In this episode, the group discusses the contextual differences in Old Testament and Pharisaical Laws and how when Jesus became our High Priest in the New Testament, he brought a new Law.
- Michael LeFebvre – American Presbyterian Minister and fellow with the Center for Pastor Theologians
- Hebrews 8:13
Transcript – Was Old Testament Punishment Harsher?
00:00:00:07 – 00:00:25:04
Why are there harsher penalties for sin in the Old Testament? Today on Where We Begin.
00:00:25:04 – 00:00:46:03
Welcome back to Where We Begin: a podcast where we answer some of the toughest objections to Christianity today. I’m your host, Derek Caldwell, joined once again by Alycia, Lou and Xandra, my esteemed panel of colleagues. The healthiest way to prepare colleagues is actually steamed. I apologize for that.
00:00:48:00 – 00:00:48:01
00:00:48:23 – 00:00:54:03
I mean, he was doing so good with the “esteemed.” I’m like, wow, that was like really genuine and like nice and everything.
00:00:56:01 – 00:01:21:20
That wasn’t even planned and I wish I could start over, but we can’t. I’m kind of a one-take guy. I refuse to do anything else. So we’re going to – a lot of times for some of our more difficult questions, it’s good to have as much time as we can to answer them. So we’re going to jump in today. This one, I think, will be difficult. You don’t know it. Obviously, you never know the questions. But if you want to blame anyone, this was actually a friend of Xandra’s who sent this. And normally.
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00:01:22:12 – 00:01:29:02
Yeah, normally it’s other people. So we – sort of faceless people. We can’t really blame them. But I’ll talk to you about this after.
00:01:29:04 – 00:01:31:04
Yeah, I’m really curious who it was.
00:01:31:16 – 00:03:41:07
So I’ll just jump right in. So the question is like I said, very difficult, and I’ll just read it to you as she wrote it. “If homosexuality and other sexual sins were punishable by death in the Old Testament, how do we reconcile that with the Christian ethics regarding human life today? Why was it OK to murder people in the Old Testament for sins but today we would abhor someone being put to death for being gay or committing adultery on their spouse?” And so the text she’s referring to, I mean, most of the time when people ask this question, it’s a question on the death penalty. But mainly right now, it’s a question about homosexuality and the treatment of of gay people in the Old Testament. And so just to get to the text in question, it’s Leviticus 20 verse 13, “If a man has sexual relations with a man, as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.” So I thought today, you know, a lot of times when we answer this question, we say, oh, but it’s different now. But we still have to wrestle with the fact that it was this text was there in the first place, I think. And sometimes we jump quickly to “it’s different now.” It’s clearly different now but it would be good to understand why and what was going on maybe originally in that context. So, you know, so the first question, I think, that will be helpful to jump into this is this. In its original context, what was the law? Because Jesus said the law was all about love for God and neighbor. He’s interpreting the Old Testament law. So that everything hangs on that: the Law, the Prophets, everything. But this seems, this could seem to people, like love for a hateful God and hate for a loving neighbor. So explain to me, like, why was the law like this? Why the death penalty? I mean, try to get into, if you can, explain like what was actually going on there?
00:03:42:10 – 00:07:40:06
Well, I can, I guess, say a couple of things. I think also, one thing for us, actually, to keep in mind, in general, when it comes to a lot of things in the Old Testament, is we have a tendency to interpret it as if the Bible was written this year. This is a very different culture. This is a very different era. This is a very different relationship, a very unique, I should say, very unique relationship with God and where it’s pretty much like a theocracy where God is like ruling, governing. Here’s the rules. Here are the things to follow. And so this relationship with his people that’s talked about in Leviticus is unique in the sense of he is demonstrating multiple things through the Old Testament laws. He’s demonstrating, number one, that first of all, look at all these cultures around you. Look how everybody else is living. And I actually want you to live different. Now, we look at a lot of these things and we think that they’re ludicrous. And I’ll get to the sexuality thing in a bit. But I’m just speaking generally still. We look at a lot of these laws in the Old Testament and they seem to be silly. They seem to not make sense. Understand that there’s different levels. Some are moral laws, some are – these are the certain kind of ways and processes I want you to handle for certain ceremonies. Some of them have to do with governance. Like, you know, like we have stop signs today and we’ve got red, yellow and green lights. Like those are just civil, kind of government – governmental laws that kind of help maintain order. So not everything is a moral law. Not everything is a civil law, et cetera. But the point is, God is ultimately trying to help bring people from – away from their culture into slowly bringing people to where he wants them to be. This work isn’t finished until you see more New Testament times. But this transition is beginning. And so you’re dealing with cultures that are sacrificing their children to their gods, that are using women however they may want to use them. They’re doing all kind of things. And so for God to, number one, come in when it comes to Old Testament laws and just take people from where they are to bring them, you know, a complete swing to – don’t do any of this stuff. It would be so radical. So, it’s like you see this gradual shift of how God is making these rules to help people to realize ‘this is how I want you to live.’ But along with that, there’s also a very – there’s a greater realization, I think, in the Old Testament for sin than we have the New Testament. And I think because we’re living on this side of the cross, it’s easy for us to think, oh, I did something wrong to you, Lou. Oh, my bad. No big deal. That is because Jesus has offered us so much forgiveness and so much grace. That we don’t – we’ve almost lost the gravity or the weight of the sin in the things that we do wrong. The Old Testament does not lose that at all. It lets us know very clearly that these things that you do are horrible, they’re evil, they cost life, there’s consequences, and all of these things. And so that is part of the framework behind a lot of these Old Testament passages in general – is help people realize “my standard of moral goodness and perfection is here. You guys are way down here, and I’m slowly trying to bring you into this place. But you have to understand the gravity of these things that they’re actually pretty serious, that you do wrong and is trying to make – bring people on this journey from being an impure people to slowly bringing them into a pure people.” But they always fall short. The Old Testament is “do these things and our relationship will be great.” And then they always fall short. They always mess up. It breaks the relationship. It breaks what God is trying to do with them. And so they can never actually hit the standard that God wants them to hit. They’re constantly falling short of the standard. And so this system in the Old Testament isn’t working, which is why God sets up a new system in the New Testament. But I’m jumping ahead.
00:07:41:00 – 00:10:32:07
I think what’s important when we look at the Law, the Torah, I mean, the first five books of Scripture, is we need to follow the storyline of it. And that’s the thing – I think it’s very difficult for me, as a modern day reader, to do because you want to take them, each book, individually, but then you have to also then see this underlying theme and story that’s going on. Like, one thing that I always say – people be like, well, you know, there’s 613 right, 613 commands or laws, or however you want to describe it, within the Old Testament? But it’s interesting because they don’t all come out at once. It’s not like, Oh, and by the way, here are the 613. It’s like, here’s 10 – you’re failing. Here’s another – you’re failing again. Here’s another. So that should intrigue us, the way we’re reading it, because it tells you this is – there’s something more going on than simply “here’s a set of rules.” But why this still applies – to the question – to specifically, why is this still applying? Because I get this question all the time. Because it’s like you’re inconsistent. You try to say you’re a Christian, you know, but what’s going on in this? But I do want to just even challenge the notion that this seems unfairly towards a certain group of people. If you look at a lot of things from Leviticus, just the chapter right before it, on laws against eating blood, and then directly after this, about just even adultery, the answer’s still the same for every single person. It’s not good, right? And so this wasn’t an arbitrary like, oh, God is very anti-gay. Because that’s the way it’s actually read today. It’s like, see, your God is this. It’s like, no, actually, that’s not what’s being said. There’s a lot of things where the moment any infraction – like any breaking of that law – and we also gotta realize, like, the narrative too is God brought a people out of slavery. Had a relationship with us. I am the Lord your God. Not just A God, I am YOUR God. And here are stipulations to the covenant I’m bringing with you. Like that’s what’s going on here. It’s not just this arbitrary list. And then he’s like, but why is he doing that? Well, so now they’re coming out of slavery. It’s like, now I’m going to set this people aside and, in some ways, consecrate themselves to me to then be a blessing to the world and also highlight this greater narrative of the fact that what really needs to happen is that it’s not about you following rules, it’s actually you need a heart renewed. And Moses actually says this in Deuteronomy. He’s pretty much saying like, look, you’re about to go into something. You’re not going to be able to do it. Like, you need a new heart and none of you have it. And then all of a sudden – and, by the way, we see that through the next books and then also through the prophets. So, that’s the narrative that if we don’t see that, we don’t understand why Christ has to come, we don’t understand all of this language when it comes to what is the law, what’s this new covenant, and why does it matter. But I think it’s essential to know and there, gosh, there’s so much more there. But I don’t.
00:10:33:15 – 00:11:24:07
Well, to your point too, just to point out, later in the same chapter in Leviticus 20:23, specifically it said, “You must not live according to the customs of the nations I’m going to drive out before you. Because they did all these things, I abhorred them.” So it is related to, like you said, God is trying to teach this people who almost don’t know how – they’ve been so oppressed for so long without the ability to do the things that you need to do to run a society and to live morally. And, also it’s a very heavy thing to have to then be held accountable to the covenant. At such the high standard that it requires to allow. Because God is really wanting his Holiness to be able to – He wants to dwell with his people and it’s sort of setting that up. But yeah, Xandra.
00:11:24:19 – 00:13:49:09
Yeah, I would just – just to build on what Lou and Alycia already said, I think that sometimes when people read this, they might think, oh, man, this is so harsh. This seems so unfair and so harsh. But to both Alycia and Lou’s points, like God was all about holiness and being set apart and having his people be different and be set apart. And I guess if you were to compare and contrast this with other, you know, legal documents from the Near East at that time, you would see a lot of similarities and a lot of differences that really pinpoint this. Like the law that we see in Leviticus shows so much grace where other people didn’t. You can think about even, like, the slave laws where if you take, for example, the Eshnunna, which is a Mesopotamian legal collection, it said if you found a slave that had escaped from their master, you had to bring the slave back to its master, and if you didn’t, you were punished. What do you see in the Old Testament? You’re not supposed to bring them back to their master. In fact, you’re forbidden from returning that slave. If they’ve escaped, you leave them alone. So it’s very, very different. Animal laws look very different, right? If you look at animal laws and like the Code of Hammurabi, and things like that. So, we do see a lot of grace in the Old Testament where other legal collections were a lot harsher. You know, if your son did something wrong, then you’d be killed for it. Or if you did something wrong, your son would be killed for it. You don’t see that in the Old Testament the same way, but then you see things that are more strict. And this plays out, again with the person who came to fulfill the Law, with Jesus, where he takes these things and he says, you know, the law told you this. You know, here’s what’s going to happen if you commit adultery. Here’s what’s going to happen if you murder. What I say to you, if you’re angry with your father in your heart or your brother in your heart, you’ve already committed murder in your heart against – it’s the same thing. So, there is a sense of set-apartness and there’s also this sense of like, you know, you read these laws like Jubilee which don’t occur in any other context from that time period. Where a family gets to come back to their land even if they lost it, fair and square. There’s so many second chances that we see in our particular legal document. So, and again, I know that’s pointing forward to Christ and I have so much to say about him, but maybe we’ll wait on that.
00:13:49:15 – 00:14:21:18
It’s interesting, too, because even in that, it’s almost this forward thinking thing, you know, specifically Jubilee. God knows we have to end generational poverty, which is essentially what that does. Which is, you know, we’ve seen in our own context how difficult that can be and how brutal it can be when you can’t get out of that cycle. So, very fascinating. I just wanted to bring up too, real quick, I’m just a lowly host, but I wanted to bring up Lou’s holding his mouth in an odd way, like he has something to say.
00:14:21:18 – 00:14:22:17
No, no, I’m listening.
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Oh ok, sorry. It looked like you’re about to say.
00:14:25:00 – 00:14:33:00
No, no. I’m just challenging that you’re a lowly host. You know far – “Just say it” is what I’m saying. Share with us the knowledge.
00:14:33:00 – 00:14:33:22
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
00:14:33:23 – 00:14:36:02
Derek is a brilliant theologian. Some people don’t
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00:14:36:09 – 00:14:38:03
So that’s why he’s making that face.
00:14:38:22 – 00:16:38:02
But one of the – if anyone hasn’t read – so there’s a website, I think it’s hebraicthought.org or .com – but get on there and read some of the stuff by Michael LeFebvre who, you know a good – great guy, friend of mine also happens to be an Old Testament scholar and he’s done a lot of work on the law. And I just think it’s intriguing because he is sort of trying to bring back what the law was in its original context. And a lot of times we run into issues when we interpret the law because we’re interpreting it as if how we view law in the West is the same way law was viewed in the East. And so it would just be fascinating, I think, for people to get into that and see that Torah literally means like instruction or guidance. You know, it’s the law is a lot like wisdom literature. And you can point out and see a lot of the times when – so like, in the Old Testament law, murder is one of the types of laws that if you do that, there’s nothing you can do to get out of the death penalty. Anything else looks like you could pay ransoms to get out of being killed for what you were caught doing. Murder, you couldn’t. But then, even in that, when you see murder happening in the Old Testament, a lot of times there’s grace given to those people who the law is saying they should be killed. So actually the law was meant to be a lot more merciful. And what – and essentially what Jesus is then arguing with later in the New Testament is sort of the more harsher version of the law that was created later. And so a lot of times when we say I can’t believe the law would say that and do that to people, we actually have a pharisaical interpretation of the law that didn’t exist for the Old Testament, for Jesus. And so, it’s just kind of a fascinating sort of thing that I wasn’t aware of until the last couple of years of like understanding what was the law in its original context. So yeah, I think for this, it’s kind of – it can be helpful for people to kind of get a little bit of that in context.
00:16:38:06 – 00:18:26:00
And I do think we’re still in that problem because I don’t at all want to evade this question. Because somebody is like, no, it’s really hard to read that. And I don’t think there actually is an interpretation that’s going to let anyone just be, oh, oh, that’s good. OK, I understand. It’s like, no, it’s actually really tough. And the reason why it’s so tough is because, I mean, Xandra touched on this, the holiness of God is really, really hard to grasp. And we really think that God has never any right to take life because we, at the same time, we think he’s kind of like us. And when another human being takes another life, you’re like, you don’t deserve it. You’re another created being. We don’t ever see God in his proper lens. And even so, like when we have a past like this where, again, there are so many examples of like, dang, like, that seems harsh. I didn’t realize just eating blood was a problem here. It’s not like you cherry – like, I think people love to cherry pick this passage because they love to actually demonize Christianity and – here’s the problem, rightly so. So many people have used this passage which, quite frankly, anybody trying to apply that passage to a modern – I want to challenge them because actually under a new covenant that’s not applied to you in the same way. And that’s the other problem we’re dealing with here. It’s like, so many people are trying to defend our Christian ethic by going to Levitical law. It’s like, do you understand what’s going on in the New Testament? So that’s not the right thing to do. But we need to understand, like, that the demonization of Christianity, because it has been abused flat out, it just has. And people have used passages like this to then do things that were not something inside – that doesn’t take away from the fact that you have to view this passage specifically within its context and what it’s saying and not just again, bring it directly in the 21st century. But that’s a very difficult thing to do and it’s something I struggle to do every single day because I want it to then go right directly to me.
00:18:26:15 – 00:19:18:17
Well, let’s – so lean into that a bit more. Maybe you guys can talk about that now. There has been a change. There is a new covenant and it’s different. The law, you know, Jesus fulfilled the law. What does that mean? It still applies to us but parts don’t or doesn’t like it did before. Like, what is this? And there is a lot of, obviously – there’s a lot of debate on the continuity and discontinuity of these things. But I would love to hear your takes on. Why is it different? If the God of the Old Testament and Jesus are the same being, different persons, perhaps. But actually it’s not really differentiated in the Old Testament. And Jude refers to Jesus being in the Exodus. But you know, if they’re the same, why does it change? if God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow?
00:19:19:18 – 00:19:21:09
So. Oh, go ahead.
00:19:21:18 – 00:21:02:16
Oh, I was just thinking of – I – actually and this just randomly popped into my head. This morning I was reading Galatians and Alycia, maybe our brains have gotten to the same place. But this morning I read the first three chapters of Galatians and I was remembering just now what I read in Galatians 3 starting at verse 24, it says, “So then the law was our guardian until Christ came. In order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we’re no longer under a guardian.” And when I read that, I thought about all the times I’ve been on a plane, like we all travel all the time on planes, and sometimes you see that little kid who’s traveling and they’re unaccompanied by an adult. So they’ll send, the airline will send, a guardian to go with them, to sit with them, make sure that they, you know, get all their bags checked and do all the things they need to do. And then when they get to their destination and they’re reunited with their family member and they’re in the place they’re supposed to be, there’s no longer a need for that guardian. And they go back to whatever they were doing before. So they kind of help to shepherd or oversee that person because they need help until they can get where they’re going. And so I kind of see that as Christ is our family and he’s our home and he’s our destination. But we, as God’s people, needed the law to be our guardian, in a sense. And there’s so many other facets to it that we could touch on about what the law does. And I have like a million thoughts in my head right now, but I’ll just end it there for now. I just felt like maybe I should mention that as well into the conversation.
00:21:03:12 – 00:24:30:23
And I think to really, I guess, grab a hold of this, I think I would have to go back to maybe the whole Tabernacle/Temple system. And the reason why is we just talked about this idea of there being this kind of old covenant or old relationship that humans – that describe the humans and God. That describe that relationship between humans and God. But we didn’t talk about the fact that there was also a high priest. And so when you think back to the Tabernacle System, and you have this high priest who would go in once a year and the Day of Atonement and would make a sacrifice on behalf of the sins of the people. We’d bring blood. We’d bring incense from the altar of incense. And these were temporary things. Every year the high priest had to go in there. This high priest had to make atonement for theirselves because they were a sinner. And even when they went in, and only they could go in, the people couldn’t go in. So there was – people could not go in. So even though the sacrifice is happening, and it was a temporary way to avert God’s wrath and their sin. It wasn’t enough. It wasn’t fully complete because it had to happen all the time. The high priest died. You had to have a new high priest go in. So there’s all these issues. Why does that matter? Because Hebrews helps us understand why we make this transition. And in Hebrews 8, it talks about how there’s like a new high priest, and with a new high priest comes new laws, like when we get a new president, we a new governor, there’s a shift in laws. There’s a shift in the way that things happen, and so this new high priest comes in. So I’ll just read you a bit of Hebrews 8 chapter 10, and – I’m sorry, Hebrews 8 verse 10, and also read 12 and 13. It says this. It says, “This is the covenant I will make the House of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God and they will be my people…I will forgive their wickedness and remember their sins no more. By calling this covenant ‘new,’ he made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.” So now we have a new covenant that humanity is under. There was a shift. We got this new high priest and this new high priests could go before the presence of God, just like the old high priest could. But this new high priest brought a sacrifice of blood, just like the animal blood. But this new high priest brought his own body, his own, his own blood. And unlike the old high priests, he didn’t die every year. And we had to have a new priest, a new high priest, a new high priest. It was an internal thing. He didn’t have to make atonement for his sins beforehand. So you got this shift where you’ve got this new way in which this new high priest comes in, makes a sacrifice and in so doing, unlike before, is able to bring humanity closer to God. And so with this new high priest comes a new set of rules, a new covenant, which is why going back to the original question, you know, why aren’t we following these – why aren’t we doing these things? It says to kill them. It says to do this as a result of this sin? And why aren’t we doing those today? Because we’re under a new covenant. There is a shift between the Old Testament and the New Testament. It’s the same thing when people ask – look at the God of the Old Testament, all these wars and genocides, all these things that people accuse God of being a monster and all these things, right? And people use it as a case for capital punishment. And it drives me crazy because I think they’re massive. Not I think, I know there’s massive theological issues with capital punishment today. I do not think the Bible is for capital punishment, but that’s another episode. But the point is.
00:24:31:11 – 00:24:32:06
Just drop that.
00:24:32:22 – 00:26:09:14
Drop that in there. But the point is, in the Old Testament, you see God dealing with sin by making sure that the punishment falls on the person, right? You’ve done this thing wrong, you’re wrapped up in the sin, you die. Ok, that’s what we’re seeing in these passages. Leviticus 20 that was just raised up and 18. All over the place. In the New Testament, under this new covenant, we have this new high priest who dies and he’s the final sacrifice. So people no longer are killing each other as a response to their sin. Does God still take people out? Absolutely. I believe so. I think God still does it. But under this shift, we aren’t being asked to do that anymore. So this is why we aren’t doing, you know, this person’s homosexual, we should kill him. That’s what the Old Testament says. Yeah, but under the New Testament, this new high priest, this new covenant, that is not how we respond. And what’s interesting, and then I’ll shut up on this. But what’s interesting in chapter 8, I’m sorry, yeah, in chapter 8 verse 10 it says, “I’ll put my laws in their minds and on their hearts.” In other words, there’s an internal shift. The laws were written on the Ten Commandments, right? It was stone. Now there’s an internal shift. It’s happening on your hearts, right? There’s a revamping of the person from the inside. No more just do this, do this, do this. But the person on the inside is revamped. And verse 12, “I will forgive their wickedness.” You see forgiveness, you see grace, these things entering in under this new covenant. And so I think this is why we don’t respond in the way to the Old Testament, or to people sinning in the way they did in the Old Testament because we are now under this new covenant: forgiveness, grace. The final sacrifice has been done and we can draw closer to God because of it.
00:26:11:03 – 00:26:14:07
Yeah. Thank you. That was. Yeah, that’s. Oh, hold on. Lou?
00:26:14:19 – 00:27:09:00
No, I’m just trying to think of the last thing to like, that’s like, that’s helped me if we realize that – gosh, if you take the whole narrative of scripture and you understand who we are, why we were created in the first place. If we are actual image bearers of him. We’re not just talking about here’s a creature. Like this is – we are the creatures that God has deemed “bearing my image.” What does that even mean? One thing that it means for sure is that we image him, right? Everything we do points to him. And if you look from Genesis to Revelation, there is a constant theme of everything we do points to higher truth, everything. And if you want to understand that through Levitical law and then also through the Torah and the law, you’ll see that everywhere. It’s constantly pointing to higher truth. Constantly, constantly. And then again, example of animal sacrifices, why don’t we do it anymore? Because it was pointing to the one sacrifice that would. And the same thing when it comes to, OK, so.
00:27:09:12 – 00:27:10:12
And the curse of death.
00:27:10:18 – 00:28:39:01
Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. It’s all there. So when it comes to what actually – Christ says in Matthew 22, like, it all gets summed up in this: love God and love people. Do the ten commandments apply to me the way they did to Israel? No, it actually does not. They are not binding in the same way. But I cannot love God and love people without following the Ten Commandments. Right? So this is the way. There’s this retroactive aspect of like how it still is applied to us. But how we know why something still applies to us is because it’s actually reiterated in the New Testament and how we actually go about loving God. Why, in that specific time, did God design it that way? Because it was this nation state. Again, we’re going to argue with that forever. We’re never going to get to the bottom of that. The question is what is that actually looking like today? And that’s where it’s like, oh, like this actually makes a lot of sense. This is why I’m actually living under this new covenant and understanding this differently. And knowing that because – we do get that all the time. It’s like, well, it seems like you guys just pick and choose. It’s like, no, actually, the ones that I’m still applying are actually still reiterated in the New Testament. They’re still reiterated in this new covenant because there were parts of that old comment that actually just were for that time ultimately to point to a greater truth that we’re currently living in. And then there’s more to come even after in the resurrection and glory.
00:28:39:01 – 00:29:15:05
Yeah. Well, before we close, I did – just a few moments – if someone could just answer, because I didn’t want to leave this episode without saying this. For someone who is struggling with their sexuality and they want to love God and part of loving God is reading His Word, how can they read the Old Testament with this in there? I mean, just what are some tips of kind of keeping what we’ve said here in focus for them and to kind of see that these words are meant to show them love also.
00:29:15:05 – 00:32:25:16
You know, I think this is a question, I think, that applies to any of us. You know, homosexuality may not be something that I struggle with, but maybe my struggle is selfishness or it’s greed or it’s whatever. You can go down the list. It could be judgmental it could be whatever. I think the question for any of us, even as you’re reading, you know, the Old Testament, like, I think all of us can find aspects of ourself in this Old Testament text. And if we end there, if we stop there, I think we would be left in a state of despair. We would be left in the state of God is just about rules. We’re left in a state of, like, I can never be good enough. I can never be loved by him. But that’s why it’s not the end of the story. And the New Testament isn’t the beginning of the story. It’s a continuation of a story that lets us know. It’s made it clear how God views the things that we do in the Old Testament. And it makes very clear, in the New Testament, how God views it, because he has to send Jesus to die or Jesus willingly dies for it. And just like any of us can find hope and find love, not because we are who we should be, but because we are in the state that we’re in. I think is when you read the rest of the story, I think that’s how you can interpret or not interpret. That’s how you can find peace with the old. And I was just simply this, there’s rules in those same sections about adultery. If you’ve done this with your father’s aunt or your whatever, I mean it goes on and on with adultery, right? There’s rules and there’s consequences for it. There’s rules about death for it. And yet, you look at the New Testament, when Jesus encounters a woman caught in the act of adultery, and his response to her is not to stone her. The audience there wanted her stoned. He did respond different. And in a sense, he almost like protected her. Not because she was innocent, she was guilty. But he didn’t want shame and humiliation to be her legacy right now. That is not how she is to be defined and I will stand up for her so she can encounter a God who says, I know what you’ve done, but you will not be rejected by me. And I think when we read it, we read the rest of this story, and don’t just stay caught in the Old Testament, we will then see how the laws in the Old Testament talk about adulterers should be killed and Jesus says, hold on, there is about to be a new way. And, I think, when we read it that way. For someone who struggles with same sex attraction, for someone who struggles with lying and gossiping, for someone who is a murderer and is sitting on death row or is a rapist in prison, this is not the end of the story. And you have to continue reading to see that in Romans it tells us that God demonstrates his love for us while we were sinners, not while we were good, while we were sinners, Jesus dies for us because he dies for the sinners. Showing His love for us. We need to finish the story and then we can understand how God views us.
00:32:27:08 – 00:33:23:08
All right. Well, thank you. For anyone that is interested, by the time this episode comes out, I don’t know, I’ll have a series of articles on our website, LightenGroup.org that goes over violence in the Old Testament. But there is going to be a few articles in there about the law, how it applies to the issue of slavery and women. And I think there’s a lot that would be applicable with this. So feel free to check that out. Yeah. And thanks, this is a hard conversation and a painful one for a lot of people. So we hope that you got some light from this conversation, the light of Christ. And please, like, subscribe, share. We’re on social media. We’ll get those on the screen somewhere. Maybe we can do that. So thank you, guys. We love you. Email us your questions at WhereWeBegin@LightenGroup.org. Also prayer requests, anything. If you want to talk to us, we’d be happy to and we’ll see you next week.
00:33:26:11 – 00:33:37:20
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