Earlier this month I posted an article about Christian comedian John Crist defending the actions of Pastor John Gray and Lauren Daigle, who were both a topic of discussion over the internet because of recent decisions made by the two, to my personal Facebook page. I encourage you to read that article before reading this post in order to get a full understanding of the reason for this post (click here). That post brought some great debate on my timeline, but there was one thing a friend of mine from high school commented about that got me to thinking, and here’s what he said:
““Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard. Do not cut your bodies or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the lord.” Leviticus 19:27&28. Why do people believe it’s okay to disobey these sins but it’s definitely not okay to be a homosexual? Because it’s the OLD testament, this was before Jesus’ time. When Jesus came he laid down the rules for all of Jesus’ followers, but never did he once mention these, or homosexuality.”~My friend from high school~
Now, I got to thinking about this and began doing some research like ten minutes later. So, I’m going to to attempt to answer the question of why we follow some Old Testament laws and not others although we are living the New Testament? Before I delve into this, I want you to know that this can get kind of confusing, so I need you to clear your mind and focus only on this right now.
In the Old Testament, there were three types of laws: ceremonial, moral, and governmental. What’s the difference between old law and new law? Old law was given to Israel as a Nation, but new law was given to the church – Jesus being born and crucified (Hebrews 8:13). “The Mosaic Law contained some universal moral principles that apply today because they transcend the old law, but aren’t applied in the same way judicially. The Mosaic Law was limited to a time and nation, but morality was not.”
Ceremonial Laws were things that consisted of worship and sin sacrificing (Leviticus 4). These are laws we no longer follow. We know that we no longer follow these laws because of Jesus’ crucifixion.
Governmental Laws were given to Israel as a nation this included the punishment for breaking these laws. One article I read compared it to states in today’s time having different laws, but also having universal laws. These laws not only contained laws that were applicable to Israel, but also to everyone because of the morality of the law. We no longer follow the governmental law, but because some governmental laws double-dip into moral laws, we do follow those but more on the bases of their morality and not there legal punishment as set by the governmental laws.
Moral Laws are were homosexuality and tattoos come into play. Let’s address homosexuality first. The laws of sex were laid out in Leviticus 18. So, how were the laws against homosexuality established in the New Testament? The answer can be found in Colossians 3:5, “Don’t be controlled by your body. Kill every desire for the wrong kind of sex.” We know what kind of sex is forbidden because of Leviticus 18 (a married couple of one man and one woman). Further explanation comes from 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.
What about tattoos? Leviticus 19:27-28 says, “I forbid you to shave any part of your head or beard or to cut and tattoo yourself as a way of worshiping the dead.” The key part of this scripture is as a way of worshiping the dead. This signals that tattoos are not all bad. 1 Corinthians 6:20 states, “God paid a great price for you. So use your body to honor God.” What about the possibility of “holy tattoos”, tattoos that present the Gospel to everyone who sees them?
This is how I see the answer to why we follow some Old Law and not all Old law. I hope this post has helped you understand this more. Below are links to articles I read when researching about this, I encourage to read them. Also don’t forget to like, comment, and share this post below.
–Which of the hundreds of Old Testament laws are applicable to us as Christians?
–Does the Old Testament Law Still Apply?
–How Do We Know Which Old Testament Laws to Still Follow?
–Why Don’t We Follow All of the Old Testament Laws?
–How Does the Old Testament Law Apply to Christians Today?
–Are the Old Testament’s Moral Laws Still Binding on Us Today?