Monday, December 22, 2008

The Law of Jesus

First posted in MennoDiscuss in response to the question, "If we are all followers of Jesus, should Jesus' teaching be a law, and if so, how literal should we be?"

1. For those of us who declare Jesus as Lord, Jesus' teaching is law.
2. And Jesus is the only teacher of the law we have (Matt 23-- "And you shall call no one teacher, for you have but one teacher and that is the Christ")
3. Under Jesus, we are all equal in trying to understand the law of Christ and in trying to obey it.
4. We are to assist each other to be obedient to Christ
5. However, if we have a disagreement as to how to obey Jesus-- as long as we do not deny a principle of Jesus-- then we must allow other's their interpretation without judging them. (Romans 14)
6. Nor, if we hold to a more loose interpretation, should we cause our brothers to sin against their interpretation. (Romans 14)

Even this brings up a lot of points.
For instance, my "interpretation" of "love your enemies" means that followers of Jesus should never kill anyone under any circumstances. Does this mean that I can't fellowship with a brother or sister who holds to the idea of "loving them in your heart" but harming them in the flesh? I believe that the interpretation is in reality opposed to the teaching of Jesus, not in harmony with it at all. But what I can do is pray that the Holy Spirit reveal the truth to them, over time. But I shouldn't deny fellowship with them simply because of a misunderstood interpretation.

On the other hand, I would not allow such a person to teach in my congregation, because it says in Scripture that one who stands against the word of Jesus is a false teacher and shouldn't be allowed in the church (I Timothy 6; II John). I do, however, allow people to publicly have a discussion about these interpretations with me in front of my church, so people can hear the different points of view and make their own choice. It is good to allow the Holy Spirit reign to lead people as He will.

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