Why in Leviticus 20:13 homosexuals were sentenced to death while in the New testament they were only excommunicated?

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In the Old Testament, God charged the corporate authority, Israel, to execute witches (Leviticus 20:27), adulterers (Leviticus 20:10), homosexuals (Leviticus 20:13) and disrespectful children (Deuteronomy 21:18-21). The New Testament says that unrepentant sinners (in this case homosexuals) should be excommunicated (Matthew 18:15-20).

Why the difference in treatment?

Homosexuality is not just a spiritual sin but it is also a civil and social attack on the family institution and society in general. Homosexuality is contrary to nature! God told Adam and Noah to “multiply, and replenish the earth. If Adam or Noah and his sons had adapted a total homosexual way of life, then the human race would have come to an end.

Civil law is given to civil authorities. In the Israel of the Old Testament, the priests and judges were the civil law. In the church age, civil authority is given to national and regional governments, not the church. In the New Testament, the church no longer had the right to implement punishment on society at large.

And when society fails to punish the sins of its citizens, God intervenes as He did to Sodom and Gomorrah. God revealed to Abraham that He was going to destroy Sodom, “Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous” (Genesis 18:20). God sent two angels, who appeared as men, into Sodom to warn Lot and his family to flee the city before God destroyed it.

This story is mentioned many other places in the Bible, by Isaiah, Jeremiah and other prophets. It is used as an example of God’s judgment by Jesus, Peter and Jude in the New Testament. And not one writer or speaker in the Bible questions God’s righteousness in destroying these cities.

In His service,

The BibleAsk Team

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