Genesis 3 Jun 10, 2011 9:37:47 GMT -5
Post by Morris on Jun 10, 2011 9:37:47 GMT -5
That is too naturalistic a view of scripture for me. Either it was 'divinely breathed in' or it was just a cultural byproduct.
If you believe that Israel was God's chosen people, and that all other people on earth were condemned, then agreed. That salvation only comes to us through one race of man, who became condemned for their pride...then yes, I can see your point for sure.
Well, I do believe that Israel was God's chosen people, but I do not believe that all other people were condemned without hope. God gave specific instructions in the law regarding how the foreigner and stranger could be assimilated into the assembly of Israel. Furthermore, God defines the "congregation of Israel" as those who are circumcised.
"And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the ordinance of the Passover: No foreigner shall eat it. But every man’s servant who is bought for money, when you have circumcised him, then he may eat it. A sojourner and a hired servant shall not eat it. In one house it shall be eaten; you shall not carry any of the flesh outside the house, nor shall you break one of its bones. All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. And when a stranger dwells with you and wants to keep the Passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as a native of the land. For no uncircumcised person shall eat it. One law shall be for the native-born and for the stranger who dwells among you.” "
God's Israel, his chosen people was never intended to be biologically determined, despite what some people may believe. That's why Jesus said "For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones". And there was one law for native and stranger alike.
"The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God."
Just because the OT says something a certain way does not mean God meant it to be said that way. He may have written on stone tablets with a finger, but scripture was not dictation. If one wishes to believe how Israel viewed themselves is how God viewed them, then more power to them for sure.
Ah, but here's the catch! It is the philosophy which says that Israel saw themselves as 'the world' that creates this problem, not the OT scripture. Even in the OT there is no partiality with God.
"Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked no longer. For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe. He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing. Therefore love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt."
I personally am very selective with this concept, at least when it comes to reading passages. I use this to understand key messages and themes of the Bible, so the 'lowest common denominator' I guess you could say. I'll also try to understand specific words/terms a little better. But I find when taking a scripture from a completely different account to understand another verse, that I run a risk of patching phrases together to create a personal theology. Different writers, stories, context, culture, perspective, etc lead to different meanings.
I find this agreeable. In fact, that's why I don't believe the use of "heavens and earth" of Revelation needs to redefine the "Heavens and earth" of the OT.