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  1. #41
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    Re: Old Testament Laws and Christianity

    You seemed to be saying that sometimes its justified to kill homosexuals and sometimes its not. What you haven't really done is tell us why. You say before Christ it was mandated. After Christ you seem to indicate its up the state to decide if its justified or not, but you offer no reason why the state has such authority or why god has changed his opinion of the justifications. You say there are new rules but not what those new rules are or why.
    He explained thoroughly that it was a theocracy:

    And in the case of homosexuality in the OT, Israel being a theocracy and the it setting the stage for the rest of the world (and for what was to come), it was a capital crime for people to engage in homosexual behavior (as well other sexual deviancy). In a theocracy, such as Israel, such an offense was an affront against God (not the state), so it carried quite a serious offense. When Christ came, the covenant changed. The new "contract" began. The action changed relative to the law and covenant God had with His people. The moral value of the behavior of sexual deviancy has not changed one iota. It is indeed, absolute. It just no longer needed to be a capital offense (the new covenant)...therefore, it would be wrong to call for capital punishment upon commission for this offense.
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  2. #42
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    Re: Old Testament Laws and Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by Lukecash12 View Post
    He explained thoroughly that it was a theocracy:
    I was looking for an explanation from God via the bible, and this explanation only covers part of the question. I'll go ahead and break it down assuming you reason along the same lines.

    Apok wrote....
    And in the case of homosexuality in the OT, Israel being a theocracy and the it setting the stage for the rest of the world (and for what was to come), it was a capital crime for people to engage in homosexual behavior (as well other sexual deviancy).

    For starters, Israel did not set the stage for the rest of the world. In fact it fell apart. This was explained as a failure to follow said laws. Either god made an error in judgement or it was not intended to set the stage but to bring about the fall of said nation.

    Secondly, the idea that a theocracy was some kind of choice among available modes of government is out of character for the time the story takes place. Egypt was a theocracy and so it seemed were the other nations they fought with as they had rival gods. That was just the default notion of government.

    Thirdly, God makes no indication that these laws are only in place because Israel is an example or because it is a state run by God's followers. God explains these laws with hardly any explanation at all in fact, he merely states them and that they are to be followed for all generations.

    In a theocracy, such as Israel, such an offense was an affront against God (not the state), so it carried quite a serious offense.
    As opposed to what exactly? We don't see God operating in any other kind of state at any particular time so I don't see any reason to assume that god has different laws depending on the form of government. God seems pretty clear on the notion that if you want to be holy and to follow his will then there is only one kind of proper behavior. He calls out other nations as unholy or abhorrent to him and that holly people shall not act as those nations do.

    When Christ came, the covenant changed. The new "contract" began. The action changed relative to the law and covenant God had with His people.
    There were no terms of the new covenant that had anything to do with morality and Jesus himself said he did not come to make those laws obsolete and that even more so such behavior was important for you to stand before him and be judged.

    Apok did a fine job supporting there was a Covenant but did nothing to show how this Covenant changed gods sense of right and wrong or his moral laws and ascribed punishments.

    The moral value of the behavior of sexual deviancy has not changed one iota. It is indeed, absolute. It just no longer needed to be a capital offense (the new covenant)...therefore
    See that... its just a bold claim that punishments are no longer valid. Where in the bible does it say anything like that? And furthermore where does it say that punishment is now anything you want it to be from a beheading to a basket of candy, that just doesn't make any reasonable sense.

    God seemed to have a sense of proportionality of punishment
    Jesus seems to have a sense of proportionality of punishment
    So far Apok seems not to, or has not admitted to one nor shown any reason that this fairly fundamental principle of morality has been abandoned by Christ.
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  3. #43
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    Re: Old Testament Laws and Christianity

    God seemed to have a sense of proportionality of punishment
    Jesus seems to have a sense of proportionality of punishment
    Yes, on a much grander scale. I believe you are familiar enough with Revelations to recognize this.

    You seem to be confusing worldly concepts with Godly concepts. On what standard exactly do you connect worldly/practical law and order with God's moral law and judgment? The ceremonial law (not to confused with His commandments/moral laws) was made as practical support and concession for a theocracy with which He intended to further His purposes and prosper us all.

    On what standard do you infer that execution was moral rather than practical? We all die anyways, and our actual judgment is reserved for the hereafter, so how is it that you figure God would get a glum sense of satisfaction from consigning someone to something that was already their fate?

    See that... its just a bold claim that punishments are no longer valid. Where in the bible does it say anything like that? And furthermore where does it say that punishment is now anything you want it to be from a beheading to a basket of candy, that just doesn't make any reasonable sense.
    Punishment isn't made invalid. Try reading Revelations.
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  4. #44
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    Re: Old Testament Laws and Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by Lukecash12 View Post
    Yes, on a much grander scale. I believe you are familiar enough with Revelations to recognize this.
    I'm not sure what you mean. To be honest I find Gods sense of morality to be abhorrent and fickle as portrayed in the old testament. The new testament God is far more just and moral in my opinion although even there I find a kind of impracticality and inconsistency that to me smacks of flawed human thinking rather than some divine thinking. It tends to depend on who the author is which again shows a bigger human fingerprint than a divine one.

    You seem to be confusing worldly concepts with Godly concepts. On what standard exactly do you connect worldly/practical law and order with God's moral law and judgment?
    I'm a humanist, I look at everything from a human perspective. (Really, what other perspective could I view it from?) The bible is about wordy concepts from stem to stern with only a few tiny exceptions. All of Gods laws and morality relate to mortal and worldly actions. The new testament branches out a bit and takes a more spiritual path but only to an extent. It still speaks heavily about what you should do and how you should behave.

    If you can give me a guide as to what is worldly and what is godly in the bible that would be great, but when I read Lev, I don't see much distinction made from one section of rules to another. Its a long laundry list, it often repeats itself, its semi-organized but not terribly so.

    Which laws are worldly and which are not? Jesus never made any such distinctions when talking about it. He explicitly said he did not obsolete those laws. He didn't specify only a certain set of them or say that the sins stay but the punishments go or any such thing, at lest not that I have seen.

    Christians seem to treat the bible like its this very specific set of instructions... except that when there are specific instructions, those they can ignore, but when its a vague concept there is some very specific interpretation that is definitely true even though it doesn't actually appear.

    God is very clear what you should do when a man sleeps with another man. Jesus says nothing about it specifically. Later preachers do and they condemn it as well. Why take an interpretation over Gods specific first person commandments?

    The ceremonial law (not to confused with His commandments/moral laws)
    And how am I to avoid confusing them exactly? They are not labeled.

    ...was made as practical support and concession for a theocracy with which He intended to further His purposes and prosper us all.
    And where exactly do you get that from. What bible passage is telling you he intended them to further his purposes and prosper us all? I dug around in there trying to find any reasoning or statement of purpose by God and found nothing. A bit of this and that he finds offensive in some way, but other than that nothing. Just "do this or suffer X" or just "do this, don't do that" If you can find god speaking to his reason for all those rules, clue me in.

    On what standard do you infer that execution was moral rather than practical? We all die anyways, and our actual judgment is reserved for the hereafter, so how is it that you figure God would get a glum sense of satisfaction from consigning someone to something that was already their fate?
    For starters, the rules failed. They were impractical for the people they were applied to and Israel fell as a result. (according to the bible) There isn't much practical about a lot of it. The rules for sacrificing or cutting the corners of your beard or sewing only one kind of seed in a plot of land etc... Not much practical about all that. We know these days that crop rotation is far superior to only growing one crop for instance.

    If as you say we all die, then all matters of practicality are pointless and moral implications are the only reason for said laws and punishments.

    I'm not sure I get what you are saying about a glum sense of satisfaction. Gods character is simply that of a fairly demanding and fierce God that demands glory and in return gives boons to his followers. He's pretty harsh and somewhat arbitrary. I don't get the impression he much cares about the lives of anyone other than his holy chosen prophets and their direct followers. Jesus is different of course and cares about everyone except those who he thinks are inclined to wickedness. Jesus is far more human in that regard. At any rate, Glum Satisfaction is not something I'd imagine of God. Angry Wrath or perhaps reserved pride are more the kind of emotions he displays.

    Punishment isn't made invalid. Try reading Revelations.
    I find Revelations to be the most preposterous and suspect of all the books of the bible. That said its part of the package so I have to treat it as such here.

    Your going to need to tie this in for me. I don't much care about stories of everlasting life or torment since they are entirely immaterial. My interest is in the way human beings treat one another while alive and on this moral coil. If you want to say that all mortal punishments are now utterly without consequence or moral value and that only damnation or salvation are of relevance, then let me know.

    What I am interested in is if you and others feel killing men for gay sex is morally justified in the bible or are not so please relate your argument to something that speaks to that.
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  5. #45
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    Re: Old Testament Laws and Christianity

    Sig, recent discussion has started to veer this thread off course. As such, I will address very briefly a few points that are not directly relevant to the topic...and defer the rest to a more appropriate thread discussion. If any side argument not directly relevant to the op has not been met to your satisfaction, I suggest creating a new thread to continue the discussion there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Close... How about these keeping in mind its from God's/Christian perspective
    1. Are punishments justified only by the crimes they countermand?
    2. Is the severity of a punishment relative to the severity of the crime?
    3. Does God condone any civil punishment prescribed for any sin? (I ask because you seem to argue for this.)
    4. Why are the OT laws canceled by the new Covenant when Jesus says they are not.
    5. Is not Jesus's message that man should take no hostile action against other men, even if those men are sinners and wouldn't this mean that all punishments by men are against the terms of the new Covenant?
    6. If not, then what does the new Covenant say regarding earthly sins and earthly punishment for those sins?
    Well, it doesn't seem like some of the questions as restated here, are supported to be the questions you were asking based on some of your arguments. But since you have made it a point to specifically ask/clarify this set of questions, I'll address them.

    1) I don't know that you intended to use the word "countermand" here. Punishments do not revoke crimes. If you did intend to use the term, then I don't understand the question. Please rephrase.

    2) Yes. To be more or less, would not be just. But I don't see the relevancy to the topic of how Christians are to apply the OT Law.

    However, I will not defend the justification for punishments met in the OT here. That is for another thread.

    3) No. And is likewise, outside the scope of this thread.

    4) Heb. 8:13 says, "When He said, 'A new covenant,' He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear." The Old Covenant with its harsh judicial judgments is no longer in effect because we are under a New Covenant. - carm

    A covenant is an agreement. The old covenant was fulfilled. It was completed. Jesus did not abolish it (Matt 5:17), He fulfilled it. And when He did, a new covenant was created. This time, between God and all of humankind.

    5) By the phrasing of this question, you seem to be of the position that He does. And if that is the case, then it would be your position, like that of the Christians', that we are no longer bound by the punitive reactions of the OT. Yet you maintain differently. Are you arguing for the sake of arguing then?

    To answer your question directly, no, Jesus' message is not that men should never take any hostile action against other men (and all men are sinners) under any circumstances. There are circumstances in which hostile action is warranted.

    Jesus Himself was hostile against those in the temple using it as a market.

    6) First of all, let us explain what the Old and New Covenants are so there can be no confusion. Regrettably, this should have been done much earlier in the discussion.

    Of Covenants

    A covenant is an agreement between 2 parties. There are 7 covenants. God made 5 of them with the nation of Israel. There are 2 types of covenants (conditional and unconditional). A conditional or bilateral covenant is an agreement that is binding on both parties for its fulfillment. Both parties agree to fulfill certain conditions. If either party fails to meet their responsibilities, the covenant is broken and neither party has to fulfill the expectations of the covenant. An unconditional or unilateral covenant is an agreement between two parties, but only one of the two parties has to do something. Nothing is required of the other party.
    1. Adamic
    2. Noahic
    3. Abrahamic
    4. Palestinian
    5. Mosiac
    6. Davidic

    When Jesus says that He has fulfilled the old covenant and brought a new one, He is referring to the conditional covenant of the Mosaic.

    The Mosaic Covenant* was centered around God's giving His divine law to Moses on Mount Sinai. In understanding the different covenants in the Bible and their relationship with one another, it is important to understand that the Mosaic Covenant differs significantly from the Abrahamic Covenant and later biblical covenants because it is conditional in that the blessings that God promises are directly related to Israel’s obedience to the Mosaic Law. If Israel is obedient, then God will bless them, but if they disobey, then God will punish them. The blessings and curses that are associated with this conditional covenant are found in detail in Deuteronomy 28. The other covenants found in the Bible are unilateral covenants of promise, in which God binds Himself to do what He promised, regardless of what the recipients of the promises might do. On the other hand the Mosaic Covenant is a bilateral agreement, which specifies the obligations of both parties to the covenant.

    This is significant because it illustrates that the Mosaic covenant is between God and Israel, not between God and all men of all time. There are specific terms to this agreement that Israel must meet. And if they are met, there are specific blessings God will give to Israel (not to all men). If they are not met, there are specific punishments God will give to Israel (not to all men). This alone should be sufficient to show that the Mosaic Covenant is specific to a certain group of people at a specific time in history and that it is not a universal covenant for all people.

    Jesus on the other hand, serves the purpose of that universal covenant for all people (so that all may be saved). See below.

    Of Covenant and Law

    The OT Law was given to the nation of Israel, not to Christians. There are a vareity of types of laws. Some of the laws were to reveal to the Israelites how to obey and please God (the Ten Commandments, for example). Some of the laws were to show the Israelites how to worship God and atone for sin (the sacrificial system). Some of the laws were intended to make the Israelites distinct from other nations (the food and clothing rules). None of the Old Testament law is binding on us today. When Jesus died on the cross, He put an end to the Old Testament law (Romans 10:4; Galatians 3:23-25; Ephesians 2:15).

    In place of the Old Testament law, we are under the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2), which is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind…and to love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39). If we obey those two commands, we will be fulfilling all that Christ requires of us: “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:40).

    Now, this does not mean the Old Testament law is irrelevant today. Many of the commands in the Old Testament law fall into the categories of “loving God” and “loving your neighbor.” The Old Testament law can be a good guidepost for knowing how to love God and knowing what goes into loving your neighbor. At the same time, to say that the Old Testament law applies to Christians today is incorrect. The Old Testament law is a unit (James 2:10). Either all of it applies, or none of it applies. If Christ fulfilled some it, such as the sacrificial system, He fulfilled all of it.

    This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3). The Ten Commandments were essentially a summary of the entire Old Testament law. Nine of the Ten Commandments are clearly repeated in the New Testament (all except the command to observe the Sabbath day). Obviously, if we are loving God, we will not be worshipping false gods or bowing down before idols. If we are loving our neighbors, we will not be murdering them, lying to them, committing adultery against them, or coveting what belongs to them. The purpose of the Old Testament law is to convict people of our inability to keep the law and point us to our need for Jesus Christ as Savior (Romans 7:7-9; Galatians 3:24). The Old Testament law was never intended by God to be the universal law for all people for all of time. We are to love God and love our neighbors. If we obey those two commands faithfully, we will be upholding all that God requires of us.

    The New Covenant

    The new covenant is spoken about first in the book of Jeremiah. The old covenant that God had established with His people required obedience to the Old Testament Mosaic law. Because the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), the law required that people perform rituals and sacrifices in order to please God and remain in His grace.
    Luke 22:20 says, "After supper, [Jesus] took another cup of wine and said, 'This wine is the token of God's new covenant to save you – an agreement sealed with the blood I will pour out for you.'"
    Now that we are under the new covenant, we are not under the penalty of the law. We are now given the opportunity to receive salvation as a free gift (Ephesians 2:8-9). Through the life-giving Holy Spirit who lives in all believers (Romans 8:9-11), we can now share in the inheritance of Christ and enjoy a permanent, unbroken relationship with God. Hebrews 9:15 declares, “For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that He has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.”

    Notes and Sources

    * The Mosaic Covenant is also referred to as the Old Covenant (2 Corinthians 3:14; Hebrews 8:6, 13) and was replaced by the New Covenant in Christ (Luke 22:20; 1 Corinthians 11:25; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Hebrews 8:8; 8:13; 9:15; 12:24)


    Moody Handbook of Theology, Paul Enns, 1989

    The End of the Law: Mosaic Covenant in Pauline Theology, Jason C Meyer, 2009


    http://www.gotquestions.org/new-covenant.html

    On Punishments for Breaking the Laws

    Punishments are determined by the authority of the state in which the punishments are to be applicable. In the case of a theocracy, God is the authority. In the case of a monarchy, the king or queen is the authority. In the case of a Republic or Democracy, the elected legislature (or people themselves) are the authority.

    The punishment a king establishes for their domain (kingdom) no more applies to a neighboring democratic nation, than do the punishments declared by a theocracy apply to a republic. Punishments are not only dependent upon the authority of the state (for creation), but are limited in application to the very nation the authority directly governs.

    Therefore, the punishments of ancient, theocratic Israel, as determined by its authority (God), for the breaking of a specific covenant made with the state of Israel, do not apply to parties who are not a part of the covenant.

    When Jesus brought the new covenant, it not only changed the agreement itself in what was promised and to who the parties were, but also the punishment involved.

    Since the New Covenant is universal (applicable to all men of all time), so too is the blessing (eternal salvation) and the punishment (damnation).

    I'm trying to get a read on your full moral view. I get that you think the old sins are still sins, but that the old punishments are not mandated. But what I don't get is what you think the basis for modern punishments of sin is.
    Hopefully the above fully explains the Christian position.

    On balance I favor "You shall not murder." as making the most sense as a modern translation. But I maintain that from a purely objective standpoint it could mean either one and each has reasons for being valid.
    Well, one obvious problem with this (that does not require knowledge of ancient language or culture or a formal study of hermeneutics) is that it is rendered meaningless by other passages if we take it to be so vague. Passages justifying self-defense and execution for example, aren't consistent. When we seek to understand the true meaning of the text, it is necessary to often look at the bigger picture (or in this case, other passages). Sometimes more difficult passages become rather simple in light of the larger context.
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  6. #46
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    Re: Old Testament Laws and Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    Sig, recent discussion has started to veer this thread off course.
    That is the rub of it though. What the course is for you, and the course is for me, are clearly somewhat different. I want to talk about the morality of sin and punishment, you wanted to talk about translations of Hebrew and the definition of Covenant. Its all related, but clearly the two of us have a very different focus and interest.

    1) I don't know that you intended to use the word "countermand" here. Punishments do not revoke crimes. If you did intend to use the term, then I don't understand the question. Please rephrase.
    What I mean to say is. Are punishments justified by crimes. AKA Can I punish someone who has not committed a crime and if not why? - the expected answer being no, punishment without crime is itself a crime. AKA Punishments would be criminal if they were not in reaction to an original crime. AKA To execute without a just reason is morally wrong. Do you agree?

    2) Yes. To be more or less, would not be just. But I don't see the relevancy to the topic of how Christians are to apply the OT Law.
    Great! We have established a mutual point of agreement. The punishment should fit the crime at least by matter of degree.

    However, I will not defend the justification for punishments met in the OT here. That is for another thread.
    Will you promise to take up the topic in another thread if I start it? My intent is not to make you justify them, only to acknowledge that they would be unjust if they were not proportional. AKA Killing a person for Gay sex is a just act and the punishment is proportional to the crime being commuted.

    If that was true in OT times and is not true today, then either the weight of the crime or the weight of the punishment has changed such that they are no longer proportional to one another. Otherwise the state of affairs is unjust because a crime is going unanswered with just punishment.

    3) No. And is likewise, outside the scope of this thread.
    Thanks for the answer.

    I believe that it is the very essence of the thread in fact. God in fact would find some state actions abhorrent, sinful and wrong. As a good Christian I would imagine you would put your moral teachings ahead of the edicts of the state when those two things are at odds with one another.

    If the state ordered you to kill a Gay man who was proven to have committed gay sex, would you carry out his execution? Would you consider it a moral act as a Christian? That is the answer I want and I want to know why.

    4) Heb. 8:13 says, "When He said, 'A new covenant,' He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear." The Old Covenant with its harsh judicial judgments is no longer in effect because we are under a New Covenant. - carm
    I made a line of argument saying that this specific "new Covenant" has not come to pass. The situation described never actually happened. The laws were not written on the hearts of men, teaching did not become unnecessary, and according to Jesus you will be judged at least partly by your earthly sins. Jesus's covenant was made with all man, but the "new Covenant" will be one "I will make with the house of Israel". They don't match.

    A covenant is an agreement. The old covenant was fulfilled. It was completed.
    It was in fact failed, not completed.
    "For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. But God found fault with the people"

    And the covenant was broken and Israel fell into ruin. How can you fulfill that? It seems more likely the covenant Jesus was fulfilling was the "eternal" covenant from Genesis.

    Jesus did not abolish it (Matt 5:17), He fulfilled it. And when He did, a new covenant was created. This time, between God and all of humankind.
    From that passage
    I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
    Is everything accomplished then? I don't see it. Has the heaven and earth disappeared yet? Nope. Then the law is still in effect. Jesus in this passage is clearly saying that just because he is here to fulfill prophesy, its not a giant slumber party, you still need to maintain virtue and follow the law of Gods will.

    You just seem to take the world Fulfill to mean "cancel" and stop reading, ignoring his explicit instructions to follow God's laws, utterly ignoring that he says. "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law" Which is exactly what you say he is doing... its a direct contradiction of a clear statement.

    5) By the phrasing of this question, you seem to be of the position that He does. And if that is the case, then it would be your position, like that of the Christians', that we are no longer bound by the punitive reactions of the OT. Yet you maintain differently. Are you arguing for the sake of arguing then?
    I'm trying to find out what your position is Apok but you are kind of slow to offer it directly so I can debate it (if indeed it differs from mine)

    My opinion is this: God is fictional. The laws of the old testament are often tyrannical and unjust by human standards. The notion that gay sex warrants death is barbaric and inhumane and always has been. Jesus goes to far when he says you are to meet evil with kindness and turn the other cheek at all times. Evil must be met with enough force to stop evil, aka punishment should be relative to the harm caused by the crime committed and should serve ultimately the good of all. No human government is above moral judgement for any action they take.

    My opinion on the Old/New testament question: While the authors claim Jesus is the "new covenant" clearly the facts don't line up to support that. Jesus himself said that men should not punish other men. This (and not the prophesy or canceling of covenants) is what establishes Christian morality and it is wholly different than the notion of Old testament morality. Jesus abandons the notion of proportionality of punishment on earth and instead preaches a focus on self only and spiritual purity and that punishment even if justified taints your soul with violence and wrath which are sinful. Better to suffer criminals than fight against them. A Christian true to the teachings would follow this practice and refuse to participate or support any capital or corporal punishment of any kind. Jesus represents a 180 turn for the God of the old testament and attempts to make a continuum of it are hopeless.

    To contrast my views with yours, I need to know what your views are. They can be hard to get at.

    To answer your question directly, no, Jesus' message is not that men should never take any hostile action against other men (and all men are sinners) under any circumstances. There are circumstances in which hostile action is warranted.

    Jesus Himself was hostile against those in the temple using it as a market.
    I don't think he actually hurt anyone in that episode. He turned over some tables but that's about it. And wasn't that against his own statements earlier? "But I tell you: Love your enemies[i] and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven." Did Jesus pray for the money lenders in the temple? Its possible but he didn't call for their execution ,imprisonment or beating did he?

    6) First of all, let us explain what the Old and New Covenants are so there can be no confusion. Regrettably, this should have been done much earlier in the discussion.
    You do a great job here.... I'll be back later to address is. Lets just say for starters that you make a pretty good case, although there are points I take issue with. I think if nothing else you do a great job explaining your own reasoning and reasons for holding the position you do, and its not unreasonable.
    Feed me some debate pellets!

  7. #47
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    Re: Old Testament Laws and Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    That is the rub of it though. What the course is for you, and the course is for me, are clearly somewhat different. I want to talk about the morality of sin and punishment, you wanted to talk about translations of Hebrew and the definition of Covenant. Its all related, but clearly the two of us have a very different focus and interest.
    It is no doubt an interesting topic for discussion, but it is not relevant to this thread. That is, the justification for the punishments it outside the scope of the questions in the op:
    How did Jesus change/complete old testement law?

    How do we know which laws are still valid and which no longer apply?
    I know you want to discuss something entirely different...but it would be better served in a new thread so that it does not dilute the intent and focus of this particular thread.

    What I mean to say is. Are punishments justified by crimes.
    Yes.

    AKA Can I punish someone who has not committed a crime and if not why? - the expected answer being no, punishment without crime is itself a crime. AKA Punishments would be criminal if they were not in reaction to an original crime. AKA To execute without a just reason is morally wrong. Do you agree?
    Agreed.

    Will you promise to take up the topic in another thread if I start it? My intent is not to make you justify them, only to acknowledge that they would be unjust if they were not proportional.
    Yes. However, when I jump into that thread will be wholly dependent upon the activity level of the current 3 threads I'm currently in. As I've explained to some other members, in the past I've spread myself out too thin. As a result, it resulted in speedy replies that did not understand and address the opposition's position adequately and caused serious delay in response times. I do not wish to fall into hold bad habits...so I am forcing myself to remain focused.

    Until the current threads (or at least a couple of them) are entirely squared away and well established to be concluded, I will not venture into new discussions. But I will discuss the new topic when the time is available (as determined really, by how active the opposition remains in the other threads)

    Thanks for the answer.

    I believe that it is the very essence of the thread in fact. God in fact would find some state actions abhorrent, sinful and wrong. As a good Christian I would imagine you would put your moral teachings ahead of the edicts of the state when those two things are at odds with one another.
    Absolutely. God's philosophy supersedes that of man's.

    If the state ordered you to kill a Gay man who was proven to have committed gay sex, would you carry out his execution? Would you consider it a moral act as a Christian? That is the answer I want and I want to know why.
    No. No. It is not a just punishment. The punishment does not fit the crime. And obviously, this is a position that you would want to apply in OT Israel, but it would not be the correct position. I'm afraid that will have to be further explored in its own thread.

    I made a line of argument saying that this specific "new Covenant" has not come to pass. The situation described never actually happened. The laws were not written on the hearts of men, teaching did not become unnecessary, and according to Jesus you will be judged at least partly by your earthly sins. Jesus's covenant was made with all man, but the "new Covenant" will be one "I will make with the house of Israel". They don't match.
    I didn't see it. I just scrolled up to the post in which I responded to, and I still don't see it. Where is it?

    What support is there that the events never actually happened, or that the laws were not written on the hearts of men, etc...

    As far as the NC being made exclusively with the house of Israel, it isn't. It says it will be made of the House of Israel and the House of Judah. Just a quick point of correction is all.

    Jeremiah 31:31 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah
    As far as the NC applying to all people, there is a lot of support and doctrine that tells us that all men are included, but I'll use one of the more common since I don't think this issue is necessarily directly related to the op.

    Galations has a bit to say about this.

    Gentiles can have faith, and those who have faith are the sons of Abraham spiritually of course. Abraham is the "father" of the House of Israel. All those who adhere to the faith are the sons of Abraham.
    Gal 3:7-8
    7 Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.”
    The blessing of Christ is His message of salvation and is available for Gentiles.

    Galatians 3:14
    14in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
    This passage not only continues to explain, but also addresses how the OT (the guardian) is no longer applicable due to the new covenant (Jesus). The faith and resultant blessings are not just for Jew, but for all people. In the eyes of God believers are neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female....all are one in Christ. And if one follows Christ, then they are Abraham's offspring...and thus heirs to the promise of salvation.
    Abraham

    Gal 3:23-29
    Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. 24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.
    Restating the last verse for emphasis. Believing, or belonging to Christ is a matter of the spirit. To do so, makes one a spiritual descendant of Abraham. The result is that the believer is an heir to the kingdom of salvation as per the promise (new covenant) God made through Christ.
    Gal 3:29
    29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendants, heirs according to promise.
    It was in fact failed, not completed.
    "For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. But God found fault with the people"

    And the covenant was broken and Israel fell into ruin. How can you fulfill that? It seems more likely the covenant Jesus was fulfilling was the "eternal" covenant from Genesis.
    Jesus fulfilling it doesn't mean that all parties in the conditional agreement successfully lived up to their part of the deal. It means that the agreement is no longer in effect. It's completed, the agreement is done (as are all temporary covenants, and God does say that the Mosaic temporary for He is going to bring a new one later) and Jesus' bringing the new promise does just that.

    From that passage

    Is everything accomplished then? I don't see it. Has the heaven and earth disappeared yet? Nope. Then the law is still in effect. Jesus in this passage is clearly saying that just because he is here to fulfill prophesy, its not a giant slumber party, you still need to maintain virtue and follow the law of Gods will.

    You just seem to take the world Fulfill to mean "cancel" and stop reading, ignoring his explicit instructions to follow God's laws, utterly ignoring that he says. "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law " Which is exactly what you say he is doing... its a direct contradiction of a clear statement.
    First of all you misunderstand what is being referred to here. Jesus isn't talking about the 10 Commandments, nor the Sabbath, etc... He specifically refers to the Law and Prophets together. This refers to the entire OT. It was a regular expression Jews of Jesus’ day used to refer to the entire Old Testament. (See Matthew 7:12; 22:40; Acts 24:14; 28:23; Romans 3:21.) The Old Testament comprises the Holy Scriptures or the sacred writings of the Jewish faith. It was through these writings that Jews thought they could understand the will of God and have eternal life (John 5:39, 45).

    What Jesus said, then, was the Old Testament as a body of "God-breathed" literature would not be set aside or abolished. His concern was not specifically the Sabbath or the Ten Commandments. It was the entire Old Testament.
    I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil—Not to subvert, abrogate, or annul, but to establish the law and the prophets—to unfold them, to embody them in living form, and to enshrine them in the reverence, affection, and character of men, am I come.

    Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., Fausset, A. R., Brown, D., & Brown, D. (1997). A commentary, critical and explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments (Mt 5:17). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
    Jesus is speaking about the Old Testament principles and authority of rule and revelation. When Jesus said that He came to fulfill the law, He came to establish it and demonstrate how it pointed to Him and how He would live it perfectly.

    Jesus was constantly rebuking the Pharisees for their value of the letter vs the spirit of the law. Jesus was laying into them, correcting them. He was telling them that the focus is not what they think it is.
    2. THE SUBSTANCE OF HIS MESSAGE (5:17-20).
    5:17-20. This section presents the heart of Jesus’ message, for it demonstrates His relationship to the Law of God. Jesus was not presenting a rival system to the Law of Moses and the words of the Prophets, but a true fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets—in contrast with the Pharisees’ traditions. “The Law and the Prophets” refer to the entire Old Testament (cf. 7:12; 11:13; 22:40; Luke 16:16; Acts 13:15; 24:14; 28:23; Rom. 3:21). I tell you the truth is literally, “Surely (or Verily, KJV) I say to you.” “Surely” renders the word “Amen” (Gr. amēn, transliterated from the Heb. ’āman, “to be firm, true”). This expression, “I tell you the truth,” points to a solemn declaration that the hearers should note. It occurs 31 times in Matthew alone. (In the Gospel of John this Gr. word always occurs twice: “Amen, Amen.” Cf. comments on John 1:51.)
    Jesus’ fulfillment would extend to the smallest Hebrew letter, the “jot” (lit., yōd), and even to the smallest stroke of a Hebrew letter, the “tittle.” In English a jot would correspond to the dot above the letter “i” (and look like an apostrophe), and a tittle would be seen in the difference between a “P” and an “R”. The small angled line that completes the “R” is like a tittle. These things are important because letters make up words and even a slight change in a letter might change the meaning of a word. Jesus said He would fulfill the Law by obeying it perfectly and would fulfill the prophets’ predictions of the Messiah and His kingdom. But the responsibility of the people was made clear. The righteousness they were currently seeking—that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law—was insufficient for entrance into the kingdom Jesus was offering. The righteousness He demanded was not merely external; it was a true inner righteousness based on faith in God’s Word (Rom. 3:21-22). This is clear from what follows.


    Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (Mt 5:13–20). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
    I briefly covered the application of this in my previous post.
    I'm trying to find out what your position is Apok but you are kind of slow to offer it directly so I can debate it (if indeed it differs from mine)

    My opinion is this: God is fictional. The laws of the old testament are often tyrannical and unjust by human standards. The notion that gay sex warrants death is barbaric and inhumane and always has been. Jesus goes to far when he says you are to meet evil with kindness and turn the other cheek at all times. Evil must be met with enough force to stop evil, aka punishment should be relative to the harm caused by the crime committed and should serve ultimately the good of all. No human government is above moral judgement for any action they take.
    OK...but a discussion for the other thread.

    My opinion on the Old/New testament question: While the authors claim Jesus is the "new covenant" clearly the facts don't line up to support that. Jesus himself said that men should not punish other men.
    Where does He say this?

    This (and not the prophesy or canceling of covenants) is what establishes Christian morality and it is wholly different than the notion of Old testament morality. Jesus abandons the notion of proportionality of punishment on earth and instead preaches a focus on self only and spiritual purity and that punishment even if justified taints your soul with violence and wrath which are sinful. Better to suffer criminals than fight against them.
    Support?

    A Christian true to the teachings would follow this practice and refuse to participate or support any capital or corporal punishment of any kind. Jesus represents a 180 turn for the God of the old testament and attempts to make a continuum of it are hopeless.
    I agree that if it is the case that Jesus teaches this, then you would be correct. But you'll need to support it.

    I don't think he actually hurt anyone in that episode. He turned over some tables but that's about it. And wasn't that against his own statements earlier? "But I tell you: Love your enemies[i] and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven."
    No. You confuse being angry with not loving.

    Did Jesus pray for the money lenders in the temple? Its possible but he didn't call for their execution ,imprisonment or beating did he?
    Well, I would imagine He did pray for them considering who He was, His consistency, His teachings and philosophy, etc... Also, I don't think that He considered them enemies. Speculative and entirely irrelevant to the point, but you asked a simple question here so I thought to answer.

    You do a great job here.... I'll be back later to address is. Lets just say for starters that you make a pretty good case, although there are points I take issue with. I think if nothing else you do a great job explaining your own reasoning and reasons for holding the position you do, and its not unreasonable.
    Thank you, I appreciate it (especially given the sheer amount of time and effort that you have forced me to undertake lately ).
    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
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    Re: Old Testament Laws and Christianity

    I saw someone was looking at this thread today and I looked and saw that I'd forgotten about it altogether. Sorry for the ridiculous passage of time between your reply and my own, and if you don't see the need to reply I totally understand, and I won't "take it as a concession" or any other such nonsense.

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    Here's the problem w/ the argument (or initial line of questioning): acts contain no moral value in and of themselves. What determines the moral value is the intent behind the action. It is how an action is qualified.
    I understand, and I'm fine with certain acts being justified relative to intent. I've excluded your language reinforcing the same for the sake of brevity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    And in the case of homosexuality in the OT, Israel being a theocracy and the it setting the stage for the rest of the world (and for what was to come), it was a capital crime for people to engage in homosexual behavior (as well other sexual deviancy). In a theocracy, such as Israel, such an offense was an affront against God (not the state), so it carried quite a serious offense. When Christ came, the covenant changed. The new "contract" began. The action changed relative to the law and covenant God had with His people. The moral value of the behavior of sexual deviancy has not changed one iota. It is indeed, absolute. It just no longer needed to be a capital offense (the new covenant)...therefore, it would be wrong to call for capital punishment upon commission for this offense.
    I'm sorry Apok, but this is still utterly a non-answer. It tells us nothing about how the intent of the punishment changed (which is what your argument is hinged on). It simply tells us that it DID change.

    If the most right, the most moral and the most good reaction to practicing homosexuality was execution then, why is it NOT the most right, the most moral and the most good reaction to practicing homosexuality now? What intent has changed that changed this most right, the most moral and the most good response to NOT the most right, the most moral and the most good response? And what IS the most right, the most moral and the most good response now relative to this new intent?

 

 
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