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Author Topic:   Did the coming of Jesus render the Law of the old testament null and void
LexM1985
Junior Member (Idle past 2572 days)
Posts: 9
Joined: 06-02-2012


Message 1 of 80 (665715)
06-16-2012 7:48 AM


I wasn't entirely sure how to phrase the subject, but I'll explain what I mean:
I hear time and again from Christians that because of Jesus' coming, crucifixion, and resurrection all Christians are exempt from the Law of the old Testament. "The coming of Jesus changed everything!" This claim often comes up when the topic is raised about the contentious codes of Leviticus- stoning unruly children, slavery, eating shellfish, wearing clothes with multiple fibers, etc. I've looked into the bible (at the passages I was directed to by Christians) to find any explicit passages that demonstrate that Jesus' coming made the old Law null and void, but all I found was a passage related specifically to animal sacrifices. It's also alleged that Jesus himself broke some of these laws which I guess could give credence to the claim.

I don't really think there is a definitive right or wrong answer to this one despite the fact many people clearly think there is. The bible is riddled with so many inconsistencies and contradictions that it can be used to support virtually anything. If I where to make a case that the Old Testament Law still applied I'd cite John 14:15 in which Jesus says "If you love Me, keep My commandments."
or
Matthew 5:17, 5:18 in which Jesus says, "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill"
It goes on to say that the Jewish law will not change until Heaven and Earth cease to exist

Also, I believe that Psalm 19 asserts that Mosaic law is perfect. It is also deemed infallible on several other occasions in the Old Testament.

I'm fairly new to theology and I want to hear other and alternate positions than the usual Christian one.


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AdminPD
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Message 2 of 80 (665716)
06-16-2012 7:56 AM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum

  
jar
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Posts: 31458
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.9


(2)
Message 3 of 80 (665719)
06-16-2012 8:56 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by LexM1985
06-16-2012 7:48 AM


Expanding the franchise
Making most of the Jewish laws null and void had far less to do with Jesus than the practical requirements of expanding the franchise.

Much of the Law was created to preserve a separate identity of a minority in exile. In particular, the requirement of being circumcised to fulfill the Covenant and the necessity of keeping Kosher (not eating with non-Jews if possible and not eating off plates, knives, cups or spoons that had been used by a non-Jew) were simply impractical for an evangelical marketing plan.

If the new franchise was going to expand into non-Jewish populations, the Laws had to be relaxed.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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nwr
Member
Posts: 5586
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 4 of 80 (665720)
06-16-2012 9:54 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by LexM1985
06-16-2012 7:48 AM


I happened to notice a related blog post, that you might want to read:

Would Paul Have Made a Good Evangelical?


Jesus was a liberal hippie

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purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1740 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 5 of 80 (665721)
06-16-2012 10:41 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by LexM1985
06-16-2012 7:48 AM


Christianity Went to Gentiles
The Mosaic Laws were the basis for the Jewish legal system when they were an independent nation. Jesus did not do away with the Jewish legal system. The Jewish followers of Jesus still followed the Mosaic Laws as allowed by the Romans.

To their neighbors these early followers of Jesus, for they did not yet bear the distinctive designation of Christian, must have appeared another sect of Judaism, predominantly Galilean in membership, distinguished from other Jews by their belief that Jesus was the Messiah and by their expectation of the early return of their Lord. Their leader, James, appears to have been especially conservative in his loyalty to Jewish customs. They continued to use the temple as a place of worship and observed the Jewish law, including its ceremonies, circumcision, and the dietary regulations. Even some of the pharisees joined them. So far as we know, their numbers were recruited entirely from Jews and proselytes to Judaism. --From the book "a History of Christianity" by Kenneth Scott Latourette, 1953.

The Mosaic laws as presented in the OT were the laws of a functioning government. Notice many of the laws also pertained to those living within the land but not of Jewish descent. It was the foundation of a legal system.

The community is to have the same rules for you and for the alien living among you; this is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. You and the alien shall be the same before the Lord: The same laws and regulations will apply both to you and to the alien living among you. (Numbers 15:13-16)

At some point Christianity was no longer part of Judaism and since the Jews were no in power, the Gentiles weren't required to follow the Jewish laws.

A History of Christianity by Kenneth Scott Latourette, 1953.

Christianity quickly moved out of the Jewish community and became prevailingly non-Jewish. As early as the time that Paul wrote his letter to it, a generation or less after the resurrection, the church in Rome was predominantly Gentile. This in itself was highly significant: Christianity had cease to be a Jewish sect and, while having roots in Judaism, was clearly new and different from that faith. In becoming non-Jewish in its following, Christianity was entering into the Hellenistic world. In becoming non-Jewish in its following, Christianity was entering into the Hellenistic world. (Page 75)

As the separation between Judaism and Christianity became more obvious and as the majority of Christian converts began to be drawn from the Gentiles, while antagonism between Jews and Christians did not decline, persecution of Christians by Jews was less frequent. (Page 81)

Few of the second and third century apologists devoted much attention to the Jews and Judaism. By the time that they wrote, the separation of the Christian community from Judaism was almost complete and Christians were being drawn primarily from paganism. (Page 83)

In Acts, we see that the Gentiles were given some basics to adhere to that would make fellowship between the Gentiles and Jews easier.

"Therefore it is my judgment that we do not trouble those who are turning to God from among the Gentiles, but that we write to them that they abstain from things contaminated by idols and from fornication and from what is strangled and from blood. For Moses from ancient generations has in every city those who preach him, since he (i.e. The Torah) is read in the synagogues every Sabbath." (Acts 15:19–21)

The implication is that those basic rules would work as they learned the ropes of Judaism. Unfortunately Jewish Christianity became extinct.

How Christianity Rose To Dominate Europe

During the Council of Jerusalem in 50 AD, it was determined that Gentiles would be accepted by all Jews into the Christianity movement, and that certain Jewish practices were not necessary for their inclusion, especially circumcision.

This brand of Jewish Christianity largely died out as a result of this, as the new idea of a religion independent of Judaism eclipsed the original Jewish-centric creed. The fate of Jewish-Christianity was sealed with the slaughters and deportations of Jews in Jerusalem, between 70-130 AD, in response to the Jewish revolts against the Roman Empire. Jewish Christians were largely located in and around Jerusalem. Therefore, the majority were killed or deported, essentially uprooting Christianity from among the Jewish settlements in the Palestinian region.

As Jewish Christianity dwindled into extinction by the 2nd century, it was the Gentiles that took the mantle of Christianity, continuing the struggle against Roman persecution in order to survive as a religion. First, Christians were seen as a sect of the Jewish religion, which was disdained in the Roman Empire, as it conflicted with the worship of the Greco-Roman Gods. Christians and Jews were also known for their zealous revolts. Furthermore, many in the Roman Empire believed that Christianity offended the Greco-Roman Gods, which is why Paul and Peter were blamed for the Great Fire of Rome in 64 AD, leading to their martyrdom.

None of this made the Mosaic Laws or Jewish Laws null and void for Jewish believers and Gentiles never were required to follow the Mosaic laws aside from when they were part of a functioning legal system or if one joined Judaism.

Jesus didn't have the authority to do away with a legal system.


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ringo
Member
Posts: 17399
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 6 of 80 (665724)
06-16-2012 12:34 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by LexM1985
06-16-2012 7:48 AM


LexM1985 writes:

Also, I believe that Psalm 19 asserts that Mosaic law is perfect.


Psalm 19:7 says that the "law of the Lord" is perfect. There's God's law, there's the Mosaic law, there's Levitical law, there's Jewish law.... It's a jurisdictional nightmare. Jesus may have been deliberately ambiguous when He said "the Law", or He might have meant something like what Paul said in Romans 2:
quote:
14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:

15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness...



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GDR
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Posts: 4983
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 7 of 80 (665738)
06-16-2012 5:54 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by LexM1985
06-16-2012 7:48 AM


LexM1985 writes:

I wasn't entirely sure how to phrase the subject, but I'll explain what I mean:
I hear time and again from Christians that because of Jesus' coming, crucifixion, and resurrection all Christians are exempt from the Law of the old Testament. "The coming of Jesus changed everything!" This claim often comes up when the topic is raised about the contentious codes of Leviticus- stoning unruly children, slavery, eating shellfish, wearing clothes with multiple fibers, etc. I've looked into the bible (at the passages I was directed to by Christians) to find any explicit passages that demonstrate that Jesus' coming made the old Law null and void, but all I found was a passage related specifically to animal sacrifices. It's also alleged that Jesus himself broke some of these laws which I guess could give credence to the claim.
I don't really think there is a definitive right or wrong answer to this one despite the fact many people clearly think there is. The bible is riddled with so many inconsistencies and contradictions that it can be used to support virtually anything. If I where to make a case that the Old Testament Law still applied I'd cite John 14:15 in which Jesus says "If you love Me, keep My commandments."
or
Matthew 5:17, 5:18 in which Jesus says, "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill"
It goes on to say that the Jewish law will not change until Heaven and Earth cease to exist

Also, I believe that Psalm 19 asserts that Mosaic law is perfect. It is also deemed infallible on several other occasions in the Old Testament.

I'm fairly new to theology and I want to hear other and alternate positions than the usual Christian one.

I’ll have a go at this based on my understanding of Christian Scripture. First off I think that we make a mistake when we base our understanding of God and our lives based on individual verses without first have a firm grasp on the whole narrative and its meaning.

Within that framework I would say that the Mosaic laws are timeless but they are only symptoms of a greater truth. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10:

quote:
23 "Everything is permissible"--but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible"--but not everything is constructive.
I think the point that Paul is making, which I suggest is consistent in context with what Christ taught, is that it isn’t about keeping specific laws but that in the end it is all about our hearts.

Jesus said this in the “Sermon on the Mount” in Matthew 5:

quote:
27 "You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

This gives us a more specific case to work with. Do we remain faithful to our spouses out of fear? It might be fear of getting caught and taken to the cleaners in divorce court or even fear of God. Do we not steal because of fear of winding up in prison, or again out of fear that God will punish us? Or, do we remain faithful to our spouses and honest in our dealings because that is where our heart is and that is our choice even if we knew that we would never be caught, questioned or punished in any way shape or form? It is that question that I think both Paul and Jesus are addressing.

So yes, the laws remain as a guide post to the real thing that is desired of us which is of course that we have hearts that love truth, peace, justice forgiveness, kindness, mercy, humility, joy and a love for love itself.

AbE: I thought that I would sum it up this way. It isn't about what we do or don't do, but about "why" we do what we do or don't do.

Edited by GDR, : No reason given.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


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Jon
Inactive Member


Message 8 of 80 (665943)
06-20-2012 4:31 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by LexM1985
06-16-2012 7:48 AM


Who to Blame
I'm fairly new to theology and I want to hear other and alternate positions than the usual Christian one.

The question as you have phrased it is really theological in nature. Afterall, in a technical sense, the 'coming' of anyone does little more than bring about their existence. However, the only way to provide an 'alternate position than the usual Christian one' is to set aside the theology and look at the development of the religious movement as it's recorded in the texts of the New Testament. That is, we have to look at things from an historical perspective; not a theological one.

So don't worry about being 'new to theology'. Theology is irrelevant. This is history (sort of).

From this perspective, your question makes more sense if it asks whether Jesus specifically declared the Law 'null and void' or whether it was someone else who did this. The reason we ask it in this way is that we get too many different answers if we ask your original question and attempt to search the text for guidance (the purpose of the Bible Study forum). We need a single answer for a single answer if it is to have any meaning. So we ask instead: Where in the split of Christianity from Judaism did the Law get dropped as being necessary?

Was it with the teachings and actions of Jesus?

Our earliest mentions on the life of Jesus come from a handful of scant references in Paul. In Galatians 4:4, Paul clearly tells us that Jesus was "born under the law", indicating that he was born a Torah-observing Jew. The authors of our gospels put Jesus' teachings in a very Law-focused light, even having Jesus rebuke his detractors for their lack of respect for the Law as written:

quote:
Mark 7:6–13 (NRSV):

He said to them, 'Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written,
"This people honours me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching human precepts as doctrines."
You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.'

Then he said to them, 'You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition! For Moses said, "Honour your father and your mother"; and, "Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must surely die." But you say that if anyone tells father or mother, "Whatever support you might have had from me is Corban" (that is, an offering to God)— then you no longer permit doing anything for a father or mother, thus making void the word of God through your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many things like this.'


In other occasions, Jesus debates finer points of interpreting the Law with the Pharisees (e.g., Mk 2:23–28, Lk 14:1–6). If Jesus really did nullify the Law, why isn't his answer to every challenge about the Law not simply answered with "I nullified the Law; 'nuff said"? And as you have already pointed out, specific quotes attributed to Jesus make a good case that the gospel writers (especially the authors of the Synoptics) did not see Jesus as nullifying the Law. As far as I can tell, in all the text of the New Testament, there is little to indicate that Jesus was ever viewed as declaring the Law 'null and void'; the Passover is littered with some unlawful pagan notions, but there's nothing to indicate that such things trace back to Jesus in their full form.

It seems unlikely that Jesus was responsible for Christianity's disregard of the Law. But then who is?

Was it the disciples?

This really seems unlikely. According to Luke 24:50–53, the disciples return to Jerusalem after Jesus' ascension, where they spend their time "in the temple blessing God". Paul further indicates in Galatians 2:11ff that the earliest members of the Jesus movement are still working from the standpoint that being a Christian means being a Law-abiding Jew. In fact, Paul devotes an enormous amount of time in his letters to the issue of whether Christians must observe the Law. While he seems to indicate that some early Christians certainly were compelled to do so, he himself is very clear that the Law is no longer necessary.

So, if we want to figure out who to blame for the Christian disregard for the Jewish Law as originally practiced by the earliest band of Jesus' followers, we can look to the most zealous anti-Law early Christian we have on record: Paul. As much as our records tell us, Paul created a Christianity marketable to Gentiles that stressed the belief that the Law was no longer applicable.

Paul's the one we should blame. Let's blame Paul.

Jon

Edited by Jon, : No reason given.


Love your enemies!

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Jon
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 80 (665960)
06-20-2012 10:39 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by GDR
06-16-2012 5:54 PM


Jesus said this in the “Sermon on the Mount” in Matthew 5:
quote:
27 "You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

This gives us a more specific case to work with.

It gives us a specific case, yes, but is it a relevant case? Even Paul, who says: "it is evidence that no man is justified before God by the law" (Gal 3:11), gives moral teachings, particularly on marriage (see 1 Corinthians , for example). Marriage, murder, adultery—these things are still part of the Christian moral teaching; these parts of the Law didn't just disappear like other parts.

The parts of the Law that are really relevant are keeping kosher and circumcision. These were, as jar already pointed out, 'deal breakers' for early Gentile Christians who did not like having to give up certain foods or be bothered by the finer points of food preparation and were even more so against mutilating their penises.

These are the parts of the Law that really got dropped and set aside as the Jesus movement developed into the Christian religion.

Jon


Love your enemies!

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jar
Member
Posts: 31458
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.9


(2)
Message 10 of 80 (665968)
06-20-2012 11:26 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by Jon
06-20-2012 10:39 AM


There were other parts that also got dropped, ritual washings and no work on the Sabbath and just about anything that was simply inconvenient.

Those parts of the law though that were common to all religions, (don't lie, cheat, steal, murder) were retained.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1740 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 11 of 80 (665976)
06-20-2012 12:35 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Jon
06-20-2012 4:31 AM


Re: Who to Blame
quote:
So, if we want to figure out who to blame for the Christian disregard for the Jewish Law as originally practiced by the earliest band of Jesus' followers, we can look to the most zealous anti-Law early Christian we have on record: Paul. As much as our records tell us, Paul created a Christianity marketable to Gentiles that stressed the belief that the Law was no longer applicable.

Paul's the one we should blame. Let's blame Paul.


I don't feel that Paul did nullify the Mosaic Laws. He didn't have that authority. Paul was Torah obedient. His issues were more about Gentile Christians being compelled to do rituals they didn't need to do to be part of the Jewish community.

Galatians 2:11 is not about abolishing the Mosaic Laws for the Jews. Politics of the time.

Galatians 2 Commentary
It seems that during the late forties and fifties, Jewish Christians in Judea were facing bitter antagonism from Zealot-minded Jews for socializing with Gentiles. The fierce Jewish nationalism rampant in Palestine at that time led to harsh treatment of any Jew who associated with Gentiles. It is likely that the delegation from James simply reported to Peter that his open and unrestricted association with Gentiles in Antioch would cause (or had already caused) the church in Jerusalem to suffer greatly at the hands of the circumcision group, Jewish nationalists.

It was more about hypocrisy.

Don't confuse justification with expected behavior of a group and don't confuse Paul's arguments concerning justification and behavior. His argument is that Gentile Christians weren't adopted into God's family because of stellar behavior, but through belief just like Abraham. (Romans 4) He didn't nullify any laws that pertained to the Christian Jews or Gentiles. Right behavior was still expected.

Even in the Mosaic Laws, not everything pertains to both Jews and Gentiles.


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Jon
Inactive Member


Message 12 of 80 (665994)
06-20-2012 3:11 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by purpledawn
06-20-2012 12:35 PM


Re: Who to Blame
quote:
So, if we want to figure out who to blame for the Christian disregard for the Jewish Law as originally practiced by the earliest band of Jesus' followers, we can look to the most zealous anti-Law early Christian we have on record: Paul. As much as our records tell us, Paul created a Christianity marketable to Gentiles that stressed the belief that the Law was no longer applicable.

Paul's the one we should blame. Let's blame Paul.


I don't feel that Paul did nullify the Mosaic Laws. He didn't have that authority.

Sure; you can say that. But my point was not that the Mosaic Laws were somehow magically protected such that only certain people could alter them. My point was that there were folk making declarations that becoming Christian didn't necessarily mean keeping all of the Torah and that one of those people was definitely Paul. Paul said that following Jesus didn't necessarily mean following the Law.

Galatians 2:11 is not about abolishing the Mosaic Laws for the Jews. Politics of the time.
...
It was more about hypocrisy.

It's about a lot of things. But I wasn't trying to interpret Paul's message, I was simply reading his words as insight into the nature of the early Christian movement, and Galatians 2:11 does indicate that at least some early Christians were working from the viewpoint that following Jesus meant keeping the Jewish Law. I mean, why else would Cephas refuse to eat with the Gentiles? And what else would the 'circumcision party' be other than a group of Jesus followers who believed following Jesus meant following the Law?

Right behavior was still expected.

I know. Did I ever say I thought otherwise?

Jon


Love your enemies!

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purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1740 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 13 of 80 (666004)
06-20-2012 4:59 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Jon
06-20-2012 3:11 PM


Re: Who to Blame
quote:
My point was that there were folk making declarations that becoming Christian didn't necessarily mean keeping all of the Torah and that one of those people was definitely Paul. Paul said that following Jesus didn't necessarily mean following the Law.

quote:
It's about a lot of things. But I wasn't trying to interpret Paul's message, I was simply reading his words as insight into the nature of the early Christian movement, and Galatians 2:11 does indicate that at least some early Christians were working from the viewpoint that following Jesus meant keeping the Jewish Law. I mean, why else would Cephas refuse to eat with the Gentiles? And what else would the 'circumcision party' be other than a group of Jesus followers who believed following Jesus meant following the Law?
The Laws in the OT are the basis for the Jewish Laws. By the first century there was more to the Jewish Laws than just what was written in the OT. This thread is about whether the Law of the OT was rendered null and void. Not Jewish Law in general.

The circumcision group has been identified as Jewish nationalists, not necessarily Jewish Christians.

Galatians
Paul says, "because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group." We have defined this latter group as a group of ardent Jewish nationalists, based in Jerusalem, who urged all groups in Jerusalem and Judaism to live faithfully according to the law.

I don't see it written in the OT that Jews were forbidden to eat with Gentiles (613 Mitzvot). I think it was more a part of the "fence around the Torah".

Gezeirah: A Fence around the Torah
A gezeirah is a law instituted by the rabbis to prevent people from accidentally violating a Torah mitzvah. For example, the Torah commands us not to work on the Sabbath, but a gezeirah commands us not to move a object only used to perform prohibited work (such as a pencil, money, a hammer), because someone handling the implement might forget that it was the Sabbath and perform prohibited work.

It is important to note that from the point of view of the practicing Jew, there is no difference between a gezeirah and a Torah mitzvah. Both are equally binding. The difference is just in the severity of punishment: a Torah violation of the Sabbath is punishable by death, while a rabbinical violation of a gezeirah is punishable by whipping.

Another difference between a gezeirah and a mitzvah is that the rabbis can, in rare appropriate circumstances, modify, or abrogate a gezeirah. Rabbis cannot change the Torah law that was commanded by God.

I agree that Paul fought the idea that Gentile Christians should be compelled to take on the full weight of Judaism, but they could still do so by choice. Jewish Christians were still required to follow the 613 Commandments from the OT, but the Gentiles were only required to follow the rules mentioned in Acts 15.

I also agree that Paul made it clear that taking on the full weight of Judaism was not necessary to become a Gentile Christian, just as one did not have to give up full Judaism to become a Jewish Christian either.

Paul was tearing down a "fence", not the laws of the OT.


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GDR
Member
Posts: 4983
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 14 of 80 (666014)
06-20-2012 9:00 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Jon
06-20-2012 10:39 AM


Jon writes:

It gives us a specific case, yes, but is it a relevant case? Even Paul, who says: "it is evidence that no man is justified before God by the law" (Gal 3:11), gives moral teachings, particularly on marriage (see 1 Corinthians , for example). Marriage, murder, adultery—these things are still part of the Christian moral teaching; these parts of the Law didn't just disappear like other parts.

I think that it is completely relevant, but so are the other examples that you use. I think that part of the problem is that we tend to think to much along the lines of human laws of behaviour instead of laws of the heart.

I'll go back to what I said before except apply it to murder. If the only thing that stops us from murdering is due to negative consequences for ourselves then from a God perspective for us personally there isn't a lot of difference, if any, between that and actually committing murder.

The reason I used adultery is because of the quote I used earlier from Matthew 5.

quote:
27 "You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
The point is that it is about having our heart in the right place. If our heart is in the right place then there are no need for the laws because our natural desire is to follow the laws instinctively. The laws IMHO are examples of what it looks like when are hearts are in the right place.

AbE I remembered this passage from Romans 2 later.

quote:
12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, 15 since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.)

I think it is fairly clear in this reading. If people see themselves as being subject to the Jewish laws then they would be going against what they believe God wants of them if they break them. However, Paul then goes on to say that the laws are written on the hearts of the Gentiles. Regardless of the laws or any religious belief we know in our hearts when we act in our own self interest at the expense of the interest of another, and we know at one level or another that should resist the temptation to do that. (end of edit)

Jon writes:

The parts of the Law that are really relevant are keeping kosher and circumcision. These were, as jar already pointed out, 'deal breakers' for early Gentile Christians who did not like having to give up certain foods or be bothered by the finer points of food preparation and were even more so against mutilating their penises.

These are the parts of the Law that really got dropped and set aside as the Jesus movement developed into the Christian religion.

Paul writes this in Romans 14:

quote:
17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men. 19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. 20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. 21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall. 22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23 But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.

The Jewish laws on circumcision and the kosher food laws were, IMHO, a point of reference that distinguished the Jews from their neighbours. It gave them a sense of identity and marked them as the people of Yahweh. For Jews that might or might not continue to be an issue but for Gentiles, in most cases, it shouldn't have been an issue at all.

I think that Paul's point is that if in your heart you believe that by eating certain foods, (or not being circumcised for that matter), you are contravening what God wants of you then you should abstain from eating those foods.

In a more secular sense it someone is an alcoholic then pass on the beer. For myself, it doesn't matter one way or the other if I have a beer, but if I'm out with someone who is alcoholic then I should abstain.

It is about the heart or about what drives us to do what we do or don't do.

Edited by GDR, : In text


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by Jon, posted 06-20-2012 10:39 AM Jon has not yet responded

    
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 15 of 80 (666060)
06-21-2012 4:59 PM


Are we going to talk about the parts of the Law that were dropped as Christianity developed?

Edited by Jon, : clarity


Love your enemies!

Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by purpledawn, posted 06-21-2012 7:32 PM Jon has not yet responded
 Message 17 by GDR, posted 06-21-2012 8:04 PM Jon has not yet responded

  
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