Why the Old Testement matters


OK, so I find myself posting a reply to an other post here for all my faithful viewers (all 3 of you) to enjoy. I must say that there once I started writing this response I was kind of shocked to see a lot of stuff just come out that I have not had to think about in a while, and some things defiantly differ from the way they used to be a few years ago. I guess three years of struggling to make ends meet can change your view of things a bit. Anyway, enjoy.

Posted in responce to the statment:
“I want someone to prove that the Old Testament either is or isn’t neccessary in Christian believes. Then I’ll really have something to rant about.”

OK, well I was with you till your statement at the end. I spent four years at a Christian University (AKA Programming Center) and graduated with a degree in Biblical Studies. The problem is that you have been distracted from the get go by the very people you are trying to speak against. Don’t get sucked into an argument of “what parts of the bible apply to me and which one’s don’t.” This path will only lead you down a road of drawing line after line in order to define what you are supposed to act like…just like they do…just like the Pharisees of old did.

The Old Testament is important for one major reason…with out it you have no foretelling of the coming of Christ, or the reason that he needs to come. With out it, we do not see how God has tried over and over to save people in almost every kind of circumstance, and finally did the ultimate sacrifice in the end in order to make sure as many people were saved as possible. The message of the Bible is not a do an do not do list for life. The message of the Bible is not how to measure up in order to please God. The message of the Bible is that man is corrupt, and in order for there to be any way for Man to be acceptable in the eyes of God something had to be done to intervene.

I question any person who says, “The Bible clearly says,” insert random moral assertion here.” For instance, if you take the Bible as face value, the Old Testament has a few passages about Male Homosexual relationships, however there is a passage in Luke that supports Female Homosexual relationships. If you want the Bible to agree with it’s self, that is impossible. Moses did not write the Torha (sorry good little Sunday School boys and girls, he did not live to see have the things that happen in some of those books, including his funeral). We have four gospel writers, who tell the same story four ways. We have letters from Paul that show how his ideas about how to solve the “Jew/Christian’s who follow God” problem developed over time. Yes, the Bible shows the progression of people’s belief over time, so things at the end are going to conflict with things at the beginning. But with out that launching point to show us where things came from, we don’t understand where our faith tradition comes from.

Besides, the current thinking among Biblical scholars is that the entire Old Testament is slanted with a Post-Exlie outlook on the Jewish faith, setting up the idea that the Pharisees really banked on: following the law means adverting God’s judgment. As with any other book of the Bible, you have to think about the person/people/kind of person who wrote it. Are their issues the same as ours? Do things not apply to us if we don’t see a direct correlation? There are question that no person should be afraid to ask their pastor or youth leader. And if your church leadership is afraid, tell them that you know they are giving you crap and ask them who above them in your denomination you can ask. If you are in a congregational church that does not belong to a larger body or conference then ask your Pastor what Seminary they went to, look them up on the web, and e-mail any professor in the religion department who teaches biblical studies (trust me, they would love to talk to someone who is not already tainted by the bitterness that academics can bring to your search for knowledge). If you don’t have one, go here and ask Dr. Reeves.

Remember, do not let them pull you into the game of drawing lines. The Bible is not the answer book to all of life’s questions, contrary to popular Christian dogma. But dogma is no way to live your life by. The Bible is a collection of different people’s account of how God moved at a particular time in there life. Study it, and understand what God meant to them, and you might find out what God means to your own life. If you try to let it tell you what to believe, then you missed the point entirely.

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~ by trinity777 on January 18, 2007.

3 Responses to “Why the Old Testement matters”

  1. Thanks, Trinity – I found this very interesting. I have lately been trying to reconcile a lot of stuff about the Bible (although my main knowledge of it comes from a long time ago – I’ve just been dipping into it again). I had some vague notion for many years that I should just try to act like Jesus, ignore that eye for an eye/ don’t eat pork stuff and I’d be fine. Then I read in the Bible the other night that Jesus said that I shouldn’t even sleep with a divorced woman – this doesn’t add up to me, doesn’t fit with my notion of what I think of as enlightened Christianity. or did I read it wrongly. Or should even the words of Jesus be viewed through a contextual lens?

  2. Great post. I really like your perspective on the bible and drawing on it’s widsom without falling in to current popular theology. I find it very similar to my own thinking.

    With that in mind … let me ask you a question. Have you found any mainstream denomination who shares your views? Do you have a church you feel comfortable in? I humbly admit that I’ve had trouble doing so. Popular theology is easy to sell in our current society … and it seems that it’s also become the preferred method of most pastors. (which feeds which, I’m not sure … but I find it disheartening either way)

    If you have any suggestions … I’d enjoy reading them.

  3. Forgive me for not responding faster, It’s been a busy week. In response to the proceeding comments:

    Sleep with a divorced woman:

    OK, any time you read anything in the Bible you have to ask yourself a few questions. 1) Who is writing this account, 2) What is the situation this is being said in, and 3) What is significant about these words to the people it was written to. I’m not sure what passage you are referring to, so here are my thoughts on divorce. Jesus flat out says that God allowed Moses to permit people to get a divorce because man’s harts became hard towards each other. The points I’ve seen Jesus make about divorce are very clearly indicating that you need to know why the divorce happened. So was this woman you want to sleep with faithful, did she try to stay with the marriage (ie, did he divorce her). Or is this woman trying to escape the pain of her situation by diving into another relationship? The former is fine (in my opinion), the latter means that she still has issues she is sorting out and those could carry over into the next relationship she enters. So is Jesus against sleeping with a divorced woman? Depends on the situation. Jesus is against us doing anything that is going to cause more hurt and pain in our lives, and does not want to see us walk into a situation that he knows will hurt us.

    Have I found a Church:

    I’ve attended many churches over the last few years, but due to performance schedules and other things, have not been able to attend regularly. I have also no been able to find a church that I can call home for various reasons. I’ve found many great communities that welcome many different kinds of people in, but I’ve yet to find one that both accepts me for how I am as a free thinker, and still challenges me in loving ways to explore my faith and makes sure what I say I believe is really what I believe.

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