Doug responds to those who believe certain features of the Old Law “automatically” made their way into the New Covenant Catholic Church

by Doug Lawrence

In a recent post, Professor Howard Kainz offered his opinion that the Old (Mosaic) Law was somehow automatically stripped of its dietary and other obsolete features, and that its great moral precepts somehow, automatically made their way into the New Covenant Catholic Church.

Not to try to “muddy the waters” … but the New Covenant was all-new … not reliant at all upon anything in the Old Covenant … except for the perfect fulfillment of all that was written in the books of the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms … by the promised Messiah … Jesus Christ.

The risen Jesus said as much, himself. And earlier, he had used the example of old and new wine skins to explain why the new would be essentially incompatible with the old.

Jesus Christ released us from the curse of the Old Law … every jot and tittle of it … and replaced that now obsolete concept with the grace and peace available only through him and the Catholic Church he personally founded, authorized, empowered, and eternally guaranteed … for that express purpose.

Jesus gave St. Peter and the apostles the awesome and virtually unrestricted power of binding and loosing … and with the help of the Holy Spirit … they and their successors shortly decided to reaffirm certain basic tenets that had been contained in the old law … and totally do away with others.

Martin Luther and his ideological descendants gravely err when they deny the power of the Catholic Church to govern and to make rules for the benefit of the Christian faithful.

Other than that, there’s absolutely no basis in scripture or tradition for the automatic, selective movement of portions of the Old Covenant laws over to the New Covenant Catholic Church. The hierarchy of the Catholic Church deliberately made those critical judgments and decisions, much as they are still being made today … usually by means of papal decrees and duly called synods and councils.

None of this happened by accident … by autopilot … or by osmosis. All was accomplished by the Catholic Church, according to the foreknowledge and plan of Almighty God.

Thank God we Catholics have the grace and peace of Jesus Christ, the head of the Catholic Church, and the source and summit of our Christian life, as our first, best, and final resort … instead of the totality of the Old Law, which though it was certainly of God, never saved a soul … because that job was always rightly reserved for Jesus, himself.

Related post 

This Week’s Ask Alice: A Question About Sunday – the Lord’s Day – and the Sabbath.



Send A Question To Alice

She’ll answer as many questions as possible,
right here, every Thursday.

Email responses will also be provided, as time permits.

Charles C. asks: Why is the Sabbath mentioned many times in the N.T. and Sunday only mentioned TWICE in over 30 years after Pentecost strengthened the disciples to evangelize? Paul: One time—commands work (gathering an offering to be collected at a later date) to the Corinthian church with a high commandment-keeping Jewish contingency (1 Cor. 16:1-3), See that church’s formation in Acts 18. Luke: One time (Acts 20:4-14)–talks of communion service on Saturday evening (all the disciples used Jewish reckoning, sunset being the new day), then tells of SEVEN commandment-keeping Jews boating all day Sunday with Luke, and Paul hiking throughout the daylight hours of Sunday to Assos.

Alice answers: The Bible does not furnish a complete account of every event that ever happened, throughout the long history of the Judeo-Christian faith tradition. Nor is the Bible a complete catechism, detailing every recommended belief and practice of the Christian faith.

The Bible is the Holy Spirit inspired, infallible Word of God … as faithfully compiled, written (in part), preserved, certified and translated, by the Catholic Church. It’s also important to remember that the Church was already 400 years old, and firmly established, by the time all of this was actually accomplished.

Attempting to determine specific historical details from the scant accounts appearing in the Bible alone … some 2000 years after the fact, without reliance on authentic Catholic tradition … is generally an exercise in futility, leading nowhere … or worse, into serious error.

The simple fact is, there was never a need to put into writing that which the church had always and everywhere, from the earliest days, publicly proclaimed and put into actual practice, since (before the Protestant Reformation) every Christian, in every place (even the illiterate) would certainly know such things by memory and through force of habit. Catholics, Orthodox Christians, and even most Protestants, still do.

Now, for the specifics:

The Catholic Church permits Saturday evening “Sunday” worship. Saturday evening worship generally and customarily fulfills the existing Sunday worship obligation.

There are eight New Testament references to “Sunday” … which officially replaces the Old Testament Saturday sabbath, as the Lord’s Day.

First and foremost, Sunday is the day of Jesus’ resurrection … and ever since, Sunday has been celebrated as the primary Feast Day of (virtually) all Christianity.

1: Jesus rose from the dead early on the first day of the week…

2: He first appeared to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast out seven demons. (Mark 16:9)

3: That same day Jesus appeared to two of His disciples on the road to Emmaus. (Luke 24:33-35)

4: On the evening of that first day of the week, even though the disciples had locked the doors of the place where they were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood before them. (John 20:19)

5: A week later (Sunday) Jesus appeared to Thomas to dispel his doubts about His resurrection. (John 20:26)

6: Pentecost, the birthday of our Church, occurred on a Sunday.

7: While in Corinth, Paul takes up a collection for the relief of needy believers on a Sunday. (Acts 11:27-30)

8: During a Sunday meeting in Troas, Paul preached so long that a youth named Eutychus, who was sitting on a window sill went to sleep, then fell from the third story and died. Paul restored him to life and continued preaching. (Acts 20:3-14)

In two other New Testament sabbath passages we have St. Paul explaining that Christians are NOT required to observe the Jewish sabbath. One key example:

No one is free, therefore, to pass judgmenton you in terms of what you eat or drink or what you do on yearly or monthly feasts, or on the sabbath. (Colossians 2:16)

Paul often preaches in Jewish synagogues on the Sabbath. However, he does not preach in synagogues as a religious obligation, but rather because that is the place where he can reach the largest number of his Jewish brothers and sisters.

Under the Old Covenant, the Hebrews/Israelites/Jews were obligated under the Mosaic Law to keep the sabbath. Non-Jews were never required to do so.

Under the New Covenant, the awesome and virtually unrestricted power of binding and loosing … on earth and in heaven … was given only to the one, holy, apostolic and universal (Catholic) Church. In the words of Jesus Christ:

And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven. (Matthew 16:19)

Now, there would be “The People of God” – the members of the Catholic Church … and universal, Sunday, Eucharistic worship … according to the express command of our savior:

For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread, and giving thanks, broke and said: Take ye and eat: This is my body, which shall be delivered for you. This do for the commemoration of me. In like manner also the chalice, after he had supped, saying: This chalice is the new testament in my blood. This do ye, as often as you shall drink, for the commemoration of me. For as often as you shall eat this bread and drink the chalice, you shall proclaim the death of the Lord, until he come. Therefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord.
(1st Corinthians 11:23-27)

Jesus Christ gave us an all new, Christian covenant, based on his grace … not on the old law … and on the work, worship, sacraments and devotions of his universal (Catholic) Church … not the old Jewish Temple Worship System, which itself would soon pass away.

After the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, neither Jews nor Gentiles were required to keep the old Saturday sabbath, since the purpose of the old law had been served, and the Old Covenant (in its entirety) had been fulfilled and respectfully set aside by Christ, in favor of the New, grace empowered and saving Covenant, which he instituted for us at the Last Supper, paid for on the cross with his own blood, and confirmed through his glorious resurrection:

For there is no distinction of the Jew and the Greek: for the same is Lord over all, rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:12-13)

The Catholic Church … the only living “eye-witness” for Jesus Christ, and for all the events of the New Testament … explains in its official Catechism, the important differences between the sabbath of old, and Sunday, the Lord’s Day:

Sunday – fulfillment of the sabbath

2175 Sunday is expressly distinguished from the sabbath which it follows chronologically every week; for Christians its ceremonial observance replaces that of the sabbath. In Christ’s Passover, Sunday fulfills the spiritual truth of the Jewish sabbath and announces man’s eternal rest in God. For worship under the Law prepared for the mystery of Christ, and what was done there prefigured some aspects of Christ:

Those who lived according to the old order of things have come to a new hope, no longer keeping the sabbath, but the Lord’s Day, in which our life is blessed by him and by his death.

2176 The celebration of Sunday observes the moral commandment inscribed by nature in the human heart to render to God an outward, visible, public, and regular worship “as a sign of his universal beneficence to all.” Sunday worship fulfills the moral command of the Old Covenant, taking up its rhythm and spirit in the weekly celebration of the Creator and Redeemer of his people.

In Christ’s love,

Alice

Click here to see all of Alice’s other columns

Islam needs to emerge from its’ self-imposed “dark ages” and join the world community.


The days of Muslim Conquest
and the Crusades are behind us.

by Doug Lawrence

Islam claims to be a religion of peace, but so long as Islam continues to harbor terrorists and murderers within its’ ranks, and so long as Islam appears to officially support various types of revenge and brutal discrimination, under the false guise of Sharia and Jihad, few non-Muslims are ever likely to take Islam seriously, as a true world religion … let alone, a religion of peace.

Muslim Sharia Law is an only slightly modified version of the old Mosaic Law of the Jews. The Law actually worked pretty well in the harsh living environment of nomadic desert dwellers … and it should have … since it was originally given to the Israelites by God (Allah) for that express purpose. But when impressed on modern-day urban citizenry by certain fundamentalist Imams, Sharia can easily take on the look and feel of brute totalitarianism.

All of current-day Islam’s inherent violence and its’ serious denials/abuses of personal freedom make Islam look very unappealing and even frightening to the common man. And that should not come as a surprise, to anyone.

I’m betting that the promoters of true Islam can make a logical case for many/most of their fundamental beliefs and practices, but there’s no way they can ever do the same for violent Jihad and brutal, religious persecution and discrimination … simply because that type of behavior is essentially an unjust, corrupt aberration … and it was never a part of original, authentic Islam.

The days of the Crusades are behind us. The world (except apparently, for certain Muslims, and a few others) has moved on. Now, it’s high time for the true leaders of the Islamic world to get together, universally reject violence and terrorism, disown and shun those who can’t or won’t change their Medieval ways, and finally, join the modern family of nations, in peace.

Is everyone who submits to God’s will a Muslim?

biblekoran

Q:  If Muslims are called to be submissive to God’s will, does that mean that everyone who willingly submits to God’s will is actually a Muslim?

A: The key question should be: By what means can one actually discover and correctly discern the authentic will of God?

Muslims claim that God revealed himself to Mohamed. Hence, Muslims base their understanding of God’s will essentially on their particular interpretations of Mohamed’s Quran.

Jews claim that God revealed himself to them through Abraham, Moses, and other prophets, many of whom the Jews and Muslims revere in common, so the Jewish understanding of God’s will isn’t very far removed from that of the Muslims.

Muslim fundamental beliefs are codified in Sharia Law, which is very similar to what the Jews know as their own Mosaic Law (the Ten Commandments) along with several hundred related statutes and ordinances.

On the other hand, Christians take what was first basically revealed to the Jews and then build upon it, using the authentic teachings and personal revelations of Jesus Christ.

Jesus claimed to be the fulfillment of all the original scriptures … the Messiah … the promised savior of the world … making possible the reconciliation of mankind with God … just as God had originally promised … and Jesus died and rose again from the dead to prove that what he claimed was true.

While the Jews and Muslims know only the Old Testament God of wrath, Christians know a God of tender love and gracious forgiveness … resulting exclusively from the atoning work of Jesus Christ.

Anyone who adamantly remains mired in the past fails to get the complete message, and is likely to remain in fear and relative darkness, forever. That is hardly a position from which to properly discern the authentic will of God.

But thanks to Jesus Christ, who is (among other things) the light of the world, Christians know without a doubt that God loves us, that he wants us to know him, to love him, and to serve him, in this world and in the next, and that he (God) will provide everything necessary to make that possible … simply because he loves us … and that he’ll accomplish his will primarily through the good offices and sacraments of the only Church that Jesus Christ ever founded, for the purpose of our salvation.

So … since Muslims and Jews accept only the early, relatively obscure, and essentially incomplete portions of God’s divine revelation, they miss the most important and most fulfilling part of the message … redemption, peace, rest, and gracious pardon from God’s justifiable wrath.

Their world view remains skewed, and their discernment of God’s authentic will, fatally flawed.

Alternatively, faith in Jesus Christ, his teachings, and his Church, provides Christians with all the missing pieces of the puzzle, resulting in grace, rest, freedom from inordinate concerns about divine judgment and wrath, personal peace, and eternal life.

All of this should permit Christians (ideally, at least) to love God and to love their neighbor … which is indeed the express will of God, according to Jesus Christ … who ought to know, because he IS God … and he told us as much, as he went about preaching in first century Palestine … fulfilling all that had been written in the books of the Law, the Psalms, and the Prophets.

Q: If law is the ministration of condemnation and death, did Jesus condemn himself to death by fulfilling law?

masscalvary

Q: If  the law is the ministration of condemnation and death, did Jesus condemn himself to death by fulfilling law?

A: To the contrary … perfectly fulfilling the law while totally avoiding sin is the only way to escape death, since under God’s oldest and most essential law, the “Law of Sin and Death” ONLY one without sin is NOT liable to die.

That’s why Satan and his minions had no business doing what they did to the totally impeccable Jesus.  And that’s why Jesus’ death officially put Satan out of business, forever … since nobody … not even the devil … then, the acknowledged “Prince of this World” …  had the power or the authority to take the life of a sinless man … let alone the only begotten son of God.

As for the rest of us, no matter how hard we try, we’re stuck with our inherited sinfulness, due to Adam’s original fall from grace. So without faith in Jesus Christ and true allegiance to him, who is our God, our High Priest, our brother, and our holy Redeemer, and who is also the only “well spring” of God’s sanctifying grace, we typically remain slaves to Satan, sin and death, forever.

More on this here …

And here …

And here

Why was Joseph’s ancestry included in Jesus’ genealogy in the Bible unless it was Jesus’ actual bloodline?

nativitycolorfinal

Q: Why was Joseph’s ancestry included in Jesus’ genealogy in the Bible unless it was Jesus’ actual bloodline?

A: From a legal standpoint,  in terms of Mosaic Law, Joseph’s relationship to Jesus was significant.

Joseph’s genealogy is that of an in-law or “as supposed” as the scriptures typically say. And it’s included to provide a complete picture.

Tracing Mary’s line, we find her father (Joachim) was a descendant of King David, and her mother (Anna) was descended from Aaron, the line of priests.

That would make Jesus not only Messiah and God, but also a King and a Priest.

Doesn’t that make you feel better now?

Did Mary and Joseph have other children besides Jesus?

nativitycolorfinal

Q: Did Mary and Joseph have other children besides Jesus?

A: Absolutely not.

Mary was subject to a specific provision of the the Mosaic Law, to wit:

Leviticus 27:28  Any thing that is devoted to the Lord, whether it be man, or beast, or field, shall not be sold: neither may it be redeemed. Whatsoever is once consecrated shall be holy of holies to the Lord. See also: Numbers 30:1-16.

Mary was and is a perpetual virgin, dedicated solely and completely to God from a very young age, her subsequent marriage not withstanding.

Once dedicated to God, such a vow survives marriage and everything else.

Joseph was her most chaste spouse, and a willing servant of God.

https://douglawrence.wordpress.com/a-shor…