14
   

Old Testament--are its laws applicable to Christianity???

 
 
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 09:22 am
The question of whether Old Testament laws apply to Christians has raised its ugly head again. I'd like to start a discussion on the issue.

Here are some pertinent facts: At Acts 15, the author deals with a meeting that took place in Jerusalem between the presbyters of the community church, Peter, Paul, Barnabas, possibly other unnamed apostles, and possibly lay members of the community. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss a controversy that had arisen among the converted Pharisees of Antioch"who were of the opinion that Christianity was a religion that should be open only to Jews. They were openly distrustful of Paul, who was intent on converting gentiles as well.
 
In any case, the subject controversy was that the Pharisees were especially troubled by the fact that Paul allowed gentile converts to come into the new religion without being circumcised"a compromise they thought would lead to greater and more troubling (for them) concessions to the law. In fact, the specific item on the agenda appears to have been the non-circumcision of Titus (later, St. Titus)"a Greek gentile convert who was a frequently companion to Paul on his travels among the gentiles.
 
The meeting, an important early Christian meeting, is not only mentioned by Luke in Acts 15, but also by Paul in his letter to the Galatians, Chapter 2 (particularly verses 1-10.)
 
Both Acts and Galatians indicate that the main instigation for the meeting was the question of whether or not the act of circumcision was a necessary requirement for gentile converts to the newly formed religion. The question of whether dietary restrictions should be imposed was quickly included…and while there are some differences of opinions as to how that last part was resolved, the “minutes” of the meeting (actually a letter to the Christian community in Antioch) indicate that some dietary obligations remained in effect.
 
The group, in the letter, invokes the agreement of The Holy Spirit in the decision. Circumcision, it was decided, was definitely NOT a requirement for gentile converts. The dietary resolution has some minor ambivalence. Galatians seems to indicate that no dietary restrictions were required of the new gentile converts, or at least, none are specifically mentioned. Acts 15: 23-29 specifically states that the letter which outlined the results of the deliberations included the following,  “…it is the decision of the Holy Spirit, and ours too, that we will not lay upon you (gentile converts) any burden beyond that which is strictly necessary, namely, to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals, and from illicit sexual union. You will be well advised to avoid these things.”
 
In any case, anyone who reads the material in Galatians or Acts as justification for divorcing Christianity from the Old Testament law really is stretching things a great deal. The deliberations seem to have been almost exclusively confined to considerations of circumcision and dietary laws.
 
But even if that stretch is deemed proper and reasonable (which intelligent, well-intentioned people can do), there is absolutely no logical way to suppose any perceived divorce from Old Testament law includes the right to suppose that the things that pleased or offended the god of the Bible as indicated in the Old Testament…no longer applied. If an orthodox Jew was obliged to accept that murder and stealing and fornicating and lusting offended the god of the Bible"Christians were also. If an orthodox Jew was obliged to accept that homosexuality offended the god"Christians were also.
 
I will deal here specifically with the passage at Leviticus 20:13, “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives.”
 
My argument is: Even if you were to distort the passages in Acts to mean that “the law” no longer applies to Christians...you could then logically argue that Christians are under no obligation to put homosexuals to death. But you cannot, on the basis of that stretch, logically argue that homosexual activity is not an abomination in the eyes of the god of the Bible.
 
NOTE:  My personal opinion is that the best guess that can be made about the Bible is that it is a self-serving history of the early Hebrew people interspersed with a fanciful religious mythology. My opinion is that the best guess that can be made about the religious aspects of the Bible is that the people writing the material"the people inventing the god"put their prejudices and biases into the mouth of the god they invented. Almost all of the anger, hatred, and prejudice against homosexuals today has their genesis in the biblical mythology"and has absolutely no place in the hearts and minds of people supposedly as intelligent as we. It is my opinion that the unwarranted prejudice against homosexuals should end not because people are able to justify disregarding the more obviously silly ravings of a mythical god…but because we, as an intelligent and basically fair species, should see such prejudice for the ignorance it is.
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 14 • Views: 5,927 • Replies: 49
No top replies

 
Frank Apisa
 
  0  
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 09:22 am
The new thread has been initiated. Hope you join me there for some discussion.


http://able2know.org/topic/128690-1
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 09:53 am
Matthew, Chapter Five, verses 17 through 20:

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.


Any Christian who tries to claim that Mosaic (old testament) law does not apply to modern Christianity is peddling a line of horseshit, and denying what their scripture claims to be the word of their boy Jesus. The law is embodied in the Pentateuch, which is to say, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. That all the five books of the Pentateuch are included in "the law" is confirmed in Talmudic literature, and in Aramaic those five books are simply called the law. Click here to read the Catholic Encyclopedia article on the Pentateuch. Anciently, the Jews referred to that part of "the bible" as hattorah ("the law") or simply as torah ("law").
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 10:34 am
@Setanta,
Well, if you know the origins of Leonard Nimoy's sign of the Vulcan ("V" sign, made from the hand's middle fingers, without touching the fingers), the question might be academic for many. I would guess you can make this sign with no trouble.
0 Replies
 
NickFun
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 11:36 am
There were two different Gods. One was the jealous, vengeful God of the Old Testament who was always threatening to wipe out humanity and the kinder, more loving God of the New Testament. Take your pick!
saab
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 11:45 am
@NickFun,
Two different Gods or a change of personality did not change the laws like the 10 commandments.
0 Replies
 
Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 11:57 am
@Frank Apisa,
What annoys me is that so much time effort and brain power is wasted on interpreting the Bronze Age scribblings of a few ancient Hebrews.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 12:33 pm
@NickFun,
Quote:
There were two different Gods. One was the jealous, vengeful God of the Old Testament who was always threatening to wipe out humanity and the kinder, more loving God of the New Testament. Take your pick!


Unfortunately for that line of reasoning...the god of the New Testament...worshiped the god of the Old Testament!
Zippo
 
  0  
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 12:48 pm
The Old Testament was anti-semitic
The New Testament was re-written to be Politically Correct.

The "Lobby" groups have been around for such a long time...
0 Replies
 
NickFun
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 10:46 pm
@Frank Apisa,
He was afraid he'd get his ass kicked if he didn't!
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Jan, 2009 08:38 am
@NickFun,
MY GUESS: That was exactly what happened. Although we both know that "ass kicking" is hardly the punishment he would have faced.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Jan, 2009 08:42 am
I guess the Christians have decided not to touch this one!
maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Jan, 2009 10:01 am
@Frank Apisa,
Does that surprise you? They have always been closed off to questioning their most basic belief structure, otherwise they'd be atheists/agnostics.
0 Replies
 
NickFun
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Jan, 2009 04:56 pm
So...there are TWO Gods? And the second is subservient to the first? And Jesus is the son of #1 or #2?
0 Replies
 
Ashers
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Jan, 2009 09:38 pm
It's pick and choose for self preservation. There's clearly a massive disconnect between an individual's faith and the rituals this becomes personified through in daily life. The religious experience is the core and if there at all, it's likely ineffable and symbolises the ultimate good. I guess largely through culture and circumstance this experience is organised and numbered and an attack on this is like an attack on everything held dear. But anyway that's why I think we get the mental gymnastics, to accommodate and maintain the link with these ineffable experiences. I think this sums up quite a few people who hold onto these things, just to differing degrees. Some are off the radar and long gone unfortunately. But I also see this as why offering logic is hopeless if you're trying to garner a change of perspective. It's not attacking the source and sometimes seems to further solidify the armour. Religiousity takes many forms outside of religion as well of course, again, that's got to go down as another signifier that having a religious discussion based around the rituals/dogma is superficial if you're interested in the religious condition itself. Still fun though.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 10:12 am
@Ashers,
Ashers...I will read and respond to this post in a bit...but I just wanted to let you know that I just reponded to a post you made addressed to me earlier in the other thread. I missed it earlier.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 10:15 am
@Ashers,
Quote:
Still fun though.


Most important part of your post.

In any case, this was posted so that it is in place when needed in other discussion I see on the horizon...or other discussions I thought I saw on the horizon.

Not a lot of Christians around A2K these days!
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 10:20 am
@Frank Apisa,
Frank Apisa wrote:
Not a lot of Christians around A2K these days!


or they are ignoring you in all your crusty wonder
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 10:24 am
@ehBeth,
Well I'm glad you are not, Beth. Very Happy Wink
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 10:35 am
@Frank Apisa,
me? nahhhhh

I need to know why there's laughter in the house Wink
 

Related Topics

 
  1. Forums
  2. » Old Testament--are its laws applicable to Christianity???
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.04 seconds on 09/20/2019 at 02:02:02