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?

 


CHRISTIANITY CONFESSES THAT TORAH - THE JEWISH LAW - IS STILL IN FORCE

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.

The apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 1 wrote that to trust him is to trust Jesus and the law of Moses is still in force with its commands about murderers, homosexuals and perjurers and so on. The mention of homosexuals affirms that Leviticus is valid for condemning gay sex. Notice how it keeps it simple - the text just condemned sex between man and man period. It was not about any alleged circumstances or forms of gay sex. Let us read:

7 They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.

8 We know that the law is good if one uses it properly.

9 We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers,
 
10 for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine
11 that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.

12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service.  
So he is clear that the Law of God given in the Bible is good but only if not abused. He advocates its correct use. He said it was only bad for the people who were unrighteous and needed punishment. It is Christian doctrine that the Law is absolutely correct. Paul was implying that if God speaks and commands you to murder sinners then you must obey. When he said believers are not subject to it he must have meant not that they have the right to disobey it but they are saved from the penalty for breaking it. Jesus takes the rap as the one who was punished by God for our violations of the law.

"Paul is able to say that the law is done away with, and yet not done away with, but established by justifying faith (2 Cor. 3:7-17; Rom. 3:31)." See page 124, Christ Our Righteousness, (Mark A Seifrid, IVP, 2000). Thus Christian faith is not faith unless it approves of divine law.
In Romans 3:27, Paul says that the law is not about works but about faith that saves.

Some use the New Testament teaching that we must obey the spirit of the law not the letter of the law as saying we can interpret the nasty laws figuratively not literally. Such an interpretation is an exaggeration of the command and makes the law useless. It is really just an excuse for saying you are a believer in the Bible's divine authority when you are not. The spirit of the law refers to understanding it correctly and not exaggerating any of its laws. A judge who sentences a shop lifter to jail for three years may see that penalty laid down in the books of the law. But he will be ignoring laws about extenuating circumstances. Thus he is putting the letter above the meaning of the law.

In Acts 15, the apostles grappled with the problem of non-Jewish Christians and their relationship to the Jewish Law. As they didn’t want to burden the converts, they decreed that they must abstain from blood, eating meat sacrificed to demons, fornication and the meat of animals that were strangled. The Church concludes from this that she has the power to restore as much of the Jewish Law as she wants. In principle, the Church can require that adulterers be stoned to death. Acts 15 however only describes an emergency situation. Plainly, it cannot be concluded from it that the Church should restore parts of the Law if it wants. It sounds more like a situation where the whole Law was required but it was not possible for it to be entirely kept.

The decision was not made to please anybody. If the apostles had wanted to please people they would have given in to the Jewish Christians who considered it necessary to circumcise the Gentiles and put down circumcision as a requirement. After all, that is what the meetings and deliberations outlined in Acts 15 were about.

The decision implies the whole Law ideally and if possible should be advocated for observance. The Church says that the ban on fornication is a moral law. Yet in Acts 15 it is listed as banned. Murder was also forbidden by the Law of the Jews given by God as well as fornication was. Does the apostles banning fornication and not murder mean that the Gentiles were allowed to commit murder? Of course not. Clearly the apostles were saying that the ban on eating blood, meat sacrificed to pagan gods or the meat of strangled animals were moral laws as much as fornication was. Thus they cannot be done away. What is wrong is wrong and that cannot be changed.
JOHN 8
Jesus in John 8 has to deal with the woman caught in adultery. The law of Moses says she is to be stoned and her accusers test him to see if he breaks the law or says it is wrong even if he does not counsel breaking it. Jesus of course will not do that. Hank Hani writes, "In context, Jesus hardly abrogates the law of Moses. Instead, he says, 'If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to cast a stone at her' "(John 8:7). He says he does not condemn her. He means hate and punish. He tells her to leave her live of sin so he does condemn her sin. He condemns her as a sinner but not as somebody who is to be condemned to death. Why did Jesus not stone her? Well the mob had left and the command is that a group must do it not an individual or perhaps Jesus was telling the mob that he too was a sinner.
Jesus far from contradicting God's law in the Sermon on the Mount tries to bring out and convey its real meaning and God's real intent. So that is why the command banning adultery means not to deliberately want to commit adultery either. This approach is quite a reinforcement.

THE CATHOLIC CHURCH CONFESSES

In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, (Sections 577-582), we read that the Church teaches that Jesus alone obeyed the Law of Moses perfectly and that the Law is one inseparable whole so he who breaks one rule breaks them all.

The Catechism agrees that Jesus did not abolish the Law at all but he only interpreted it properly and attacked the laws that had been added to it by tradition.

The Church says that Jesus did not do away with the laws on diet but only expressed what they were about and that they were meant to be reminders of the need to keep the heart pure. In other words, pigs were made unclean food by God though they were not really unclean in themselves just to remind the people that they were sacred. If they eat pigs they lose these reminders and their hearts become unclean so eating pigs is unclean. The Church however ignores the food regulations. Jesus is thought to have declared all foods clean. But even if Jesus did declare that all foods were clean in themselves that does not imply that the food regulations can be abandoned if their purpose was the purpose he gave them. On the contrary it implies they should still be kept.

The Church agrees that the Law was right to condemn the foods as unclean implying it agrees that gays and adulterers should be stoned to death.

THE WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD NOW SAYS…

The Worldwide Church of God used to teach that keeping parts of the Law of Moses was necessary for Christians. After a dramatic change in doctrine the Worldwide Church of God issued a new statement of their position on the Law of Moses liberalising their teachings. They said that the Bible never says the Law was the means of salvation. They said that the Mosiac law is a unit and the word Torah or Law in the Bible is singular as is the word nomos used in the New Testament. James 2:10 is seen to indicate that since to break one law is to break them all that the Law of Moses with its 613 commandments is a unit.
They say that Galatians 3:19 says that the Law was in force only until Jesus would come and 2 Corinthians 3:2-11 says the Law is katargeo which means rendered inoperative. But they say that we are still free to keep any part of the Mosiac Law if we wish. The New Testament stresses freedom which they take to mean that if you want to keep the unclean food ban you can do it as long as you understand it is up to you. The study says that the New Testaments answers both yes and no to the question, “Are the Old Testament Laws Still Binding on Christians?” They point to Hebrews 8:10 quoting Jeremiah 31:31-33 as valid for our day though Jeremiah says in it that God will write the Law of Moses on our hearts. The study says the Laws of the Old Testament are completely valid but we just obey them in a new way as exemplified by Christ. In other words, instead of worrying about damp on your wall like the Law commands you worry more about the kind of heart you have. They argue that you can forget about the damp as long as it will do no harm and that is love. So you worry about the spirit of the Law not the letter.

This new teaching is exactly the same as the orthodox Christian teaching on the Law. But notice how it lets you make laws to kill gays and adulterers if you want to. The fact that the New Testament says that the Law is inoperative in the sense that it does not force us anymore for God works within us to make us want to obey it is ignored. The New Testament never says we are free to drop the requirements of the Law. Moreover, you could keep the spirit of the Law and the letter. The idea of the spirit of the Law needing to be obeyed implies that the Law wants you do follow the spirit of the Law or to obey. If the Law says I should have dampness on my wall treated then I cannot ignore this without turning against the spirit of the Law. Keeping the Law would be good discipline for me if I am already saved so not keeping it would be gross ingratitude to God.

CONCLUSION

Those of us who see how evil the law of God is in the Bible should be disturbed by the Church’s reverence for it and the possibility that the Church could restore its inhumanity. Read the apostle Paul in his Romans 3:31, King James Version (KJV), who denies that there should be any intention to void the law. "Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law." It indicates that our faith in Christ establishes the law, the law having been validated by it. The Bible says that Jesus’ mission was to establish or reaffirm the law. Whether you think that lines up to how Christianity treats the law that is not the point. The point is that the law is still all objectively true for the Christian faith and this "truth" is reflected in Christianity. It is intrinsic.

Those who want the law of Moses to be no longer in force need to remember that the New Testament makes it clear that it is relevant. The law is as relevant as ever. It can be cancelled and we can still learn from it when the principles behind it are still valid. That is no comfort for those who want to ignore its ban on gay sex.