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Cake
Jul 29th 2008, 12:46 AM
some say that God has layed out a new covenant and the rules from Leviticus are no longer to be followed.

i understand that was a different time period with totally different standards/ideas, aside from this, I want to know if they were indeed MORAL for the time. was it technically MORAL to stone adulterers and burn people to death?

valleybldr
Jul 29th 2008, 12:49 AM
some say that God has layed out a new covenant and the rules from Leviticus are no longer to be followed.

i understand that was a different time period with totally different standards/ideas, aside from this, I want to know if they were indeed MORAL for the time. was it technically MORAL to stone adulterers and burn people to death? The Torah was written by God. He defines what is moral... not us. todd

Cake
Jul 29th 2008, 01:03 AM
The Torah was written by God. He defines what is moral... not us. todd


God clearly instructed the people of the OT to do these things, so does that mean he defined these things as moral?

BroRog
Jul 29th 2008, 01:11 AM
some say that God has layed out a new covenant and the rules from Leviticus are no longer to be followed.

i understand that was a different time period with totally different standards/ideas, aside from this, I want to know if they were indeed MORAL for the time. was it technically MORAL to stone adulterers and burn people to death?

Some people make a distinction between the moral law of God and the ceremonial law of God, which is a handy distinction to make. We would classify laws like "do not murder" as "moral laws," but we would classify the dietary laws as "ceremonial laws." Christians typically say that all men are required to obey God's moral laws found in the Law of Moses, but Christians are not obligated to keep the ceremonial laws of Moses.

Having said that, it's important to keep in mind that for a Jew under the Old Covenant, ALL the laws were moral laws for the simple reason that to disobey God is always immoral, whether the command is intrinsically moral, ritually symbolic, or ceremonial.

At the same time, for Christians today, the legislation of Israel is still instructive to us and must not be discarded out of hand. For instance, the law proscribes the mixing of two types of cloth, not allowing the Jews to wear a garment with two kinds of cloth. (Lev. 19:19)

We can ask ourselves why God would set such a rule on the same page as the prohibition against homosexuality. What's the big deal about wearing cotton and wool together? My personal opinion is: God wanted the Israelites to value purity and holiness, so he instructed them to express this concept symbolically in their choices of what to wear.

And so, even though Christians are not obligated to express purity and holiness in this way, we are still obligated to seek after purity and holiness in our values and actions.

Cake
Jul 29th 2008, 01:58 AM
Some people make a distinction between the moral law of God and the ceremonial law of God, which is a handy distinction to make. We would classify laws like "do not murder" as "moral laws," but we would classify the dietary laws as "ceremonial laws." Christians typically say that all men are required to obey God's moral laws found in the Law of Moses, but Christians are not obligated to keep the ceremonial laws of Moses.

Having said that, it's important to keep in mind that for a Jew under the Old Covenant, ALL the laws were moral laws for the simple reason that to disobey God is always immoral, whether the command is intrinsically moral, ritually symbolic, or ceremonial.

At the same time, for Christians today, the legislation of Israel is still instructive to us and must not be discarded out of hand. For instance, the law proscribes the mixing of two types of cloth, not allowing the Jews to wear a garment with two kinds of cloth. (Lev. 19:19)

We can ask ourselves why God would set such a rule on the same page as the prohibition against homosexuality. What's the big deal about wearing cotton and wool together? My personal opinion is: God wanted the Israelites to value purity and holiness, so he instructed them to express this concept symbolically in their choices of what to wear.

And so, even though Christians are not obligated to express purity and holiness in this way, we are still obligated to seek after purity and holiness in our values and actions.

how do we make this classification? how do we decide which laws are moral and which are ceremonial (besides picking out the ones that don't apply to today's world and simply labeling them as "ceremonial")?

jayne
Jul 29th 2008, 02:25 AM
I suppose that the entirety of the law is "moral" to a degree.

But here's how I divide the Law up in my own mind. Some of these laws can overlap.

Ceremonial laws- These are the laws that had to do with the shedding of blood whether it be a dove, a bull, a ram, or a man being circumcized. It also includes burning of incense, regulations that made someone "unclean", and any sacrificial duty. We do not obey these laws anymore because Jesus Christ has shed His precious blood for our atonement and that payment is completed. Circumcision is still practiced, but not as part of a religious law.

Civil laws - These are laws that pertained to the Jewish nation only. Just as our civil laws today include things like speed limits and age requirements for the POTUS, the Jews had their own civil laws handed down by God. They included restitution laws in case someone damaged someone else's property, dietary laws, marital laws, laws about hygiene, and laws about what to do with foreign peoples. These laws kept the Jewish nation unified as a political body.

Moral laws - Some laws contain prohibitions that were also contained in the New Testament. Jesus said that it is still a sin to murder, to commit adultery, to commit fornication, to lie, to steal, to covet, to be greedy, to betray people, and to hate. The moral laws, the ones that pronounce our required behavior for emulating God's holiness, still prevail.

Jesus Christ said that it is NOT what goes into a person that defiles them. It is only what comes from the wickedness of the heart and comes out that defiles a person.

Cake
Jul 29th 2008, 03:09 AM
I suppose that the entirety of the law is "moral" to a degree.

But here's how I divide the Law up in my own mind. Some of these laws can overlap.

Ceremonial laws- These are the laws that had to do with the shedding of blood whether it be a dove, a bull, a ram, or a man being circumcized. It also includes burning of incense, regulations that made someone "unclean", and any sacrificial duty. We do not obey these laws anymore because Jesus Christ has shed His precious blood for our atonement and that payment is completed. Circumcision is still practiced, but not as part of a religious law.

Civil laws - These are laws that pertained to the Jewish nation only. Just as our civil laws today include things like speed limits and age requirements for the POTUS, the Jews had their own civil laws handed down by God. They included restitution laws in case someone damaged someone else's property, dietary laws, marital laws, laws about hygiene, and laws about what to do with foreign peoples. These laws kept the Jewish nation unified as a political body.

Moral laws - Some laws contain prohibitions that were also contained in the New Testament. Jesus said that it is still a sin to murder, to commit adultery, to commit fornication, to lie, to steal, to covet, to be greedy, to betray people, and to hate. The moral laws, the ones that pronounce our required behavior for emulating God's holiness, still prevail.

Jesus Christ said that it is NOT what goes into a person that defiles them. It is only what comes from the wickedness of the heart and comes out that defiles a person.


this is all great and stuff and i too believe it is immoral now to stone and burn people.

but this line confuses me: here's how I divide the Law up in my own mind.

this is what bothers me about what some Christians do. you take things INTO YOUR OWN HANDS. since Jesus/God never specifically said that these horrible teachings were indeed false, modern day Christians take it into their own hands and "in their own mind" to cherry pick the horrific teachings and label them as "ceremonial" or "mosaic law"

nzyr
Jul 29th 2008, 04:39 AM
I want to know if they were indeed MORAL for the time. was it technically MORAL to stone adulterers and burn people to death?Where in the bible does it say that God wanted people to be burned?

BroRog
Jul 29th 2008, 04:51 AM
how do we make this classification? how do we decide which laws are moral and which are ceremonial (besides picking out the ones that don't apply to today's world and simply labeling them as "ceremonial")?

I'm not sure there is an easy answer to this. It takes wisdom, which is what we are gaining by asking this question and trying to give an answer. Some laws are intrinsically moral. By that I mean, these laws prohibit actions the immorality of which is self-evident. These actions would be wrong whether or not God caused Moses to put them in writing. For instance, it's always been wrong to murder someone. It was wrong the day Cane killed Abel.

BroRog
Jul 29th 2008, 04:56 AM
this is all great and stuff and i too believe it is immoral now to stone and burn people.

but this line confuses me: here's how I divide the Law up in my own mind.

this is what bothers me about what some Christians do. you take things INTO YOUR OWN HANDS. since Jesus/God never specifically said that these horrible teachings were indeed false, modern day Christians take it into their own hands and "in their own mind" to cherry pick the horrific teachings and label them as "ceremonial" or "mosaic law"



This isn't true for everyone I'm sure. What's the alternative? Put it in some other person's hands? Shall we take comfort in the fact that we don't have to think for ourselves? Is that what the Christian life is about? Comfort? You want a Pope or a Bishop to tell you what to think? God would rather you NOT learn wisdom?

Think about it. :)

Oma
Jul 29th 2008, 05:37 AM
this is all great and stuff and i too believe it is immoral now to stone and burn people.




It always was wrong for private persons to stone people. That was only done by the Sanhedrin or whoever was the civil authority at any particular time in OT history in order to carry out the death penalty because God commanded them to. Just as today the civil government has the right to put murders to death, but it's wrong for a private person to take the law in his own hands.

valleybldr
Jul 29th 2008, 11:52 AM
how do we make this classification? how do we decide which laws are moral and which are ceremonial (besides picking out the ones that don't apply to today's world and simply labeling them as "ceremonial")? These are man-made divisions. I used to think along the same lines but no longer. todd

keck553
Jul 29th 2008, 03:53 PM
Probably is best just to do what God says. Obviously there are things we can not do; there is no physical tabernacle/temple, and America isn't set apart the way Israel is. As communities, the nations don't corporately offer korban to God, and civil laws usurp God's commands. As rare as the Sanhedron sentenced a stoning, America executes a thousandfold more. I'm not attempting to pass any moral judgements, America does not obey God corporately, and the loose strands of morality are allowed to unravel at an unchecked pace.

But as an individual, we don't have to default to making divisions that are based on our personal preferences, or what some other man or woman says. Obviously God's wisdom far exceeds ours, so my best choice is simply to do as He says and leave any consequences of my obedience to Him.

BroRog
Jul 30th 2008, 02:51 PM
Probably is best just to do what God says. Obviously there are things we can not do; there is no physical tabernacle/temple, and America isn't set apart the way Israel is. As communities, the nations don't corporately offer korban to God, and civil laws usurp God's commands. As rare as the Sanhedron sentenced a stoning, America executes a thousandfold more. I'm not attempting to pass any moral judgements, America does not obey God corporately, and the loose strands of morality are allowed to unravel at an unchecked pace.

But as an individual, we don't have to default to making divisions that are based on our personal preferences, or what some other man or woman says. Obviously God's wisdom far exceeds ours, so my best choice is simply to do as He says and leave any consequences of my obedience to Him.

It's not that simple. Obviously we are going to do what God says. The question is, what did God say and to whom did he say it? No one is saying that we use "personal preference" to decide what must be done. And while it may be true that God's wisdom exceeds our own, it's also true that God wants us to exercise our wisdom and make judgment calls of our own.

The category distinction between what is "moral" and what is "ceremonial" seeks to give credence to the fact that the basis of the OT law and prophets reflects God's moral vision. And so, even though Gentiles are not obligated to express that moral vision through the ritual aspects of the Law, we are still subject to God's morality. And as students of Jesus, it is up to us to sort this out.

joztok
Jul 30th 2008, 04:45 PM
some say that God has layed out a new covenant and the rules from Leviticus are no longer to be followed.

i understand that was a different time period with totally different standards/ideas, aside from this, I want to know if they were indeed MORAL for the time. was it technically MORAL to stone adulterers and burn people to death?
Their are many covenants God makes in the bible.
The covenant God made with the Jews was a contract.
As gentiles, we are not bound by this Law-binding contract.

Christ made a new covenant by making an everlasting oath, promise, etc.
We are in this covenant of grace- that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. To accept who God is and what He has done, is all we need to know to be saved by this promise. We are simply made aware of this promise to us and we simply say 'Yes. I believe'. This is not law, but freedom. This is not living in contract but living in his Promise.

His Holy Spirit in you will teach you about Him and His righteousness and how to live a holy life. His voice is life-giving, loving, kind, peaceful, gentle, reassuring, encouraging, edifying is always with you.
The voice of the Law is death, destructive, condemning, harsh, vengeful, cold and merciless. It requires your blood, work and tears.

Both are teachers. Both point to live in the Spirit of Christ. But one leads to death while the other leads to life. One leads to legalism, the other leads to grace. One leads to judgment, the other leads to love. One leads to impending doom, the other leads to hope.

So don't live under the Levitical Law. Choose to abide in the presence of God's Holy Spirit. He will personally convict you of what needs to be corrected in your relationship with others and God the Father.


The Torah was written by God. He defines what is moral... not us. toddHe also defines what is impossible- keeping the Law. But through the Mosaic Law, we learn not to rely on ourselves to make ourselves right before God, but God himself to make us right with Him through the coming of Jesus Christ.

Now that Christ has come, we uphold the Law by living in it's prophetic fulfillment. This means we don't need to live by it's impossible right standings before God, but rather in the sanctified and righteous Holy Spirit of God that now lives in us because we believe in Jesus.

Through His Holy Spirit, we hate sin- therefore our new human and spiritual nature in Christ is righteous.
Under the law, we're selective about what we obey and what we don't. If a Christian chooses to live under the power and curse of the Law, we forget our right-standing with Jesus Christ and possibly/impossibly* put our relationship/salvation* in jeopardy with God.

(I'm being sensitive to NOSAS and OSAS believers here!)

joztok
Jul 30th 2008, 04:54 PM
The Law served as three functions:
1. To teach man to look to God for salvation, not our own means
(The Ten Commandments plus other commandments)
2. To foreshadow, anti-type or prophesy the coming of Jesus Christ.
(Ceremonial Laws and other laws and illustrations)
3. To preserve the seed of Christ so that His blood line was pure.
(Civil laws, governing, purifying and incest laws that come in.)

The Law in it's entirety point and lead to Christ.