Morality without the cross

Knowing what we have discovered about secular religious power in religious hands we ought to be far more cautious about reinventing the wheel.  The trial of Jesus by a religious court provides convincing evidence that injustice can acquire the label and reputation of justice.  We can add nothing to the doctrines of Moses or Jesus and mixing the two is bound to result in wasting the two.

You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you. Deut. 4:2,

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, (Rev. 22:18)  and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. (Rev. 22:19)

Rev. 22:18-19

Nor do people put new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wineskins burst, and the wine pours out and the wineskins are ruined; but they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.”

Matthew 9:17

The persecution of the church

In John 5:16 we see the Jews persecuting Jesus, because He was doing good things on the Sabbath.  In Acts we see the persecution of Jesus’s disciples continues the church for calling on and preaching Jesus’s name.   Perhaps it is James and the Pharisees who are the persecutors of the church.  Judaism has never sustained a sense of morality.  It only knew how to engage in power plays: prosecuting violators of the law, keeping aliens as second class citizens, and discriminating against women.  Perfection and maturity are not the outcomes of law; law lets people know what sin they have committed, it condemns everyone without exception and predicts it’s own demise.

The way and the life

Since Christ personally takes the reins of God’s kingdom from the levitical system complete with a change of law, how can life of the redeemed (the converted) ever be shaped by dead works?   Death and condemnation are not affirmed by the ritual law…  Death sentences appear all over the law: for incest, sorcery, gluttony, rebellious children and many prohibitions (“you shall not…”) regarding festivals, and food and drink.   We could believe that the law has nothing to do with moral behaviour or lifesaving obligations, but how can the cross not be elevated above the hills because of the freedom from death it brings?  How can the cross not be the spice that flavors the life it brings if we believe that it does something the law could never do? Where is “what he’s done for others he’ll do for you” when you need one?

The evangelical world rejects the idea that the Law is perfect by rejecting the Sabbath and the rituals for sacrifice and festivals.   If the law needs an improvement for the protection of women’s inheritance rights it is neither whole nor perfect.  A Jew will rightly not accept the unraveling of the law into moral and ritual.  Christians know that defining sin is not what Christ came to do.  He came to abolish death and bring life and immortality to light through the gospel. If you think that the gospel is inadequate as a moral standard you will remain excited about pig’s mud, dog’s vomit, and give the nod to oppression of the poor and needy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.