a guest Jun 20th, 2019 63 Never
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- When a modern man reads the old testament, he is almost instantly struck with the amount of violence and bloodshed he sees in it. The God, whom our media have portrayed as meek, suffering and compassionate, commands wars and orders executions. And thus, in our minds there exists some kind of misconception that the God of Old Testament is "jealous, wrathful, warlike and violent" while the God of New Testament is "compassionate, suffering and peaceful". Is this view true?
- In practice, we owe this view to Marcion, who in 2nd century A.D. rejected the Old Testament, establishing his own gnostic sect that saw God of Israelites as evil. Despite his rejection by the Church, it seems that Marcionite view is still holding up today. Inspired by this view, the people have attempted to "spiritualize" the passages in the Bible that do not match their worldview; some say that Battle of the Armaggedon is a purely allegorical one; others that it had already happened. In 2nd century A.D. plainly rejecting the old testament teachings, Justin the Martyr created the doctrine of Christian pacifism, or non-resistance, which had infected many churches up to this day.
- I would advise all pacifists to read the depictions of the Old Testament. After all, our God had openly said in Malachi 3;6 "6 For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed." Citing that so called "sermon on the mount" was an attempt to clear interpretation of the OT commandments that have been twisted by the Pharisees and Saducees ("turn the other cheek" is actually a commandment from Old Testament book of Lamentations) it's impossible to say that any of the Old Testament commandments are incompatible with the spirit of the New Testament. After all, while rituals and ways of interacting between God and humanity remained different across the ages, the morality God was teaching us was always the same, weather for Joseph, Moses, David, Nehemiah, Jesus, Peter, Paul, us today or our descendants in future dispensations.
- We must therefore, guard ourselves against interpreting scripture through our own presumptions, for unless we do so, we may follow the path of Justin the Martyr and see in the Bible something that outright isn't there. In practice, while God's deeds in the Old Testament may appear unsavory to us, they were by all means necessary. Our Lord's wrath is something that's slow to burn and leaving a lot of time for forgiveness - but once it's enkindled, it's not something that one wants to receive, and above all, it's something that is necessary to prevent the creation from falling into complete chaos caused by our own sinfulness.
- And it would have been very bad for us if Our Lord did not intervene in human history like he does.
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