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No, These Weren’t Yours to Begin With

Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem2982

One of the more interesting exchanges I had on my other blog started off innocently enough with me stating why I didn’t believe God sanctioned polygamy for Christians. Online discussions being what they are, it soon devolved into my being accused of being “no student of Scripture” for not agreeing with one commentator about their assertion that Christians were to follow the Levitical law.

In short, I had pointed out that polygamy was something that the Bible did not specifically condemn because of the cultural context, but was not sanctioned as an example to follow either, and pointed out a couple of examples of other practices that are no longer accepted within Christianity. The commentator took exception to this, asserting that Christians were still to follow the Law.

I think it’s easy for some to get caught up on Jesus’ statement that he did not intend the abolish the Law (Matthew 5:17-20), without considering his fulfillment and what it meant. What does that really mean for us?

  • Jesus did not invalidate the Law during his earthly ministry, however, he did institute a covenant of grace (Romans 6:13-14)
  • Jewish teachers in both Biblical times and today never saw the Law as being for Gentiles. In fact, many believe that only the laws given to Noah are applicable for non-Jews. (Gen. 9:8-17)
  • Early Christians leaders did not impose the Law on Christians (Acts 15)

We are under the law of grace – thanks be to God!

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April 20, 2016 Posted by | Apologetics, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

A Good Place to Start

Maerten van Heemskerck - Christ Appearing to St Peter on the Sea of Tiberias (Bowes Museum)

How often do stories include a line about starting at the beginning? How often do hit TV shows open with a character presumably going back to the beginning?

Starting at the beginning, or getting back to the basics, is a theme that also crops up in the Bible. Jesus’ appearance in John 21:9, though it is post-Resurrection, ironically starts where he first called the disciples.

Going back to where you were before God called you at the point you are in your life can be a very scary thing. Although remembering where we were when we decided to heed Jesus’ call makes us grateful for what we turned away from, remembering the past can give us a clearer picture of the future.

Christianity has taken so many twists and turns over the centuries that it often seems as though common ground is difficult to find. Ages-old controversies about the nature of the Godhead now take their place alongside controversies over worship styles and the use of sacraments in an increasingly digitized world.

One thing to bear in mind: many of today’s controversies likely would have befuddled Jesus’ earliest followers. Your mileage may vary, but I think they would have rejected anything that eclipsed Jesus as Lord, reduced honored traditions as stale, rigid laws, denied the importance of those who had gone before, or that tought any group of people was unworthy of ministering to.

Creedal Christianity, at its best, gets back to basics while providing adaptability for a world that constantly changes. What more could we ask for today?

April 10, 2016 Posted by | Christian Living, Uncategorized | | Leave a comment