The New Consensual Holiness Code

Categories: Devotional,Leviticus

Apparently, there has been a sexual misunderstanding among Christians that has lingered for millennia.

Finally, after careful research, maybe this has been cleared up by new scholarship: the Bible does not condemn homosexuality as a consensual life-style. The “detestable” homosexuality that the bible labels as an “abomination” in the so-called “Holiness Code” of Leviticus 18 was apparently non-consensual homosexuality.

The reasoning may be as follows. God is loving. He is The Consensual Law Giver. God does not force himself upon anyone and must hold his people to the same standard. Since God is against coercion, against any unwelcome domination, he declares this to be the gold standard to determine acceptable sexual behavior.

To be consistent with this new scholarship, the implications of the entire Holiness Code regarding sexual activity should be reexamined using the simple yardstick of “consensual or non-consensual.” Using this yardstick it would logically follow that the behaviors listed below must also be approved — as long as they are consensual.

  • Sex with animals (bestiality)
  • Sex with one’s mother
  • Sex with one’s stepmother
  • Sex with one’s sister
  • Sex with one’s half-sister
  • Sex with one’s granddaughter
  • Sex with one’s aunt
  • Sex with one’s daughter-in-law

Same-sex marriage, by the measure of this “consensual or non-consensual” standard, is only a start. What logical reason could there be to not expand that standard of God’s approved sexual behaviors? Why not bless consensual sex between parents and their children, between relatives, and even consensual sex between in-laws? Yet, who would argue for this?

Is it not more reasonable, then, to see that God’s Holiness Code has nothing to do with sexual behavior that is consensual or non-consensual, per se? Is it not more likely that the traditional understanding makes more sense (i.e., that God has set down his sexual laws to protect the integrity of the family)?

If so, let those modern biblical scholars correct their misunderstanding of God’s established sexual barriers.

Remember, the authentic mark of anyone who belongs to Jesus is that they find more offense looking in their own mirror than they do looking at someone else. The Bible gives many lists of sins it condemns, including hatred, prejudice, and self-righteousness.

Immoral behavior that is homosexual is no less offensive to God than immoral behavior that is heterosexual. The God of the Bible who prescribes a Holiness Code also loves us as we are — but his love is just too great to leave us that way.

Now that’s something to celebrate!

Author: Toby Larson

Toby Larson leads Celebration International. He is a husband and father of 5. Whether he's teaching, hitting tennis balls, sailing a Hobie, serving in Asia, skiing on water or snow, Toby is passionate about the love of God and the love of life. Read more ...