Sorry to drag this back up, but you moved past the EAE so quickly I didn't have time to think about it.
You said: Now, I grant you that the EAE is not required to murder anyone. As stated in the previous post, he may wish to avoid being apprehended and punished by society or he may simply not wish to murder someone else. You also talk a good deal about Christian values and morals and that they are the basis for many countries' legal systems.
But, Radar, aren't you and the rest of the countries that base their morals/values/laws off the bible really picking and choosing which morals/values/laws you like. If this is truly the word of god, shouldn't we be following everything?
Leviticus alone lays down many "rules" that aren't followed. Why?
Good question! The laws found in Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy were the laws given by God to the children of Israel as they entered into Canaan. Murder, incest, adultery, child sacrifice, sex with animals, prostitution-as-sacrament, all sorts of such behavior was common to the people who inhabited the area. God didn't want such behavior to continue. We believe that up unto that time there was a generally accepted code of behavior passed down from Adam through Noah through Abraham and so on. But God chose to give the Law very specifically to Moses at this time, to make sure the behavior of His people was appropriate. When you look at these laws, they were largely meant to either uphold the Ten Commandments, keep law and order among the people or keep them healthy. For instance, the dietary laws make a lot of sense for people with no access to refrigeration and a dependence on fire to cook meats. Incest laws had become necessary with the devolution of the human gene pool. Marriage between siblings was necessary in the beginning of mankind and common even up until the time of the giving of these laws. We know now that intermarriage between siblings and often even first cousins and other close relatives can bring on birth defects.
Back to Lava, quoting from the Book of Leviticus:
Both parties in adultery shall be executed. 20:10 ("And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.")
"For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall surely be put to death." 20:9
20:15 And if a man lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to death: and ye shall slay the beast.
21:9 And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire.
23:30 And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.
Radar, as someone who takes the bible literally, do you think we should be killing people for adultery, beastiality, cursing their parents, working on Sundays...? Is there some sort of metaphor I am missing?
Again, you said the "EAE is not required to murder anyone". Are christians required to murder people if the bible is to be read literally?
(The Sabbath was/is Saturday, not Sunday, by the way...)
Keep in mind that these laws were being given, not just as religious instructions, but part of a form of government. God was the acknowledged head of the Children of Israel, with Moses and Aaron and the priests as both religious and civil leaders. Therefore we have both moral proclamations and legal statutes being given at the same time.
Anyone put to death by these statutes had to be found guilty by a form of trial and executed under the law. No murder was done in this circumstance. Keep in mind also that the commandment; "Thou shalt not kill" should be literally translated as "thou shalt not murder." It was determined by God that some offenses were "hanging offenses" worthy of execution.
Don't miss that much of these books focus on all the sacrifices and offerings required of the Children of Israel to make an atonement for sin. In fact, these were ceremonial and God accepted the sacrifices as symbolic of a real atonement that would someday come. Jesus Christ made that atonement, was, in fact, that atonement. By fulfilling the Law, Christ then ended the Law as the standard by which the Jews and all believers would have to live.
Galatians 3:1-14 illustrates this: 1You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard?
Paul is writing by inspiration of God and here is reminding believers that the Law is no longer the standard for believers...
3Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? 4Have you suffered so much for nothing—if it really was for nothing? 5Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?
So the law was "nailed to the cross" and no longer in effect judicially.
6Consider Abraham: "He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness."[a] 7Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham. 8The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: "All nations will be blessed through you."[b] 9So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
10All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law."[c]
This is why God tore the incredibly thick veil that covered the Holy of Holies in the Temple from the top down when Christ was crucified, for He wanted the Jews to understand that the old sacrificial laws were gone, the Law was fulfilled and now faith in Christ was the only way to God. This is why Jesus predicted that the Temple would be destroyed as a judgment of God (Matthew 24) and why John spent much of the book of Revelations predicting the same thing. This is why, in AD 70, the Romans tore the Temple down completely and killed almost the entire Jewish population of Jerusalem. The Law was fulfilled in Christ and now believers are to be led by the Spirit of God and not the letter of the Law found in Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy.
11Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, "The righteous will live by faith."[d] 12The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, "The man who does these things will live by them."[e] 13Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree."[f] 14He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.
There is plenty of teaching of this in the New Testament. Here is an excerpt from Romans chapter 8:
1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,[a] 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature,[b] God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.[c] And so he condemned sin in sinful man,[d] 4in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
5Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6The mind of sinful man[e] is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7the sinful mind[f] is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. 8Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.9You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you.
The attempt to obey laws and sacrifice animals was God's plan for mankind before Christ. Those who did so with a whole heart were considered to be God's children by God. Those who did so hypocritically or for show were the same guys that Jesus had the harshest words for during His ministry. But the desire to love God wasn't enough, God needed to make a way to deal with sin, which was fulfilled in Jesus. He legally fulfilled the Law for us, then took our penalty for failing, then rose from the dead as the firstfruits of all of us who will live on in eternity thereafter. Not only do we get legally declared as forgiven, when we accept Christ he makes an actual change in us, by filling us with the Spirit of God.
Now, you may not understand some of this and certainly I didn't either. But when I decided I believed God and did accept Christ, I was amazed that I actually felt a change inside. I was filled with a great peace way beyond what I had ever known. I have also found myself wanting to be a Godly man ever since. I have to fight with my sinful desires, but I do prefer to beat them now rather than agree with them.
Martin Luther was inspired to lead man away from ritual worship with no spiritual component and lead the Protestant movement because of this phrase: "The righteous will live by faith." Now Christians are called upon to live by faith and not the letter of the law.
With respect to the judicial system, which is a different subject altogether, our country has laws based upon the Ten Commandments and the principles of law set forth in the Pentateuch. You do realize that it was God that required two or more witnesses in a trial setting and required some kind of judge to determine the meting out of punishment rather than rule by mob. If anyone is put to death in this country by the government, it is an execution determined by the law. Sadly, we have strayed from a Biblical viewpoint in some areas and child sacrifice is practiced legally today. Some call it abortion and I call it murder. But that is another topic, isn't it?
PS- I should mention that while the Law is "nailed to the cross" for those who accept Christ, it remains the standard by which non-believers will be judged. Anyone who denies Christ and chooses not to accept His gift will then be judged by God according to the Law. Unfortunately, no one other than Christ could keep the Law, so....
Also, I am amazed that there are still practicing Jews. Jesus was a Jew, all his followers were Jews and most of the early Christians were Jews. God made it clear that both Jew and Gentile were able to be saved but that the old religion was gone. The temple veil was ripped in two. The Temple was torn down and thrown away. Yet, there are many who call themselves Jews who follow some of the Law in part? I wish that all who call themselves Jews would come to Christ, but I cannot understand how one could logically believe that one could be an "Orthodox Jew" without Temple sacrifices?