Wednesday 6 August 2014

The place of the moral law in the church needs to be urgently revisited by the church!

It is hard to know where to begin on this subject. When we consider the implications upon the church when the moral law is downplayed, rejected, or considered to be overtaken by the law of love, so that Christians decide themselves as to what is right and wrong and so forth, the scope of unhelpful influences that ensue are huge.

Jesus said that: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven" Matthew 5:17-19.

However, despite this warning against relaxing the commandments of God, it is not uncommon for some Christian teachers today to reject the moral law and the Ten Commandments for the church outright. Some say this apparently due to their fear of producing legalism. However, there is a problem with this argument. Legalism is adding to the commandments of Scripture and this idea to do away with the Ten Commandments, actually removes the obligation upon Christians to obey the Ten Commandments as a rule of life.

My little blog posts are not going to resolve this crisis, but I hope to get some people thinking. There is one group of people though that I would like to squarely challenge. These are those Christians and churches who claim to be reformed while also rejecting the moral law as having ongoing obligation for the church. And do you know what I have observed? The first step to the weakening of the foundations of the moral law for the church is often the downplaying of the fourth commandment and the Christian Sabbath.

One of the unfortunate fruits of this theology has been the cancelling of the evening service for church worship. I truly believe that if you are hungering and thirsting for righteousness, then you will not be trying to reduce your opportunities for worshipping the Triune God, for fellowship with the faithful, and to sit under sound preaching. But this active reduction in weekly church attendance has become all too common, while most people in the West have more time on their hands than ever. People have more spare time, more leisure time and holiday time than ever, and yet there is a strong emphasis in some quarters to make church attendance simply a matter of a gracious choice and not a biblical duty.

More will need to be said on this subject, but for the serious minded who would like a book to read on this subject, I would like to recommend one by Philip S. Ross, called "From the Finger of God".


Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree with you more on this Kevin. In researching a sermon on the Sabbath recently I was struck by the benefits that observing the Lord's Day brings to believers.
The decline of the church and the decline of the Lord's Day have gone hand in hand.

Kevin Bidwell said...

Phil, you have made a valid point. Let us pray for the joyful recovery of the Lord's Day in the church in our own day, Kevin B