Bible Answers for Martin Sheen
Martin Sheen, an actor, playing the role of a President in the TV show “West Wing,” is not an expert in psychology, or biblical studies…but challenges a “defenseless, weak Christian,” showing his “power” as a “knowledgeable skeptic.”
Credit for bring this up:
To Mr. Sheen and his producers:
As Jesus would say, “you err because you do not know the scriptures.”
If you understand the meaning of the scriptures you try to refer to, you would appreciate the truth of them, instead of misquoting them, and mocking them in ignorance.
But it takes the presence of the Holy Spirit to properly discern the truth, and apply the scriptures properly.
Since you do not have the Holy Spirit in your lives, you will continue to have this problem, or will need to rely on people who do.
We all have free will to think what we want.
I hope you find these answers helpful. I will be more than happy to discuss any other scriptures as well.
I will go through each of the stated mocked scriptures. A real Christian will study scripture, and show himself approved before princes and kings, when questioned.
1. homosexuality is a sin according to the bible. Yes it is, and God is not changing his mind, for anyone. It means just what it says.
Lev 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it [is] abomination.
2. Exodus 21:7 What is the price for selling daughter into slavery?
This passage does not say this. There is no price.
This passage is about servant hood of Hebrews to Hebrews, usually for the resolution of debts- not slavery.
They serve for 6 years to pay off the debt, then they go free, unless they choose to say, out of love for their master.
“Buying” of Hebrew servants- we would say hiring, or working to pay off a debt.
Exd 21:2 If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing.
Exd 21:3 If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him.
If he is given a wife by the master, she and the family remain if he leaves.
Exd 21:4 If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out by himself.
The choice to stay with master
Exd 21:5 And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free:
Exd 21:6 Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever.
A daughter is given to be a maidservant for the purpose of marriage – if he does not like her, then she is free, and it is forbidden to make her a slave, contrary to what Martin Sheen said.
He must instead provide for her anyhow. If she leaves, then she is provided for. This is to protect her honor as well.
Exd 21:7 ¶ And if a man sell [normally called a dowry] his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do.
Exd 21:8 If she please not her master, who hath betrothed her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed: to sell her unto a strange nation he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her.
Exd 21:9 And if he have betrothed her unto his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters.
Exd 21:10 If he take him another [wife]; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish.
Exd 21:11 And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.
For the President, Martin Sheen, since his daughter has been sent to the best schools, I hope she has gotten a good job, and never finds herself in debt. If she is appealing enough, she might be able to find a husband on her own as well.
If she divorces, she will expect alimony or child support, as it is provided for her in the passage above.
She can thank the bible for establishing this principle long ago.
The woman is provided for, if the marriage does not work out.
3. working on Sabbath , Exodus 35:2, who gets to put his employee to death, since he is morally obligated to kill?
Exd 35:2 Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death.
There is a difference between killing, murder, and capital punishment.
This is capital punishment, and yes it is a commandment that God issued for man to rest.
Today, when we work and never rest, we kill ourselves with heart attacks, so no one needs to touch us. We will do it to ourselves.
Also, Jesus pointed out that acts of mercy and certain work can be performed on the Sabbath.
He healed on the Sabbath, which is technically “work.”
He made it clear that the true intention of the commandment was to make people rest, when they wanted to work, so they would not kill themselves.
It was also the day they dedicated to God, to honor and worship and fellowship with Him.
They had been slaves in Egypt, and worked 7 days a week.
They were to respect their own bodies enough to refrain from hard work that would hurt them.
Jesus explained that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
The Sabbath was also to show one day where they put God first. It was a time of fellowship with God.
They should appreciate what God was doing for them, rather than rebelling. The death penalty was for this rebellion.
Mar 2:27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
Jesus also pointed out that acts of mercy, and necessary work was not to be condemned.
For example, animals need to be watered every day, and cannot be ignored on the Sabbath. Or if they are hurt, they need to be helped.
Luk 13:15 The Lord then answered him, and said, [Thou] hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or [his] ass from the stall, and lead [him] away to watering?
Luk 14:5 And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day?
Jesus healed on the Sabbath. Today, Jewish doctors work on the Sabbath, and there is nothing wrong with it.
Luk 14:1 ¶ And it came to pass, as he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath day, that they watched him.
Luk 14:2 And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy.
Luk 14:4 And they held their peace. And he took [him], and healed him, and let him go;
The point is, that to do necessary work on the Sabbath, is not forbidden.
But to work on the Sabbath as an act of rebellion against God, to refuse Him worship and fellowship, is a sin, worthy punishment.
If we cannot even show respect for the Creator who gave us life, then our life should be taken away.
The Lord has the right to take back anything he has given us – which includes our very lives.
After all, why should God continue to give you life, when you do not want Him in yours?
4. touching the skin of a dead pig – Lev 11:7 , do we need wear gloves when playing football? Or can we play football at all?
You got the verse wrong. You quoted verse 7, instead of 8, although it is an introduction to verse 8:
Lev 11:7 And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be cloven footed, yet he chews not the cud; he [is] unclean to you.
Leviticus says not to eat of their flesh.
It does not say wear gloves, or not to play football.
This is a lesson in microbiology.
Contaminated flesh brings disease, and possible death.
Pork carries the parasite trichinosis.
And bacteria are all over decaying flesh of any animal.
Lev 11:8 Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcass shall ye not touch; they [are] unclean to you.
Deu 14:8 And the swine, because it divides the hoof, yet chews not the cud, it [is] unclean unto you: ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcass.
How to get clean after touching a dead carcass – wash yourself, and take a bath!
Lev 11:31 These [are] unclean to you among all that creep: whosoever doth touch them, when they be dead, shall be unclean until the even.
Lev 11:40 And he that eats of the carcass of it shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even: he also that bears the carcass of it shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even.
No one should touch a dead carcass without washing their hands afterwards.
This is a concept in sterile processing and microbiology.
Pathologists and coroners today do the same thing.
Once they have touched anything dead, they wash their hands and arms, up to the elbow.
In the case of “pig skin” footballs, the skin has been processed and sterilized, and tanned. There is no need to fear contamination from a football, unless if falls into sewage somewhere.
5. I stone my brother for planting crops side by side? (no reference given)
The bible never says this. But see # 6.
No one gets stoned for planting crops the wrong way.
6. I burn my mother for wearing garments of 2 different threads? (no reference given)
The bible does not say this.
You have to understand the application and the reason behind any commandment.
The temple was made by mixing various coverings.
Num 4:8 And they shall spread upon them a cloth of scarlet, and cover the same with a covering of badgers’ skins, and shall put in the staves thereof.
You maybe referring to this:
19:19 Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shall not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shall not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woolen come upon thee.
The specific application involves linen and wool, and Israel was not to mix the fibers from a vegetable product and an animal product into the same piece of material.
It expands in its practical application when we understand that mixing animal and vegetable fibers makes poor quality material.
If worn, the material would rip and tear within a short time.
Therefore, the intent—its spirit—is to teach us to purchase the best quality that we can afford.
The same holds true with the other laws that appear in this context.
God is instructing us that the best thing to do is to keep the breeds pure and not let hybrids develop.
The pure breeds of a species are always considered to be of higher quality.
Good agriculture would plant only one type of seed in one field, to allow the best growth, unhindered by another seed, that might be more dominant, and suppress the growth of the weaker plant.
No one is going to be burned here. These are rules on how to be successful in one’s personal daily works.
Every person on earth is equal before a holy and righteous God.
There are no presidents, kings or rich men on Judgment Day.
We are all sinners needing salvation and forgiveness for our wrongdoings.
No one gets special treatment because they have been in a position of worldly power, or riches.
In fact the opposite happens.
Scripture says that to those who have been given much, much will be required of them.
How will each of us be judged?
I urge the presidents and kings of this world, and those who seem to worship power in high places, to reflect on the true meaning of scripture, which is to give life, not take it away.
Scripture is the protective fence that keeps us safe from Satan, the enemy.
The Word of God is life to the spirit, and to the soul.
God understands the spiritual realm better than we do.
If we obey Him, we will have life.
If we disobey Him, we will bring death to ourselves – both physical and spiritual death.
The real question is, do you want to live ? – here, and in the world to come?