Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Are Christians to Follow the Law of the Old Testament?

Yesterday I spoke about the New Testament, which most Christians today follow as more relevant to their faith than the Old Testament. When I was a Christian, at different denominational churches over the four or so years, I would estimate that eight out of ten of our sermons and bible studies would be taken from the New Testament. The reason for this is that the New Testament tells the story of Jesus. Jesus is the whole reason for the cult of Christianity, and without the idea of this mythological character, Christianity would not, and could not, exist.

In the New Testament, one thing Christians claim is that Jesus's death eradicated the Old Testament law. They claim that the rules such as not wearing mixed cloth and not cutting your hair are no longer applicable due to Jesus's arrival and sacrifice, which freed them from the law.

This concept comes not from the gospels, but from the writings of those that wrote the other books of the New Testament. This was mainly Paul, who wrote the vast majority of the New Testament, besides Revelations, the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John), and a couple other books. In these writings by Paul, such as Romans and first and second Corinthians as example, we read that Christians are no longer bound by the law of the Old Testament.

"Ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ .... We are delivered from the law, that being dead." ~ Romans 7: 4,6

"Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances ... nailing it to his cross." ~ Colossians 2: 14

These are just two examples of the ten or so examples from the New Testament that claim Christians are not under the law.

The important thing here, however, is that these words written by Paul and others directly contradict what Jesus said. This entire doctrine of not being held by the Old Testament law is one of convenience for Christians, as following the Old Testament laws today would land one in jail in a heartbeat. To meet this convenience, Christians ignore the words of Jesus himself, who clearly stated that Christians are to follow the law still. The law, according to the Jesus of the bible, will never pass away, and anyone that teaches people not to follow the law, will be least in Heaven. The following passages are the words of Jesus.

"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or tittle shall nowise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven." ~ Matthew 5: 17-19

"It is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail." ~ Luke 16: 17

A tittle is a small part, or the smallest part of a written language. An example would be the dot over an "i" or the cross of a "t."

It is clear here that Jesus himself is saying...well, I won't go into it. It is so blatant and simple that I don't think it needs any explanation. He even warns the reader/listener to "Think not that I am come to destroy the law" (Matthew 5:17). I don't think he could have been more clear.

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