Thursday, January 15, 2015

Ignorance of the law

"Ignorance of the law is no excuse," perhaps, but there's also an obligation to teach the law. And teaching requires understanding on the part of the learner.  

(Maybe that's why I'm excited for opportunities like the ATLAS app -- http://atlasapp.us -- which moves society into the context of voluntarily obeying mutually agreed-upon laws, rather than a police state attempting to entrap citizens for its own profit.  Not that any jurisdiction would ever do something like, oh, I don't know, set up speed traps to do something like that...)

Anyway, I wonder what the application is in a Christian context – Jesus coming to teach and fulfill the Law, not to abolish it, but to show us that the Law is a indicator of God's holiness, not the be-all/end-all book of rules that need to be perfectly obeyed to the letter. And, again, not that the Law is irrelevant, but that it's impossible to perfectly obey. And that's what God would expect if we were to try to meet Him on His own terms without grace and forgiveness. 

‭Ezra‬ ‭7‬:‭25‬ ESV

""And you, Ezra, according to the wisdom of your God that is in your hand, appoint magistrates and judges who may judge all the people in the province Beyond the River, all such as know the laws of your God. And those who do not know them, you shall teach."

See it at Bible.com:

http://bible.com/59/ezr.7.25.esv




Sunday, January 11, 2015

Are you a New Testament Christian?

‭I get disappointed with Christians who cherry-pick verses out of the Old Testament and form theology (or politics) around them. "It's in the Bible!" and "It's the same Scripture that Jesus taught!" is their excuse that ends the discussion. 

The truth is, the conversation just begins there.

Here's a great example. "I know that what I'm asserting sounds contradictory to everything we know that Jesus taught, but 'Who can understand the mind of God?' It says that right in Isaiah 40!"  Yes, it does. And the Apostle Paul tells Christians what that means to us today:

1 Corinthians‬ ‭2‬:‭16‬ ESV

""For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ."

See it at Bible.com:

http://bible.com/59/1co.2.16.esv




Bold vs. Presumptuous

‭I've always felt bad for the king here: how did he know he was supposed to strike five or six times? Why not three? Why not thirty? Wouldn't it have been just as likely that, like being struck down for reaching out to steady the Ark, Elisha could've been upset that the king struck too many times and didn't "put his faith in God"?


2 Kings‬ ‭13‬:‭18-19‬ ESV

"And he said, "Take the arrows," and he took them. And he said to the king of Israel, "Strike the ground with them." And he struck three times and stopped. Then the man of God was angry with him and said, "You should have struck five or six times; then you would have struck down Syria until you had made an end of it, but now you will strike down Syria only three times.""

See it at Bible.com:

http://bible.com/59/2ki.13.18-19.esv