This is the second episode in a three part series that I’m doing with the Rev. Dr. Marcia Ledford who runs a magnificent website called PoliticalTheologyMatters.com. In this series we are tackling the clobber passages from the Hebrew Bible which conservative church people like to misinterpret and use to condemn us and make themselves feel better. Marcia is super passionate about the rights of the Alphabet Community and is also very well educated which helps a hell of a lot. The title of today’s blog of interest is LEVITICUS LACKS AN UNDERSTANDING OF LOVING LBGT RELATIONSHIPS. I really hope this sets someone FREE!!!
INCLUDED IN THIS EPISODE (But not limited to):
· Discussion Of The “Clobber” Passages Used To Bash The LGBTQIA+ Community
· The HYPOCRISY Of Conservative Christians
· How Conservatives Manipulate Scripture To Condemn Others And Justify Themselves
· The Issue Of SUICIDE Due To Misuse Of Scripture
· The Importance Of Learning What’s In The Bible For YOURSELF!!! – #READINGISFUNDAMENTAL
· Why It’s Healthy To Question Religion And Denominations
· How To Properly Interpret Scripture
· How Special *Semen* Is!!!
· A Deep Dive Into The Book Of Leviticus
· The Culture Of The Israelites Vs. Modern Day Society
· Holiness Defined
· Why MASTURBATION Is Totally Cool
· Ex-Vangelical Defined
CONNECT WITH MARCIA:
· How To Think Theologically: https://amzn.to/3hkvdfN
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[00:00:00] You’re listening to the sex drugs and Jesus podcast, where we discuss whatever the fuck we want to. And yes, we can put sex and drugs and Jesus all in the same bed and still be all right. At the end of the day, my name is De’Vannon and I’ll be interviewing guests from every corner of this world. As we dig into topics that are too risky for the morning show, as we strive to help you understand what’s really going on in your.
[00:00:24] There was nothing on the table and we’ve got a lot to talk about. So let’s dive right into this episode.
[00:00:34] De’Vannon: This is the second episode I’m doing in a three part series with the great Reverend Dr. Marcia Ledford, who runs a magnificent, phenomenal website called politicaltheologymatters.com in this series, we are tackling those clobber passages from the Hebrew Bible, which conservative church people like the misinterpret and then use to condemn us and make themselves feel better.[00:01:00]
[00:01:00] Marcia is super passionate about the rights of the alphabet community and that she’s also super, very well educated and well versed in matters of the Bible. And, you know, that helps a hell of a lot. And so the title of today’s blog is Leviticus Lacks an Understanding of loving LGBT relationships. I really hope this sets someone free.
[00:01:31] Marcia, it’s so great to have you back on the show today. How are you
[00:01:34] Marcia: feeling? I’m feeling great today and thank you to Bannon. It’s lovely to be back with you.
[00:01:41] De’Vannon: Lovely as always, uh, same here. And so, uh, today we are going to be tackling another one of your beautiful blogs from your amazing blog page on your website.
[00:01:56] Um, we’re going to be talking about [00:02:00] Leviticus and the title of the blog is Leviticus, lax and understanding of loving LGBT relations. And as a super important passage to talk about because so many churches and so many people who are supposed to be preachers use these scriptures in order to try to manipulate in otherwise intimidate people.
[00:02:21] Uh, but before we get into that juiciness, tell us a little bit about your website and your history.
[00:02:27] Marcia: Sure. Uh, for the first 30 years of my working life, I’ve been a civil rights attorney and, uh, I sensed a call to ordained ministry as a teenager, but I wasn’t seeing women at the pulpit and the alter when I was coming of age in the late seventies and early eighties.
[00:02:49] So I decided to go into law and I became a civil rights attorney cause I it’s a way to help people. Uh, but I became [00:03:00] increasingly frustrated because you can’t argue the gospel in court necessarily and hope to be success. And in my late forties, it seemed like the holy spirit was not going to let this go and kept poking me.
[00:03:13] So I decided to go to seminary and get into the ordination process. And, uh, then after I was ordained, I worked in the Latino community in Southwest Detroit, and I was appalled at what I saw our government, our laws doing to families, tearing them apart. And so I just started to study political theology and, uh, got a doctor of ministry.
[00:03:45] And since then I started political theology matters and that’s what I’m working on. Full-time to equip the faithful, uh, to engage in faith based advocacy for greater social justice. [00:04:00]
[00:04:01] De’Vannon: Yay. We can all use a lot more social justice, especially in this political climate that we’re in right now. You know, when I was in school, I remember reading where like church and state was supposed to be separated and in all of that.
[00:04:17] And so it seems like church and state are like, arm-in-arm these days we’ve got, you know, churches, endorsing political people and, and it’s, it’s just a hot mess from what it’s become. So I think their website is absolutely quintessential is crucial, is unnecessary, and it helps to break down a lot of confusion and I’m excited to see the direction that it’s headed in.
[00:04:43] And then that is a political theology matters that come, which will be in the show notes.
[00:04:52] Absolutely must sugar. And let’s see. Um, so today in particular, we’re going to be focusing on [00:05:00] Leviticus chapter 18 and 22 and Leviticus 20 and verse 13, I’m going to read these two scriptures and then we’re going to get into like a history first, before we really dive into them. And I’ll explain how we’re going to matriculate go through this.
[00:05:16] So Leviticus 18 and 22 says you shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination Leviticus 20 and 13 says if a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall be put to death, their blood is upon them. And so you talk about in the blog, the difference between looking at a verse in a standalone fashion versus looking at the verses that perceived them in, come after them.
[00:05:48] In order to avoid. What would, what you’re talking about is a pretext, a pretext, this kind of like a preconceived notion or something that you’re infusing Intuit, or as you say, a [00:06:00] foregone conclusion, and, um, you define it more precisely a pretext. You said it can involve a concealing, an intent to mislead understanding or interpretation.
[00:06:14] A former pretext concerns offering an interpretation while concealing a preconceived motive or agenda such as can send me the condemning all homosexual relationships across time. And so, and so what we’re going to be doing today is looking at looking at the scriptures and adding some context to them and kind of showing people ways that they can go through the Bible and figure out, uh, the true truth on their own and really take a look at it.
[00:06:44] And so what we’re saying here, Is that the people who have explained these passages over time, didn’t do a thorough enough job in a lot of their own prejudices and hate were infused into the [00:07:00] translations that were given.
[00:07:04] And so you can go ahead in and speak to us, please, Marcia, about context pretext and why it’s important to really take the whole picture when we’re looking at scripture.
[00:07:19] Marcia: Okay. So thank you for that. Davana because that really sets the stage for us. Uh, the Reverend Dr. Jesse Jackson has a quote that I love that is a text without a context is a pretext.
[00:07:41] And so if you go in. To look at scripture, if any of us do, uh, and say we just narrow, narrow in or laser in on one or two verses with the idea that when we want to prove something that’s already in our minds, [00:08:00] we are operating with a pretext. And that has been how these Leviticus passages have been read for a long time and keep in mind that, uh, patriarchy is very much at work here.
[00:08:20] And, um, the idea that a man would be penetrated like a woman would be penetrated, uh, was anathema to their understanding of gender roles and, um, you know, played into how the female. Uh, his subordinate, not only in the culture, but, um, in terms of concepts like this. So one of the reasons that this was, uh, prohibited [00:09:00] was to maintain the patriarchal order.
[00:09:05] Um, another reason was, uh, the Canaanites were engaging in temple cultic prostitution, and one of the most important reasons that we have Leviticus so that the Israelites could conduct themselves in ways that were very distinctive from any other of their surrounding nations. It was a way for them to set themselves apart.
[00:09:34] And so engaging in temple prostitution at all was, uh, prohibited. Uh, and, uh, either gender. So we have that to consider, and there would have been, even though the Israelites through God’s intervention, defeated the Canaanites to take over their land, they were still there. Uh, and they would have, you know, [00:10:00] um, um, had social contact with the Canaanites.
[00:10:05] And in fact, they needed the Canaanites, the help them learn how to grow crops because, uh, the Israelites had wandered the desert. They were nomads, they relied, they ate off of their herds and the manna, they, uh, you know, ate milk and cheese and, um, uh, they weren’t in the habit of growing things. So there was.
[00:10:32] There’s going to be social interaction. And, um, that’s how they would have learned some of these cultic practices. And, um, other kinds of behaviors, fear that, uh, the writers of living in Leviticus had codified that went against what God wanted them to do. Israel was a tiny nation. It was surrounded. Uh, they had to have sons, they had to build [00:11:00] an army.
[00:11:00] It was constantly on their mind. And one of the things that we see in Leviticus is the blessings of land and children are tied very carefully to, uh, doing what the holy code said, the purity code. And if you engaged in conduct that did not result in LA intimate children, uh, you got spit out of the light.
[00:11:28] You were, you know, the language is literally you become vomited from the land. And that’s part of why it’s important to read the verses around a particular text to find out what’s going before and after we call this a canonical reading, you know, sometimes you can read the whole chapter before and after averse.
[00:11:51] Sometimes you would read the whole, uh, book, uh, but then canonical reading is very, very [00:12:00] important to help us set the proper context so that we really understand what’s going on.
[00:12:08] So, um, engaged in conduct that would result in an illegitimate child or no children at all, uh, that was a violation of God’s law. And so that’s another reason why, um, uh, male to male sex would have been prohibited because it’s a spilling of seed and the spilling of seed or semen, semen was considered a finite quantity.
[00:12:36] It was a, it had a, um, you know, it had a very holy, uh, aspect to it. And so wasting it so that you’re not creating children by, it was considered very sinful. All of these factors weigh in to these passages that typically have been used to just [00:13:00] clobber LGBT people right over the head. So let’s look, uh, at what Leviticus, uh, sets forth for people.
[00:13:15] It, it, um, Regulates a lot of different kinds of conduct. And I’ll give you some quick examples and then we’ll get to the ones that we’re really going to deal with in this discussion. But the manner in which animals were sacrificed for Thanksgiving or atonement, there are specific rules about that. The means of atonement for individual and for communal sin.
[00:13:38] And that’s important because, uh, these prohibitions against male to male sex would have, uh, addressed communal sin. Another words now bearing children that would be a communal sin, uh, cure the care of curable skin diseases, [00:14:00] the annual cycle of daily Sabbath and festival rituals. All of this is covered in Leviticus.
[00:14:06] It’s a very comprehensive holiness code, uh, regulating the purification of women after menses and childbirth. Regulating the purification of men after seminal emission regulating the purification of anyone coming in contact with a court. Now we get into the four that we’re dealing with, prohibited sexual relations with close kin prohibiting child sacrifice, which we believe was, uh, practiced by the Canaanites to the God Malek, prohibiting a man, having sex with another man and prohibiting anyone, having sex with an animal.
[00:14:54] So, um, you know, this isn’t an exhaustive list, but you get the [00:15:00] idea. Um, and particularly we’re focusing on passages to do with fertility, killing children or progeny or wasting semen with other men and animals. And if you want to get a much longer list, you can go to Leviticus, especially if you need some sleep to to get us 18 and check it out for yourself.
[00:15:22] De’Vannon: It’s very interesting to me, how so many of the things on this list, like say the, um, regulating the purification of men after seminal emission. So that basically man, after man had a wet dream, he couldn’t, he had to go and like purify himself in a way, like if a woman, uh, was having her period, you know, she couldn’t like be around other people and stuff like that.
[00:15:52] And now, you know, in this day in time, you know, if I have a wet dream, it’s totally cool. I need to like take a [00:16:00] shower and go out and, you know, in a metal with people, a woman can be on her period and just handle that and just still got mixed society. Right. You know, so, so much of this. You know, we don’t even fool with, you know, any more at all.
[00:16:15] And nobody, even to the second thought about an eye or a wink, you know, if they sort of it’s this, this, this sort of thing, it’s like people pick and choose what they still want to clobber people with and what it was just going to like be okay. But, you know, but strictly speaking, if somebody is going to reach back to Leviticus and be like, well, it says men are not supposed to be doing this within.
[00:16:43] That means, you know, every month, you know, women should just disappear and go into hiding, you know, when they have their periods and for God’s sakes, every time a man ejaculated in his sleep at night, you know, the, we got to go into hiding too. You know, you see that would be too [00:17:00] inconvenient for most people, you know, your conservatives and evangelicals and everybody included.
[00:17:05] Aren’t going to want to sequester themselves on a damn near continual basis. But, you know, it’s easy to go in here and throw shade at the things that people don’t like, but if you’re going to enforce one part of something, so strictly, then you really should enforce the whole thing or nothing at all.
[00:17:24] Right. You know? And so I just wanted to highlight the hypocrisy of it, you know, of it all because where they’re pulling this from, they don’t ever talk about all of these other rules and stuff like that. Um, regarding administration and a thousand other things, like you said, the list is long. It goes for chapters and chapters and chapters in the book of Leviticus.
[00:17:47] It’s like a whole book of the law, you know, which is what they call it. But people only, you know, conservative people only want to take a few pieces of it. And like I said, in our first interview, [00:18:00] you know, the majority of us are not Israelites anyway, you know, and, and this stuff is very unique to them and to their culture in the book of acts, you know, we were reprieved.
[00:18:09] Um, we were relinquished of the responsibility to follow the Levitical code and not, uh, not a few pieces of it, you know, you know, we are not of the bloodline of Abraham. And so none of this applies to us, you know, if you choose to follow the way of Jesus, but if you want to be bound by this, you can, but we were released from all of this.
[00:18:31] Right. And so,
[00:18:35] Marcia: right. Uh, and w you know, we refer to this as a cell activity when you, uh, you know, rely on some portions, but not others. And that has, that’s been a critique of, uh, theologians who are in support of the LGBTQ communities by saying that, you know, look, if you’re going to eat shellfish, uh, then you’ve got to [00:19:00] recognize that this is also a part of the, the purity code.
[00:19:04] And, um, you know, they’re all on equal footing. None is considered more, uh agregious than another, at least it doesn’t state that. And so you’re being hypocritical when you enforce parts of it, but not others. Like you said, what you like, you keep and what you don’t like you get rid of as is convenient for yourself.
[00:19:27] So, uh, that’s, that’s a serious problem. Uh, when we have people who, uh, are Christians and, uh, eat clothes, uh, or wear clothes of mixed textiles and eat shrimp and, uh, all of those things, but then take these specific passages and start, uh, demeaning, humiliating, uh, creating a superior position for themselves by [00:20:00] attacking LGBT people.
[00:20:03] Uh, and that’s, that’s why I thought it was so important to write about this because a lot of times people don’t spend, you know, any study on what the words at the time meant, what the context is. And, uh, it’s very dangerous when you start, uh, emotionally and spiritually harming people with specific passages of the Bible in an attacking mode.
[00:20:32] Uh, people take their lives over stuff like this, and we have to.
[00:20:38] De’Vannon: They do. We rebuke suicide. We’re not having it in this, and this is the way that we’re rebuking it. Not just in word, but indeed, but through education, correct. Because growing up, you know, people hand those Bibles, they tell us to believe what’s in it.
[00:20:52] And we do. And it’s not until what they got. Nobody ever told me to fact check context, research and be [00:21:00] sure of, they just said, this is it. And you know, and that, that was, that was the wrong advice to, to give me a, for them to give us. And they really did us all with this service, but we now have so much information at our fingertips and we don’t have to wait for a preacher to tell us, you know, what’s in the Bible or what said exactly and everything like that.
[00:21:22] And now you’ve mentioned something I hadn’t thought of before, but how the children of Israel, when they left Egypt, they were roaming through the wilderness. So they did not have time. Too. They, they, they didn’t sit still long enough to grow a garden because they were always having to move. And yeah, the older people who were in Egypt were there long enough to grow stuff, but by the time they made it that cane and they had all got it, killed all them all off because they get stem off.
[00:21:46] And, um, so the children that were born in the wilderness never knew anything about gardening and that’s near and dear to my heart because I, I keep a crop in the backyard. I just pulled some Kush off squash off of there [00:22:00] and some cucumbers as well. And so, uh, I love the garden. Um, and, um, uh, just like, uh, that was a, that was able, I think it was able was the garden there of paint and Abel back in the book of Genesis.
[00:22:18] And so, so y’all when she talks about holiness, what she means it. The same thing as like say sanctified in the new Testament, which is to be set apart. So to be holy doesn’t mean to be walking around with like a halo glowing off of you or anything like that. It means that like the world is doing this, or like in the case of the Israelites, every nation around you is not a sacrifice.
[00:22:44] Their children are, have temple prostitution and worship other gods and stuff like that, but y’all are not going to do that. You’re going to be different because I’m the Lord, your God, y’all way, whatever you want to call me. And they have different gods. So [00:23:00] holiness is the term used to define people who care about the Lord and want to follow him versus those who don’t.
[00:23:07] And so when, so when we’re talking about holiness or the holiness code, this is what this is now. It’s a very strict code, but they lived in a strict time. You know, things were a lot of rough. People were walking everywhere that it didn’t have Alexa this and Mercedes-Benz to drive us around. We didn’t have, you know, the internet and stuff like that.
[00:23:26] And so they, it was hot. It was very, very hot. And then you could turn around and be very, very cold, you know, that’s how those, the Eric climates are. And so the Lord was dealing with a rough people during a rough time, you know, specific to them at that time. But you know, here in the year, 20, 21, like, like I said earlier, people are not going to stay home because they’re menstruating.
[00:23:50] They’re not interested in being restricted. They’re not going to put a mask on, they’re not going to do anything that they don’t fucking want to do. Let [00:24:00] alone everything that’s written in the book of Leviticus, but we can focus just on the gay people.
[00:24:07] Marcia: Right, exactly. Right.
[00:24:13] De’Vannon: But the Lord, but Jesus warned people against the property.
[00:24:16] Oh, yes. In his ministry, he didn’t say anything about the gays, but he said a hell of a lot about hypocrisy. And that really, really, really, really got on Jesus’ nerves. And, um, so conservative people have been warned against their hypocrisy and hypocrisy is in pride to go hand in hand and it’s blinding.
[00:24:35] And that’s why people cannot read through the Bible and find themselves in it, although they can find other people in it because when they read through it, they’re not looking for themselves. You know, they’re reading it to see what’s wrong with everyone else in the world, as opposed as opposed to what’s wrong with
[00:24:52] Marcia: them.
[00:24:53] I believe Jesus said something like quit worrying about the lug and somebody else or the splinter in somebody else’s eye [00:25:00] and look at the log in your own.
[00:25:02] De’Vannon: Yeah. Depending on which version you read.
[00:25:04] Marcia: Yeah. But I mean, the point there is, you know, quit wearing, get up, getting up and other people’s business and just worry about your.
[00:25:14] De’Vannon: Dan, another party calls them busy bodies, meddling and other men’s affairs. Yeah,
[00:25:20] Marcia: exactly. Exactly. So, um, yeah, like, uh, one of the examples I give in the blog is if you read a text, uh, and it says that a killed B and you have no other information, none, you can’t really draw a conclusion. You don’t know if a kill be in self-defense or in the defense of a third party.
[00:25:50] Um, and was, you know, indicating he was going to use fatal force B was against a, you don’t know this, you can’t, you can’t make, [00:26:00] uh, you can’t learn, you can’t draw conclusions when the information on its face, doesn’t give it. No, when the text on its face, doesn’t give you the information that you need. And so that’s part of what we do when we consider the historical context of, uh, of a verse or set of verses, because unless, you know, the history of the Canaanites, um, your ability to really appreciate what this is saying becomes compromised.
[00:26:36] And that’s exactly what has happened in interpreting these two passages over time. Um, and I would like to, uh, Uh, add in a couple of verses if it’s okay with you that I’m talking about in terms of what’s happening before what’s happening around the text
[00:26:58] De’Vannon: to read, [00:27:00]
[00:27:00] Marcia: to read some more, and this is what you know, plays into why these prohibitions were happening, because they’re supposed to be making babies.
[00:27:10] De’Vannon: And that’s the fun part. Uh, I just have to say before you get started to home, I gate children out there as, as a mother Ru as mother Ru, uh, Paul would tell us, baby reading is fundamental
[00:27:23] Marcia: and I love her. All right. Now, do not defile yourselves by any of these things for all of these nations. I am casting out before you defile themselves.
[00:27:38] Another words I cast out the Canaanites because they were doing this stuff to make room for you. So the, the Canaanites were vomited out of their land. Okay. The land became to file so that I punished it’s inequity and the land vomited out its [00:28:00] inhabitants, but you shall keep my statutes and my ordinances.
[00:28:04] And do none of these abominations, either the native or the stranger who sojourns among you for all of these abominations, the men of the land did, who were before you, so that the land became defiled less, the land vomit you out when you defile it, as it vomited out the nation that was before you for whoever shall do any of these abominations, that person shall be cut off from among them.
[00:28:37] So keep my charge, never to practice any of these abominable customs, which were practiced before you and never to defile yourselves by them. I am the Lord, your God.
[00:28:54] okay. And what happened? Israel get vomited out [00:29:00] because it did not stay true to worshiping Yahweh and it defiled the land and they got taken away to Babylon. Right.
[00:29:14] De’Vannon: Right.
[00:29:16] Marcia: Okay. So, uh, And this language, mind you is you shall so it’s mandatory. This is not some suggestion that God is making. This is what you are going to do.
[00:29:30] If you’re going to have this land and be blessed with milk and honey, then this is what you’re going to do. Um,
[00:29:44] so Canaan has been vomited out to make room for the Israelites, uh, in the, uh, passage in chapter 18. It references Malec the God that [00:30:00] the Canaanites apparently were conducting child sacrifice. Um, there’s no male to male conduct or having sex with animals. This all goes back to being, um, you know, creating progeny for the power of Israel.
[00:30:18] Uh, so it’s not quite as simple as just, uh, you know, there’s no gay sex because at the time they didn’t even understand what that would mean. Like we do. Now, this was just about copying the Canaanites in some of their sexual practices. You look like, you want to say something
[00:30:41] De’Vannon: well, I’m listening to you in a month just thinking and chewing on the information and processing.
[00:30:46] Um, you’re right. Because, um, it was a lot of, it was about procreation and stuff like that. And I’m, I’m reminded of the, um, Th there’s a, there’s an instance that [00:31:00] happened when like a man was having sex with a woman and he did not want to come inside of her. And so God killed him.
[00:31:09] Yeah. Yeah. Um, and I thought that that was a beautiful, if DACA would use such, it could use such a word to describe it beautifully relates. So we’re talking about because the, of what happened own and went in to have sex with this one. Oh, that’s what it was.
[00:31:27] Marcia: It was levered at marriage. He had to marry his, his brother’s wife because he died.
[00:31:32] And Leveritt marriage means that, uh, the brother who conceives a child with the widow, that child belongs to the brother.
[00:31:44] De’Vannon: Right. And he did not want to honor his brother. They clearly had a misunderstanding of enlightenment, something like that. And if he, so the man was treacherous and instead of telling the woman, he didn’t want to fool with her in any way, he wanted to use her for her body and have the sex would not raise [00:32:00] the child.
[00:32:00] I have a child. And so the Lord saw that in the Bible. It does say that his semen spilled on the ground right now. They use this scripture in the Pentecostal church to tell us not to masturbate. And they were like, when you see the seam semen, we had spilled on the ground. So therefore when you masturbate, it goes on the ground, which it doesn’t necessarily have to honey.
[00:32:22] There’s all kinds of things you can do with that good baby gravy. And, um, and you, so, and that was an example of them taking it out of context and using it to manipulate us because they felt like masturbation was devil, but it’s also, um, A great way to illustrate how Siri is. God was about the raising of children.
[00:32:42] You know, if a man has sex with a woman and he, and he comes inside of a condom, it’s stealing go inside of her anyway. So, so that’s a foolish thing in terms of, Hey, you shouldn’t masturbate because of this one scripture. Um, but
[00:32:56] Marcia: I wanted you to, did they also teach that using a [00:33:00] condom was, um, sinful, not
[00:33:02] De’Vannon: in the Pentecostal church.
[00:33:03] They don’t go that far with it. They pick and choose,
[00:33:10] but strictly, strictly speaking, but if you’re going to go by the Levitical code, then yeah. Contraceptives are totally not of God. Right? Period, Blaine. He’s not interested in contraceptives. He wants, if you’ve got to have sex, then have children. Otherwise what’s the point. According to this Levitical code.
[00:33:29] But straight people are not a mess. Straight people, conservative people are not interested in hearing that because they don’t, they want to, you know, you know, get their tubes tied and gave them a second gummies and whatever they can, so they can have as much sex as they possibly can without having to be bothered with too many children.
[00:33:45] And this is totally acceptable in conservative circle that I don’t have an opinion about it one way or the other, because I’m going to adopt one day and it’s not my business, what the fuck to other people want to do. They can find themselves in the Bible. But for [00:34:00] those who, um, who have a problem with so many things that people want to do, honey, you you’ve already been written about.
[00:34:09] Marcia: I heard a story of, uh, a fellow who had a bird that he named Onan because he would spill his seed onto the boat.
[00:34:21] So I thought I’d just throw that in there. So a little bit little humor there. Um,
[00:34:29] De’Vannon: I’ll never look at the birds that feed on my bird theater in the backyard, the same when the seeds fall out of there in the ground.
[00:34:39] Marcia: So let’s, uh, I said something about gay sex and then, you know, the word homosexuality, uh, that’s a relatively modern term coined in, I think, 1869.
[00:34:53] Um, it’s not a term that’s been around very long, certainly not nearly as long as when these passages were written, [00:35:00] uh, the concept of sexual orientation that we have today would not have been something that made sense to folks back then. And so let’s talk about, uh, anachronism when you take a term. Um, and you put it, you use it in a context that would be inappropriate.
[00:35:20] So do you use the term homosexual with the understanding that we have of what that is today and sexual orientation to, to, uh, translate, to interpret Leviticus using these terms would be to engage in using an anachronism. In other words, something that doesn’t belong there because the context is wrong, the context is completely off.
[00:35:52] So one of the examples I used in the, in the other blog that we talked about with Paul was if you were watching Ben Hur, which [00:36:00] is a movie that has Jesus in it, uh, Ben her’s played by Charlton Heston and he’s a charioteer and he is in races in the Coliseum. And if so, if there was a car. You know, uh, 20, 21 Corvette in this race, uh, that would be an anachronism.
[00:36:21] And likewise, a chariot in a modern day grand Prix would be an anachronism. So it had to be very, very careful about, uh, either blatantly or surreptitiously, secretly trying to, uh, build meaning into a text that is out of time with it. And that’s another thing that has gone on very much so, because we are now post enlightenment, we have the social sciences, we study human sexuality, we study, [00:37:00] uh, all sorts of things about being human.
[00:37:03] And we know so much more about, um, sexuality and, and sexual health and all. In 1973, the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental health or mental health removed the word homosexuality as a disorder, 1973, it was the DSM three, which was the current one at the time. We’re now up to five. So a modern psychiatry and psychology does not view homosexuality as a mental disorder.
[00:37:42] And yet we still see, uh, the refusal to incorporate our modern context of the social sciences in our understanding about human sexuality. And we’re still trying to cram them into the Bible, a document that was written [00:38:00] 20 1800 new Testament. What about 1900 years ago? And the old Testament much longer. So this is a problem because what it does is it, it gives a false justification to those who are trying to demean and criticize and exclude LGBT people.
[00:38:26] Um, by, uh, reading current phrasiology into super old texts and it is, uh, the consequences can be fatal doing stuff like this.
[00:38:42] De’Vannon: Right. And, um, it’s being a mental health. I just want to say globally speaking, there’s like a lot of mental health problems and you know, some are diagnosed, some are diagnosable and then some are not so a parent.[00:39:00]
[00:39:00] And so these people conservative people, otherwise generally hateful folks who are using these scriptures to try to dominate and manipulate other people in their head. They may not necessarily think that they are doing that. It depends on their level of awareness. Um, like when, when I was, when I was getting my hypnotherapy certification, I learned a great, quite a great deal about like the subconscious, which is like, I think it was 88% of the brain and the 12% is conscious.
[00:39:31] And then, which means that you’re in a working belief system and values things that you don’t even think about are running on autopilot. And that’s driving the majority of what you do from one day to the next, you know, unless you reach higher levels of consciousness and enlightenment. And so some of these people were setting up here in these churches, telling everybody what all they’re going to go to hell for.
[00:39:52] And, you know, you gotta get out, you can’t stay here. May not even be consciously aware that they’re operating from [00:40:00] a space of what we’re talking about here, using it at an acronystic approach, prejudice and hateful. They may not even, it. Think of that, you know? And so this is why we cannot trust other people, you know, everything that just calls out of somebody’s mouth.
[00:40:18] You know, we got to go and look at it for our self because, you know, we don’t really know what’s truly motivating people and they don’t either.
[00:40:26] Marcia: Right. Um, it, it reminds me of, you know, how does a fish know it’s in water? We are all, especially if we’re raised in the church, I’m going to talk about this. Um, we are taught of theology as we are growing up, our parents or grandparents or elders, um, are teachers and pastors, all of that teach us our theology.
[00:40:56] Um, there are some couple of professors, stone and [00:41:00] duke. Who’ve written a wonderful book called how to think theologically. And I’ll give this to you in the show notes to Bannon. Um, talk about how we don’t even realize that this theological paradigm is being embedded in us. It just becomes a part of us like in water and a fish can’t live out of water.
[00:41:26] So then if we come up against something that challenges this paradigm, it, it can create a psychic and spiritual crisis in us because it challenges the way, the entire way that we have never navigated the world and our life experience. And it can be very, very disorienting. This happened to me when I was, you know, I was a church kid.
[00:41:55] I think I’ve mentioned that in the previous episode, I was all over church. [00:42:00] Uh, and then when I started to figure out what was going on and coming out to myself, I had a terrible blow up with God about, you know, why did you make me this way and why w what’s happening? And, you know, I don’t want to have to choose, and I know that I can’t change and blah, blah, blah.
[00:42:19] Um, okay. I went through a paradigm shift. I had to figure out a way to navigate having my relationship with God and, uh, being my true self created in the image of God. I am a daughter of God, God, that flew in the face of what I was taught growing up. And so, uh, this deconstruction is becoming the word that people are using.
[00:42:50] Ex evangelicals are going through what is called a deconstruction of their faith because they to get challenged by these various. [00:43:00] Paradigms. They were taught about, you know, being anti-gay and being sexist and, uh, you know, pay, uh, following the patriarchy and the purity code and all the stuff that people are challenging now.
[00:43:12] Uh it’s because we are challenging that embedded theology that we were initially raised with. And just because we were taught by our elders doesn’t mean it’s necessarily good theology. Very often. It isn’t, this is a problem. It was a big, big problem. The people who are deep deconstructing don’t just walk away.
[00:43:33] They want to take it apart and figure it out because they want to hold onto their faith. Um, and so I highly recommend that people who are interested in learning more about, uh, dealing with our embedded theological paradigm, uh, it should take a look at this book. It’s an easy, skinny, little. Um, and I think it’s, uh, I read it in seminary, but I think lay people, uh, will [00:44:00] benefit greatly from, uh, reading this book to help them with their deconstruction.
[00:44:05] De’Vannon: Yeah. You can send me all of that information. I’ll put it in the show notes earlier. Evangelical. Yes. What is an ex van Joel? Well,
[00:44:16] Marcia: this is a movement now of people who have become fed up with the archaic teachings of the evangelical movement. Again, they focus on patriarchy, sexism, purity, culture, being anti LGBT, um, you know, anti women’s, ordination, anti everything you can think of, uh, and people are, and people have been scripted.
[00:44:44] There’s a lot of folks out there who. Deal with a lot of spiritual, emotional, and sometimes physical abuse through their pastors, their church leaders who with a congregational model and no, um, you know, higher authority, [00:45:00] uh, have a lot of leeway in terms of what they do to their congregants. Um, and this is how we, you know, hear about these stories of various kinds of abuse.
[00:45:12] So, and I belong to a Facebook group by the way of people who have left their spirit, you know, they’re abusing congregation and they’re trying to navigate the world, uh, and, you know, reset their paradigm and figure out how to hold onto their faith, but get away from the, the caustic nature of the toxic nature of an abusive pastoral relationship.
[00:45:37] Uh, so there’s a whole movement out there of people who no longer consider themselves evangelical. Uh, so they’re calling themselves ex evangelicals and I noticed for a lot of the women it’s because they’re trying to get away from this horrible purity culture stuff.
[00:45:56] De’Vannon: So you see people as okay to be pulled out of the matrix, like when you’re, [00:46:00] uh, as you’re, as you’re describing that, I’m just seeing Kiana Reeves as a Neo in the matrix, actually waking up from the bullshit.
[00:46:09] And, um, and I think it’s important. People know that it, that it, that you would not be the only one to break ranks with whatever it is that you have thought you believed in. And what marsh is saying, it’s not. But, you know, it takes a lot of bravery and boldness encouraged it to be like, all right, I believe this for this many years while I’ve never really thought about why I believe this.
[00:46:33] Okay. So let me begin to dissect this because I’m no longer going to take it at face value. As I dissect it. I’m not finding that I’m liking what I’m seeing. So I’m going to find a way to still follow the Lord would do so without being hateful towards other people. And, um, and it reminds me of when I went to, when I left, you know, like the Pentecostal churches and, you know, got more into more non-denominational [00:47:00] realism and stuff like that, I would find people who would say something like they’re recovering Baptists, you know, or they’re recovering, uh, Methodists, or in my case, a recovering Pentecostal, you know, because you have been abused, you know, by those denominations and stuff like that and his mind, fuck you.
[00:47:19] And so now you’ve got to get yourself in a situation where you can hear it. You know, over time and stuff like that. And so I’m very happy to hear. I’ve never heard the term ex evangelical. I think that it is, I think is, I think is real humble of an individual when they’re willing to take a second, look at something and understand that they can do that without abandoning God or compromising their beliefs.
[00:47:42] They just simply saying that they’re human and they could have gotten anything wrong.
[00:47:46] Marcia: Exactly. There’s um, what happens very often too, when somebody’s, uh, channel search challenging and asking questions, asking questions, uh, they encounter a lot [00:48:00] of resistance within the church structure because they don’t want questions and they don’t want anybody questioning their authority.
[00:48:07] And then sometimes, uh, an individual will walk away and then the pastor will, uh, instruct the remaining congregants to have no contact with this person. So even though you may have good friendships and, you know, whatnot, uh, the pastor teaches the congregation to shun this person for daring to leave and challenge, you know, whatever it is that has been going on, which is another indication that there’s been some pretty serious spiritual or psychological abuse, if nothing else.
[00:48:42] Um, and so a lot of times when people are say they’re evangelicals, they’ve lost their church community, they’ve been booted out. And that indeed does, like you said, take that takes tremendous courage. And then you’re being disparaged [00:49:00] by the pastor to the congregation. He’s a backslider, you know, she’s, um, you know, she’s a slot.
[00:49:08] She doesn’t want to, you know, go by the purity code, blah, blah, blah. So there’s all this. Stuff that goes on in addition, uh, is a tremendous amount of loss for people that are deconstructing like this. And it’s a, it’s a very scary place. But I would say to people who maybe are considering, you know, uh, is this church structure working for me?
[00:49:37] Um, it’s a, this is a St. John of the cross called this the dark night of the soul. This can be a pretty dark night of the soul going through this, but I believe that any time you try, you are being true to God and asking questions out of a place of humility and wanting to grow closer to God that you’ll come out [00:50:00] on the other side, it’s going to be okay.
[00:50:03] But I’m, I also think that it’s important, uh, to, to build a new community. Don’t try to do this by yourself. Find others. And you can do that on Facebook and other social media. There’s lots of people who are going through this, like you said.
[00:50:22] De’Vannon: Right. And, um, yeah, community is a real, it’s really the whole, I don’t know, that’s at least half of the reason why we even bother to go to churches anyway, like in, but you know, during the time that I went to churches, I didn’t look at it like that, but there’s so much community because you know, we’re not designed to be alone and we’re gonna seek out community in some type of way.
[00:50:47] And when I got kicked out of church, you know, as you were saying that I was reminded of the fact that nobody ever did call me, you know, people I had worked alongside for two, three years, Nights, you know, several days and nights a [00:51:00] week, you know, suddenly I disappeared and nobody called me at all. And so I don’t know, maybe they told them I was a heritage, you know, and whatever the case may be, which I don’t know.
[00:51:11] I think that would be kind of cool. If I was labeled as a heritage, that’s a cool name.
[00:51:17] Marcia: I would lay money that they were told not to be in touch with you. I I’d put a bet on that.
[00:51:23] De’Vannon: And so, and then when you were talking about dark night of the soul, I was, I was gonna mention that earlier, because what you were describing when you were questioning your, it sounded like your sexuality or who you were before the Lord, to me, that sounded like your dark night of the soul as you were going through it.
[00:51:40] And I went through something like that too. When I was at a Pentecostal church in Riverside, California, you know, this church was telling you. Yeah, of course not to masturbate because that was having sex with demons, you know, and this, and this, this, this, this, this church here was the sort of church that would like tell people to speak in tongues, you know, lay hands on them.
[00:51:59] And [00:52:00] then that’s how they would get the holy ghost, you know, uh, receive the holy spirit is people say, um, you know, so they had a lot of liberties, I shall say, uh, as they read through the Bible, it’s just, there was a shift that they would just feel like they could do. And they expected us to just believe because they said so, um, during this time I dated girls, I had sex with women to see if I could make myself not be gay, bisexual, or whatever.
[00:52:30] Uh, I no longer care to refer to myself by any title. I don’t want to, I don’t want to be gay, bisexual, whatever. I just, I just, I just, I am that I am. You know, and so I am that I am. And so, but, but I did, I was like, I argued or, you know, I went to an argue with the Lord, but I struggled with it. I was like, okay, why am I this way?
[00:52:52] Please take this from me. You know, I hate it myself. And it was because of what other people said, and not because of a [00:53:00] conclusion on drew, not because of bad experiences that I had in the process of being who I am. It was strictly 100% because of the words that came out of other people’s miles. And then, um, but I wasn’t thinking like that at the time I was impressionable.
[00:53:17] I trusted that these people knew more than me because they were onstage. It had pedigrees and titles, which I know all now know. I now know none of that matters. And, um, And I, and you know, you know, a girl, you know, a girl got hurt in the process, you know, cause I couldn’t continue the relationship, you know, I wasn’t straight.
[00:53:39] So you know, the better to date somebody for a few months, then within the, marry them for 20 years and have children and then he’d be like, Hey, you know, I’m not, I’m still not straight. So we just, which does happen. Yeah.
[00:53:54] Marcia: So pressure of nothing but pre peer pressure. I [00:54:00] I’d like to just throw a couple of things out there.
[00:54:02] Um, don’t be afraid of biblical scholarship people. Uh, there, there is a, uh, an undercurrent that if you go to seminary and you, you know, study the Bible outside of the text itself, that you will lose your faith or that, you know, it’s going to corrupt your belief or any of that. And I have found that to be the complete opposite.
[00:54:26] The more information that I have from scholars who devote their lives to better understanding the Bible and the history behind it, the deeper my faith gets. And I, I think that there’s a fear that if you try to really crack the scriptures open, that it will ruin it for you. And I don’t think that’s the case read one of these blogs, blogs on the clobber passages and feet.
[00:54:57] See if you feel [00:55:00] like my cracking them open for context and history has made them less accessible or less approachable because I think it’s the opposite. And that was my experience in seminary. And the other thing to remember is the entire Bible is devoted to the liberation of God’s people. The old Testament and the new Testament and time after time, God gets pretty provoked with the Israelites and is, you know, ready to really kick their butts.
[00:55:37] And somebody talks God out of it because the ultimate message of the Bible is liberation, love, inclusion, support, community, all of those things. That’s what the Bible is about. And when people [00:56:00] are teaching you to use the Bible to hate people, there is something wrong going on.
[00:56:12] De’Vannon: Well, I feel like that pretty much sums up what the whole conversation was about.
[00:56:21] Marcia: You know, hang in there, pray, listen to what God is saying to you. And don’t let too often now you can’t see me, but I’m pointing up. Uh, too often, we let just what you said, you’re he had bad experiences because of what people said to you. And too often, we let these horizontal relationships with other people dictate what our relation is.
[00:56:47] Relationship is with our creator and nobody should become coming between us and our creator. That relationship is special. We are created in the image of our maker. [00:57:00] And so stop letting others dictate to you what your relationship with God should be.
[00:57:09] De’Vannon: Amen on a Tuesday morning, there isn’t anything. There isn’t anything else that I am going to say to you as much, try to follow that. So you’ll, so this was our second conversation and we’re going to have a tougher interview to close out this series and the title in, and then we’re going to be talking about, oh, Sodom and Gomorrah and, and, and we’ve got a really good collaborate with the bin and, uh, and, and, uh, and, and, and a little in a little bit salty pun intended, relating a lot to life
[00:57:42] Marcia: quite.
[00:57:47] We’re going to include Gibeah to judge judges 19. That’s a nasty passage.
[00:57:53] Yep. We’re going to talk about it all. It’s so, and so, um, and [00:58:00] so again, uh, I’ll listen to show notes, your social media. Your website, uh, you know, and everything like that. And, um, and then we’ll be considering continuing the conversation next time.
[00:58:13] De’Vannon: It’s so we will, we won’t really consider the matter fully closed, tell them like they, like they used to do in the ER or do in the Southern churches when they have a revival live. It’s like a five day revival. They don’t, they don’t actually do the benediction or the closing prayer until the fifth night.
[00:58:32] So, so we won’t do the, we won’t actually close this until the end of the next conversation. All
[00:58:38] Marcia: right. That sounds great. Well, blessings on you today and whatever you’re going to be up to after we’re done. It’s just been a pleasure.
[00:58:48] De’Vannon: Thank you for coming on on this show.
[00:58:51] Thank you all so much for taking time to listen to [00:59:00] the sex drugs and Jesus podcast. It really means everything to me. Look, if you love the show, you can find more information and resources at sex, drugs, and jesus.com or wherever you listen to your podcast. Feel free to reach out to me directly DeVannon@SexDrugsAndJesus.com and on Twitter and Facebook as well.
[00:59:20] My name is De’Vannon and it’s been wonderful being your host today and just remember that everything is going to be all right.