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?

 


Matthew Gospel Commands Keeping the Jewish Law
 
There are only four gospels giving us the story of Jesus Christ. One of them teaches that we must be Jews if we want to be followers of Christ more so than the other gospels. The gospel is the Gospel of Matthew, supposedly written by Matthew the apostle of Jesus. This gospel is the most Jewish of the New Testament gospels.

MATTHEW'S JESUS IS A MOSES THE LAWGIVER

Early in Jesus’ ministry there were some interesting guesses as to which Jewish religious figure he was. Why was Jesus called John or Elijah? John was not an official prophet of Judaism. Elijah was thought to come back before God’s kingdom would come. In that respect thinking Jesus was Elijah made him a significant prophet. They say then one of the prophets. It is telling how they talk as if Moses is not to be included. Moses was the prophet of prophets and would have been named. They did not view Jesus as having anything like his significance. They did not know of Matthew’s Jesus modelled on Moses and who acted as if he were better than Moses. The reason they did not know is that Matthew’s Moses-Jesus is a fabrication. Jesus was not given the importance of any major super-prophet.

PETER VARDY THE PUZZLE OF CHRISTIANITY

"Matthew’s Gospel portrays Jesus primarily as a righteous Jew who was coming to restore Israel, and God as strict and demanding obedience to the letter of the Jewish law". Peter Vardy.
 
MATTHEW DIDN’T SAY LAW ABOLISHED

The first five books of the Bible contain the Law of Moses, the Law that God gave to Moses. Matthew’s Gospel seems to make it clear that the Law of Moses is over God’s people no more. But does it really?

Jesus commanded the ordinary Jewish people to listen to the oral tradition about the law of God from the scribes and Pharisees. This shows extreme confidence in the accuracy of their doctrine.  Ordinary people not theologians so remember that if you don't like what he said and want to twist it. He meant what he said literally.
 
Unsurprisingly, Jesus told them that he did not come to abolish the Law of Moses and the Prophets but to fulfil them and that heaven and earth would pass away before anything in the law would pass away.

The use of law and prophets refers to writings for the first five books were listed as law or Torah and the rest was listed as the prophets.  It is the law as in writings and in commandments.  The term covers both.

Jesus uses the word katalusai word which means make invalid'.  The word also appears where Jesus says the temple will be destroyed or abolished  (Matthew 26:61 and 27:40; Mark 14:58 and 15:29).  The word for fulfil is plarosai and it is is contrasted with katalusai so it is its complete opposite. Plarosai means to fill something that is not full.   It does not allow for alteration but completing.

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 is a reinforcement of the law if anything. 

MEANING OF "I HAVE NOT COME TO ABOLISH"

Here are the suggestions about the meaning of the verse.  The verse is plain but people invent interpretations to obscure the plainness. 

 "He meant he would get rid of it but then it wasn't the time".
 
To say Heaven and earth will pass away before the least bit of the law is emphasing that the law is everlasting. It stops us arguing that fulfil the law could mean anything other than what it obviously means: keep the law.
 
To get an excuse to disobey the Law, some Christians have maintained that Jesus was not making a law that the regulations of Moses were still in force but merely saying he didn’t get around to abolishing them yet. So they say he is merely reporting that he hasn’t abolished them yet and that is to say he might do so later. Then why all that mouthful? Why not simply say, “I will abolish the law later.” There is nothing in Jesus’ words that indicates an intention to change or abrogate the Law of Moses. Those Christians are making their speculations into the word of God. They are distorting.
 
Jesus in Matthew 5 denies that he will alter the law but said he will fulfil it. His aim was the fulfilling the law for it came from God and is without error. If Jesus contradicted the law we must put that down to misinterpretation - it does not mean he meant to contradict it or that he thought contradicting it was okay.
 
Christians who hold that we are bound to keep the Law but don't have to for Jesus obeyed it for us argue that this is what he meant by fulfil
 
“Jesus said that he came to perfect the Law (Matthew 5:17). It was faulty and needed replacing.”
 
Perfecting the Law is not replacing it but is bringing it up to date or completing it or simply giving people the power to obey it better for a change by clarifying it and giving grace to keep it.

It is absurd to suggest that the Lord would give a bad Law. The only thing that is wrong with the Law if a good God wrote it is that it is not complete. Jesus expanded and clarified (not contradicted!) many of its rules (Matthew 5) so the Law was imperfect in the sense that it needed to be more comprehensive but not in the sense that it was evil or believed evil.
 
Page 5 of Not Under Law admits that Jesus affirmed that the Law was relevant and true for his day and future days. It rejects the view that when he said that the Law was to be fulfilled not destroyed and that anybody who breaks the least of these commandments will not be well off in the kingdom of God that he meant the commands he was about to give. He had not hinted that he was going to give any commandments of his own yet so he meant the commandments of the Law. And when it could mean the Law it must mean it for it is what he was talking about. The Law was the last thing with the Prophets that he mentioned.
 
 
MATTHEW WANTS LAW OBEYED

The Gospel of Matthew contains most of the proofs that the Law of Moses was just as obligatory for Christians as it was for the Hebrews that Moses gave it to.
 
In Matthew 5, Jesus says that he has come to fulfil the Law and the Prophets, the two major sections in the Old Testament, not to prohibit them. Then he says that not an iota shall pass from them. He is promising to preserve the perfectly. Then he asserts that it is a sin to break or abolish even one of their commandments.
 
The word for fulfil in the original text is the Greek word pleroo. Pleroo appears in Matthew 13:48 where a net is pleroo or filled up with fish. Pleroo means that instead of changing or cancelling the Law he would fill it up until it could hold no more which is the same as saying he will expand the Law and make it complete (page 16, The World Ahead, November December 1998, Vol 6, Issue 6).
 
He is saying that he will not do away with the rules in the Law. He said some stuff after that many take to be in contradiction of the Law. But he said he would not do away. So what comes after must not be interpreted so as to be supposed to be in contradiction to the Law.
 
Some have said that when Jesus said after he came to fulfil the Law that anybody who breaks the smallest of the commandments will be the lowest in the kingdom of Heaven he meant the commandments he gave later on. But when he was after speaking about the Law his listeners who were naïve and irreligious would certainly have assumed that the commandments had to be those of the Law. So, Jesus condemned people who broke the Law of Moses.
 
He did not simply mean, “I have not come to do away with the text of the Law but to fulfil it”. If he had he would have put the word text in in case his listeners who were ordinary people would misunderstand. The Law is not the text or it’s wording but is expressed in letters and words and in sentences. Jesus would not have talked as if he was expected to do away with the text and replace it for nobody expected anything so absurd.
 
“He did not actually say that it would be a sin for him to repeal the divine laws,” reply the theologians who want to use this as an excuse for denying my natural interpretation of what Jesus said. But he never said, “It is a sin for anybody except me to alter the commandments of the Law”. He meant that even he himself was excluded from the privilege of altering the Law.

Jesus said that our keeping the law or righteousness must be better than that of the scribes and Pharisees to enter the kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 5:20). We must obey the Jewish Law better than them. He did not like the Jews preferring the letter of the Law to the spirit of the Law. For example, the Jews read in the Law to love their neighbours. They interpreted this as meaning that they must love only those who live around them. But they did not understand that God meant that everybody is your neighbour. The misinterpretation is the letter of the Law and the real meaning is the spirit of the Law. If you take it overly literally it becomes the letter of the Law that you are obeying. Forget about the words and concentrate on the meaning.
 
Jesus said later that since the Law and the Prophets commanded that you do to others what you want them to do to you, you must obey (7:12). He categorically stated that the Law was still in force and said that this rule was a summary of the Law and the Prophets. A summary that drops out the parts is not a summary at all so Jesus was saying the Law should still be obeyed. If the summary rules out the brutal laws of the Law and the Prophets then it is not a summary.
 
The Church says that Jesus died for sinners to make up for sins. But it believes he didn’t need to die for all he had to do was obey God in our place and each act is full payment for our disobedience. The Church holds that since Jesus was God or supremely special to God only one act of obedience was needed to remove sin so Jesus made up for all sins simply by being conceived. To become man knowing that you have to give your life for sinners on the cross would be the same value as dying on the cross. After the atonement, Jesus told his disciples to obey everything the scribes and the Pharisees tell them but not to emulate their hypocrisy (Matthew 23:2,3). And their teachers preached that Jesus must be ready and willing to kill and give an eye for an eye for the Law says so.
 
Christ castigated the Jews for not obeying God’s word when it demanded that anybody who did not respect parents had to be put to death (Matthew 15). He told them they were setting aside the wishes of God which would not have been the case if this law had been cancelled for then it would not have been there to have been set aside.
 
On the strength of God’s own authority, Jesus commanded the love of God and of neighbour (Matthew 22). He said that to him these meant what the Law commanded for all it demands depends on these two principles. In other words, he wanted the Law to be observed in full for its nature was love.
 
The people were told by Jesus to obey the scribes and Pharisees because they preached the Torah. He denounced them as evil men so he would not have told them to do what they say when their ideas were only their own reasoning. “Observe and practice all they tell you; but do not do what they do, for they preach, but do not practice” (Matthew 23:3).
 
Jesus told a young Jewish man to keep the commandments if he wanted to enter Heaven (Matthew 19:17). Christians say that this is not a proof that the Law is still in force for he went on to say he should keep the moral rules forbidding stealing and adultery and so on or the ten commandments in other words. But Jesus mentioned only a few commandments and quoted them as some but not all examples so he would have meant the other laws in and out of the Ten Commandments too. He certainly did not mean the man to think that only a couple of rules were binding. When he was speaking to a Jew he would have been understood to have referred to the entire Law and he was preaching obedience to the Law during his ministry. And because he said commandments instead of Ten Commandments he must have meant the entire law. Remember too that the Ten Commandments were just a summary of the Law of Moses meaning that to approve them is to approve of all the other laws too. The first commandment, You shall have no God but me – or you shall put nothing else before me and will obey me, enjoins obedience to the Law of God, the whole Law. It is a part of the Law after all.
 
Jesus said we should treat others as we want them to treat us FOR this fulfils the Law of Moses and the Prophets (Matthew 7:12). He tells us we should like to be stoned to death if we deserve it. This line says it all.
 
The Law is still to be obeyed.

Jesus meant that the young man had to be saved by grace without good works and that the young man could do good works and obey the Law only if he were really saved. He is good because of salvation and not to earn salvation. In that sense, the man had to keep the Law to enter Heaven.
 
Conclusion
 
The Gospel of Matthew denies that the civil, religious and moral laws of the Old Testament are done away. It says they are in force. Christians then are to gather stones and to get ready to kill the local adulterer and we are to burn down the local Catholic Church for idolatry according to these laws.  Jesus said in Matthew 13 that "Every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.”  That is a clear affirmation that any teacher who advocates the terrible laws is bringing out treasures.  If you would open a New Testament you will see that it regards itself as an update of the Old and is very much based on it and continually quotes it as God's message. The Old Testament was Jesus' Bible. Jesus said that anybody who says any Old Testament rule is wrong will be the least in his kingdom. That is they are considered lower than a paedophile.  Strong affirmation!  Even if Jesus changed the law he did not consider it to be wrong - ever!