How does a collection of prohibitions, judgments, festal statutes, promises, threats and predictions of extirpation become a person’s character transcript? I cannot tell, except to say that the proponents are either semiliterate nobles or ignoble academics. Either way, after thousands of years and thousands of scholars neither the content of the tables of stone, nor the hundreds of statutes and judgments in the Pentateuch have produced anything that looks remotely like a healthy set of character traits. Never mind that God has attributes like mercy, compassion, faithfulness, and goodness which people can appropriate, people choose to pose as privileged recipients of incredible benefits while doing the very things they say they have left behind. There certainly is some transposing happening with little transcript in the picture because the Law of God has no chance of having anything to do with bringing life to dead humans.
Truth be told, law kills
Sad to say in the 21st century the law is quite literally held responsible for homicide repeatedly on the streets of the United States. We have to admit that violent homicide was the main reason for which God decreed the flood judgment. “Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. Law did little to reverse the gains of corruption through violence.
“Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth. Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth.” (Genesis 6:11-13, NASB)
While the Law serves to make a record of human accountability no one should think that law, as we have it in the Mosaic tradition, is essential to establish the guilt of people everywhere. Since we have no evidence that God gave the Law to any other people beside the Sons of Israel the idea that the law defines sin for all time is a three legged cat.
“Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.”Romans 3:19-20, NASB
“Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law.”Galatians 3:21, NASB
“But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading as it was, how will the ministry of the Spirit fail to be even more with glory?” (2 Corinthians 3:7-8, NASB)
Transcript and my foot in my mouth
If learned Jews can admit that the tables of stone were a source of death what can the Gentile do with their alternative facts? All the people who will believe that the law of God – the Ten Commandments in particular – is a transcript of divine character will also tell you that they are trying every day to achieve what is said in that transcript, namely that they should not ever sin. I would much rather have a look at the character of God in his love, mercy, grace, compassion, long suffering and gentleness than to hear the voice that clearly condemns one to death. Once a person has a true encounter with Christ he will no longer be afraid of death, and he or she will feel the right hand of God, and hear his voice assuring them that He has the keys to hell and the grave. That right hand places us far from the reach of death and condemnation. Does not the Christian experience, at the outset, change our transcript from an F to an A?