Author Tim Barnett
Published on 12/27/2021
Sexuality and Gender

Do Christians Pick and Choose Which Commands to Follow?

Christians focus on homosexuality as a sin but ignore other Old Testament laws. Is this hypocritical? STR’s Tim Barnett uses his Red Pen Logic to respond to this common challenge.


The Claim: Christians say that being LGBT+ is a sin but ignore other sins found in the Bible, such as eating bacon or lobster, cutting your hair a certain way, or wearing clothes made out of mixed fabrics.

Tim: If you’re going to criticize what Christians believe, you should, at the very least, understand what Christians believe. Unfortunately, this claim demonstrates a lack in basic biblical understanding. It makes it seem like Christians arbitrarily pick and choose the commandments they like, while ignoring the commandments they don’t. The problem is, this all hinges on a fundamental confusion between the Old Testament rules and the New Testament rules.

The Old Testament contains the Mosaic Law. These were laws given by God through Moses to the chosen people of Israel. That part is really important. This was part of what we call the Old Covenant. It was like a contract between two parties: God and the Jews. New Testament Christians don’t live under the Old Covenant. They’re under a different covenant. When Jesus came, he fulfilled the requirements of the law and established a new covenant through his death and resurrection. Under this covenant, bacon and shellfish, for example, are back on the menu, and it’s not because we’re arbitrarily picking and choosing which commands to follow. No. It’s because we’re following the commands that apply to us.

Now, there are some universal moral laws in the Old Testament that are repeated in the New Testament, and that’s because these things are wrong for all times and all places. For example, murder, stealing, and adultery were all prohibited in the Old Testament, and they’re also prohibited in the New Testament. Therefore, Christians are obligated to obey these commands. Likewise, homosexual behavior is prohibited in both testaments. So, pointing out how Christians failed to follow a bunch of temporal Mosaic laws only reveals a lack in understanding of how the covenants work. The Mosaic Law was limited to a time and nation, but morality is not. In other words, Christians follow the moral law, not the Mosaic Law.