Dr. Jason Garwood

Narrated By: Scott Tucker
Book: Outside the Camp
Topics: , , ,


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Chapter Text

Thus far I have demonstrated that the scope of Leviticus 13 & 14 pertains not to health and medicine but sanctification and repentance.[1] The context of this passage, situated within the legislator’s main covenantal point of emphasis, along with the relationship of the passage to the rest of the Pentateuch, proves that we are not dealing with quarantine and laws about social distancing. The priest himself acted as a minister, not a civil magistrate. That he is responsible for acknowledging what God is doing in and through someone else (judging the tsaraath as clean or unclean) lends itself to this conclusion. The priest was a priest doing what priests are supposed to do. Consequently, he was not acting in an official capacity as a judge.

As mentioned at the outset of this inquiry, I see no validity in appealing to this text in order to give the civil authorities jurisdiction over public health, or leeway for quarantining the sick. Had the man with tsaraath been instructed to go to Moses instead of Aaron, a case might be able to be made. However, this is obviously not the case. Ritual impurity was and is the issue—not health and medicine. There are two main reasons why there is no jurisdiction or authority a civil magistrate could avail himself of as it pertains to medicine and quarantine. First, “public health” is a reflection of covenantal obedience or disobedience. Nowhere in Scripture are we told that tsaraath is contagious. The sequestering of someone with the scaly skin lesion is done in order to bring the man to the end of himself, that is, to bring him to repentance and into the light so he can stand as a man of the covenant.[2] He is ceremonially “cut off” so that he can shed away the old Adam inside of him. Invoking this passage in order to protect “public health” would be a serious case of eisegesis. Rather, the health of a people lies in its religious subscription to the law of God. A society is only as healthy as its ability to listen to the word of God. If you want the “public” (an inchoate descriptor) to be “healthy,” then the law of God must be unleashed on a society (which is beyond the scope of this essay).

Second, within the law of God lies a foundational principle of jurisprudence: there is no such thing as pre-emptive justice. That is, we are not to assume guilt; guilt must be established by evidence and witnesses. “A single witness shall not suffice against a person for any crime or for any wrong in connection with any offense that he has committed. Only on the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses shall a charge be established” (Deut. 19:15). If one witness won’t suffice in God’s juridical economy, how can zero? Pre-emptive justice looks like executive overreach as a result of law by fiat diktat. In today’s language it is akin to being considered “guilty” until proven innocent, sometimes in the court of opinion. Additionally, it is important to remember that faulty premises lead to faulty conclusions. If we assume that “law” can be established by dictatorial “emergency,” who’s to say what an emergency is? The premise is absurd, so the conclusion is absurd. This sort of administrative law structure is entirely humanistic. It is power and subjugation. To charge someone with a crime on the basis of mere conjecture or speculation is an anathema in God’s eyes.[3] Those who advocate for pre-emptive quarantine are simply repeating the same humanistic error.

The final nail in the exegetical coffin comes to us from the New Testament. There are two passages we need to consider. The first is Matthew 8:1-4 which reads:

“When [Jesus] came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him. And behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, ‘Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.’ And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, ‘I will; be clean.’ And immediately his leprosy was           cleansed. And Jesus said to him, ‘See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a proof to them.’”

Acting as the True High Priest, Jesus heals the leprous man both of his inner spiritual condition, and his outer physical condition. The man comes to the Lord and says, “If you will, you can make me clean.” Here is a man who is already on the road to a state of cleanness. He is physically ill, but deeper than this, he has a spiritual problem: he needs his dusty condition to come in contact with resurrection power. Simply being aware of his condition is step one. He knows his malady; he is not in denial. Matthew deliberately uses the temple language of “cleansing,” even going so far as to point out to us that Jesus sent him to the priest at the temple in order to “complete” the process. The man had already taken a great risk by following Jesus and the crowds, a social “no-no” even at this time. But his risk had paid off: he was done floundering as a dusty man; instead, he goes to the True High Priest who is in the process of restoring the nation to her priestly calling (cf. Lev. 21).

Our second text has to do with the woman with bleeding problems. The text is found in all three of the Synoptic Gospels, but I’m going to use Luke’s account in Luke 8:43-48, which is a story inside the larger story of Jairus’s daughter:

“And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone. She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased. And Jesus said, “Who was it that touched me?” When all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!” But Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.” And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. And he said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.’”

The pity and compassion that Jesus had for this woman is truly remarkable. She had essentially been living in a perpetual state of uncleanness per the Levitical legislator. For twelve years she had suffered with no end in sight. Even the physicians couldn’t heal her! In faith she came to Jesus, getting close enough to touch the fringe of his garment. A keen reader will note that this priest’s garment was nothing special (Is. 53:2), and yet the woman wanted to get close enough to the priest himself. Having touched the clothing, Jesus knew that “power” had gone out of him. Power? What sort of power are we talking about? The power of healing. Jesus had willed for this woman to be cured. Instead of being counted as “unclean” for having a ceremonially contaminated garment, Jesus’s power goes out of Him and it heals her. She then went on to tell everyone why she had done it. She came to the end of herself, undoubtedly fed up with the medical staff at the local hospital, and thus came to the beginning of peace, which, incidentally, is what Jesus told her to do: “go in peace.”

The two passages demonstrate that Jesus reverses the holiness code. No longer do we have the Levitical code of holiness for the real thing (Person) is now here. Jesus the Greater High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-5:10) is now the place for healing, both in the heart, and in the body. The curses of Genesis 3 are now reversed as the full impact of the new creation has now been unleashed in the death and resurrection of Jesus.[4] We are no longer to declare the clean “unclean” (Acts 11:9). The categories of the Levitical code have been abolished in Christ (Eph. 2; Heb. 8:13). In Him we can no longer “hide” for the light of redemption has dawned (Mal. 4:2; cf. Jn. 1:5; 1 Jn. 1:7). Those of us who are “in” Christ the High Priest have been cleansed and brought into the joy of the gospel—the blood of Christ has covered us inside and out (Heb. 9:11-14). The gospel now cries out, “Clean, clean!” and, “The dust is gone! The dust is gone!”

As someone who would like to see sweeping change take place in our nation, and I hasten to add that the abolition of Big Pharma is certainly at the top of the list, we would do well to remember that you’re not going to get rid of the medical industrial complex if you think the magistrate can quarantine anyone including the sick. You simply have no limiting principle when you let that bull into the storefront. Again, the answer here is to follow biblical prescriptions regarding trespassing on private property. Speculating about Leviticus 13 & 14 while failing to see the consummation of the New Covenant as it relates to the Old (“the time of reformation,” Heb. 9:13) only gives credence to the draconian measures we’ve seen these past two years. This paper demonstrates that there is a limiting principle available.

Collectivism is an inherent mark of humanism. When individual rights are restricted in the name of the “public good,” you have adopted paganism. Humanism’s ugly marks consist of the good of the “whole” over the rights of the individual parts. This lack of balance in dealing with the problem of the one and the many is precisely why America is in the rumpled mess that it’s in. Our politicians and medical elitists have used this pandemic to line their pockets, milking that cow as long as possible. Trying to enforce their own version of morality, they cry, “Stay home! Stay home! Save lives! Love your neighbor! Get the jab to prove you care about the people around you!” As though me choosing not to participate in the charade is somehow putting others in danger. Love is the fulfilling of the law of God, not the fulfilling of the humanist’s whimsical wishes (Rom. 13:8). Hijacking the word “love” and repackaging it with erroneous conclusions about justice and mercy is all a part of the humanist plan.

But what will we do instead? Will we insist on the law of God? Will we draw those lines on the canvas of epistemology by holding fast to the word of God? These are the real questions Christians must face. Instead of citing passages like this (haphazardly or not), we must do better. We mustn’t give ourselves over to the pressure-cooker that is our current state of affairs, saying things like, “If you don’t wear a mask, you’ll be guilty of murder!” As though me covering my trap with a bacteria diaper is somehow going to prevent me from murder? Shall I reject the eighth commandment, adopt the lie, and go along with it all? You want me, a Christian who believes in the law of God, to aid and abet in the great delusion? I won’t do it.

Were there ever to be a time when cars were crashing and bodies were piling up in the grocery store due to some more of Fauci’s gain-of-function antics, it would behoove everyone to stop immediately and assess the situation. And in March of 2020, we all stopped to assess the situation. But this quickly turned into something bigger, something much deeper than merely “saving lives.”[5] This became a humanistic revolution. COVID-19, which can be handled by ivermectin, chlorine dioxide, intravenous vitamin C & D, and zinc, isn’t the zombie apocalypse many were hoping for. Instead, it turned into a power play from the institutional gatekeepers of society: Big Government, Big Pharma, and Big Tech. Somehow, we let this happen. And we could dwell on that fact, exiling ourselves from the public debate. But the truth is, God is sovereign over it all and He is using it to purify His Church. Were something truly crazy to happen—the cars and grocery store experience—then individuals must take action. But at no point can we argue from this passage, or any other passage, that the civil magistrate has a right and responsibility to forcefully quarantine anyone. Why? Because God hates pre-emptive justice, and the exegesis won’t allow for it.[6]

I’d like to see what I call a “theocratic judiciary” take shape in America, and across the world, something that goes hand-in-hand with the Christianization of all nations. In a nutshell, it looks like local judges who fit the biblical character qualifications handling cases of injustice (per the law of God) in the town square. No executive and legislative tyranny. No alphabet soup agencies breaking down your door. No land pirates doling out “tickets” for infractions with no victim. Just free men and women under Common Law taking care of themselves and their families living peaceful and quiet lives (1 Thess. 4:11). I think this will be the case someday, and perhaps someday I’ll write about it. But for now, Christians truly need to go back to the Word of God. Go back to pushing the correct antithesis. Let’s draw the line not just somewhere, or anywhere, but right where God would have us draw it.

[1] “A person who becomes clean after his body was completely covered by ṣāra‘at (v. 13) dwells inside the camp. Together with the leprous persons outside the camp, this case indicates that ṣāra‘at is not the person’s ultimate problem, and that exclusion from the camp does not derive from hygienic concerns.” Kiuchi, Leviticus, 237.

[2] If anything we may have a connection to ecclesiological excommunication, but I have chosen not to deal with that in this book.

[3] This is another reason why abortion is especially heinous in the eyes of God.

[4] I expect our health and longevity to improve in history as time marches on, just like Isaiah explains: “No more shall there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not fill out his days, for the young man shall die a hundred years old, and the sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed” (65:20).

[5] I don’t see the Bible giving the magistrate the power to “preserve life.” What I see is a very small, very local judicial system to enforce contracts, enforce restitution, and if necessary, distribute the death penalty for capital crimes. The state is not a minister of healing but a minister of justice (Rom. 13). They have the sword, not the med-kit. The med-kit belongs to the Church, family, and individual, not the state.

[6] This essay did not get into the details of germ theory vs. terrain theory. My book Health for All of Life explores that concept some more. But suffice it to say here in this footnote that in no way, shape, or form can we allow for the evolutionary presuppositions that undergird the germ theory of disease to be taken to its logical conclusion. That is, we cannot and must not speak of “murder” as being me accidentally sneezing at a grocery store and somehow “getting that person sick.” It’s nonsensical, unscientific, and dangerous.