Which Laws Should I Follow: Part 4 – The Final Note

It occurred to me after I wrote Part 3 that there was still more to be said regarding Katie’s question. What I had addressed in Parts 1, 2, and 3 were all good, but there were things that I did not cover. This is Part 4.

I ended Part 3 with a reason why we should not reject the Law or the Torah, the list of do’s and don’t’s, and I also stated a couple of reasons why people so emphatically preach and teach that you should follow the rules. For some people, it is a problem with self righteousness— feeling that they know everything and commanding that others give them a sense of respect. Others will teach a strict law obedience to create a sense of unity, although they are creating clones or a sense of sameness. All of this is evidence of a control issue, and can be extremely destructive. Still, others will preach to their congregations that they ought to be law abiding citizens in a genuine effort to avoid sin. They will do what they can to keep God’s law and live a holy lifestyle. This in itself is not wrong or evil, but if it is pushed too far it can become a burden, something the Law was not intended to be.

At the end of it all, I encouraged Katie, and all you readers to move towards or pursue a love relationship with God, not a rule based one. For a love relationship is what God originally intended and designed you to flow and function in. But just because I said it doesn’t mean that people will instantly move towards that kind of relationship.

Why? Because love is scary. Continue reading “Which Laws Should I Follow: Part 4 – The Final Note”

Which Laws Should I Follow: Part 3 – More Answers To The Question

This is part 3 of an ongoing series seeking to answer a reader’s question about the Biblical commandments and our relationship to them. While you can jump into this article cold, you will have a much fuller understanding about this topic if you go back and read Part 1 and Part 2.

Let us begin with a short recap.

God gave the Law, or the Torah, to the nation of Israel after they were rescued from the nation of Egypt. Being a new nation, now enjoying a freedom that they had not known for 400 years, God gave them instructions on how to live. This was not God’s original plan, but this was the way that God was going to return His faithful people to the relationship He wanted. What God truly desired was a love relationship with Israel, not a list of do’s and don’t’s. As much as His Law was authoritative, it was a step in His master plan, moving us towards a better relationship.

It wouldn’t be for thousands of years, but it would be the perfect time, when God brought about the Way to bring the faithful back into proper relationship. That Way would be through faith in Jesus Christ. He did not come to get rid of the Law, but He perfectly fulfilled what we could not, and offered us a loving relationship with God that we could not otherwise have.Now, to answer some of Katie’s questions.

Why do some people still follow these rules? Why do pastors insist on their followers strict obedience to the Law? Continue reading “Which Laws Should I Follow: Part 3 – More Answers To The Question”

Which Laws Should I Follow: Part 2 – Enter Jesus and The Love Bugs

(This is part 2 of a 4 part series looking at the question of obedience to the Biblical Law. Which Old Testament Laws should modern Christians obey? Why do some people only obey certain ones? These and many more similar issues will be addressed. If you have not yet read Part 1, read it here before proceeding.)

A quick overview before we continue on discussing the Law and how believers are meant to interact with it:

In Part 1, we talked about why the Law, or Torah, was given to Israel in the first place. As a nation fresh out of captivity, they lacked any stability or knowledge of how to govern themselves as an independent people. God gave them numerous laws, covering different topics so that Israel could live a plentiful and prosperous life.

While this Torah was instituted by God, it was flawed. Not because of the Author, but because of the nature of the system. Having a list of rules quickly illustrates how sinful the human race is, not just the Israelites. The Law became a lamp displaying God’s holiness and mankind’s rebellious spirit. No one could perfectly keep the Law forever, at some point everyone would break a commandment, violating God’s Law. That is not to mention our inability to obey the spirit of the Law. We cannot keep the letter of the Law, and the spirit of the Law shows us even more that we are all sinners, far from the heart of God.

As I said, the Law or Torah was instituted by God, but this was not His original plan. This was His plan after our archetypes and parents, Adam and Eve disobeyed God. The original plan was that God and humankind would have a relationship, not a list of rules to govern their interaction. God created humankind to have a heart to heart communion with him, to know him intimately and deeply, as a wife knows her husband. It was never God’s intention that we would be “law-abiding” citizens. Instead he wanted us to be lovers.

But because of humanity’s sins, there was no way to restore the relationship that God intended, not by man’s efforts anyway. It would take a divine intervention into human history to restore what had been broken.

Enter Jesus and the Love Bugs.
Continue reading “Which Laws Should I Follow: Part 2 – Enter Jesus and The Love Bugs”

Which Laws Should I Follow: Part 1

Dear Christian Thought Sandbox,

I have been wrestling with my personal beliefs regarding gay marriage for a while now.  So I decided I’d start digging into Leviticus since that’s the primary source of Scripture from which “against” arguments are made.  While I was hoping for clarity, it only sent me into a tailspin of insecurity, wondering what other OT laws I should be following.  Should I not cut my hair and only wear skirts like my Pentecostal friends?  Should my husband have pieces of hair dangling from his temples? Should I throw out half of my clothes made of mixed cloth?

I have read quite a bit of commentary on Leviticus and still cannot get a sufficient answer about how which laws are designated as moral, holy, and ceremonial.  Many of the articles have talked about these designations, (without describing how each law is determined to be which designation) saying that they are irrelevant in the end because all of God’s Word is applicable. You can probably understand how this makes it all even more confusing.

My main questions are: How are the different laws designated as moral, holiness, or ceremonial laws?  And why are we expected to follow some today, and not others?

Thank you so much for your time and help!

Katie

Continue reading “Which Laws Should I Follow: Part 1”