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Religion How come people who believe in the Bible are allowed to pick and choose sins?

Merc

Problematic Shitlord
V.I.P.
I've definitely started a thread like this before and I do not believe I've ever gotten a clear answer.

As a practicing apathetic, my connection to my Christian roots is a bit frayed but what has always baffled me is this double talk that the Bible is the holy text, the text to end all others and one to essentially rule them all, correct? If so, how come say for example, Leviticus and his claims of homosexuality being sinful are enforced so much, but you do not see Christians protesting bowl haircuts, pig skin, tattoos or clothes with mixed fabrics? What about the multiple definitions of marriage in the bible? Why are we supposed to think that only one is correct?

Basically, why and how are people suddenly allowed to choose what is sin and what is more sinful? Why does this 'cherry-picking' sort of thing even exist?
 

Taliesin

Registered Member
Simple answer? Because it's human nature to cherry-pick. Everybody does it.

I agree that it is frustrating that certain things (such as homosexuality) get focused on while other bits and pieces are completely ignored. "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" is one example that springs to mind (Exodus 22:18). I don't see any Christians going around stoning Wiccans to death, and I don't see them avoiding tattoos... oh, and shellfish at the all-you-can-eat buffets.

Now, it will be rightly pointed out by some that there is an overriding context that will dictate how different parts of the Bible ought to be read and interpreted, but I find it a little frustrating that the sins that often get harped on always seem to be the ones that those doing the harping hate most. That's a bit of a coincidence, isn't it?

But, yeah, like I say, it's human nature. We will tend to focus on the things that matter most to us, so it doesn't surprise me that in the Christian culture there will be an undue amount of attention paid to the "sin" of homosexuality. It's something that makes a lot of people nervous, I'm afraid, and not just within the Church.

And, no, I don't believe I've adequately answered your question. Still, that's my two cents anyway.
 

Major

4 legs good 2 legs bad
V.I.P.
The New Testament supposedly makes much of the Old Testament obsolete. How it was determined what still applies and what doesn't, I do not know. In any case, it seems like there are a lot of Christians who cherry-pick certain things. How anyone can truly believe in the Bible and then not take it all seriously is beyond me. You'd think you'd either not believe at all, or believe 100% of the way.
 

CaptainObvious

Embrace the Suck
V.I.P.
I've tried explaining much of this before in other threads, and in RL. People need to understand to whom Leviticus pertains and that the book is broken up into separate parts. The part you refer to, the tattoos for example, is in reference to Levite priests. I don't know any. The part regarding homosexuality pertains to moral conduct for everyone. Not so in reference to the tattoos. Secondly, Jesus Christ made a new covenant between God and man thus rendering the Old covenant obsolete. Third, Leviticus is part of the Torah, practiced by the Jewish faith. Christians aren't Jews. Lastly, just because man chooses to ignore certain sins doesn't mean God does. We can say or accept whatever we want, in the end only His judgment matters.
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By the way, how is anyone "allowed" to cherry pick"? Who is doing this allowing?
 
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idisrsly

I'm serious
V.I.P.
I really don't mean to take a stab at you Merc, but is there any answer anyone can give you that would satisfy you? I feel like this has been discussed and come up often, yet the question is always the same, with the same examples, i.e, tattoos, shelfish, etc.

In my opinion, it's not the Christians who pick what is sin or not, but non Christians who pick verses from the bible in ignorance and say "see, there, that's a sin and you're doing it, therefore you are a salad-bar Christian". The bible isn't just text that tells you what to do. It has to be taken in full context. It often required a study of things and when something isn't clear, prayer usually helps.

But to just look at it and say, yes, tatoos are as much a sin as adultery, is ignorant. Sorry. But it is.

To answer your question to the best of my ability though - we can't pick. Nothing gives us the right to pick and say, because I am doing this sin, this one is ok, but I could never do that one, because that would be a sin. Sin is sin. There is no one sin better or worse than the next. But just because I do or have done one sin, doesn't mean that I convinced myself that it's ok to do and not a sin. It just means I am a sinner, like everyone else. None of us can live free from sin. It doesn't mean that the sin I commit is something I convinved myself is not a sin because it doesn't suit me. I have or will have to answer and repent for my sins.
 
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CaptainObvious

Embrace the Suck
V.I.P.
I really don't mean to take a stab at you Merc, but is there any answer anyone can give you that would satisfy you? I feel like this has been discussed and come up often, yet the question is always the same, with the same examples, i.e, tattoos, shelfish, etc.

In my opinion, it's not the Christians who pick what is sin or not, but non Christians who pick verses from the bible in ignorance and say "see, there, that's a sin and you're doing it, therefore you are a salad-bar Christian". The bible isn't just text that tells you what to do. It has to be taken in full context. It often required a study of things and when something isn't clear, prayer usually helps.

But to just look at it and say, yes, tatoos are as much a sin as adultery, is ignorant. Sorry. But it is.

To answer your question to the best of my ability though - we can't pick. Nothing gives us the right to pick and say, because I am doing this sin, this one is ok, but I could never do that one, because that would be a sin. Sin is sin. There is no one sin better or worse than the next. But just because I do or have done one sin, doesn't mean that I convinced myself that it's ok to do and not a sin. It just means I am a sinner, like everyone else. None of us can live free from sin. It doesn't mean that the sin I commit is something I convinved myself is not a sin because it doesn't suit me. I have or will have to answer and repent for my sins.
This is how I feel, this has been discussed and explained ad naseum and I don't know what else to say other than to repeat myself. Again, the book of Leviticus is broken up into 5 parts. Part I deals with rituals of sacrifices. As Christians we don't sacrifice, Jesus is the sacrificial lamb of God. As a Catholic we partake in the celebration of the Eucharist which is from the Last Supper. You have to understand Jesus establishing a new covenant. Part II deals with ceremony of ordination. Again, we go by how Jesus gave his Apostles the power to spread the Word, to forgive sin, things like that. We aren't Jews, and we aren't priests from the tribe of Levi. Part III pertains to laws of legal purity. Again, those don't pertain to Christians. And many laws regarding food were dietary laws. Food can be cleaned much better for one, but also God tells St. Peter in Acts Chapter 10 " what God has made clean, you are not to call profane". Part IV deals with Code of Legal Holiness. This is where much of this comes from. It's important to remember much of this deals with sexual conduct which applies not just to Levite priests or Jews, but to everyone. More importantly though nobody is picking and choosing. IF a Christian says homosexuals are engaging in sin and that Christian is committing adultery what they are doing in sinful also. How are they off the hook? How are they not sinning as well? How are they picking and choosing?

Like Idi I don't know what answe will satisfy you. Are some of these people being hypocritical? Yes. They're humans just like every single other human can be. Christians don't have special DNA that makes them more than human and immune to typical human behavior. I would really suggest though that if one really wants to point to this chapter or that verse in the Bible one should study the Bible, and by study I don't mean simply read it but read the writings of different scholars. And real scholars, not blogs by people who don't know what they are talking about.
 

Mickiel

Registered Member
I've definitely started a thread like this before and I do not believe I've ever gotten a clear answer.

As a practicing apathetic, my connection to my Christian roots is a bit frayed but what has always baffled me is this double talk that the Bible is the holy text, the text to end all others and one to essentially rule them all, correct? If so, how come say for example, Leviticus and his claims of homosexuality being sinful are enforced so much, but you do not see Christians protesting bowl haircuts, pig skin, tattoos or clothes with mixed fabrics? What about the multiple definitions of marriage in the bible? Why are we supposed to think that only one is correct?

Basically, why and how are people suddenly allowed to choose what is sin and what is more sinful? Why does this 'cherry-picking' sort of thing even exist?

If you keep using Christians as your example, or the focus of your case study, you will always come up with crap; it is the Christians who are flawed, not the message in the bible. You just don't get the biblical message, but you get the human behavior.
 

dDave

Well-Known Member
V.I.P.
This is how I feel, this has been discussed and explained ad naseum and I don't know what else to say other than to repeat myself. Again, the book of Leviticus is broken up into 5 parts. Part I deals with rituals of sacrifices. As Christians we don't sacrifice, Jesus is the sacrificial lamb of God. As a Catholic we partake in the celebration of the Eucharist which is from the Last Supper. You have to understand Jesus establishing a new covenant. Part II deals with ceremony of ordination. Again, we go by how Jesus gave his Apostles the power to spread the Word, to forgive sin, things like that. We aren't Jews, and we aren't priests from the tribe of Levi. Part III pertains to laws of legal purity. Again, those don't pertain to Christians. And many laws regarding food were dietary laws. Food can be cleaned much better for one, but also God tells St. Peter in Acts Chapter 10 " what God has made clean, you are not to call profane". Part IV deals with Code of Legal Holiness. This is where much of this comes from. It's important to remember much of this deals with sexual conduct which applies not just to Levite priests or Jews, but to everyone. More importantly though nobody is picking and choosing. IF a Christian says homosexuals are engaging in sin and that Christian is committing adultery what they are doing in sinful also. How are they off the hook? How are they not sinning as well? How are they picking and choosing?

Like Idi I don't know what answe will satisfy you. Are some of these people being hypocritical? Yes. They're humans just like every single other human can be. Christians don't have special DNA that makes them more than human and immune to typical human behavior. I would really suggest though that if one really wants to point to this chapter or that verse in the Bible one should study the Bible, and by study I don't mean simply read it but read the writings of different scholars. And real scholars, not blogs by people who don't know what they are talking about.
That's very much the way that I feel. Just because someone is being hypocritical or if they're simply missing it, that doesn't diminish the sin of another. All sin is equal.

A lot of the laws in Leviticus were for the protection of the people. There's also the old covenant vs the new covenant. The law vs grace. We live in the time of the new covenant.

Homosexuality in the Bible is described as "detestable" to unto God. Considering that God is unchanging I don't see how it would be any less detestable to Him today vs the day it was written.


If you keep using Christians as your example, or the focus of your case study, you will always come up with crap; it is the Christians who are flawed, not the message in the bible. You just don't get the biblical message, but you get the human behavior.
Exactly. Humans are flawed, that's the whole reason why we need a savior in the first place.

Reminds me of Mahatma Gandhi “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
 
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