Shortly after my "fall to grace", I wrote this in an online discussion about Bill Gothard and his teaching:
It comes back to what you think about the place of the Mosaic Law in your life today. And that is the crux of this entire discussion.
Some people divide the Law into three categories: ceremonial, civil, and moral. The assumption then is that Christ fulfilled and set aside the ceremonial law; the civil law was binding only on the nation of Israel during a certain portion of its history; the moral law is still binding on us today. I'll freely admit that this was my position until very recently. However, this position raises some questions: where does the Bible give us these categories of the Law? Where does it teach us how to decide in which category a particular law falls? It seems that everyone would come up with a different list. How do you know which list is right? (I used to say, "Well, mine is obviously the right one."
) This position would say that the laws regarding stoning fall under the civil law.
Then there are those who divide the Law into two categories: ceremonial and moral. Only the sacrificial system and its rituals have passed away, they say. Our nation is coming under judgment because we aren't enacting the moral law---if we were a righteous nation, we *would* be stoning people today.
There is even a somewhat radical fringe in Theonomy that says that, since the Bible does not categorize the Law, neither should we---and it is all binding today. Someday the temple will be restored and we will once again offer sacrifices and the Church will finally be completely obedient. (I'm not making this up.) They claim the sacrifices under the New Covenant will be memorial in nature, not redemptive. This group, of course, also supports stoning, for every reason mentioned under Mosaic Law.
Then there is the position that the entire Mosaic Law---which God never intended for us to carve up into categories of our own invention---was nailed on the cross with Jesus Christ, that we are completely free not only from the penalty of the Law, but from the Law itself. Others here can argue this position much better than I can.
So, is this simply an exercise in theological discussion? No... It's all about how we live our lives...it's about our freedom and liberty in Christ...it's about what His death really, really means...
And unless we settle this issue, a lot of the discussion here is simply a matter of spinning wheels and dealing with surface issues of what Bill Gothard teaches, rather than the core presuppositions that undergird his entire system.
By then, I had realized not just how faulty my thinking had been on the subject of the Mosaic Law, but how extremely crucial this issue was.
But I'm getting ahead of my story. More to come...