Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


JESUS IS THE LAW OF MOSES

Aware of the vicious rules from God in the Bible many try to solve it by pretending all the nasty rules are in the Old Testament which is not true. They claim the rules preceded Jesus and because of him we are are different times now.

"Jesus understands himself as the Torah - the word of God in person" - Pope Benedict XVI.

Another quote,

"It is difficult to find any teaching of Jesus that would offend Jews. Jesus would hardly have built up such a large following if he had upset traditional believers and he appears committed to the Law. 'Till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass away from the Law' (Matthew 5:18).

There is no instance where Jesus permits what the Law clearly forbids and in some instances, his views on divorce, for example, he may be stricter than the Law required. He certainly had his disputes with those who encountered him but, as has been seen, this was in the nature of Judaism where debate was endemic.

There is no reason to doubt that Jesus knew the Hebrew scriptures well. He would have heard them read week after week in his local synagogue and he may have been able to read selected texts from the scrolls preserved there. The title of Rabbi, by which some of his disciples addressed him, suggests that he was perceived as a man with some learning."

From A New History of Early Christianity by Charles Freeman.

My thoughts on this that on sexual matters Jesus was very strict and was recognised as devoted to the Law of Moses. If you believe Jesus was from God then you must hold he was not wasting his time respecting and loving the law. His love of texts that command violence towards heretics and homosexuals and whatever says that even if he relaxed the violence no condemnation of the texts is acceptable. Jesus in Matthew 12:5 is thought to say that it is okay to steal and eat the holy bread if there is a good enough reason even though God has forbidden it. In actual fact if you read the chapter properly it is pointing out that God though he banned work on the sabbath allowed priests to sacrifice animals that day though that was hard work. He pointed that out to say that if you have a clear command from God that a command does not apply under certain circumstances then that is okay. It is not okay to make exceptions yourself where God has not made one. The text stresses the validity and authority of the commands.

Christianity and Judaism agree that God has given eternal doctrines and moral rules in the books of the Law, that is the first five books of the Bible. Christians think that some material no longer applies as Jesus has fulfilled it - for example his sacrifice did not abolish animal sacrifice but took care of the command to sacrifice to God for us so we don't have to sacrifice animals. So the disagreement is about how much of the law can be put in practice but each side regards the law as inviolable as the other. Christians doing things differently from the law does not imply ignoring it or breaking it. It implies the law is in force.

God in Numbers 23:19 says that God is not a human or son of man that he should lie or ever change his mind about anything.

The Jewish law is ignored a lot in Christian circles but that does not change the fact that objectively speaking it is part of the Christian faith. Bible prophecy which is yet to be fulfilled speaks of God's Temple in Zion to which all nations go (Micah 4:2). As the Temple was exclusive to Jews the Church says it refers to God calling Jew and non-Jew to his Temple in Jerusalem in the future. The text is clear that the law of God will come out of that Temple and Micah could have meant no other law but the Torah. Saying its something else is too speculative and what other law did Micah practice and know? The Jewish Law will be restored some day.

Tradition is clear as from the early Letter of Peter to James (though a forgery) does say main apostle of Jesus Peter was clear that the Law of Moses was still in force not just for Jews but for Gentiles and he quotes Jesus saying not a word of the law will be voided - a saying which is in the gospels. The tradition that Peter remained a commander of the Law is too strong and too popular to be dismissed.

Catholic tradition follows the teaching of the Church father Irenaeus who is considered a reliable source for what the apostles of Jesus and therefore Jesus taught.

In Against Heresies he wrote concerning Jesus, The Lord did not abrogate the natural [precepts] of the law, by which man is justified, which also those who were justified by faith, and who pleased God, did observe previous to the giving of the law, but that He extended and fulfilled them, is shown from His words. "For," He remarks, "it has been said to them of old time, Do not commit adultery. But I say unto you, That every one who hath looked upon a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." And again: "It has been said, Thou shalt not kill. But I say unto you, Every one who is angry with his brother without a cause, shall be in danger of the judgment." And, "It hath been said, Thou shalt not forswear thyself. But I say unto you, Swear not at all; but let your conversation be, Yea, yea, and Nay, nay." And other statements of a like nature. For all these do not contain or imply an opposition to and an overturning of the [precepts] of the past, as Marcion's followers do strenuously maintain; but [they exhibit] a fulfilling and an extension of them, as He does Himself declare: "Unless your righteousness shall exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." For what meant the excess referred to? In the first place, [we must] believe not only in the Father, but also in His Son now revealed; for He it is who leads man into fellowship and unity with God. In the next place, [we must] not only say, but we must do; for they said, but did not. And [we must] not only abstain from evil deeds, but even from the desires after them. Now He did not teach us these things as being opposed to the law, but as fulfilling the law, and implanting in us the varied righteousness of the law. That would have been contrary to the law, if He had commanded His disciples to do anything which the law had prohibited."

The Bible teaches (Romans 13 - Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor.

Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law) that Jesus and what he did for us changed how we worship but not how we live so the moral law of the Old Testament is still in force.

Jesus said that he came not to abolish the law or the prophets but to fulfil them. He said not a line would pass away from them. They are scriptures invested with divine authority. Even those who contradict the verse and say Jesus did change the law, must agree that even if he did he was saying that the law is to be honoured by being fulfilled and to be accepted as correct. He was still praising it despite all the murders it commanded and that were committed in its name.

Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount said that such and such was said to the people and that he had such and such to say. Jesus was talking about the Jewish Law in the Bible. The person having done the saying was God. Jesus is clearly saying that those sayings are sacred and divine.

http://www.usccb.org/liturgy/godsmercy.shtml

This Catholic site complains that despite the Church having condemned the idea that the Jewish Scriptures in the Old Testament are opposed to the Christian New Testament, some still treat both sets of scriptures as contradictory. The Church however rejects the idea that the New Testament or Jesus Christ abrogated or superseded the Old Testament. The Church rejects the view that the Old Testament Covenant was abandoned by God and replaced with a New Covenant. Vatican II in Dei Verbum and Nostra Aetate said this was a total misunderstanding. John Paul II said on November 17 1980 that God never revoked the Old Covenant with the Jews.

The Baltimore Catechism states,

Q. 392. Were all the laws of the Jewish religion abolished by the establishment of Christianity?

A. The moral laws of the Jewish religion were not abolished by the establishment of Christianity, for Christ came not to destroy these laws, but to make them more perfect. Its ceremonial laws were abolished when the Temple of Jerusalem ceased to be the House of God.

Comment: The laws must have been very sacred when Christ came for their sake. The Catechism is implying that it was moral for Jesus to send people out to stone gays to death in 29 AD though he supposedly changed that directive when he died the following year or whenever! 

WORKS CONSULTED

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Biblical Law and its Relevance: A Christian Understanding and Ethical Application for Today of the Mosaic Regulations, Joe M Sprinkle, University Press of America, 2006
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Christ’s Literal Reign on Earth From David’s Throne at Jerusalem, John R Rice, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, undated
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Theodore Parker’s Discourses, Theodore Parker, Longmans, Green, Reader & Dyer, London, 1876  
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