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March 21, 2014

Comments

Where does the New Testament forbid beastiality (Lev. 18:23) or cursing the deaf (Lev. 19:14)? (General prohibitions of "sexual immorality" or exhortations to "love" presuppose the details of the Mosaic Law.)

Paul,

A misquote on Lev. 19: 14, as it doesn't speak of cursing the deaf, but allowing the ridicule of the handicapped. The better translation runs: “Do not insult the deaf or cause the blind to stumble. You must fear your God; I am the Lord."

As to bestiality, consider the impact of this practice in Paul's day. Were there rampant forms of this ritual that Paul needed to address? You address the problem when it is a problem.

Paul, I think the NT can (and does) reference the OT for "definitions." When the NT talks about "sexual immorality," the authors know you can see all the gory details in the OT and so don't spell it out. That doesn't mean the capital punishments still apply.

The NT talks about the "New Covenant" in terms of it being a virtue ethic. There are no laws in the NT, only principles. Thus, the only people able to perceive right and wrong are those who have received God's Spirit and who walk according to that ethic on a continual basis. For example, the principle in the NT is "one woman with a man forever", and that is the main idea about God's plan for marital and sexual relationships. Could there be some sort of exception to that, such as an exception where it wouldn't be wrong to divorce? Well, yes (Jesus himself gives us an exception). It was never Jesus' intention that anything he teaches be set in stone, but it takes a Christian walking in a virtue ethic to understand ethics. This has all sorts of implications in that those who do not believe in Jesus or who do not walk "according to the Spirit" (do not apply the Christian virtue ethic in their lives) will be unable to discern right from wrong in every situation correctly. This is basically what the NT teaches, especially Paul

Could you provide further explanation on the assertion "There are not laws in the NT, only principles"? Thx.

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