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Lordistruth
Mar 13th 2009, 06:11 PM
So I have a couple friends who are atheists who like to engage with me in debate about rules in the Bible. I'm having trouible with one of their arguments and thought I'd come here to get some help.

Basically their arguement is why we don't follow the rules that are laid out in the OT anymore. I explained that when Jesus came, we didn't have to do them anymore. They asked me to explain how that works and why would God contradict himself. If he is perfect, then why would he give us a set of rules and then say that those rules no longer apply. What changed?

They also bring up points about how do we know which books should be in the Bible and which shouldn't. It was men who wrote them and who picked the specific ones to be in the bible, how can we trust them?

Joyfulee
Mar 14th 2009, 02:51 PM
23- But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

24- Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [to bring us] unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

25- But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

Gal. 3

You might want to review the whole third chapter of Galatians.

Blessings :)

Nyoka
Mar 15th 2009, 12:44 AM
As to rituals the only one I can think of that Jesus spoke of is taking the bread and wine in remembrance of Him. I may be wrong here and I am sure others more learned in it can supply an answer.

As to the laws. Jesus came to save us and to show us that we missed the true intent of the rules God gave in the Old Testament. God's rules are to be underscored with love. Mankind missed this and applied the law to the letter missing the intent of the law.

Jesus said this about the law: Mat 22:35 Then one of them, a lawyer, asked, tempting Him and saying, Mat 22:36 Master, which is the great commandment in the Law? Mat 22:37 Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment. Mat 22:39 And the second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Mat 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets. If you are fulfilling these commandments to love you will want to put God first and not have another idol before Him, you won't murder, steal, covet, etc incase it hurt your fellowman. God's love flowing in and through our lives is what helps us to keep the laws. I have found you can keep them in no other way. Anyway that is my humble opinion fwiw.

djh22
Mar 16th 2009, 10:48 PM
So I have a couple friends who are atheists who like to engage with me in debate about rules in the Bible. I'm having trouible with one of their arguments and thought I'd come here to get some help.

Basically their arguement is why we don't follow the rules that are laid out in the OT anymore.

Hi,
I just wondered which OT "rules" your friends mean ?

djh22.

Lordistruth
Mar 16th 2009, 11:45 PM
Hi,
I just wondered which OT "rules" your friends mean ?

djh22.

basically the rules laid out in leviticus and deuteronomy

Athanasius
Mar 16th 2009, 11:48 PM
basically the rules laid out in leviticus and deuteronomy

Those are cultural laws, meant only for the culture at that time. The only laws we follow from the Old Testament are moral laws, such as the 10 commandments.

Lordistruth
Mar 17th 2009, 05:31 PM
Those are cultural laws, meant only for the culture at that time. The only laws we follow from the Old Testament are moral laws, such as the 10 commandments.
Right, but their arguement is why were those laws right at the time but not anymore. Why was it right to stone people for sinning back then, but now it's not?

Emanate
Mar 17th 2009, 06:08 PM
As to rituals the only one I can think of that Jesus spoke of is taking the bread and wine in remembrance of Him.


Which was itself an old testament "ritual".

Izdaari
Mar 23rd 2009, 08:15 AM
Galatians, especially Chapter 3 (but I recommend reading the whole book -- the context is important and it's very short anyway), explains why the Law of Moses is no longer operative for followers of Christ.

Jeffinator
Mar 23rd 2009, 08:35 AM
Right, but their arguement is why were those laws right at the time but not anymore. Why was it right to stone people for sinning back then, but now it's not?

Leviticus is a great book to see just how much God hated sin to the point of punishment in excess. However, He gave us more leniency when He sent Jesus to come show us the error of our ways and how its the love of God thats important and not the letter of the law. He didn't make a mistake with other laws He just recognized our sinful nature and gave us more mercy than we deserve.

grit
Mar 23rd 2009, 01:23 PM
So I have a couple friends who are atheists who like to engage with me in debate about rules in the Bible. I'm having trouible with one of their arguments and thought I'd come here to get some help.

Basically their arguement is why we don't follow the rules that are laid out in the OT anymore. I explained that when Jesus came, we didn't have to do them anymore. They asked me to explain how that works and why would God contradict himself. If he is perfect, then why would he give us a set of rules and then say that those rules no longer apply. What changed?

Joyfulee & Izdaari have given some great advice with pointing your friends to reading Galatians 3, if they've actually got a Bible and would be willing to read it.
Even Christians have pretty much always had problems with the same questions your friends are pointing out. In Galatians 2 Paul had to correct Peter and James and Barnabus over the very issue of the place of the Law. You see, God does not change and is not contradictory, and the whole Law of the OT is still in effect bringing the curse of death to every person who does not keep it 100%, which, as the Law was intended to make clear, is every one. Jesus did not nullify the Law nor render it obsolete. He fulfilled the Law, and we are only made fellow Law keepers through him. Paul explains it a bit more in chapter 5 of Galatians. Here are some excerpts:

v. 3-6 (ESV): I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.

v. 16-24 (ESV): But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

In the 2nd section Paul goes through lists of what is against the Law and what is enabled by the presence of the Spirit in our lives through faith in Christ Jesus, having been crucified with Christ. Through grace, God kills us in Christ for our failure to perfrectly keep the Law (which is still in effect), making us alive and enabled to walk in the fruit of the Spirit (the goodness which God commands) by the Spirit, wherein lies our hope of righteousness in Christ Jesus. - We are only free from the Law by being bound to Christ's death, being reborn into the life of Spirit-living. If we keep Christ we keep the Law.


They also bring up points about how do we know which books should be in the Bible and which shouldn't. It was men who wrote them and who picked the specific ones to be in the bible, how can we trust them?

This is a fair and reasonable set of questions too. And there are a variety of differing answers from different Christians. First, I'm not so sure we do know which books should be in the Bible. I'm one who believes that the Bible is a fallible collection of infallible books - that there is a perfect canon (or rule) of Bible books, but that we men only guess at what that canon is. I believe there are very good reasons for why God would have it this way - in that God wants our faith to be grounded in Him with Biblical support, rather than the other way round (grounded in the Bible with support from God). There's some other good threads on the trustworthiness of Bible, and I'll point you to here (http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=2021589&postcount=16) for now, where apothanein kerdos makes a helpful comment; but the Christian view has generally been that God wrote the Bible through men, moving them to perfectly give us His words. For me, this splits the second comment, that men wrote the books, from their picking which specific ones make up the Bible. Again, it's a very lively debate, but rather than boiling down to whether or not the books are trustworthy documents (which has been soundly and historically proven), perhaps the real intent of "how can we trust them?" is "how can we trust that God communicates and works through their use?" I think again, the evidence is overwhelming when one considers what has been accomplished through their use.

bosco
Mar 23rd 2009, 01:29 PM
So I have a couple friends who are atheists who like to engage with me in debate about rules in the Bible. I'm having trouible with one of their arguments and thought I'd come here to get some help.

Basically their arguement is why we don't follow the rules that are laid out in the OT anymore. I explained that when Jesus came, we didn't have to do them anymore. They asked me to explain how that works and why would God contradict himself. If he is perfect, then why would he give us a set of rules and then say that those rules no longer apply. What changed?

They also bring up points about how do we know which books should be in the Bible and which shouldn't. It was men who wrote them and who picked the specific ones to be in the bible, how can we trust them?

Unlike what others have posted, it has nothing to do with faith. There was as much faith and grace in the OT as there is in the NT. The answer lies in jurisdiction an authority. The latter first...Torah, though a collection of commands and laws which define what is good and acceptable and what is not, and is also applicable to all of God's people, was also given specifically to the nation Israel. Israel was the country ruled according to God's laws, under his authority, and jurisdiction to hear disputes and judge matters was placed in the hands of men. However, we do not live in a country ruled under God's authority according to God's Laws, we live in a secular nation. So the laws that govern our civil lives are not the laws of God, rather, the laws of man. It would then be inappropriate to pass judgement on one who breaks the Sabbath, for example. So while the commandments are applicable, (e.g. not stealing, not serving other gods, not making idols, etc.) the asscociated judgements are not because we do not live in a nation under God's rule.

Second, many of the mechanisms are not longer in place. For example, there are no gate keepers in place to hear a dispute and either solve it or send it on to the judges. There is also no temple, nor temple priests. That is why you may have heard that of the 613 commands, only between 80 and 120 are applicable to today. Not because God has changed or because of some special dispensation, but because we live in secular nations outside the land of Israel.

Bosco

grit
Mar 23rd 2009, 02:17 PM
Good comments, bosco. I hear you. But that, "the answer lies in jurisdiction and authority", might still be considered to apply where and if that authority and jurisdiction is thought to be in place. This speaks to the "we" of "why we don't follow the rules that are laid out in the OT anymore?", and whether or not Christians might be considered as under that authority and jurisdiction, in comparison with Israel or in identity with Israel. I find that we are - that we are grafted into the chosen people of God, but I fully realize that a great number of honourble Christians see otherwise in a variety of applications. As a divine social agenda of both civil government and religious ritual, there are still Jews and Christians who find the OT regulations incumbent as either a pattern, a type, or a spiritual ideal.

Still, it's admirable to distinguish between the then and now, between the Israel of Moses' day and whatever secular and civil authority we might currently find ourselves under. I remember a big ruckus here in a city of the South, when some immigrants got more trouble than they expected after slaughtering a goat for a feast, as was their custom in their native land. It seems the present government and not a few neighbors took a dim view of such backyard activities.

bosco
Mar 23rd 2009, 03:29 PM
Good comments, bosco. I hear you. But that, "the answer lies in jurisdiction and authority", might still be considered to apply where and if that authority and jurisdiction is thought to be in place. This speaks to the "we" of "why we don't follow the rules that are laid out in the OT anymore?", and whether or not Christians might be considered as under that authority and jurisdiction, in comparison with Israel or in identity with Israel. I find that we are - that we are grafted into the chosen people of God, but I fully realize that a great number of honourble Christians see otherwise in a variety of applications. As a divine social agenda of both civil government and religious ritual, there are still Jews and Christians who find the OT regulations incumbent as either a pattern, a type, or a spiritual ideal.

Still, it's admirable to distinguish between the then and now, between the Israel of Moses' day and whatever secular and civil authority we might currently find ourselves under. I remember a big ruckus here in a city of the South, when some immigrants got more trouble than they expected after slaughtering a goat for a feast, as was their custom in their native land. It seems the present government and not a few neighbors took a dim view of such backyard activities.

It's a matter of personal belief and interpretation grit. I can show you prophecies (in the later Ezk. chapters) where sacrifices continue. What is misundertood is when people see that and wonder if they will be done to cover sin, they will not. They never did eradicate sin anyway, they always pointed to Messiah. Now that Messiah has defeated imperfection with perfection, death with life, we take of a communion cup and bread looking BACK at what his life/death/life gave us. Future sacrifices will be done similarly, as a memorial of what has been accomplished. Personally, I am not comfortable with the idea, nor have I fully digested it yet, but I can't allow my personal ideology to keep the Word from saying what it says. It isn't up to me to make the bible say what I want it to, even if I am not comfortable with some of what it says.

As for that authority/jurisdiction thing, keep this in mind, Messiah is returning to set up God's Kingdom. Last time man failed, broke the covenant, and the Northern Kingdom is STILL scattered among the nations for disobediance. This time, when it begins, the members of the household of God are made incorruptible, the law (Torah) is written in our hearts, and we will live in God's Kingdom as he had intended. The judgements (penalities) for law breaking will not be applicable to us, because we will be incorruptible, unable to sin against God, thus no need for judgements against us. However, not everyone alive will be changed at this point. Two proofs of that is first, that satan is let loose after the thousand years to deceive the nations again. Since we are incorruptible, we can't be deceived by him, there must than be others who can. Second, during that time it says we will be "priests of God and Christ and shall reign with him a thousand years." A priest makes intercession between, in this case, God and another. The other isn't Christ, for Christ is God. So there has to be others alive during that time who NEED intercession, the same it would seem, who can be deceived when satan is let loose.

So what I am saying is that though there will be nations, the head will no longer be earthly governments but God. It will be his kingdom, and I am leaning toward thinking that his Torah, again and done properly this time, will be the judicial system set up by which the nations govern.

I am not asking you to accept any of that, I am simply sharing my opinion and trying to be as complete as I can in doing so to avoid any confusion.

Bosco

grit
Mar 23rd 2009, 09:12 PM
Well said, bosco.