Saturday, January 20, 2007

Christianity and Law-codes


Jesus came to replace, and do away with, the whole code of the ancient "Laws of Jehovah." This is why Christians do not practice the literal sacrifice of animals, and why they ignore the ancient Levitical and other laws of the Hebrew Scriptures ("Old Testament").

Even more deeply, it guaranteed that Christianity would not be simply a "variety" of Judaism. Its voluntary and God-approved ignoring of the ancient Hebrew laws made it plain that God freed Christians from all those laws, and hence, also from the god that had given them.

This is why Christianity exploded brightly into the world: It suggested that the Hebrew god, after thousands of years, was somehow deficient, or was not enough. The new Christians, following Jesus, learned to listen to the direction of the "Holy Spirit" (God) in their own hearts. As Paul wrote to the Galatians, the old 'law-code' was neutralized and broken by 'faith in Christ." In fact, if the laws ("Old Testament" could save you, Paul wrote, "then Christ died for nothing."

Christians lived in the utter faith that their karmic burden (sin) had been erased by vicarious participation in the "death" of Jesus, which also symbolized their "death" to being controlled by this world. For, in some ways, as Paul told the Romans, "we died with him."

The historical effect was that Christianity became a different religion from Judaism. Judaism had a different Bible, different prophets, different teachings, and different laws. It was logical to take one more tiny step and suggest that Christians had also a different God.

And they did. Their God was Love. (1 Jn. 4:8,16)

Jehovah rarely had chesed ("loving-kindness"), but only toward those who obeyed his laws. But God was Love, unbounded by national or genetic concerns. God loved all, even the "Gentiles" (non-Jews).

This is the verse by Jesus that summarizes the irreversible and irrevocable split that forever separated Christianity from Judaism.

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