The Instigator
brett.winstead
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
MadCornishBiker
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

Acts 21 proves that the Apostle Paul was a false teacher

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
MadCornishBiker
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/20/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,668 times Debate No: 34937
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (35)
Votes (1)

 

brett.winstead

Pro

I no longer believe in the Bible but I would like to get into a debate with a serious Bible believer about Paul and his actions in Acts 21 and prove that he taught a different version of Christianity than anyone else in the Bible. If you are very knowledgeable, please accept.
MadCornishBiker

Con

Thank you for the challenge, I hope I am up to it.

I hope to show in the next few rounds that in fact Paul's teachings were completely in line with those of Christ an the other Apostles, despite his some times unorthodox methods.

My argumentation will be based partly on 1 Corinthians 9:20

20 And so to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain Jews; to those under law I became as under law, though I myself am not under law, that I might gain those under law.

And partly on the prophecy in Daniel which foretells the ending of the Mosaic Covenant and that it will be kept in force "for the many" for a period of time.

I look forward to the next few rounds.
Debate Round No. 1
brett.winstead

Pro

All in bold. In the book of Acts, James (the apparent speaker) makes this statement to Paul:



"You see, brother, how many myriads of Jews there are who have believed, and they are all zealous for the law; but they have been informed about you that you teach all the Jews who are among the gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs" (Acts 21:20-21).



James here is making a statement that is profoundly important. He, among other apostles, stayed behind in Jerusalem to preach the Gospel of Jesus to all who would listen and here he is referring to the Jews who did believe in Jesus. The believers in the Christ, under their teaching, were “zealous for the law” and James is happy about it, praising their actions. Not only that, but what is going on here is that Paul was summoned to this council in Jerusalem to defend himself of the claims that he is teaching Jews as well as the gentiles to forsake the law. Why would James even talk like this if he agreed with Paul about the law? He is, in fact, giving Paul the opportunity to kill these rumors that he is really teaching people that the law is now unnecessary. We know that Paul had told the Galatians:



"Indeed, I Paul say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing." (Note: Circumcision was the outer sign that one had accepted and agreed to keep the law given to Moses. By being circumcised, a person was agreeing to enter into a covenant with the God of Israel.) "And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace..." (Galatians 5:2-6).




Paul had many things nice to say about the law but let's focus on his other statements like:




"Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law" (Galatians 3:25).



" We are now rid of the Law ... free to serve in the new spiritual way and not the old way of a written law" (Romans 7:6).



Paul actually told the Galatians that the law was a curse (Gal: 3:13).





Paul's teaching about the law were so crystal clear, nearly every mainline denomination today agrees with him - that you can become a child of God not be keeping the law but by faith. So what's the problem, you ask? If Paul was really hearing from God who inspired all of his teachings, why did God not reveal this highly important information to the elders in Jerusalem? Why was Paul being questioned on what he taught about the law because according to Acts 21, the writer is bragging to Paul that the converted Jews there in Jerusalem were "zealous for the law." It seems that they were teaching a different gospel than the one Paul taught and Paul did not have the guts to condemn them for it to their faces despite him warning his congregations about different gospels. It is not my opinion that Paul taught a different gospel. It is what Acts 21 is all about. James and the other apostles were challenging and testing Paul's teachings.











It gets worse. James proceeds to tell Paul:











" Take these men, join in their purification rites and pay their expenses, so that they can have their heads shaved. Then everybody will know there is no truth in these reports about you, but that you yourself are living in obedience to the law" (Acts 21:24).











Do you notice that James wants Paul to PROVE that he is living "in obedience to the law" by participating in this Nazarite vow (book of Numbers). Notice that James never ever echoes Paul’s feelings about the law being a burden and impossible to keep. Paul never says that one’s faith and faith alone can lead one to salvation. He does not take the opportunity to explain to the law-keeping Jewish believers that what they are doing by circumcising and trying to keep the law that they are wrong or in danger of not being saved. This is what Christians today teach. Paul participated in this ritual with offering (Acts 21:26).

























MadCornishBiker

Con

I find it interesting, and telling, that from the Galatians scripture, whihc you site as Galatians 5:2-6, you do not show the whole scripture. Is that because the last part weakens your argumentation?

Galatians 5:2-6
2 See! I, Paul, am telling YOU that if YOU become circumcised, Christ will be of no benefit to YOU. 3 Moreover, I bear witness again to every man getting circumcised that he is under obligation to perform the whole Law. 4 YOU are parted from Christ, whoever YOU are that try to be declared righteous by means of law; YOU have fallen away from his undeserved kindness. 5 For our part we by spirit are eagerly waiting for the hoped-for righteousness as a result of faith. 6 For as regards Christ Jesus neither circumcision is of any value nor is uncircumcision, but faith+operating through love [is].

That last scripture alters the apparent tenor of the whole.

Paul is not criticising them so much for acts such as circumcision, but for the lack of reliance on Christ, and the reliance on works of law to gain salvation.

One has to remember the context of this scripture.

The Jews who became Christians, or at least a far too large number of them, insisted that one could not be saved unless one followed the law.

This meant they were relying on the Law, and therefore the old Covenant for salvation, whereas Christianity tauight that Christ's sacrifice ended the need for any future sacrifice. To cling to the law for salvation was to deny the power of Christ's sacrifice to save you.

Paul's stance on that was later verified by the Apostles and Older men in Jerusalem who said, after a long and prayerful deliberation about the Law, sent the message, recorded at Acts 15:28,29 "28 For the holy spirit and we ourselves have favored adding no further burden to YOU, except these necessary things, 29 to keep abstaining from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication. If YOU carefully keep yourselves from these things, YOU will prosper. Good health to YOU!"

In fact the whole of Chapter 15 of acts is worth reading.

One thing you will notice, in verse 2, if you do, that it was not only Paul who disputed with them, but Barnabus also.

Strictly speaking, that pronouncement by the 1st century Governing Body, should have put an end to the arguments, but unfortunately it didn't, and that debate rages on today as threads on here which promote the following of Torah illustrate only too well.

So Acts 21:20-35 Does not demonstrate that Paul taught a different kind of Christianity, what he taught was perfectly in line with the pronouncement of the Governing Body of Apostles and Older men in Jerusalem.

In fact it would appear that if anyone was in the wrong there, it was James, though not entirely because as Paul himself said there was a need to tailor your ministry to your audience, which he did as he describes at 1 Corinthians 9:19-23; For, though I am free from all persons, I have made myself the slave to all, that I may gain the most persons. 20 And so to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain Jews; to those under law I became as under law, though I myself am not under law, that I might gain those under law. 21 To those without law I became as without law, although I am not without law toward God but under law toward Christ, that I might gain those without law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might gain the weak. I have become all things to people of all sorts, that I might by all means save some. 23 But I do all things for the sake of the good news, that I may become a sharer of it with [others].

Thus he happily did as James suggested for precisely that reason.

So no Paul was not teaching a different Christianity to the rest, though those who wish to undermine Christianity will say all they can to undermine Paul, the most prominent, strongest,and most quoted of all the Apostles.
Debate Round No. 2
brett.winstead

Pro

I find it interesting, and telling, that from the Galatians scripture, which you site as Galatians 5:2-6, you do not show the whole scripture. Is that because the last part weakens your argumentation?

Had to edit because I ran out of characters. Made this debate too short. Weaken?


Paul is not criticising them so much for acts such as circumcision, but for the lack of reliance on Christ, and the reliance on works of law to gain salvation.

No, I am sorry but their faith in the Messiah was already established. They were already learning from the other apostles to keep the law also (not in place of faith). This is what this meeting was about. Why would James be bragging about their actions if they had it all wrong? I really think you should read it again. Their belief in Jesus is not up for debate. Paul's teaching about not keeping the law was the hot issue of the day.



This meant they were relying on the Law, and therefore the old Covenant for salvation, whereas Christianity taught that Christ's sacrifice ended the need for any future sacrifice.

Who taught this...besides Paul? It almost sounds like you are quoting Paul to prove Paul's doctrine. Again, Paul NOT keeping the law is the issue here. James is questioning Paul if the rumors are true or not. James does not tell the Jews to avoid the law but brags about them keeping it.

So Acts 21:20-35 Does not demonstrate that Paul taught a different kind of Christianity, what he taught was perfectly in line with the pronouncement of the Governing Body of Apostles and Older men in Jerusalem.

If Paul did not teach a different kind of Christianity, why are they asking him to dispel of any rumors that he himself is not keeping the law - something they were keeping in Jerusalem? Paul was teaching just the opposite to the Romans, Galatians and Ephesians.

In fact it would appear that if anyone was in the wrong there, it was James,

You just said that God allowed false teachings by his early church leaders appear as doctrine in his word in the book of Acts. Also, Paul should have corrected them on the spot under inspiration from the Holy Spirit.


You mentioned 1 Corinthians 9:19-23; (edited)...And so to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain Jews; to those under law I became as under law, though I myself am not under law..."

This is just a lot of Paul's gobbledygook and none of it makes sense. Would it have been acceptable if Paul had added "and so to the child molesters, I became as a child molester." What does any of it mean? Did Jesus say to "compromise who you are and what you believe and teach so you can accommodate your listeners?" Did James, Peter, Timothy or John say anything of the sort? No, only Paul.

Thus he happily did as James suggested for precisely that reason.

Are you suggesting that in "God's word," the greatest apostle of all time committed a sin (by his own teachings) in order to appease his audience? Paul had his head shaved and participated in the offering, part of keeping the law, the very law he said we are "rid of" and was a "curse."

So no Paul was not teaching a different Christianity to the rest, though those who wish to undermine Christianity will say all they can to undermine Paul, the most prominent, strongest,and most quoted of all the Apostles.

Biker, read it again, ok? Paul not only was teaching a message that was different from the apostles in Jerusalem and it is not only my opinion, it was the apostle's opinion. Again I say to you, that is what Acts 21 is about. If Paul were a true prophet, he had the perfect opportunity to say "James, I am not going to participate in the cursed rituals of the law. God told me to tell you that you are all wrong. No one can keep the law and Jesus nailed it to the cross. Aren't you reading my letters? Isn't God telling you the same thing"?

No, Paul simply conformed to what they wanted and that is why many people consider him a false prophet. He had his own teaching. Should Jews who believe keep law now?




MadCornishBiker

Con

their faith in Christ fully established, or just their belief in him?

That is a much more important question than you might think, but if you think of some of teh discussions I am having on these threads right now, I am discussing scripturewith people with a lot of belief, but no real faith.

Why do I say that?

Because they do not have sufficient faith in Christ to accept that, if they do indeed rely on him, he will keep his promis and strengthen them through holy spirit.

If those Jews who were arguing for the observance of the Law had any solid faith in Jesus and in his sacrifice, why did they feel they needed to obey the Law? It really didn't sense.

Hence the decision of the Apostles and Older men as announced in Acts 15, where they only "saved" three elements of the Alw as necessary to observe. Not the whole law.

However, back to the theme of this debate.

I have already shown you through the scripture at Acts 15, that in saying that the Jews should refrain from relying on works of law for salvation Paul was not teaching a different kind of Christianity.

Where does it say that they were learning form other Apostles to keep the Law? I have seen no examples of it. Even James does not at any point in the scripture at Acts 21, say that it was necessary to keep the law, though at that time it was still possible to.

However all the Apostles knew that it was very shortly going to be completely impossible to keep the Law anyway, since the Temple was to be destroyed. So why would any Apostle teach that ones should?

Also, where does it say that the other Apostles in Jerusalem were keeping the law? It was those very Apostles and older men who, 6 chapters earlier, had declared that only three elements of the law needed to be observed, after having been called on to settle that very question supposedly once and for all time.

No James was only acting to prevent the spread of pernicious rumours.

Incidentally, where in that whole chapter does James actually tell Paul he is wrong? Absoultely nowhere, again James merely asks him to quash the rumours so as not to stumble the Jews, somehting again whihc Paul was eager to comly with.

1 Corinthians 10:23-33
23 All things are lawful; but not all things are advantageous. All things are lawful; but not all things build up. 24 Let each one keep seeking, not his own [advantage], but that of the other person.
25 Everything that is sold in a meat market keep eating, making no inquiry on account of YOUR conscience; 26 for "to Jehovah belong the earth and that which fills it." 27 If anyone of the unbelievers invites YOU and YOU wish to go, proceed to eat everything that is set before YOU, making no inquiry on account of YOUR conscience. 28 But if anyone should say to YOU: "This is something offered in sacrifice," do not eat on account of the one that disclosed it and on account of conscience. 29 "Conscience," I say, not your own, but that of the other person. For why should it be that my freedom is judged by another person"s conscience? 30 If I am partaking with thanks, why am I to be spoken of abusively over that for which I give thanks?
31 Therefore, whether YOU are eating or drinking or doing anything else, do all things for God"s glory. 32 Keep from becoming causes for stumbling to Jews as well as Greeks and to the congregation of God, 33 even as I am pleasing all people in all things, not seeking my own advantage but that of the many, in order that they might get saved.

Notice particularly, the first two verses of that scripture above, then verse 29, then the last 3 verses.

Paul explained, that, there was nothing wrong with following the Law as such, as long as it didn't become what you rely on for salvation. because whilst it might be lawful, there was no advantage in it.

However Paul, and all who follow Christ, was more than happy to observe the law for the sake of the consciences of those Jews who argued for it, whilst at the same time trying to strengthen their faith in Christ.
Debate Round No. 3
brett.winstead

Pro

their faith in Christ fully established, or just their belief in him?

We cannot know but why would they have only a belief in him while hanging out with the apostles? The NT belief from Act on is everything. Belief is the faith.


If those Jews who were arguing for the observance of the Law had any solid faith in Jesus and in his sacrifice, why did they feel they needed to obey the Law? It really didn't sense.

That is correct. It would not make sense for someone with Pauline doctrine in their belief system to keep the law. That is why no Christian keeps the law now for the most part. That is the whole point of the inconsistency that I am pointing out in Acts 21. What you are missing is this: The early believers in Jesus as in the Jews under the guidance of the early apostles kept the law because the law was the teaching and instruction of God as given to Moses - the Torah. To not keep the law was to be a lawbreaker, a sinner. Instead of asking why they would keep the law, a better question would be why wouldn't they? The fact that they were and James was happy about it should speak roaring volumes. They had no intentions of neglecting the law just because the Messiah had come. They already knew the law was to be kept forever:

"… the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law" (Deuteronomy 29:29).


The Messiah coming did not bring an end to "forever."

Hence the decision of the Apostles and Older men as announced in Acts 15, where they only "saved" three elements of the Alw as necessary to observe. Not the whole law.

No one claims that salvation comes by believing in Jesus and observing three elements of the law. Have you heard that in any church? Now, that really does not make sense. Either highly edited or Peter was mistaken.

I have already shown you through the scripture at Acts 15, that in saying that the Jews should refrain from relying on works of law for salvation Paul was not teaching a different kind of Christianity.

I have never said that that Jews were relying on keeping the law for salvation in the NT. We are talking about believing Jews, ones who kept the law after believing because the law was their standard of righteousness. It is the only standard of righteousness in the Bible outside of Paul's teachings.

Where does it say that they were learning form other Apostles to keep the Law?

If believing in Jesus means you no longer need to keep the law , please explain why the apostles did not teach the Jews this in Jerusalem? Instead of giving me some obscure insconsistent passages from Acts 15, take me on the guided tour of the NT epistles where someone besides Paul taught that salvation comes by believing and now breaking that perfect, forever law was now completely okay?

Even James does not at any point in the scripture at Acts 21, say that it was necessary to keep the law, though at that time it was still possible to.

James does not need to say the words "Now that you all believe in Christ, it is necessary to keep the law." Why did he not need to say that? Because they were already keeping it. He was just giddy about it! It was hearing the rumors of Paul not keeping it that had him and the others concerned.


Also, where does it say that the other Apostles in Jerusalem were keeping the law?

Of course they were and they expected Paul to. Again, they asked Paul to do this ritual;

"Then everybody will know there is no truth in these reports about you, but that you yourself are living in obedience to the law" (Acts 21:24).


Why would they expect Paul to do something that was obsolete and no longer necessary? You still have not answered.



Incidentally, where in that whole chapter does James actually tell Paul he is wrong?

Are you looking for the words "Paul, you are wrong."? No, that is not there but Acts 21 is all about them believing that Paul was wrong.





MadCornishBiker

Con

Faith and belief are very different things, in scriptural and dictionary terms, however I shall stick with the scriptural definition of faith.

Hebrews 11:1
11 Faith is the assured expectation of things hoped for, the evident demonstration of realities though not beheld.

Notice that in scriptural terms faith is much, much more than belief. It is as good as a guarantee that you will get what is promised. Can you honestly say that the faith of those Jewish converts, and don't forget the Apostles were all Jews, was so strong if they felt you had to keep the law to gain salvation?

I speak with many on the internet who have a belief in Christ, but very little real faith, in scriptural terms, and we are after all discussing scripture so we need to think in it's terms.

Paul's viewpoint, as demonstrated in that scripture in Acts 21, as well as demonstrated by the Apostles and older men in their statement recorded at Acts 15, is very clearly carry out the matters of law or don't, it makes no difference, just don't think you will get saved by doing so.

That is why Paul was content, as an ex-Jew, to do as he was told, since it made no difference to his future, but affected the consciences of other, as he explained in the 1 Corinthians letter I quoted previously.

No, his sacrifice did not bring an end to "forever", however it did bring and end to the Law as a rigid Law code forever, because it was a once and for all time sacrifice and, as prophesied in Daniel 9 caused sacrifice and offering to cease. The destruction of the Temple was supposed to underline that fact, and make future sacrifice according to the law physically impossible. It also, by doing replacing the law, brought an end to the Mosaic Covenant. Again, as prophesied in Daniel 9:24 "There are seventy weeks that have been determined upon your people and upon your holy city, in order to terminate the transgression, and to finish off sin, and to make atonement for error, and to bring in righteousness for times indefinite, and to imprint a seal upon vision and prophet, and to anoint the Holy of Holies. 25 And you should know and have the insight [that] from the going forth of [the] word to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah [the] Leader, there will be seven weeks, also sixty-two weeks. She will return and be actually rebuilt, with a public square and moat, but in the straits of the times.
26 "And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah will be cut off, with nothing for himself.
"And the city and the holy place the people of a leader that is coming will bring to their ruin. And the end of it will be by the flood. And until [the] end there will be war; what is decided upon is desolations.
27 "And he must keep [the] covenant in force for the many for one week; and at the half of the week he will cause sacrifice and gift offering to cease.

I have read it many times, and no Paul was not teaching any message different to the other Apostles. He was, as were they, teaching the message that reliance on the Law for salvation was at an end and was brought to an end by Jesus' sacrifice. The whole thrust of his message was not against carrying out the things in the law, but about practising it, which is a very different thing, and the Jews were teaching that one had to obey the Law to be saved. The appropriate phrase is the last one in Acts 21: 21 But they have heard it rumored about you that you have been teaching all the Jews among the nations an apostasy from Moses, telling them neither to circumcise their children nor to walk in the customs.

Whilst there was no harm or benefit in doing the things in the law, "walking in the customs" was the problem.

Of course it also has to be remembered that we are here being told of a rumour, but was that rumour actually what Paul had said or was a a distorted version of it, put out by those Jews who taught that one had to obey the customs to be saved? We are not told. It is called rumour and could be just that and nothing more.
Debate Round No. 4
brett.winstead

Pro

Paul's viewpoint, as demonstrated in that scripture in Acts 21, as well as demonstrated by the Apostles and older men in their statement recorded at Acts 15, is very clearly carry out the matters of law or don't, it makes no difference, just don't think you will get saved by doing so.

How can you say it does not make a difference? The law was highly important if you believe in the OT:
" Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole [duty] of man." (Ecc. 12:13)

Either this statement is the word of God or it isn't. I have yet to meet a Christian who understood the law in the OT. No matter how many times I quote Deut 6 :25, people still think the law was never meant to be obeyed for righteousness:

"And if we are careful to obey all this law before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness." (Deut 6:25)

And yes, people did keep the law despite what Paul thought. That is another debate.

That is why Paul was content, as an ex-Jew, to do as he was told, since it made no difference to his future, but affected the consciences of other, as he explained in the 1 Corinthians letter I quoted previously.

Why would Paul do what anyone told him if it was wrong? Paul taught that keeping the law was wrong.

No, his sacrifice did not bring an end to "forever", however it did bring and end to the Law as a rigid Law code forever, because it was a once and for all time sacrifice and, as prophesied in Daniel 9 caused sacrifice and offering to cease.

Daniel 9 is way too vague for this discussion but saying that Jesus' sacrifice brought an end to the law is perfectly in line with Paul's doctrine. The troubling thing is that no one else taught that.

I have read it many times, and no Paul was not teaching any message different to the other Apostles. He was, as were they, teaching the message that reliance on the Law for salvation was at an end and was brought to an end by Jesus' sacrifice.

If Paul's message was no different from the apostles, why were they telling Paul to keep the law to prove that "you yourself are living in obedience to the law" (Acts 21:24). There is just no getting around that. If the law was no longer important or necessary and obsolete, why was Paul being asked to prove that he was still keeping it? You have yet to answer that question and that is the main part of this debate.

Paul said that no one is justified by keeping the law (Gal. 2:16) so why would he not take this prime opportunity to set them straight?

The whole thrust of his message was not against carrying out the things in the law, but about practising it, which is a very different thing, and the Jews were teaching that one had to obey the Law to be saved.

Where is that verse, exactly? Either way, it was true. They believed in 2 things:
1. You must have faith in Christ
2. You must still be keeping the law which is proof that you had faith in Christ. Beyond Paul, the NT teaches that you have to keep the commandments:
"This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus." (Rev. 14:9)

Whilst there was no harm or benefit in doing the things in the law, "walking in the customs" was the problem.

That was what keeping the law meant.

Of course it also has to be remembered that we are here being told of a rumour, but was that rumour actually what Paul had said or was a a distorted version of it,

Seems to me that the rumor was 100% true about Paul. Of course he was teaching against keeping the law. You've read Galatians. The apostles were evidently not getting Paul's letters but only heard the stories. That is why they summoned Paul to Jerusalem in the first place. They were HIGHLY CONCERNED that he was neglecting the law! Why, if the law was "nailed to the cross?" You still have not answered that. They pressured Paul to prove that he was keeping the law by pressuring him to conform to the Nazarite vow, complete with offering, something that Paul also taught was no longer necessary.

MadCornishBiker

Con

Again belief is a long way from faith, as James said:

James 2:19 You believe there is one God, do you? You are doing quite well. And yet the demons believe and shudder.

Satan has always believed, but what good has it done him

He believed Christ is god's son, and because of that belief tried to have him killed.

What he has never had is faith. He has never had the trust the faith that God would do what He intended, one way or another.

No, belief is merely a starting point.

I can believe that it makes no difference because all of the Apostles tell me it makes no difference, and they tell me why, because Christ has fulfilled the Law and brought the Mosiac Covenant, of which the law was a part, to an end, replaced it with the Covenant for a kingdom.

If the law was necessary for Christians, why did the Apostles and Older men, having considered that very topic say what they did at Acts 15:28,29 ASV(i) 28 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: 29 that ye abstain from things sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication; from which if ye keep yourselves, it shall be well with you. Fare ye well.

That is all that is left of the law.

So is the law completely useless?

Never may that be. Christ taught Christian principle based on the Law, which took the law and then took it further, showing that it is what we thin that cunts, because if we think right we will do right.

That is basically what God foretold when he foretold the end of then Law as a written code.

Jeremiah 31:33
33 "For this is the covenant that I shall conclude with the house of Israel after those days," is the utterance of Jehovah. "I will put my law within them, and in their heart I shall write it. And I will become their God, and they themselves will become my people."

If you have the Law in your heart you do not need a written code.

Ecclestiastes 12:13 is very true, but does it apply purely to the Mosaic Law or to future commandments? Apart from which the commandments were only a small part of the law.

Deuteronomy 6:25
25 And it will mean righteousness for us, that we take care to do all this commandment before Jehovah our God, just as he has commanded us."

Again is that scripture talking about the law, or simply about obedience to God? There have been many more commands given by God to men.

However the Law still has value, even though it is not a rigid code to be enforced any more.

I find it interesting that you quote the law to prove the law.

No Jesus did not bring an end to forever. Nor did he bring an end to the law. However he did bring an end to its use as a rigid law code. It was a tutor leading to the Christ, and now the Christ had arrived the teacher was not needed any more except as a witness to our need for chrism and his sacrifice, as well as helping us to see the basis on which Christian principle has been built.

So no, Paul's teachings were not a different kind of Christianity and were completely in line with the decision of the Governing body, the Apostles and older men in Jerusalem.

That is why God has arranged for so many of Paul's letters to be included in His word.
Debate Round No. 5
35 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by MrsV 3 years ago
MrsV
Brett, I like the way you think. I would be interested in conversing with you on this topic off of this forum... I did not take the time to read the entire debate, but I think you brought up some valid questions that need to be addressed. I have been questioning these same things over the past several years and come to very different conclusions than your opponent. Please contact me if you are interested in future discussion on this...
Posted by MadCornishBiker 3 years ago
MadCornishBiker
I don;t believe that Jesus is God, I believe, as scripture says that he is a god, the only being directly created by God alone and who then worked alongside his Father in creating all things.

However he imitated his Father in every way so if you copy him you are copying his Father.

Jesus offered his sacrifice for all sin forever, yes.

However that only applies to those who accept that sacrifice, and the responsibility it puts on us all.

It also means that we have to continue to display that acceptance by the way we think and live to remains sin free in the eyes of God and Christ.

The remission of sin is real in that, in effect, it is a credit applied to the faithful. We will only truly be sin free when we are returned to the original state of perfection that Adam lost, and that will not be until the resurrection from the dead, after Armageddon. It is the imperfection brought on us by Adam that makes us inherently sinful, and causes sickness and death.
Posted by brett.winstead 3 years ago
brett.winstead
yes, Jesus is recorded as saying """You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind."

The million dollar question is, how does one prove he loves Jesus? The good news is that Jesus answers that so no one has to guess:

"If you love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15). What are Jesus' commandments assuming you believe that Jesus is God? He commands his people to keep the law. What else? Nowhere does Jesus or any non-Pauline author of any book in the Bible say "there will come a day when keeping the law will be unnecessary." In the eternal kingdom, there will be animal sacrifices for sin: (Ezek 45:17 "It will be the duty of the prince to provide the burnt offerings, grain offerings and drink offerings at the festivals, the New Moons and the Sabbaths"at all the appointed festivals of Israel. He will provide the sin offerings,[p] grain offerings, burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to make atonement for the Israelites."

If Jesus atoned for all sin forever as Paul taught, why is this? Of course, my NIV Bible commentary cannot answer this effectively so it explains that all of Ez. 45 is symbolism.
Posted by MadCornishBiker 3 years ago
MadCornishBiker
@ Harbinger.

Do you really need a written covenant to know that sort of this is wrong? If you do you've got problems.

As I said before Matthew 22:36-40 says it all really

"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37 He said to him: ""You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind." 38 This is the greatest and first commandment. 39 The second, like it, is this, "You must love your neighbor as yourself." 40 On these two commandments the whole Law hangs, and the Prophets."

As Jesus says, obey those two commandments and you have obeyed the Law, the prophets and more besides.

I have never understood why people cannot see that. Even Mohandas Ghandi, a lifelong Hindu said "If all were to live according to the sermon on the Mount there would be no need for armies or police forces".

Unfortunately because he could see that very few, if any, Christians really even try to live up to it he also said "I love Christianity, it's Christians I hate".
Posted by MadCornishBiker 3 years ago
MadCornishBiker
Lol, yes, I can imagine, only the more experienced followers of Christ can come anywhere near answering your questions, and then only with the guidance of holy spirit.

As for women, lol, even women can't understand women.
Posted by MadCornishBiker 3 years ago
MadCornishBiker
I never said it wasn't. It is simply that the law itself is no longer any mroe than a giude.

The basic principle of Christianity is that anything whihc can harm another human in any way, however slight is a sin. It really is that simple.

As Jesus said at Matthew 7:12 "All things, therefore, that YOU want men to do to YOU, YOU also must likewise do to them; this, in fact, is what the Law and the Prophets mean.

If you obey that, you are in effect, obeying the law.

Romans 13:10
10 Love does not work evil to one"s neighbor; therefore love is the law"s fulfillment.

Galatians 5:14
14 For the entire Law stands fulfilled in one saying, namely: "You must* love your neighbor as yourself."

1 Timothy 1:5
5 Really the objective of this mandate is love out of a clean heart and out of a good conscience and out of faith without hypocrisy.

Matthew 22:36-40

36 "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37 He said to him: ""You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind." 38 This is the greatest and first commandment. 39 The second, like it, is this, "You must love your neighbor as yourself." 40 On these two commandments the whole Law hangs, and the Prophets."

The law is not needed. All we need is real love for our neighbour, anyone who needs our help, our entire brotherhood of men.

That is what Christ taught, that is what Paul taught, that is what all the Apostles taught. None of them could have made it clearer, and yet still people argue over it.
Posted by brett.winstead 3 years ago
brett.winstead
The two most difficult things I have ever done in my life is:

1. trying to understand women
2. trying to nail Christians down to what is and is not a sin.
Posted by brett.winstead 3 years ago
brett.winstead
Not sure exactly what you mean but I am unaware of any covenant sort of way in the Bible. If it is a literal sin to literally steal, then how is it not a literal sin to commit any of the other sins againt the law? Remember, keep in mind, that a sin by definition is transgression against the law (1 John. 3:4). If there is not written law and it is only your conscience, how is it a sin not to steal but not a sin to break the other laws? If your conscience is not telling you to keep the law as in the law against theft, then would it be safe to safe you have not been born again? If the answer is "yes," then please sub any other sin in the law in place of the word "theft." What do you think? Can a person break the Sabbath and still be "in Christ?" since their conscience and that inner man is not telling them to keep the Sabbath. Like you said, it should be much more than physically keeping the Sabbath at this point. Just thinking about it means you sin but does that take away from the actual breaking of it? Why was Paul keeping the law physically in Acts 21 and the Jews keeping it physically too? No one said that the law was "deeper" and "in principle". Why cannot you quote any non Pauline verse other than Acts 15 to support any kind of view that somehow, the written law has been done away with? If the law has been done away with, how is it wrong to steal?
Posted by Harbinger 3 years ago
Harbinger
@Brett, "Is the actual taking of my neighbor's cool Snapper lawnmower a sin?"

If you think of it in a covenant kind of way, yes it is.
Posted by MadCornishBiker 3 years ago
MadCornishBiker
@ brett.winstead

I don't know how you got that from what I said.

No of course not. That is nothing like what I said. I said it actually made it harder to comply with than a simple written code. Do you need a code you can point to, or are you not capable of training your own conscience according to the principles in that law?

How can you say it was only taught by Paul when the whole of the Governing body of Apostles and Older men in Jerusalem confirmed that only those basic parts of the law were still compulsory? That makes no sense. Acts 15:28,29. Paul was teaching exactly what they had prayerfully decided under the guidance of holy spirit.

Do you really want to argue with holy spirit?

No right now I am not up for another debate. I am far too tired for that, after the last couple of days catching up on the debate, comments and other posts, so I'm restricting my self to comments and posts.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by annanicole 3 years ago
annanicole
brett.winsteadMadCornishBikerTied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: Con, although he is heretical, upheld his negation that the apostle Paul was a false teacher - but such statements as "... belief is a long way from faith, as James said" and "faith and belief are very different things" leave a little to be desired, since they are precisely the same word in the Greek. They aren't derivatives of the same word: they ARE the same word. Even if Pro could prove that the apostle Paul taught differently than another apostle, he still obligated himself to prove that Paul was a false teacher -- thus part of the difficulty is the wording of the proposition. It should have been down-scaled. Pro also failed to acknowledge that continued practice of certain Jewish customs was permissible (as merely customs) until Judaism died a natural death. Con pointed this out, using different words. Spelling to Pro due to Con's interpolation of letter a few times. (I could care less, but DDO has it as a voting criterion).