The Law Is The Problem?

The point is that the law (that is what it is) is to be used to convict us, to kill us off to the self-justification project which we all want to engage in, and then to lead us to repentance” (Steve)

Either Paul is misrepresenting God or Steve is – you be the judge.

Steve says the law is meant to ‘kill us off’ since we ’self justify by it’. Basically, we can become prideful because we think we can follow the law to some great standard – correct Steve?

Thing is, has anyone read in the Torah where God hand-writes these commandments on stones and gives them to Moses? Hand-writes them – wow. This is the same law Steve is saying that was meant to ‘kill us off’ and ‘our self justifying ways’. How can one be self-justified by a law that came directly from the hands of the Almighty Living God?

Like I said, either Steve or Paul is wrong on this – God gave us the law – well to Israel to be exact. This is God’s law and His teachings on righteousnes – this isn’t some mans idea of what makes a human being wholesome. This came straight from the Almighty Living God and was so damn important He carved the words into stone Himself!

No one who follows the law is prideful or self-righteous – but is trying to follow God as God wrote. I think this same way when I look at Jesus’ teachings on Torah/Prophets…we follow not to be prideful (not even an option) or self-righteous – but to follow God. Can religious people become self-righteous – damn straight. But it’s not the teachings fault – but their own personal ego and love of attention getting in the way.

The law is not a bad thing – not sure why this is the case. God wrote it – when we say that law is something ‘bad’ we are basically calling God’s words the problem.

***Comment originally aired on Naked Pastors ‘Cartoon: Germs’

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10 thoughts on “The Law Is The Problem?

  1. The law is good that it keeps us from having chaos reign, and it is good because it shows us our need of a Savior (It shows us that we cannot keep the law perfectly, as is required for righteousness and justification).

    The law is bad when it is used as the vehicle to attain righteousness and justification.

    “No one will be justified in the sight of the law.” St. Paul

  2. “The law is bad when it is used as the vehicle to attain righteousness and justification” (Steve)

    The law is ‘bad’? You claiming right now that God gave the world an inferior product (the Torah) that needed to be updated for ‘perfection’? Basically what I read you saying is God gave/wrote some words that were so ‘weak’ they needed God Himself to fix the problem…revealing to us a God with some incapabilities.

  3. You ignored when I said that the law is good.

    It is bad when it is used for the wrong purpose.

    PS- I’ll be aay from the computer for most of the day. .. be back later…thanks.

  4. “PS- I’ll be aay from the computer for most of the day. .. be back later…thanks” (Steve)

    Take care Steve!

    “You ignored when I said that the law is good” (Steve)

    The law is good until it is used for bad – that says nothing about the Torah per se – but our personal uses of the Torah. The Torah is still not the problem in the equation – we are.

    It’s like saying a car is good (gets us from point A to point B) until it is used for bad (get away car in a robbery). Well, the car isn’t the problem in that scenario – human decision is.

  5. Good point, Jason.

    The law is good. That is true. But it’s not good enough.

    The law was never meant to for us to fulfill our humanity and have peace with God.

    Because of the fall into sin we could never be up to it.

    That’s why the God’s promise trumps the law. That’s why God gave the promise to Abraham, personally…but He sent a messenger boy (an angel) to give the law to Moses.

    That’s why St. Paul explains in Galatians 3:23-26 that the law is (was) our custodian (tutor) until Christ came.

    And you are quite right, human decision is the problem.

    So…Christ had to come and place His will over ours.

  6. i don’t think the Law is the problem, it’s legalism. we can get pretty legalistic with our doctrine of Grace (i.e. only Christians get it… and only THIS type of Christian… fill in the prefix).

    RAWK!

  7. “That’s why St. Paul explains in Galatians 3:23-26 that the law is (was) our custodian (tutor) until Christ came.” (Steve)

    I am going to make this point once and if anyone cares to check into it’s validity – feel free.

    James and Paul disagree on this exact passage concerning Abraham. This means we have 2 differing opinion from scholars on the movement – one actually was Jesus’ brother and the other never met Jesus nor heard him speak the 3 years he was in Israel.

    Paul’s version
    “Even so Abraham BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham” (Gal 3:6-7)

    James version
    “and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS,” and he was called the friend of God. You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone” (James 2:23-24)

    Paul see’s the justification coming by faith alone. James see’s the justification coming via faith proven by one’s actions. They are actually different in what they are asking of the believer.

    It is also well known these 2 did not always agree – in fact Acts 15 records an incident they did not – so does Galatians 2.

    Paul’s stand both times is adopted by the known church – from it’s origins until this day. Paul was right to call Peter and James on some of the hypocrisy – the inequality the Gentiles were being shown in Antioch. However, Paul bases his faith on what exactly? This seems to be what Peter, James, and John seem to be trying to convince him of.

    Paul says justification comes through faith – ok – but what is faith based on? The Spirit of God! Great. But what is the Spirit of God all about (rather vague and unknown entity with little in scripture to help us determine this) – what moral basis is God using? This seems to be the angle where James’ letter comes from.

    James in his letter pretty much mimics Matthew’s gospels and upbraids it as known teachings of Jesus. From inequalities, faith and works, and religion about giving to the poor. Actually many of the stuff James writes seems to come straight from Matthew. If I have to prove this I will – anyone with a short read of either will see the direct correlation.

    James seems to be saying ‘I write about what I know Jesus said’. Paul – quotes which gospel exactly? The only thing that appears in a single gospel he quoted is communion – word for word that appears in Luke’s gospel…by all accounts Paul’s travelling companion and neither met Jesus.

    In the end, who would you choose as giving you the best infromation about the subject of faith in Jesus?

  8. Belief is cause and results or works are effects. You are blurring these two priciples. James said “FAITH without WORKS is dead”. It’s true, if there is no effect, there is no cause. If a leaf does not move, there is no wind.
    Where’s the “disagreement”? There is none.
    Hope all is well with you,
    Jim

  9. “Belief is cause and results or works are effects” (Jim J)

    But they are blurred – even in reality Jim. They are so closely tied that to think one causes the other is not neccesarily true. Sometimes one actions help solidify one’s beliefs – ie: practice makes perfect. It’s also true that one’s faith does not neccesarily mean they will do ‘good works’…thus the term hypocrite is used regualrily in the NT.

    The way Paul is used is different than from what James is saying – albeit I agree Paul and James could be on the same page wirh their letters – just many denoms don’t seem to think so.

    In many of the denoms we have the idea one is solely justified by their ‘faith’ in Christ – nothing more to add to that. However, James – in this letter – would likely contend that notion. Without works – what use is your faith exactly? James points to the idea ‘a person is only as good as their actions’ more or less.

    I will also point out – Paul and James use the same passage about Abraham (from Genesis) but arrive at differing conclusions it would seem. Where Paul points to Abraham’s faith as his justification – James clearly recognizes that faith and works made Abraham just (not just faith – which was a big problem in Gentile communities…and IMO…still is).

    I am good Jim – long time no see!

  10. While I agree that many of the denoms get things wrong, that does not make an argument.

    The way Paul is used is different than from what James is saying – albeit I agree Paul and James could be on the same page wirh their letters – just many denoms don’t seem to think so.

    Exactly.

    It’s pretty clear to me that a bank robber doesn’t truly believe “Thou shalt not steal”. It’s a tough measuring stick because we all have some degree of unbelief. The flaw is that we think belief or works or both save us. Ultimately, it is Jesus that saves us.

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