CNN has an article about “family values in the Bible” written by Michael Coogan, a professor of religious studies at Stonehill College. I obviously do not agree with all the writer is stating but he makes a strong argument for the necessity of modern prophets without intending to.
For example, he writes:
“In current debates about family values, most of which have to do with sex, opponents of abortion and advocates of a woman’s right to choose both cite the Bible in support of their conflicting views, even though the Bible in fact says nothing specifically about the issue. And with regard to same-sex marriage, although the few biblical writers who mention same-sex relationships, especially between men, were unequivocally opposed to them, many contemporary believers would argue that, as with slavery and the status of women, it is time to recognize that the values of the biblical writers are no longer necessarily our own.”
So who gets to decide what is okay to accept and okay to reject from the Bible? A committee of scholars? Are we too advanced for prophets in our modern society? I know that’s not how things worked in the Bible. If I recall correctly, there seemed to be some prophets who spoke God’s words and commands – men like Moses, Abraham, Elijah, Peter, and Paul.
The author goes on to slyly argue against calling homosexual behavior sinful by making false appeals to other portions of the Mosaic Law that we do not follow today:
“Opponents of same-sex marriage cite Leviticus, which says that when a man sleeps with a man as with a woman it is an abomination. They’re right: It does say that. But it later calls for the death penalty for such activity, which only the most rabid opponents would insist on. The Bible also calls eating pork and a woman wearing a man’s clothes abominations, yet many would no longer enforce such prohibitions.”
That’s written as if the matter is settled. That’s a little bit like arguing that it is okay to murder because we (used proverbially as meaning the House of Israel in Biblical times) also used to perform blood sacrifices and we don’t do that any more. The author is making doctrinal decisions based on worldly acceptance. Besides, he conveniently ignores that New Testament writers also preached against homosexual behaviors. I know there are revisionist theologians who reinterpret and seek to re-write the scriptures to fit their own beliefs but they are like historians re-writing American history books to state that the Confederacy won the Civil War. Those who were there might have an issue with that position. Again, wouldn’t it be great if we had someone who could authoritatively speak God’s will just like in Biblical times?
The wonderful thing is that we do! Since 1820 we have had a prophet of the Lord on the earth just like in olden days. Today the Lord’s prophet is Thomas S. Monson. Further, we also have apostles who are called of God. You can read and watch some of what prophets and apostles are doing here. Prophets speak God’s word, which renders articles like the one I linked to for the most part moot.