Hebrews 8:13 A New Covenant Makes the Old Obsolete

Many so-called Christians who would cite the Law of Moses ( found in Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy) as guidance and permission to discriminate, persecute, and punish the LGBT community fail to realize the impact and difference Jesus has on the Law of Moses and the Old Covenant. Never mind the fact that many so-called Christians simply cherry pick their verses from Leviticus or Deuteronomy to try and “win” their arguments against homosexuality or gender variance. Never mind that they form their arguments without an appreciation of historical context, societal perspective of Biblical norms in their times, or understand the anthropology or sociology of Old Testament Orthodox Jewish culture laws.  All that aside, they forget what Jesus Christ had proclaimed and what effect His presence has upon how Jews, Gentiles, and everyone in between.

Jesus established a NEW covenant! He set in motion a new understanding of what it is God expects from us. Jesus came to Earth to re-establish and repair our relationship with God and each other as a collective humanity under God. Jesus defined the new covenant as thus: that we love our God with all our hearts, minds, bodies, and souls and that we equally love our neighbors as we would want to be loved.

Hebrews 8:13 adds some clarification.

“In that He says, ‘A new covenant,’ He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.”

Love becomes the primary vehicle for obedience to God. Sacrifices and strict adherence to rituals and rites will not determine one’s merits for salvation and neither will following the Law of Moses alone guarentee you choice seating in the Kingdom of Heaven. Works without faith grants you no bonuses and faith without works gets you no bonuses either. At the core of works and faith though is love for God and love for your neighbor. Love should guide your intentions and actions and prayers.

You cannot love God properly if you choose to antagonize or persecute or demonize His creation. You cannot love your neighbor if you go out of your way to try and punish your neighbor for being sincere and honest. You cannot love your neighbor through segregation or by building barriers and walls either. And if you are not willing to respect a member of the LGBT community as much as you would respect God our mutual Creator or yourself s a creation of God, then you have a serious problem to overcome.

God knows the souls and hearts and minds and thoughts of every single one of His creations. He has the power to open hearts and minds but also the power to set firm what you are thinking and feeling. He also holds the power to judge the open minded as well as the stubborn and hardened heart. If you open your mind to explore the history and society of the twelve tribes of Israel and the culture of idolatry and hedonism and pagan worship they faced in Canaan and Egypt, you would understand the context in which God speaks to Moses condemning ritual prostitution and understand the specific expression of sexuality that is being condemned as blasphemous.  Sex as ritual to pagan gods and goddesses for their favor– sex as an expression of idolatry– is the subject of that particular passage in Deuteronomy LGBT-haters love to use– but misuse as weapon.

The word of God cannot be a weapon. Not when God has given something of Himself to save all humanity and redeem each and every one of us. God created all of us in His image and declared us all good. It is when we rebel against God and do harm to each other or ourselves and reject God’s love that we get into deep, hot water. But at no point in the Bible is God asking us to betray our identities and souls and sincere hearts to appease Him. God will not accept lies and deceit from us. And God would know the truth of us! For those who have felt their closeted lives were lies, God understands.

God understands the risks and challenges when it comes to trying to live sincere and honest lives in face of discrimination and persecution. God is no stranger to persecution!

God cannot be the instrument of persecution or discrimination. God is all-loving and all-merciful. He is also the most patient and most understanding and comprehending. He has the power to deal with the perverted and corrupt and criminal. He also has the power to change lives and transform souls. If the LGBT community needed to be changed… believe that God would enable or make that change possible, if He felt it necessary. Perhaps it is not the LGBT community that needs to be changed, but the rest of society that needs to be more openhearted and open-minded?

Food for thought.

 

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About Rachel Conlin McLeod

Transgender activist, Christian at First Baptist Church in Willimantic, Connecticut. B.A. in History and Social Sciences, B.A. in Sociology Freelance writer, tutor, research assistant Loves hockey, ballet, women's gymnastics, and Bible studies.
This entry was posted in Deuteronomy, Hebrews, Judaism, Leviticus, Love, Love thy Neighbor, Old Testament. Bookmark the permalink.

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