Scripture calls some things abominations. How can we call these things good?
Evangelicals fall over themselves trying to apologize to the LGBTQ+++ moevement for its homophobia, transphobia, and other sins. One question is outstanding (or should be): “What does God say about this whole business? Add to this question, “What does God have to say about the sexual revolution, and it’s handmaid, abortion?” This little article is not for those beholden to the hermeneutical disaster that attempts to separate the God of the Old Testament from Jesus, and Jesus from Paul. Scripture must be understood as a total entity. The Bible is a unity. While it interprets itself through its various genres and historical moments, it is not contradictory, unless one really, really, wants it to be. If you’ve been told that the Bible is unclear on these matters you have been misled. But the inspiration, nature, and authority of Scripture will have to wait for another article.
So what is an abomination anyway?
A quick word search will show that the word occurs much less frequently one might think (118 times in 112 verses). The Hebrew term תּוֹעֵבָה, (toevah) is usually translated “abomination” or “abominable image” (as in idolatry). Specifically, it is used in these ways:
Homosexuality, Idolatry, bestiality, (Leviticus 18:22-26)
Idolatry (Deuteronomy 7:25; 27:15; Isaiah 44:18-20; Jeremiah 32:35
Occult practises (Deuteronomy 18:9-14)
Transgenderism (Deuteronomy 22:5)
Cult prostitution (Deuteronomy 23:18)
False divorce (Deuteronomy 24:4)—a form of wife swapping
False measurements meant to deceive (Deuteronomy 25:16)
Practising abominable actions provokes God’s wrath (Deuteronomy 32:16); forgetting God and sacrificing to demons.
Abominations are the cause of God’s judgement: a complete list can be found here.
The Problem for Allies
Here is the problem for those who wish to be more accepting, those who consider themselves allies with the LGBTQ+ movement: it remains an abomination. This has not changed. For the Christian to think otherwise, he must see an abomination as a good thing; that is, an abomination must somehow become good.
The problem is exacerbated because continuing in sexual immorality is disqualifying for salvation (1 Corinthians 5). Even approval of sin is deadly to the soul (Romans 1:32).
But Biblical revelation is progressive. This means that in Scripture God reveals His will and plan through time. Are there any examples of an abomination which are later to accepted as good? Can we show an example where an abomination was later called a positive good? Food laws come to mind. Wasn’t bacon once considered unclean? But note that forbidden foods are called unclean, טָמֵא (pronounced tame), not abominations. There is one place, Deuteronomy 14:3, that forbids the eating of an abomination and then lists unclean foods. Are we to conclude from this single example that, because Jesus made all foods clean (Mark 7:14-23 and Acts 10:9-16), He therefore turned an abomination into a good?
No, because the context (Deuteronomy 14:3) indicates that in this particular instance, eating is connected to pagan mourning rituals. These ceremonies were idolatrous and occult practises. These are abominations, and eating that food was ritually connected to them. Here is not a list of non-kosher foods to be avoided at the supermarket, but a warning against idolatry.
The important difference between unclean foods and abominable actions is that the former is ritual uncleanliness that has passed away in the New Covenant, and the latter is a moral and spiritual category that still stands. An abomination is an affront to the holiness of God. There is no reason from anywhere else in Scripture that might lead us to believe otherwise.
The New Testament confirms the Old Testament view in that abomination (βδελυσσομαι, bdelussomai) both speaks of idolatry and sexual immorality—See Matthew 24:15 and Revelation 17:4-5.
How Can we say, “It is good”?
When we speak of human sexuality, it must be remembered that creation is good, and after man and woman are created God says “it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). Male and Female are realities rooted in creation. Furthermore, in Genesis 2:18 we read that “it is not good for the man to be alone.” God made a helper for the man, which was a woman; not another man, not an animal, not a plant. This is significant because in God’s eyes man and woman are made for each other, and this excludes homosexuality and lesbianism at the level of creational. Transgenderism denies the established reality of what a man is and what a woman is. It is a creational norm. This fact is evident in the very strong language of abomination. This then is God’s judgement upon against defying His good creation.
In order to say “it is good” with respect to whatever is advance by the sexual revolution and the LGBTQ+ movement, all else God has said about these things must be denied. If these abominations are good we must see that in Scripture. This is clearly not what we find.
Scripture must be the standard of judgement.