Monday, May 10, 2010

We Fulfill the Law Fully and Without Discrimination

No particular sin - such as homosexuality - should be singled-out.

That's why Jesus said, "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven".

And capitalist Christians aren't necessarily being inconsistent. I believe it's a midunderstanding of Jesus' statements about economics to think Jesus was introducing a new economic system that contradicted the ethics of Moses' Law.

Yes, Jesus told the rich young ruler to sell his goods and follow Him. But Jesus didn't tell everyone to do the same. He told one would-be follower to instead go home and testify amongst his own family.

Yes many of the members of the early church in Jerusalem sold their possession and laid the money at the apostles' feet. But obviously not all of them did so, or else there wouldn't have been any houses left for them to meet in from day to day. Plus, this was not communism, because Peter told Ananias that what he owned was his own and that he was free to do with it what he wanted.

The apostles didn't expect this of anyone, they didn't teach it in their epistles, and neither did any of the other churches follow the same pattern. It was unique to Jerusalem, and necessary because of the unique circumstances there. And a few years later everyone was scattered from their possessions in Jerusalem anyway!

Jesus went to the cross as our substitute - but that doesn't mean every believer literally has to experience poverty to the extent of death upon a cross.

Moses' Law was clear about private property rights. Otherwise, "thou shalt not steal" could have no meaning. Jesus upheld the same ethic that the means of production should remain privately owned, or else He could not have taught people to be generous. You can't be "generous" with something that doesn't belong to you in the first place!

He didn't call everyone to give-up everything and follow Him as apostles. To those He did call, He promised them 100-fold in this life. To those who weren't called as apostles, Paul advised them to work and earn money so they can have enough to give to others.

Jesus' requirement of His disciples was not therefore different to the economic ethics of the Law. Jesus expemplified it.

Paul said that we fulfill the Law. That means we don't break any of the moral ethics that were beneath any point of Law.

It is the Spirit of God that empowers us to do this!


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