"Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind, it is abomination." (KJV)
It appears quite clearly stated. Now, let's put this verse in context with the whole Bible. We don't want to pull one verse out of context like the one I used in the introduction to "prove" that Jesus preached hate. This verse is a part of a group of hundreds of rules and regulations called the Law. It is important to note that this group of rules is always referred to in the singular form such as: the Law of Moses, the Law of the Lord, the Law of God, the Book of the Law or simply the Law. This Law is contained in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Jesus said: "It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law." (Luke 16:17) These rules were to be taken as one Law. It's all or nothing.
Let's look at some of the rules of the Law found in Leviticus. Chapters 1-7 has rules about the different kinds of offerings and sacrifices that were to be made in preparation for worship. Chapters 8-10 has rules for the priests regarding offerings, sacrifices, and other priestly duties. Chapter 11 has rules about clean and unclean foods. For example you will find that pork and shrimp are abomination but it's OK to eat beetles, locusts and grasshoppers. Chapter 12 has rules about purification of a woman after childbirth and the circumcision of males is a must. Chapters 13-14 has rules related to skin disorders from leprosy to scabby stuff like dandruff, eczema and zits. Chapter 15 has rules about purification of women after their period and for men with seminal discharges. Chapter 16 has more priestly rules Chapter 17 has rules about not consuming blood. Chapter 18 has rules about sex. Chapter 19 has rules about dealing fairly with others, crossbreeding of animals and crops is not allowed (No tangelos allowed and Tropicana twisters are a synthetic sin). Mixed fabrics are a no-no! (no polyester or cotton blends), no cutting of sideburns or trimming of beards, when you plant a tree you are to avoid eating its fruit for three years. Chapter 20 has more rules about sex...if a man has sex with a woman on her period they are both to be cut off from the people and that if a couple commits adultery they are both to be put to death. Chapter 25 has rules about not lending money to a country man with interest, and we are not to sell food at a profit. My favorite law is in Deuteronomy 15:1 "At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts."
We can go on and on. These laws have to do with being clean or unclean and about keeping yourself from being cut off from the people. Clean or unclean for what? Cut off from the congregation? Why?
In the third month after the Israelites left Egypt-- on the very day-- they came to the Desert of Sinai. After they set out from Rephidim, they entered the Desert of Sinai, and Israel camped there in the desert in front of the mountain. Then Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain and said, "This is what you are to say to the house of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: 'You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites." (NIV)
Israel was to be a kingdom of priests. The function of a priest is to lead in worship and offer sacrifices to God on behalf of sinners. So, this was the function of the Israelites. This was the reason they were called by God. They had to be set apart from the other nations or consecrated in order to be purified for worshiping and serving a Holy God. In Leviticus 20:7,8 He said to them, "'Consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am the LORD your God. Keep my decrees and follow them. I am the LORD, who makes you holy. (NIV)
When you read the Law you will find that the only way to really be purified for worship was by the blood of a lamb, sheep, goat or bull. In Hebrews 9:22 we read: In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. Once they were purified for worship they worshiped at a special place in the center of their community called the Tabernacle. The heart of the Tabernacle was a room called the Holy of Holies or the Most Holy Place. The heart of the Holy of Holies was the Ark of the Covenant. The lid of the Ark of the covenant was the Mercy Seat. The plans for this tabernacle were given by God in great detail.
I want the people of Israel to build me a sacred residence where I can live among them. You must make this Tabernacle and its furnishings exactly according to the plans I will show you. (NLT)
They were to follow these details with accuracy. This accuracy was very important because the tabernacle was an earthly copy of the Tabernacle in heaven.
Their work is connected with a mere earthly model of the real tabernacle in heaven; for when Moses was getting ready to build the tabernacle, God warned him to follow exactly the pattern of the heavenly tabernacle as shown to him on Mount Sinai. (TLB)
The Tabernacle was a model of the throne room of God and the Mercy Seat was His throne! The only person that was allowed to enter the Most Holy Place was the High Priest. All of these laws and all of the ritualistic cleaning and all of the sacrificial blood had a purpose. It was so that the High Priest could enter into the Holy of Holies where more blood was sprinkled so that God would forgive the people of sin and accept their worship.
To enter the Most Holy Place the High Priest had to go through a curtain or veil. While Jesus was on earth the Law was still in effect. However, the moment he died the Law was fulfilled. Upon His death, the curtain that symbolized the separation between us and God was ripped open from top to bottom.
Matthew 27:50, 51
And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. (NIV)
These curtains were over 40 feet high and they were thick. They were torn by God from top to bottom. From that moment on the Holy of Holies, symbolic of God's throne room, was no longer closed off to us. Now, we can approach God with confidence and without fear of being "unclean" because the blood of Jesus was shed for us. No longer do we need the blood of goats, sheep or bulls to be right with God. The blood of Jesus is the only lasting sacrifice required. There is no longer a need for "the Law of Moses" as it has been fulfilled in Jesus. We say that Jesus fulfilled the Law because the purpose of the Law was to gain forgiveness for the people.
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. (NIV)
Now, when we believe in this blood of Jesus Christ, we are made clean or righteous by this faith and NOT by observing the Law. If observing the Law made us right with God or righteous, then Jesus would have died for nothing.
I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!" (NIV)
Since we are righteous or right with God we can freely and with confidence go into His very throne room and He is also free to walk among us.
God's purpose was to show his wisdom in all its rich variety to all the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms. They will see this when Jews and Gentiles are joined together in his church. This was his plan from all eternity, and it has now been carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord. because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come fearlessly into God's presence, assured of his glad welcome. (NLT)
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (NIV)
2 Corinthians 6:16
What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people." (NIV)
Sodom and Gomorrah were not destroyed because of homosexuality and we are no longer under the "Law of sin and death". Accept the grace of God. Accept the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus and let your consciences be cleaned. Allow Him to walk in your life. He wants to do that. And He knows you are gay!
What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was put into effect through angels by a mediator. A mediator, however, does not represent just one party; but God is one. Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe. Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.
You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. (NIV)
You can't believe that Jesus died for you if you are bound by the Law and believe that you are an abomination worthy of death. If you abide by the Law then you are saying that the death of Christ means nothing to you and that is exactly what Satan wants you to believe!!! But we know that "Satan is a liar and the father of lies." (John 8:44)
Romans 6:14 says that we "are no longer under the law but under grace." The concept of grace is very simple. It has nothing to do with what you did or do or will do. The concept of grace has to do with what God has already done and why He did it! You see, God so loved the world (that's you and me) that He gave His one and only Son, Jesus, so that "whosoever" (you and me, again) shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
Now, if someone judges you by the Law, including Leviticus 18:22, show them the following scripture:
For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. (NIV)
Anyone who judges you by Leviticus 18:22 better stop pointing fingers at you and start making all those sacrifices, worshiping at a tabernacle, and eating beetles and grasshoppers instead of shrimp, pork and lobster. But as for us "Christ is the end of the Law" and the beginning of a great love relationship between God and us!
Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes. (NIV)
2 Corinthians 5:17-21
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (NIV)