Thursday, December 3, 2009

CTS-Do not ignore OT

Charlotte is right here, the Old Testament is certainly not to be ignored. It shows the story of God pursuing man throughout history despite continual sin, and man's continual rejection because of convenience. That being said, this does not mean that the Law is still ruling over Christians, see below.

1-10) You must understand the purpose of the Law to understand why we no longer are required to follow all of it. Many parts of it address things that would be wrong in a practical sense during the time period. Modern advances has reduced the need for such guidelines because this has become common knowledge, such as mixing cotton and linen in clothes. The Law is still in effect, Salvation is based on a legal system. All human beings are subject to the Law, which is why it endures, unless they call on the name of Jesus Christ and have accepted Him during their lifetime. All humans are sinful, so none will pass the Law without Jesus. The reason that Christians are not longer under the Law is because Jesus fulfilled it for them and created a New Covenant. This New Covenant is between God and Jesus coming on our behalf, and Jesus fulfilled his side with the crucifixion. This puts Christians under grace, not the Law. However, the reason we are still called to do things like abstain from sexual immorality, gluttony, etc is because they hurt our relationship with the Lord. We are now called to spread the Gospel and grow in relationship with Christ, which is our ultimate purpose.

11) The first two are both examples of judgement commanded by God toward the Egyptians. It wasn't theft because the Israelites had been in unpaid slavery, this was at least some compensation. The next part was borrowing a colt, that's not stealing. Furthermore, it must be remembered that God created everything, so even that colt was ultimately His.

12) The judging being condemned here is the act of passing judgment on another person based on your limited knowledge of them. The phrase Jesus used in John 7 is actually used to provoke thought. People are limited many times by what they see, and if they allow themselves to be limited like that then they cannot make a right judgement. Jesus is telling them to get past mere appearances, not to judge people.

13) A better translation in 1 Corinthians is the one used in the NIV, it merely says earnestly desire. Coveting as used in Exodus is being jealous of another's possessions, rather than earnestly wanting. So, don't be jealous, but a holy desire is fine.

14) The lying spirit mentioned in 1 Kings was Satan, and God was allowing Satan to test Ahab. Satan makes requests of God to test people, and God allows it, such as the case with Job. It wasn't God that was forcing them to lie, it was Satan and God was testing their faith.

15) Charlotte made a mistake here. The commandment says "do not murder" meaning do not wrongfully kill other human beings. All of the instances of killing throughout the Bible are a result of war or capital punishment. For a complete list click here.

16) Here Charlotte attempts to play the card of slavery. Slavery in Biblical times was not as we understand it now. Then it was what we now call indentured servitude. Families would sell themselves or children into slavery for a period of time in order to pay a debt, like Jacob did in order to marry Rachel. They were also not treated as badly because of the Bible's laws governing it. For a complete explanation with examples click here.

17) First of all, Luke 12:3 says nothing about improvidence. The giving spoken of in Luke 6 is generosity, not improvidence. Jesus is telling the disciples to lend to those who need it because they need it, not because you will get something in return. This type of generosity is pleasing to God. The improvidence condemned later is actual improvidence. Verse 6 reads: "The widow who lives for pleasure even while she lives is dead". This places the verse into the context of selfishness, the family is not being provided before because of the satisfaction of sinful desires.

18) Anger is something acknowledged in the Bible, but not condemned. We are warned against it because it can cloud our judgement, but is not sinful in and of itself. We are told not be be well-acquainted with angry men because of their tendency to lack self control as well.

19) Jesus is acknowledging a careful boundary Christians have regarding our works. We are to do good works for the benefit of mankind and to show the kind of things God can do through people because of Jesus. This is being light for mankind. The other side is doing good works for the purpose of getting patted on the back by men. We are supposed to do good works for general benefit and for God, not for men. Also, this is outside of the Old Testament, so why is his here?

20) Charlotte did not incorporate the context into her interpretation of Matthew 6. Verse 5 reads: "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for the love to pray standing in the synagogues and on street corners to be seen by men". God enjoy public prayer, but not when it is simply, like #19, for the sake of being seen as righteous. Jesus says go into your rooms and pray privately so that you don't fall to the temptation of doing it for show, not sincerity. God enjoys it greatly when people gather together in order to pray and learn because it shows their love for Him.

21) Hair was important in ancient cultures as a sign of vitality and life. The Nazirites were a people God had set apart, like Sampson. He required them to grow out their hair in order to show their distinction, especially from priests who were forbidden to shave their heads but frequently trimmed it. This also showed their sanctity along with the other vows they had to take, prohibition from drinking wine and not being allowed to touch corpses. In the New Testament long hair was the modern day equivalent of cross dressing. Paul is prohibiting this because it encourages homosexuality and deciding you know better than God which gender you should be.

22) In the OT the Israelites were circumcised to show that God had set them apart. Modern medicine also shows that circumcision decreases chances of infection and diseases. It was because of this requirement that people began to see circumcised people as more holy than others because the Israelites were God's people. The Galatians passage was reminding them that just because they were once set apart as an Israelite does not make them any better than others. That was a passage condemning pride, rather than condemning circumcision.

23) It is not imperative that Christians keep kosher. Like I said, not every single law was intended to point out sin. There's a practical application here. The first source explains why we don't follow the Old Testament, but the reason for many of these laws of kosher were intended to preform a ceremony giving glory to God and to eat healthy foods. A new covenant is now in effect, so we don't need to keep these laws, and now our society has ways of making them more healthy. Peter's vision in Acts 10 was a metaphor used to remind Peter that God has now accepted all peoples. Peter understood the vision after he was given the opportunity to witness to a non-Jewish family. This fact is just a reminder of the intention of the verse, but Galatians and 1 Corinthians deal with kosher.

24) Oaths are allowed. Taking oaths in God's name is a method of worship and confession. What God was acting against when He condemned it was taking His name in vain or asking Him to confirm a lie. People throughout the Bible took oaths in God's name. In Matthew Jesus was telling people not to take oaths based on earthly things because they will eventually pass away. This would implie the oath is temporary.

25) Marriage is a good thing. This is a verse saying that God is impartial to couples versus single people. Marriage is a symbol of Christ and the church, and there are many metaphors of marriage throughout Scripture. 1 Corinthians 7:2 even states that it is good for every man to get married because of all the immorality around, namely fornication. This is prevalent even today, just turn on the TV.

26) This was already addressed in the article "Rape in the Bible". For that click here. Basically they have inserted a lot of words into the verse. To understand it you must understand the historical context. Virgins were considered "pure" and therefore allowed to live as a servant for the soldiers' households. Men were even allowed to marry them if they so chose, but never rape them.

27) The link from posted below is really helpful. Drunkenness is a sin because your judgement is impaired and you are very prone to additional sin. Drinking in moderation is not a sin, but for it not to be you must examine your motive for drinking. Drinking for a "buzz" is an early stage of drunkenness, or and fitting in is dealt with in James 4:4. Proverbs 31 uses win and beer as a symbol, obvious if you keep in mind the genre of the book.

28) Women do have rights. Men were appointed by God to be leaders of their families. The relationship of man and woman is representative of Christ and the church. Men are called to love their wives like Christ does the church, which would mean men aer to show their wives respect. When women become the authority in the house it gives a lopsided view of Christ and the church. This relationship does not by any means require that God only use men. God uses women throughout history both to show the Israelites that He is not limited by their expectations and to speak to a different audience. God sees men and women as equal.

29) We are not to usurp authority unless they are going against God's will. All authority was put in place by God, be it to test our faith or to learn from them. God says "Be not servants of men". He is just clarifying that we are ultimately under His authority, no righteous authority can go against His will.

30) This was already answered in #1-#10 above.

31) Already answered in #24 above.

32) We are not required to keep the Sabbath day because of the New Covenant. Jesus had come to teach us the New Covenant and do away with the altered original Law that were keeping man from growing towards God because of fear of His commands. He came to save us, and didn't even violate the Sabbath. The Pharisees had messed up the Sabbath day with all kinds of restrictions, and Jesus was attacked for healing someone, not working for personal gain at all.

33) A graven image here means an idol. An idol is an object of worship. "You shall worship none but the Lord your God". The Cherubim on the Ark were never objects of worship, therefore they are not the graven images described. The rest were also not objects of worship, they were made for the temple for worship of God.