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Thread: Are Christians Permitted to Eat Unclean Animals?

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soyeong View Post
    Why would the whole world become guilty before God if they were not obligated to obey His Law? God judged the world with the Flood because of their sin and Hee judged Sodom and Gomorrah because their Lawless deeds (2 Peter 2:6-8) even though they weren't in a covenant relationship with Him, so again what grounds did God have to judge them by if they were not obligated to obey His Law?
    From a Jewish viewpoint, you can say they were lawless deeds. But without the law, these people still were fleshly and haters of God.

    In 1 John 2:6, those who are in Christ are obligated to walk in the same way he walked, and he walked in complete obedience to the Mosaic Law. There's not much sense in Gentile wanting to have unity with Christ while not wanting nothing to do with who he is. Following Christ is not just for Jews, but for Gentiles too, but we can't follow him by refusing to follow the Law that he followed and taught us how to follow by word and by example. I have not been suggesting that we should be under the Mosaic Covenant, but rather I have been speaking about how we should live under the New Covenant, which does not involve refusing to follow what Christ taught.
    I addressed the gift that Christ gave to us in fulfilling the Law. And hopefully you noted that when one become a Christian it usually isn't in the hope of living in the flesh.

    The Law works through the flesh. If you wish also to work in the flesh, seek to obey the letter of the Law.

    Do you agree that Paul said in Romans 3:31 that our faith does not abolish God's Law, but rather our faith upholds it? And does you faith uphold God's Law? If so, then why do you interpret Paul as though he was seeking to abolish the Law rather than uphold it?
    I don't agree with the interpretation of 3:31 which makes you ask any of the questions here.
    Paul is telling the audience that their faith resulted through the promise of scripture. Jesus fulfilled scripture. Paul was contesting the those who mocked the law. He was not saying do the law.

    Having the Law referred to having physical possession of a Torah scroll. If Gentiles wanted access to God's Law, then they had to go through the Jews to do so, but if you own a copy of the Bible, then you also have the Law. In Romans 2:14, Gentile believers will by nature do what the Law requires, so I agree that Gentiles who were obeying the Law were being contrasted with Jews who were not, though it is the same for both Jews and Gentiles that only the doers of the Law will be justified. In Matthew 23:23, Jesus said that faith is one of the weightier matters of the Law, so everyone who has faith in God to guide us will obey His Law and will be justified by that same faith, which is why only doers of the Law will be justified and why faith without works is dead.
    Just because Paul said the Pharisees were wrong ... and even saying that faith was an expectation of them, this doesn't make an obligation to the law for people already justified in Christ.

    Where are you getting your doctrines about this return to the law? Do you have certain teachers you are following?

    You seem inclined to interpret scripture around this paradigm of Christian obligation to the Old Covenant.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikewhitney View Post
    Soyeong,
    You are right that Jesus showed complete obedience to the Mosaic Law. Jesus fulfilled the Law so that any obligation to the law would be taken care of through Jesus. This made the situation great for us since there was left no residual legal obligation upon those who follow Christ.
    Jesus said that he came to fulfill the Law in contrast with abolishing it, so you should not interpret that as meaning essentially the same thing. The way that you interpret it is like someone at a restaurant asking for their waiter to fill their glass up to the brim and then asking them to take it away because they don't want it. Rather, "to fulfill the Law" means "to cause God's will (as made known in the Law) to be obeyed as it should be" (NAS Greek Lexicon pleroo 2c3). After Jesus said he came to fulfill the Law in Matthew 5, this is precisely what he then proceeded to do six times throughout the rest of the chapter by teaching how to correctly understand and obey it. In Galatians 5:14, loving your neighbor fulfills the entire Law, so Jesus was one of countless people who have done that. In Galatians 6:2 says that bearing one another's burdens fulfills the Law of Christ, so you should interpret it in the same way as fulfilling the Law and the Prophets, namely obeying it as it should be, not as doing away with it. In Romans 15:18-19, it says that Paul fulfilled the Gospel, which again referred to causing Gentiles to become fully obedient to it in word and in deed, not to doing away with it.

    Rom 4:15 shows that the law brought wrath. I'm not sure why someone would be welcoming wrath upon himself after coming to Christ.
    The Law brings wrath for those who refuse to submit to it, not for those who obey it. I'm not sure why someone would be welcoming wrath upon himself after coming to Christ.

    This does not mean that you would have to seek out to do all immorality. Why would someone become a Christian, with inherent desire to please God, and then seek to do all sort of bad things? (Well. Some have done this. But few theologians or pastors have sought to give doctrinal support to such behavior.)
    The existence of sin requires there to be a standard of what is and is not sin, and that standard is God's Law, so if someone is not obligated to obey God's Law, then they have no obligation to refrain from seeking out to do all immorality. There wouldn't be any sense in someone wanting to become a follower of Christ while wanting nothing to do with following his Law. God's Law is His instructions for how to do what is righteous and refrain from doing what is sinful, so there is no sense in saying that Christians will have an inherent desire to seek to do what the Law instructs while wanting nothing to do with the Law.

    A Christian is made righteous through Christ. The law is written for those who are unrighteous. So, the taking on of the letter of the law is to say that one is not accepting the fulfillment of the law through Christ.
    Righteousness is a character trait of God that is expressed by doing what is righteous and God's Law is His instructions for how to express that character trait, not fow how to attain it. When have a character trait, then we will express it through our actions, so when God declares us to be righteous by grace through faith, He is also declaring us to be someone who therefore expresses His righteousness through our actions in obedience to His instructions for how to do that found in His Law. Instructions for how to do what is righteous are not needed by those who are already living in accordance with them, but by those who are not, so those who say that the Law is written for those who are unrighteous as an excuse to not follow the Law thereby become someone that the Law for.

    In Titus 2:11-14, our salvation is described as being trained by grace to do what is godly, righteous, and good, and to renounce doing what is ungodly, which is essentially what God's Law was given to instruct us how to do. Furthermore, verse 14 says that Jesus gave himself to redeem us from all Lawlessness and to purify for himself a people of his own possession who are zealous for doing good works, so if we believe in Christ, then we will become zealous for doing good works in obedience to God's Law (Acts 21:20) and will not return to the Lawlessness that he gave himself to redeem us from.
    "Faith is nothing less than the will to keep one's mind fixed precisely on what reason has discovered to it." - Edward Feser

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soyeong View Post
    Either the four laws listed in Acts 15:19-21 are an exhaustive list of everything that would ever be required for a mature Gentile believer or they are not. There are 1,050 commandments in the NT, so if they were an exhaustive list, then that would exclude over 99% of the commandments in the NT, including those expounded upon by Jesus.
    1,050? Wow. Talk about Pharisaism on steroids!
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  4. Amen NorrinRadd, Christianbookworm, Cow Poke amen'd this post.
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    So where are you getting this interpretation from? Do you have certain scholars or pastors you follow?

    When Jesus said that he came not to abolish the law but to fulfill it, he seems to be anticipating that the gospel would be recognized as having abolished the law. How would the gospel seem to convey this message if the Mosaic law were still intact?

    Nothing you have offered seems substantial enough to undo the grace concept that replaced obligations to the law.

    The problem with the written law was that people ended up making that their goal instead of seeking God. The law brought on judgmental attitudes -- of Jews judging each other on how much they appeared to be doing the laws. But the laws were also augmented with the teachings of men. Everything was going haywire. This wasn't because Jews were worse people but rather that Jews were like all other humanity, except for being a little restrained from many immoral things because there was some semblance of obeying the laws.

    It may be useful to continue the discussion. However it will not likely convince anyone to change. The issue is about changing the interpretive framework one has while reading scripture.

    You end up taking piecemeal verses in Romans to say that Paul told people to do the law. But this leaves passages like Rom 7:1-7 in a weird state.

    Also...
    The problems of the Pharisaical behavior was a consequence of people trying to focus on the law. Their behavior (and interpretations) was a natural consequence of the law. This was not the exception to people's encounters with the law.

  6. Amen Cow Poke amen'd this post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    1,050? Wow. Talk about Pharisaism on steroids!
    1,050 commandments is nothing to what Pharisaism has.

    Here's a link to a list of the 1,050 NT commandments with Scriptural references:

    https://www.cai.org/bible-studies/10...ament-commands

    Jesus was sinless, so he had a zeal and a dedication to obeying God's Law that was in common with the Pharisees. They were the people that he spent the bulk of his ministry interacting with, so they were the people that he thought he could work with, and a number of them became his followers, such as with Nicodemus and Paul. He never criticized them for obeying God's Law, but he did criticize them for not obeying it correctly. For example, in Matthew 23:23, Jesus said that tithing dill, mint, and cumin was something that they should be doing while not neglecting weightier matters of the Law, so he was not coming against his Law, but rather he was fulfilling it by teaching how to correctly obey it.

    If you are interested in watching a lecture by an ex-Pharisees who talks about what Phariseeism is and what Messiah's problem was with it in order to better understand to historical and cultural context of the Bible, then I can recommend one to you.
    Last edited by Soyeong; 07-09-2019 at 07:56 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikewhitney View Post
    From a Jewish viewpoint, you can say they were lawless deeds. But without the law, these people still were fleshly and haters of God.
    The point still remains that if they were not obligated to refrain from sin, then God would have had no grounds by which to judge them for their sin.

    I addressed the gift that Christ gave to us in fulfilling the Law.
    God's Law is a precious gift to us that was given for our own good in order to bless us (Deuteronomy 6:24), so your understanding of the fulfilling the Law would be a punishment, not a gift.

    And hopefully you noted that when one become a Christian it usually isn't in the hope of living in the flesh.

    The Law works through the flesh. If you wish also to work in the flesh, seek to obey the letter of the Law.
    God's Law is never referred to as being of the flesh, but rather it is spiritual (Romans 7:14), while works of the flesh are always those done in disobedience to it. For example, in Romans 8:4-7, those who walk in the Spirit are contrasted with those who have minds set on the flesh who refuse to submit to God's Law. In Galatians 5:19-22, everything listed as works of the flesh that are against the Spirit are also against the Mosaic Law while all of the fruits of the Spirit are in accordance with it, which makes sense because the Mosaic Law was given by God and the Spirit is God.

    Obeying the law according to the letter undermines both the intent of what God has commanded us to do and why He has commanded us to do it, which therefore leads to death just as assuredly as refusing to submit to it.

    I don't agree with the interpretation of 3:31 which makes you ask any of the questions here.
    Paul is telling the audience that their faith resulted through the promise of scripture. Jesus fulfilled scripture. Paul was contesting the those who mocked the law. He was not saying do the law.
    I don't see how you got all of that out over Romans 3:31 or why it is grounds to deny the straightforward meaning.

    While it was true that Abraham believed God, so he was declared righteous, it is also true that Abraham believed God, so he obeyed God's command to offer Isaac, so the fact that he was justified by faith did not abolish his need to obey God's command to offer Isaac, but rather his faith upheld God's command by leading him to obey it. In the same way, Paul was making the point in Romans 3:28 that we are justified by faith apart from works of the law, but in Romans 3:31, he did not want us to conclude from that that our faith therefore abolishes our need to obey God's Law, but rather our faith upholds it by leading us to obey it. Obedience to any set of instructions is about putting our faith in the one who gave them to rightly guide us, which is again why our faith upholds God's Law and why Jesus said that faith is one of the weightier matters of the Law (Matthew 23:23).


    Just because Paul said the Pharisees were wrong ... and even saying that faith was an expectation of them, this doesn't make an obligation to the law for people already justified in Christ.
    Our salvation is from sin (Matthew 1:21) and sin is defined as disobedience to God's Law (1 John 3:4), so being trained by grace to live in obedience to God's Law through faith is what it looks like to be saved from living in disobedience to God's Law, so there is not much sense in trying to separate the concept of being saved from living in transgression of God's Law from our need to repent and obey it.

    Where are you getting your doctrines about this return to the law? Do you have certain teachers you are following?
    I've read various books and articles and listened to various lectures, sermons, and commentaries, and participated in various Bible studies and discussions on various forums over the past ten or so years. If you are interested, I can recommend a podcast to you that I'm already listening to a second time through that been teaching me how to ask the right questions of Scripture, and which not specifically related to the topic of obeying God's Law. For example, it has really been hammering home the point that every time that Jesus opened his mouth teach he was firmly rooted in OT Scripture, such as with the parable of the soils that references different OT passages that speak about the different types of soils and what to do if we find that we are that type of soil, which corresponds to Messiah's explanation of the parable.

    You seem inclined to interpret scripture around this paradigm of Christian obligation to the Old Covenant.
    While we are under the New Covenant and not the Mosaic Covenant, we are nevertheless still under the same God with the same nature and therefore the same instructions for how to walk in His same ways and express His same character traits. For example, God's righteousness is eternal (Psalms 119:142), so any instructions that God has ever given for how to act in accordance with His righteousness are eternally valid (Psalms 119:160). As part of the New Covenant, we are told that those who do not follow those instructions are not children of God (1 John 3:10), so I have been speaking about how we should live under the New Covenant.
    "Faith is nothing less than the will to keep one's mind fixed precisely on what reason has discovered to it." - Edward Feser

  9. Amen Darfius amen'd this post.
  10. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikewhitney View Post
    So where are you getting this interpretation from? Do you have certain scholars or pastors you follow?
    I've been active in various forums since I was in my teens, including this one for a number of years. I can link you to my congregation's website if you are interested and can also recommend to you some of our studies and articles.

    When Jesus said that he came not to abolish the law but to fulfill it, he seems to be anticipating that the gospel would be recognized as having abolished the law.
    I would agree that Jesus anticipated that some people would perceive him as abolishing the Law, especially because he was about to challenge what his audience heard being taught about the Law throughout the rest of Matthew 5, but that perception would be false because he truthfully stated that wasn't what he came to do.

    How would the gospel seem to convey this message if the Mosaic law were still intact?
    Jesus began his ministry with the Gospel message to repent from our sins for the Kingdom of God is at hand (Matthew 4:17, 23) and the Mosaic Law was how his audience knew what sin is, so repenting from our disobedience to it is an integral part of the Gospel of Christ. All of God's righteous laws are eternal (Psalms 119:160), so there will never be a time when they are not intact.

    Nothing you have offered seems substantial enough to undo the grace concept that replaced obligations to the law.
    Is not as though the God of the OT was a God of righteousness who was replaced in the NT by a different God of grace, but rather graciousness and righteousness have always been compatible character traits of the same God, which He has shown to people throughout both the NT and the OT (Exodus 34:6-7). For example, in Psalms 119:29, David wanted God to be gracious to him by teaching him to obey His Law and in Titus 2:11-14, our salvation is described as being trained by grace to do what is godly, righteous, and good, and to renounce doing what is ungodly, which is essentially what God's Law was given to instruct how to do. In Hebrews 11:7, Noah was listed as an example of faith and in Genesis 6:8-9, it says that he found grace in the eyes of God and that he was a righteous man, so he was declared righteous by grace through faith in the same one and only way as everyone else.

    According to Romans 1:5, we have received grace in order to bring about the obedience of faith. According to 2 Peter 3:17-18, growing in grace is contrasted with being taken away with the error of Lawless men. According to John 1:16-17, grace was added upon grace, so the grace of Christ was added upon the grace of the Law. According to Jude 1:4, the ungodly pervert God's grace into license for immorality. According to Strong's, "grace" is defined as "the divine influence upon the heart and its reflection in the life" and when God's will is reflected in our lives, it takes the form of obedience to His Law (Psalm 40:8), so grace is the power of God to overcome Lawlessness in our lives and it is by grace that God teaches us to walk in His ways in accordance with His Law.

    The problem with the written law was that people ended up making that their goal instead of seeking God. The law brought on judgmental attitudes -- of Jews judging each other on how much they appeared to be doing the laws. But the laws were also augmented with the teachings of men. Everything was going haywire. This wasn't because Jews were worse people but rather that Jews were like all other humanity, except for being a little restrained from many immoral things because there was some semblance of obeying the laws.
    I agree, however, the right solution to incorrectly obeying God's Law is to start obeying it correctly in accordance with what Christ taught, not to stop obeying God.

    It may be useful to continue the discussion. However it will not likely convince anyone to change. The issue is about changing the interpretive framework one has while reading scripture.
    Iron sharpens iron, so there is a benefit to having these sorts of discussions even if neither of us changes our view, though I've changed my position on a number of issues over my years on various forums, including the issue of obedience to God's Law. I would have been very resistant to my current position in regard to God's Law at an earlier point in my life, so I don't blame people to be resistant and in fact it is good in general for people to be resistant to positions that are outside of mainstream Christianity.

    You end up taking piecemeal verses in Romans to say that Paul told people to do the law. But this leaves passages like Rom 7:1-7 in a weird state.
    In Romans 7:1-7, a married woman is bound of her husband while he lives, which would cause her to commit adultery if she were to live with another man while he was still alive, but if he were to die, then she would be released from the law of her husband and would be free to marry another man without committing adultery. At no point is the woman (or us) set free from obeying God's Law. Rather, in same same way we need to die to the law of our husband through his (Christ's) death in order to be free to belong to another, to him whom was raised from the dead in order to bear fruit for God. It wouldn't make any sense to interpret these verses as speaking about dying to God's instructions for how to bear fruit for Him in order to be free to bear fruit for Him.

    In Romans 7:21-25, Paul said that he delighted in God's Law and served it with his mind, but contrasted that with the law of sin, which he served with his flesh, so it is important to correctly identify which law he was speaking about in Romans 7:5-6. If he was speaking about God's Law, then that would mean that he delighted in stirring up sinful passions to bear fruit unto death and that he delighted in being held captive, which would be absurd, but rather it is the law of sin that he described as holding him captive (7:23). In Romans 7:7, Paul said that God's Law was not sinful, but was given to reveal what sin is, and when our sin is revealed, then that leads us to repent and causes sin to decrease, however, the law of sin stirs up sinful passions to bear fruit unto death, so it is sinful and causes sin to increase, so it is the opposite of God's Law. So verses that refer to a law that is sinful or cases sin to increase should be interpreted as referring to the law of sin, not to God's Law, such as Romans 5:20, Romans 6:14, 1 Corinthians 15:56, and Galatians 5:16-18.

    Also...
    The problems of the Pharisaical behavior was a consequence of people trying to focus on the law. Their behavior (and interpretations) was a natural consequence of the law. This was not the exception to people's encounters with the law.
    Jesus expressed the character traits of the Father/fruits of the Spirit through his actions and what that looked like was complete obedience to the Mosaic Law, so the Law is God's instructions for how to express His character traits/fruits of the Spirit. If the character traits of God do not characterize someone's obedience to His instructions for how to express His character traits, then they are not obeying them correctly, and the right solution to that is to start obeying it correctly in accordance with the example that Jesus set for us to follow.
    "Faith is nothing less than the will to keep one's mind fixed precisely on what reason has discovered to it." - Edward Feser

  11. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soyeong View Post

    I've read various books and articles and listened to various lectures, sermons, and commentaries, and participated in various Bible studies and discussions on various forums over the past ten or so years. If you are interested, I can recommend a podcast to you that I'm already listening to a second time through that been teaching me how to ask the right questions of Scripture, and which not specifically related to the topic of obeying God's Law. For example, it has really been hammering home the point that every time that Jesus opened his mouth teach he was firmly rooted in OT Scripture, such as with the parable of the soils that references different OT passages that speak about the different types of soils and what to do if we find that we are that type of soil, which corresponds to Messiah's explanation of the parable.
    I've seen enough of attempts to say Paul was still practicing the law. I'm not curious on the study of this except for some bewilderment how people get attracted to such interpretations.

    It is true that Jesus spoke from OT scripture. His earthly ministry was to the lost sheep of Israel.

    Do you know why Jesus came to the Jews? Was it because they were obedient or disobedient?

    And nevermind on the parable of the sower in Matthew 13. That is unrelated to this issue about the law and its fulfillment.

    One problem I notice is that you will inject the word 'law' into statements about verses that don't mention law. Such practice is dissuasive.

  12. Amen NorrinRadd amen'd this post.
  13. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikewhitney View Post
    I've seen enough of attempts to say Paul was still practicing the law. I'm not curious on the study of this except for some bewilderment how people get attracted to such interpretations.

    It is true that Jesus spoke from OT scripture. His earthly ministry was to the lost sheep of Israel.

    Do you know why Jesus came to the Jews? Was it because they were obedient or disobedient?
    Some Jews were obedient, such as Zechariah and his wife:

    Luke 1:5-6 In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord.

    However, is stated purpose in comping was to fulfill the Law, so he did come to teach how to correctly obey the Law by word and by example. The Law is God's Word and Jesus is God's Word made flesh, so God did not just give His Law to His people, but also sent Jesus as the living embodiment of the Law, the personification of the character of the Law, and as the exact imprint of His nature to teach us how to correctly obey it so that through him could become partakers the divine nature (Hebrews 1:3, 2 Peter 1:4).

    One problem I notice is that you will inject the word 'law' into statements about verses that don't mention law. Such practice is dissuasive.
    It is not my intention to add something to a verse that isn't there, so please quote the places where you think that I've done this.
    Last edited by Soyeong; 07-09-2019 at 10:07 PM.
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    Naming the exceptions who were righteous only shows that most were not righteous. Why were the others not righteous?

    One example of injecting the idea of 'law' into the discussion is that you just said Jesus came as the embodiment of the Law where neither Heb 1:3 nor 2Pet 1;4 mention the law.

    Were there prophecies being fulfilled for the Messiah to come? What was he to accomplish? Were the Jews obedient when Jesus was among them?

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