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CHRISTIANITY CONFESSES THAT JEWISH LAW STILL IN FORCE

The Bible teaches (Romans 13 - Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,”and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law) that Jesus and what he did for us changed how we worship but not how we live so the moral law of the Old Testament is still in force.

Jesus said that he came not to abolish the law or the prophets but to fulfil them. He said not a line would pass away from them. They are scriptures invested with divine authority. Even those who contradict the verse and say Jesus did change the law, must agree that even if he did he was saying that the law is to be honoured by being fulfilled and to be accepted as correct. He was still praising it despite all the murders it commanded and that were committed in its name.

Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount said that such and such was said to the people and that he had such and such to say. Jesus was talking about the Jewish Law in the Bible. The person having done the saying was God. Jesus is clearly saying that those sayings are sacred and divine.

http://www.usccb.org/liturgy/godsmercy.shtml

This Catholic site complains that despite the Church having condemned the idea that the Jewish Scriptures in the Old Testament are opposed to the Christian New Testament, some still treat both sets of scriptures as contradictory. The Church however rejects the idea that the New Testament or Jesus Christ abrogated or superseded the Old Testament. The Church rejects the view that the Old Testament Covenant was abandoned by God and replaced with a New Covenant. Vatican II in Dei Verbum and Nostra Aetate said this was a total misunderstanding. John Paul II said on November 17 1980 that God never revoked the Old Covenant with the Jews.

The Baltimore Catechism states,

Q. 392. Were all the laws of the Jewish religion abolished by the establishment of Christianity?

A. The moral laws of the Jewish religion were not abolished by the establishment of Christianity, for Christ came not to destroy these laws, but to make them more perfect. Its ceremonial laws were abolished when the Temple of Jerusalem ceased to be the House of God.

Comment: The laws must have been very sacred when Christ came for their sake. The Catechism is implying that it was moral for Jesus to send people out to stone gays to death in 29 AD though he supposedly changed that directive when he died the following year or whenever! 

ACTS 15

The apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 1:8-11 states that the Law of God given in the Bible is good but only if not abused. He advocates its correct use. He said it was only bad for the people who were unrighteous and needed punishment. It is Christian doctrine that the Law is absolutely correct. Paul was implying that if God speaks and commands you to murder sinners then you must obey. When he said believers are not subject to it he must have meant not that they have the right to disobey it but they are saved from the penalty for breaking it. Jesus takes the rap as the one who was punished by God for our violations of the law.

"Paul is able to say that the law is done away with, and yet not done away with, but established by justifying faith (2 Cor. 3:7-17; Rom. 3:31)." See page 124, Christ Our Righteousness, (Mark A Seifrid, IVP, 2000). Thus Christian faith is not faith unless it approves of divine law.
In Romans 3:27, Paul says that the law is not about works but about faith that saves.

Some use the New Testament teaching that we must obey the spirit of the law not the letter of the law as saying we can interpret the nasty laws figuratively not literally. Such an interpretation is an exaggeration of the command and makes the law useless. It is really just an excuse for saying you are a believer in the Bible's divine authority when you are not. The spirit of the law refers to understanding it correctly and not exaggerating any of its laws. A judge who sentences a shop lifter to jail for three years may see that penalty laid down in the books of the law. But he will be ignoring laws about extenuating circumstances. Thus he is putting the letter above the meaning of the law.

In Acts 15, the apostles grappled with the problem of non-Jewish Christians and their relationship to the Jewish Law. As they didn’t want to burden the converts, they decreed that they must abstain from blood, eating meat sacrificed to demons, fornication and the meat of animals that were strangled. The Church concludes from this that she has the power to restore as much of the Jewish Law as she wants. In principle, the Church can require that adulterers be stoned to death. Acts 15 however only describes an emergency situation. Plainly, it cannot be concluded from it that the Church should restore parts of the Law if it wants. It sounds more like a situation where the whole Law was required but it was not possible for it to be entirely kept.

The decision was not made to please anybody. If the apostles had wanted to please people they would have given in to the Jewish Christians who considered it necessary to circumcise the Gentiles and put down circumcision as a requirement. After all, that is what the meetings and deliberations outlined in Acts 15 were about.

The decision implies the whole Law ideally and if possible should be advocated for observance. The Church says that the ban on fornication is a moral law. Yet in Acts 15 it is listed as banned. Murder was also forbidden by the Law of the Jews given by God as well as fornication was. Does the apostles banning fornication and not murder mean that the Gentiles were allowed to commit murder? Of course not. Clearly the apostles were saying that the ban on eating blood, meat sacrificed to pagan gods or the meat of strangled animals were moral laws as much as fornication was. Thus they cannot be done away. What is wrong is wrong and that cannot be changed.

THE CATHOLIC CHURCH CONFESSES

In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, (Sections 577-582), we read that the Church teaches that Jesus alone obeyed the Law of Moses perfectly and that the Law is one inseparable whole so he who breaks one rule breaks them all.

The Catechism agrees that Jesus did not abolish the Law at all but he only interpreted it properly and attacked the laws that had been added to it by tradition.

The Church says that Jesus did not do away with the laws on diet but only expressed what they were about and that they were meant to be reminders of the need to keep the heart pure. In other words, pigs were made unclean food by God though they were not really unclean in themselves just to remind the people that they were sacred. If they eat pigs they lose these reminders and their hearts become unclean so eating pigs is unclean. The Church however ignores the food regulations. Jesus is thought to have declared all foods clean. But even if Jesus did declare that all foods were clean in themselves that does not imply that the food regulations can be abandoned if their purpose was the purpose he gave them. On the contrary it implies they should still be kept.

The Church agrees that the Law was right to condemn the foods as unclean implying it agrees that gays and adulterers should be stoned to death.


THE WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD NOW SAYS…

The Worldwide Church of God used to teach that keeping parts of the Law of Moses was necessary for Christians. After a dramatic change in doctrine the Worldwide Church of God issued a new statement of their position on the Law of Moses liberalising their teachings. They said that the Bible never says the Law was the means of salvation. They said that the Mosiac law is a unit and the word Torah or Law in the Bible is singular as is the word nomos used in the New Testament. James 2:10 is seen to indicate that since to break one law is to break them all that the Law of Moses with its 613 commandments is a unit.

They say that Galatians 3:19 says that the Law was in force only until Jesus would come and 2 Corinthians 3:2-11 says the Law is katargeo which means rendered inoperative. But they say that we are still free to keep any part of the Mosiac Law if we wish. The New Testament stresses freedom which they take to mean that if you want to keep the unclean food ban you can do it as long as you understand it is up to you. The study says that the New Testaments answers both yes and no to the question, “Are the Old Testament Laws Still Binding on Christians?” They point to Hebrews 8:10 quoting Jeremiah 31:31-33 as valid for our day though Jeremiah says in it that God will write the Law of Moses on our hearts. The study says the Laws of the Old Testament are completely valid but we just obey them in a new way as exemplified by Christ. In other words, instead of worrying about damp on your wall like the Law commands you worry more about the kind of heart you have. They argue that you can forget about the damp as long as it will do no harm and that is love. So you worry about the spirit of the Law not the letter.

This new teaching is exactly the same as the orthodox Christian teaching on the Law. But notice how it lets you make laws to kill gays and adulterers if you want to. The fact that the New Testament says that the Law is inoperative in the sense that it does not force us anymore for God works within us to make us want to obey it is ignored. The New Testament never says we are free to drop the requirements of the Law. Moreover, you could keep the spirit of the Law and the letter. The idea of the spirit of the Law needing to be obeyed implies that the Law wants you do follow the spirit of the Law or to obey. If the Law says I should have dampness on my wall treated then I cannot ignore this without turning against the spirit of the Law. Keeping the Law would be good discipline for me if I am already saved so not keeping it would be gross ingratitude to God.

CONCLUSION

Those of us who see how evil the law of God is in the Bible should be disturbed by the Church’s reverence for it and the possibility that the Church could restore its inhumanity.

WORKS CONSULTED
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Christ’s Literal Reign on Earth From David’s Throne at Jerusalem, John R Rice, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, undated
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Kennedy’s Murder, John R Rice, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 1964
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Sunday or Sabbath? John R Rice, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, 1943  
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Which Day is the Christian Sabbath? Herbert W Armstrong, Worldwide Church of God, California, 1976