Thursday, June 25, 2015

Is the Law of Moses in force even now?


Many Christian preachers insist that only the ceremonial laws in the Law of Moses is taken away, and the rest of it is in force. By the expression "ceremonial law", I think, they mean the laws and ordinances related to sacrifices, circumcision, priesthood and so on. They insist that the moral laws are not taken away.

Moral Laws:

Let us encounter a Christian who says that the moral laws of Moses still in force, and ask him: Will you stone your daughter to death if your son-in-law comes to you complaining that your daughter was not a virgin while you gave her in marriage to him? No man in his sanity will stone his daughter to death, even if she were not a virgin, as alleged by her husband. If the moral laws of Moses were in force, is he not bound to obey it? (Deut 22:13-23)

How about civil laws?

If your neighbor's violent ox or bull attacks you and you are injured, will you ensure that your neighbor is put to death? (Exo 21:29)

Cherry Picking?

One may argue that I have been cherry picking in choosing the examples above. Yes, cherry picking is bad. Even while Jesus was talking about the fulfillment of the law did not allow cherry picking:
Mat 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

According to a vast majority of Christians, ceremonial laws and food restrictions are no more valid.
  • Avoiding duplicates, there are 613 commandments in the Law of Moses, as approved by Jewish scholars.
  • Of these, many are related to sacrifices, priesthood, festivals and offerings (35%). None of these are valid now, as there is no temple and hence no priesthood.
  • Dietary restrictions and ritual purity (men & women with discharges) are not even followed by the defenders of the Law.
  • Of the 613 commandments at least 510 are no more applicable, that is a whopping 83.20%
I am sure that you will agree with me that 83.20% is not just a jot or a tittle (iota or dot). If you say that certain portions of the Law has passed away and certain others have not, you are contradicting the statement of Jesus, whom you are supposed to follow and whom you esteem as Son of God or even God!

Answering objections.

While I say the Law of Moses is taken away, the first question would be: Does that mean we can murder or rape? Those who ask such questions assume that without the Law of Moses there would have been all around murder and rape. If the Law of Moses or the Bible serves as a deterrent to crime, why Americas top the list of murders per 100,000 inhabitants with 16.3, whereas Asia, where 60.02% of the world population lives and the presence of Christianity and the Bible is minimal is at the bottom of the list, with 2.9?

Another question is: if the law has passed away, has the heaven and earth passed away? Those who raise this question look forward to the passing away of the physical heaven and earth to pass away. If we study Deut 31:25-28, we can find that the expression "heaven and earth" stands for the Law itself.
Deu 31:25 Moses commanded the Levites who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD,
Deu 31:26 "Take this Book of the Law and put it by the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against you.
Deu 31:27 For I know how rebellious and stubborn you are. Behold, even today while I am yet alive with you, you have been rebellious against the LORD. How much more after my death!
Deu 31:28 Assemble to me all the elders of your tribes and your officers, that I may speak these words in their ears and call heaven and earth to witness against them.

In verse 26, it is the Law that is to witness against the children of Israel. While it came to verse 28, Moses says he will call heaven and the earth as witnesses against them. Here Moses is equating the Law with heaven and earth. The physical heaven and earth will never pass away. We need to let God, Jesus, Moses and other authors of the Bible to speak figurative language.

For a more complete study on the topic, view this PowerPoint presentation.

In Christ,
Tomsan Kattackal

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