Question:

I note that you comment a lot from Apostle Paul's epistles, but the apostle Paul changes his mind on subjects as he ages.  Food for one.  I understand that he didn't want to put a burden on the Gentiles, especially when literacy rates were probably so low in that era.  Now, literacy is high and Bibles are ubiquitous. As a young Christian, I would have never questioned the apostle Paul's writings, but I do now, somewhat.  I think sometimes he contradicts God the Father and Jesus, not purposefully I'm sure.  That's why I go back to the law and then to Jesus.   Then, I look at what the other New Testament writers say as "super sermons."

My thinking has evolved, as I now think Apostle Paul wrote some things because of his upbringing as a strict Pharisee and because of his day and age.   He says he doesn't permit women to speak in church, but he seems to call Phoebe a deaconess.  I think deaconesses are a great idea since I don't think it's wise for male church leaders to counsel or care for the women.  Yet, some wives of church leaders might not be equipped or willing to do that role.

My point in mentioning this is that I think the Protestant church, in general, has led me astray. They focus so much on a corrupted version of "forgiveness" that they do not focus on obedience like I think they should.

I understand that all of the Old Testament laws are not practical to follow, such as the ceremonial laws, and that since Jesus is the once-for-all sacrifice we do not need the blood of bulls and goat to present to God for forgiveness. Yet, if I would have understood coveting, as I came to really understand when I read the Bible on my ninth time, I would have saved myself from a lot of heartache in life. Over a decade ago, I had an emotional relationship with a married man that was so damaging.  Honestly, I'm so "over" being hit on by married men (even supposed Christian married men) looking for an ego fix.

As I was just reading the Bible today, Jesus says some hard things and some that don't come true, if taken literally, such as "this generation will not pass away before all these things have come to pass" (paraphrase).  Yes, His sayings were hard.

I was baptized by immersion by a Messianic Jew, although he was a Protestant military chaplain at the time.  He did not form my thinking on the Law, however.  I was too new in my Christian walk and he was only there for a couple of years.

Anyway, I would like pastors to preach on what parts of the law they think we should obey and not.  I have my opinions, and I don't agree with pastors who say that none of the Old Testament applies anymore.  That's not what Jesus said.

Answer:

You don't understand inspiration and see the Bible as the product of men. Paul was an inspired apostle of Christ. "If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord's commandment" (I Corinthians 14:37).  He was acknowledged as writing Scriptures (the writings of God) by Peter. "Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless,  and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you,  as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction" (II Peter 3:14-16). As Peter warned, people will distort Paul's teachings because they refuse to see that his wisdom and teaching came from the Lord.

That you imagine that Paul changed his mind only tells me that you don't believe the New Testament, in its entirety, is from God, nor do you understand the Bible as much as you imagine you do, but given that your background is Messianic Judaism explains much. I know you claim the man who baptized you didn't impact your beliefs much, but it is clear that you are heavily influenced by his system of beliefs. Messianic Jews have to find some way to deny the words written by Paul because they contradict their beliefs. It is no wonder, Paul spent a lot of time battling the Judaizing teachers of his day and Messianic Judaism is just a revival of ancient false teaching.

God did not give the Bible for people to play editor with its teachings. You don't get to pick and choose what sections you wish to follow. God stated that the Old Testament came to an end (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Hebrews 8-10; Romans 7:1-14). It had served its purpose. It still has things to teach us (Romans 15:4), but we no longer follow its laws.

When Jesus stated that "this generation will not pass away," such as in Mark 9:1, he meant exactly what he said. The kingdom of God, also known as the church, was established with power in that very generation (Acts 2). It isn't what is said that is difficult. It is because what is being said is going against what you decided had to be. You are avoiding the conflict by saying it is hard instead of examining yourself and realizing you misunderstand much of the Bible, despite your reading it several times.

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