i) One way some folks defend homosexuality and sodomite marriage is to accuse faithful Christians of hypocrisy. Christians are allegedly hypocritical because they "cherrypick" Scripture.
For instance, they quote Leviticus on homosexuality, but eat shellfish and wear polyester.
Yes, there really are people who raise that objection. In fact, on Facebook, I encountered a Jew who majored in philosophy of religion, who calls himself a "Jewish Biblical scholar," who brought up the polyester objection.
Now, when I run across objections like that, my eyes roll. But I guess it's something we need to address.
ii) The folks who say this pride themselves on their tolerance. They regard faithful Christians as bigots.
So the first thing I'd point out is that folks who level that objection are guilty of bigotry. Now, I'm sure it's never occurred to them that they are bigots. It's always the other person who's the bigot!
Why do I say they are bigots? Because only someone who suffers from prejudice would raise that objection in the first place.
You see, they could only level an objection like that because they are ignorant of Christian theology. They have a hostile, uninformed, preconceived opinion about Bible-believing Christians.
Well, folks, that's a textbook definition of prejudice. And a synonym for prejudice is bigotry.
Bigots commonly accuse Christians of bigotry. Their prejudice blinds them to their own bigotry. That's something we should draw their attention to.
iii) I'd add that even if some Christians are inconsistent in how they appropriate the OT, that doesn't automatically make them hypocrites. Most Christians aren't theologians or Bible scholars. Laymen don't necessary have the time or aptitude to work out a consistent position on everything.
Indeed, even philosophers find it challenging to be consistent across the board.
iv) Furthermore, Christians shouldn't be put in this position in the first place. We shouldn't even have to disprove absurd, immoral positions like transgenderism or sodomite marriage. The fact that most Christians don't have ready-made arguments for every whacky new depravity that decadent academics dream up is hardly a judgment on Christians.
v) Now let's turn our attention to the substantive issue. Anyone with a decedent knowledge of Christian theology can tell you that the relationship between OT theology and NT theology involves both continuities and discontinuities. There's partial carryover between OT law and NT ethics. It's not an all-or-nothing proposition. It's not as if you must either reaffirm OT law in toto or disaffirm OT law in toto. For that's not how the NT frames the choice. The NT stakes out a middle ground.
vi) Let's take a few examples:
a) One of the issues which cropped up very early in NT times was the question of whether Gentiles needed to become Jews in order to become Christians. Did they need to undergo circumcision? Practice a kosher diet? Observe the other purity codes?
The council of Jerusalem (Acts 15) was convened to address that question. And there were different aspects to the question.
One aspect concerned the issue of theological principle. As a matter of principle, were Gentiles obligated to be circumcised or observe the purity codes? And the answer was no.
In addition, the council reaffirmed OT sexual ethics.
In addition, the council reaffirmed OT sexual ethics.
b) But there was also the policy question. Even though, in principle, that was defunct, the NT church was a missionary church. In that respect, Christians should be tactful. Avoid giving unnecessary offense to Jews.
So the council staked out a compromise position. On the one hand, Gentile converts could forgo circumcision. On the other hand, they should only consume exsanguinated meat. And even that probably has reference to Christian Gentiles residing in mixed communities (i.e. Jews and Gentiles).
For an exegetical defense of this interpretation, read the commentaries by Bock and Peterson on Acts 15:19-21.
c) Another instance is the Book of Hebrews. As the author makes clear, the atonement of Christ abrogates the Levitical priesthood and the sacrificial system.
d) Those are examples of discontinuity. There are, however, examples of continuity. For instance, 1 Tim 1:9-10 paraphrases the Decalogue. For a detailed analysis, read Towner.
So that's a case where OT law carries over into NT ethics.
vii) Apropos (vi), it is not hypocritical for Christians to be selective where the NT is selective. If the NT is selective in it's appropriation of the OT, then Christians ought to be selective in the same way. We should align our position on the OT with the NT position on the OT.
At the risk of stating the obvious, the NT is our frame of reference for judging how much OT theology carries over into the new covenant. To be a Christian is, among other things, to take your cue from the NT. That supplies a normative filter for how we view the OT.
viii) It's tricky to say in general how much carryover there is between OT theology and NT theology. Different Christian theological traditions give different answers to that question. Indeed, that's a major reason why we have different theological traditions. They give different answers to that question.
ix) However, we don't need to have a general answer to that question to address the issue of homosexuality, for the NT specifically reaffirms the OT position in that respect. We don't have to say, in general, how much OT theology is obsolete under the new covenant to answer this particular question, for the NT already answers this particular question.
x) Apropos (ix), the NT specifically and explicitly reaffirms OT heteronormativity.
a) Jesus reaffirms Gen 1-2 in reference to marital norms (Mt 19:4-5).
b) Gen 1 is the presupposition for Rom 1. God's identity as the Creator (Rom 1:20,25) goes back to the Genesis creation account (Gen 1:1). In Rom 1, Paul's discussion of homosexuality is grounded, not in OT law, but OT history–just like Christ's appeal (see above).
c) In addition, Rom 1:23 alludes to Gen 1:16-17,22-25.
d) Likewise, Rom 1:26-27 alludes to Gen 1:27.
There are other literary allusions in Rom 1. For detailed analysis, see commentators like Jewett and Schreiner.
e) 1 Cor 6:9 & 1 Tim 1:10 allude to Lev 18:22 & 20:13. So in these passages, Paul reaffirms the Levitical condemnation of homosexuality.
And, of course, Leviticus is a part of the Pentateuch. The Levitical condemnation of homosexuality has its basis in Gen 1-2.
f) Yet Paul is famous for denying that circumcision is a new covenant requirement. Therefore, Christians are quite consistent when they selectively prooftext their position on homosexuality from the OT. They simply repeat the NT.
xi) This isn't arbitrary. The Mosaic code contains different kinds of laws. Some laws concern behavior that's intrinsically right or wrong.
Other injunctions are laws of utility rather than morality (e.g. put a parapet around your roof, cover an open well).
And some laws are essentially symbolic. Circumcision and the purity codes had an emblematic significance. They were never moral absolutes. Rather, they were a means to an end. Temporary pointers to a greater reality.