Most of it doesn’t apply to us!
The Bible contains more than 600 different commandments. Some are positive, i.e. things people must do. Some are negative, i.e. things people are prohibited from doing. And most of these 600+ laws do not apply to you or us or our world.
While that underlined statement might surprise you at first blush, let me assure you that most Christians have always agreed with this idea: most of the Bible’s 600+ laws do not apply to you or us or our world.
In some cases, they don’t apply because Jesus said, ‘We’re not doing that anymore,’ (e.g. Mark 7:19).
In some cases, they don’t apply because Paul or Peter, along with the early Church said, ‘that one doesn’t apply to us anymore,’ (see for example Galatians).
In some cases, they don’t apply because they are about places and rituals and cultures that no longer exist: for example the Temple, the Tabernacle, the Ark of the Covenant, sacrificial offerings, etc.
In some cases they don’t apply because Jesus gave his disciples the power to decide, (Matthew 16:19).
One way to say all of this is, ‘some Biblical laws are given for some people in some places at some times, but not for all people, everywhere and always.’ As that statement sinks in, give thanks.
This is why we don’t inflict the death penalty on those who miss worship on Sunday.
This is why you might have enjoyed a slice of bacon this morning or a cheeseburger for lunch.
This is why a divorced person is welcome in the life of a congregation.
The list is nearly endless and often comical!
The Bible also contains some laws which have always felt more universal and eternal.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. (Matthew 7:12)
Love God, Love Neighbor. (Luke 10:27).
Forgive if you have anything against anyone. (Mark 11:25)
Do justice, love kindness, walk humbly. (Micah 6:8)
In my life and ministry I have found, the more I focus on what is clearly universal and eternal, the easier it is to see the grace of God in what no longer applies.
June 12, 2019
Copyright © 2019 Pastor Bill Bernau. All rights reserved.