WORLD enters the Promised Land...
Father Bill Mouser submitted this excellent comment under the post, WORLD's schtick.... Reading the original post may be necessary to understand this comment. (TB)
Do not defile yourselves by any of these things; for by all these the nations which I am casting out before you have become defiled. For the land has become defiled, therefore I have brought its punishment upon it, so the land has spewed out its inhabitants. (Leviticus 18:24, 25)
Imagine for a moment Joshua facing Israel as it's perched on the east side of the Jordan river, addressing that nation this way:
"For the longest time I’ve struggled to put my finger on just what I believe about homosexuality. Or, for that matter, about incest. Or, for crying out loud, Moloch worship. Forty years ago, after all that sturm und drang at the foot of Sinai, I think I would have come down pretty solid on the line of “absolutely not.”
"But, I’m not sure I can say that anymore. Wait a minute: It isn’t that I think homosexuality, or incest, or Moloch worship, or anything else Moses wrote in Leviticus 18, is OK and is something YHWH overlooks or agrees with. But it is that I’m understanding a little better that what is commanded of us Jews is simply not the same as what we should expect from those who inhabit the land YHWH has given to us...
"My friend Abdul ben-Baal is a celibate homosexual follower of our camp. I have another friend, Moloch Meleki, who never worships Moloch while he's wandering through the desert with us. And my dear young friend Edward Oedipus is a paragon of faithfulness to his elderly wife, and his burgeoning brood is a model of familial fecundity to us all. Knowing and loving these friends has been formative in helping me understand the struggle of some of us Jews who find themselves wondering what it means that they struggle with homosexual orientation, or a lust to bed their mothers and sisters and grandmothers; or those who seem unable to avoid thinking of roasting their babies to a crisp. I asked each of them for their thoughts on how all these things are perfectly legal in the land of the Canaanites where we are going. Their answers, if I may summarize them together, amounted to this:
I tend to think we Jews shouldn’t behave as if our viewpoint on any of these practices resonates, deep down, with everyone, . . . because it doesn’t. We tend to think every Canaanite really knows that that these things are wrong, but when we say that, we’re just not listening to Canaanites people well enough about how their (our) orientation toward all these things is "hardwired" and not "chosen."
What that means in terms of specific policies when we cross the Jordan, I don’t know. I’m inclined to think that we Jews shouldn’t have much of a problem with Canaanite governments sanctioning all these things. Even our premier family organization Purposeful Patriarchs has recently admitted that we Jews pretty much have no street cred within any of the Canaanite enclaves. (Wasn’t there a recent interview with a PP employee in WORLD to that effect?)
As Paul Griffiths says, "What Israel ought do . . . is to burnish the practice of marriage and family [as we Jews do it] until its radiance dazzles the pagan Canaanite eye." Our best apologetic for "traditional marriage and family" is the beauty of the Jewish lives we live. We ought to woo the Canaanites towards it rather than to legislate its acceptance.
"So, put away those swords and spears, my brothers. Let us cross this Jordan and engage the Canaanites and their culture with the hope that in the marketplace of ideas, ours will not only find a hearing, but will prevail among those who lust after their fellows, and bed their mothers, and sacrifice their children to a god who is just as thirsty for our blood as he is for the roasting flesh of their babies."
There we go. Ever so much more accessible to our culture than what some narrow-minded prophet claims Joshua did in Joshua chapter 6, right?