Ask Your Preacher
Why in Deuteronomy chapter 13 does it call the people of God to kill non-believers? It seems pretty specific, and I just wonder why it asks us to even kill our family if they should try and lead us astray.
Bound To Family
Dear Bound To Family,
Deuteronomy 13 is an Old Testament command. The laws and commandments of the Old Testament are no longer binding. When Jesus died on the cross, He blotted out the ordinances of the Old Testament that condemned us (Col 2:14). The New Testament has surpassed and replaced the Old Contract written on tablets of stone (2 Cor 3:3-8). The Old Testament was designed to lead mankind to Christ, but now that Christ has come, we are no longer under the Old Covenant (Gal 3:24-25). The Old Testament was God’s law for the Jewish nation (which included laws for how the Jewish government was supposed to punish criminals), and the New Testament is God’s law for Christians. There is so much confusion over the Old Testament and New Testament that we have a short video tutorial on the subject on our YouTube channel. The video can be found here: http://youtu.be/8kPP0G9WSyo.
One question I've wondered about for some time is why were God's people the children of Israel? What about all the other people on the earth? Thanks for the clarifications.
Dear People Everywhere,
God once did try to work with all the people of the earth at once – and He ended up having to flood the whole planet because things got so bad (Gen. 6:5-8). After Noah’s flood, God made the promise never to flood the earth again because He had a different plan in mind. Instead of leaving every man to do what was right in his own eyes until things got completely and totally depraved (as was the case before the flood), He used one man to bring hope to all men.
After the Great Flood, God called Abraham to be His servant and the father of a great nation (Gen 12:1-2). God made a promise to Abraham that through Abraham’s seed, all mankind would be blessed (Gen 22:18). Jesus is the seed of Abraham (Gal 3:16). After the Great Flood, God put into motion His plan to offer salvation to all mankind through Jesus Christ. That road began with Abraham, and when the proper time came… Jesus was born (Gal 4:4). Israel was God’s chosen people for one reason – they were the nation that Jesus would be born out of, and the Father was preparing them for the day they would be used to bring the Savior to all of mankind.
I know this might seem like a really basic question but... why do you go to church on Sundays? Isn't Saturday the seventh day?
Dear Weekend Warrior,
Christians go to church on the first day of the week because that is when the early church assembled. Saturday is the Sabbath day… but christians don’t have to worry about keeping the Sabbath. The word ‘sabbath’ means ‘rest’. The Sabbath day was a day that the nation of Israel was told to rest, stop working, and make holy to the Lord (Ex 31:15). This rule was so strict that a man was once stoned for collecting firewood on Saturday (Num 15:32-36). However, this was a Jewish command, not a Christian one. The Sabbath was part of the Old Testament law – a law that christians are no longer under (Gal 3:23-25). We are specifically told not to let anyone bind the Sabbath on us (Col 2:16). Christians worship Christ on the first day of the week – Sunday (Acts 20:7, 1 Cor 16:1-2). If you’d like more information on the difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament, we have a video tutorial on the subject here.
Why is the Old Testament put together with the New Testament? Jesus was a Jew, not a Christian. Jews did not or do not put the New Testament with their Torah, Tanakh, Halakha, etc. Jews see Jesus as a great prophet, not the Messiah. Christians only see Jesus as Messiah. Different religions, different books.
Apples And Oranges
Dear Apples And Oranges,
There is a great dispute in the religious world about what parts of the Bible to follow. Some people follow just the New Testament, some the Old Testament, and the majority fit somewhere in-between those two positions. The answer is in the word “testament”. Testament means ‘covenant’ or ‘contract’. There is the old contract that people followed before Christ came (Gal 3:24-25), and Christians are under the new law that Jesus set up (Rom 8:2). If you are going to be a Christian, the New Testament (i.e. new contract) is your rulebook.
So what use is the Old Testament to Christians? It is still a great teaching tool for several reasons:
- Examples of good and bad lifestyles (1 Cor 10:1-6, Heb 12:1)
- Prophecies about Jesus and His church (1 Pet 1:10-12)
- Explanations of where we came from (Gen 1:1)
- Knowledge of the world Jesus lived in
- God wrote it!
The Old Testament is not the place to go to find the specific standards you should live by, but it is a wonderful place to see God at work, interacting in the lives of men. God’s character never changes, and how He valued His old contract should impress upon us how important the new one is (Heb 2:1-3).
In Genesis 6:2, who are the sons of God? Are they human? If so, why are they titled different from daughters of men? If not, are they heavenly beings, and if so, can they sin? That's a bunch of questions in one and probably will give rise to more when you provide an answer.
Dear Tracing Titles,
The sons of God referred to in Gen 6:2 are mortal men. This language seems confusing at first, but it is perfectly scriptural to refer to mankind as ‘sons and daughters of God’. In fact, Jesus mentions that we are all sons of God (Jhn 10:34-36). Gal 3:26 refers to christians as children of God. Humans are made in the image of God (Gen 1:27), and that makes Him our Father (Eph 4:6). Gen 6:2 is simply stating that men married women, had children, and populated the earth. We can't know for sure why the titling difference between "sons of God", and "daughters of men", but it may be as simple as making the text more interesting to read – the same reason all good writing uses a diversity of descriptive terms.