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Seumas, Tobermory (Guest) (13/11/2012 21:32)

Penny, my understanding of the "3 fold division of the law" is this (correct me, anybody, if I have this wrong)

The OT Law, as given in the first books of the OT has three parts to it - ceremonial, civic and moral. The 10 Commandments are part of the Moral Law for example. The WCF in Chapter XIX explains this 3 fold division :


As can be seen from that, the civic and ceremonial no longer apply, but the moral law does. I know many evangelical and reformed Christians who are comfortable with this view. So far so good.

If the Moral Law is still considered relevant (and most Christians would accept the 10 Commandments as being relevant in deed necessary) then the laws against various sexual activity as outlined in Deuteronomy and Leviticus must still be extant. These cannot be "civic" or "ceremonial". They can only be moral. And if the laws are extant, then surely so are the punishments for breaking them. The OT is quite unequivocal in this.

If capital punishment for murder is divinely demanded, then surely capital punishment for various abnormal sexual practices is also required? Bible says it is.

This is where it gets pretty messy IMO. There were moves afoot in Uganda, recently for death for homosexuals to become the law. And in Iran gays are frequently strung up. (OK thats Islam at work, but it is derived from the same Abrahamic root)

Any sophisticated theologian got any ideas?

Penny Lee (13/11/2012 22:26)

Leviticus chapter 18 lists all the forbidden sexual relationships, including homosexuality. All of them are forbidden yet at least a few of them are relatively commonplace today - A man having sex with both a woman and either her daughter or sister - we have seen it happen occasionally, a man going out first with the woman but ending up having a relationship with her sister/daughter. And certainly "a neighbour's wife" is pretty common today! It is worth noting though that homosexual and bestial acts are the only ones described in that chapter as "detestable" or "a perversion" so they are clearly seen as worse transgressions than the others.

Then, in chapter 21, it lists the punishments for these acts. Homosexuality incurs the same punishment as most of the other types of forbidden relationship, including adultery. Now we clearly don't suggest that adulterers are killed today so why would be expecting it for homosexuals? Even those who cursed their parents were to be killed.

However, were these laws not purely for the Israelites when they entered the promised land? More was being expected from them since they were God's chosen people. When we contrast that with how Jesus treated the woman caught in adultery, He would surely have had to condone her being stoned to death if that was the punishment still in force for that sin. Yet he didn't! He did not suggest that what the woman did was not wrong, but He was merciful to her as He would be to us today when we are caught sinning. The important thing though is that we have to accept that we were sinning and do all we can to put it right. That seems to be the part that many people are not prepared to do and it is that which separates us from God.

Editor (14/11/2012 09:44)

Seumas and Penny, please continue your discussion. Given that I am working on the subject (in an 'on-off' fashion as time permits) I would be interested in your views.

However, if I can throw in a statement (and feel free to disagree): The church is not Israel and Israel is not the church. While there is a continuity between OT and NT; there are also extremely important discontinuities.

Penny Lee (14/11/2012 10:38)

It is my understanding (and I may be wrong) that whilst the original sins were and always will be wrong the punishments for them were more severe for the children of Israel at that time due to the special nature of their relationship with God:

"You must not live according to the customs of the nations I am going to drive out before you. Because they did all these things, I abhorred them. But I said to you, ‘You will possess their land; I will give it to you as an inheritance, a land flowing with milk and honey.’ I am the Lord your God, who has set you apart from the nations."
(Leviticus 20, verses 23,24).

Ray Lite (Guest) (14/11/2012 22:35)

"However, if I can throw in a statement (and feel free to disagree): The church is not Israel and Israel is not the church. While there is a continuity between OT and NT; there are also extremely important discontinuities."

It is known that there are 'types and shadows' in the OT which relate to the NT, especially in relation to Christ. So, should this not also be the case regarding Christ's Church in relation to Israel?
Editor (15/11/2012 12:09) "It is known that there are 'types and shadows'..."

Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi has been described as a 'type' of Nelson Mandela. However no one in their right mind would say that they were the same thing.

Have a look at the Derek Prince video on -

And any questions relating directly to the place of Israel (as distinct from the church) would be better discussed there. Thanks

john (Guest) (16/11/2012 01:21)

hi look like its not so stright forward after all
so we are getting some where

John a REAL person

John (Guest) (17/11/2012 23:54)

Slow responce

Sandra (Guest) from Fraserburg (Guest) (09/12/2012 21:30)

Leviticus 18:22 - Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it [is] abomination.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 - Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

guest (Guest) (10/12/2012 09:38)

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