Sunday, August 15, 2010

Stoning Jesus

On the one hand:

CORAM DEO SAID:

The sophistry you employ to defend wanton violation of the 2nd Commandment might have been interesting if you were a Jew explaining your reasoning to Moses in the desert of Sinai a few thousand years ago as you died in a hail of stones, but here it simply comes across as obstinate, stubborn, willful pride and presumption.

On the other hand:

Matthew 12:1-2

1At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. 2But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him,(C) "Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath."

Luke 6:6-7

6On another Sabbath, he entered the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was withered. 7And the scribes and the Pharisees watched him, to see whether he would heal on the Sabbath, so that they might find a reason to accuse him.

Lk 13:10-14

10Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. 11And there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. 12When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, "Woman, you are freed from your disability." 13And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God. 14But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, "There are six days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day."

John 5:15-16

15The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. 16And this was why the Jews(A) were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath.

Jn 7:19-24

Why do you seek to kill me?" 20The crowd answered, "You have a demon! Who is seeking to kill you?" 21Jesus answered them, "I did one work, and you all marvel at it. 22 Moses gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. 23If on the Sabbath a man receives circumcision, so that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me because on the Sabbath I made a man’s whole body well? 24 Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment."

Jn 9:13-16

13They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. 14 Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 15 So the Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, "He put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and I see." 16Some of the Pharisees said, "This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath."

Question:

If CD were a 1C Palestinian Jew, would he be on Jesus' side, or would he side with those who sought to stone Jesus as a law-breaker?

24 comments:

  1. So now the 2nd Commandment is equated to the extra-Biblical traditions of men which represent the accretions of legalistic Pharisaism?

    That's an interesting concept, and possibly a new low for Triablogue.

    In your opinion were all executions conducted on the basis of 2nd Commandment violations throughout the history of Israel the moral/legal equivalent of the unbelieving Jews' wicked efforts to stone Jesus for breaking with their extra-Biblical traditions of men?

    The implications are truly mind-boggling!

    In Christ,
    CD

    P.S. - I notice that at least one thing Jesus was never accused of was violating the 2nd Commandment prohibition against imaging God visually.

    Just think how He could have stirred up the Pharisees if He had drawn a picture of the Father and the Holy Spirit in the courtyard of the Temple and triumphantly declared: ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’

    No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known. - John 1:18

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  2. CD,
    Your interpretation of the 2nd Commandment is equated to the Pharisees interpretation of other commands. And yes, you do pile on tons of extra-Biblical traditions to the text of the Bible in your devotion to creeds above all else.

    And what's truly mind-boggling here is your anger and bitterness over this trivial issue. And before you balk at me calling it a trivial issue, then I'm going to call your bluff. Unless you believe that Steve Hays, Patrick Chan (who originally posted the cartoon you were offended by) or myself (who address you now) are going to hell because of this, then it's trivial.

    So what is it? Are we heretics, or are we brothers?

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  3. CD,

    You're operating just like the Pharisees. Rote application of OT laws w/o bothering to consider the underlying rationale for the law. That may make you feel faithful and justified, but as Jesus taught us, that is self-deluded.

    The Pharisees were also appealing to the "plain sense" of the Pentateuchal prohibition against working on the Sabbath.

    Jesus didn't fault them in this instance because of extra-Biblical traditions. Rather, he faulted them for failing to stop and ask why God forbad work on the Sabbath, and whether rote enforcement of the letter of the law honored or subverted the larger principle which the law was intended to safeguard.

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  4. I think we can all agree that CD would be on Jesus' side. Nothing in CD's argument suggests otherwise.

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  5. "Unless you believe that Steve Hays, Patrick Chan (who originally posted the cartoon you were offended by) or myself (who address you now) are going to hell because of this, then it's trivial."

    Really? All sin except unbelief is trivial?

    I'm sure it is relatively trivial, but surely one would not say that adultery or murder are trivial, even though committing those sins would not guarantee that the sinner is going to hell (see Paul, Moses, David, and so forth).

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  6. No, we don't all agree with that. He is treating the law in the very same way the Pharisees did. Just quote chapter and verse. Disregard the type of situation the law was intended to address or redress. Rote enforcement of the law without regard to the purpose of the law.

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  7. "No, we don't all agree with that."

    Wow. You seriously think CD would not be on Jesus' side?

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  8. TF,

    That's actually close to the reason I brought it up. The problem with your example of Moses, David, etc. is that they repented of what they did so they could still be considered brothers.

    So put it this way: would you fellowship with an unrepentant murderer or an unrepentant adulterer, even if they were to offer justification for what they did that you found lacking? Would you allow them to remain members in your church? Would you treat them as brothers?

    If you wouldn't, yet you would treat those of us who have no problem with images depicting Christ who are thus, in your view, unrepentant breakers of the 2nd Commandment--and not only that but also actively teaching others to break that same Command, right?--if that is the case, then it is impossible to say you view violations of the 2nd Commandment like you do violations of other Commandments. This means that you yourself show that you do not actually hold to the strong view you present.

    Perhaps you or CD can explain the relevant differences here, because I am at a loss to explain it myself.

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  9. Let me clarify - I can understand that one might object to CD citing a rule without being able to explain the relation of the rule to the purpose of the rule. But I think it is an unwarranted further step to say that consequently CD would have sided against Jesus.

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  10. Peter Pike:

    We believe that some sins are more heinous in the sight of God than others.

    In this case, we trust (at least I do - perhaps CD takes a different position) that those among our brethren who violate the second commandment in the ways seemingly advocated at this blog are sinning in ignorance.

    - TurretinFan

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  11. TURRETINFAN SAID:

    "Let me clarify - I can understand that one might object to CD citing a rule without being able to explain the relation of the rule to the purpose of the rule."

    It's not so much that he's unable to explain it (although he may well lack the competence to do so), but he doesn't even try.

    "But I think it is an unwarranted further step to say that consequently CD would have sided against Jesus."

    i) He lit the fire, I'm merely holding his feet to the fire.

    ii) I don't see any difference between his approach to the Mosaic Law and Jesus' accusers. They charged our Lord with willfully violating the terms of the law. In their eyes, he was a Sabbath-breaker, worthy of death.

    Yes, Jesus explained himself, but to judge by CD's stated approach, he'd dismiss that as "sophistry." A wicked attempt to find loopholes in the law.

    iii) And, btw, CD has been raining down hellfire on everybody who disagrees with him, so I don't know why you cut him so much slack.

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  12. TF,

    How can it be sinning in ignorance after you've pointed it out and made an argument that we reject?

    (Please don't take these questions as being combative. I'm trying to find our exactly what your position is.)

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  13. "How can it be sinning in ignorance after you've pointed it out and made an argument that we reject?"

    For the sake of the argument, assume that CD, I, and the Westminster standards are right and the act in question is a sin.

    You clearly have not been persuaded that it is a sin (or at least - I hope you have not - if you were so persuaded and still argued against it, we'd be in an entirely different boat). Consequently, when you do it, you are doing it in ignorance of the sinfulness of the act.

    Does that make sense?

    - TurretinFan

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  14. "CD has been raining down hellfire on everybody who disagrees with him, so I don't know why you cut him so much slack."

    a) He has repented of some of that hellfire, as he did publicly in the Pyro comment box.

    b) I'll try to give you more reasons by email, but the bottom line is that I perceive CD (though not his conclusion) to be weaker than any one (much less all) of you guys.

    -TurretinFan

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  15. TF said:
    ---
    You clearly have not been persuaded that it is a sin (or at least - I hope you have not - if you were so persuaded and still argued against it, we'd be in an entirely different boat). Consequently, when you do it, you are doing it in ignorance of the sinfulness of the act.
    ---

    But how would this work with the other commands? For instance, suppose I were an abortion doctor who truly believed the unborn were not human beings and therefore we could terminate a pregnancy whenever we want for any reason whatsoever, and I provided that for people and was actively killing the unborn. Wouldn't you refrain from fellowshipping with me under those circumstances, despite the fact that I would be convinced that the 6th Commandment didn't apply?

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  16. Peter Pike:

    The sinfulness of abortion is more clear than the sinfulness of simply making pictures of Jesus (without worshiping them).

    I would have a harder time believing that the person wasn't persuaded.

    -TurretinFan

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  17. Steve Hays: "And, btw, CD has been raining down hellfire on everybody who disagrees with him, so I don't know why you cut him so much slack."

    Can CD take what he dishes out?

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  18. "Can CD take what he dishes out?"

    Possibly he cannot. That wouldn't really affect the merits of the argument he makes, nor should it encourage us to respond in kind.

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  19. TF said:
    ---
    The sinfulness of abortion is more clear than the sinfulness of simply making pictures of Jesus (without worshiping them).
    ---

    I certainly agree with that, given that I believe abortion is clearly murder but that pictures used to represent Christ (again, not to worship Him) are not breaking the 2nd Commandment. In any case, I won't pile on too much here since you and Steve already have a dialogue and such. Thanks for your answers, though, as they have helped me see the scope of your view at least.

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  20. "Can CD take what he dishes out?"

    (TFan) Possibly he cannot.

    I suspect you're right.

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  21. CORAM DEO SAID:

    The sophistry you employ to defend wanton violation of the 2nd Commandment might have been interesting if you were a Jew explaining your reasoning to Moses in the desert of Sinai a few thousand years ago as you died in a hail of stones, but here it simply comes across as obstinate, stubborn, willful pride and presumption.


    As the person to whom this comment was originally directed, I also would be interested to find out if CD would have been personally willing (or eager) to throw stones at yours truly in such a context.

    This also gets to the heart of Peter's comment above - if CD is so strongly opposed to positions on the 2nd commandment that differ from his that he would have been willing (or eager) to stone to death those who hold them in a different time and place, then it is a legitimate question to ask whether or not he considers those who hold such different positions to be brothers in the faith.

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  22. It is legitimate to ask if he considers them brothers in Christ, no doubt.

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  23. (TFan) "It is legitimate to ask if he considers them brothers in Christ, no doubt."

    As a joyful and ardent signer and supporter of the Manhattan Declaration (and who has received his portion of hellfire, and who has returned it back upon the hell-fire breathing Protestants who are ardently against the Manhattan Declaration), does Coram Deo regard me as a brother in Christ?

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  24. A compilation of most if not all our posts on the topic of graven images and the second commandment can be found here.

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