Going on in a series about the idea of abomination, let me start off where serious dialogue does and define my term, which prevents bait-and-switch or straw man applications. What is an abomination according to God’s Word, the source of truth?
Here is a technical definition:
I have three quick takeaways here: The first is the most obvious, the intuitive meaning of something abhorrent or revolting, but that is neither the whole meaning or even the most important meaning. The second tunes it in a bit, in that the term is a predominantly religious one referring to something impure. The final and most important point brings it really home, the core concept of abomination is linked to idolatry: it isn’t about the squick feeling in our guts, about our moral outrage, or even about subjective truth, but it is about the deliberate act of putting someone or something else above the love and loyalty that we owe the Lord who made us and told us the best way to live.
Because it is about idolatry not just our emotions or worldviews, let us look at the entire list of things that count as abominations. Yes, I am going to apply them. Yes, that means I am about to step on toes for both sides of our divided society. For today, though, I am just going to give you the whole list.
- Homosexual activity (note! only homosexual activity, not attraction or temptation is listed as an abomination in scripture). -Leviticus 18:22,26-27,29-30, 20:13
- A graven image to worship (Deut 7:25-26)
- Human sacrifice to pagan Gods (Deut 12:31)
- Worshiping another God (Deut 13:1-15)
- Eating unclean food (Deut 14:3)
- Sacrificing something defective to God (Deut 17:1)
- Worshiping nature (Deut 17:3-5)
- Transvestite activity (Deut 22:5)
- Prostitution (Deut 23:18) and the wages of a dog, which I do not understand well enough to comment on.
- A man who divorced his wife remarrying her after she has wed another (Deut 24:1-4)
- Male cult prostitution (1 Kings 14:24)
- Child sacrifice to Molech (2 Kings 16:3) Basically this was a fertility cult that had sex every church service and then practiced retroactive abortion of any child conceived at church. They would cook their children and have yet another orgy to the screams.
- Marrying an unbelieving woman (Ezra 9). I make this distinction because there is no condemnation for Rahab and Ruth, believing non-Jews marrying into Israel and becoming the ancestors of Jesus himself. Explicitly in Ezra 9:14 the committing of abominable acts is intrinsic in the condemnation.
- The author of Psalm 88 calls himself an abomination in the sight of his friends. It is unclear whether this is because of his own sins or because they are wicked and hold a godly man as an abomination. Both arguments can be made from scripture.
- A devious person (Proverbs 3:32)
- Haughty eyes (looking down on your fellow man / pride) (Proverbs 6:17)
- Shedding innocent blood (Proverbs 6:17)
- Devising wicked plans (Proverbs 6:18)
- Feet that make haste to run to evil (Proverbs 6:18)
- A false witness (Proverbs 6:19)
- Someone who sows discord (Proverbs 6:19)
- A false balance (Proverbs 11:1)
- People perverse in heart (Proverbs 11:20)
- Lying lips (Proverbs 12:22)
- Sacrifices from a wicked person (Proverbs 15:8)
- The way (lifestyle) of the wicked person (Proverbs 15:9)
- Evil plans (Proverbs 15:26)
- Pride in the heart (Proverbs 16:5)
- Rulers committing wicked acts (Proverbs 16:12)
- Justifying the wicked and condemning the righteous (Proverbs 17:15)
- Differing weights and differing measures (Proverbs 20:10,23)
- A scoffer (Proverbs 24:9)
- Anyone who hates in his heart, even if he speaks graciously (Proverbs 26:24-26)
- Whoever refuses to listen to God’s law, even if he prays (Proverbs 28:9)
- And of course, the unjust man to the righteous, and the righteous to the wicked (Proverbs 29:27)
- Incest (Ezekial 22:11)
Well, if you have ever lied, looked down on someone, believed you were better than someone, mocked someone, brought a controversial issue to the streets, cheated in business or law, bore false witness, put nature or something else above God, worn clothes of the opposite gender, or hated someone in your heart (I don’t care if they were named Trump or Obama) then welcome to the club of Sodom and Gomorrah, of idol worshipers and baby sacrifices. If you have marched in the streets or schemed in your heart, even if your words have been kind, you are on the list. If you have committed incest, homosexual activity, or married a woman divorced for a reason other than sexual immorality, then you are on the list.
Contrary to nature.
Did you escape the list? I didn’t. I don’t think anyone can. As the Psalmist says:
Enter not into judgment with your servant, for no one living is righteous before you. -Psalm 143:2 ESV
That is the point of the law. The law does not save us. It cannot. The law guides us, but it also convicts us and shows us that we are in desperate need of someone to come and save us from ourselves in addition to the broken world and the evil deeds of others.
So here are my two parting thoughts:
First is to an increasingly bitter and divided nation: How about we all take some time to shut up? Then, humbly, believe and cling to Jesus Christ who alone can save us.
Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man — you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself — that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. -Romans 2:1-5
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it — the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. -Romans 3:21-25 ESV