Dan Savage vs. the Bible Pt.2

Yesterday we looked at a YouTube video featuring Dan Savage in an article entitled “Dan Savage vs. the Bible Pt.1“. He was speaking to a large group of high school journalists and attacked the Bible because it calls homosexuality a sin. So, let’s continue looking at the words of Savage and give a response. Here is the video if you forgot (if you haven’t watched it before I want to warn you that he does use some graphic language):

In the middle of the speech Savage says these words:

The Bible says that…if a woman is not a virgin on her wedding night she should be dragged to her father’s doorstep and stoned to death.

Of course, Savage is referring to Deuteronomy 22: 20-21 which says:

But if the thing is true, that evidence of virginity was not found in the young woman, then they shall bring out the young woman to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death with stones, because she has done an outrageous thing in Israel by whoring in her father’s house. So you shall purge the evil from your midst. -ESV

What Savage doesn’t tell you is that the preceding verses describe the process in which a girl can defend herself. If her parents provide proof that she was a virgin, typically with a blood stained sheet from her wedding night, then the girl would not be stoned. If the girl is accused of this sin and found guilty she then is to be stoned. This may seem gruesome to many of us but there is something that Savage, and many others, refuse to understand.

The Old Testament law was for Israel. It is not to be applied in the same way for us today. Israel was a theocratic nation. During the time of Deuteronomy Israel was ruled by God and God alone. God is holy so his law reflects his character. This is something that liberals refuse to understand because if they do they cannot use this type of argumentation any longer. So, when you hear someone mention shellfish or stoning girls who aren’t virgins you can point out that the social context of the OT is vastly different than today (for more discussion on this topic check out CARM.org).

This does not mean that there aren’t morals that we, as Christians, can apply to our lives from the Old Testament because the OT law was pure and holy. It does mean that the OT law is applied differently to us because they served a different purpose for Israel. The OT law served to make Israel a nation that would be drastically different from the others surrounding it. Other nations supported child sacrifice or wild sexual promiscuity and God wanted to make the distinctions clear.  The OT law was to promote righteous living throughout the nation of Israel but Jesus’ death on the cross ensured that a group of people would live righteously through him.  Jesus said these words in Matthew 5:17-20:

‘Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.’

Jesus’ words in verse 20 highlight the purpose of the OT law. The purpose of the law was to create righteousness among the people of Israel and Jesus’ words reflect that when he says that he “did not come to abolish” the law but to “fulfill” the law. The sacrifice of Jesus is the only way to righteousness. Jesus’ sacrifice is the only way to enter the kingdom of heaven. Jesus’ sacrifice is the only way that we can have peace from the turmoil our sin causes. I pray that your eyes will be opened to see, your ears will be opened to hear, and your heart will be turned from stone to flesh to respond to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Thanks for reading.

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Before I sign off I would like to thank my fellow fantasy baseball player, blog reader, and friend Andrew Peterson for suggesting this topic earlier this week. These suggestions help me respond to issues that you, the reader, want to be addressed. I would encourage you to email me at anotherchristianblog@gmail.com if you have a topic in mind.

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About Travis Berry

I am a blatantly honest person who loves to think, read, discuss, and write about God and theology. I have a bachelor's degree in Youth Ministry from Crown College. I work at a church in Houston, TX as a Youth Director and love every minute of it! I am married to a wonderful woman named Becky and we are expecting our first child in June! I have a love for God's Word, and a fervor to live it out in the fullest, and I pray this blog reflects that. Thanks for checking out AnotherChristianBlog!.

Posted on May 4, 2012, in Christianity, Culture, Theology and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Very good article. I added another take on this topic if you want to read it. Here’s the link. http://menofmud.org/2012/05/03/mud-in-the-news-2nd-edition/

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