Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Rules, Rules, Rules (Exodus 19-21)

Age old questions about the Old Testament are bearing down on me.  Is the first half of the Bible still relevant?  Which rules still apply?  How relevant?  Which rules?  It's enough to make a girl crazy.

It's my understanding that most Christians agree Jesus' death served as the sacrifice to end all sacrifices. Some other things I'm not as clear on; like why we don't have to obey rules about hair and clothes and food; and why, if these aren't relevant anymore, did they have to be in the Bible at all?

The book of Hebrews helps.  Chapter 8 in particular, if you'd like to check it out, sheds a bit of light on the OT situation.  Verse 13 says, "By calling this covenant 'new,' he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear."  So that's that. And God kept the itemization of rules in the OT so we would know what we are free from. Problem solved!

Just kidding.  The book of Hebrews is true, true, true.  But it's contradicted so many other places, by Jesus himself who says the word of God (and his law) is permanent and eternal.  I have no genius theology here. (Or anywhere.  Ever.  I hope you aren't coming here for that.  If you're into asking more questions though?  Or bad puns?  You're in the right spot.)  The truth is, sometimes the Bible is contradictory and complex and God makes us work for some answers.  Or turn to him for insight. I think many Christians feel as I do.  That we know in our heart of hearts what is in and what is out when it comes to the Old Testament in our world today.  There are rules that are truly timeless (the Ten Commandments, for instance) and some that were timely. I believe our brilliant and complex God simply lays in our heart which are which.

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