In Part 1a, I demonstrated one instance where non-believers pick and choose parts of the Holy Bible in response to the accusation that Christians do the same. I showed how they do so without knowing they’re doing it. But now lets discuss the fact that yes, Christians righteously follow and avoid different parts of the Holy Bible. Non-believers and baby Christians sometimes don’t understand that there were 3 sets of laws in the history of ancient Israel: civil, ceremonial, and moral law.
The moral law is the law based upon the Ten Commandments that applies to and transcends to all peoples and cultures through all times. Christians are to live by and obey them but they place their hopes of salvation in Christ’s grace since they know that from time to time they can violate one of them. Hop a plane or boat or visit on-line any nation- France, the Middle East, Africa, England, Russia, China and you’ll find they have laws similar to ours against murder, thievery, adultery and all the rest just as the Ten Commandments say. Some would claim they originated from humanist thinking but we Christians believe they came from God because he tells us he is holy (see Leviticus 19:2) and they are based on his character.
- Idolatry (Lev. 26:1-13)
- Love God (Deut. 6:4)
- Love your neighbor as yourself (Lev. 19:18)
- Oppress your neighbor (Lev. 19:13)
- Stealing or lying (Lev. 19:11)
- Sacrifice children to Molech forbidden (Lev. 20:1-5)
- Sexual sins: adultery, incest, bestiality, homosexuality, etc. (Lev. 18:20; 20:9-21; Num. 5:12-15)
The civil laws were the unique laws God gave to Israel to function as a culture and to form their special nation. They were specifically given for the culture and place of the Israelites and encompass all of the moral law except the Ten Commandments. This includes everything from murder to restitution for a man gored by an ox and the responsibility of the man who dug a pit to rescue his neighbor’s trapped donkey (Exodus 21:12-36). Since the Jews saw no difference between their God-ordained morality and their cultural responsibilities, this category is used by Christians far more than by Jewish scholars.
The division of the Jewish law into different categories is a human construct designed to better understand the nature of God and define which laws church-age Christians are still required to follow. Many believe the ceremonial law is not applicable, but we are bound by the Ten Commandments. All the law is useful for instruction (2 Timothy 3:16), and nothing in the Bible indicates that God intended a distinction of categories. Christians are not under the law (Romans 10:4) as they expired with the demise of the Jewish civil government.
Examples and where they can be found:
- Be just with the poor, (Lev. 19:15)
- Cattle, of neighbor (Deut. 22:1-4)
- Children, rebellious (Deut. 21:18-21)
- Debt (Lev. 23:34-43; Deut. 31:10)
- Divorce (Deut. 22:19)
- Dress, attire (Deut. 22:5)
- Do not hate in your heart (Lev. 19:17)
- Inheritance (Num. 18:26; 26:53-56; 36:8-12)
- Justice practices (Lev. 24:17-23)
- Kidnapping (Exodus 21:16)
- Landmarks (Deuteronomy 19:14)
- Property redemption (Lev. 25)
- Murder and killing (Deut. 21:1-4)
- Retain just scales in commerce (Lev. 19:35f)
- Robbery, extortion, false witness, and restitution (Lev. 6:1-7)
- Sabbath breaking punishment (Num. 15:32-36)
- Theft (Deut. 5:19; Lev. 19:11)
- Warfare (Deut. 20:1-20)
The ceremonial laws were there to teach Israel the proper way to worship God. They included instructions on regaining a right standing with God (e.g., sacrifices and other ceremonies regarding “uncleanness”), remembrances of God’s work in Israel (e.g., feasts and festivals), specific regulations meant to distinguish Israelites from their pagan neighbors (e.g., dietary and clothing restrictions), and signs that point to the coming Messiah (e.g., the Sabbath, circumcision, Passover, and the redemption of the firstborn). Christians don’t practice them because they no longer apply.
For instance it would be a sin if a Christian slaughtered a bull or other animal and took it to a high priest to offer it as a sacrifice to God. The Israelites did this in the old covenant days but all that ended after Christ’s sacrifice on the cross because he was the perfect sacrifice and the last and chief high priest. Christ fulfilled the law that you and I would otherwise be judged by. But we all must take a fundamental basic step because the ceremonial expired with the fulfillment of the priestly work of Christ on the cross. See Matthew 3:15.
Examples and where they can be found:
- Cleaning house of leper (Lev. 14:33-57; Num. 5:2)
- Festivals (Lev. 23:1-25; Nu. 29:39)
- Laws on animals for food (Lev. 11:1-47)
- Law of Atonement (Lev. 16:1-28;17:1-16)
- Offerings (Num. 29:39)
- Priest, consecration of (Ex. 29:1-46)
- Priestly duties (Lev. 7:1-37)
- Regulations for Priests (Lev. 21,22)
- Various sacrificial offerings for sin (Lev. 1,2,3,4,5,6)
I hope this posting has helped you to see that yes, there are certain parts of the Holy Bible Christians shouldn’t follow any longer in compliance with the authority of God’s new covenant for mans salvation and purchased thru the shedding of Christ’s blood on the cross at Calvary.