It's A Thin Line Between Love and Hate...

Discuss topics raised by callers on the radio program
User avatar
steve
Posts: 3344
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:45 pm

Re: It's A Thin Line Between Love and Hate...

Post by steve » Fri Sep 26, 2008 10:50 am

Paidion,

I asked if you had any examples of Jesus teaching anything about God that had not already been revealed in the Old Testament. You gave the following response:

1. Jesus forgave the woman caught in adultery. However, this is not an example of what I was asking for, since such forgiveness was not unprecedented in the Old Testament. God forgave David (and presumably Bathsheba, since neither were required to be put to death) for the very same sin. Looks like the same God in both cases to me. Not all adultery goes without punishment, however, either in the Old Testament or in the New. Witness the judgment on the Great Harlot, in Revelation—which is declared to be "the Revelation of Jesus Christ."

2. You mentioned a few laws in the Old Testament that you find particularly odious, and then ask, "When did Jesus command anything like that?" Well, there are several hundred laws in the Old Testament that Jesus said nothing directly about. He did not repeat everything. However, this is not what I asked about, as we cannot know for certain what Jesus might have said about certain things He never addressed. One thing we can be sure of, He never would have said that Moses laws were of human origin.

I did not ask you whether there are things in the Old Testament about which Jesus said nothing. I asked whether there were things that Jesus said that were not already found in the Old Testament? My reason for asking this exact question is that you had claimed that the revelation of God in Jesus was very different from the revelation of God in the Old Testament. I am asking for examples of the "new revelation" that God gave in Jesus, which He had previously neglected to reveal to Moses, the prophets and the psalmists. I don't think any can be found, which raises questions as to whether God actually revealed anything about Himself in Jesus that He had not revealed in the Old Testament.

The Old Testament defined sinful behavior. Jesus did not present a contradictory definition, but generally appealed to the Law when asked about such things (as if He regarded it as more authoritative than you do).

The Old Testament revealed a God who acts, sometimes in wrath, sometimes in mercy. Jesus revealed exactly the same.

The Old Testament, in instructing civil magistrates, delineated criminal penalties for certain crimes (all of your personal objections appear to be in regard to these civil laws). Since Jesus never gave instructions to magistrates, we do not have any way of knowing which penalties He might have approved for guilty criminals who were brought before the magistrates (if indeed, He differed from Moses at all on this point). When someone wanted to get Jesus to pronounce on a matter which was the proper domain of the magistracy, His response was, "Man, who made me a judge, or an arbitrator over you?" (Luke 12:13-14). Jesus did not care to include political commentary nor legal reform in His mission.

On the other hand, it seems fairly certain that Jesus did not intend to abolish magistracy or law courts altogether, and to establish a purely libertarian system in secular society. He is not "the author of confusion." This suggests that He would probably have approved of some sort of criminal penalties or other (perhaps you think not). The world would not be a better place without criminal justice systems, unless there were no more criminals. I believe that Jesus never addressed the criminal penalties of the Old Testament because He had no interest in reshaping civil government and was establishing a spiritual kingdom separate from those governments. In His new kingdom (unlike the nation of Israel in Moses' day), misbehavior would be disciplined by disfellowshipping, not by fines, lashes or executions. However, Jesus gave no indication that political entities, like the nation of Israel, should modify their existing criminal justice codes.

While Jesus did not pronounce on the desirability or undesirability of courts continuing to follow mosaic criminal justice codes, He left no question as to whether He believed those codes originated with God or whether they were inventions of Moses Himself.

Jesus said to the Pharisees, "All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. For Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother'; and, 'He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.' But you say, 'If a man says to his father or mother, "Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban"-' (that is, a gift to God), then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother, making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do" (Mark 7:9-13).

In the above passage, Jesus referred to two Old Testament laws: 1) the fifth commandment, and 2) the civil penalty (death) for disobedience. Both laws are introduced with the phrase, "Moses said"—and yet, what "Moses said," in both cases, is regarded, by Jesus (though, strangely, not by you) as "the commandment of God" and "the word of God."

If we allow that Jesus gave no teaching indicating His desire that secular societies should dismantle their law courts, and that He thus probably felt that some punishment should be brought upon convicted criminals (Paul and Peter certainly believed in these things—Rom.13:1-7/ Acts 25:11/ 1 Pet.2:13-14), it is hard to know why He would opt to introduce different penalties for crimes from those penalties already defined in a "holy, just and good" law code (Romans 7:13), like that given by Moses.

Mercy and forgiveness can be introduced only once the guilt and the justice of punishment have been defined. That the law courts are obliged to punish criminals does not eliminate God's option of showing mercy in the case of a penitent—and this is true now as much as it was in the Old Testament.

Most of what Jesus did and said, of significance, were repeats of Old Testament scripture or the fulfillment of Old Testament predictions.

Jesus did not find fault with the Jews on the basis of their accepting Moses' "misrepresentation" of God's character (as you have suggested). He blamed them for not believing Moses, and told them that it was their failure to accept Moses that prevented them from believing in Jesus (John 5:46-47)—which is just the opposite of your assessment. You think their problem (and ours?) was their belief that Moses gave Israel laws that were actually from God. If they were wrong in believing such a thing, then the New Testament fails to correct them. Paul believed the Law to be "holy, just and good" (Romans 7:13). Therefore, your rejection of the Law (and of its justice) places you in an adversarial position (on this point) against Jesus and Paul, but on the same side with the Pharisees, whom Jesus accused of rejecting the Law—as you would apparently like for all of us to do.

I am afraid that you have borrowed far more of your position from the gnostics that you may think you have.

I am surprised that you are bringing up, again (we discussed this thoroughly, not long ago) your untenable theory that there was some special microbe on the sandals of the Jews, which was to be found in the dust of the tabernacle floor, and which had the peculiar quality of causing a person's thigh to rot and belly to be swell, when ingested. There may be such a bacterium known to science, but do you know of one? It must be very rare, since Third World people eat off their dirty floors habitually, and these particular symptoms do not appear to be common. Also, if such a germ exists, how would Moses (whom you believe to have been uninspired in giving this legislation) have known that this particular germ would always be present on the tabernacle floor whenever someone applied for the ordeal of jealousy? In fact, if there was any ground less likely than any other to be defiled by foot traffic, it would be the floor of the tabernacle, since no one was allowed to walk there except for priests, who had just washed their hands and feet at the laver of cleansing. Only newly-washed feet were to tread the floor of the tabernacle. Your suggestion is sensational—as well as disparaging of the divine origins of the Law. I have made these points with you elsewhere, and you have not answered them (forgivably, since they are unanswerable—but why do you again bring up this debunked theory?).

You and I disagree about many things—most of which do not alarm me in the least—but this denouncing of the Old Testament scriptures is such a sub-Christian position (given your disagreement with Christ and the apostles on it) that I truly do find it alarming. I beg you to reconsider your position. You have absolutely nothing (including the life and teaching of Christ) upon which to base your assertions.
Last edited by steve on Sat Sep 27, 2008 12:01 am, edited 6 times in total.

User avatar
seer
Posts: 234
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 10:16 am
Location: New England

Re: It's A Thin Line Between Love and Hate...

Post by seer » Fri Sep 26, 2008 12:09 pm

One wonders how much scripture a man can reject before he is considered an apostate?
Thanks to the human heart by which we live, thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears, To me the meanest flower that blows can give thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears. Wordsworth

User avatar
steve
Posts: 3344
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:45 pm

Re: It's A Thin Line Between Love and Hate...

Post by steve » Fri Sep 26, 2008 1:25 pm

Hi Jim (seer),

I think a man becomes an apostate when he ceases to follow Jesus. Being mistaken about Jesus' position on a subject, or having a defective view of scripture, while important matters, are not necessarily the same thing as defection from discipleship, in my opinion.

User avatar
Homer
Posts: 2623
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:08 pm

Re: It's A Thin Line Between Love and Hate...

Post by Homer » Fri Sep 26, 2008 11:45 pm

Just my two cents,

I have long been convinced of the consistency of the picture presented of God in the OT and NT. God, as revealed in Christ, is admittedly a much clearer picture of God's nature, as the sight of an object is more revealing than seeing the object's shadow. We see God's wrath and mercy revealed in both the OT and NT. When it pleased God to make an example of someone, He did it in the OT (Uzzah) and NT (Annanias and Sapphira). And He has shown His mercy, as it pleased Him, to many who did not deserve it (I'm still alive :D ).

In Numbers 15 we read of how the unintentional sinner and deliberate sinner are to be treated. Seems harsh that God commanded the deliberate Sabbath breaker to be put to death. In Hebrews 10:26-31 the wlllful sinner doesn't fare any better, and in fact the terms of punishment are even more fearful, which should give us all pause. And in this passage the writer (Paul?) refers directly to the Law of Moses for a comparison.

As far as the unintentional sinner in Numbers 15 goes, the sinner was to make a sin offering. And what is the difference for us? Simply that our sacrifice has already been made.

And consider that Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:1-12 warns that the fate of the Israelites who wandered in the desert 40 years is an example of what God will do in our own case if we are not faithful. As I have said before, God did not repent and become a Christian. "He is the same yesterday, today, and forever".

We must consider that the rude and crude conditions that the people lived under in the OT did not allow them to be ready for Jesus. God gave them what was suitable for the times.

User avatar
darinhouston
Posts: 2171
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:45 am

Re: It's A Thin Line Between Love and Hate...

Post by darinhouston » Sat Sep 27, 2008 12:16 am

Homer wrote:As I have said before, God did not repent and become a Christian. "He is the same yesterday, today, and forever".
That's an awesome quote!

User avatar
seer
Posts: 234
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 10:16 am
Location: New England

Re: It's A Thin Line Between Love and Hate...

Post by seer » Sat Sep 27, 2008 4:28 am

steve wrote:Hi Jim (seer),

I think a man becomes an apostate when he ceases to follow Jesus. Being mistaken about Jesus' position on a subject, or having a defective view of scripture, while important matters, are not necessarily the same thing as defection from discipleship, in my opinion.

The question is Steve, which Jesus is one following. The Christ of scripture or the Christ of one's imagination. And at what point does that Christ of imagination become a false idol?
Thanks to the human heart by which we live, thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears, To me the meanest flower that blows can give thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears. Wordsworth

User avatar
Homer
Posts: 2623
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:08 pm

Re: It's A Thin Line Between Love and Hate...

Post by Homer » Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:05 am

Seer,

You wrote:
And at what point does that Christ of imagination become a false idol?
Seeing you are a Calvinist, were you aware Calvin said that men are
"congenital idolaters, that is, creatures who desperately wanted a God who conformed to their images"
I'm not a Calvinist, but he had a good point.

By the way, is it OK to address you as Jim?

User avatar
seer
Posts: 234
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 10:16 am
Location: New England

Re: It's A Thin Line Between Love and Hate...

Post by seer » Sat Sep 27, 2008 11:01 am

Homer wrote:Seer,

You wrote:
And at what point does that Christ of imagination become a false idol?
Seeing you are a Calvinist, were you aware Calvin said that men are
"congenital idolaters, that is, creatures who desperately wanted a God who conformed to their images"
I'm not a Calvinist, but he had a good point.

By the way, is it OK to address you as Jim?
I agree with Calvin. And yes...
Thanks to the human heart by which we live, thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears, To me the meanest flower that blows can give thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears. Wordsworth

User avatar
Paidion
Posts: 4930
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:22 pm
Location: Back Woods of North-Western Ontario

Re: It's A Thin Line Between Love and Hate...

Post by Paidion » Sun Sep 28, 2008 3:54 pm

Troy wrote:Are you forgetting that Jesus turned over tables and then proceeded to use some sort of a whip to drive people out of the temple? What about when he called people brood of vipers and other similar things? What do you make of these things?
The short answer is: "Probably the same thing that you make of them".

I'm not sure what you are expecting here. Do you suppose that by contrasting the life and the heart of Jesus with the laws of Moses that I think Jesus was a tolerant wimp filled with liberal church "love" for one and all?

Jesus got angry at injustice and hypocrisy just as His father did and does.

Any good earthly father gets angry with his children when they have bad attitudes and do foolish things. Sometimes such a father even calls his children names. If his children bring something into the house which is likely to disrupt family life, a good father may throw these things out of the house, as Jesus drove out the animals from the temple with a whip.

But there is a huge difference between getting angry at our children for their bad attitudes and behaviour (or throwing out their harmful possessions) and killing them because of these things. Here is what Moses wrote that Yahweh said to him:

If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son, who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and, though they chastise him, will not give heed to them, then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gate of the place where he lives, and they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’

Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones; so you shall purge the evil from your midst; and all Israel shall hear, and fear. Deuteronomy 21:18-21


Did Jesus ever kill anyone or ask His disciples to kill anyone?
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

Avatar shows me at 75 years old. I am now 81.

User avatar
Paidion
Posts: 4930
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:22 pm
Location: Back Woods of North-Western Ontario

Re: It's A Thin Line Between Love and Hate...

Post by Paidion » Sun Sep 28, 2008 5:20 pm

Steve wrote:Jesus said to the Pharisees, "All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. For Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother'; and, 'He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.' But you say, 'If a man says to his father or mother, "Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban"-' (that is, a gift to God), then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother, making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do" (Mark 7:9-13).

In the above passage, Jesus referred to two Old Testament laws: 1) the fifth commandment, and 2) the civil penalty (death) for disobedience. Both laws are introduced with the phrase, "Moses said"—and yet, what "Moses said," in both cases, is regarded, by Jesus (though, strangely, not by you) as "the commandment of God" and "the word of God."
Strangely, not by me, eh? This is not the case . I do believe that the command “Honour your father and mother” is the command of God and the word of God. When Jesus said that the Pharisees “made the word of God of no effect”, He was speaking of their NOT honouring their father and mother by saying what they would have given to them, they gave to God. Jesus was NOT saying that the Pharisees should be put to death for “cursing father or mother” or by not honouring them with monetary assistance.

To put it more succinctly, Jesus reference to “the command of God” and “the word of God” was a reference to the command “Honour your father and mother” and not to the command “He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.” Jesus was simply quoting the latter from the words of Moses, since the Jews claimed to be followers of Moses.

Notice Jesus’ contrast between the law of Moses and the law of God which Jesus the only-begotten God (John 1:18) expressed in His teachings in Matthew 5. Paul calls this true law of God “the law of Christ” (I Cor 9:21, Gal 6:2)

Why did Jesus say as recorded in this chapter, “You have heard that it was said to the men of old”? That seems rather weak, if Jesus regarded the words said as having their source in God. Yet we know that many of these words which were “said to the men of old” were part of the ten commandments which God surely gave. Yet, at the very least, these “sayings to the men of old” were the incomplete expression of God’s wishes. Jesus brought forth the deeper truth of God’s commands, by showing that obedience must come from the heart and not merely outward performance.

Among the many things that were “said to the men of old” is the following in verse 43:

You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.”

It has been pointed out previously that “you shall hate your enemy” is not found in the Old Testament. I doubt that this command is the word of God. Yet the Hebrews had this saying, and probably they believed it was God’s word. They may have even received it from Moses, although it isn’t recorded in the Pentateuch. (By the way, this saying seems to contrast “love” and “hate”. On the other hand, if μισεω doesn’t mean “hate” but merely “dislike”, maybe it would be okay to carry out such a command.)

Jesus’ command was exactly the opposite to the command to “hate your enemy”; Jesus’ instruction to His disciples was to love their enemies and to pray for them.

Jesus doesn’t differentiate between the command to hate your enemy and the other commands that “were said to the men of old.” They are all lumped together. Why didn’t Jesus say of the other commands to which He referred in the books of Moses “The Father said to you …, but I say to you …”? Had He done so, it would certainly have appeared that Jesus was teaching differently from the Father. But He wasn’t! He knew the Father’s heart, will, desires, and expectations perfectly. He taught His disciples to carry out His Father’s wishes.
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

Avatar shows me at 75 years old. I am now 81.

Post Reply

Return to “Radio Program Topics”