In which I address statements 12-16.
Freddy made five statements in a single comment to Vox’s Christians and the Law post. Let’s take them one at a time.
Statement 12: Ceremonial laws ultimately abrogated when the Temple was destroyed in AD70. -Freddy
I’m not really sure what to think of Christians basing theology on historical events rather than on the clear statements of God. Is it appropriate to call yourself a Christian when you don’t even believe what Christ said? (Matthew 5:18)
Statement 13: Dietary laws abrogated by Christ himself telling Peter don’t “call what I have called clean, unclean.” -Freddy
Which might be a valid point if Christ had ever declared all previously unclean animals now clean. He did not. I addressed this objection in part 6 (and eventually a post on Mark 7:19) so I won’t go into a lot of detail again. I’ll just remind Freddy that Peter himself explained that God told him not to call people common or unclean when God has made them clean. The unclean animals in Peter’s vision represented gentiles in the same way that the cattle and grain in Pharaoh’s dreams represented years.
Statement 14: Judicial laws are not enforced currently given this secular system that governs us. -Freddy
Freddy made a good point here, although I can’t tell if he knows why. The criminal laws embodied in Torah are not meant to be enforced by vigilantes. They require a court system and the cooperation of the entire community and existing government. The average citizen in a country that does not recognize God’s Law cannot simply pick up a spear and begin skewering open homosexuals at will. Torah requires due legal process, including judges, witnesses, and an appeals court. Until our government is willing to enforce God’s Law or until we, the people, are willing to replace our government, Torah dictates that we are unable to enforce it on other people–those parts that are intended to be enforced on others, that is. The rest is to be enforced by self-discipline or by God himself.
Statement 15: Do consider that if one thinks it is barbaric to call for the execution of a violator of said law then what does it say about the giver of that law? -Freddy
This is perhaps one of the most cogent arguments in favor of Christians keeping Torah. God is not evil. He did not intend evil on the Israelites by giving them the Torah. He told them repeatedly that obedience to the Torah brings life, that circumcision, the stoning of adulterers, the execution of homosexuals, and the sacrificial system are all blessings. Torah tells us a great deal about the character of God, and if we call God’s blessings “weak and miserable,” what are we saying about God?
Statement 16: The moral law is still binding on all mankind….until heaven and earth pass away. Paul us so much in the Romans 1 and 2. -Freddy
Once again, I completely agree with Freddy on this point. However, I don’t think he really thought through the implications. It’s a remarkable thing to say only three sentences after declaring that the “dietary” and “ceremonial” laws have passed away. There is no moral vs ceremonial vs dietary in the Torah. Those are purely man-made distinctions. Since God defines morality, all of God’s Law is the Moral Law. And since Yeshua said that not one jot or tittle shall ever pass away (be removed, abrogated, annulled, destroyed, etc.) from the Law until heaven and earth pass away and all is fulfilled, then whatever laws there are within the Torah, they are all still as valid today as they were in 1000 B.C.
This is typical of the self-serving interpretations of scripture so common among Christians. We all do it to one extent or another. It’s human nature. I just hope that when it is pointed out to us, we are able to recognize it and suppress it.
Vox’s original article: Christians and the Law.