scripture

Fun With Deuteronomy, Part 1

If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and who, when they have chastened him, will not heed them, then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city to the gate of his city. And they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all of the men in his city shall stone him to death with stones; so you shall put away the evil from among you, and all Israel shall hear and fear.” Deuteronomy 21:18-21

deuteronomy-21-18-211

Many Christians argue that passages like these in Old Testament books like this one are irrelevant to modern-day Christianity and that, therefore, all arguments made referring to any of them are moot. I say that is a weak excuse to try to cover up the awful stories, advice and traditions that in today’s modern world seem harsh and unappealing. I say it is weak because it is not rational to base your entire life, your entire faith on one book just to then turn around and say that some of it doesn’t matter. If that is the case, then what’s to say that all of it doesn’t matter? And who determined which parts mattered and were relevant and which parts weren’t? I would say the above passage is irrelevant because murder is against the law and many faithful Christians would agree with me. But, there are plenty of passages in Deuteronomy that were declared law but are not considered to be against the law in our “real” world. For example, Deuteronomy 25:13-14 says, “You shall not have in your bag differing weights, a heavy and a light. You shall not have in your house differing measures, a large and a small.” Neither of those things are against the law so why do you carry your cell phone and your iPad in your purse? Why haven’t you sworn off measuring cups in your house? I’ll tell you why: Because it’s STUPID. So, explain to me how the rest of the Bible isn’t stupid. Please. I would LOVE to hear it. And while you are at it, explain to me how one can, in clear conscience, live their life by a book in which they throw out more than half of it, cling to a few parts of it and claim that it is the guidebook to living as a decent human being on this earth?

Interpretations

” You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the Lord.” Leviticus 19:28

My Tattoos make me a sinner.

“For everyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death. He has cursed his father or his mother. His blood shall be upon him.” Leviticus 20:9

Every teenager should be dead.

“For any man who has a defect shall not approach: a man blind or lame, who has a marred face or any limb too long, a man who has a defect in his eye, or eczema or scab, or is a eunuch. He has a defect; he shall not come near to offer the bread of his God.” Leviticus 21:18-22

Didn’t “God” create man in his image? Didn’t he give them these defects, or at least allow it? How can he defect someone and then cast them out? Is my grandfather, who has been a pastor for decades, now no longer allowed to preach “God’s word” because his skin cancer was discovered too late and they had to remove his eye?

How can I agree with Matthew, Mark, Luke and John when they can’t even agree with each other?