DEATH PENALTIES FOR SEXUAL OFFENSES
“13. If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their blood-guiltiness is upon them.” Leviticus 20: 13
“15. If there is a man who lies with an animal, he shall surely be put to death; you shall also kill the animal.” Leviticus 20: 15
“16. If there is a woman who approaches any animal to mate with it, you shall kill the woman and the animal; they shall surely be put to death. Their blood-guiltiness is upon them.” Leviticus 20: 16
“18. If there is a man who lies with a menstruous woman and uncovers her nakedness, he has laid bare her flow, and she has exposed the flow of her blood; thus both of them shall be cut off from among their people.” Leviticus 20: 18
Genesis 38: 8-10 (Listed under Reason Four)
The Old Testament mentions about twenty or so death penalty offenses. The New Testament says that these examples are in the Old Testament to help Christians find out what pleases and displeases God (1 Corinthians 10:1-10; verse 6 says, “Now these things happened as examples for us, that we should not crave evil things, as they also craved.”)
Many of these offenses are related to sexual matters. These forbidden sexual relations may be divided into two categories: a) sexual offenses forbidden because of who the potential or actual sexual partner is (for example, adultery, incest, etc.) and, b) offenses which are forbidden because of the act itself.
It is this second group on which we intend to focus. These offenses are evil no matter with whom they are committed. They are perversions, evil in themselves. A listing of these offenses is as follows:
- Male homosexual intercourse (Lev. 20:13)
- Male/Animal bestiality (Lev. 20:15)
- Female/Animal bestiality (Lev. 20:16)
- Intercourse with a menstruous woman (Lev. 20:18)
- Withdrawal (Wasting Seed) (Gen. 38:8-10)
These sexual offenses are always wrong if done intentionally. (We say this because #4 and #5 may occur accidentally, as the Bible says – Lev. 15:24 and Deu. 23:10-11.)
In any case let us get to the point of this section, which is this: What is common to all these five sins? The answer is: they are all sterile forms of sexual intercourse. Children cannot be produced from male homosexual activity or bestiality, even though seed is emitted. Menstruous intercourse is the most easily identified sterile time of the woman’s monthly cycle. (Witness the important place menstruation plays in the “rhythm method”.) Withdrawal is meant to be sterile, and is, most of the time. In all these cases the seed is wasted.
So we can see that the reason that these sins are condemned by God is because they are almost 100% sterile, and oppose the command of God to “be fruitful and multiply.” We are not finished however, because further examination will be useful. Let us now compare some unusual cases of Old Testament jurisprudence.
Comparison Number One: Male homosexuality vs. female homosexuality
“13. If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their blood-guiltiness is upon them.” Leviticus 20:13
The reader will note that we have included no verse on the execution of female homosexuals. This is because there is no penalty prescribed for lesbian activities in the Old Testament. This of course does not mean that lesbianism is OK with God – it just means that there is no civil penalty. (Similar cases would be coverting or lusting, which are forbidden by God but have no civil penalty.) So we see that male homosexuals are to be executed, but female homosexuals are spared.
Some attempt the explanation that, “Well, God is just nicer to girls.” We would reply that God in the Old Testament has nothing against executing female evildoers, as is evident from the fact that God has decreed the death penalty for: female murderers (Gen. 9:6), female sorcerers (Lev. 20:27), female idoliators (Deu. 13:6-9), females guilty of bestiality (Lev. 20:16), female adulterers (Lev. 20:10), etc. In fact, we are not aware of any sin for which God kills guilty males but spares guilty females, except in the case of homosexual activity.
Is this a mistake? Is the Bible inconsistent? The answer, of course, is “No.” The New Testament states that the Old Testament death penalties are just in the eyes of God. Hebrews 2:2 states that in the Mosaic Law, “…every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense…” The Bible prescribes death of the male homosexual and life for the female because only the male homosexual wastes seed. Which once again shows that wasting seed is an awful thing in the eyes of God.
Comparison Number Two: Female/animal intercourse vs. female homosexuality
“16. If there is a woman who approaches any animal to mate with it, you shall kill the woman and the animal; they shall surely be put to death. Their blood-guiltiness is upon them.” Leviticus 20:16
Here we have another comparison of different sexual sins similar to the previous example. Women who mate with animals are to be killed, while women homosexuals are to be allowed to live. And what can account for the difference? Again, we see that the only explanation of the above law is that the difference is in wasting seed. In female bestiality, the animal’s seed is wasted. In female homosexuality, while sin is indeed committed, no seed is wasted.
So ends our examination of Old Testament perversions and their penalties. We may observe that all sterile sexual acts are forbidden, unless (as we have said) they happen accidentally. Therefore, since the very purpose of all methods of birth control is to make the sexual act sterile, they are forbidden too.
Comparison Number Three: Male Homosexuality vs. Male Companionship and Sex Outside Marriage.
Let us move into another area of comparison, and ask the question: “Exactly what is it about male homosexuality which makes it worthy of death?”
First, it can’t be because of the mere fact that male homosexuals like to be in the company of men rather than women, for David said of Jonathan: “I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; you have been very pleasant to me. Your love to me was more wonderful than the love of women.” (2 Samuel 1:26)
Second, the death penalty can’t be because of the mere fact of men being physically affectionate to other men; for John says “There was reclining on Jesus’ breast one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.” (John 13:23) And Paul says “Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss.” (1 Thess. 5.26) (By the way, let us make it crystal clear that we repudiate the blasphemous suggestions of present and past homosexuals that Jesus and David were latent or active homosexuals. May such evil talk perish from the earth!)
Third, male homosexuals can’t be executed because of the fact that sexual intercourse takes place outside the bonds of marriage, because according to the Bible there is no civil punishment for sexual relations between a single man and a single girl. (Deut. 22:28-29)
What then is left as a reason? Only this: male homosexuals are worthy of death because they emit semen outside the proper receptical contrary to nature as created by God. Thus they negate the purpose for which semen was created and “poured out” by God (Job 10:10): procreation. Birth control does the same thing, and so is likewise under the curse of God.