Why the Old Testament Actually Matters (And How Silly it is That People Say it Doesn’t)

I found a bad “theological point” on a Tumblr post that’s been going around the Internet. And ordinarily it wouldn’t be a big deal: just don’t get your theology or knowledge of Christianity from Tumblr. That’s a bad idea. But I’ve seen this particular point all over the Internet and a lot of people are using to attack Christians to say they’re getting it wrong. And yes, Christians get a lot of things wrong on a regular basis. We’re not perfect people, and those Christians who claim to be are liars.

But anyway, here’s what Tumblr user nextyearsgirl said:

The laws in the Old Testament were set forth by god as the rules the Hebrews needed to follow in order to be righteous, to atone for the sin of Adam and Eve and to be able to get into Heaven. That is also why they were required to make sacrifices, because it was part of the appeasement for Original Sin.

According to Christian theology, when Jesus came from Heaven, it was for the express purpose of sacrificing himself on the cross so that our sins may be forgiven. His sacrifice was supposed to be the ultimate act that would free us from the former laws and regulations and allow us to enter Heaven by acting in his image. That is why he said “it is finished” when he died on the cross. That is why Christians don’t have to circumcise their sons (god’s covenant with Jacob), that is why they don’t have to perform animal sacrifice, or grow out their forelocks, or follow any of the other laws of Leviticus.

When you quote Leviticus as god’s law and say they are rules we must follow because they are what god or Jesus wants us to do, what you are really saying, as a Christian, is that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was invalid. He died in vain because you believe we are still beholden to the old laws. That is what you, a self-professed good Christian, are saying to your god and his son, that their plan for your salvation wasn’t good enough for you.

So maybe actually read the thing before you start quoting it, because the implications of your actions go a lot deeper than you think.

/An atheist who understands Christian theology better than Bible-thumpers do.

She later went in and said she was wrong, but this is still being spread around the Internet as the truest fact in the world, so let’s correct it for the sake of those who still think it’s accurate.

Jesus’ death on the cross doesn’t mean the law doesn’t apply anymore. “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” (Matthew 5:17)

That’s Jesus Himself. Pretty sure He has a good idea of what Jesus was doing on the cross. And it’s a New Testament example of the Old Testament still mattering.

“But Jesus dies in vain if we’re still held to the old laws.” No, He doesn’t. He didn’t die so humans no longer had to follow the law. Humans were never even able to fully follow the law to begin with. “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it  the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,  and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,  whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.” (Romans 3:21-25)

Jesus didn’t die so we didn’t have to follow the law. He died so that when we inevitably violated that law He gave us, there was still a way we could spend eternity with Him.

“Then what was the point of the law in the first place?” Well I’m glad you asked. Take a look at what Paul says here. “What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, ‘You shall not covet.'” (Romans 7:7) 

The law shows us that we are sinful beings. Remember that there was no law until Moses, yet when Cain murdered Abel, God saw that as sin, and God flooded the earth because of the evil of man though there was no law literally set in stone for humans to follow at this point. Sin & evil exist regardless of whether some written law makes them that way. The law was a mirror showing us our sin.

So don’t claim to “understand Christian theology better than Bible-thumpers do” unless you’re willing to be debated by “Bible-thumpers” and back your claim up. To those of you who have seen this post and stand behind it, consider these updates the user later posted that for some reason aren’t also going around the Internet.

Also if you’re a Christian and you want to debate me on this post please god don’t, I will not answer, I never answer, I’m sick to death of talking about this, stop.”

I wrote this more than two years ago when I was a ****-stain up my own *** capital-A-Atheist who still read Richard Dawkins for his brilliant commentary.”

With that in mind, perhaps this isn’t the most trustworthy source for your theology. And if you think Richard Dawkins is a brilliant atheist mind, you need to read more, but that’s a story for another time.

And if you have a problem with the sarcastic and brutally honest way I’ve worded all of this, that’s fine. You don’t have to read anything else I’ve ever written. But some things you just have to tell like it is, no sugar coating, and if you’re into that, I’m glad you’re reading.

And this post was originally a point made about the way Christians treat homosexuals, and yes, a lot of Christians treat homosexuals in ways Jesus wouldn’t for reasons I just don’t understand, so in some ways I appreciate the heart behind the post. But the theology is wrong, and everyone’s spreading it around like it’s brilliant even though the author admits it’s wrong.

So, the TL;DR version of all this is that if you’re going to take something someone said on the Internet as legitimate theology, including anything and everything I’m posting here, you should do some research before you decide to view it as 100% accurate.

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