It’s no secret: things are a changin’. Lawlessness and immorality are now virtuous principles to live by, secular media and politicians here in America are giving a lot of airtime for the very small population of people who demand that their homosexuality be given the title “marriage”–and thus equating it to the Civil Rights movement only a few short years ago, and politicians are flip-flopping like crazy in order to jump aboard the very fast liberal train with the intent on securing votes. Christianity has moved not only outside of the town square, but outside of town almost entirely.
Before I explain where I am going, take less than 2 minutes and watch this Youtube Video:
Now, many things can be said about this video, but I want to focus on one thing that Dr. Michael Brown said. Pierce Morgan asked him to explain a time when Jesus said anything in the New Testament about homosexuality. The presupposition to this is the argument from silence: since Jesus didn’t explicitly say anything about it, he must not have believed it to be wrong. Dr. Kenneth Gentry destroys this argument here (did Jesus address bestiality? Mormonism? The appropriate amount to pay for a gallon of gasoline?).
What’s interesting is that Dr. Brown gave an answer that blows up the entire argument that Morgan put forth (if only Morgan would keep quiet long enough listen and comprehend it). Did you catch it? If you missed it, go back and see if you can find it. Dr. Brown didn’t wow Morgan with some philosophical argument, he referenced a portion of Scripture. It wasn’t Matthew 15, but Matthew 5. Here are those verses:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:17-19)
What Morgan, Hill, and many other folks believe is that the Bible should be taken a la carte. Not only is it like a buffet, Jesus’ words are seen as far more important than any other portions of Scripture. When a Christian like Dr. Brown quotes Leviticus or Genesis (particularly the Sodom and Gomorrah story) as evidence of God’s rejection of homosexual behavior, the common refrain is “Well, that’s the Old Testament!” But is that true? Is the Old Testament Law irrelevant in the age of grace?
In short, no, it’s not irrelevant. Jesus holds up God’s Law in the passage above. He didn’t come to destroy it, loosen it, or set it aside–he came to bring it to its appointed end, namely, in Jesus himself. The Law of God always applies, but when the New Covenant came, some of its applications changed. As Dr. Greg Bahnsen once pointed out, the way we adhere to the ceremonially Law of God, for example, is by faith in Jesus Christ, as the book of Hebrews makes plain. Portions of the Law differ now that Christ our Sacrificial Lamb has come, but the moral law, along with the case laws are still applicable (carefully noting that the three covenant spheres are Church, Family, and State, and each sphere has jurisdiction, roles, and responsibilities). The errant position is believing that unless something is repeated in the New Testament, it doesn’t apply. Jesus’ position on the matter is that we should assume everything applies until he, or his appointed apostles, changes it.
“But what about Paul’s claim that we are no longer under the law, but are under grace?” What Paul means is that we are no longer under the curse of the Law, but are now under grace. As Samuel Bolton once said, “The law sends us to the Gospel that we may be justified, and the Gospel sends us to the law again to inquire what is our duty as those who are justified.” The Law is not nullified, it is upheld (Romans 3:31)!
If the Church is going to have an answer for the culture, we desperately need to recover tota Scriptura, all of Scripture. Christians who love the Word of God love the entirety of the Word of God. We don’t piecemeal the Word, we uphold all of it. If we do not have a healthy view of tota Scriptura, we won’t have a healthy view of sola Scriptura. And if we don’t have this, what else can we appeal to as the ultimate standard of truth?