Saturday, 29 June 2013

The Bible says we can all ignore Torah law, including the Leviticus language on gays

Citations directly from the Bible, showing that the founders of Christianity did not expect us to follow Torah law…

Here are instances in which Jesus made clear that the laws of the Torah (which includes the ban on homosexuality) were no longer valid.
·         John 2, Jesus’ first miracle is putting wine into the water jars for the Jewish rites of purification. A major violation.
·         Matthew 12, the priests criticize Jesus for plucking grain on the Sabbath; Jesus says that David did it too.
·         John 7, Jesus says that the circumcision law came from the patriarchs, not Moses.
·         Mark 10, Jesus contradicts Torah law on divorce.
·         John 8, Jesus talks a crowd out of carrying out Torah law on stoning an adulteress.
·         Mark 12, a scribe tells Jesus the loving God and loving your neighbor are “much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” Jesus replies “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”
·         Luke 6, priests criticize Jesus for curing people on the Sabbath.
·         Luke 15, according to Jesus, the son who obeys the law doesn’t get the big celebration from his father – his brother, the sinner, gets the big party.
·         Mark 2, on breaking the Sabbath rules – “The Sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the Sabbath.”
And here are the instances in which the founders of Christianity said explicitly that Torah law, including the ban on homosexuality, was no longer in force.
·         Acts: Peter cancels the law on circumcision, and James replaces Torah law with a much shorter list of rules for all Christians.
·         Romans 2, Paul says that Christians don’t need to obey Torah law; Romans 4, blessedness is independent of the law; the acts of the patriarchs before Moses were independent of the law; Romans 7, we are now discharged from the law; Romans 8, we are set free from the law; both Jews and Gentiles who ignore the law will receive God’s glory; Romans 10, Christ is the end of the law; Romans 11, Israelites who keep the law but don’t embrace Jesus won’t be saved.
·         1 Corinthians 6, Paul shows the difference between what is lawful and what is beneficial; chapter 7, circumcision is irrelevant; chapter 8, food laws are irrelevant; chapter 9, I am not under the law. And 2 Corinthians 3, Jesus has overturned Moses.
·         Galatians, Paul criticizes Peter when Peter temporarily shuns those who are not following the law – “a person is justified not by the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ. And we have come to believe in Christ Jesus, so that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by doing the works of the law, because no one will be justified by the works of the law.… For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God.”
·         Galatians 3, “Did you receive the Spirit by doing the works of the law or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish?... Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law…. Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.”
·         Galatians 5, “Listen! I, Paul, am telling you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no benefit to you. You who want to be justified by the law have cut yourselves off from Christ; you have fallen away from grace…. I wish those who unsettle you would castrate themselves!...For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”… But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law.”
·         Galatians 6, Paul says that even the circumcised do not themselves obey the law, but they want you to be circumcised so that they may boast about your flesh.
·         Collossians 2, Therefore do not let anyone condemn you in matters of food and drink or of observing festivals, new moons, or sabbaths…. If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the universe, why do you live as if you still belonged to the world? Why do you submit to regulations, “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch”?  All these regulations refer to things that perish with use; they are simply human commands and teachings.
·         Ephesians 2, Christ has abolished the law; chapter 3, we now know that the gentiles who don’t follow the law are fellow heirs.
·         Hebrews, the death of Jesus erases the old covenant; chapter 8, in bringing a new covenant he has made the old one obsolete; chapter 10, it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
·         John – we are all God’s children. Mark 9, whoever is not against us is for us.

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