As we endure Lenten or fasting season and hold to our vows – hopefully more to be followed than this yearâ€™s resolutions – I am reminded of Godâ€™s commandments for his chosen ones as depicted in Exodus. How to act, how to worship, what to eat, what to wear, what not to eat, how not to worship, and so on. (See Exodus 20:1 onwards)
In short the legacy of Moses or Mosaic Law.
I know that we are not literally governed by these absolute Commandments anymore as in the Bible days, but arenâ€™t they spiritually incorporated into our Christian lives still?
I feel there is something in the practicality of the original commandments that made things such as oneâ€™s faith and worship clear to the world. A worship that was obvious in a world of different cultures, and faiths as it is now. Who we associate with, what we do, wear, speak.
I wonder if this is what mostly confuses unbelievers about the Christian faith; itâ€™s apparentness, its clarity. That it does not rely on concrete commandments but faithful or personal spiritual worship. Is Christian worship relative in this sense? In that practical worship is up to the individualâ€™s judgement?
Really sorry I took so long to post this.
Send me an email to remind me next time!
Are you arguing one point of view, or just asking the questions?
I assume that you don’t want us all to go back to living under the law?
This assumption being true I agree there is a lack of clarity in that we represent a perfect God by our imperfections. I guess that was His decision.
On a more down to earth note: I hear what you are saying and although I would say that during the hard times a more rigid routine of prayer/worship is easier I find that during the good times this is constrictive and annoying. How on earth do you write a law to represent that?
Cheers for the comments
I am just asking questions, but I suppose there is an argument in there somewhere. As for what point of view I seem to be arguing from, ill say you will have to tell me how I am coming across.
>Really sorry I took so long to post this.(Andy)< If anything I was visiting my e-mail account around the Easter period to check if this article would get some timely preference, as there were some before it. Guess not eh? But its ok! Really Author of post Lk
I guess this is what non-Christians are looking for and why they talk about Christians as ‘church-goers’ or ‘doing churchy type things’, or they label all Christians as people who don’t swear or drink or smoke or have sex or have fun, or whatever category they want to slot us into. We don’t have rigid visible rules to set us apart from other people. That sometimes makes it hard for me to feel I’m being distinctive and ‘Christian’ enough.
That’s also the problem I had, trying to answer someone who asked me ‘What is the Christian answer to this example of a difficult moral dilemma?’ He didn’t seem to see that Christianity is not primarily a set of rules or even morals, but a relationship with God by which we live, and discover how to live, with His help.
>>I assume that you don’t want us all to go back to living under the law?<< This assumption though right, I think must be taken with a grain of salt.
I say this because many tutors (pastors/priests) of Christ these days – whatever branch of the faith we belong to – will cite the Old Testament when explaining instructions in the New Testament. e.g. eating the flesh/bread, and drinking the wine/blood. Both of which have Old Testament implications.
It seems to me that even with the Freedom that Christ sacrifice has given us to worship God, tutors and guidelines of our faith have not ruled out the spiritual origin of our worship, which is rooted in the Old Testament laws.
For instance; Paul still speaks about how to attend the Lord’s supper, (1Cor 11:20-34)
The Lord’s Supper itself was based on the Passover, which was based on the Israelites exile from Egypt.
Catholics stress not to eat meat on Good Fridays. And many born-again churches stress the orderly and continual giving of ten percent of one’s earnings. I believe they call this â€œgiving tithesâ€ (Heb 7:5)
I empathise with the sentiment you described about prayer but even that I feel is covered in the Old Testament, you know what I mean?
“And you must love Lord your God with all your heart, and all your soul, and all your vital force.” from Deuteronomy 6:4. Or when Paul says to “Pray without ceasing.”
Could it then be that the more we read the Bible, and (depending on one’s Christian sect) the more we follow our pastors, and priests the more we will find formality in our free Christian worship which can be clear signs of our identity in our faith?
>>We don’t have rigid visible rules to set us apart from other people. That sometimes makes it hard for me to feel I’m being distinctive and ‘Christian’ enough.<<
I believe the keyword for me in what you wrote would be; ‘distinctive’. But I suppose strength lies in numbers. Like if someone else is “doing”, or “thinking” Christianity the same I am, the same way Paul had Timothy support him, then perhaps my Identity in the faith wouldn’t be such a problem for me.
One will say ‘hey that’s what church is for right?’
It’s been ages since you wrote this but I would like to respond anyway.
Part of me is desperate to say ‘Yes’ to what you say but it is undermined by a larger urge to say ‘No’.
By this I am trying to say that we are free from the law, all 600+ laws. If we start to obey part of the law we must obey it all or else we fall under judgement of the law on the bits we choose. It is not a pick and mix. It is an all or nothing. Faced with that decision I choose Jesus.
I know this sounds like I might be throwing the baby out with the bath water. After all Jesus fulfilled the prophesies in the OT and so without it “how would we ever know?”.
I feel there is much more to learn from the OT but I really don’t think we should go back to the law. If we do then what did Christ die for – nothing. He died to save us from the judgement of the law.
Hope I’m not sounding to in your face. I really like the thread. Thanks for posting.
It has been a few months hasnâ€™t it? Its all good though as it gives me time to consider what I have wrote.
If we were truly free from each of the 600 laws would Paul preach what he did in (1Cor 11:20-34)? I do agree though that our admittance, or lack of such to the law should be all or nothing. But what do our “fathers” or leaders in the faith say?
Do you agree that Christian leaders from the Apostle Paul (1Cor 11:20-34) to present day Pastors/Priests we are instructed in an orthodox manner to observe certain rules, and regulations as essential components of our worship to the Lord? For example the Catholic sacraments like the eating the bread, or the giving of tithes to certain ministers. And that the basis of these rules are found in the Old Testament?
I would like to say that I choose Jesus as well. But then what would I mean by that? Would I be putting aside the formal practices that Church attendants observe like the above? When I say I choose Jesus the question I guess if how far do I (we) choose him bearing in mind that others still observe laws and claim the same?
Thanks for your feedback
Leave a comment