Time to tie up loose strings. “J” of Shadows of WCG Next Generation wrote a few comments I would like to respond to. I will use male pronouns to refer to “J”, as I believe he once said that was accurate. If I am mistaken, my apologies in advance.
This is biblical nonsense. No one has ever said there are “no rules”. No one has ever said that there are “no rules” for a Christian to follow. The reality is, the rules John here is talking about – “the Law of Moses” – are the rules that were intended, again, for a specific people, at a specific time. The Christian is under a spiritual law – again, the “Law of the Spirit of life in Jesus Christ” – which is far different then the temporary physical laws set forth by Moses for the people. The difference for the New Covenant Christian has to do completely with the revealing of faith.
It’s a funny thing, though. Ask your average Christian what law they are supposed to follow, and they cannot tell you. Perhaps you will occasionally hear the response that “we are supposed to love one another”. But, trying to nail down what someone means by all this is like nailing jello to the wall.
You know why? Because it means exactly that there are “no rules” in spite of whatever protests are thrown around.
The really odd thing about it all is that the rules that are mentioned in the NT are almost always quotes from the OT.
3For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. (1 John 5:3, King James Version)
So, which commandments are these? What commandments did Jesus often refer to? The OT Law!
As the scriptures of Paul clearly show, Christians are not under law, they are under grace. (Romans 6:15). The scriptures are equally clear that because they are not under law, it is not a license to binge in sin (Romans 6:15-23).
And, I will repeat, “Sin is the transgression of the law.” Pretty clear to me.
Law’s Purpose Is to Lead People to Christ
Here is one that J and others throw around a lot: The Law’s purpose was to lead people to Jesus.
And yet, what in the OT isn’t there to lead you to Christ?
Prophecy is there to lead people to Christ as well. I realize that not everyone thinks of it that way, but it is true. You can verify the veracity of the Bible by prophecies that have already come true. Those that haven’t happened yet will lead people to Christ when they occur. How else do you think there’s a “great multitude” (Rev 7:9) that come out of the Great Tribulation? They are reminded of the prophecies that have been told and come to pass before their eyes.
I can attest to the fact that when East and West Germany reunited, it was a wake up call for me. It was something I had heard about for so long, but I didn’t believe it could occur so quickly (neither did any of the news commentators at the time, for that matter).
So, if prophecy is to bring people to Christ and Christ has already come, does that mean prophecy is no longer valid?
How does that work, anyhow?
Furthermore, if the Law was done away, how can anyone sin? If no one can sin, then how can they repent? If no one can repent, how will they be saved? For that matter, if the Law was done away, why would we need a Savior?
Again, it is inconsistent reasoning.
FOR WITHOUT THE LAW, YOU WOULD NOT HAVE KNOWLEDGE OF SIN. AND WITHOUT A SAVIOR, YOU WOULD NOT HAVE FORGIVENESS OF SIN.
My point exactly! Furthermore, if we are now “under grace” by the standard definition, we don’t need a savior then either because “the Law was nailed to the cross”. In essence, the argument is for doing away with the thing that is supposed to lead people to Christ to begin with!
It Is Finished
Then, there is the claim that “It is finished” means everything was finished.
As many of you know, I was a project manager. I could say “It is finished” when the planning phase was done, or “it is finished” when the construction phase was done or even “it is finished” when the testing phase was done.
However, the project is not finished at all in any of those steps (unless, of course, the plug was pulled).
Most significant human endeavors have to be planned out. Most significant human endeavors have phases, mile markers, milestones or some other method of tracking projects. It is logical, it makes sense, and it helps those involved to hone their skills.
God’s plan has phases. Why is that such an elusive concept for some? Christ will come again! Why? For the next project phase! When He said “It” is finished, “it” referred to that phase of the plan. This isn’t rocket science!
Is God’s Kingdom here on the earth now? Has Satan been put away yet? Has Christ returned yet? Then, “It” could not refer to the entire plan!
Furthermore, since all these things have not yet been completed:
18For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. (Matthew 5:18, King James Version)
Again, has Christ returned yet? Is God’s Kingdom here on the earth now? Has Satan been put away? If the answer is “no”, then neither has the Law been done away!
Back to First Grade
…And most importantly, if the law was to lead you to Christ – which it was – and you HAVE Christ – which you do, what purpose now does the law of moses [sic] have for you? Answer that one please! It’s like saying since elementary school and high school was designed to lead you to college, and now you are in college, I’m going to learn my 1 + 1′s and my 2+2′s and every time I get an equation in advanced trigonometry, I’m going to go back to my first grade teacher to ask her if this is right!
What would then be the response of the first grade teacher? “Why are you here! I was here to lead you to college, and your need for this education was to lead you to college! Without this education, you would never have access to college! Now that you have college, you are no longer under my supervision! Go to college and have fun! We can go out to dinner if you like – but you are no longer under my supervision!”
Actually, saying you are no longer under the Law, again as traditional Christianity would view it, would be more like go to college and claim you no longer need to know that 1+1=2. That was the “old school” (you know I cannot resist a bad pun!) way of doing things! Now, you are under a new school administration and don’t have to know addition in order to do trig.
What will the new teacher think of that? Undoubtedly, they will either tell you that you are off your rocker, fail you or both.
If the Law was a tutor (and that analogy at least is a Biblical one), then that means you are supposed to learn something from it. It seems to me that the traditional view only wants to learn that it was hard and painful, much like high school algebra was painful for some. However, I have to ask if that truly is what it was meant to teach.
The difference is that the student who only learned that high school algebra was hard and painful forgot the entire purpose of the course. They only related it to their own selfish worldview instead of what the teacher was trying to teach.
Teaching is a lot like a horse. You can take a horse to water … but you cannot make him learn.
What Kind of God?
So, really, in spite of all the spin, taking Scripture out of context, etc., it all really boils down to limiting God, marginalizing God and making light of His standards of conduct. He is God, and He makes the standards. He has been gracious enough to show us not only that we should love Him and each other, but through the Law has shown us how it should be done. To teach otherwise is creating god in the image of man.