, this is the legacy of Omri of Israel:

"Omri did evil in the eyes of the LORD and sinned more than all those before him. He followed completely the ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat, committing the same sin Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit, so that they aroused the anger of the LORD, the God of Israel, by their worthless idols."

We must never forget that the Lord is not impressed by money, power, or success in the things of the world. The only question is "Did you follow God?"

A Covenant of One
The Bible and Archeology