Critical Thinking Exercise 1: Did Jesus Keep the Law?

 
 
 
 

Critical Thinking Exercise #1: Did Jesus Keep the Law?

 

One of the very key things that I am called to do as a minister is to encourage people to develop sound critical thinking skills. When I taught as a professor at a Bible school, I always attempted to inspire reflection and analysis among my students by encouraging them to think about the content of the course. Most theological schools merely “indoctrinate” their students, and critical thinking is too often highly discouraged. However, it has always been my goal to “educate” people instead. The latter can only be achieved if people are given the tools to think correctly (logically), and entrusted with the ability to use their God-given brains as they try to reach sound conclusions.

Yes, people will make mistakes, but that is also how we learn. Moreover, if a professor/teacher is secure in his or her own ability to discern and explain truth, then they should be willing to let people make the effort and then give sound critique to get them on-track if they miss the mark. We should teach students how to think first, and provide them a framework of understanding core doctrines of the faith at the same time.  Then we need to allow them to put those same doctrines to “the test” by analysis.

General Theory of Discernment-Small

This chart illustrates a correct reasoning process wherein true premises combine with logical analysis, in order to focus upon a true conclusion. This can then be put into action or expressed with correct words in the form of rational arguments. Click on the image to enlarge the chart.

Within my FREE audio series, The Fundamentals of the REAL Gospel, I called this the “lab” (short for “laboratory”) part of the education process. Using a chemistry or physics class as a metaphor, I liken the Bible instruction portion of the education process to the textbook reading and lectures. However, the concepts don’t become “real” to a person unless they can then see the dynamics involved with their own eyes. Hence, there is a “lab” class in which they get to “test” the theories they learned in the main classroom. There is something about actually working with the experiments that makes abstract concepts come alive to the mind, as we understand how they apply in the real world. Likewise, if a given doctrine is truly correct (i.e., both biblical and logical) then the “lab” of good analysis will verify that fact. However, if the doctrine is false, then when it is “put to the test” it will fall apart as the inconsistencies and contradictions are exposed.

With these points in mind, I would like to do something different with this article than I have within my previous ones…

Normally, I take a subject that I have on my heart and write an article. I lay out my case as logically and methodically as I can from the Scriptures, and attempt to provide analogies to make the teaching more comprehensible (much like Jesus used “parables” to do the same).

Once I post the article, however, it is not uncommon that someone will come along and challenge me on a point or two. When they do, I typically respond to them and dissect their arguments (like a good professor should) in order to demonstrate where their reasoning is in error (if, in fact, it is in error). Some appreciate this, and others do not. Of course, the Bible told us that is the way it would be:

Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.

(Proverbs 9:8, NKJV)

For the commandment is a lamp, And the law a light; Reproofs of instruction are the way of life…

(Proverbs 6:23, NKJV)

So not everybody appreciates the correction, but nonetheless, it is the way people are supposed to grow intellectually and learn. Another way that people learn is to “do” something concrete with the instruction that they have already been given, as I noted above with my “lab” analogy. So what I would like to do is to combine these two concepts, and that brings me to my idea.

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My Experiment

I would like to do my OWN experiment here. Instead of answering a particular comment directly myself, what I would like to do is allow my readers to examine the comment and to dissect it to see if they can pick out the errors. Then I would like my readers to post their own comments underneath this article with their analysis, and I will affirm those points that are correct and coach them where they fell short, in order to sharpen their discernment and reasoning skills.

So to use another analogy, picture a classroom setting. One of the “students” (in this case, a reader of this website) has just stood up and presented a thesis that challenges something that I as the “professor”(in this case, the author of the article in question) have presented to the “class” (i.e., all my other readers). So turning to my class, I am asking, “Okay, he has presented his case. Is he correct? Is he wrong? In what way or ways is he wrong? Critique his thesis using sound reasoning, and be sure to justify your own answers accordingly.”

If this little experiment of mine works well, then I may do this more often from here on out. As I write articles, and people come to challenge me on points, I may take some particularly ideal comment and set it apart in an article like this for group analysis. (Not all comments are as well suited for this as the one I will present below, so I will only be able to do this as I have comments that are useful for the purpose.)

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Supporting Analysis Is Provided

Of course, I will not leave my readers without some helpful instruction. What I will do is post the comment in question below, and then give you a few hints at what problems are in there that I have already identified. Then you can choose the category (or categories) that you want to study and analyze, and select the points underneath which you wish to address. Then write your comment at the bottom of this page in order to break down the problem AND to give the correct answer from the Scriptures. You can choose as many or as few points to discuss as you like and as your schedule permits.

What I will do on my end is to leave all the comments in the moderation queue for a few days (maybe a week or more) so that I can let them build up. I want to give you all a chance to respond to the parts  that you want to address without someone taking your topic first and/or influencing your answer. When I am ready to pop them out of the queue, I will respond to each post (very kindly) and affirm the good arguments/points, while providing a proper critique of the parts that are not quite correct. Hopefully, we can work together to help this person understand why his comment is in error.

(Of course, the person who posted the comment could themselves re-examine their original statements in the light of my “hints” about the problems therewith, and post their own corrections.)

The entire exercise should hopefully prove to be a great way for my readers to learn more about biblical exegesis and logical analysis. It is my hope that this will encourage a greater quality of critical and biblical thinking, while enabling me to take on more of a “coaching” role whenever the time comes to address another sincere (but erroneous) comment in the future. Again, my goal is to “educate” people. Part of that entails encouraging critical thinking and logical analysis. Thus, I hope that this “lab” time will help you all to attain greater skill in these areas.

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The Rules

Of course, I have to put a few control mechanisms in place in order to ensure the discussion stays objective and polite. I want to encourage academic-style discussion to the greatest degree possible. I do NOT want to merely encourage people to post unsubstantiated opinions on my page, or to abuse the person who has just inadvertently “volunteered” for this exercise by posing a public comment on one of my articles. So to be clear: I don’t want your “opinions.” I want your thoughtful analysis and resulting conclusions. (Yes, there is a difference.)

So here are the basic rules:

  • No baseless name-calling. In logic, this is called the “ad hominem” fallacy. This is a Latin term that literally means, “at the man.” Whenever a person lacks good reasoning skills or have nothing by which to substantiate their thesis, they often resort to verbal abuse as a defense method. This is nothing less than a school-yard bully type of tactic in debates. Unless the statements/labels being used are relevant AND substantiated with fact (e.g., calling a proven heretic a “heretic” is perfectly legitimate), then we are dealing with an “ad hominem” fallacy. Such comments will either be edited (i.e., if they contain other useful commentary) or deleted entirely (if they do not).
  • State facts, not opinions. In order to “make your case,” you need to address specifics with the person’s comment, or expound upon a Bible passage, or identify a relevant point of logic or something else of substance. While statements like, “I don’t like that” or “I think it should not be that way” may be honest expressions of your opinion, they are also not logical “arguments” in the true sense of the word. Stick with the facts, and make your case. Please keep emotions and mere opinion out of it as much as possible.
  • Be respectful. While you may not agree with the commentator (or me), be respectful in how you address the other person’s view and argument. You may not respect their particular view (i.e., in the sense of agreeing with it), but you can still be respectful toward the person. Again, hostile or disrespectful comments will be either edited or deleted.

So with these basic rules in mind, let me now present to you the comment that we will all study together and analyze. I will thereafter provide some helpful “hints” as to what problems I have already identified therein (in several categories). It is then up to you to take it from there and make your case about any point that you wish to address (including any points that I do not identify explicitly because I have not stated all of them that I see, nor do I necessarily see all of the problems that are within the comment; I am certainly not omniscient).

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The Comment

The following comment was posted by a very sincere person by the name of Loddie Resnick. This brother was NOT hostile, so we must give him due respect as we reply to his comment. However, he is quite incorrect on a number of points, so I think it will be a good exercise for my readers to reach out in an effort to help this person see where his reasoning is not as scriptural as it could (and should) be.

This comment was posted underneath my recent article Casting “Boomerang Stones.” (Since his comment addressed a secondary point of that article, it would take that page way off topic if I replied to him there; thus, this is another reason why I have relocated his comment here so that we can discuss it without detracting from that other article.)

So before replying to what he wrote, you will certainly need to first read that article. This is necessary in order to understand the subject of what Loddie is discussing. In the mean time, here is what he wrote:

Rich,

You state “One of the things that qualified Jesus Christ to be our Savior is the fact that He NEVER sinned! He was the sinless “Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Thus, in order to KEEP the law (which Jesus had to do in order to be “sinless,” and He Himself said He came to “fulfill” it in every way), then Jesus would have had to AGREE with the Law—but only if it was being properly applied.” Nowhere in the 4 Gospels does Jesus ever claim that he came to “keep” the Law of Moses. The using of Matthew 5:17-18 to justify your belief that Jesus was testifying to his keeping the law “perfectly” in order to be sinless is just plain bogus. Jesus himself contradicts your understanding of what he meant by fulfilling the law.

Read the account of the two men on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24. Verse 27 states, “And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” Then later in the chapter Jesus appears to his disciples back in Jerusalem and verse 44 states “Then He said to them, ‘These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.’” The Law of Moses, in types and shadows, and the Prophets and psalms all pointed to Christ as the coming Messiah who would save mankind from their sins. Jesus was asserting, thus promising, he was going to fulfill all those things declared of him in the law and prophets. For you to twist Christ words in Matthew 5 to mean that he came to “keep” all the Law of Moses perfectly contradicts Jesus himself and calls into question your whole hypothesis about the boomerang words. You cannot start out contradicting Christ and somehow believe you will end up with the truth.

One enjoinder of Christ often repeated was to “follow me.” If Christ was in fact keeping the Law of Moses then we are obligated to “keep” that Law also or we would not be following him or way he lived his life in the Gospels. Do you really believe true born again Christian are obligated to “keep” the Law of Moses in order to follow Christ and live as he did? Seems to me one would have to believe that if they truly believed Christ was “keeping” the Law of Moses. Otherwise they would not be truly following Christ.

Gal 5:18 “But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.” Is not someone under the law obligated to “keep” the law? Yet keeping the law would be counter to walking in the Spirit. If Jesus was “keeping” the law was he then not being led of the Spirit? Of course Jesus was led of the Spirit thus he was not under the law and therefore, not “keeping” the law. He manifested the life of his Heavenly Father that dwelt within and thus was never under law or “keeping” the Law of Moses. This is exactly how we live our lives by following the example of Christ in being led by the spirit and not under law. The Apostle Paul puts that whole argument to rest.

“But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully, knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust.” (1 Timothy 1:8-11) Just how does a true born again Christian use the law lawfully (correctly, properly)? They use it correctly in revealing Christ to sinners and their need of him for salvation. They misuse it when they attempt to “keep” it or try to impose it on others as a necessary part of salvation. Paul is emphatic that the law was not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and ungodly. Why would Christ, our righteousness, have to submit to and “keep” the Law of Moses since it was not made for a righteous person? Makes no sense that Christ had to “keep” the law “in order to be “sinless,” (your words, Rich) if he was already sinless and righteous before his Heavenly Father.

Rich, you contend Jesus would have insisted upon Law of Moses being obeyed by supporting the stoning the two caught in adultery, had the man been brought to Christ along with the woman. Your argument is based on the belief that Christ had to “keep” Law of Moses perfectly. Nowhere in the Law of Moses does it allow for the mitigation of stoning adulterers even if they are contrite and repentant of their sin because the Law of Moses was the ministration of death (2 Corinth 3:7) not life. If what you contend was true then the words of Christ from Luke 9:56 “For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them” would be disingenuous at best to the ordinary Jew in those times but more so the words of a hypocrite and deceiver.

Rich, you really need to go back and rethink what you have written here and ask the Lord for clarification and correction.

Your brother in Christ

This is a well-written comment, indeed. Most of the ones that challenge me are not this well stated, well formatted, or grammatically correct.

However, there are a number of biblical and logical errors within this sincere brother’s comment. Let me point out a few of them here, and then let me challenge my own readers to explain WHY these are problems and what the correct biblical exegesis is that will get him on track.

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Points to Note

The problems that I have already identified with what he wrote above fall into three categories: His use of fallacies, self-contradictions, and statements of error. Let me explain (in general) what I see herein:

Use of Fallacies:

The first thing to note is that there are at least four fallacies that he has used within this comment. “Fallacy” is a word that is defined simply as error in reasoning. More specifically, these are “informal fallacies” that he used because they do not pertain to the formal structure of his argument, but rather to his ability to “form” and then “target” his argument at all. These are:

(Click the image to enlarge the view.)

The “puzzle piece” in this chart illustrates how illogical (irrational) thinking can incorrectly “process” even true premises and still reach a false conclusion. This then results in wrong actions and incorrect (illogical) arguments. Click on the image to enlarge the chart.

  • The “Straw Man” Fallacy: Whether due to misreading my arguments to which he addressed within his commentary, or due to an unclear explanation on my part, or due to his own faulty thinking, etc., the position that he thinks that he is attacking is not real. It is a figment of his imagination. In short, what he thinks that I was arguing, is not what I was arguing. So like fighting a “straw man” rather than a real one, his entire thesis is pointed toward an illusion instead of what I really said. (Note: You can study about the “straw man” fallacy by clicking here.)
  • The Fallacy of Bifurcation: This fallacy occurs when a person wrongly thinks things are “either this or that.” In other words, they think that the answer is one of two “mutually exclusive” choices (and, of course, they think theirs is the “correct” choice) when, in reality, there may be three or more choices. It is like a person who thinks everything is either “black or white” when in the world around us, there are colors like red, green, blue, yellow, orange, and even “banana cream.” (Many years ago I worked in the paint department of a major home improvement retailer, and some of the names of paint colors made me hungry! LOL!) In particular, Loddie thinks that what I said, and what he proposes, are mutually exclusive positions. However, what I really said (i.e., not his “straw man” argument) is perfectly congruent with the passage he mentioned from Luke chapter 24. (Those of you who have listened to my FREE audio teaching series, The Fundamentals of the REAL Gospel, know that I spent considerable time teaching from Luke chapter 24 within that series.) Yes, there are times when bifurcation is not fallacious because there really are only two mutually exclusive choices. However, Loddie falsely thinks that his answer excludes my earlier points, when they do not. (Note: You can study about the fallacy of “bifurcation” by clicking here.)
  • The Fallacy of Hasty Generalization (aka “Hasty Conclusion”): This fallacy occurs simply because too few samples are taken before “jumping to a conclusion.” In the field of statistics, an example would be conducting a survey of five people and then concluding from these few responses that “everyone in this town thinks this way” about that topic. The sampling has to be significant enough in order to be credible. In the world of theology, however, this fallacy takes on a slightly different character. Basically, this fallacy occurs whenever a person studies too few Scriptures before reaching a conclusion about a given doctrine. Loddie is sincere, but he is also ignoring many Bible verses in order to make his point. I run into this particular fallacy frequently when people propose doctrines in error. In Loddie’s particular case, he is taking an OVERLY narrow view of a much broader subject than he realizes. (Sorry, there is no quick link to a Christian website that I can provide for this one at the moment, but I might write an article about this fallacy later myself.)
  • The Fallacy of Begging the Question: In this instance, the fallacy in question involves assuming a conclusion that has NOT yet been proved. In other words, it is a case of a person thinking that they are right, and then insisting that they are right, without actually proving that they are right. This is why this fallacy is also called “circular reasoning.” Now, reasoning in circles is not necessarily fallacious. We all do this all the time. For example, you might be talking with co-workers about something that you all already know (e.g., some technical issue). Unless the underlying assumptions are challenged by someone, then those assumptions speed the conversation along because it would be a waste of time trying to “prove” something concerning which everyone is already in agreement. However, the moment you are presenting an argument to someone who does NOT agree with that assumed position (or if they challenge you to prove it), then you have to validate that assumption. Otherwise, a person commits this fallacy as they continue to assume that their assumptions are “true” without proving that the are so. Likewise, Loddie has assumptions about the truthfulness of his position that are unproven, partly because he is fighting a “straw man” and partly because of his bifurcation. In fact, because of the contradictions within his argument (which I will note next), his entire thesis is entirely unprovable. (Note: You can study Begging the Question by clicking here but also by clicking here for a second article on the subject.)

Now, there may be other identifiable fallacies within his comment. Nevertheless, I will leave this list off here for the sake of time. If you notice other fallacies that he used, however, feel free to elaborate upon them within your analysis as you post your comments below.

Self-Contradictions:

One critical point of logic is that no genuine TRUTH can ever self-contradict. For example, something cannot be “this” and “not-this” at the same time. So a car cannot be “in the garage” and “not in the garage” at the same time. Now someone might protest, “Well, the car could be half-way in the garage, and be both.” No, that is NOT “not in the garage” but “half-way in the garage.” There is a difference. Someone else might say, “Well, something could be black AND white at the same time.” Yes, that is true; but that is not a contradiction. If someone says “it is black and it is NOT black,” then they have self-contradicted. Being black AND white is different (i.e., there is no contradiction there). Stating that something is “black and not-black” at the same time is a contradiction.

There are at least two contradictions that I see within what Loddie wrote above:

  • The contradiction that comes from the combination of his “straw man” argument and bifurcation, in that he quotes my stated point and then PROVES my point with what he writes thereafter. That is like saying, “You are wrong and you are not wrong” at the same time. Whenever you say that someone is wrong, but then prove that they are right, that is a contradiction. (Note: I will revisit this particular contradiction again further below.)
  • The second contradiction is one that I already explained within the article itself, Casting “Boomerang Stones.” In anticipation of challenges, I had already explained in that article (irrefutably) that to argue against my stated position on that point puts a person into an automatic self-contradiction. If he had thought carefully about what I had written regarding this, then he would have perhaps realized that he was self-contradicting himself by trying to argue against my stated position.

In short, one cannot base their case upon contradictions AND still be telling the truth. The two parts cancel each other out, so that the “argument” is self-nullified. So the fact that Loddie self-contradicted himself twice proves that those particular points are invalid. Since those points are integral to his thesis, then his entire thesis collapses by self-nullification.

(Unfortunately, his entire thesis also qualifies as outright heresy because it indirectly attributes sin to Jesus Christ, but I doubt that he realizes that fact. So please be gentle with him as you reply.)

Statements of Error:

Loddie also made at least one factually incorrect statement. (He may have made more, but I will let you search for those if they are there. Again, I am trying to encourage critical thinking, so I want to see what you all come up with here.)

When Loddie wrote above, “Nowhere in the 4 Gospels does Jesus ever claim that he came to ‘keep’ the Law of Moses,” he was making both a straw man argument AND an incorrect statement. Moreover, he seemed to forget that the Bible is more than the four Gospels alone. So let me challenge my readers:

(Please click on the image to enlarge the chart.)

This third chart demonstrates that even when a person has logical (rational) thinking processes, the presence of deception among the premises upon which their conclusion is based will interfere with rationality and lead to a false conclusion. Once again, this results in wrong actions and incorrect (illogical) arguments. Click on the image to enlarge the chart.

  • Can any of you find passages in the four Gospels in which Jesus explicitly or implicitly stated that He was sinless, and thus, keeping the law perfectly?
  • Can you find quotes about this fact from anywhere in the rest of the New Testament?
  • Are there any such passages found about Jesus Christ (i.e., prophetic descriptions of Him) in the Old Testament?

Of course, I can give quotes from all three areas of the Bible, but I want to see what you all come up with first.

Again, all of this points back to the Fallacy of Hasty Generalization that I explained above. It also demonstrates that one should not make “absolute” statements about the Bible unless they have truly studied the Bible.

(Again, the very fact that Loddie tried to argue that Jesus was NOT sinless–which is the implied meaning of his argument–is a contradiction, as I already explained within the article Casting “Boomerang Stones” itself.)

One Correct Point to Note:

I do not want to leave my readers with the impression that Loddie’s entire comment lacked merit. I should note, in all fairness, that Loddie DID make a correct statement when he wrote:

The Law of Moses, in types and shadows, and the Prophets and psalms all pointed to Christ as the coming Messiah who would save mankind from their sins. Jesus was asserting, thus promising, he was going to fulfill all those things declared of him in the law and prophets.

In fact, with that one statement Loddie proved my entire thesis (i.e., the very thesis that he was challenging). Again, this is one of the self-contradictions that I mentioned above. Can any of you explain why this statement of his PROVED my entire thesis, contrary to what he intended?

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Start Thinking

Now that I have pointed out three categories of error that are found within his comment above, along with a few specifics under each category, it is time to see how good the critical thinking skills of my readers are. Here are a few pointers:

  • Please do NOT try to tackle too many categories or issues in one comment. Otherwise, your comment will be too long and it will be hard for me to reply to you. Instead, try to keep to one or two issues within each comment.
  • Please do NOT try to tackle too much in one sitting. You may need to ponder these things a bit. Moreover, your schedule may only provide you enough time to touch on one or two things, but you can then come back later to address other points.
  • Please READ Casting “Boomerang Stones” first, because you need to understand his comment within the context of that article. You will ALSO need to understand my own points (to which he addressed his comment) within their own context. So read that article first so that you do not commit the “hasty conclusion” fallacy yourself:

A fool has no delight in understanding, but in expressing his own heart…. He who answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame to him.

(Proverbs 18:2 & 13, NKJV)

  • Please also remember that we are trying to help Loddie understand why his entire thesis is incorrect. This is to be a respectful discussion.
  • Please FOCUS on explaining what the Bible really says about Jesus keeping the Law (i.e., the subject at hand) and try to avoid running off into unrelated topics or tangents.
  • Please do NOT think that you need to “defend” me or my article. This is NOT about me. It is about learning to discern and explain biblical Truth while helping a brother to see that Truth. (Besides that, I am quite able to defend my own theses whenever the need arises.)

So with these points in mind, let me again invite my readers to take the time to do some reading and analysis, and to post your comments below. I will again keep the moderation queue from posting publicly until I have collected a few and have the time to respond to each one. Also, again, I will endeavor to tactful in replying to a sincere effort to respond to Loddie’s comment above (or to me). So please just keep in mind the rules above and don’t be nervous about writing your comment.

Once I start releasing the comments from the moderation queue, we can also begin to dialog further. I hope to get a good discussion going through this exercise. So please feel free to mark the “notify me of follow-up comments via email” option whenever you post your submission (you can always cancel those updates later if you wish). That notification system will enable you to monitor the discussion as it proceeds. (By the way, I will likely release all future comments in batches too, simply because of my schedule. So don’t be nervous about any delay in having your comment approved because sometimes I get busy.)

If this experiment of mine works out, and my readers seem to enjoy learning by this method, I may do it again in the future from time to time. So if you like this idea, then please be sure to participate! Please be sure to also “like” and “tweet” this article so that others know about it and can participate.

Now, get to reading, and get to thinking! 😀

Always in Jesus,

Rich

 

 

Posted in Bible, Christianity, Church, Judge, Judgement, logic, Ministry, Religion and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

16 Comments

  1. I’ve had one person violate the rules given above completely. They even tossed in a generous amount of “ad hominem” and a litany of other fallacies as they tried to argue that the Bible should never be interpreted literally. (The absurdity of asserting that the Word of God is never to be taken literally is so plain that even most non-Christians think that is absurd.) Spurgeon so wisely noted about such people:

    “Well,” says one, “I quarrel with the Bible.” Do you? The only real argument against the Bible is an unholy life. When a man argues against the Word of God, follow him home and see if you cannot discover the reason of his enmity to the Word of the Lord. It lies in some form of sin. (from “The Burden of the Word of The Lord”)

    So I had to delete their comment entirely from the moderation queue. There was absolutely no intellectual merit in what they wrote at all. I am not looking for perfection, of course, but neither vain absurdities nor heresies are particularly useful for this discussion. Moreover, it is a waste of time to respond to such people anyway. (See Proverbs 12:1 & 23; 13:16; 14:7; 18:2-7, etc.)

    However, I also have at least one very-capable person who is gearing up to take on this challenge. They will post their response(s) to this critical thinking exercise soon. I am expecting that input to be very outstanding, once they have the time to get it all put together. 🙂

    Again, I am going to hold all the comments within the moderation queue until we have a few in there, or at least until a reasonable time has past and I have a chance to reply to them and approve them for view. So I encourage you to give this exercise some thought, give it your best, and don’t be shy. Most people learn best by “doing,” so you have an opportunity here to improve your biblical and analytical skills through this dialog. Practice makes perfect! 😀

  2. Rich,

    I feel a little bit sheepish being the subject of this article in response to my post from your “Boomerang Stones” article. But I will get over it. I agree with you wholeheartedly that we need to use our minds and think in a reasonable and common sense way since we have a sound mind, the mind of Christ. The Amplified Bible reads in part from 1 Corinth 2:15 “the spiritual man tries all things [he examines, investigates, inquires into, questions, and discerns all things].” There is a great lack of this in Christian circles these days. So I will be interested in hearing from others as they post concerning whether Christ “kept” the Law of Moses perfectly.

    [Rich’s Reply: Yes, I hope this will become an interesting conversation, indeed. 🙂 ]

    I also agree that a teachable heart is most precious in the sight of God. Only a teachable heart will be open to the truth and grace of Christ. Another Proverb on correction is “Any who love knowledge want to be told when they are wrong. It is stupid to hate being corrected.” (Proverbs 12:1, GNT) Thus a teachable heart is one that has the ability, the capacity of being instructed or taught.

    So it is with some trepidation that I express some concerns starting with your first paragraph under MY EXPERIMENT. You state “what I would like to do is allow my readers to examine the comment and to dissect it to see if they can pick out the errors.” Then you write “Then I would like my readers to post their own comments underneath this article with their analysis, and I will affirm those points that are correct and coach them where they fell short.” Are these the words of someone whose heart is open to instruction or correction?

    [Rich’s Reply: If you were to propose that 2 + 2 = 22, then I have every right to state categorically that you are wrong, and ask others to demonstrate WHY that is the case. I do not have to be “open to correction,” for it is a self-evident truth that 2 + 2 = 4 and ONLY 4. Hence, this point of yours is an example of another fallacy: Specifically, the fallacy of irrelevant thesis. It is completely irrelevant whether I am normally open to correction (and I am, and have been before). Another fallacy is also committed here: The fallacy of a red herring (i.e., changing the subject).

    Your original post was full of misunderstandings, fallacies, and factual errors, several of which I have pointed out in the article above. Hence, your alleged “correction” cannot be biblical because it is based on misinformation, misunderstanding, and fallacies. The Bible says that “the correction of fools is folly” (Proverbs 16:22). I am NOT calling you a “fool” right now by pointing this out, but rather, I am using this passage to make the point that “folly” cannot be genuine correction. If your alleged “correction” is itself obviously in error, then it is completely absurd to assert that I have to be “open” to such folly-filled reproof. ]

    You state categorically I am in error.

    [Rich’s Reply: Yes, but then I proved that to be the case thereafter. I did not merely state it, and then act with that assumption without having also PROVEN the fact. (That would be circular reasoning or “begging the question,” which is a fallacy.) No, I stated it, then proved in on several points, but allowed “room” for others (and you!) to figure out why those things do prove you to be wrong. Hence, you committed the fallacy of “begging the question” by seeming to assume that you are NOT wrong, when I have demonstrated that you are (to include tautologies, which are self-evident truths against which there is no counter-argument).]

    Then you say to those who will post comments per your request that you will affirm their points that are correct (I take that to mean agree with you) and correct and coach those who fall short (I take that to mean who disagree with you.) Therefore, those who respond to this experiment MUST find errors in what I wrote if they desire to be affirmed by you. These words sound like the professor coming out in you more than a teachable heart that is willing to receive instruction or correction itself.

    [Rich’s Reply: Your entire paragraph above is an example of “ad hominem,” which is a fallacy that still has its Latin name. This term means “at the man,” and it occurs when you respond to an argument NOT with counter arguments or facts, but with false accusations and/or insults. Again, I proved within the article above that you are wrong, and gave hints as to why that was the case (some of which “hints” are rather blatant). So the issue is not to agree with me, but to agree with the Bible and God’s created laws of logic, which you have failed to do. Therefore, you seem to be resorting to “ad hominem” in another effort to bring out a “red herring” (i.e., a change of the subject). That is tantamount to admitting that you have no solid argument against my article at all, but are “grasping at straws” in an effort to defend an indefensible position.]

    I confess when reading through your “Use of Fallacies” it kind of felt like a dog chasing its tail, which is simply going around in circles. You write, “There are at least two contradictions that I see within what Loddie wrote above: The contradiction that comes from the combination of his “straw man” argument and bifurcation, in that he quotes my stated point and then PROVES my point with what he writes thereafter.” You say I quoted your stated point which I take to mean I quoted you correctly and did not misstate your point. Then you say I proved your point with what I wrote thereafter. If what I wrote according to you was in error then how does that prove your point unless it also is in error?

    [Rich’s Reply: Simple. What you stated had implicit truths therein that proved my point, and not the one that you were trying to prove. That is why the Law of Non-Contradiction is such an important one to understand. It is also critical for you to understand the concept of implicit truth (i.e., meaning or truths contained within a stated fact or argument, but which are not explicit and thus need to be explored and revealed). You stated that Jesus fulfilled the OT shadows and types. However, those same prophecies, shadows, and types, ALL said that He would keep the Law of Moses perfectly. For example:

    ** Exodus 12:5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats.

    ** 1 Peter 1:18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you

    ** 2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

    ** Leviticus 5:17 “If a person sins, and commits any of these things which are forbidden to be done by the commandments of the Lord, though he does not know it, yet he is guilty and shall bear his iniquity.”

    ** 1 John 3:4 Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.

    ** Romans 5:13 For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

    ** Romans 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.”

    & etc.

    In short, the Bible DEFINES “sin” as a breaking of the Law, AND it defines the sacrifice to redeem a person under the Law of Moses as a “lamb without spot or blemish.” Jesus came as that very lamb, WITHOUT sin. If He did NOT keep the Law of Moses perfectly during His lifetime, then He would have sinned. (This is a tautology.) If He did NOT sin (as the Bible states), then He kept the Law. Since the Bible DEFINES sin as breaking the Law, then Jesus HAD to have kept it perfectly in both spirit and letter in order to FULFILL it–and yes, the “types and shadows” said He would do just that.

    So by you stating that Jesus fulfilled the types and shadows, you were implicitly agreeing with me that He had to keep the Law of Moses in its entirety (although you had no idea you were agreeing with this fact). Hence, while trying to argue against the idea that He kept the Law perfectly, you CONFIRMED that He did just that. Nevertheless, by stating that He did NOT keep the Law of Moses perfectly during His lifetime, you IMPLIED (i.e., this was implicit in your statement) that He sinned, because again, the Bible DEFINES sin as breaking the Law. So on the one hand, you confirmed me, but on the other hand, you denied the sinless character of Christ. BOTH of these are contradictions, which again points to your violation of the Law of Non-Contradiction. Nevertheless, you have both confirmed my point WHILE attempting to argue against it on the one hand, but the implicit nature of your argument also denies the sinless nature of Christ (which, of course, would be heresy…but again, you seemed to NOT understand what you were doing because you were thinking fallaciously).

    If in fact I was wrong does not in any way mean that you are right. We both could be wrong. Your logic makes no sense to me.

    [Rich’s Reply: It is not “my” logic, but the laws of logic with which you seem to struggle. I did not create those laws–God did that. So you need to master them if you wish to improve your theology (and better understand my points). If you look on my Logic, Apologetics, and Evangelism page that is found within the Recommendations section of this website, you will find some great books that can help you to sharpen your reasoning skills.]

    You say that Christ kept the Law of Moses perfectly in order to be sinless.

    [Rich’s Reply: No, the Bible said that. If He EVER violated the Law of Moses (which He, as God, wrote), then that would be–by logical and biblical necessity–sin. I did not make that up, but passages like the ones I provided above stated that quite clearly in many ways (and I only hit the highlights…there are other passages besides these that state or imply the same). Again, the fallacy of “Hasty Conclusion” (aka, “Hasty Generalization”) is committed when you fail to study your Bible sufficiently in order to understand ALL (or at least, most) of what the Bible says on a given subject. Unless you understand that the Bible DEFINES sin as breaking the law, then you will be thinking fallaciously and constantly coming up with wrong conclusions about these subjects.]

    I stated that correctly according to you. My argument is that Christ was not “keeping” the Law of Moses in order to be sinless but was from conception sinless, righteous and holy and remained so until his last breath. How does that prove your point of Christ’s necessity of having to “keep” the Law of Moses perfectly in order to be sinless? Like I said your explications seem to me to be going in circles.

    [Rich’s Reply: Your statement, “that Christ was not ‘keeping’ the Law of Moses in order to be sinless but was from conception sinless, righteous and holy and remained so until his last breath” is theologically CORRECT! Yes! That is a good point. 🙂 However, you seemed to miss the fact that in order to REMAIN sinless, He had to keep that law. Adam was sinless in the day that he was created (see Genesis chapters 1-2). However, the day he broke God’s commandment to NOT eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, he sinned, and thus, was no longer sinless. Jesus is called “The Last Adam” in 1 Corinthians 15:45. Hence, the very same point applies.

    Perhaps this is your confusion about what I wrote before: All I stated was that Jesus perfectly kept the Law of Moses (which He actually gave to Moses, since He is God) during His lifetime. I did not say that this was the SOURCE of His righteousness. He MAINTAINED that righteousness by keeping the Law perfectly. Jesus even said this fact:

    ** John 8:46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me?

    To “convict” Jesus of sin, the people to whom He was speaking would have to point to a specific violation of the Law of Moses. They COULD NOT, because He DID NOT ever violate that law. (They did constantly complain about His not keeping their “traditions,” but He often rebuked them for those, e.g., note Matthew chapter 15). Likewise, we are commanded to walk in the light of God’s Word in order to “practice righteousness” as NT Christians (note 1 John chapter 3 in comparison with Titus 2:11-15). If we do not “practice righteousness” then we will not be LIVING righteously. This is another tautology, or self-evident truth. 😉 ]

    Again you write “I had already explained in that article (irrefutably) that to argue against my stated position on that point puts a person into an automatic self-contradiction.” Then you write “If he (me, Loddie) had thought carefully about what I had written regarding this, then he would have perhaps realized that he was self-contradicting himself by trying to argue against my stated position.” So I want to be clear on what you are saying here. Anyone who disagrees with you, opposes your stated position automatically becomes self-contradicting.

    [Rich’s Reply: No, if a person states contradictions then they are self-contradicted. Using the same examples I gave within the article above, if you stated that “The car is in the garage and also NOT in the garage” then you would have contradicted yourself. There is nothing to which one can “agree” in such a statement because the statement does NOT even agree with itself! I cannot agree with you on either point because they both cancel each other out. Hence, I would be CORRECT to simply reply, “You contradicted yourself.” That would have nothing to do with what my opinion about the “car” in question might be at all. It has only to do with the nature of YOUR statement.

    Hence, in the paragraph above you have tossed out a quadruple-fallacy of using “ad hominem” (by falsely accusing me), “straw man argument” (by misstating my position and then arguing against that misstatement), and “red herring” (by trying to change the subject from the content of your argument to my own character or opinions), which all creates a “fallacy of irrelevant thesis” since it is rather irrelevant what my opinion or character might be when the subject is the self-contradicting nature of your own arguments.]

    Therefore, I presume the only way to possibly eradicate oneself from a self-contradicting posture is to change their mind and come into full agreement with you and what you declare is true. This sounds very cultish to me.

    [Rich’s Reply: Again, your entire paragraph above is irrelevant, irrational, and nothing more than false accusations intended to deflect attention from your irrelevant and irrational arguments. The only way you can “eradicate” yourself “from a self-contradicting posture” is to stop contradicting yourself. Nothing more is required.]

    Again there is no sense of a teachable spirit with such an attitude as this.

    [Rich’s Reply: How can I be “taught” by a person who cannot even agree with HIMSELF? 😉 Until you prove me wrong on some point, using SOUND rational arguments based upon the Bible, then I have nothing to “accept” as genuine correction. Again, any argument that is in disagreement with the Bible and based upon fallacies is the “correction of fools” which is itself nothing more than “folly” (Proverbs 16:22). (Once more, let me point out that I am NOT calling you a “fool” by using this passage from Proverbs, but rather, pointing out that irrational “folly” cannot be considered genuine “correction” to be heeded.)]

    When I read what you wrote the words of Paul in Romans 12:3 come to mind: “For by the grace (unmerited favor of God) given to me I warn everyone among you not to estimate and think of himself more highly than he ought [not to have an exaggerated opinion of his own importance], but to rate his ability with sober judgment, each according to the degree of faith apportioned by God to him.” (Amplified)

    [Rich’s Reply: I agree wholeheartedly with the Scripture, but think it applies far more to you than to me right now since you are the one who is using fallacies and demonstrating poor theology. Again, unless you can PROVE me to be wrong, I am NOT under any obligation to accept your alleged “correction” in any way. Neither the Bible NOR good sense dictates that I should, but rather, BOTH dictate that I have to reject your alleged “correction” because it is pure folly. Perhaps an expansion on this point will help you:

    ** Ephesians 5:6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not become partners with them; 8 for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead EXPOSE them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. 13 But when anything is EXPOSED by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,

    “Awake, O sleeper,
    and arise from the dead,
    and Christ will shine on you.”
    15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (ESV)

    It is interesting to note that the Greek word translated as “expose” and “exposed” in verses 11 & 13 is “elegchō” (Strong’s #1651), which The Complete Word Study Dictionary, New Testament Edition, explains as meaning:

    “To shame, disgrace, but only in Classical Greek. In the New Testament, to convict, to prove one in the wrong, and thus to shame him. (I) To convict, to show to be wrong…to convict of error, refute, confute. (II) By implication, to reprove, rebuke, admonish…. to reprove by chastisement, correct, chastise in a moral sense….”

    In other words, this term is a legal-type of term that describes a person “taking their case” against a person — even PUBLICLY — demonstrating that the other person is CLEARLY WRONG and in error…even to the point of bringing them to SHAME. It is the exact same word used for “rebuke” by Paul, in telling Timothy (and all true ministers of Christ) how to deal with elders in sin:

    ** 1 Timothy 5:20 Those who are sinning REBUKE in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear.

    It is also the same word used as “CONVINCE” in the following passage from 2 Timothy regarding the need to preach “the Word” using sound logic skills in order to “convict” a person that they are truly WRONG and in error (i.e., in genuine need to be corrected, and thus, to repent):

    ** 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 4:1 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. CONVINCE, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

    Thus, in order to “convince” me that I am wrong (and thus, need “correction” in order to be “right”), you need to “convict” me. In other words, you would need to demonstrate (i.e., like a lawyer presenting his or her case) that the facts (in this case, the Bible) when LOGICALLY understood, point to my guilt. This is exactly what Jesus told us to do in this passage:

    ** Matthew 18:15 “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and TELL HIM HIS FAULT between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ 17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.

    The phrase “TELL HIM HIS FAULT” is again this same Greek word “elegchō.” The implicit truth in this command of Jesus is that the wronged brother has a “burden of proof” to surmount in his cause. If he cannot “elegchō” the person in person (which may be because they simply refuse to admit it, despite being truly “convicted”) then they are to bring in some impartial “judges” in front of which they are to again present their case. The implied assumption of verse 17 is that these impartial people AGREE with the “verdict,” but the other party still refuses to accept it. Then the wider “church” is told (i.e., it is made public) with the impartial parties as witnesses to the issue. If he still does NOT repent, then a Christian is to consider him a “heathen and a tax collector” (i.e., one with whom they do NOT have a covenant, AND one whom they should avoid like the IRS! LOL!).

    Thus, the “burden of proof” was upon you in this matter, and not upon me. If you CANNOT provide a genuine demonstration of “elegchō”, then I AM NOT required by ANY passage of the Bible to accept your alleged “correction” in the least bit. Hence, again, you have committed the quadruple-fallacy I mentioned above again as you tried to change the subject to ME rather than re-examining your own self-contradictions and the facts/logic that demonstrates your clear error.

    (By the way: By posting a public comment, you eliminated my need to come to you privately about the matter. Since your alleged “correction” was intended to be “public” by such an action, and it is reasonable to assume that I would have likewise replied publicly, then my using your comment for a public article is NOT in violation of Matthew 18:15-17 above. Thus, I am NOT self-contradicted by providing that example above. This is just an FYI in case the question arose in your mind.)

    In other words, I have within the article above, and this reply here, used “elegchō” correctly, in accordance with the same Scriptures I have quoted above. In reply, you have used fallacies. Thus, you never got anywhere near “elegchō” in your discourse, and thus, I have to consider it mere “fables” (Greek, “muthos,” from which we get the word “myths”) and not genuine Truth (Greek, “Alethia,” which means verifiable truth that has substance).]

    Here is a statement you make that is totally untrue. “Again, the very fact that Loddie tried to argue that Jesus was NOT sinless–which is the implied meaning of his argument–is a contradiction.” Really? Have no idea how you could even think this was true of me from what I wrote. Please point out in my post where I argue that Jesus was NOT sinless. Point out where I imply he was a sinner.

    [Rich’s Reply: I just did that further above. The implicit meaning of your argument is, on the one hand, that Jesus broke the Law, and thus sinned. On the other hand, your argued that He fulfilled the prophecies that said He would keep the Law of Moses, and thus, NOT sin. This again points back to the implicit meaning of your arguments and the self-contradictions that are contained therein. Again, the books to which I referred when I provided my link above, will help you to grasp these concepts better. I also provided some links within the article above, so you could start with those for free, if you wish.]

    My whole point of argument is that Jesus was sinless from conception to death and therefore not dependent upon keeping the Law of Moses in order to become sinless which I understood to be your argument. Seems to me the rules you expound and expect others to abide by are sometimes not followed of you.

    [Rich’s Reply: I replied to this above already. Reiterating that point, however: If Jesus FAILED to keep the Law of Moses while He was on the earth, then like Adam, He would have sinned and then become sinful. Hence, my point (which you did misunderstand, which I also said within the article above that you did) is valid and NOT self-contradictory. You think that I said that the SOURCE of Jesus’ righteousness was the Law (again, this is a “straw man” fallacy). What I actually said was that BECAUSE Jesus was righteous — AND because He was even “God manifest in the flesh” (1 Tim. 3:16) — that He, by logical and biblical necessity, KEPT the very Law that He wrote (i.e., because that is what righteous people do, and certainly, God would NOT self-contradict Himself by failing to keep His Own Law, which He stated was His Word manifest in the Flesh in John 1:14).

    So again, your arguments are based upon misunderstanding of my stated point, of what the Bible says about such subjects, upon fallacies, & etc. They are not rational arguments, much less anything that I could be “corrected” by in any reasonable fashion.]

    Here is one last statement I will reflect upon. “In fact, with that one statement Loddie proved my entire thesis (i.e., the very thesis that he was challenging). Again, this is one of the self-contradictions that I mentioned above. Can any of you explain why this statement of his PROVED my entire thesis, contrary to what he intended?” Yep! I want to hear how that statement of mine proves your entire thesis. You have my curiosity in high gear.

    [Rich’s Reply: Good! Since you asked, I provided that proof above within my replies (as well as within the original article in question, and the article above on this page). 🙂 ]

    Rich, thank you for the tone of this post, which reflects Christ’s gentleness. I certainly believe you and I are of the same spirit, the Spirit of Christ. My disagreement with what I believed you were saying about Jesus in no way diminishes my love or appreciation for your faithful work in the cause of Christ and salvation of souls.

    [Rich’s Reply: Likewise, I do believe you were a very good sport in participating within this discussion as you have. I do appreciate your own kind tone, and I hope my replies within this comment of yours convey a similar spirit to that which I provided in the article above. I was blunt in these replies, I do admit. However, that was done in order to avoid further miscommunication or misunderstanding. So I tried to provide additional clarifications (e.g., that I was NOT calling you a “fool”) and generous smiley accents, in order to make my agape-love, concern, and respect for you as clear as possible too. I hope I was successful therein. :)]

    Yours in Christ,
    LR

    • Loddie,

      I apologize that it took me so long to reply. I have been so SWAMPED in my schedule lately (and I do mean an ALL-CAPS “SWAMPED”! LOL!). I really did not have the time to respond now, but I did so anyway since it has been so long. 🙂

      For the sake of simplicity, I have added my comments to your post above. That saved a lot of re-quoting, and provides context for each of my replies. I did NOT, however, edit your comment in the least bit, beyond the paragraph breaks where I wanted to insert a reply. So other than messing up your paragraphs (ha ha!), your text is intact as you wrote it above.

      Lastly, as I noted within my closing replies inserted above, I am very pleased that you were such a good sport about this “experiment” of mine. I also hope my friendly demeanor came across with all of my smileys and clarifying statements, despite the bluntness that I used in order to avoid further miscommunication.

      On this last point, about mid-way down the comment I was able to identify from your remarks why you have misread my original post and subsequent article above. So I hope that section (which I reiterate again a little later) is a true “Aha!” moment that brings the entire issue into clarity (particularly in the light of my other points). 🙂

      Take your time in replying, however. Again, I am swamped and will not have much time to respond anytime soon. Thank you for understanding.

      Please have a marvelous finish to your week, and a wonderful weekend. 😀

      Always in Jesus,

      Rich

  3. I am excited that Loddie Resnick himself has joined the discussion! He seems to be a very good sport about it too! 😀

    However, I am pressed for time and cannot study his response beyond my initial skim of his post. Also, I do want to allow for others to join into the conversation too, as I noted above. I hope by sometime next week to be able to sit down and study Loddie’s response and to clear it from the moderation queue with my reply. (I also hope to have others in there to which I can do the same.)

    In the mean time, you all need to read… and think! Let’s have a good discussion on this page. 🙂

  4. I’ve read the article, Casting Boomerang Stones, and the response from Loddie, and I want to focus on the issue that Loddie mentioned about Jesus keeping the law.

    I don’t see that Rich was interpreting Matthew 5:17-18 to mean that Jesus had come to keep the law, but that He’d come to fulfill the law. I do see that he was implying that Jesus did keep the law, though, because logically He would have to have kept the law in order to remain sinless. This is an implicit statement because there is no scripture in the four gospels that says that Jesus “kept” the law.

    However, besides what we know from the scriptures that Jesus is the Son of God, that He is sinless, and that He was without guile, there are scriptures that “imply” He kept the law.

    1) When Jesus and His disciples were in Capernaum, the law expected them to pay taxes and so Peter asked Jesus if they should pay the taxes.

    “When they had come to Capernaum, those who received the temple tax came to Peter and said, “Does your Teacher not pay the temple tax?” … Matthew 17:24

    Even though He was the Christ and even though He owned everything anyway, He still insisted that they pay their taxes, [which was law]. Jesus responded by saying that it was necessary to obey and He instructed His disciples where to go to find a coin in the mouth of a fish so that they could do what was expected of them and that was to pay the temple tax.

    2) Another time the Pharisees came to Jesus and asked Him if He thought it was right to pay taxes and Jesus said yes, that it was right to pay to Caesar what was owing to him, as in taxes. Jesus agreed that the law of paying taxes was to be kept.

    “And He said to them, ‘Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’” … Matthew 22:22

    3) In Matthew 19:3 the Pharisees asked Jesus: “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?” Jesus responded by saying that God had made them male and female and that they should not separate, but the Pharisees pushed on by asking: “Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?”

    Jesus’ response was to explain why Moses amended the law for them, but His answer was all within the realm of the law.

    4) In Matthew 19:16 a rich man came to Jesus and asked what he could do to be saved and then Jesus quoted some of the Ten Commandments [the law] to him: “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and your mother, and You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

    In His response, Jesus told him what the Law of Moses had stated and then went on to ask him if he was willing to give up his wealth. His answer supported the law.

    5) There’s an incident recorded in Mark 4:24 where a Greek woman came to Jesus and asked Him to cast a demon out of her daughter and Jesus said to her, “Let the children be filled first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”

    He said this because at that time Greek people were referred to as dogs as He came to save only the Jews, and so He reminded her of the law. However, He saw the love and the faith in her and healed her daughter, but His first response was to acknowledge the law.

    Conclusion: all of these incidents imply that Jesus did, in fact, keep the law, follow the law and promote the law even though it has not been explicitly stated that He “kept” the law. I believe that the scriptures do not say that He kept the law for several reasons:

    1) The Bible is the inspired word of God and it’s complete as it is and so it’s not necessary to be explicit and state that Jesus kept the law.

    “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” … 2 Timothy 3:16

    2) Jesus is God and He wrote the law, so obviously, He knows the law and would keep the law because He is the enforcer of the law.

    “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Come up to Me on the mountain and be there; and I will give you tablets of stone, and the law and commandments which I have written, that you may teach them.’” … Exodus 24:12

    3) Jesus is without sin and went to the cross with “no guile found in Him” so it’s implied that if He went to the cross without sin, then He must have kept the law throughout his earthly life.

    “…because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” … 1 Peter 2:21-24

    4) Jesus came to fulfill the law and in doing so, He would have to have kept the law or He would not have become the propitiation for our sins.

    “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” … Hebrews 4:15

    Therefore, we have been given all we need to know, and through logic and reasoning we can see that the scriptures have implied that Jesus kept the law, and that Matthew 5:17-18 means just what it says, that Jesus came to fulfill the law.

    • Your post is an excellent addition to this thread, Ronnie! 🙂

      Your general points are excellent, and your overall thesis (as reflected within your conclusion) is biblically supported and logically valid. Well done.

      I differ on only a couple of minor points:

      (1) Within your point #2 for your premises above, you used the example Jesus authorizing taxes paid to Caesar because, “Jesus agreed that the law of paying taxes was to be kept.” That statement of yours does apply to your first premise, and herein, Jesus did endorse other aspects of the Law of Moses. However, Jesus did not explicitly endorse paying taxes in the manner in which you thought. Paying Taxes to a Roman Emperor was not a part of the Law of Moses. In fact, the presence of a non-Israelite sovereign over the nation was in violation of the Law (Deuteronomy 17:14-15), but this occurred anyway because it was a part of the curse of the Law of the nation of Israel rebelled against the Lord (Deuteronomy chapter 28).

      NEVERTHELESS, Jesus was endorsing the Law of Moses with His statement, “Render…and unto God, the things that are God’s.” That would apply to the Temple Tax (your first point) as well as to tithes and offerings paid to God via supplying the needs of the Levites, poor, widows, fatherless, etc. Thus, the larger point of your premise #2 is CORRECT, but I have just clarified more accurately which parts of the Law of Moses Jesus was endorsing as needing to be kept. 🙂

      (2) This is a very minor point of clarification: Within your premise #5 above you mentioned that woman as a “Greek,” but she was actually a Syro-Phoenician Canaanite and NOT a person who was from Greece proper. As a Canaanite, she was from a people that had been cursed by God, and thus, were “dogs.” The ethnic Greeks are never so degraded within the Scriptures.

      ** Exodus 34:11 Observe what I command you this day. Behold, I am driving out from before you the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite.

      ** Numbers 13:29 The Amalekites dwell in the land of the South; the Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the mountains; and the Canaanites dwell by the sea and along the banks of the Jordan.

      ** Joshua 17:13 And it happened, when the children of Israel grew strong, that they put the Canaanites to forced labor, but did not utterly drive them out.

      ** Matthew 15:22 And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.”

      ** Mark 7:26 The woman was a Greek, a Syro-Phoenician by birth, and she kept asking Him to cast the demon out of her daughter.

      And consider this analysis about this person:

      The woman from the borders of Tyre and Sidon whose daughter Jesus healed is described as “a Greek, a Syrophoenician by race” (Mark 7:26), and again as “a Canaanitish woman” (Matthew 15:22). This seems to mean that she was of Canaanite descent, a native of the Phoenician seaboard, Greek in religion, and probably also in speech. The names Syria and Phoenicia are both applied to the same region in Acts 21:2, 3. Syrophoenician may therefore denote simply an inhabitant of these parts. According to Strabo (xvii.3), this district was called Syrophoenicia to distinguish it from the North African Lybophoenicia. (Source)

      Thus, she was not a Greek proper, but simply spoke the Koine Greek that was commonly spoken during that day, and was likely “Hellenized” into the Greek culture (as many people had been, even among the Israelites…compare John 7:35 with Acts 6:1 and 11:20). Ethnically, she was a Canaanite, which is why the “dog” designation was assigned to her, but the Bible does designate her cultural affinity when it mentioned she was a “Greek” (a term often used in the NT to discuss Hellenized people, and not necessarily people from Greece itself).

      Again, this is just a clarification. Your larger point within premise #5 is CORRECT, and in clarifying this passage that you referenced above I have actualy provided some quotations from the Law of Moses that further substantiates your point therein. 🙂

      So these are two relatively minor corrections. Your overall thesis is very sound and well-written.

      Thank you for participating within my “experiment” and for writing such an excellent post! 😀

      Always in Jesus,

      Rich

  5. I am so embarrassed for my error in writing that she was a Greek woman because I saw, I read and I knew that the woman was a Syro-Phoenician Canaanite and yet I wrote in “Greek.” Thank you for the correction because it’s important that readers know all the little details, too. Sorry for the error. (but my point is still valid…lol)

  6. Rich,

    Sorry about not responding sooner but life just keeps going on day after day and never has time outs or halftimes. About a week after our original exchanges there was a sudden death to a close family member. That redirected my attention and thoughts for several weeks and then the rest of this summer has been quite involved with children, grandchildren and church ministry. But this morning I awoke with the thought I should go out and check with your blog site.

    I read your response and argumentations to my second post and have come to the conclusion that we have drifted very far away from what I originally was attempting to point out. So to break the pattern developing I will attempt to clarify and simplify for you what my original contention was with your statement from Casting Boomerang Stones, Part 5 Jesus Kept the Law. Your first sentence is “One rather shocking fact about Jesus Christ that people too often seem to miss is that He KEPT the Law of Moses perfectly.” I understand your use of the word perfectly as it is defined in a dictionary: completely, utterly, or absolutely. A synonym for perfectly is flawlessly. Your basis for that statement you made came from the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:17-18, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.”

    Here is the problem I have with your statement as simply as I can relate it. Had Matthew 5 been the only scripture in the four gospels where Jesus speaks on fulfilling the Law and Prophets I may not have necessarily agreed with your understanding of what Christ meant but I would not say categorically you were wrong. But the fact is Christ does speak of his fulfilling the Law and the Prophets in Luke 24. Twice in that chapter he clearly and unequivocally explains what he means by his fulfilling the Law and Prophets. “Then He said to them, This is what I told you while I was still with you: everything which is written concerning Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled. Then He [thoroughly] opened up their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, Thus it is written that the Christ (the Messiah) should suffer and on the third day rise from (among) the dead.” (verses 44-46) Jesus says nothing at all about fulfilled meaning to “keep” the Law of Moses in order to be sinless. Rich, you don’t have a disagreement with me but with Christ. I am simply saying to you that I receive what Jesus says he means by fulfilled and not what you claim Jesus means by fulfilled.

    After your first statement you say this, “Of course, that makes complete sense to anyone who realizes that Jesus Christ GAVE the Law to Moses, because Jesus Christ is God. CERTAINLY, HE WOULD KEEP HIS OWN LAW BECAUSE IT EXPRESSED HIS OWN ATTITUDE TOWARD SIN {my emphasis in caps} (and revealed why we all need the Savior).” With that in mind consider Leviticus 5:2-5, “If a person touches any unclean thing, whether it is the carcass of an unclean beast, or the carcass of unclean livestock, or the carcass of unclean creeping things, and he is unaware of it, he also shall be unclean and guilty. Or if he touches human uncleanness—whatever uncleanness with which a man may be defiled, and he is unaware of it—when he realizes it, then he shall be guilty…. ‘And it shall be, when he is guilty in any of these matters, that he shall confess that he has sinned in that thing.” Leviticus 13 states a leprous man is unclean and thus anyone who touches a leprous man is guilty of sin.

    So what does Jesus, not unknowingly but, willfully do when approached by a leprous man seeking healing from leprosy? Matthew 8:3 states “Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him.” This touching of a leper according to Leviticus 5:5 is a sinful act. And of course it was Jesus that gave this law to Moses. Jesus knowingly violated the very law he gave to Moses by touching this leper but did he sin in doing so as the law in Leviticus states? Well, if Jesus was attempting to keep the Law of Moses perfectly (flawlessly) as you insist Rich, then yes, he did SIN. But we know Jesus was sinless by many scriptures. So the only way Jesus could have touched a leper and not be guilty of sin would be because he was under that law and thus not trying to keep the Law of Moses perfectly. What law was he keeping? The law of love! This is how Jesus lived as he states in Mark 12:30-31, “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” Christ lived in the law of love perfectly and thus he was sinless. If we live in the love of God and the love of our neighbor then we will be like Christ, sinless. This is why we are to follow Christ and live as he lived, in loving God and our neighbor.

    Your belief that Christ would have insisted in the stoning of the woman caught in the act of adultery if the man caught with her had been presented to him also is a direct result of your misunderstanding of what Christ means by fulfilling the Law and Prophets. To have required stoning would have been an act of judgment, not an act of love. Jesus made it clear to his own disciples that they were of the wrong spirit by wanting to reign down fire to destroy the village of Samaritans who had refused to receive Jesus. Such would have been an act of judgment and not an act of love. Jesus then reiterated to his disciples he came to save men’s lives not to destroy them. Destruction of lives is an act of judgment that is prolific throughout the Law of Moses but saving lives is embodiment of love which Jesus came to reveal and manifest to sinners. At Christ second coming he will judge all rebellious sinners and destroy them in the lake of fire. But his first coming as the son of man was to seek out sinners and administer love, grace and mercy to them, not condemnation and stoning. We all deserve judgment and destruction for our sins but Christ took our judgment for sin upon himself at the cross to save our lives and that was because he lived by the law of love, not the Law of Moses which demands condemnation and destruction for sin.

    At this point I cannot see any reason to go own with this discussion. You and I seem to understand Jesus somewhat differently as to how he lived his life as the son of man pleasing to his Heavenly Father. If what you believe is working well for you then by all means stay with it. But my understanding of Christ has brought great peace, joy and security to my life and family. Here is what I think we can agree on. Let’s keep our focus on Jesus and off of ourselves. This I believe will be well pleasing to our Savior. As for me this will be the last time I post on this subject. As to how you will handle this post is at your discretion.

    Your brother in Christ

    LR

    • Loddie,

      I am very sorry to hear about the death in your family. 🙁 I will be praying for you all about that, as I have experienced that more times than I would like to recount myself, and I can certainly sympathize. So please accept my condolences, and I will be in prayer for you all.

      I do not have time to digest your whole comment right now, or to reply. It will probably be at least a week before I can do either. Nevertheless, since this is supposed to be a discussion page of sorts, I thought I would go ahead and clear your reply through moderation so that others can see it and perhaps respond as they see fit while I am engaged elsewhere. I also wanted to reply to your first paragraph right away regarding your having suffered a loss in the family so that I could send you my condolences.

      So this comment of yours (and your correction, which I will clear next) is cleared from the moderation queue, but please be patient with me until I have time to analyze your comment and reply. I will pray for you and your family in the mean time. And may God bless you all during this time of grief.

      Always in Jesus,

      Rich

  7. Rich, need to correct a sentence. In my post the sentence should read “So the only way Jesus could have touched a leper and not be guilty of sin would be because he was not under that law and thus not trying to keep the Law of Moses perfectly.”

    Thanks,

    LR

  8. [Rich’s Note: I have added numbers in brackets like “[1]” to Dan’s post to simplify my reply. Those were not in the original comment. I also made some minor edits to the punctuation in order to enable our website’s translation engine to work properly, and for clarification, such as putting Dan’s definition into quotation marks, since they were direct quotes.]

    Mr. Vermillion,

    [1] Before I embark on your experiment I would like to say that whether I agree with you or not, one thing that you have made me do is truly study my Bible. For that I thank you. This was a much needed event in my life so I hope that you take nothing in my comments as disrespectful or hateful as I do not intend them to be.

    [2] EDIT: I would like to first clarify my position in refuting your foundation for all of your arguments. That is the foundation of irrefutable truth. To illustrate this you use the example of 2+2=4. If you research deeper into 2+2=4 you will find that it most certainly does not in every case and in every dimension equal 4. For example if you were to type 2+2=4 into the command line of a computer you would get 1, which means true…but to the computer it equals 1. If you were to do 2+2 in base 2 it would actually equal 100. If you were to complete 2 cycles plus 2 cycles around a circular path you would have gone nowhere meaning that 2+2=0 or false.

    [3] Let me further illustrate using Pythagoras who made the mathematical statement that the angles of any triangle will add up to be 180 degrees. So if a pilot flies a flight path that includes Three 90 degree turns he actually makes a 270degree triangle. Ask any pilot and they will tell you that this is true. How is this even possible. Well in your irrefutable truth argument you fail to account for added dimensionality. For the pilot, the application changes by placing that triangle on a sphere. 2+2=4 only if you are talking about integers. The triangle theory is only true in a 2 dimensional plane. Many of your arguments are based similarly in a 2 dimensional plane which leads me to believe that you do not understand the full omniscience of God. We are 3 dimensional beings, God promised that there are things that would be revealed to us after our death and after our resurrection. This tells me that there are things that as a human I will not comprehend, but as a resurrected spirit I will. We are not to question or test the will of God. Why? Because we cannot comprehend it. Much like trying to comprehend infinity, we know WHAT it is but we do not UNDERSTAND it.

    [4] My fiancee was asking about this the other day. I explained to her that we see the world as round and we are on top of a sphere. The old Sunday school song “He’s got the whole world…in his hands” gives an image of God holding the world in his hands. That always led me to the question “Well how does God see what I do if he is looking at the top side of the world and I’m on the bottom?” Then I got to thinking, what if our understanding of a sphere is not wholly accurate. What if we actually exist on the inside of the sphere and he looks in on us. He could then see everything. He could reach his finger into the center and be equidistant from all points, all people, all nations and everything on the earth. The truth is still there, the Earth is still round, we still live on it, and God is still Omniscient. The only thing that changed was perspective. That perspective does not in anyway take away from the truths written in the entire Bible, it just adds a dimension that had not been accounted for. We do not yet see things the way God sees them and we will not until we go through the first death. With this theory in mind please take a look at my logic below.

    [5] I have studied both your Boomerang Stones article and Loddie’s thoughtful response. The issue that I would like to address is in Loddie’s first paragraph. I believe in addressing the fallacy of his logic you fall victim to your own straw man argument. You have inferred that Loddie was saying that not keeping the law made Jesus in fact sinful. That inference cannot be made as it was never stated. Loddie’s actual context was that the law and sin are not equal, therefore Jesus keeping of the law or not keeping of the law does not define his sinless nature.

    [6] First let’s take a look at a couple of definitions. Let’s look first at “fulfill” from Merriam-Webster’s dictionary: “to do what is required by (something, such as a promise or contract): to succeed in doing or providing to succeed in achieving (something): to make (something, such as a dream) true or real and as a transitive verb Archaic: to make full, fill: to put into effect: execute: to meet the requirements of: to bring to an end: to measure up to: to convert into reality: to develop the potentialities of.” In order to further clarify my statement I would like to define “Abolish” from the same source: “to officially end or stop something, (such as a law or contract): to completely do away with.” To even further clarify I will accept your definition of “Omniscient.”

    [7] Loddie’s statement contextually states that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, did not NEED to keep the laws in order to be sinless. He was sinless by virtue of his nature. The law did not justify his sinlessness, his sinlessness justified the law. This is a critically important distinction. Fulfill does not mean to keep. By most of the definition it means to fill up, or measure up to. It also means to convert into reality. When Christ said he came to fulfill the law in every definition of the word we must consider ever context of “the law”. The Law of Moses also contained the Prophesy of the Messiah. He came to fulfill that law, not abolish or put an end to it. In this context Loddie is correct.

    To further look at the other portions of the Law of Moses I would like to first point to the dichotomy of the Bible. There is an Old and New Testament. God is BOTH wrathful and loving. Just and Merciful. Even more importantly there is a dichotomy to the coming of Christ. There is a First Coming and a Second Coming. These are also expressed very differently throughout the old and New Testament. The First coming was one of mercy, like that of the lamb. The Second Coming prepares us for the wrathful King of Kings that you speak of and impart on Jesus as he was with the Adulteress.

    Understanding that the law states that Jesus must come first mercifully during the accounts in the first four gospels we start to get a better picture. The first coming of Christ was not the time of judgment. He even speaks the same. If you read further past the stoning account Jesus states very specifically in John 8:14-16:

    KJV: Jesus answered and said unto them, “Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence it came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come and whither I go. Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me” (emphasis mine) ( I can’t figure out how to bold either…I’m emphasizing I judge no man, and yet if I judge, my judgment is true)

    ERV: Jesus answered, “yes, I am saying these things about myself. But people can believe what I say, because I know where I came from. And I know where I am going. But you don’t know where I came from or where I am going. You judge me the way people judge other people. I don’t judge anyone. But if I judge, my judging is true, because when I judge I am not alone. The Father who sent me is with me.” (again emphasis mine)

    NIV: Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going. You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one. But if I do judge, my decisions are true, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father who sent me.

    [8] Jesus specifically states that “I do not judge”. In context, “I do not judge THIS time, however, there will come a time when I do.” He also goes to state that if he were to judge it would be a true judgment. This is not because he keeps the law but because he IS the law. He is justified in passing judgment through the authority of his father in him. Jesus is sinless not because he keeps the law but because he IS the law. He was before the law and will be after the law. We cannot make any mistake about this fact. We do not justify Jesus, he justifies us. [9] Moses was considered righteous before the law was written. It is why he was chosen to be the bearer of the Ten Commandments. If Moses could know the Law before the Law was written, how then Is keeping the law the definition of righteousness? Again Jesus did not come to keep the law, he came to fulfill it. He came to bring it meaning to teach us to understand the spirit of the law contained in the two most important commandments. Love your God with all your heart, soul and mind, and Love your neighbor as yourself. If you fail to keep these two simple commandments it is impossible for you to keep the Ten Commandments in the Law of Moses. This, nor does Loddie’s statement, infer that Jesus did NOT keep the laws and that made him sinless, it does however, imply that he did not NEED to keep them to be sinless. He is completely without sin regardless of the law.

    Let’s move to some more supporting scripture. In Matthew 7:1-6 Jesus States very clearly and with no gray area:

    Do not Judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

    Let’s take a look at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount:

    Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

    Now let’s take a look at the whole of Matthew 5. This entire section of the Sermon on the Mount serve to show that the law being interpreted by man was for man. It was a way to show righteousness to an unrighteous people. The entire sermon led up to the conclusion that we as imperfect men do not understand the law and that the spirit of the law was not being fulfilled. As a business student I am sure you are aware of the difference between the contract and the spirit of the contract. The spirit of the contract can be ruled on in a court of law just as the actual contract itself.

    [10] More importantly Christ set forth in the New Testament the standard for living which is the two most important commandments listed above. This does not mean that the law is invalid (as he did not come to abolish the law). It does, however, mean that if you are just “keeping” the law you are not righteous. The first example that Christ gives is the commandment that thou shalt not murder and then goes on to say that He says that even if you are angry with your brother you are guilty of this commandment. He does this 6 times. He uses the laws of murder, adultery, divorce, oaths, the principle of an eye for an eye and finally loving your enemies. This entire section and context of the sermon was that as men you do not know righteousness and even the law cannot make you righteous. The fulfillment of the law, or the embodiment of the law, however, CAN make your righteous.

    Let’s look even deeper into how “the law” was viewed from a righteousness standpoint. I would like to look at the entire book of Romans. (For Brevity I will not type it all here). The book of Romans was written to settle a similar dispute of the law between the uncircumcised Gentiles and the circumcised Jews. Using the principles taught by Jesus and a full understanding of Jewish law, Paul claimed that the law is not what makes you righteous. Keeping the law is not what makes you righteous. He even went so far as to say that he did not know sin until he knew the law. He used the example of coveting, stating that he had never coveted until the law. Then he goes on to say that that does not make the law void or unholy, but that it is to show what is unholy. He went on to say that circumcision itself is not what makes you holy or righteous, it is the faith with which you perform that act. To the Jews he stated that the faith of the Gentiles had the law written on their hearts. In other words, it is not the keeping of the written law that made them believers, it was their faith in Christ that caused the Holy Spirit to descend on them and then made them righteous.

    Again Paul is affirming that Christ came the first time to fulfill the first part of the law. Christ is the embodiment of the law, outside the law, and IS the law. Because Christ is the definition of sinlessness by his very nature, and by his status with God, he does not need to keep the law, but fulfill it.

    Let me further illustrate my point in Matthew 23:23-24:

    Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain a gnat but swallow a camel.

    This illustrates that the law itself is not as important as the spirit of the law. Included in the three most important components of the law is mercy. This again points to the law itself was meant to bring death, but the fulfillment of the law in Christ was meant to bring mercy and inevitably life.

    [11] In summary Loddie’s first statement does not infer that Christ sinned by not keeping the law. Instead he fulfilled the law by coming the first time to show mercy and to teach the spirit of the law. By truly following Christ’s examples of mercy and compassion we will be shown righteousness, we will learn righteousness. [12] In looking at statements made in your Boomerang Stones logic, I do not believe that Jesus would have stoned the woman. His first fulfillment of the law was NOT to cast judgment, but to show mercy and to teach. To show the true path of righteousness which is faith in Jesus Christ as the perfect son of God. [13] After having true faith, and understanding his teachings you will begin to become clean or righteous from the inside out. This does not happen the other way around. Christ, many times, called people hypocrites who believed that way.

    Let me illustrate that last principle with my own life. [14] I have been a Christian my entire life. That doesn’t mean I understood it. I followed the law and I did not commit adultery by the letter of the law. However, I did not uphold a standard of righteousness apart from the law. Because of this I fell, I fell hard. I became like one of the sheep that Christ refers to wandering off….but I thank God every day that I was found again and brought back into the flock. During my stray I indulged in sexual immorality and pleasures of the flesh. [15] When I finally understood faith in Christ as not a keeper of the Law but as the fulfillment of the law I truly placed my trust in him. In so doing, righteousness began to come to me and I truly understood what that meant. Christ took away all of my desires for sinful ways and changed me from the inside out. [16] No matter how hard I tried with just the law it never worked on the inside. It didn’t happen until I understood that Christ was the fulfillment of the law. Because of that distinction I am a completely different man today. [17] When Christ said let he who is without Sin cast the first stone he was not just talking about the application of the law. [18] He was asking for people to search the heart and truly look at whether they were within the spirit of the law or not. The context of that story is so much bigger than what you point to in your article. [19] Christ did not pass judgment on that woman nor do I believe he would (although he was absolutely in his authority to do so.) because it was not the appointed time or place for judgment as stated by the Law. He has yet to fulfill the second portion of the Law which is his second coming and the judgment of the Earth.

    In your article you point to Christ saying “sin no more”. This is very true. He did not say “go and keep the law”. He also did not say “Do not do THAT sin anymore” This is truly a very important distinction. If he were keeping the law he would have passed judgment for THAT sin as there was no evidence of other sin. He did not do that. He also, when, addressing the crowd did not state “He who has not committed adultery can cast the first stone” He was very clear in “He who is without sin” and also “sin no more.” [20] This leads me to believe that your interpretation of that passage is too narrow and that he truly meant ALL sin. Christ’s fulfillment of the law rather than the keeping of the law set in motion a much higher standard of righteousness than the law could account for.

    [21] Again I thank you for this exercise. If for no other reason than to bring me closer to God, and even closer to his word. By thinking for myself I am also gaining a much better understanding of the Word which is so much more important than the actual debate itself. Christ be with you Mr. Vermillion.

    Dan

    [22] Please forgive my ignorance in that I do not know how to make the words of Christ red. I tried to copy and paste from Word to here and I’m not familiar with this format. Please look past my formatting errors.

    • Howdy, Dan! Thank you for joining into our discussion. 🙂

      Let me begin my reply by apologizing to you for such a long delay. I think you posted this commend a couple of months ago, so it has been in “moderation queue purgatory” for quite a while! So thank you for your patience in awaiting my reply and approval of your post. I have simply been VERY swamped in my numerous projects, and rarely able to take a few moments to do much with my websites other than quick maintenance. The length of your comment was somewhat of a factor in my delaying my own response, simply because I did not have time to read it carefully and to respond until now. So again, thank you for your patience. 🙂

      As you have perhaps noticed already, I added some bracketed numbers to your comment above in order to simplify my reply. When I last responded in detail to one of Loddie’s comments, I tried inserting my notes within his text. That worked fine, but I thought it might be better to try a different method this time so as to not break up the flow of your original post so dramatically. So with that note in mind, let me now respond to you using the numbered sequence. You may want to try re-reading your post to remember what you wrote (since it has been a while), and then look down at my reply as if it were footnotes to see my replies. I think that might work well.

      [1] I am thrilled that this article (and the Casting ‘Boomerang Stones’ article) encouraged you to jump into your Bible and start studying. THAT is my chief goal at all times, so I am very gratified to know that I was successful in this key endeavor. 🙂 No offense is taken to anything that you wrote either, so please do not let that bother you at all. I encouraged rational discourse and discussion, and you have been very respectful in your reply. So everything is just fine, my brother. Do not be concerned in the least bit. 🙂

      Likewise, I hope that you will realize that my responses to your points are in the spirit of James 5:19-20, for I do intend them that way and mean them to be VERY constructive criticisms. I have a tremendous amount of respect for you in that you have obviously put a lot of thought into these issues and have provided a well-written reply. So thank you again for participating.

      [2] You began here by writing, “I would like to first clarify my position in refuting your foundation for all of your arguments..” However, there is nothing in your comment in this paragraph that “refutes” anything that I said (nor even within your entire reply). In fact, even the idea that you could “refute” the concept of “irrefutable truth” is a bit self-contradictory. You have to assume first that your point is “irrefutable” (i.e., that I cannot refute it), which means that you were self-refuted by the effort itself.

      Further, your statement “For example if you were to type 2+2=4 into the command line of a computer you would get 1, which means true…but to the computer it equals 1” is self-contradicted. The computer’s response of “1” is (as you said) simply indicating that the entire formula “2+2=4” is “true.” Hence, the computer is acknowledging the truthfulness of the equation, not providing another “answer.”

      Your point about “If you were to do 2+2 in base 2 it would actually equal 100. If you were to complete 2 cycles plus 2 cycles around a circular path you would have gone nowhere meaning that 2+2=0 or false” is irrelevant. These are contexts that have nothing to do with the point that I made. The simple mathematical formula of “2+2=4” is true at all times in its context. Someone might reply, “If you add two oranges to two apples, you do not get four oranges.” You DO, however, get “four fruit.” Someone else might say, “If you add two apples to two people, you do not get four people.” No, but you do have FOUR objects. Wherever the point of similarity lies, there you find the answer “4” every time. Changing over to base-2 number systems, or discussing two orbits around a circle, does not change the veracity of the irrefutable (and immutable) truth that the equation “2+2=4” is always true in a purely mathematical context, and whenever there is some point of commonality between the “things” being added. Using your latter point more specifically: Even adding two times around a circle, to two more times around the circle, equals four total times around the circle. So your attempt to interject additional variables is still self-contradictory, once your point is examined fully.

      [3] Your paragraph here is more of the same sort of self-contradictory nonsense, Dan. In fact, you stated a falsity when you wrote, “So if a pilot flies a flight path that includes Three 90 degree turns he actually makes a 270degree triangle.” All pilots know that they are flying according to a COMPASS, which is round. So the three right-angle turns are within a 360-degree context, which will add up to 270-degrees worth of turns. Additionally, there is no such thing as a “triangle” with more than one right angle. So your entire paragraph here is pure nonsense, my friend. Let me now expand upon this a bit…

      There is nothing that you have written here or in the previous paragraph that undermines my thesis in the least bit about irrefutable truth, but rather, you have gone a long way at demonstrating something that I discussed at length within my The Fundamentals of the REAL Gospel audio series: Namely, the difference between “alethia” (i.e., the Greek word used for “Truth” in the New Testament) and mere “sophistry.” The former is full of substance, and is always testable and verifiable. The latter is pure “muthos” (the Greek word from which we derive the English term “myth”) because it has no genuine substance or veracity therein, BUT it often sounds good. By use of complicated explanations, one can SOUND very plausible in their explanation (much like I explained within my “2+2=22” illustration). However, closer examination demonstrates that there is nothing but lots of nonsense hiding behind the technical jargon, and nothing of genuine truth-value.

      So your effort to undermine my points about irrefutable truth have actually proven my thesis through your self-contradictions, and not “refuted” them in the least. Nevertheless, you did manage to provide me a great illustration for this page of how sophistry can appear to be quite plausible, until someone with knowledge of the subject and an ability to analyze the logical structure of the arguments, points out the flaws.

      Again, I do NOT mean this to be an insult, but a statement of fact and constructive criticism. You have some good points of theological merit further into your post, so really, your effort to refute a truly irrefutable truth was a side-show. So I suggest that you reconsider your position on these points soberly, in the light of my reply, and then make a decision to avoid using sophistry in the future. It never adds to your arguments, and will only undermine your credibility if the other person detects the fallacies you are using (in this case, “begging the question” and “irrelevant thesis” are the most obvious two informal fallacies, plus repeated violation of the Law of Non-contradiction).

      [4] This paragraph is largely a musing that is irrelevant to your overall agenda for your comment, somewhat like [2] and [3] above. However, I wanted to point this out by discussing your statements, “That always led me to the question ‘Well how does God see what I do if he is looking at the top side of the world and I’m on the bottom?…The truth is still there, the Earth is still round, we still live on it, and God is still Omniscient. The only thing that changed was perspective. ‘”

      “Omniscience” means that God has ALL perspectives in mind at the same time, Dan. Additionally, God fills both time and space because He is also “Omnipresent.” Therefore, He is not looking at the world’s sphere from only one perspective, but EVERY perspective (even from the inside out). So you need to expand your concept of God somewhat here, as it is a bit limited to a human view of reality. (Not that any of us will approach omniscience ourselves, of course. We can only go so far in our understanding of our infinite Creator.)

      [5] You wrote in this paragraph, “The issue that I would like to address is in Loddie’s first paragraph. I believe in addressing the fallacy of his logic you fall victim to your own straw man argument. You have inferred that Loddie was saying that not keeping the law made Jesus in fact sinful.”

      No, you have committed a straw man fallacy here, because I never “inferred that Loddie was saying that not keeping the law made Jesus in fact sinful.” What I said was that if Jesus did NOT keep the law, then He would have SINNED, because the BIBLE (not me) defines “sin” as “lawlessness” and as “breaking the commandments,” etc. (e.g., see Nehemiah 9:29; Ezra 9:14; Psalm 89:31; Isaiah 42:24; Daniel 9:11; Matthew 5:19; 1 John 3:4, etc.). So since Loddie openly opposed the idea that Jesus ALSO “kept the law” that He Himself wrote, then Loddie was necessarily (i.e., by logical implication) attributing sin to Jesus when, in fact, the Bible clearly states that Jesus NEVER sinned (e.g., 2 Corinthians 5). (Note: I will expand on this idea much further as I continue.)

      Likewise, as I will detail even more as I progress, you have misunderstood my points and most of your thesis here is a straw man argument in the sense that you seem to think that I have said (or believe) that Jesus kept the law TO BE sinnless, when that is NOT what I said at all. I said that He came sinnless, and thus, He REMAINED sinnless by continuously keeping the Law (which HE HIMSELF wrote as an extension of His Own Will). There is a world of difference between the meaning of what I said, and what you think that I said, although there is also a subtlety in the use of language that seems to obscure that fact to your thinking. So let me state it very clearly here before proceeding:

      The Bible tells us that Jesus was GOD MANIFEST IN THE FLESH, and thus, He came to the world utterly sinless when He was born of the virgin Mary. BECAUSE He was utterly sinless, He could KEEP the law, for there was NO SIN in His body or mind (compare what Jesus said in John 14:30 with what Paul wrote about the warfare we experience within ourselves in Romans chapters 7-8). Thus, the SINNLESS Lamb of God went to the Cross to DIE FOR OUR SINS, so that we could be made RIGHTEOUS in HIM because of His sacrifice on our behalves:

      ** 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

      THUS, I NEVER said, NOR did I ever mean by anything that I DID say, that Jesus was righteous BECAUSE He kept the Law, but the opposite: He COULD keep the law because He was already perfectly SINLESS (i.e, righteous).

      Again, while the difference in words is subtle, there is a world of difference in meaning between the two points of view. I detected that Loddie did NOT understand this fact within my last detailed response to him within this thread, and I addressed that fact there too. So I hope this clarifies my view more fully, as it appears that you had (at the time of your comment) the same false understanding of what I was saying within BOTH of my articles.

      [6] Your use of the dictionary here to define terms is very commendable! I like it when people try to be clear on the terminology that they plan to use, so as to avoid misunderstanding. Well done. 🙂 I also agree with your definitions.

      [7] You wrote, “Loddie’s statement contextually states that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, did not NEED to keep the laws in order to be sinless. He was sinless by virtue of his nature. The law did not justify his sinlessness, his sinlessness justified the law.” I do NOT disagree with this point in the least bit, as I just explained above. So again, you are arguing against a straw man that is simply not there.

      You then wrote, “Fulfill does not mean to keep.” Now, let’s use YOUR definition from Merriam Webster to test this statement. You wrote that it means in-part, “to do what is required by (something, such as a promise or contract).” If you DO what is REQUIRED by the promise, contract, OR law, then you are also KEEPING your promise or the contract. The dictionary definition of “keep” can mean, “to maintain (some action), especially in accordance with specific requirements, a promise, etc.” (Dictionary.com). If one is “maintaining” some action in accordance with specific REQUIREMENTS, then they are “keeping” that promise, contract, etc. In other words, the very definition YOU provided is quite synonymous with the very word you denied to which it is equivalent. You CANNOT “fulfill” a contract without “keeping” your promises therein, and performing the requirements thereof. Please also note that God’s LAW given through Moses was a “Covenant,” which most any dictionary will tell you is synonymous with the word “contract”:

      ** Genesis 17:9 And God said to Abraham: “As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations.”

      ** Lamentations 2:17 The Lord has done what He purposed; He has fulfilled His word Which He commanded in days of old. He has thrown down and has not pitied, And He has caused an enemy to rejoice over you; He has exalted the horn of your adversaries.

      ** 1 Kings 2:3 And keep the charge of the Lord your God: to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His judgments, and His testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn; 4 that the Lord may fulfill His word which He spoke concerning me, saying, ‘If your sons take heed to their way, to walk before Me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul,’ He said, ‘you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’

      Please notice that COVENANTS (i.e., contracts) must have at least two parties to be valid. God’s covenant with Israel in the “Law of Moses” had both requirements of the people, and promises that God would perform HIS part if they KEPT their side too. Thus, your entire point here is self-refuting. The Law of Moses was a covenant, to be KEPT, so that God could FULFILL His Own promises therein. Jesus was the MANIFESTATION of the Torah (Law), as you yourself noted. Therefore, He KEPT the promises of God perfectly (because His sinlessness enabled Him to do so, as I noted) so that the Father could FULFILL His promises in Christ by accepting HIS sacrifice for sin once and for all.

      Thus, you have proven my point. I hope you can see that by now, but let’s continue.

      [8] I think we are in agreement in this section, as my comments above should reveal. So this was a good section that you wrote. 🙂

      [9] However, next you wrote, “Moses was considered righteous before the law was written. It is why he was chosen to be the bearer of the Ten Commandments. If Moses could [not] know the Law before the Law was written, how then Is keeping the law the definition of righteousness?” I think you meant to say “If Moses could NOT know the law before it was written…” for anything else would absolutely nonsense. So with that added word in mind, let me clarify a few things from the Bible that will help you here.

      Moses was NOT righteous under the Law of Moses BEFORE it was written, as I assume you are trying to say in that quote above. However, he most certainly WAS righteous according to the law in another sense. Please note:

      ** Romans 4:14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, 15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.

      “Where there is no law, there is no transgression.” Since the Law of Moses was NOT given yet, then THAT was NOT the standard by which Moses’ righteousness was measured. So what was it measured by? Romans chapter four is discussing the covenant that Abraham had with God. Abraham’s righteousness was by faith, and in fact, ALL of the righteous people in the Bible were righteous BY FAITH–even in the Old Testament! Study Hebrews chapter eleven in order to see this fact stated explicitly over and over again.

      So Moses was righteous under the Abrahamic covenant, which was a simple covenant with few requirements. Therein, righteousness was maintained simply by faith in the mercy of God–and BY circumcision, and obeying whatever God specifically said to do:

      ** Genesis 17:10 This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised; 11 and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you. 12 He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised, every male child in your generations, he who is born in your house or bought with money from any foreigner who is not your descendant.

      So what did Moses have to do to keep the covenant of God? Be circumcised, have faith in God, and do anything that He specifically said. That is all.

      While the Bible did not explicitly describe Moses’ circumcision, it does say that he was kept in hiding for a three months or so before being put out in the little ark (Acts 7:20). Since the commandment was to circumcise at 8-days of age (see above), we can be assured his parents had done that. The story of Exodus 4:24-26 about Moses’ SONS being circumcised (i.e., not Moses) implies further that he already was circumcised himself. The fact that the Bible never even IMPLIES that Moses needed circumcision as an adult, much less stated so, indicates that it was already taken care of when he was just eight days old.

      So what do we have? A circumcised son of the Abrahamic covenant, who knew the call of God on his life (Acts 7:23-25), who had obeyed everything that he KNEW was required of him to do, and had FAITH in the God of His fathers, was considered “righteous” according to the TERMS of the COVENANT in which he was living. So the problem here is not my lack of understanding the measure by which Moses was considered “righteous” before God, but your own need to study these issues more thoroughly.

      BTW: If sin is NOT defined by breaking the commandment of God, then HOW IN THE WORLD DID ADAM SIN in the Garden of Eden? He broke the commandment of God to “NOT eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” that’s how! So yes, the BIBLE’S definition of sin is the breaking of the commandments of God, i.e., violating His law. Moreover, ANYTHING that He commands is His law (e.g., see Psalm 119:172 and 147:15). Therefore, from the very Garden of Eden, and then to Abraham, and then to Moses, COMMANDMENTS were given as the Lord unfolded His will to humanity. ANY violation of the revealed will of God, i.e., breaking of His spoken commands, is sin by biblical definition.

      Let me note also that John Bunyan demonstrated so well within his “Doctrines of the Grace and Law Unfolded,” all of the Ten Commandments were in manifestation in the very Garden of Eden with the initial commandments that God gave Adam. See his treatise here for the details, as it would be too long for me to type in this comment.

      The inward knowledge that all humans have of God’s Ten Commandments and our violation thereof in sin, however, is a function of our consciences. It is the preaching of the Law (i.e., Ten Commandments) that awakens the conscience to our sinfulness, and thus, enables the Gospel to have meaning to the sinner. Romans and Galatians discuss this in depth. However, my point is that God’s Law–even the Ten Commandments, written on the hearts of ALL men (e.g., note Romans 2:14 & 26)–has always been present in the earth. “Sin” occurs whenever God’s law is broken, even if it is as simple as eating forbidden fruit. 😉

      The definition of SIN is always the breaking of a KNOWN commandment of God, and this includes the violation of one’s own conscience (see 1 Corinthians 8). “Where no law is given, there is no transgression” according to the Bible, for if one is NOT breaking a commandment or law, then there is no “crime” or sin being committed. Thus, your entire point here is incorrect.

      [10] The majority of what you wrote in this section is fully in agreement with what I have already written in this article, discussion thread, and this particular reply, except as I have already noted. Again, you are chasing a straw man here, for you though (i.e., when you wrote it) that I had said or implied something that I did not. Nevertheless, I commend you for writing some good points of theology here. 🙂

      [11] You wrote, “In summary Loddie’s first statement does not infer that Christ sinned by not keeping the law.” That is not what I said, as I have already discussed. Again, you are chasing a straw man.

      I said that his thesis that Christ did NOT keep the law infers that Jesus sinned, because BREAKING the law (i.e., NOT keeping the covenant) is sin by biblical definition. In other words, I was pointing out that Loddie was self-contradicted (as you are too). If Jesus was sinless (and He was), then that meant that He ALSO never broke the Law (for breaking the law is the definition of sin). Therefore, while ALREADY righteous in His very nature from before the foundation of the world, the MANIFESTATION of that righteousness includes continuously doing righteous things–i.e., keeping the law that God gave (which He as God was the giver thereof). So the righteous Savior MAINTAINED that righteousness throughout His time on earth, so that He COULD be the sinless Lamb of God:

      ** Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

      Jesus Christ was “tempted” to do WHAT? To SIN! Tempted by whom? The devil in a direct manner on the Mount of Temptation at the start of His ministry, and then the devil indirectly through PEOPLE who wished to entrap Him:

      ** Matthew 16:1 The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven.

      Again, WHAT was Jesus being “tempted” to do? Righteousness? No, He was being TEMPTED to SIN in various ways (and sometimes to entrap him by tempting Him to break Roman law). So my thesis is irrefutable, as I have stated already: If Jesus DID NOT keep the law, then He sinned. If He NEVER sinned (which is what the Bible says), then He MUST have kept the law, because the breaking of a commandment is the very definition of sin. Again, Jesus COULD keep the law because He WAS ALREADY SINLESS. To maintain that state of sinlessness, however, He had to CONTINUE to walk according to the very COMMANDMENTS that He gave in the Torah.

      You also wrote in this section, “By truly following Christ’s examples of mercy and compassion we will be shown righteousness, we will learn righteousness.” That is only partially true. You need to study 2 Peter in its entirety, 1 John chapter 3, and passages such as this from the writings of Paul:

      ** Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.

      “Good works” is a phrase that is ONLY used in the New Testament of works endorsed by God for CHRISTIANS to do. It is NEVER used in the context of trying to “earn” salvation (which term “works” leaves out the qualifying adjective “good,” for God only considered “good” what He has named as such). Thus, the same grace that SAVES us, according to the passage above, also TEACHES us to “live godly.” That includes lots of stuff, as the epistles of the New Testament convey. While it does include acts of mercy and compassion, it also includes confrontation of sin (e.g., compare Luke 17:3 and 1 Timothy 19-21), and living a GODLY lifestyle free from sin:

      ** Ephesians 4:17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; 19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

      20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

      So if your point was that we are NOT expected to live our lives in a manner that is GODLY, as opposed to the heathen practices, then you are very mistaken and need to spend some time re-reading the New Testament. Jesus rebuked some of the churches for sin in Revelation chapters 2-3, so I would suggest that you do not treat the subject lightly:

      ** 2 Timothy 2:9 Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”

      ** Titus 1:12 One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth. 15 To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.

      [12] You wrote here, “In looking at statements made in your Boomerang Stones logic, I do not believe that Jesus would have stoned the woman. His first fulfillment of the law was NOT to cast judgment, but to show mercy and to teach. To show the true path of righteousness which is faith in Jesus Christ as the perfect son of God.” Again, you are demonstrating the fallacy of begging the question (aka “circular reasoning”). You sound somewhat like a hippie with your esoteric approach to this one, frankly. Again, the NT does not support your thesis, as I have already demonstrated.

      However, what I want to point out to you in addition here is this: The Law of Moses had TWO key purposes. It served a role with respect to religious requirements so that Israel could have a relationship with God as a nation and each person individually; it also was Israels LEGAL SYSTEM. It dealt with contracts, torts, criminal law, estate law (inheritances), and a host of other things. In short, your statement is tantamount to saying, “If Jesus was here today, He would not support police officers arresting criminals, or courts convicting them and imposing sentences upon the guilty.” Jesus Christ previously gave the Law of Moses (i.e., in His role as God) in order to keep Israel’s society functioning properly, and to keep SIN from spreading like a cancer throughout the nation. Hence, if the Law of Moses was being APPLIED CORRECTLY by the mob, then He would have simply replied, “The law does indeed say that both the adulterer and the adulteress should be stoned together” and left it at that. Then they would have BOTH been stoned according to the criminal law that God (Jesus) had given Israel. To assert otherwise is to betray a significant ignorance of the Law of Moses, for you seem too focused on the religious aspects thereof and miss its full application. Since they were NOT applying the Law correctly, however, Jesus refused to participate in their hypocrisy and injustice.

      [13] You wrote, “After having true faith, and understanding his teachings you will begin to become clean or righteous from the inside out. This does not happen the other way around. Christ, many times, called people hypocrites who believed that way.” Although I am not confident that you and I agree fully on the phrase “understand His teachings” because of what you have stated thus far, I largely agree with the overall premise here, as I have already explained repeatedly up until this point. People have to be born again FIRST, and THEN they can KEEP the righteous requirements of the Ten Commandments and related teachings of the New Testament:

      ** Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

      Compare also 1 John chapter three, Titus 2:11-14 above, and both 1 and 2 Peter, Jude, etc.

      [14] You wrote, ” I have been a Christian my entire life.” That is absurd. There is no such thing as a person who was “a Christian ALL of” his or her life, according to the Bible:

      ** Romans 3:9 What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin.

      10 As it is written:

      “There is none righteous, no, not one;
      11 There is none who understands;
      There is none who seeks after God.
      12 They have all turned aside;
      They have together become unprofitable;
      There is none who does good, no, not one.”
      13 “Their throat is an open tomb;
      With their tongues they have practiced deceit”;
      “The poison of asps is under their lips”;
      14 “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.”
      15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
      16 Destruction and misery are in their ways;
      17 And the way of peace they have not known.”
      18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
      19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

      21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

      ** John 33 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

      4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

      5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’”

      If you were a “Christian all of” your life, then Jesus lied when He said that EVERYONE needs to be born again, and Paul lied when he wrote by the Spirit “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” You may have been raised in a Christian home, and been insructed in a Christian manner. However, until such time as you were BORN AGAIN, you were NOT a Christian by any biblical definition.

      [15] This portion of your comment seems to describe that you had a born-again experience at some point in your life. Thus, THAT is the point in time in which you became a Christian, assuming you were indeed born again as your testimony here seemed to describe.

      [16] This part of your testimony matches 1 John chapter 3. Unless a person is BORN AGAIN and has been MADE righteous, then cannot ACT righteously in any extensive or significant manner because the nature of sin is still within them. Please notice: Jesus KEPT the law BECAUSE He was righteous and COULD do so. Likewise, the New Testament tells us that ONLY those who are truly born again CAN “practice righteousness” as their regular habit (1 John 3). While the word “practice” implies imperfection and mistakes, it also demonstrates increasing perfection over time. So study 1 John chapter 3 (and really, the whole epistle) and Titus 2:11-15 in the light of my point here and you will better understand WHY you could NOT keep from sinning BEFORE you were born again.

      [17] You wrote, “When Christ said let he who is without Sin cast the first stone he was not just talking about the application of the law.” Sin is defined as a breaking of the Law. So indeed, Jesus Christ was talking about the CORRECT application of the law, which the mob was NOT doing, and thus, they were convicted by their own consciences. Again, my article Casting ‘Boomerang Stones’ discusses this in detail, but I hope my further comments in this reply help you to see that you are arguing against a tautology, and thus, are self-contradicted on many levels.

      [18] You wrote, “He was asking for people to search the heart and truly look at whether they were within the spirit of the law or not.” That is my point. They were NOT in the spirit of the law, because they were violating the very letter of the law that they cited for their case against the woman. So your next statement, “The context of that story is so much bigger than what you point to in your article” applies more to your own analysis of the story than it does to my article. 😉

      However, I will note that NO article can possibly pull all of the richness of God’s Word out on any story or passage. More sermons have been preached on John 3:16 than any other single Scripture, and yet, the fullness of that verse have never been expressed by ANY man. Hence, NEITHER of us have fully plumbed the depths of ANY passage of the Bible. So you spoke a truism there, but I would argue that it applies to us BOTH, and that you are missing more from that passage that you realize. (And I hope my comments in reply until this point have illuminated that fact to you.)

      [19] You wrote, “Christ did not pass judgment on that woman…” However, if He did not “judge” her to have sinned, then why did He say to her, “Go, and sin no more?” Your statement is contradicted by the story itself. Moreover, your thesis about Jesus not being the “time or place” for Him to judge people under the law points back to your earlier statements about the dichotomies of the Bible, and is only partially true. While He was not there to mete out ETERNAL judgment, that is NOT the limitation of application of the Law of Moses or God’s law in general. So your over-emphasis of the religious aspects of the Law of Moses has blinded you to the OTHER aspects thereof, and thus, caused you to misunderstand this story in particular, and even aspects of Jesus’ ministry on the earth and now from Heaven.

      [20] My interpretation is demonstrably not the “narrow” one, for my view of the issues at hand are far broader and deeper than what you have demonstrated in your reply, Dan. You are running off here again into an esoteric view of Scripture that does not take into account all of the Bible on the subjects at hand, and thus, you are in error due to the fallacy of “hasty conclusion” (aka, “hasty generalization”).

      And your point that somehow Jesus meant “All sin” in telling her to “sin no more” and the mob “he who is without sin” is self-contradicting. ALL sin is a violation of God’s Law. The story details the EXACT violations in question of both the woman and the crowd (once you take Leviticus 20:10 into account, since they cited that law to Jesus). Hence, your broadening the issue to “all sin” ignores the very facts of the story, which refutes your own implication that you somehow have a better understanding thereof than I do.

      This point of yours also betrays (further) the fact that you are practicing “eisegesis,” which means you are reading your own interpretations into the Bible instead of allowing the Bible to dictate your doctrines to you. “Exegesis” is the ONLY way to obtain true doctrines, and that is the logical analysis of the Bible to let it tell US what to believe. Ignoring the actual facts of the story in order to spin off into an esoteric assumption that Jesus was addressing “ALL sin” is a demonstration of “eisegesis,” and not “exegesis.”

      [21] YOU ARE VERY WELCOME! 😀 Frankly, I am VERY pleased that you took the time to write such a long comment in which you obviously put a LOT of thought. While my responses herein were intended to be constructive criticisms, and thus, certainly corrective, that does NOT mean that I am not duly impressed with your EFFORT to collect your thoughts on these subjects and to put forth a thesis for consideration in rebuttal to my own. THAT is something that I do respect, even if the particulars are not proving to “be so” upon further examination (Acts 17:10-12; 1 Thessalonians 5:21).

      So I do hope that my time investment in replying (although quite belated) is time well-spent. I trust that many of the points I have made have brought to light weaknesses in your own arguments. I trust also that I clarified my stated positions and shown them to be, in fact, logically and biblically irrefutable with respect to the fact that Jesus kept the Law BECAUSE He was righteous, and NOT to “become” righteous. Likewise, the ONLY way that a person can live a righteous life before God in practical ways today is if they FIRST BECOME righteous by being born again through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, and THEN they can “practice righteousness” habitually. As you correctly noted, it starts on the inside, and then spreads outward by the grace of God as we mature in Christ. 🙂

      [22] Do not worry about such formatting. Even I cannot make the words of Christ in red in the comment section. That is a formatting capability that only applies to the main text, as I write the articles in the WYSIWYG editor on my end. I do have some basic formatting ability with my comments from my end too, so I do have an advantage there also. So don’t worry about it in the least bit. Your post was mostly free from typos and mistakes (as I hope my reply is too! LOL!). You expressed yourself clearly, from what I can see. So your writing was excellent, and again, your effort was outstanding. I do respect you for having participated in this discussion and given it so much effort! That always impresses me, even if the particulars were not always correct. At least you tried hard, gave it LOTS of thought, and expressed yourself clearly. 😀

      In closing, thanks again for participating. I appreciate your closing well-wishes too, and I pray that the revelation of God’s Word would enable us ALL to walk more closely with Jesus Christ moment by moment, every day, from now on and throughout all eternity. 🙂

      Always in Jesus,

      Rich

  9. By what standard can we judge or determine if a person is perfect/sinless or sinful? The Law. Without the Law there’s no judgement, there’s no transgression. You can only be declared sinless/perfect if you have kept every bit of the Law. Thus we could never say Jesus was sinless unless there was a yardstick by which to measure Him. That yardstick is the Law of Moses: Ten Commandments Ex 20.

    Jesus did not commit adultery, murder, bear false witness, take the name of God in vain, make images/idols, hate his neighbour etc. In other words, if we were in court and all the commandments(in the form of charges) were read out against Jesus, He would have “NOT GUILTY” for each one. Jesus did not break any of them. He kept all of them. That’s why He is sinless.

    Now there are instances where Jesus “seemed” to go against the law. Now what is the law?

    Summary of the law:

    Lk 10:25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
    Lk 10:26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
    Lk 10:27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
    Lk 10:28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

    Summary of The Law in Old Testament
    Deut 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God [is] one Lord:
    Deut 6:5 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
    Lev 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I [am] the Lord.

    Although the law is explicit in the Ex 20 and the whole Torah, the passages above give a summary of the all the law combined, indeed the Torah.

    So the times when Jesus seemed to go against the law as mentioned by Loddie above in Matthew 8:3 states “Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him”, Jesus was NOT going against the law at all. Rather, He was “loving His neighbour” as Himself. Yes it may be called “the law of love”. Is the summary of the law in the above passages not the “Law of Love”? Is the Law in the Old testament was not the law of love? Whenever we obey any of the commandments essentially we are loving God or our neighbour. That’s why Jesus said if we love Him, we will obey His commandments. To my mind, there’s no separate law of love.

    As a leper, what one needs most is affirmation in the form of a touch and Jesus offered it to this man and with that one touch, He healed him. Did the priest on Lev 13:1 examining a possible leprosy case have to touch them? Why would Jesus “break the law” by touching a leper (imagine touching someone with Ebola) and then send him in his next sentence to the priest at the temple to go and fulfill the requirements of the Law for his cleansing.

    Other examples where Jesus seemed to go against the law include healing on the Sabbath, eating without washing His Hands, His disciples eating in a field etc, to me, all fulfill the law in its proper application. And Jesus Himself explained each of His actions.

    In the court of Law, by both judge and jury, as far as I can tell, Jesus would have been acquitted on all counts. That’s why He was sinless! That’s why He’s my Saviour! Hallelujuah!!!

    This is my 2 cents. God Bless you all.

    • Benny,

      Your comment is an excellent discussion of this topic. You have succinctly summed up the matter, and I agree with your every point.

      I would only add that Jesus never EVER went against the Law of Moses itself, but ONLY the false, legalistic, interpretations of that Law that the Pharisees imposed upon people. Let me elaborate on this point just a bit since I mentioned it. Note what Jesus said about the Pharisees and other legalists of that time:

      ** Matthew 23:4 For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.

      The Pharisees took God’s Word and “modified” it via their own traditions. It became heavy and burdensome, and simply a means of religious control of other people. It was no longer serving its original God-given purpose. In fact, it was often contradicting God’s original intent. They had twisted God’s Word to the point that the original intent of the commandments was lost in all of the tradition in which the Pharisees had wrapped it. Note, for example:

      ** Mark 7:5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?”

      6 He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:

      ‘This people honors Me with their lips,
      But their heart is far from Me.
      7 And in vain they worship Me,
      Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
      8 For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men —the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.”

      9 He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ 11 But you say, ‘If a man says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban”—’ (that is, a gift to God), 12 then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother, 13 making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.”

      Nevertheless, Jesus actually did attempt to teach the Pharisees about the ORIGINAL INTENT of the Law:

      ** Matthew 9:11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

      12 When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

      He gave them homework! 😀 (That is what I did with this article too. 😉 ) However, they did NOT look up that passage (which is found in Hosea 6:6). Therefore, they did not learn the lesson that He was trying to convey to them. So later on, He confronted them in this matter again:

      ** Matthew 12:1 At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. And His disciples were hungry, and began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. 2 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath!”

      3 But He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: 4 how he entered the house of God and ate the showbread which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? 5 Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless? 6 Yet I say to you that in this place there is One greater than the temple. 7 But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. 8 For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

      As you correctly pointed out, Benny, the sum of the Law given by God through Moses was “love God with all of your heart, soul, and mind” and “thy neighbor as thyself.” The passage Jesus was quoting for the second part is found here in Leviticus:

      ** Leviticus 19:17 ‘You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him. 18 You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.

      Very few people bother to look up the passage from which Jesus was quoting when He answered the lawyer’s question about the “greatest commandment.” Here, we discover that the passage in question was talking about GENUINE agape-love. The true biblical form of agape-love includes REBUKING those in error, as well as not holding grudges against them. While the latter is easily understood by most people, the confrontational part is a key too, and was certainly manifest as Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for their IMPROPER use of the Law of Moses. 😉

      So I agree 100% with your addition to this thread, and am only adding a clarification that while Jesus may have SEEMED to the Pharisees to be “breaking the law” at times, that was NOT the case. Jesus was the very AUTHOR of the Law and knew how it was to be properly applied. Hence, as you noted, He NEVER broke the Law itself, for that is by definition “sin” and Jesus NEVER sinned. Rather, Jesus always demonstrated the Law of Moses in its correct application in His life, EVEN when that application violated the man-made traditions of the legalists (who themselves regularly violated the Law in order to keep their traditions, as Jesus noted above).

      Yours is a great addition to this thread, Benny! 😀

      I apologize for being so long in responding, but I have been busier than a one-armed wallpaper hanger for quite a while. I have another comment on this article that is even older than yours that I need to read too, so you were not the only person with a comment languishing in the moderation queue. Thank you for being patient with me, and for having participated in my little “experiment” on this page. God bless you and your family.

      Always in Jesus,

      Rich

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