The West Wing Left Wing Deflection and Deception
The Pestiferous West Wing Diatribe
Recently I saw a post on a popular social media site that immediately peaked my interest, but not in a good way. The subtitle was “How to Silence Supporters of Kim Davis” which was put out by the “Occupy Democrats” organization. The link provided was to that of a video clip from the popular NBC television program “West Wing”. As I watched I was deeply troubled because President Josiah Bartlett, played by Martin Sheen, used biblical references to personally attack Dr. Jenna Jacobs, the host of a popular program. Mr. Bartlett obviously believed and clearly implied that Dr. Jacobs was a religious nut and a bigot. Mr. Bartlett inaccurately purveyed several references in the Law of Moses as a means of disqualifying things God has called out in His Word as sinful. During the process he deflected away from the issue at hand, the sin of homosexuality, by drawing attention to points in the Law of Moses in a manner that indicated all of the precepts in the Law are ancient, impractical, arcane and no longer invalid today. He also made strong inference that those who believe such things are out of touch with the reality of today’s modern society. This kind of tactic is often used by left wing progressives to draw attention away from the real issues in support of the agenda of evil they wish to impose on the rest of society. Such was the case in this NBC West Wing diatribe.
In fact the references to scripture quoted by Mr. Bartlett were actually out of touch with the Bible and in no way reflective of what God’s Word actually says or means, particularly in a country that was built on Christian beliefs. Even more troubling was the immediate deflection from the real subject, what the Bible says about homosexuality, to several inaccurately presented points designed to imply that we should ignore anything in the Bible that does not align with today’s politically correct cultural perspective. Mr. Bartlett rambled from selling his daughter as a slave to violating the Sabbath to football to planting crops to garment threads. All obfuscations deflecting attention away from the real issue and designed to make the person he was addressing look as small, in the court of public opinion, as possible. Bear in mind that this is a television program and that Dr. Jacobs represented Bible believing Christians. The most disheartening thing of all is that most Christians are not knowledgeable enough in God’s Word to even detect, much less reject, this kind of inaccurate contextual assault on the authority and applicability of God’s Word. Most Christians would nod in reluctant agreement to the onslaught of miscreant theology that would denigrate the unchanging nature of God Himself and bring into question anything in God’s Word with which these liberals disagree.
One key thing to remember is that, as a nation founded on Christian principles, the “Law of Moses” has never been practiced here in the United States and, truthfully speaking, has never been faithfully practiced anywhere at any time. Even ancient Israel fell short of practicing the Law as no man can follow the whole Law. It is impossible for sinful humans to follow the letter of the Law which is why Jesus came and took our sins upon Himself. Here is what Galatians 3:10-14 teaches us about the Law;
“For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT ABIDE BY ALL THINGS WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW,TO PERFORM THEM.” Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, “THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, “HE WHO PRACTICES THEM SHALL LIVE BY THEM.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE”— in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”
Paul clearly states that “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law”. I am not aware of any one who has been put to death for violating the Sabbath, committing adultery or a homosexual act by any government institution in the United States. The fact that we, as a Christian nation, believe we live under grace rather than the curse of the law is a testament to our faith and trust in God through Jesus Christ. However, we must always remember that God hates sin, has always hated sin and will always hate sin. It is sin that separates us from God and we are born with sin nature. Jesus provided a propitiation for that sin in order that we, through Him and Him alone, may have forgiveness of sin and the hope of eternal life. No matter how much earthly culture may embrace sinful behavior, God will never embrace what He has called out in His Word as sinful. Even more importantly, He will one day judge that sin once and for all. The sad commentary in this case is that Mr. Bartlett was wrong on every point but most Christians do not have a good understanding of God’s Word nor do they have enough faith to trust God’s Word in order to reject such ungodly drivel.
We will begin by laying some key groundwork regarding biblical truth and then we’ll set about demonstrating the false narrative of Mr. Bartlett’s diatribe.
Homosexuality is only One of the Sexual Sins
First let’s establish what God’s Word says about homosexuality, which was the real issue that prompted the scurrilous verbal attack on the part of Mr. Bartlett. In today’s culture man wishes to justify behavior that God has clearly indicated in His Word as displeasing to Him. This is particularly true with regard to homosexual behavior where those who practice such sinful behavior, as well as those who support it, desire to force everyone else, particularly Christians, to acknowledge that the homosexual lifestyle is normal.
To understand this we need to look back to where obedience to God’s Word began to unravel with regard to sexual sin. The decline started with heterosexual sin and divorce but is surely will not end with homosexuality. Society has been immersed in a tsunami of sexual laissez-faire for decades. The rate of divorce has skyrocketed and people living together out of wedlock has become a normal occurrence while the church has stood idly by and watched with benign reaction to the onslaught. Television programs, movies and advertisements are filled with sexual promiscuity but the church, who is supposed to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world, only reacts with introverted disdain. Divorce has become as prevalent in conservative “Evangelical” ranks as it is in the ranks of nonbelievers and the unchurched. Is it any wonder that the next tidal wave of sociologically acceptable sin to wash over the nation would be that of homosexuality? Even more alarming is the fact that some states are no longer prosecuting incest offenses where the young ladies are 15 years or older. Like I said the moral slide will not end with homosexuality.
God’s Word lists homosexuality as a sexual sin along with many other sexually related sin such as adultery, incest and sodomy. In both Leviticus 18 and 20 all of these sexual sins are specifically listed as detestable acts. Homosexuality is the only sexual sin singled out as an abomination (Leviticus 18:22). But what did Jesus say about the subject? Jesus never called out homosexuality specifically, but neither did He call out incest or sodomy, predominately because those sins were not as prevalent during that day and age. He did, however, call out the sexual sin of adultery that was prevalent in the Jewish culture of the time. While He called out adultery specifically, He also called out other sexual sinfulness in general which included homosexuality, incest and sodomy. Jesus said, in Matthew 15:19, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.” Obviously the term “adultery” jumps out here but another term, “sexual immorality”, also stands out. The word used here, for sexual immorality, is porneiai (πορνεῖαι) from which we get our term pornography. This word covers a huge variety of sinful sexual behavior including sodomy, incest, and homosexuality as well as any other sexual activity that violates God’s Word.
The societal mantra of the day is that homosexuality is a normal condition and that “same sex” marriage is an acceptable union. God’s Word clearly states differently. Jesus himself in Matthew 19:4-6 , quoting Genesis 2:23-24, said “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” He goes on to address the issue of divorce. The Pharisees pointed out that Moses permitted divorce but Jesus responded from God’s perspective in Matthew 19 verses 8-9 “He said to them, Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.” There is that word again, porneiai or sexual immorality. So Jesus himself stated that the only valid reason for divorce was sexual immorality. Today, because of “the hardness of heart”, the most common reason for divorce is “irreconcilable differences”. But the only valid reason before God is “sexual immorality” which includes homosexual behavior. There are many references to God’s displeasure with the sin homosexuality. From the Sodomites in Genesis 19 to the Benjaminites Judges 19 to the male prostitutes of First and Second Kings it is clear that the practice of homosexuality is not permissible before the Lord God Almighty. But are the Old Testament and a loosely coupled references by Jesus the only places in God’s Word that call out homosexuality as displeasing to God? The answer is a resounding “NO”.
In Romans 1:26-28 the apostle Paul levies a scathing commination with regard to sexual sin, including homosexual behavior, by both men and women. He says in these verses:
“For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.”
Clearly Paul reflected the Old Testament perspective on sinful sexual behavior. He called out these sexual sins as “dishonorable passions”, “contrary to nature”, “shameless acts” and that God has given “them up to a debased mind.” The acts of sexual deviance described here clearly included homosexual behavior as well as other sexual acts that are not of the “natural function” of men and women. However, some Theologians have commentated on this with a focus on the phrase “And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God”. They state that the things described in these verses only apply to those who do not acknowledge God. In other words, the “dishonorable passions”, “contrary to nature”, “shameless acts” are only sinful if they “do not see fit to acknowledge God.” In addition, these Theologians never mention other places in the scripture where the apostle censures these kinds of behavior. In this passage the apostle Paul’s construction of grammar clearly indicates that they do these things because “they did not see fit to acknowledge God.” Any other interpretation of this is simply inaccurate. To reinforce that grammar, let’s review some other scriptures where Paul also called out sexual sins, including homosexuality. In 1 Corinthians 6:9-11;
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
In this scripture Paul was careful to bring attention to the fact “that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God”. Paul then specifically listed who the unrighteous are, including the sexually immoral as well as men who practice homosexuality, and he clearly stated the solution to the problem. While he did not mention women who practice homosexuality specifically, that sinful nature was covered by “sexual immorality”. But the answer was and is justification by Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit. The statement here is that when one transfers their trust to Jesus that, by the power of the Holy Spirit, they will no longer do the things they practiced when they were yet unrighteous. Paul also councils his young protégé Timothy using the same language as with the Corinthians 6 in 1 Timothy 1:8-11;
“Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.”
In both of these scriptures the apostle Paul not only called out homosexuality in particular but, in addition, used the same root word Jesus used to describe “sexual immorality”. Interestingly enough, Jesus called out adultery which was an issue in the Jewish culture. Paul, on the other hand, called out homosexuality which was an issue in the Greek and Roman cultures. However, they both called out sexual immorality to cover all of the above. Clearly the sexual sins, including adultery and homosexuality were as displeasing to God during the time of the early church as they were in ancient Israel. That being the case, why would it be any different today? Why would these sexual sins, including homosexuality, suddenly no longer constitute sin before the Lord?
The answer is simple. They are still sin! They are just as much sin today as in the times of Moses, Jesus and the apostle Paul!
Ever Changing Man : Never Changing God
We must understand clearly that sin, including homosexuality, which God called out as displeasing to Him in His Word are still sin before God, even today. To understand this properly we must establish that God does not change with regard to sin. Let’s begin by looking at the Old Testament. In the book of Numbers it tells us that God, unlike man, does not change His mind.
Numbers 23:19 “God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?”
In Malachi 3:6 is says:
“For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from My statutes and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts.”
Here, in Malachi, God is reminding Israel that because He does not change He has the right to judge there sinful behavior. However, because of His mercy, His desire is that they turn their hearts back to Him.
The New Testament also provides some clear guidance on the issue. The writer of Hebrews tells us in chapter 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” What a powerful statement about our Lord and Savior. We should take comfort in the fact that Jesus does not change, ever. But Jesus, being God, will ultimately be the judge of all. While He came as a loving Savior to sacrifice Himself on our behalf, He is also the righteous judge. James tells us in James chapter 1, verse 17 that “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” Here James clearly tells us that, with the Father, there is no variation, no shifting shadow. He is stating that there is not even a hint that God will change.
So how is it then that things in society have varied so far from God’s perspective that cultural tendencies have now become the standard?
Man’s desire is to do things his way
Throughout human kind God has never changed but man has changed. The thing of which man has, historically, been most guilty is “doing that which is right in his own eyes.” Proverbs 21:2 tells us “Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, But the LORD weighs the hearts.” God judges by what is in the heart according to His Word not what man perceives to be correct in his own eyes. Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 15:19 “For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.” The heart is the crux of the matter. A truly changed heart will desire to please God and do His will, according to His Word, rather than sufficing to please men. A truly changed heart will exalt God’s Word above the tenants of man.
King Solomon, the wisest king of Israel, summed it up quite well in Proverbs 14:12;
“There is a way which seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death.”
The wise king clearly stated that man digs his own grave by doing what is right in his own eyes rather than following the things that God has laid out in His Word. But the sociological conundrum of the day espouses that everyone is born good and is made bad by their sociological environment. The problem is that God’s Word teaches that men are born with sin nature. Jeremiah tells in Jeremiah 17:9;
The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it?
King David tells us that we are conceived in iniquity and born in sin. Psalm 51:5 “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.” Because of the lack of biblical knowledge on the part of many who profess to be Christians the understanding that we are born with a sinful, selfish heart goes unrecognized or un-emphasized. The sin of Adam is in each of us from conception. The apostle Paul tells us in Romans 5:15 “For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.”
So God’s Word clearly tells us that we are born with the seed of sin in our hearts. But many of the highly educated people of the world tell us the opposite. That being the case, let’s establish what constitutes real knowledge and wisdom.
Sin begins with questioning God’s Word
The true depravity of the heart which leads to sin always begins with questioning God’s Word. The very first sin resulted when Adam and Eve questioned God’s Word. In Genesis 3:1 the serpent began with “Indeed, has God said..” Every sin from that point forward has begun with, and is rooted in, questioning God’s Word.
Many would argue that “studies” have shown certain results. The first question that must be asked is “why” the study was done. Was the study done to validate a perspective that is contrary to God’s Word? If so the study began with the premise of Genesis 3:1 “Indeed, has God said..”
God’s Word clearly tells us that real knowledge and real wisdom begins with the “fear of the Lord.” It tells us in Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” Really? All of the studies that prove the panegyrics of man are wrong? No, only the ones that do not begin with the “fear of the Lord.”
The same applies to wisdom. Only wisdom that begins from an awesome reverence of God can be real wisdom. The writer of Psalms 111 tells us in verse 10:
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all who follow his precepts have good understanding.
To him belongs eternal praise.”
How is it then that so many, who profess to be Christians, buy into the world’s view of wisdom? How is it that alleged Christians would buy into the religious conundrum of the atheist? The answer is simple, they are either completely deceived or they are not Christians at all but religious bench warmers. Let’s review what the apostle Paul told Timothy;
2 Timothy 2:3-4 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.”
The fact that man’s tendency is to do “what is right in his own eyes” is clearly reflected here. Paul warned Timothy that people do not really want to hear the truth of what God has commanded but the things that make them feel good about their sinful nature. The desire to “feel good” about one’s self is exalted to the degree that people are willing to embrace the knowledge and wisdom of the world at the expense of the Truth of God’s Word.
This tendency culminates in questioning God’s Word. Once His Word is allowed to be questioned the door to sinful, worldly, perspective has been opened wide.
Christians are under Grace
But there is more. As Christians we are not under the penalty of the law. The apostle Paul said it very nicely in Romans 6:14 “For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” But if we are under grace does that mean that those who practice sinful behavior can continue without displeasing God? Paul answers this in verse 15 “What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be!” He continues in the following verses (16-19) to clear the matter up once and for all.
“Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.”
Paul declared that we “are slaves of the one whom we obey”. Either “of sin resulting in death” or “obedience resulting in righteousness”. Note that it is “either”, “or”. So the things called out by God’s Word as sin cannot be practiced as part of the believers day-to-day walk and as the believer walks with the Lord they become more a slave of righteousness and less a slave of sin.
With regard to grace there is an area where God clearly relented for the Christian and that is the Laws regarding food. In Acts 10:10-16 Peter had a vision where God declared all things with regard to food as clean. Here is what is says in those verses;
“He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. Then a voice told him, ‘Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.’
‘Surely not, Lord!’ Peter replied. ‘ have never eaten anything impure or unclean.’
The voice spoke to him a second time, ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.’
This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.”
This was an interesting event because Cornelius, a gentile, had been directed by God to send servants to summon Peter. These servants were about to reach the place where Peter was when God gave Peter this vision. It would have been nearly impossible to reach out to a gentile culture under the strict observance of the law with regard to food. That being the case God provided this vision to Peter. Much like Jesus changed the definition of the Sabbath, God also changed the definition of what was clean with regard to food. This clearly exemplifies the fact that Christians, because of Jesus sacrifice on the cross, are clearly under “grace” rather than the penalty of the Law.
The backdrop is now complete. Now established are the following points:
- Homosexuality, along with many other sexually immoral behaviors are sinful and displeasing to God, past, present and future. They are sinful no matter what anyone else thinks no matter how many letters, periods and commas follow their name.
- God never changes but man does change.
- Man’s desire is to do things his way.
- All sin begins with questioning God’s Word.
- Christians are not under the penalty of the Law.
The Fallacious Diatribe
Now that the backdrop is set we can address the internecine points of Mr. Bartlett. First let’s outline those points so we can address each one;
- “I’m interested in selling my youngest daughter into slavery as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7.”
- “My chief of staff, Leo McGarry, insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly says he should be put to death.”
- “Touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean, Leviticus 11:7. If they promise to wear gloves, can the Washington Redskins still play football?”
- “Does the whole town really have to be together to stone my brother John for planting different crops side by side?”
- “Can I burn my mother in a small family gathering for wearing garments made from two different threads?”
Selling my daughter
Let’s begin with the scripture in Exodus 21:7-11;
“If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as male servants do. If she does not please the master who has selected her for himself, he must let her be redeemed. He has no right to sell her to foreigners, because he has broken faith with her. If he selects her for his son, he must grant her the rights of a daughter. If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights. If he does not provide her with these three things, she is to go free, without any payment of money.”
First and foremost the custom of the day, in ancient Israel, was that a man could sell his daughter. Typically this kind of transaction was such that the girl or young lady would become a wife or concubine of another man or his son and that person would become her new master. The ordinance in Exodus 21 was actually designed to protect the rights of the girl or young lady should this occur. Verse 7 does not “sanction” or advocate in any way that a man should sell his daughter. Note that it begins with the word “IF”. Moses simply lays out the boundaries under which the new master could operate in such cases. In particular, the daughter was to be treated as a wife not a slave. Every six years the male slaves were released but this is not the case for a female who was to be treated as a wife or daughter by the new master. Since this is not a custom today, especially in the United States where slavery of any kind has been abolished and is illegal, the point is merely the first point of deflection in the subversive philippic.
Working on the Sabbath
One point where Mr. Bartlett was the closest to being accurate was regarding the Sabbath. The root of this point lies in Exodus 31:15 –
“For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, holy to the LORD; whoever does any work on the sabbath day shall surely be put to death.”
The implication here is that anyone who does any “work” on the Sabbath should be put to death. Yet Jesus disciples picked grain and Jesus healed on the Sabbath. However, the Pharisee’s did not seek to stone the disciples or Jesus for that transgression. Why not?
The answer in simplest form is because Jesus redefined the Sabbath. The intent of the Sabbath is to honor God by resting from work. Here Jesus clearly defined what “work” is from this point forward. The Pharisees had turned the Sabbath into a painfully obvious sacrifice. That being the case Jesus, who is God, laid out what God really intended in His heart.
Matthew 12:1-8 “At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath, and His disciples became hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat. But when the Pharisees saw this, they said to Him, ‘Look, Your disciples do what is not lawful to do on a Sabbath.’ But He said to them, Have you not read what David did when he became hungry, he and his companions, how he entered the house of God, and they ate the consecrated bread, which was not lawful for him to eat nor for those with him, but for the priests alone? Or have you not read in the Law, that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath and are innocent? But I say to you that something greater than the temple is here. But if you had known what this means, ‘I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT A SACRIFICE,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
So what does this passage mean? Jesus confronted the Pharisees because they made great show of keeping the Sabbath but only according to the tradition of man. In so doing Jesus declared Himself “Lord of the Sabbath” but what does that mean? Jesus gave us a hint in by stating “I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT A SACRIFICE”. Here Jesus directly quoted the Old Testament passage in Hosea 6:6 then He took it to the next level. Let’s look at subsequent verses in Matthew 12:9-14
“Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to bring charges against Jesus, they asked him, ‘Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?’
He said to them, ‘If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.’
Then he said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other. But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.”
If doing good on the Sabbath was punishable by death the Pharisees would not have had to “plot” as to how they may kill Jesus. They would have simply invoked Exodus 31:15 and taken Jesus outside the city and stoned him.
Remember, Jesus declared Himself as the “Lord of the Sabbath” and provided the sacrifice on behalf of Christians so that they are not under the penalty of death as prescribed by the Law. Therefore, the use of the Sabbath Law was simply to obfuscate the truth and create another bullet point in the rancorous vociferation.
Touching the Skin of a Dead Pig
This is the most mendacious of all of the points made by Mr. Bartlett. Let’s look at Leviticus 11:7;
“..the pig, for though it divides the hoof, thus making a split hoof, it does not chew cud, it is unclean to you. You shall not eat of their flesh nor touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you.”
First and foremost, the American football is made of cowhide with a rubber, or synthetic rubber, bladder. The term pigskin was used centuries earlier to describe balls that were made of inflated pig bladders. However, in the mid 1800s animal bladders gave way to rubber as the primary means of inflating a football. The oldest known football was found in Stirling Castle, Scotland. The ball was dated back to the 16th century. Even then the pig bladder was covered with what is believed to be deer hide. So not to worry, American football players, the term “pigskin” is merely an ancient slang. You don’t have to wear gloves to avoid touching a dead pigs carcass.
But wait, just how much of a problem would it have been anyway? Mr. Bartlett implies grave consequences should one touch the carcass of a dead pig. Let’s see the actual prescription for violating this ordinance. Leviticus 11:28 “the one who picks up their carcasses shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening; they are unclean to you.”
The prescription was indeed severe should one touch the dead carcass of a pig. The person was under the severe penalty of washing their clothes and remaining privately in their house until evening.
What an inane, dishonest example to use as a means to disqualify God’s Word!
Planting Different Crops Side by Side
The comment, “Does the whole town really have to be together to stone my brother John for planting different crops side by side?”, is simply counterfactual. There are two different scriptures that mention planting two kinds of seed. Let’s review those scriptures:
Leviticus 19:19 “You are to keep My statutes. You shall not breed together two kinds of your cattle; you shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor wear a garment upon you of two kinds of material mixed together.”
Deuteronomy 22:9 “Do not plant two kinds of seed in your vineyard; if you do, not only the crops you plant but also the fruit of the vineyard will be defiled.”
Here Moses is declaring that one should not plant two kinds of seed in the same field or vineyard. However, for these “Sundry Laws” no punishment is defined so the statement that his brother would be stoned by the whole town is simply a lie. Unlike the punishment for sexual sins such as adultery, incest, sodomy and homosexuality these “Laws” were common sense laws.
Have you ever seen a farmer anywhere mix different seed in the planting hopper? The answer is “NO”. But why would the farmer not want to do that? Because it dilutes the crop. Neither of the seeds planted would do as well in the field. It had nothing to do with planting different seed in fields that were side by side but mixing seed in the same field. If you have ever gardened you know that you don’t plant zucchini and summer squash in the same bed. You’ll have strange looking yellow zucchini and summer squash that is splotchy and spotted. You’re crop would be “defiled” as Moses stated in Deuteronomy 22:9. This was a common sense statement not a prescription for death.
This too, was a totally false point in the diatribe!
Wearing Garments Made of Two different Threads
Finally the last statement, “Can I burn my mother in a small family gathering for wearing garments made from two different threads?”, is again a mare’s-nest. This “Sundry Laws” is in the same passage as that of planting two different seed in the same field or vineyard. Here are the scriptures:
Leviticus 19:19 “You are to keep My statutes. You shall not breed together two kinds of your cattle; you shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor wear a garment upon you of two kinds of material mixed together.“
Deuteronomy 22:11 “Do not wear clothes of wool and linen woven together.”
Again there is no mention of punishment for these “Sundry Laws” but the passage in Deuteronomy gives a clarifying clue. So, in fact, here Mr. Bartlett simply tells a fallacious lie. There is no punishment expressed for wearing garments woven with both wool and linen. However, common sense would dictate that you do not try to weave linen and wool as they are two different kinds of thread. Even today clothes manufacturers do not typically weave unlike thread such as wool and linen together in fabrics. So was this an out-of-date declaration or was it a timeless common sense fact?
The final point was just as inaccurate, inane and fallacious as the previous points!
The first clue in the divisive tirade was the deflection away from the subject at hand, homosexuality in this case, which is a classic tactic of the left wing progressives. By creating a melange that deflects away from the real subject matter, they create an atmosphere of obfuscation. This method often leaves the truth swirling the porcelain in perplexity. While this was only a TV program, NBC clearly used the opportunity to make an anti-Christian political statement. In the program Mr. Bartlett’s intent was to, by hook or crook, discredit Dr. Jenna Jacobs, whom he was addressing. Her mistake was not standing in respect of the office of the Presidency. That, indeed, was a mistaken display of disrespect on her part. But rather than ignoring the disrespect as a true statesmen should have done, President Bartlett decided to use the opportunity to attack Dr. Jacobs on the completely unrelated issue of homosexuality. As opposed to insisting on respect for the office of Presidency, rather than the man, Mr. Bartlett descended into the realm of personal attack on issues that had nothing to do with the violation of protocol. In the process he demonstrated complete disdain for God’s Word by inaccurately or mendaciously quoting scripture rather than reflecting the real content and intent of God’s Word. To be clear this was scripted by the producers of the show and sanctioned by NBC. The goal was to make a statement against Christian values and provide bogus ammunition to the truly intolerant left.
It is completely disheartening that so many “Christians” fall into the trap of the intolerant left’s pernicious representation of the Bible because they have not studied God’s Word for themselves. One of the founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton said; “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” The fact that many who claim to be Christians do not regularly study and meditate on God’s Word is the reason they do not have the spiritual comprehension required to reject such pernicious assaults on God and His Word.
Finally, the entire oration was “The West Wing Left Wing Deflection and Deception” assault on Christian values that are rooted in God’s Word. My prayer is that we, as Christians, will begin to stand up and be the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world” as Jesus stated in Matthew 5:13-20. I will conclude with those verses:
v13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.”
v14-16 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
v17-19 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
v20 “For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”
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