Have you ever played the Leviticus game?
Many supporters of homosexuality—even professing Christians—enjoy a round of the Leviticus game from time to time.
How do you play?
Player 1 begins with Leviticus 18:22, which says, “Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable” (ESV).
Sadly, this verse has been deemed a “clobber passage” because of how some have used it to hurt LGBTs, whether intentionally or unintentionally. God’s Law is a light that leads us to repentance and, with the help of God’s miraculous transformation of our lives through Christ, true holiness in everything we do. Its intended use is to instill godly conviction leading to hope, change, and a hatred for the sin in our lives—not to “clobber” anyone.
But if you want to continue playing the game, find as many crazy-sounding laws in the book of Leviticus as you can. The object of the game is to show that modern Christians should reject all of those laws, including the ones about homosexuality.
The Leviticus game may be easy and fun, but it has problems. It doesn’t treat Leviticus like a real book of law—meant to be read in-context, interpreted in light of the rest of the Bible—containing a variety of commandments, some meant for Israel’s Levitical priesthood only, others not.
So which category does Leviticus 18, one chapter that condemns homosexuality, fall into?
Friends, indulge me in an exercise in parody as I myself play a round of the Leviticus game.
What else is okay if we throw out Leviticus 18?
Probably the biggest chunk of Leviticus 18 deals with incest in all its various forms. If you dismiss these verses along with verse 22 on homosexuality, then you’d be permitted to have sexual relations with…
- Close relatives (v. 6)
- Parents (v. 7)
- Stepparents (v. 8)
- Siblings (v. 9)
- Half-siblings (v. 11)
- Step-siblings (v. 9)
- Grandchildren (v. 10)
- Aunts and uncles (v. 12-14)
- Children-in-law (v. 15)
- Your sibling’s spouse (v. 16)
- A woman and her children or grandchildren (v. 17)
- Your spouse’s sibling (v. 18)
That’s enough to make anyone’s stomach turn. But if we want to be consistent, we have to keep playing the game.