Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Liberals and Conservatives Unite in the Words of Christ

"Neither do I condemn you. 

Go and sin no more."

These words of Jesus, recorded in the gospel of John chapter eight, were to a woman caught in the very act of adultery. Readers of scripture today want to romanticize the story and feel sorry for the adulteress assuming that when in the presence of the Son of God she was humiliated and repentant. Yet, there is no hint of remorse or repentance in the text when she was thrown at the feet of Christ. 

What we know is that, repentant or not, Jesus gave her some astonishing words of healing.

The story is to tell more about the gospel than the adulteress. Jesus' words are for all of us who have divided our spirit with unnatural actions by engaging in masturbation, watching pornography, lusting, fornicating, living in sin before marriage, engaging in homosexuality, using contraception, having abortions or engaging in adultery. When we do those things we are shattering our souls and our lives, dividing ourselves from the truth and what is beautiful and good. 

Because so many of us, the majority of us, are enslaved to some degree in sexual sins like the woman caught in adultery, the topic has divided us between the Christians who wish to show abundant mercy to the sinner and downplay the "sin" part and the Christians who wish to show justice and obstruct the plague of sexual sin from ruining the world. 

Think about it. 
You don't find Christians arguing that thieves should be understood and that since stealing is so prevalent we need to remove the social stigma from kleptomania. Christians do not have heated theological battles over murderers being too harshly judged. But sexual sins have deeply divided Christians. Sexual sins have tempted and tested each of our hearts, so when we see others falling to sexual sin it touches our compassion button.  Our empathy manifests itself as either a passionate need to make excuses for the sinner or a passionate need to rescue the sinner with words of warning. And Christians--on both sides--look at the other's reaction to sexual sin as heartless because it is either too judgmental or too irresponsible. 

Yet in this biblical scene, if we look closely at Christ's words to the adulteress we will find the answer  as to how to deal with sexual sins that will draws Christians into unity, rather than separate us into conservative and liberal. 

Jesus said:

"Neither do I condemn you."

Here's the heart of liberalism. The good news of the gospel doesn't condemn, it redeems. It is a comforting gospel. This is what all wounded people crave to hear, for the natural law grates at our consciences and fill us with hopelessness and self-loathing. We need rest from the slavery of sin and we long to hear these words of mercy. The liberal has a soft heart for the frailty and loneliness of mankind. They feel for the addiction that results from that the tragedy of human imperfection and heartbreaks we all survive. They understand that temptation is often overwhelming and that self-discipline in a world that screams we have the right to pursue satisfaction is almost impossible. They feel the immediateness of human weakness.  

This is the heart of the liberal--mercy, hope, charity. Don't scold the hungry and downtrodden. Feed them.

"Go and sin no more."

Here is the heart of the conservative. It is a positive approach to the gospel even if it seems harsh to some. It's spirit is found in the solution to the problem. The good news of the gospel empowers us to break free from the sin that has us in its grip of enslavement. The Cross sets us free. The conservative commands, "Kill the sin, kill the demon that is destroying those we love! Go! Sin no more!" It is a gospel of the power of salvation.  There can be no mercy, no charity without eradicating sin. 
We can be holy and happy! There is no way to achieve joy and peace without turning from sin. 

This is the heart of the conservative--freedom, joy and peace. Warn the hungry and downtrodden and teach them how to never be hungry and downtrodden again.

Did Christ pit the liberal and conservative against each other? Is one theology superior to another? No. Jesus binds these two perspectives together and unites them to show the fullness of the gospel. We need mercy, hope and charity. We also must have freedom, joy and peace. These two make the perfect marriage. We cannot allow the dark forces to try and divorce these two unified pieces of theology. They must be taught together. There is no good guy or bad guy here. Both of these are truth. 

Let the conservatives and liberals embrace each other in love and mutual respect. Both are needed and both are important to the full gospel.


Marcos David Torres said...

Wow! This was awesome! Very well put. Thanks for sharing!

Arik said...

I am reminded by Paul's words in Romans 11:22 "Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God, to them which fell, severity: but toward thee, goodness, if thou will continue in His goodness: otherwise thou also shall be cutoff."

The condition of the Gospel is to "continue (abide) in His goodness" echoing Jesus' words "if you ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love" John 15:10, or "go, and sin no more."

I like the article in that it shows that we need a balanced view of the Gospel, however I am a bit perplexed by a church that recognizes the "good news of the Gospel empowers us to break free from the sin [trangression of the law 1John 3:4] that has us in its grips of enslavement" yet by changeing His law, changed what sin is. Consequently this changes the Gospel and makes it of none effect. (cf Matt. 5:19, James 2:10). And so another point we can bring out of John 8 is that self righteous judges are also condemned. A self righteous judge being one who recognizes the law as "a path of life" (Catechism 2057), "required in the love of God and love of neighbor" (2067) and "obligatory for Christians" (2068), and yet does not keep the law of God, but keeps a tradition of men in its place-(Matt. 15:2,9).

Teresa Beem said...

I was hoping to have few noncontroversial posts. However, Catholics would disagree with SDA interpretation of scripture. Catholics never would nor ever could change God's law. God's law is written on the heart and in nature. No one can try and thwart that even if they try.

Catholics could easily look at Adventists and accuse them of teaching the traditions of men. After all, your church is based in a false prophecy of Christ coming on Oct. 22, 1844. You teach last day prophecies based on a vision of a woman that is not found in scripture. You have rules for Sabbath and eating and drinking that are based in man rather than in scripture--such as no tea or coffee, no going out to eat on Sabbath, etc. Almost all of what Adventism claims as unique to its denomination is based not on scripture but on Ellen White's visions. (And her and the SDA early pioneer's interpretation of scripture.)

The idea of a "day of worship" is a tradition of man since the people of God have always worshipped daily not on any specific day of the week. Israel had special days of mandatory corporate worship annually but not weekly. It was a day of REST that God gave them not a day of worship.

All Christians Arik have traditions of man in their worship. Daily readings and prayers at home are a tradition of man and not required in the scripture. Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide are traditions of man. Some traditions are good. The Bible doesn't speak against traditions only those that contradict the Word of God.

What you are doing is pitting your brothers and sisters in Christ against yourself because you and the SDA faith have a different interpretation of scripture. Catholics NEVER reject scripture. We simply interpret it differently. When you study how the early Christians believed (before the written scriptures were even compiled INTO the Bible--when all they had was the oral word in most areas) you will find that they interpreted scriptures like the Catholics do today.

The gospel of Christ was much more like what Catholics preach than what SDAs preach. I do not mean to offend, but your church has misrepresented both Catholics and Christian history. We love you and accept you as brethren in Christ anyway.

Arik said...

I thank you for posting my comment, but quite honestly I did not think you would have a problem with what I wrote. Perhaps you became defensive too soon? We do not need to make this into a Catholic interpretation vs an Adventist interpretation of Scripture, I think in this case Scripture interprets itself, don't you think?

Doesn't Romans 11:22 show your point also, that there needs to be a balanced beholding of God? Is it not true that continuing in His goodness is to abide in His love and that comes with obedience to His commandments? After all in a previous article you said "Happiness is obeying God's will, not ours."

Your ad hoc comments of 1844, Ellen White, diet and what not only serve to divert attention away from the undisputable fact that to avoid God's severity and remain in His goodness is to be obedient to Him. A church that teaches to follow a law that God did not ordain (especially at the expense of one He did) can not possibly remain in His goodness, and can only expect severity. Is this not true?

Arik said...

"Catholics never would nor ever could change God's law. God's law is written on the heart and in nature. No one can try and thwart that even if they try."

Than please show me in Scripture where Sunday sacredness became a commandment in the Decalogue. The Decalogue in Scripture does not have the Catholic version, so when did the change take place?

Teresa Beem said...

We have been through the whole Sabbath issue before. There is an abundant amount of information on this blog that explains why the Sabbath is no longer a day but a person, Christ. My suggestion is that you type in "Sabbath" into the search engine to begin answering your question.

The Catholics absolutely have a correct understanding of the Decalogue and its growth in the New Covenant. Read the catechism to get a better understanding.

Catholics believe with all their hearts and souls that we must be obedient to Christ and His commandments. And we absolutely teach that we must follow the New Covenant Law.

Again, your misunderstanding is about interpretation of scripture.

Arik said...

You are right Teresa, we have had a few discussions before concerning the Sabbath, and I suppose it keeps coming up because of two things:

1) The Gospel produces obedient followers of Christ. If a gospel teaches its ok to NOT be obedient to Christ it is a false gospel.

2) While your articles and comments are many regarding the Sabbath, never have you yet to explain when your 3rd commandment to keep Sunday holy replaced the 4th commandment to keep the Sabbath holy. It is not in Scripture, in fact was not put in place before the New covenant was ratified by Christ's blood (like baptism and the Lord's supper). Therefore your 3rd commandment happened outside the New Covenant. Which as you know a covenant can not be changed after the Testator has died.

But we do not have to talk about the Sabbath, lets get back to your article. You are right "sexual sins have deeply divided Christians," especially Catholics in recent years. Maybe the church should heed Paul's advice that it is better to marry than to burn, by allowing priests to marry. After all in Scripture there is no law that says a priest can not. Maybe it would be a better idea to confess sins, especially those of a sexual nature to God Himself, rather than confessing sordid details to a mere man and potentially feeding his debased mind or potentially tempting him into developing one.

To me it just makes Christ's words ring more true:

"Why do you trangress the commandment of God by your tradition?....But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of God." (Matt 5:3,9)

Teresa Beem said...

You are asking for proof of something that never happened nor does the Catholic Church officially EVER claim it changed the Sabbath to Sunday. There may have been individual Catholics and even Catholic publications that made that claim, but their is no Catholic document that changes the Sabbath to Sunday.

The Catholic Church claims that the APOSTLES based upon the teachings of Christ began celebrating Sunday as a day to commemorate the Resurrection. It is not, nor ever was a Sabbath to Christians. The Sunday "obligation" to corporate worship on Sunday came centuries later but that is not because it was a Sabbath.

Again, if you read Dies Domini by JPII you will find a good explanation of this.

What Adventists misunderstand is that Christians have always worshipped on Saturday. I often go to mass on Saturday. Christians worship daily. The Sabbath was a Jewish day of REST not a mandatory weekly worship day.

Again, we've been all through this. Sunday is not and never has been a weekly Sabbath for Christians. I can't prove something that is a false premise. You set up a false premise and then want me to provide evidence? Again. That is a misunderstanding of Catholicism by Adventists.

Teresa Beem said...

As far as priestly celibacy, the scriptures support it:

Paul told the flock that it was BETTER for Christians to be like him, celibate. Jesus said some men will make themselves Eunuchs for the kingdom of God.

The rule for Roman Rite Catholics to be celibate developed in the 12th and 13th centuries by the priests themselves. The Eastern Rite Catholic priests have always been able to marry. In fact the Catholic Church I attended in Houston had a Anglican Rite Catholic priest that was married and had a couple children.

Celibate priests are a discipline not a doctrine in the Catholic Church and can be changed at any time. It is the priests themselves that keep the discipline in tact. They have repeatedly voted to keep it that way because of the problems with married priests. It is too much to be a priest and be also married.

It is not a celibate priesthood that has caused the sexual scandal in Catholicism, it is that they allowed homosexuals with sexual attractions to young boys to become priests. 80% of the sexual abuse was to pre-adolescent boys and adolescent boys.

It is a scandal and heartbreak beyond measure but let us not misunderstand what happened. Celibacy doesn't turn healthy heterosexual men into homosexual pedophiles. Heterosexual men fall with grown women not children.

There is a good debate about whether to continue the celibate priesthood and we should have it, but let's not confuse the issue. And one other note.

The media has made it seem as if Catholic priests had MORE sexual abuse than other groups. Not so. Priests abuse at the same rate or less than other groups. In fact, Loma Linda University studies show that Adventists have a higher sexual abuse rate than Catholics.

Teresa Beem said...

As far as confessing to a priest: There are many texts in scripture that indicate we are to confess to others aloud.
Matthew 3:6, "and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins."
James 5:16, "Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective."
1 John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
Acts 19:18, "Also many of those who became believers confessed and disclosed their practices."

The early church required people to confess aloud to the whole congregation. As time went on, the church decided that it would be better for people to confess to priests in a private situation.

These confessions are based upon the words of Jesus recorded by John in chapter 20:21-23. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."

Just as God breathed into Adam the gift of life and began the human race, so again God breathed on man after His resurrection that He might create a NEW human race--a new Adam in His Holy Church with Himself as the head. These leaders of His new church were given the right to forgive in His behalf. This is why the Catholics have confession, because it was instigated by God Himself. I know you and many Protestants would disagree with Catholic interpretation of Christ's words but that is just a matter of individual opinions. Catholics sincerely obey the Word of God as His words have been understood for two millennia. You of course have the right to disagree, but please do it in charity. God bless.

Arik said...

"Sunday is not and never has been a weekly Sabbath for Christians. I can't prove something that is a false premise. You set up a false premise and then want me to provide evidence? Again. That is a misunderstanding of Catholicism by Adventists."- Teresa

Here is a quote from Dies Domini: "14. In the first place, therefore, Sunday is the day of rest because it is the day "blessed" by God and "made holy" by him, set apart from the other days to be, among all of them, "the Lord's Day".

Teresa you need to stop the double talk, and just show me when, where and how did the Decalogue in Scripture that shows the 4th commandment to keep the seventh day holy become the third commandment to keep Sunday holy in the Catholic catechism? It is a simple question that you continue to dodge with double talk; perhaps because you will have to admit the obvious, that the change in the law happened by the Catholic church and not God?

Teresa Beem said...

Read all of Dies Domini. It clearly says Sunday isn't the weekly Sabbath. It is the first/eighth day in scripture not the seventh. You seemed to persist in your need to misunderstand. But that is understandable itself because if you truly understood you would have to give up your cherished beliefs.

Blessings on you and we will have to agree to disagree on this one... always respectfully.

Arik said...

Because I disagree with you is not an indication that I misunderstand you. The fact that you continue to redirect my very simple question tells me it is you who chooses not to understand, maybe you have thought about the implications of your answer?

All I am asking from you is to back up your claim that the Catholic church "never would or ever could change God's law." I maintain that they did. You could settle this very easily by showing how the 4th commandment in the Decalogue to keep the Sabbath day holy became the third commandment
to keep Sunday holy. Paul says to always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you. But so far you have not followed his council.

The New Covenant according to Scripture is the writing of the law into the heart and mind (Heb. 8:10) which is where God always wanted the law to be (Deut 5:29,6:6). Now we know for sure that the New Covenant went into effect at the cross, being ratified by our Saviour's blood. We also know that a covenant can not be changed after the covenant maker has died (Heb. 9:15-17, Gal. 3:15). According to Scripture and the Catholic Catechism the ten commandments are still binding under the New Covenant, being "required in the love of God and the love of neighbor" (2067).

Of course we also know that Jesus incorporated baptism and the Lord's Supper into the New Covenant BEFORE He died, after all, after He dies the covenant can not be changed. What He did not do is incorporate Sunday sacredness into the New Covenant, nor He did incorporate it into the Decalogue as part of the law written into our heart and mind BEFORE He died.

I must persist in thinking you owe an explanation as to how Sunday sacredness became the 3rd commandment of God's law and how the Catholic Church can prove that this commandment is part of the New Covenant that can not be changed after the covenant maker has died?

Teresa Beem said...

Since I was an SDA and am a Catholic I understand thoroughly both positions. I can tell you from first-hand experience that you do not understand Catholic doctrines nor their biblical perspective. We are comparing apples and oranges and I can't compare them as two apples. Doesn't philosophically nor theologically nor biblically work.

Arik said...

Another non answer that I have come to expect. I am not asking you to compare the Sabbath with Sunday, and I am glad you recognize that there is no comparison although Dies Domini as well as your catechism makes comparisons between the two all the time.

You see another problem I have besides the fact that Sunday developed as a law after the New Covenant was in force, and is not part of the New Covenant, is that Catholics as well as many others claim the Sabbath commandment was nailed at the cross. That would mean that in the mean time while the church was developing the 3rd commandment some few hundred years after Christ there was only nine commandments? Seems strange to me that the Catholic church that claims that the Decalogue (meaning ten)is still binding, and is to be interpreted as love for God and neighbor, doesn't address this.

Unless of course it is true that the Decalogue is binding and part of the New Covenant and somewhere in history a change in the law occurred. Maybe the Catholic church realized there were only nine commandments and said "wait a minute, there should be ten" and created the 3rd commandment to make the Decalogue complete?

All I am asking is for you to tell me when did the 4th commandment to keep the Sabbath holy become the 3rd commandment to keep Sunday holy? If you maintain that the your church did not change the law, you must admit that a change in the law took place. In Scripture the Decalogue that your church recognizes as love as its underlying principle has the 4th commandment to keep Sabbatrh holy, but your Catechism shows the 3rd commandment to keep Sunday holy, when did the change take place?

Teresa Beem said...

Let me begin with a prayer.
"Holy God and Father of Creation. We ask that you will come and enlighten our understanding of you and that our understanding of each other will increase. We ask for love and patience and trust and respect for each other be abundantly poured down with holy grace from your throne. Amen."

Okay, I have just a few minutes and I pray that I can explain this so there will be mutual comprehension.

The Catholics believe that God's law is natural. Their are natural laws and supernatual laws as well as natural truths and supernatural truths. Catholics also believe in a progression and development of truth. Truth NEVER CHANGES it develops.

The Ten Commandments of the Old Covenant are still part of the NATURAL Laws that will always be in existence. But the NATURAL LAWS are much, much more than JUST the Ten Commandments. The Ten were BASED upon the Natural laws not the other way around. The Ten were like a cup of water drawn from the source of the well. We will ALWAYS throughout eternity love God and each other. That is the WELL ITSELF all, ALL laws are drawn from this INFINITE well of love.

As history developed, the cup of water drawn from this well is different. Once a cup is drawn and drunk it is not put back in, in a sense. The Ten are DRAWN from this well of love, but they are not the same "cup" as the New Covenant.

Yes, forever no one will murder (as in the OT law) but the progressive/development of the mystery of salvation was REVEALED in Christ and a new "cup" or covenant. NOW the law isn't "thou shalt not murder" it is infinitely better. Now we are to LOVE our enemy and do good to him and pray for him. This does not negate the old law but perfects it. It has reached its fulfillment IN LOVE!! Jesus came and gave us this understanding on the mount of Olives.

Teresa Beem said...

When Christ came, He brought us, through His grace the supernatural Covenant! It is eternal. It fulfills the Old Covenant and now brings in a NEW SUPERNATURAL Covenant that doesn't negate the Ten, but fulfills them, perfects them in love. It is a new "cup" from the infinite well of natural and supernatural water. It isn't the same cup, it is different, different water, but from the exact same source. That is what Catholics MEAN when they say the Ten are not negated, for they are drawn from the same well. But it is NOT the same law. The law has been fulfilled as has the Levitical priesthood. There is a new priesthood in the order of Melchezidek and a new law. (Same source, though.)

Now, our law and new covenant is based upon a BETTER understanding of God, through Christ. Now, we see the old law as a shadow--a outline and a dim shape of the new. We look BACK at the old through the lens of the new. Through Christ we understand the old law better. Why it was a temporal law meant to be fulfilled. It wasn't eternal but only a cupful of the eternal. ALL TEN of the laws were fulfilled in Christ and brought to a new platform and perfection. We now not only do not commit adultery, we do not lust! We not only do not just be respectful to our parents, we are to be respectful to ALL people! We not only NOT covet--we give freely! The Old Covenant was incomplete: It did not deal with the deadliest sins of pride and selfishness. The new does. There is nothing about baptism, nor the Lord's Supper, nor faith in the Old Covenant. It was perfect FOR ITS TIME, but it was incomplete. Jesus completed it.

Christian Sundays have NO law attached to it! Catholics attend Sunday mass not because it is the sabbath of the Ten Commandments, but because it is a church discipline based on "Do not forget to assemble together." The church could change the day at any moment for the Catholics are told to attend Sunday services as a "club rule" not as a doctrine or dogma. (It's like clerical celibacy--it is how the church runs smoothly and best. The church does not claim God made it a mandatory sabbath day. It is HOLY not because it is sabbath but because it is the day Christ rose from the dead in fulfillment of the scriptures.) It may draw some similarities from the Jewish seventh-day Sabbath but they are only shadows and outlines. Just as baptism draws from the Jewish circumcision. They are NOT the same and yet BOTH are the entry way to each covenant.

Teresa Beem said...

Adventists are of the mindset that God created a "DAY" of worship. That is simply not a true understanding of God's plan. He had a day of REST, not a day of worship. ALL days are days of worship. Israel worshipped daily. God did not call a mandatory corporate weekly day of worship, but once in the promised land.... there were three times of mandatory corporate worships and these also were called SABBATHS because they were to rest AS WELL as worship on these annual Sabbaths. And many did not fall on Saturdays or the 7th day. Sabbaths, holy mandatory rest days were on other days rather then the weekly Sabbath.

So, Adventists first need to understand that there IS NO DAY of worship. All days--including Sunday--are days of corporate worship for Christians.

Once that is understood, we then get to the Sabbath "rest" issue. Again, Christians since the beginning have seen the Sabbath rest as fulfilled in the New Covenant. Through the New Covenant IN Christ and His revealing of the mystery of salvation, we see the shadow of the day of rest fulfilled in Christ Himself "Come unto me all ye who labor and are heavy laden and I WILL GIVE YOU REST!" The Sabbath POINTED to Christ. It was the weekly rite that was to lead men to understand who Christ was when He came! All the Old Covenant was set up for this purpose--that Israel would testify to the coming Messiah through its rites and rituals not only so they would recognize the Messiah when He came but so the WORLD would know when He came.

The Sabbath rest all pointed to the final Sabbath rest when Christ was in the tomb. Christ's rest from his work of SALVATION! It pointed to the end and fulfillment of the Old Covenant. Sunday was the NEW CREATION--the first and eighth day of a NEW WORLD.... Now a church, the Bride, the Ark was born from the Old Covenant. The Sabbath took on flesh and now we rest IN HIM! The day became EVERY DAY!! The rest was perfected.

The doctrinal development of Sunday (over the centuries) took on sabbatarian similarities. As theologians looked at Sabbath (the end of the Old Testament) and Sunday (the beginning of the New Covenant) they began seeing similarities and would write about them. But again, just as baptism resembles circumcision.... they are not the same.... but the symbolism is drawn from the same well of truth.

So there is NO Biblical proof-text about Sunday being a Christian Sabbath. There never was. There is no proof-text for the Trinity, or circumcision becoming baptism, or even a text in the bible that gives us the books that are supposed to be included in scripture. These new Covenant rites and doctrines are drawn from the eternal well of truth. Christianity attests to it by her very life as the Bride, as the ark and as the Body of Christ. We know because God spoke through the Apostles and guides His Church. The Bible supports this and attests to it.

Hope this helped. Pray about it. Blessings Arik!

Arik said...

"...nor does the Catholic Church officially EVER claim it changed the Sabbath to Sunday."

2190 The sabbath, which represented the completion of the first creation, has been replaced by Sunday which recalls the new creation inaugurated by the Resurrection of Christ.

This replacement did not happen in Scripture but only by your church, so you can not claim the church never changed the Sabbath to Sunday for very clearly the Catechism teaches that Sunday replaced the Sabbath. According to Dies Domini all attributes that are given to the Sabbath are now given to Sunday.

The ten commandments are not based on natural law, they are based on love. Your Catechism, is very clear "2055 The Decalogue must be interpreted in light of this twofold yet single commandment of love, the fullness of the Law:"

2062 The Commandments properly so-called come in the second place: they express the implications of
belonging to God through the establishment of the covenant. Moral existence is a response to the Lord's loving initiative.

2067 The Ten Commandments state what is required in the love of God and love of neighbor.

So this makes the ten commandments moral law not natural law. A law that expresses love, which puting two and two together "God is love", His law is love, therefore His law is a reflection of His charachter! Your idea of natural law can not be substantiated by Scripture.

"Christian Sundays have NO law attached to it!"

2058 "The "ten words" sum up and proclaim God's LAW"

2068 The Council of Trent teaches that the Ten Commandments [law]are obligatory for Christians and that the justified man is still bound to keep them"

2072 "...No one can dispense from them. the Ten Commandments are engraved by God in the human heart.

This makes them part of the New Covenant because the New Covenant is the writing of the law in the heart and mind. (Hebrews 8).

Since you only quoted one Scripture lets take a look at what Jesus does say: "Come to Me and I will give you rest" He does not say He is the rest, He says He gives rest, the same rest He offered to Israel and they failed to receive it because of their unbelief! (Hebrews 4). But notice carefully that Paul in describing this rest that still remains is not linked to Sunday, not linked to the Sabbath being fulfilled in Christ but rather it is linked to the Sabbath Day at creation: Hebrews 4:3-4 "For we who have believed do enter into that REST....although the works were finished from the FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD. For He has spoken of the Seventh Day in this way "And God rested on the Seventh Day from all His works." What a perfect opportunity for Paul (presumably) to clear up any question as to what the Sabbath is a symbol of, it is a symbol of entering into His rest. He did not say a thing about Sunday and rest, he did not say a thing about Sunday replacing the Sabbath, He did not say there is a new day of rest into the Decalogue, he did not say Jesus is the rest or Jesus fulfilled the Sabbath. And what a perfect opportunity to say all that you have said!

Arik said...

"The Old Covenant was incomplete: It did not deal with the deadliest sins of pride and selfishness. The new does. There is nothing about baptism, nor the Lord's Supper, nor faith in the Old Covenant. It was perfect FOR ITS TIME, but it was incomplete. Jesus completed it."

No faith in the Old Covenant? Apparently you have not read Hebrews 11 "By faith Abel"..."By faith Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Sarah" and so on. This tells me you do not see the Gospel in the OT at all. What a shame you think that in the OT it was ok to lust, ok to hate your enemies, ok not to give freely, ok to be selfish. When David cried out for God to create in him a clean heart was God limited to only writing an "old law" into his heart because after all the "new law" hadn't come yet? When God wanted Israel to put His law in their heart and mind and as frontlets between there eyes was it limited in its power to reveal the character of God? Or how about when David says that "the law of the Lord is perfect converting the soul" that some how perfect wasn't perfect it was incomplete and David's conversion was less than someone in the NT? What a false dichotomy between the OT and NT! Truth is they were saved the same way we are by grace through faith!

To sum it up:

The church replaced the Sabbath with Sunday.
The church incorporated Sunday sacredness into the Decalogue as law.

What you are really doing is changing God's own words "I come not to abolish the law but to fulfill"....and by fulfilling it I abolished the Sabbath law and replaced with a Sunday law.

I must maintain that God's moral law reflecting His charachter of love can not change! You would do good to heed your own Catechism in this respect:

2069 The Decalogue forms a coherent whole. Each "word" refers to each of the others and to all of them; they reciprocally condition one another. the two tables shed light on one another; they form an organic unity. To transgress one commandment is to infringe all the others.

Teresa Beem said...

I don't know what to write more on the subject. I think we have exhausted it unless you are open to rethinking your SDA position. Until that time, I think we can simply let the issue rest and pray for each other. God bless.

Arik said...

Teresa, all I wanted you to do is tell me when did the Sabbath commandment of God's law become the commandment to keep Sunday holy? I did not want your contradicting idealism and philosophy. Nor did I want you to change my question as though I am speaking merely about a day of worship.

I have been able to prove from your own writings that Sunday replaced the Sabbath in all its form and function and that Sunday sacredness is indeed law. I am really beginning to think I understand Catholicism more than you do.

It is really outrageous to believe that Jesus elevated the moral law to a level not existent in the OT. If you would look closely at Jesus' sermon on the mount in Matt. 5 He is repeatedly saying "You have heard that it was said" over and over. Notice He is not saying "It is written". That should tell you that His purpose here is not to make it "infinately better" than it was in the OT, but to restore it from the rabbinical causistry so dominate during His time. He simply was bringing out the spirit of the law, giving His "authentic and authoritative interpretation" (see catechism #2173).

I guess at the root of our differences is that like most people, there is a great number that simply do not see the Gospel in the OT under any of the covenants. Despite Jesus Himself saying that Abraham and Moses both testified of Him. The New Covenant or the everlasting Covenant is the same Covenant made with Abraham. Careful Bible Study would show that plainly. The "Old" Covenant made with Israel was always meant to be temporary and was only a means to understand and receive the Everlasting Covenant experience made with Abraham and His seed (those that did the works of Abraham)and later ratified by Christ Himself. When the Old Covenant passed away, being made on the faulty promises of the people to obey God in their own power, it was not the Ten Commandments themselves that passed away, they are moral law, but the self reliance of Israel. Didn't you ever wonder why God said "Oh that they had such a heart in them?" (Deut 5:29) or why He insisted to have His law to be "in their heart?" (Deut 6:6). God has always only been interested in heart religion and never an outward ritualistic or legalistic religion. How can you maintain that the moral law of God Himself that He wanted written in the heart of Israel would be any different than the law He writes in our heart? We are Israelites, we are heirs to the promises made to Abraham!

The Ten commandments themselves (not the Catholic version)as given
and written by God contain the Gospel itself. Did you know that the second and fourth commandment contain more words than the other 8 commandments combined? In the Second commandment: Gen 20:60"but showing mercy to thousands to those who love Me and keep My commandments" (cf John 14:15), I don't know about you but thats the Gosepl! And who is this God who brings mercy to thousands? The 4th commandment testifies that it is our Creator who made the heavens and the earth and rested, blessed and hallowed the Sabbath day!

You thinking to substitute another law being written into our heart and mind is no different than the sacrifice of Cain.

Teresa Beem said...

I have answered your question numerous times. Evidently this is some type of non-communication problem we are having. Perhaps if a Catholic man were to answer your question it would hit your "aha!" understanding button.

Calling a Catholic Apologist who is male!
If there is a Catholic apologist out there who is male and has the time to take this question on for Arik, please help him out. He is evidently interested in an answer that for some reason of miscommunication he is not getting from me.

Arik, I hope you are able to find the answers you are so diligently seeking. God bless.

Anonymous said...

Reading this conversation between Teresa and Arik, my question is: what's the point? It seems that, for Arik, Christianity centers on obeying the commandment about the Sabbath. Is this the real essence of a christian? Resting and worshiping on Saturday? I don't think the first christians were identified by the day they worshiped.
And IF Jesus founded a church, which church is it? And if he founded a church, it seems logical that this church has his power.
I apologize for my simple questions, but they come from the heart. I am not an apologist, so I cannot answer to Arik.
Blessings to all!

Arik said...

Christianity does not center on law keeping, it centers on Christ of course. With that said, the Gospel is dying to self and being reborn in the likeness of Christ, living by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. As Jesus said many honor Him with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. If we love God we must obey Him, we must be obedient to His law. You would not think much of a person who claims to follow Christ and remains a thief, a liar, or a blasphemer would you? Would that person be able to say to you that Christianity does not center around keeping these commandments? Remember the New Covenant is the writing of the law into the heart and mind, the law being a manifestation of love is synonymous with writing Christ into our heart and mind. This is the Gospel.

Scripture is clear as well as the Catechism that all the commandments center around love (for God and man) and all make a complete whole, change one and you have changed love, even the Sabbath. God said to "Remember the Sabbath day...", Teresa won't say it, but her church admits it transferred the Sabbath to Sunday. Does it matter? Do we have the right to change God's moral law?

The Catholic Catechism is very clear that keeping the ten commandments is obligatory, that is not legalism it is the truth. Obedience is love, disobedience is sin. This is why I can not accept Catholicism as the Gospel, it does not teach true obedience.