A Whole Bible Response to that Dr. Laura Letter on the Internet
The following letter has been circulated around the Internet and is
allegedly a copy of one sent to Dr. Laura. I think it is an excellent
starting point for discussion of the finer points of Torah
submissiveness, although the author is clearly not trying to properly
apply anything. I do not know if it is legitimate, or how Dr. Laura
answered it. I have seen one or two responses to it, and I offer my own
response after each question. I have taken the liberty of calling the
writer 'Joe Christian' and made his statements bold as part of the
Dear Dr. Laura:
for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned
a great deal from your radio show, and I try to share that knowledge
with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the
homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus
18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need
some advice from you, however, regarding some of the specific Bible laws
and how to follow them.
Dear Joe Christian,
my heart that you really want to please your Father by trying to apply
His Word in your life. I am not necessarily your "elder," but there are
a few things I can think of that you need to add in to the equation to
help you in your quest for a "just balance" (Proverbs 11:1,2).
A false balance is an abomination to the
LORD, But a just weight is His delight. When pride comes, then comes
dishonor, But with the humble is wisdom.
a) When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it
creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Leviticus 1:9). The problem is my
neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite
For bull barbecues, the verse you cited (Leviticus
1:9) is talking about a priest of the Aaronic persuasion offering the
bull, and on the altar. Unless you are an Aaronic priest, and unless you
are using a specific altar prescribed by God, I recommend that you cease
and desist immediately. Remember the "strange fire" of Nadab and Abihu
in Leviticus 10 - although they were Aaron's sons they offered "strange
fire" and ended up toast. The fire is supposed to consume the sacrifice,
not the sacrifice-r. Apparently sacrifices will resume in the Millennial
Kingdom, but I'm sure it will be according to specific directions given
by The King (not Elvis). As far as the neighbor's complaint (why would
anyone object to a barbecue?), there is no sanction for "smiting" them
yourself (Exodus 21:14).
Or refer to Leviticus 19:15-17
"You shall do no injustice in judgment; you
shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to
judge your neighbor fairly. 'You shall not go about as a slanderer among
your people, and you are not to act against the life of your neighbor; I
am the LORD. 'You shall not hate your fellow countryman in your heart;
you may surely reprove your neighbor, but shall not incur sin because of
Exodus 18:15-27 prescribes the manner of resolving disputes (verses
25 & 26):
Moses chose able men out of all Israel and
made them heads over the people, leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of
fifties and of tens. They judged the people at all times; the difficult
dispute they would bring to Moses, but every minor dispute they
themselves would judge.
And, the injunction to "love your neighbors as yourself" (Leviticus
19:18) is of particular comfort, especially if you are the neighbor.
"You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any
grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor
as yourself; I am the LORD."
So if you want to persist, I suggest practicing your broken-field
b) I would like to sell my daughter into
slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you
think would be a fair price for her? She's 18 and starting University.
Will the slave buyer continue to pay for her education by law?
There is no requirement anywhere in the Word for selling your
daughter, only provisions for IF you do. You might have a little trouble
convincing her to participate, and she might want to haul your butt
before the elders. Again, adding in other relevant parts of the Word
might help you with your decision (you can be sold also, sucker). Exodus
21:8-11 finishes describing the requirements, and particularly verse 10
says this is like marriage.
8 "If she is displeasing in the eyes of her
master who designated her for himself, then he shall let her be
redeemed. He does not have authority to sell her to a foreign people
because of his unfairness to her. 9 "If he designates her for his
son, he shall deal with her according to the custom of daughters. 10
"If he takes to himself another woman, he may not reduce her food, her
clothing, or her conjugal rights. 11 "If he will not do these three
things for her, then she shall go out for nothing, without payment of
I know many women today would probably feel that their marriage is
similar to slavery and would be glad to be treated THIS good.
c) I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is
in her period of menstrual uncleanness (Leviticus 15:19-24). The problem
is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.
When considering whether to "lie" (pun intended) with a woman during
her cycle you would do well to remember that you are supposed to be
married to her first (Exodus 20:14).
"You shall not commit adultery."
This would solve the problem of "knowing" (another pun, I can't
resist). Of course, if you persist in attempting to "know" a woman
without being married to her several other laws come in to play, not the
least of which is whether she should consider you "pork" and not have
anything to do with YOU. Besides, these Laws are regarding ritual
purity, and why would you have a problem with taking care of it by
bathing? (The command only mentions being unclean till evening and being
"baptized" or bathing.)
d) Leviticus 25:44 states that I
may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are
purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this
applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify?....Why can't I
As for Leviticus 25:44, again I point out
that you "may" acquire slaves if you choose, of the "pagan" nations that
surround you. Nowadays we call them "employees" (and I am sure quite of
few of them think they are "slaves"). If you can convince a Canadian to
sell himself to you (within the boundaries of all the other Laws), by
all means go ahead. However, I remind you again that YOU could be
considered a neighbor of HIS, and he might end up purchasing you
e) I have a neighbor who insists on
working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to
death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should this be a
neighborhood improvement project?
Sorry, but you are NOT
morally obligated to kill your neighbor if he violates Sabbath
(Leviticus 19:15-17, 33; quoted above for bull barbecues). Since you
have not personally been given the right to try capital cases, this is
best left to higher authorities. And I don't mean a lynch mob of your
neighbors, either. God's grace doesn't give us the right to execute His
people at our whim in our backyards. The adulterous woman in John 8 was
in a similar situation, and I bet that what Jesus wrote on the ground
were the provisions in the Law requiring 1) witnesses (Deuteronomy
17:6-7; 19:15-19); 2) both parties (Leviticus 20:10; Deuteronomy 22:22);
and 3) elders (Exodus 18:15-27; quoted above for bull barbecues); so
their mockery of a trial would be not be sanctioned by Him.
f) A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is
an abomination (Leviticus 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than
homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?
Whether or not one command is "greater" or "lesser" is not for us to
decide (Matthew 5:19).
"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."
Case settled. As far as the shellfish, Mr. Christian, once again you
are wrong and your friend is right. Do you even look up the references
you are quoting? What version do you use anyway? Leviticus 11:10 only
says that shellfish are "abhorrent" to you (NASB). Abhorrent just means
to avoid them, they are "not food" (verses 1 & 13). Good grief, it is
clear from the text that there is "food" and there is "not food." Do you
think we should go around just sticking any old thing in our mouths?
There is a big difference between food and a perverted sexual practice.
And God is very specific about the immorality. Some people are so
lacking in understanding that He has to patiently spell out the
difference between something they can put in their mouth because it's
healthy and something they can't because it's not.
Leviticus 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I
have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses.
Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?
Would contact lenses help?
The vision issue mentioned in
Leviticus 21:20 applies to Aaron and his descendants, not to everyone.
Unless he is your great-great-great-etc. grand daddy this ain't for you.
And if it were you, we would have to talk about the absence of the
Temple and the Sacrifice offered once for all. And since it is God
Himself who made you, perhaps He had a purpose other than allowing you
to go within the veil, and you should humbly submit to His will in this
area. Or pray a lot and ask Him to heal you (unless you fit into
He who turns away his ear from listening to
the law, Even his prayer is an abomination.
h) Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including
the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden
by Leviticus19:27. How should they die?
Joe, you really
need to lighten up. I'm sorry, but I can't see in the Word where the
death penalty is incurred because of trimming hair in the manner you
describe. Perhaps you could look up your reference and help me clarify
i) I know from Leviticus 11:6-8 that touching the
skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I
If you had read the text you quoted for
pigskin, you would have noticed that Leviticus 11:8 says that you are
not to "eat of their flesh, nor touch their carcasses." It seems the
Word has answered you here. A football is not a carcass, and I think
that even if you ate one it would only be considered "unclean" (not to
mention painful when it came out).
j) My uncle has a
farm. He violates Leviticus 19:19 by planting two different crops in the
same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different
kinds of thread (cotton / polyester blend). He also tends to curse and
blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of
getting the whole town together to stone them? (Leviticus24:10-16)
Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we
do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Leviticus 20:14)
As for your last item, I think we have already established that you
cannot arbitrarily take The Law into your own hands. If this person is
part of the assembly, then bring him to the elders to see what should be
done. Leviticus 19:19 does not appear to include the death penalty for
this sort of behavior. But make sure you have your facts in order, and
do not do anything that "seems right in your own eyes" (Numbers
"It shall be a tassel for you to look at and
remember all the commandments of the LORD, so as to do them and not
follow after your own heart and your own eyes, after which you played
the harlot, so that you may remember to do all My commandments and be
holy to your God."
See also Deuteronomy 12:8.
"You shall not do at all what we are doing
here today, every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes;"
I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am
confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word
is eternal and unchanging.
Your devoted disciple
and adoring fan.
It seems, Joe, that you are quite the
legalist, picking and choosing from selected texts that appear to give
you permission to express the wickedness in your heart. This has also
been a problem with others for a long time, most notably for the
hypocrites that Jesus had to deal with (and is still dealing with). I
suggest you re-read large sections of the Word, putting your objections
and those of your friends in context and examining your heart to see if
you are trying to follow these things with "joy and a glad heart"
"Because you did not serve the LORD your God
with joy and a glad heart, for the abundance of all things;"
Otherwise, you may be visited with consequences for "holding to a
form of godliness, but denying the power of it." (II Timothy 3:5).
With Regards,Not Dr. Laura
(Bruce Scott Bertram)