The third question raised by Dimitri was "Do Christians need to obey Old Testament Laws?" While the prior questions could be dealt with summarily by pointing out the misapprehensions of the interlocutors thereof, this question requires a lot more work, as it touches on a number of major conflicts that have embroiled the Church from its inception to today. As such, answering this question will require us to look at it from a number of different angles and to address them one by one as time and space permit.
One of the main ways in which doubters both within and without the Church try to discredit the Old Testament and its teachings is by casting the allegation of "anthromorphism". Simplified, the argument goes like this:
- A passage of scripture shows God acting in a way proper to man: feeling emotion, considering, reflecting, reconsidering.
- God is a perfect being.
- Perfect beings do not feel emotion, consider, reflect, or reconsider. They are spiritual, and do not have hands, feet, or faces.
- Therefore, God did not do these things, nor does He have those parts, and the passage is thus untrue, and can be ignored.
Hopefully you have noticed the major assumption contained in this line of argumentation. In the third point, a mortal human has taken it upon himself to circumscribe God. In opposition to the God described in God's own words, and preserved by the power of the Spirit and the diligence of the Church through Scripture, a philosophical construct of the author's own making is raised up before the people for their worship. Why does God not do these things? "It is not fitting, it is not proper..." To these assertions, Scripture answers boldly:
"Woe to those who quarrel with their Maker, those who are nothing but potsherds among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, 'What are you making?' Does your work say, 'The potter has no hands'?" (Isaiah 45:9)
Man is the image and likeness of God. (Genesis 1:27) When God appears to act like man in Scripture, we do not see that God has lowered Himself, but rather to what heights man has been exulted by God. We are the ones who have appropriated these characteristics from above, not He from below.