Thursday, May 24, 2007

Fall to grace, part 3

For the whole story, read this, beginning with Part 1.

The gist of Pastor Mike's lesson series on the Law was that Christ had set us free from the Old Testament Law. This seemed the most dangerous, antinomian idea; in fact, it was one I had argued against quite vehemently in a number of online discussions.

If I had been completely honest with myself, I would have realized that my viewpoint was:

1. The Mosaic Law was divided into the ceremonial, civil, and moral. The moral law still applied to Christians today. Even though the Bible itself did not mention this division, nor did it give us a hint as to which category a particular law fell into, I knew.

2. I believed we should follow those laws which were part of my current convictions.

3. I believed in following extra-Biblical "hedges" and add-ons to the Mosaic Law.

4. I was entirely comfortable ignoring certain aspects of the Law.

Although my position on the Law could not stand up to any sort of logical or theological scrutiny, it provided me with a great sense of security, and it also enabled me to feel self-righteous as I judged those who embraced greasy grace and sloppy agape.

After all, I reasoned, I was Reformed. I was all about the doctrines of grace. No one outside of the Reformed Faith could possibly have anything to teach me about grace or legalism.

Then I read those lessons on the law that Pastor Mike had sent me. I did not like them. At all. In desperation, I gave them to my husband and asked for his opinion. My heart soared when he said, after careful study, that he had found a few mistakes. When it turned out that these mistakes had been insignificant typos, my heart sunk.

I began debating Mike via email, trying my best to poke holes in his wacko ideas. Unfortunately, he is quite the logic expert...while I am not. So I could certainly not defeat him in that area. His knowledge of Scripture and theology far exceeded mine as well. I was reduced to firing questions at him along the lines of, "Well, what about this verse? Huh? Huh?!" I was desperate to prove him wrong so that I would not have to accept the implications of his teaching --- most of all, so I would not have my carefully constructed belief system crumble out from under me. In the end, my arguments grew more emotional and stubborn than anything else.

As desperately as I wanted Mike to be wrong, I could not argue with the clear teaching of Scripture. Worst of all was that my husband, it turned out, had always believed this disturbing teaching and had always embraced his freedom in Christ. I felt completely abandoned.

More to come...


  1. Disturbing. That is putting it mildly!! I was "disturbed" for weeks. I was sick to my stomach. I couldn't sleep. I argued and argued and argued.

    Yeah. I think I can relate!

  2. This is what Paul said about that Old Testament Law (Torah, means instructions)

    Romans 7:12 12 Wherefore the law (Torah) is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.

    2 Timothy 3:16-17 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

    He wasn't talking about the New Testament, it hadn't been written and canonized.

    If you want greater appreciation of God's plan and desires for us see the following link.

    You can copy and paste to your address line if you need.

    Ephesians 2:12 12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the COVENANTS of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

    Ephesians 2:19 19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

    The only covenants are with and through Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob (Israel).

    We've been grafted in,

    Romans 11:17 17 ¶ And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;