What do we do with Old Testament rules?
by Robert Brow June 1999
(web site - www.brow.on.ca)
I assume we all agree about the authority of the Bible as God's Word.
What divides us is how we see that authority giving us guidance about this
or that kind of behaviour. We are not to make lists of approved or disapproved
acts, and reject people as did the Pharisees. The problem for us all is
settling what are the approved or disapproved acts in particular cases.
Do people deny the authority of God's Word if they question whether one
ought to :
Engage in ethnic cleansing (as did the invading Jews in Canaan).
Refrain totally from work on Saturday or Sunday.
Keep the Jewish kosher laws from Leviticus (Acts 10:13-16).
Have other wives, slaves, concubines, etc. as allowed in the OT.
That means we cannot merely quote a verse from Scripture and assume everyone
will agree with us that God approves or condemns some particular act. Christians
have tended to major on sexual sins, but the sins at the bottom of the
heap in Romans 1:28-32 include being proud, abusive, covetous, gossips,
unkind. The safe thing is to say we are all sinners, and any lack of love
on our part is as bad as any other.
Force women to wear hats in a church service?
I don't think it is a rejection of the Word of God to say that every
kind of moral behaviour needs to be evaluated in every generation using
Jesus' own principles for making the evaluation. Whatever our sexual problems,
we can learn to love by the Spirit, and He can be trusted to correct us
in his own sequence in due course.
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