harsh, but fair:
… because … you’re … a … Biblically-illiterate buffoon who has never listened to a single Christian sermon on the issue, talked with a single Christian theologian about this subject, read a single one of the countless words that Christians have written on this subject and your only familiarity with the matter is what you’ve learned from the website of another hopelessly ignorant unbeliever who is convinced that after a 20 second glance at 4 context-free passages from Leviticus he is already a greater Biblical scholar than every Christian in the last 2,000 years including the very men who wrote the Bible.
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What makes discussion with non-Christians really complicated is that some of those buffoons have become clergy and even bishops. Without becoming any more biblically literate.
Where does it say in the Bible that “practicing justice” is part of Ceremonial law not Moral law. Are you saying that there should be no punishment for murdering, stealing or sleeping with your daughter?
Leviticus 20:1,15: “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death”
Can you please confirm that these God’s words are no longer valid, and punishment for certain actions are dependent of time and place i.e. God’s a moral relativist? Do you also assume that only the first half of the Verse Lev 20:15 should be followed and not the second half, with your the cool Venn diagram? Where can I check which part of which verses fall in to which part of Venn?
Jesus said “For truly I tell you, 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”
Can you please confirm that Jesus actually meant that part of the Law (of Moses) has disappeared? Where did Jesus talk about Ceremonial laws?
I honestly don’t understand how the second sentence follows from the first.
As for the rest of it. I refer you to the detailed extract from the video cited above. Oh, and this.
Funny how Christians always run away when you ask them how the “practicing justice” is part of Ceremonial law? Just like the video you rather avoid the question by proxy quoting unknown writer’s unknown text rather than refer to the Bible. (Is this Tim Keller’s opinion “The entire book of Hebrews explains that the Old Testament ceremonial laws were not so much abolished as fulfilled by Christ” without quoting Bible what ceremonial laws are. He asserted “Once you grant the main premise of the Bible… Because of Christ, the ceremonial law is repealed.” Again not quoting what Jesus said about the Law of Moses in the Bible.) Topic is so untouchable that forums and blogs band asking Ceremonial law questions.
Christians seem to have profound problem understanding why “If a man has sexual relations with a man” is still wrong but no punishment should be applied, and “Thou shalt not kill” is still wrong but punishment should be applied. Both are “practicing justice” or not.
And I don’t get “Oh, and this”. Are you saying that when you blog post talks about Leviticus 20 it is trolling to talk about Leviticus 20? Or is it that we need to take Keller’s word rather than Jesus’? Note that I quoted Jesus, Keller gave his opinion. Care to explain?
no Jon, it’s not us who “have profound problem understanding”. I refer you again to the point above. By all means go another round and tell me what I dont understand. I’ll refer you to the same response one more time. Go give a monologue somewhere else. I have no desire to do the rounds with you.
Jesus is of the Horite ruler-priest lineage, the oldest known order of priests. The Levitical law is essentially Horite law. The Horites were a caste of ruler-priests who maintained high standards of moral behavior. Before their time of service in the temples they shaved their bodies, abstained from sexual intercourse, fasted and did not consume wine. Their oldest shrine was at Nekhen (4000 B.C.). Another of their shrine was Biblical On or Heliopolis. Plutarch wrote that the “priests of the Sun at Heliopolis never carry wine into their temples, for they regard it as indecent for those who are devoted to the service of any god to indulge in the drinking of wine whilst they are under the immediate inspection of their Lord and King. The priests of the other deities are not so scrupulous in this respect, for they use it, though sparingly.”
Ok, as a biblically-literate non-Christian who has read thousands of words Christians have written on the topic I have serious issues with this video. The idea that “the distinction between the moral law and the ceremonial law” is “something that is made clear throughout the scriptures” is seriously stretching the truth. The Bible never gives any breakdown of the law along these lines. The closest thing seems to be that there are laws that remain and laws which can be done away with. There are some areas where the NT makes this clear, but for most of them you just have to figure it out from the general vibe. In fact, one of the clearest places where this issue is dealt with, the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15, was probably ignored by this video because it actually muddies the waters. At the Jerusalem Council there are two food prohibitions which continued for Gentile believers. At the same time, the Sabbath (which the video says is part of the moral law by virtue of it being part of the 10 Commandments) is clearly given as non-binding in the NT (Romans 14:5-6 and Colossians 2:16-17).
Further, the idea that Romans 5:13 is realating specifically to a subset of the law which you have made up is far-fetched. As is the idea that the description in Exodus 19 which is immediately followed by the 10 Commandments would not be referencing them as well.
Biblically illiterate buffoons who can’t get their head around the fact that Christians might have thought about these issues deserve to be ridiculed. But so do Christians who give simplistic answers in patronising tones and who deliberately seem to gloss over any difficulties in their theology.
Thanks Alan. I’m genuinely not seeing what the “difficulty in the theology” is here, notwithstanding your comments on simplistic answers and tone.
This video is squarely aimed at the “Biblically illiterate buffoons” that you refer to.
The problem I see tripartite or bipartite divisions of the law is that because they aren’t actually laid out in scripture people end up dividing individual laws based on their own moral prejudices. I think that this usually ends with people interpreting scripture through their own worldview. I’m just making assumptions about the people who put this video together’s view of scripture, but I reckon that would be at odds with it.
At one level, I’m not sure why I’m pursuing this. I think that the Bible does present an anti-homosexual agenda. I just don’t think that we have any obligation to follow it. What gets me about this video is the fact that it tries to destroy a weak argument with one which isn’t that much stronger.
well, they’re not explicitly stated in Scripture but there’s a reason why so many Christian thinkers over the centuries have pursued that line.
Simply stated it’s because the NT very clearly upholds (and even reinforces) moral requirements (so e.g. 1Tim1 and the Sermon on the Mount) and yet also presents Jesus as the fulfilment of cultic requirements (so chapters 7-10 of Hebrews).
Absolutely David. There are definitely reasons why this view exists and has done so since the earliest centuries. The obvious one that I pointed to originally is that some laws are done away with in the NT and some are retained. The problem for biblical interpretation is that there isn’t a checklist of each individual law saying whether it is retained or not.
Romans 13 seems to be stating that the moral framework undergirding the law is “love”. Love is such an amorphous term, however, that the law then spells out 613 commandments to sum up what love looks like. Deciding which of these should persist under the new covenant and which should be dumped is leaving it to people to define what love looks like to them.
I’m pretty sure that both of us are sure we are right so I’m not sure there’s too much point pushing this any further 🙂
well it might be worth “pushing further” if only to examine the claim that you’re making.
Christians have a moral code to follow and it is most fully revealed in the person of Jesus Christ who is the Law Giver, the fulfillment of the Law, and the embodiment of divine moral obligation. Jesus is unique, and so is the Christian moral law. Just as Jesus had ancestors with a tradition of laws, so the Christian moral law has a history of development. To say that something is unique does not mean that it has no precedent in history.
The Christian moral law develops out of an ancient law code which includes the Ten Commandments and many other laws, some of which are older than the time of Moses. Some of the laws attributed to Moses were already observed by Jesus’ ancestors before the time of Moses.
Law codes were linked to appointed rulers. The oldest known was the Law of Tehut, attributed to Menes, before the Egyptian dynasties. The progression from Exodus 20 to Deut. 5 reflects this. In Exodus 20, God is speaking to Moses. In Deuteronomy 5:6-21, Moses is speaking to the community.
Te-hut represents the divine wisdom that overcomes chaos. It is victorious over Te-hom (Hebrew: תְּהוֹם), the chaotic deep described in Genesis 1. When God spoke the creation into being He also ordered the creation by fixing boundaries: waters above separated from the waters below; dry land from the seas, male-female, animate-inanimate, etc. We honor God when we observe and honor the boundaries He has established. When we trespass divinely established boundaries we invite chaos (te-hom) into our lives and into the world.