Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The Old Testament

In discussing Scripture with people through the years, I have been asked why we don't believe in the Old Testament. And you know what? I'm not sure how to answer that. My 1st response is to say, "Sure, I beiieve in the Old Testament." But what they mean is why don't I follow it.

Well, on closer scrutiny -- they don't either. In my daily Bible readings, I have been plodding through Moses' expounding on the Law. The dietary laws, sexual laws, purification laws, etc. I am bothered that the homosexual community says, "We are not under the Law of Moses any more, so what he said about homosexuality does not apply." And while that bothers me, I would have no problem if someone wanted to cook a young goat in its mother's milk (Ex. 23: 19). And my favorite food is probably shrimp -- followed closely by catfish (both considered unclean in the Old Testament).

I realize that the New Testament reinforces many of the laws of the Old Testament -- such as the prohibition against homosexuality. And I know about Peter's vision of the clean and unclean foods, etc. I also know that Jesus said (Mt. 5: 17) that He did not come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it. I know that, at least in part -- He accomplished that by being the perfect, one time sacrifice and also by fulfilling the Aaronic priesthood, etc And I also know that Paul said that Jesus nailed the Law to the cross.

But I still struggle with exactly how to make the transition and application. God is still the same God. His character has not changed. And lifestyles and attitudes that provoked Him to anger then must still do the same today.

I do know that I want to be about making Him smile.

Any thoughts?


John Ross said...

I approach this question with the understanding that we are no longer under the Law of Moses, because Jesus fulfilled the law; however, the entire 39 older books are not the law. The law is found in the Pentateuch and it's regulations (not it's principles) were nailed to the cross with Jesus. (By the way, the homosexual issue is pretty clear in Romans 1).
Let me throw another one at you. At the Jerusalem council in Acts 15 certain dietary restrictions were carried over from the Law of Moses for the Gentiles to follow. I believe these guidelines are still in place, but many Christians don't. God has made it clear in both the Old and New Covenants that the consumption of blood is forbidden, yet some people's personal preference for undercooked, bloody meat trumps God's word. A head scratcher for me!
Sorry I got so wordy. I hope it makes sense.

Randy said...

Congratulations on the contract on your house.

It seems pretty clear from 1 Cor. 7 that circumcism is not required today. I too struggle with the OT Law and how much of it applies today. If it becomes clearer to you I'd be happy to hear your reasoning.

However, I think it wise to avoid eating blood.

Jeff said...

It seems to me there are passages where the old law is stricken and others where the old law is expanded upon. In the places where it is stricken, the answer is evident. In the places where it isn't, I use it as a guide on what I should do. Don't kill is still a good idea to live by. Don't worship idols makes sense to me too.
Still, it is evident that people smarter than me don't have the answer so I will certainly not pretend to be the one who does.

Beverly Ross said...

Over the last year or so, the concept of Sabbath has been a subject I can't let go of - if Sabbath is from God to take of me - the rest I need for my body, my mind, and, maybe most of all, my soul - to have some time set aside to spend knowing He is God - why on this earth would I give it up except to fill my selfish desires to do more and more and more - or maybe to HAVE more and more and more. I long for Sabbath rest!