Tom Carson said, “A text without a context is a pretext for a proof text.” While many have misunderstood and subsequently misapplied this quote, coming from a Gospel minister the meaning is clear, when one wishes to they can make the Bible say anything they want it to say.
It has been several years ago that a columnist, Mark Woods, writing for the Florida Times-Union wrote an article titled “Context is everything with the Bible.” He was making an argument in support of homosexuality based on the context of what is written in Leviticus.
He wrote,“Yes, it says right there that a man should not lie with another man [Leviticus 18:22]. Yes, it calls it an abomination It also says not to eat shellfish. Or to touch the skin of a dead pig. Or to cut hair in certain ways. Or to wear clothes made of two kinds of material. Or to get a tattoo.
“The Bible calls quite a few things, including some dietary no-nos, abominations. And it devotes many more words to mildew growing in houses than it does to gays living in them. Yet these few verses are what keep getting circled, highlighted and pointed to.
“If so, why is homosexuality so different? Is it because there also are a few later references? Or is it because, I can’t help but wonder, for most of us it simply is different? Which is exactly what makes focusing so intensely on these few verses — while ignoring or discarding so many others — seems all too convenient.”
His point is simply this, in the context of Leviticus there are a number of things Christians do not subscribe to today and given what little is said about homosexuality why do we treat it differently than the other prohibitions? What don’t we consider it an obsolete practice as the others?
What Woods and those like him wrote is why I began writing my articles and blog, because those who do not diligently and seriously study the Scriptures will misconstrue and subsequently misapply them creating confusion regarding what they truly say.
Mark Woods does not understand the biblical reason why certain practices required of the Jews where no longer required of Christians, nor the difference between the ceremonial law and the moral law. But I will enlist the interpretive principle of using the context which he misused to make his point.
The eighteenth chapter of Leviticus is devoted to immoral sexual practices such as incest, adultery, bestiality, and homosexuality. And regarding all these practices the Scriptures say, “Thus you are to keep My charge, that you do not practice any of the abominable customs which have been practiced before you, so as not to defile yourselves with them; I am the Lord your God,” Leviticus 18:30.
This is the immediate biblical context in which homosexuality is mentioned. Incest, adultery and bestiality are just as much an abomination as homosexuality. And if homosexuality is by Woods’ interpretation an obsolete practice and acceptable to God, then the same must be true for incest, adultery and bestiality according to the context.
Why did Woods single out homosexuality and not address the other sexual sins? Is it because he thinks homosexuality deserves special treatment?
Homosexuality is no different than any other sexual sin; it is only those who wish it to be treated differently that deny the Scriptural truth regarding it.