Recently, as I engaged in a heated, but civil argument about Syrian refugees in America, one of the participants was questioning (rightly) the Christianity of those who opined that we should “kill them all,” meaning Muslims. Others responded that Islamic doctrine would have Muhammad’s followers to kill all of us and this gentleman reminded us that the Bible has its violent passages, but he didn’t seem to know why these things were there—why Yahweh commanded the ancient Israelites to kill all members of certain groups. He even characterized the commands as Yahweh commanding the Israelites also to kill all non-believers (false)—as is actually commanded as a sacrament to worshipers of Allah. I was nonplussed, since the man in question—a nice, intelligent, well-informed individual—is a Messianic Jew.
After I urged him to re-read the Old Testament, the conversation turned back on its original path. Then someone who, obviously hadn’t been following the thread said to me: “I don’t have to read the Old Testament; I’m a Christian. Jesus was not a conqueror, but an evangelist.” Leaving aside that this person addressed my point outside of its context—I had only been talking one person, a person who had specifically cited the Old Testament—and leaving aside that Jesus the Christ conquered death, Hell, and the grave, I want to address the assertion that Christians “don’t have to read the Old Testament.”
The second man was right: no one has to read anything. And there is only one thing which a person has to do in order to be saved from going to Hell. But I think anyone who has read my Facebook note, The Miseducation of the American Christian Negro, can guess what I think about biblical ignorance among Christians, especially about the willful variety.
The Christian who believes—notice that I didn’t say ‘thinks’—that the Old Testament is a disconnect from the New Testament fails to understand the value of foundation. There is a reason that America’s value system is called Judeo-Christian. Christianity is based on Judaism and the Old Testament—the Torah—is Judaism.
The Old Testament entire purpose is to point to Jesus the Messiah. As many pastors have put it, the OT is the NT concealed and the NT is the OT revealed. Chuck Missler calls the entire Bible an Integrated Message. There are 300+ prophecies of Jesus’ incarnation in the OT, including one that got my attention: the genealogy from Adam to Noah. All of the names in that genealogy form two sentences.
||The Blessed God
||Shall come down
||His death shall bring
||Rest, or comfort
Man is appointed mortal sorrow; the Blessed God shall come down teaching that His death shall to the despairing rest. It’s a prophecy of Jesus the Christ.
Missler concludes that
It demonstrates that in the earliest chapters of the Book of Genesis, God had already laid out His plan of redemption for the predicament of mankind. It is a love story, written in blood on a wooden cross which was erected in Judea almost 2,000 years ago.
When I began writing this post, it was before the publication of David Limbaugh’s The Emmaus Code: Finding Jesus in the Old Testament. I stopped composing the post in order to read the book, which I obtained from the LA Public Library. So far, it’s making the points that I made above, but since I’m heading out of the country tomorrow and the book is due back before I come back, I have to bring it back and get it again after my return. So, instead of fully make the case on my own, I suggest that you read Mr. Limbaugh’s book.
Or, like a Berean, search it out for yourself.
Reminder: I leave for Kenya tomorrow, but I’ll still be posting on my regular schedule here, correct calculations of time zone differences willing.
Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel, tentatively titled, Arlen’s Harem, will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.
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