Duality in the Christian Faith?

In it’s simplest form, to sin is to disobey a commandment believed to have come from God” (Rene)

I do agree with you here – but the commandments exist for the benefit of humanity – not for the benefit of God. So one could argue God’s intention was for humanity to have some guidelines to conduct itself within…basis being humanity’s safety.

So why do Christians not have to follow the same commandments that Israel did? This is because Jesus Christ gave a new commandment which replaces all the others.” (Rene)

I have to disagree here – in some regards. Jesus only gives a new commandment to those whom have never studied Torah – that teaching comes from Torah plain and simple (love one another – Lev 19:18). There is actually nothing new about that teaching.

However, the real problem with your statement is duality. Jesus gives us new commandments which trump that of the God of Israel’s commandments – which evidently came from the very fingertips of God to Moses on Sinai (if we are literalists). Basically, Jesus becomes more important than God himself – and in most cases – God Himself.

Where’s the problem….there are several.

(a) Jesus did not teach against the Torah/Law (Matt 5:17-19) – and actually garnered his authority (which was his message) from the OT/Tanakh. I cannot think of a single teaching Jesus gives that is not based in Torah or Prophets – even his 2 great commandments and ‘treat others’ teaching all come from there – and acclaim authority to the Torah and Prophets.

(b) Jesus, if he were giving a new commandment which usurps the old commandments, is telling God his commandments are weak. Problem solved if Jesus is God – which is very convenient – but then we have God declaring He was ‘wrong’ and needed to ‘right’ that wrong! Basically, it’s no different than when Joseph Smith declared polygamy okay and then later on another prophet declares is not okay – God is in the business of changing His mind it would seem.

(c) You can end up with 2 God syndrome in this case – God of the OT and the God of the NT (which is Jesus). I actually do think this is slightly the case – but not by biblical directive – but later church commentary directive (being non-Jews and all – and looking at it all from a Greco-Roman perspective).

***Taken from my blog ‘What is Sin and How Do We know’

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5 thoughts on “Duality in the Christian Faith?

  1. Not sure of Rene’s context but obviously Jesus didn’t abolish the law but upheld it. Rene might be thinking of the ceremonial laws, many which pointed to the Christ.

  2. “Not sure of Rene’s context but obviously Jesus didn’t abolish the law but upheld it” (Jim)

    Agreed – that’s why I posted the linkto the earlier blog where she commented so people could read it for themselves also…I knew I was only taking snapshots out and then commenting.

    “Rene might be thinking of the ceremonial laws, many which pointed to the Christ” (Jim)

    Actually, she was only referring to the idea Jesus gave ‘new commandments’ – as we see in Jesus’ example of the 2 great commandments. This is a thoroughly Christian idea – even I have heard it plenty of times in Christian circles. I think the idea is that when Jesus came he ‘fulfilled’ the commandments – in that he gave a new direction with his commandments that is not found in Torah/Prophets. Obviously this is not the case – nonetheless the idea still exists.

  3. Obviously this is not the case – nonetheless the idea still exists.

    Agreed, Jason. Yael, you’re Jewish, I’m Christian. Question: Do you think our interpretations have led us both to the true and living God?

  4. Society, I have a different view on the law than many. It would be extremely cumbersome to deal with in its entirety, but I’ll try to be as brief as possible. When Adam sinned, he turned his authority of dominion over to the serpent. In making a people for Himself, God made many of the laws to keep them separate from the heathen, especially from the Canaanites. Christ had not yet come to defeat the evil spirits, so they had a great deal of control over the peoples of the earth. Many of those laws were against things that are not evil in and of themselves, but were used by the heathen in worship of demons. So He wanted His people to refrain from those same things so as to not be influenced by those people. Practicing the same things would be an open door to invite them in. Once the messiah came, He broke down the barriers between Jew and Gentile to make the two peoples into one new man. Since the evil spirits were now defeated and had far less control over peoples, things like mixing two fabrics in one weave or two seeds in one field do not carry the same importance anymore. Same with eating of “unclean” foods and the like.

    Since Jesus came primarily to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and his apostles were sent to the Gentiles, Jesus didn’t say as much concerning the Gentiles. This is why I put the epistles as authoritative as the gospels. Yet in all of this, I agree with you that Jesus’ teaching coming from Torah.

    I know this is waaaaaaay abbreviated. I’m writing a million page systematic theology. When my grandson is done with it, I’ll send your grandchildren a copy, okay?

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