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Christianity and the law.

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posted on Mar, 29 2013 @ 03:21 AM
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1. The law in the Old Testament
...and all his commandments are trustworthy. They are forever true, to be obeyed faithfully and with integrity. -Psalms 111:7-8

Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord...... You have charged us to keep your commandments carefully. -Psalm 119:1-4

All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal. - Psalms 119:160

He follows my decrees and faithfully keeps my laws. That man is righteous. -Ezekiel 18:9


Throughout the OT, there are tons of such references made to the "law". It is declared as 'eternal' and keeping the law is equated with righteousness. The Israelites were expected to worship God and keep the law, also referred to as 'commandments' and 'precepts'.


2. The law and Jesus
Jesus, as a baby, was consecrated to God according to the law. Jesus explicitly spoke in support of the law... condemning those who broke the law and instructing others to keep the law. Of course, Jesus did not teach people to follow the law for the sake of following the law... like the self righteous Pharisees did. Instead he emphasized on higher qualities such as mercy and also applied discretion. Nonetheless, he maintained that the law was to remain.

a. Jesus criticized the keepers of the law regarding their breaking of the rather harsh commandment to kill those who cursed their parents....
“And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ But you say ....Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition." - Matthew 15:2-6


b. Jesus also instructed his followers to do as the teachers of the law say... Jesus' reason was because they occupied the seat of Moses, who brought the law to the Israelites. BUT he warned them not to do as they do because they were hypocrites who did not practice what they preach. Jesus did not oppose their positions as teachers of the law, but only questioned their hypocrisy.

c. Jesus said he wasn't here to destroy the law and the prophets, but rather to fulfill it... meaning he was operating within the framework of the Israelite religion. Jesus was not here to dispose off the Old Testament law.

d. Jesus declared that the law would remain until heaven and earth pass away... so the law should have been a part of Christian belief system today.

e. Jesus said that those who ignore even the least commandment would be the least in the kingdom of heaven.


3. Christianity's abandonment of the law
Despite all these statements in the OT and the gospels regarding the importance of the law, Christians believe that the law has been done away with or that they are somehow exempt from keeping it. This belief is derived by interpreting Jesus' words on the cross, "it is finished".... to mean Jesus fulfilled the law and so therefore there was no more need of keeping the law. Or maybe its something else... but whatever the reason is, the Biblical narrative shows that Jesus made a case FOR the law and never said anything to imply that the law would be done with upon his crucifixion... not when he was alive nor when he appeared after his crucifixion. In fact, the disciples were still discussing the law in Acts.


4. Pauls teachings against the law
Without a doubt, Pauls writings against the law have played a major role in Christianity's dismissal of the law.
-In Galatians 2:16, he claims a person is not justified by the works of the law, thereby contradicting all previous associations between the law and righteousness.
-In Romans 10:4, he claims the law culminated with Jesus, despite the fact that Jesus never claimed so.
-In Colossians 2:14 he seems to imply the law was nailed to the cross. However, (a) there is not a single prophecy which states that the law was to be terminated after Jesus' crucifixion. (b) Jesus never mentioned any thing about the law coming to an end upon his crucifixion. In other words, Paul was teaching ideas that did not come from the mouth of Jesus.


6. So what is the deal between the law and Christianity?
God and Jesus said the law was to remain. On no occasion did God or Jesus ever promulgate the idea that the law would be done away with at a future time. So therefore Christianity's idea that the law was done away with comes from a source other than God and Jesus.

Perhaps Christianity's abandonment of the law was a direct result of Paul's teachings taking precedence over the direct words of God and Jesus on the law... or maybe its because Christianity itself evolved into something that Jesus would not have approved of. The fact remains that Jesus never said anything to imply that the law was done away with.

Discuss.


edit on 29-3-2013 by sk0rpi0n because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 29 2013 @ 03:35 AM
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This is a much debated issue amongst many folks, the real crux of
the issue is that no one really wants to keep that law, its far too
harsh and they know it, their morality is superior to the morality
practiced in the past and they cannot bring themselves to sink
that low, which is a great thing, im very glad they are more moral
than their teachings tell them to be.

Morality needs to be separated from religion completely, religion
is used to pervert real morality and request that they do immoral
things in the name of their god/gods, morality as religion would
have it is subjective, that type of morality can encourage the absolute
worst of humanity, i often see religious folks ask "if you don't
believe in god then why don't you just murder, rape and steal?"
well its because im actually moral, i do not need to be told how
to be moral, also i do not allow excuses to sway my morality, if god
tells you to kill, hurt, or take away freedoms then it is still immoral
to do those things, it does not matter if a god commands it, if you
carry out the immoral act then you are immoral.

Honestly what if gods command for Abraham to kill his son was
a test of his morality and not a test of obedience? the correct
answer to the request of murdering your own child is always no
that's immoral, even if god commands it.



posted on Mar, 29 2013 @ 04:16 AM
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reply to post by sk0rpi0n
 

We should note, as some people forget, the second half of Paul's teachings on this.

Romans ch7 v6.
"We serve not under the old written code BUT in the new life of the Spirit".
That is. we still observe what morality requres, but because the Spirit tells us to, not because the Laws of Moses tell us to.
(But in practice, this had been too hard to follow, so the church has falllen back on a de facto principle of "the 10 commandments are still valid", which has roughly the same effect as what Paul meant).



posted on Mar, 29 2013 @ 04:22 AM
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reply to post by bloodreviara
 





Honestly what if gods command for Abraham to kill his son was a test of his morality and not a test of obedience? the correct answer to the request of murdering your own child is always no that's immoral, even if god commands it.


That's actually a test to see whether you are a true religious fanatic
Killing your child, in the name of any God...can that be good from any point of view ?



posted on Mar, 29 2013 @ 04:34 AM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 



We should note, as some people forget, the second half of Paul's teachings on this.


Thats exactly my point....
Pauls teachings on the law seems to have taken precedence over what Jesus actually said concerning the law.
Or is it that Pauls teachings negates Jesus teachings?

edit on 29-3-2013 by sk0rpi0n because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 29 2013 @ 06:19 AM
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Originally posted by sk0rpi0n
reply to post by DISRAELI
 



We should note, as some people forget, the second half of Paul's teachings on this.


Thats exactly my point....
Pauls teachings on the law seems to have taken precedence over what Jesus actually said concerning the law.
Or is it that Pauls teachings negates Jesus teachings?

edit on 29-3-2013 by sk0rpi0n because: (no reason given)


I don't think so. Jesus gave only two commands under the new covenant that He made effectual at the last supper, and Jesus said the entire law and prophets were summed up in the two commands He gave. Secondly, Gentiles were never a party to the first covenant at Mt. Sinai. Lastly, if the law were mandatory for salvation then how would Adam, Noah, Abraham, Issac, Jacob, or Joseph and the like saved?



posted on Mar, 29 2013 @ 06:40 AM
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reply to post by NOTurTypical
 



I don't think so. Jesus gave only two commands under the new covenant that He made effectual at the last supper, and Jesus said the entire law and prophets were summed up in the two commands He gave.


You are forgetting that Jesus also said not a dot from the law would disappear until heaven and earth passed away.

Jesus' 2 commands... "Love God" and "Love thy neighbour" .... meant all the laws pertaining to serving God and doing good to man rested on those two commands. If one loved God, he would perform all that the law required of him to serve God. And if he loved his neighbor, he would perform all that the law required of him to do good to man.




Secondly, Gentiles were never a party to the first covenant at Mt. Sinai. Lastly, if the law were mandatory for salvation then how would Adam, Noah, Abraham, Issac, Jacob, or Joseph and the like saved?


According to the Bible, the "law" existed even before the covenant at Mt. Sinai...

Abraham is said to have followed the laws and commandments.
Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.- Genesis 26:5

Interesting.
edit on 29-3-2013 by sk0rpi0n because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 29 2013 @ 07:21 AM
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3. Christianity's abandonment of the law


Which is the heart of it, were Gentiles who resided outside the Jewish territories ever obliged to follow any Covenant before the New Covenant? And, since we are talking about Paul, we can set to one side any Goyim who believe that they were covenant partners with Abraham through Ishmael, since all surviving writing of Paul is addressed to specific peoples, and he didn't write to any self-described Ishmaelites.

I am unaware of any Christian who thinks the Law has been "done away with." It takes up quite a lot of space in their canonical Bible, and many of them quote enthusiastically (if selectively) from it. Besides, a typical Christian belief is that the whole book foretells the incarnation of The Son, God in the human person of Jesus, so its imperishability would be assured by that alone.

Jesus said not a jot or tittle of it would pass away, and so far, he's visibly spot on.


This belief is derived by interpreting Jesus' words on the cross, "it is finished"....


Well, maybe on the CARM site, or someplace similar, but actually, it's pretty clear that John depicts Jesus' masterful completion of the nasty part of his mission. It's all glory from that moment on - after a pause for the Sabbath, of course, speaking of the Law continuing after Jesus' death, in black letters, in John, if not at woo-woo apologetics sites.

Beliefs about the fulfillment of the Law arise more from Jesus saying he came to fulfill the law and Paul describing Christ as the end (telos) of the Law - in other words, the agreement of God Incarnate with his apostle. The Christian position is that obligation under the Law never began for Gentiles in general, not that Jesus stopped it. Acts is very clear that the Jews of the Jerusalem church did continue under the Law, and it's a hugely pro-Paul book. Its report of the Jerusalem Council is legislative, and establishes apostolic authority to determine whether Gentile Christians are obligated to follow the law or not. They are not. Other views are possible, but Mohammed's writ doesn't run in Christendom. Allah is merciful.


or maybe its because Christianity itself evolved into something that Jesus would not have approved of.


That's a distinct possibility, and is something that many Christians would agree with. Jesus predicted that at the Judgment there would be those who cried to him "Lord, Lord" whom he would not recognize. Again, so far at least, I've got to credit him with a hit on that one, too. Somebody is doing it wrong.



posted on Mar, 29 2013 @ 09:11 AM
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reply to post by eight bits
 



Which is the heart of it, were Gentiles who resided outside the Jewish territories ever obliged to follow any Covenant before the New Covenant?

You seem to think the term "new covenant" magically nullifies Jesus' statement that the law was to remain until heaven and earth passed away.



I am unaware of any Christian who thinks the Law has been "done away with."

Well, you being unaware of such Christians who think the law has been done away with doesn't change the fact that such Christians exist. Paul's teachings that Christians have been "released" from the law and that Jesus abolished the law....has led Christians to believe so. In fact, whether or not the law still applies to Christian is still a matter of debate among Christians.

"The law" was an integral part of the message of Jesus.
I guess Christians need to decide who they are going to follow... Its either Jesus who said that the law was to remain OR Paul who taught the law was abolished.



The Christian position is that obligation under the Law never began for Gentiles in general, not that Jesus stopped it.

Do Christians also believe its possible for a Muslim to convert to Christianity,and call himself a "Christian" but continue to maintain that Jesus is not God or part of some trinity? So Gentiles cant claim to follow Jesus and not keep the law, which Jesus said to keep... and according to the Bible keeping the "law" was an integral part of Jesus' message.



posted on Mar, 29 2013 @ 09:11 AM
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reply to post by eight bits
 




Jesus predicted that at the Judgment there would be those who cried to him "Lord, Lord" whom he would not recognize. Again, so far at least, I've got to credit him with a hit on that one, too. Somebody is doing it wrong.

Those somebody's happen to be the ones who Jesus calls as "workers of iniquity"

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

The greek word for iniquity is 'anomia'... which means lawlessness and the utter disregard for God's law

That verse exactly describes Christians who do things in the name of Jesus, but believe the law doesn't apply to them. Thanks for bringing this up. I should have included this in the OP.



Other views are possible, but Mohammed's writ doesn't run in Christendom. Allah is merciful.
Its interesting how you keep bringing up Mohammad and Allah on a subject pertaining to Jesus, the Bible and Christianity. Like as if that disproves anything. You might note that I am arguing using Jesus' words, not Mohammads.

edit on 29-3-2013 by sk0rpi0n because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 29 2013 @ 09:57 AM
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reply to post by sk0rpi0n
 

Or is it that Pauls teachings negates Jesus teachings?
I think it is more your, and a lot of other people's, lack of grasping the rhetoric involved in the writing of the New Testament.
Jesus used the Law as a device to make arguments with to demonstrate the hypocrisy of those who opposed him.
He was not actually endorsing the Old Testament.
Many posters on this forum use the Bible to argue with Christians, that doesn't mean they believe in or endorse the Bible.



posted on Mar, 29 2013 @ 10:14 AM
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reply to post by sk0rpi0n
 


No, we're having this same discussion in another thread, Jesus said not one jot or title would change from the law until it was fulfilled and then He said that He came to fulfil it. Unless you're arguing Jesus was a failure or a sinner and did not fulfil the law?


Interesting.


By "law", we're talking about the Mosaic Law aren't we? That's a covenant made at Mt. Sinai between God and the Hebrews. Were you not referring to the Mosaic law and covenant or not?
edit on 29-3-2013 by NOTurTypical because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 29 2013 @ 11:29 AM
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Scorpie


You seem to think the term "new covenant" magically nullifies Jesus' statement that the law was to remain until heaven and earth passed away.


The law remains, what does the new convenant have to do with that?


Well, you being unaware of such Christians who think the law has been done away with doesn't change the fact that such Christians exist.


I didn't deny that any exist, I was looking for a gentle way to suggest that those few who do must be pretty inattentive not to notice that their Bible includes the Law. Christians of almost all denominations quote from the Mosaic books all the time. Maybe they think it's something else? Or, alternatively, maybe there aren't so many who think that the Law has been done away with.


I guess Christians need to decide who they are going to follow... Its either Jesus who said that the law was to remain OR Paul who taught the law was abolished.


Actually, most belong to churches for which the Jerusalem Council disposed of this issue. This has been explained, so I won't repeat that. No conflict.

Acts also shows Peter receiving supernatural guidance on these same questions, and adopting a similar position to Paul's. Paul is more prominent, because we have evidence from him of his views, but Acts is canonical. Peter had his part in the decision as well, or there's no point discussing the New Testament; we can just stick to the Koran.


Do Christians also believe its possible for a Muslim to convert to Christianity,and call himself a "Christian" but continue to maintain that Jesus is not God or part of some trinity?


Unitarians who are non-creedal, but historically descended from Nicene Christianity, presumably would be delighted to welcome this person as a fellow "Christian."


So Gentiles cant claim to follow Jesus and not keep the law, which Jesus said to keep... and according to the Bible keeping the "law" was an integral part of Jesus' message.


Gentile Christians do just that, so there's no point discussing whether or not they can. If what you meant to say was that in your view, they ought not to do this, then I am confident that if you pointed out your objection to them, then they'd give your advice all the weight it deserves. Be sure to tell them that Mohammed sent you. Lol.


Its interesting how you keep bringing up Mohammad and Allah on a subject pertaining to Jesus,...


Paul, Peter, Jesus and Mohammed are the players in this topic. Since there is no disagreement among the first three, but there is a disagreement between the three of them and the fourth, the fourth guy is going to get a disproportionate share of the bandwidth, as odd man out. Or, if you prefer, the squeaky wheel gets the grease.



posted on Mar, 29 2013 @ 10:13 PM
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reply to post by bloodreviara
 





This is a much debated issue amongst many folks, the real crux of the issue is that no one really wants to keep that law, its far too harsh and they know it, their morality is superior to the morality practiced in the past and they cannot bring themselves to sink that low, which is a great thing, im very glad they are more moral than their teachings tell them to be.


I always love your posts bloodreviara


I think that the biggest problem with converting the pagans to Christianity and the biggest obstacle standing in way of converting pagan men was that little thing called "circumcision".

"Your God wants WHAT?
!"



posted on Mar, 30 2013 @ 01:00 AM
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Originally posted by windword
reply to post by bloodreviara
 





This is a much debated issue amongst many folks, the real crux of the issue is that no one really wants to keep that law, its far too harsh and they know it, their morality is superior to the morality practiced in the past and they cannot bring themselves to sink that low, which is a great thing, im very glad they are more moral than their teachings tell them to be.


I always love your posts bloodreviara


I think that the biggest problem with converting the pagans to Christianity and the biggest obstacle standing in way of converting pagan men was that little thing called "circumcision".

"Your God wants WHAT?
!"


I'd personally like to know how we would keep the law even if we wanted to seeing as there hasn't been a temple standing since 70 AD.



posted on Mar, 30 2013 @ 02:15 AM
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reply to post by eight bits
 



I didn't deny that any exist, I was looking for a gentle way to suggest that those few who do must be pretty inattentive not to notice that their Bible includes the Law.


The Bible includes the law within its pages, yes.
But the Christian belief system holds that the law was done away with on the cross, as taught by Paul.
So its not just a few who believe the law is done with, but most of Christianity.


Christians of almost all denominations quote from the Mosaic books all the time.

Quoting from those books is not the same as following the laws, as instructed by Jesus.
I guess those books are handy only during certain instances... like quoting Leviticus 18:22 when condemning homosexuals. The rest of the law, however seems to have been abolished, according to the christians.


Acts also shows Peter receiving supernatural guidance on these same questions, and adopting a similar position to Paul's. Paul is more prominent, because we have evidence from him of his views, but Acts is canonical. Peter had his part in the decision as well,


Peter may have been a disciple of Jesus, but he wasn't all that perfect.

In Acts, he speaks of the law as a yoke..."a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear".

But Peter was WRONG on this matter because the Bible tells us that the law was not burdensome or difficult to keep.


so there's no point discussing whether or not they can. If what you meant to say was that in your view, they ought not to do this

Not in my view, but according to what God and Jesus prescribed.
edit on 30-3-2013 by sk0rpi0n because: Meant to say Peter



posted on Mar, 30 2013 @ 02:16 AM
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reply to post by eight bits
 




Paul, Peter, Jesus and Mohammed are the players in this topic.

According to the content of the OP.... Its God, Jesus and Paul... and maybe Peter as well. I did not bring Mohammad into this discussion and I don't see what he has to do with Jesus' commands to keep the law.



Since there is no disagreement among the first three, but there is a disagreement between the three of them and the fourth, the fourth guy is going to get a disproportionate share of the bandwidth, as odd man out.

No disagreement among the first three?
Well Jesus said the law was to remain until heaven and earth pass away... Paul claims the law was abolished. As for Peter, he is in the same boat with Paul. So Ponder over that one for a while and come back.

As for the fourth one... you are the one giving him a 'disproportionate share of the bandwidth'...not me. Because I am not even quoting Mohammad or posting stuff from the Koran or the Hadith to make my case in the OP. I am quoting from the Bible, especially the words of Jesus but for some reason, you keep bringing up Mohammad as a red herring to divert attention to what is being discussed. Like as if I'm supposed to abandon the subject of the OP and start discussing Mohammad.

edit on 30-3-2013 by sk0rpi0n because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 30 2013 @ 03:59 AM
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I did not bring Mohammad into this discussion and I don't see what he has to do with Jesus' commands to keep the law.


If you feel that what Mohammed teaches Christians about the Law is off-topic, then you should consult a moderator.


Well Jesus said the law was to remain until heaven and earth pass away...


And so it does remain.


Paul claims the law was abolished.


Others disagree with you about that. I have already explained my thinking about what Paul, in concert with the Jeursalem Council, taught Gentiles about their obligations under the Law. If you disagree, then disagreement happens on discussion forums. At least you and I agree that Peter and Paul complemented each other.


Because I am not even quoting Mohammad or posting stuff from the Koran or the Hadith to make my case in the OP.


If it wasn't for my bringing him up, you wouldn't have discussed Peter, either. As I've said, Jesus, Peter, Paul and Mohammed are all players in this topic. I believe that a discussion which slighted any of them would be incomplete. So I've fixed that for you.



posted on Mar, 30 2013 @ 04:52 AM
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reply to post by eight bits
 


sk0rpi0n : Well Jesus said the law was to remain until heaven and earth pass away...

And so it does remain.

It remains as printer ink on the pages of the Bible. It isn't followed by Christians who were told to keep it by Jesus... because they believe its been abolished because Paul said so.



posted on Mar, 30 2013 @ 04:52 AM
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reply to post by eight bits
 



If it wasn't for my bringing him up, you wouldn't have discussed Peter, either.

You brought up Peter in context with something he said about the law (Acts) and I addressed that, showing you that he was wrong on what he spoke of the law.


As I've said, Jesus, Peter, Paul and Mohammed are all players in this topic. I believe that a discussion which slighted any of them would be incomplete. So I've fixed that for you.

Unless you first demonstrate how Mohammad is a player in this exclusively Christian debate, you haven't "fixed" anything.
You know fully well you wouldn't be bringing up Mohammad as a 'player' if you were having the same law-related discussion with a Judaizer or even a Christian.



If you feel that what Mohammed teaches Christians about the Law is off-topic, then you should consult a moderator.

If you feel Mohammad really had something to do with the law that is spoken of by God and Jesus in the Bible, then maybe you should elaborate.... instead of just bringing up Mohammad in snide remarks such as...
"Be sure to tell them that Mohammed sent you. Lol. "

which you made elsewhere.





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