Old Testament Today

I recently got into an argument on Facebook with an atheist who was questioning why Christians were complaining about Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani who is facing a death sentence in Iran. Now, I do not know this person to whom I was interacting, but was very frustrated with what he said. I don’t like to enter into these conversations without being able to sit down and discuss this face to face but the conversation was very revealing. His first comment was, “but doesn’t the bible say that anyone who believes in any other deity beside the christian god shall be put to death? that’s no different than this. Iran is just following thru with their beliefs. I’m not saying its right. but Christianity is only arguing about this because it’s someone of their own faith. if Christianity were the ones holding a person captive, they’d think it was justified by the bible.” Many times, people make grand statements like that without justifying their claims anywhere in Scripture, so I asked where this was in the Bible, as well as pointed them to Luke 6:28, which tells us to bless those who curse you and pray for those who persecute you. This person then listed Deuteronomy 13:6-10,17:1-5, Exodus 22:20 and Mark 16:16. I then tried to explain that Christ came to fulfill all the commandments of the Old Testament, praise God that we now live under grace instead of law! They then brought this comment up: “For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:18-19 RSV)

Clearly the Old Testament is to be abided by until the end of human existence itself. None other then Jesus said so.”

They continued: “and just to bring us back on topic, old testimate is still valid. Jesus said so. so punishment by death for worshiping another god is still valid. so as my original point stated, Christians r hypocrites. Iran is simply following thru with their belief. Christianity is just mad because it’s of someone from their own faith.”

So that brings us to the question: What is the purpose of the Old Testament today? We see in Luke 24:27 that all of the Old Testament points to Christ who has now ushered in a covenant of grace instead of law (Romans 6:14). The Old Testament tells us of the creation of the world, mankind’s fall from perfection relationship of God, and promises us a king is coming who will restore everything. Because of this coming king, we will no longer be bound by the law for the law will be written on our hearts (Jeremiah 31:33) and we will have the Holy Spirit to help us grow more Christ like.

This conversation has reminded me again that I need to always be ready to give a defense for the hope that is within me, as well as pray for those who do not see.

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