Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The OT and the NT

Top Ten Acts of Oppression as quoted in Young Anabaptist Radicals:
All references are from the ancient Hebrew prophets:

1. Refusing to defend the needy- Isaiah 1:17, 23; Jeremiah 5:28
2. Stealing from the poor- Isaiah 3:14-15
3. Unjust judgments against the poor- Isaiah 10:1-2
4. Not assisting the needy- Ezekiel 16:49
5. Taking interest for loans- Ezekiel 18:15-17
6. Enslaving a people- Amos 1:6
7. Excessive violence in war, especially against innocents- Amos 1:13
8. Excessive rent against the poor- Amos 5:11
9. Accepting bribes- Amos 5:12
10. Turning away those who need shelter for a night- Amos 5:12

Daylight replies:
You are absolutely right in your scriptural basis against acts of oppression. I wonder though. If I posted a list of Old Testament scriptures to build a case against homosexuality, abortion, or to support such things as the death penalty and war, you might reject my list under the notion that we are New Testament people now. Why do liberal Christians have one list of favorite Bible causes and conservative Christians have different list? Both lists have a common source. Just asking.

My response:
I have to admit, that while I am deeply interested in the Hebrew Scriptures, I don’t often use it as a source of moral truth, except when it explains what Jesus was saying. Jesus (and especially his brother James) spoke against the oppression of the poor. However, the definition of this, he depended on the Hebrew Scriptures, just as he depended on the Hebrew Scriptures for the defninition of “porneia” or sexual immorality. So this list is in the way of a definition.

Also, although I know that there are “liberal” and “conservative” Christians, I don’t find that divide to be helpful. There are people who use the Scriptures for their own ideologies. I have no interest in them. I think that kind of interpretation of the Scripture is not only wrong-headed, but boring. I find truth in Jesus, and so Jesus is the way to interpret the rest of the canon. We understand him first, and then the rest of Scripture makes sense.

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