Shrimp and homosexuality

We have come so far away from God’s words that our legal systems are no longer reflective of the majority of the members of the society. It is these groups who have taken over the role of defining what laws are best for the society, many of which have low or no moral underpinning. It is only God’s word that is in the way and that is why the Bible is under attack. Having decriminalised homosexuality, they have focussed on the next issue – the decriminalization of drug taking. Many States in the US have begun to do (legalise) exactly that. Some groups have already started to argue the next issue which is the lowering of the age of consent (arguments as to the early sexual maturity of today’s children have already started) aided by free pornographic material on the web.

In our changing societies where the numbers of believers in the Lord are shrinking by the day, the challenge for Christians is to consciously remember the ‘sin’ element separate from the legal rules. Just because a legal system may decriminalise an activity or declare an individual free does not mean that they are free from the ‘sin’ element if indeed they had committed that act.

The essential argument of is that we should not condemn homosexuality as a sin based on the Old Testament because the Old Testament also refers to eating certain kinds of seafood (including shrimp) as an abomination, yet Christians do not have any problem with eating shrimp or any of the other forbidden foods. Does the “God hates shrimp” argument have any validity? Yes and no.

First, it is important to note that the title “God hates shrimp” is a reaction to a particular group of anti-homosexuality protestors that are famous for promoting the saying “God hates fags.” The argument is that if God hates homosexuals, based on the Old Testament Law, then God equally hates those who eat shrimp. The Bible nowhere says that God hates homosexuals, however. There are lists of things that God hates in the Old Testament (see Proverbs 6:16-19), and homosexuality does not make the list. Yes, homosexuality is a sin, and yes, God hates sin. But again, the Bible nowhere says that God hates homosexuals, or that homosexuality is any more difficult for God to forgive.

Back to the “God hates shrimp” argument – is it valid? Yes and no. First, a Christian should never make an argument exclusively using the Old Testament Law. Jesus fulfilled the Law, ending its requirements (Romans 10:4; Galatians 3:23-25; Ephesians 2:15). If you use the Old Testament Law as the sole argument for homosexuality being a sin, you should also declare that everything the Law outlaws to be sin: eating shrimp, wearing clothing of mixed fabrics, sowing different types of seed into the same field, etc. No, Jesus fulfilled the Law. Christians are not bound by the Old Testament Law, but rather are to be subject to the Law of Christ (Matthew 22:37-39; Galatians 6:2).

GHS-whatshotnSo, if the Old Testament Law cannot exclusively be used to argue for homosexuality being sinful, why then do Christians believe homosexuality is sinful? The answer is that the New Testament also clearly and explicitly states that homosexuality is both immoral and unnatural (Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9). The New Testament confirms the Old Testament command against homosexuality, explains why the command existed, and argues for why homosexuality should continue to be considered sinful. What then about shrimp? Does God still hate shrimp? No. Jesus Himself “declared all foods clean” (Mark 7:19). Jesus later confirmed this in a vision to Peter (Acts 10:15). While the New Testament confirms that homosexuality is sinful, it clearly indicates the food laws to be null and void. God never hated shrimp. Rather, God disallowed the consumption of shrimp to distinguish the Israelites’ diet from that of the surrounding nations, and likely due to the fact that since they are bottom-feeders, shrimp are really not very healthy.

What should be learned from the “God hates shrimp” argument is that we should use the word of God consistently, “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15, NKJV). As New Covenant believers, we are not to use the Old Testament Law as the exclusive basis for our morality. Rather, we are to study the whole counsel of Scripture and live accordingly.

As a final note, I would be remiss without affirming that God does not hate those who have practiced or currently practice sodomy, but He does hate the act of all sexual sin. God loved the whole world (John 3:16), and He desires to bring every person into His kingdom, wash them from the sinful acts of their past, and impart His holy life and nature in their being, so that they may carry out His economy. We need to repent of this and every sin and turn to God and His full salvation.

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