Christian Era |OT| W.W.J.D

Deffers

Member
Mar 4, 2018
1,262
Thanks, everyone, for all the salient responses. You're right. It's probably mostly projection on my end. I'm too worried about "fitting in," I guess. Which, in a way, makes me feel like a bad Catholic at times.

Anyway, you've all given very good advice, and I appreciate it a lot. Next time I stop in here I promise it will be to contribute to discussion and not ask for help with something, haha.
Hey, in Christianity, the best kind of discussion is helping other people. Don't feel bad at all!
 

duckroll

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,527
Singapore
Thanks, everyone, for all the salient responses. You're right. It's probably mostly projection on my end. I'm too worried about "fitting in," I guess. Which, in a way, makes me feel like a bad Catholic at times.
Don't feel bad, feel that you can better and in doing so make the church itself better too because we make up the church. Us Catholics tend to be brought up with a lot of guilt and fear association with regards to what our religion is, and that sucks. It's wrong and one of the things that needs to be better on a fundamental level in terms of education within the church, how parents relate to their children, how parishioners relate to each other, and how ministries do outreach.

I can totally relate, and I think that the Catechism of the Catholic Church as it is taught, doesn't equip us well for tackling the challenges of society in a secular world. Evangelism is weak for us Catholics for many reasons, and not equipping teenagers and young adults properly to own their faith is one that those reasons. If religion is just family tradition and culture, it becomes hard to share because it feels too compartmentalized. It becomes something we share only within family and church mates because we feel a little ashamed of it outside of that bubble. Your relationship with Christ is more than you being born in a Catholic family or going to mass because your parents told you to. It has to be. If you can truly own that relationship, tap into what that means to you, and let that guide you.

Jesus is not an obligation, He is a lifestyle. Always hated how we talked about "days of obligation" for that reason. Such a silly thing. Telling people that you "must" go to mass at the minimum for these occasions is a really terrible way to motivate people to be excited for the faith. So for example it becomes "oh no, Assumption is coming up, ugh, gotta make time for church" when it should be a person being excited to make time for Assumption because of their appreciation for Mary's role and all she has done as mother of the church. It should be a time to reflect on Mary's life as the ideal faithful servant of God, answering His call with no hesitation and concern for what others would have thought of her situation. But instead it's just another "day of obligation" for many people.

It's the same reason I used to hate Lent because it was the season of "oh no lets be sad and guilty" where I maybe fast a little and generally psyche myself to be miserable for a month. Until I learned that wasn't the right approach at all. It was simply a time of reflection, and again appreciation - appreciation for the sacrifice Jesus made for us and what it REALLY means. That we ourselves are worthy of His sacrifice and He gave his like because we are worth it. It's uplifting, not sad. The abstinence we can practice during Lent is not to make us miserable but a part of our reflection on how if we accept our worthiness for the Lord's sacrifice, how we can better ourselves and how we can detach from indulgences to spend a bit more time with Him instead. A lot of Catholic traditions don't have to be negative, they should be positive because God is a positive force.
 

Ivellios

Member
Oct 27, 2017
394
Thanks, everyone, for all the salient responses. You're right. It's probably mostly projection on my end. I'm too worried about "fitting in," I guess. Which, in a way, makes me feel like a bad Catholic at times.

Anyway, you've all given very good advice, and I appreciate it a lot. Next time I stop in here I promise it will be to contribute to discussion and not ask for help with something, haha.
There is no problem in asking for help here, so if you ever need any advice or to talk you can count on us.
 

Deffers

Member
Mar 4, 2018
1,262
Don't feel bad, feel that you can better and in doing so make the church itself better too because we make up the church. Us Catholics tend to be brought up with a lot of guilt and fear association with regards to what our religion is, and that sucks. It's wrong and one of the things that needs to be better on a fundamental level in terms of education within the church, how parents relate to their children, how parishioners relate to each other, and how ministries do outreach.

I can totally relate, and I think that the Catechism of the Catholic Church as it is taught, doesn't equip us well for tackling the challenges of society in a secular world. Evangelism is weak for us Catholics for many reasons, and not equipping teenagers and young adults properly to own their faith is one that those reasons. If religion is just family tradition and culture, it becomes hard to share because it feels too compartmentalized. It becomes something we share only within family and church mates because we feel a little ashamed of it outside of that bubble. Your relationship with Christ is more than you being born in a Catholic family or going to mass because your parents told you to. It has to be. If you can truly own that relationship, tap into what that means to you, and let that guide you.

Jesus is not an obligation, He is a lifestyle. Always hated how we talked about "days of obligation" for that reason. Such a silly thing. Telling people that you "must" go to mass at the minimum for these occasions is a really terrible way to motivate people to be excited for the faith. So for example it becomes "oh no, Assumption is coming up, ugh, gotta make time for church" when it should be a person being excited to make time for Assumption because of their appreciation for Mary's role and all she has done as mother of the church. It should be a time to reflect on Mary's life as the ideal faithful servant of God, answering His call with no hesitation and concern for what others would have thought of her situation. But instead it's just another "day of obligation" for many people.

It's the same reason I used to hate Lent because it was the season of "oh no lets be sad and guilty" where I maybe fast a little and generally psyche myself to be miserable for a month. Until I learned that wasn't the right approach at all. It was simply a time of reflection, and again appreciation - appreciation for the sacrifice Jesus made for us and what it REALLY means. That we ourselves are worthy of His sacrifice and He gave his like because we are worth it. It's uplifting, not sad. The abstinence we can practice during Lent is not to make us miserable but a part of our reflection on how if we accept our worthiness for the Lord's sacrifice, how we can better ourselves and how we can detach from indulgences to spend a bit more time with Him instead. A lot of Catholic traditions don't have to be negative, they should be positive because God is a positive force.
This is a fascinating reflection for me. My parents were lapsed Catholic. I typically refer to the lifestyle as "culturally Catholic"-- because it encapsulates the idea of being surrounded by Catholicism but at a remove from it at the same time. Taking it on the family's terms, for better or for worse-- which meant baptism into communion with Masses for special occasions, and even that inconsistently. As I've mentioned before in the thread, I'm obsessive compulsive and it affects my religion. As might be suspected, it makes me feel obligated to pursue certain actions or ideas and includes a lot of repetition. With a lot of personal reflection, it became obvious to me that the resulting sense of obligation-- the eponymous sense of compulsion that I feel in the due course of living-- is more hindrance than help in a lot of respects. I feel most in-tune with God when religion comes free, organically, spontaneously. Whereas hollow ritual barely provides a dopamine rush. A few pages back I discussed how I approach prayer and how I believe that a freeform, free-verse component to daily prayer is a constructive practice to see God as... well, the phrase "the living God" is used in the Bible over and over for a reason. Our relationship with God is supposed to be dynamic, it's supposed to be a constant flow-- it's this sense and this fact that informs the use of this phrase and that informs the distinction between cleaving to God and the practice of, say, idolatry. A real relationship with a living Being, as opposed to a perfunctory, hollow, and transactional obligation to something inert and desolate. That isn't to say, of course, that catechism or ceremony or formal observations should be thrown out of hand immediately-- it's clear, for example, that your reflection of Assumption is building that real and organic connection with God. You're actually engaging with the concepts behind the ceremony, using those to mindfully build a bridge with God. That's good. I'm mostly sharing my thing because I feel like I want to cosign what you're saying about a sense of obligation and ritual obscuring the deeper truths that actually bring people closer to God.

I really like what you said-- Jesus isn't an obligation. He is a lifestyle. He is a friend-- the best friend! He wants to be a part of your life and He wants you to be happy. He values you as an individual just as you are. In my opinion, our considerations of God should be informed by this view. The phrase "God loves you" isn't just a comforting platitude-- it's fundamental to the practice of worship in the first place. Rejoicing and celebrating aren't referenced in the Bible for nothing-- they're a real component of faith. At least, I think so.
 

KyrieEleison

Avenger
Dec 31, 2017
336
Does anybody watch the Allen Parr YT channel?
https://www.youtube.com/user/thebeatagp

I was a big fan of his up until his video on "Are Catholics Christians?" (As you guys probably know, I am not Catholic but Orthodox but his misguided views apply equally to Orthodoxy)

I think he means well, but he steps out of his comfort zone and talks about other denominations, he is out of his depth.
 

duckroll

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,527
Singapore
Does anybody watch the Allen Parr YT channel?
https://www.youtube.com/user/thebeatagp

I was a big fan of his up until his video on "Are Catholics Christians?" (As you guys probably know, I am not Catholic but Orthodox but his misguided views apply equally to Orthodoxy)

I think he means well, but he steps out of his comfort zone and talks about other denominations, he is out of his depth.
I don't, but since you mentioned it I watched a bit of the video and eh, for a topic like this, especially in good faith, if a non-Catholic is talking about the subject maybe get a practicing Catholic who is happy to engage on this subject as a guest to compare notes instead? It kinda feels like the sort of video we see where non-religious people talk about religion and what religious people believe... haha. Dude definitely isn't trying to offend, but a lot of it is.... just not accurate. ^^;

The phrase "God loves you" isn't just a comforting platitude-- it's fundamental to the practice of worship in the first place. Rejoicing and celebrating aren't referenced in the Bible for nothing-- they're a real component of faith. At least, I think so.
Yesssssss. As a friend said a few weeks ago, and that really resonated with me - to truly embrace the love of Christ, we have to love ourselves. Because if we don't love ourselves and aren't confident in who we are, that will continue to be a barrier to really understand God's love for us because it introduces doubt that we can be loved. If we can truly accept that God loves us unconditionally, and that we can be loved as such, then we should love ourselves and see ourselves as precious. Once that falls into place, we can better love others and share that love because then we truly understand what it means to love others has He loved us.
 

DarkDetective

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,453
The Netherlands
I think it's a good idea to search a place in your area where people like you gather to to k about the faith. I don't know how old you are and what your situation is, but there's probably something to find on the internet.

You don't have to replace something in order to do this. Maybe you don't like the environment and be done with it after the first try. But I think looking for a discussion group or a church where it's less listening and more interactive is a good thing. In my area, there are lots of small gatherings that come together on workdays, so it doesn't have to cost you your Sunday either.

I think it's worth the Google Search, SolVanderlyn :)
 

Mariolee

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
3,328
Just wanted to say still dealing with my death anxiety and depression, but coming into this thread and seeing people post in it always brightens my day a bit.
 

Dunno

Member
Oct 28, 2017
27
Oct 26, 2017
2,211
California

KyrieEleison

Avenger
Dec 31, 2017
336
I don't, but since you mentioned it I watched a bit of the video and eh, for a topic like this, especially in good faith, if a non-Catholic is talking about the subject maybe get a practicing Catholic who is happy to engage on this subject as a guest to compare notes instead? It kinda feels like the sort of video we see where non-religious people talk about religion and what religious people believe... haha. Dude definitely isn't trying to offend, but a lot of it is.... just not accurate. ^^;
Sometimes I feel the Orthodox position on Catholicism is a bit harsh, but it's also based on good intentions.
 

Mariolee

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
3,328
The reality is that as an adult in my 30s now, I'm more confident about my faith than ever, and I've learned that decent people who we can actually call friends respect each other, and most people don't have something against religion. Not sharing the faith or not knowing much about it does not equate opposition. At worst it's usually a neutral thing. Even those who are against religion as a concept, tend to value personal relationships more than that feeling they have, if they are reasonable people. What this means is that if you are a good friend and you all respect each other, simply by being a witness to Christ and living your life as you do, when you share about your faith others will listen. This doesn't mean going around telling people they have to go to church with you to be saved. This means showing them first and foremost what you have gained from having the grace of God, and how that shines through your person. Testify for your faith by living it, and people will see and respect that. If there are negative experiences from doing so, it is on them not on you. By be afraid of that though? In a way, if you think that your friends might leave you because of your faith, you aren't giving them a lot of credit. That seems a somewhat negative way to view your friends and if there is no evidence for it, very unfair. By sharing who you are more, you are also giving them the chance to show you how valuable the friendship is to them as well.
I personally speaking as someone who's in their 20's now, I've been wondering how do you (who's in your 30s) feel your faith has grown more confident? As you've gotten older have you seen Christ act throughout your life more?
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,211
California
The explanation stated that ( and I'm paraphrasing) reformed believers are those who believe in salvation via Faith in the Grace of God through the sacrifice of Jesus alone, not via specific humans or special works, acts of kindness etc etc.
I would say reformed encompasses a bit more than that. It is a term that also refers to the monergistic view of salvation, as opposed to the synergistic view, or, Calvinism vs. Arminianism.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,204
Duckroll told me about this thread, so I'm just going to jump in here and make my presence known. I have been a Christian for pretty much my whole life (just look at my username), but it's only been within the past few years that I've really been able to accept that the grace of God as made manifest in the redeeming work of Christ is what gives me my self-worth, and so finally gain some measure of victory over the depression and self-loathing that has been a near constant presence in my life. So I'm very grateful to God for that, and am trying to allow Him to use me to spread whatever hope and love I can. I'll try to check in on this thread from time to time - I've tended to shy away from discussions about serious matters on the Internet for a while now, since they seem to cause more harm than good most of the time, but hopefully a thread like this can be different.
 

Mariolee

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
3,328
Wow, Deffers telling Duckroll, Duckroll telling Hosanna, very interesting how this community is slowly growing.
 

Mariolee

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
3,328
Anyone see that letter of Albert Einstein thread? Would look in but afraid I'll be triggered since I'm still dealing with personal death anxiety issues right now.
 

Deffers

Member
Mar 4, 2018
1,262
Anyone see that letter of Albert Einstein thread? Would look in but afraid I'll be triggered since I'm still dealing with personal death anxiety issues right now.
It's not exactly a good place right now. Buncha tangential comments, light on actual discussion. Quite a bit of justified roasting of that "and his name was Albert Einstein" anecdote which kinda devolves into there just NOT being a conversation, you know? As to Einstein's position on religion, it's... something about God representing people being weak to Einstein. Which IMO, pretty soundly misses the point, since we're all kinda weak and excessively fallible? Consider why you might be fixating on the content of that particular thread in this particular moment, though-- maybe now isn't the time for you to explore those things.

Of course, to me the nature of God is a bit broader than perhaps most people-- I think He shines His light not just on people who directly believe in Jesus Christ but that His change and uplifting presence has by this point affected us all to a greater or lesser degree. To me, the position of seeing God in life as weakness of one form or another is based on a misunderstanding of... the nature of our relationship with Him. The idea that God provides comfort over what a nonbeliever has is, well, manifestly untrue. Anybody who has had anxiety about going to Hell or about displeasing God can tell you that much. The idea that God represents weakness by providing ambiguity is ridiculous to anybody who's wrestled with interpretation of Scripture in a way that directly relates to their life and has had to ask themselves the hard questions of whether they're walking with God or not. God is a comforting presence-- but as well you know we don't always let ourselves feel Him there and trusting in Him and His plan... well, should be easy, but we're not great at it. Plenty of atheists find comfort in the idea that there are no stakes to life since nothing matters-- plenty of believers find comfort in the idea that there are no stakes to life since God saves us of His own power and our own works can't bring forth that grace. Plenty of atheists find a sense of real purpose in defining their own meaning to life-- plenty of believers find a sense of real purpose in the higher calling of Gospel preaching, the Great Commission, and living in tune with the Gospel. In fact, Sartre, in his seminal work on Existentialism, defined both a religious existentialism and a non-religious existentialism.

So yeah. Calling belief in God weakness seems misguided. Belief in God encompasses many ways to be in many seasons, just as non-belief does. And there are people who blur the line between belief and non-belief, too, just to make life extra-spicy. Einstein's characterization of religion as a nobly-intended folk myths is based on ignoring the broad historicity of both the New Testament and the Old in favor of focusing on only the oldest portions of the Bible. It's always gonna be a fashionable way to look at the book, particularly for those who consider themselves culturally Christian without necessarily believing in the supernatural aspects or the more stringent personal codes or trying to take that morality in a different direction. Einstein wasn't the first, he certainly won't be the last,and I'm not sure he'd even count as the most philosophically strong person to try and make that point.
 

Ivellios

Member
Oct 27, 2017
394
Just wanted to say still dealing with my death anxiety and depression, but coming into this thread and seeing people post in it always brightens my day a bit.
I know this sort of thing takes time, but i shall pray for you to get better soon. Just hang in there and if you ever need to talk we are here for you.

Duckroll told me about this thread, so I'm just going to jump in here and make my presence known. I have been a Christian for pretty much my whole life (just look at my username), but it's only been within the past few years that I've really been able to accept that the grace of God as made manifest in the redeeming work of Christ is what gives me my self-worth, and so finally gain some measure of victory over the depression and self-loathing that has been a near constant presence in my life. So I'm very grateful to God for that, and am trying to allow Him to use me to spread whatever hope and love I can. I'll try to check in on this thread from time to time - I've tended to shy away from discussions about serious matters on the Internet for a while now, since they seem to cause more harm than good most of the time, but hopefully a thread like this can be different.
Welcome!

Discussing difficult topics here is very rewarding and everyone present their opnion in a educated manner, so there is no need to be afraid of participating here.

My relationship with my priest is falling apart and I don't know what to do.
Maybe talking about it here will be good for you and we may be able to help.
 

Swiggins

Member
Apr 10, 2018
2,288
I didn't think there would be a thread for religion on here tbh.

I'm a lapsed Catholic who has previously dabbled in agnosticism and atheism.

Even today I find it difficult to reconcile my faith sometimes due to the position of the church on certain issues; especially with the current (and heinous) scandal rocking the church at the moment. Furthermore, I'm a bit of a skeptic by nature which causes me to disconnect from the Bible in certain facets.

I keep coming back though, especially in times of trouble. I guess I'm a living embodiment of "No Atheist's in Foxholes"
 

Deffers

Member
Mar 4, 2018
1,262
I didn't think there would be a thread for religion on here tbh.

I'm a lapsed Catholic who has previously dabbled in agnosticism and atheism.

Even today I find it difficult to reconcile my faith sometimes due to the position of the church on certain issues; especially with the current (and heinous) scandal rocking the church at the moment. Furthermore, I'm a bit of a skeptic by nature which causes me to disconnect from the Bible in certain facets.

I keep coming back though, especially in times of trouble. I guess I'm a living embodiment of "No Atheist's in Foxholes"
Welcome, welcome! Absolutely fine if that's your relationship to the Church. And I'm a bi guy, so you might imagine my relationship with standard church interpretations is strained as well. As to the rest-- don't worry. St. Thomas proves that Christ is accommodating to skepticism.
 

Ivellios

Member
Oct 27, 2017
394
I didn't think there would be a thread for religion on here tbh.

I'm a lapsed Catholic who has previously dabbled in agnosticism and atheism.

Even today I find it difficult to reconcile my faith sometimes due to the position of the church on certain issues; especially with the current (and heinous) scandal rocking the church at the moment. Furthermore, I'm a bit of a skeptic by nature which causes me to disconnect from the Bible in certain facets.

I keep coming back though, especially in times of trouble. I guess I'm a living embodiment of "No Atheist's in Foxholes"
Welcome!

Its great that so many people are finding this thread.
 

Marano

Member
Mar 30, 2018
1,600
Rio de Janeiro
Any reformed believers in here?
Why would you say that you're reformed?
I would say reformed encompasses a bit more than that. It is a term that also refers to the monergistic view of salvation, as opposed to the synergistic view, or, Calvinism vs. Arminianism.
Hello brother and friend, I call myself a monergistic christian, I don't call myself reformed or calvinists because my beliefs don't align with all of what they encompass, I'm baptist and I fully believe in the soevereignty of God, that salvation is of the Lord only and I don't even disagree soteriologically with the 5 points of calvinism it's a lot of everything else that I disagree with so I don't call myself calvinist or reformed, what are you yourself? Reason for being a monergistic christian is that for me it is the biblical view that glorifies God the most.
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,211
California
Hello brother and friend, I call myself a monergistic christian, I don't call myself reformed or calvinists because my beliefs don't align with all of what they encompass, I'm baptist and I fully believe in the soevereignty of God, that salvation is of the Lord only and I don't even disagree soteriologically with the 5 points of calvinism it's a lot of everything else that I disagree with so I don't call myself calvinist or reformed, what are you yourself? Reason for being a monergistic christian is that for me it is the biblical view that glorifies God the most.
To me, foundationally, monergism is the only theological framework that makes sense of the Bible as a whole.

What is specifically about Calvinism / Reformed that you don't agree with?
 

Marano

Member
Mar 30, 2018
1,600
Rio de Janeiro
To me, foundationally, monergism is the only theological framework that makes sense of the Bible as a whole.

What is specifically about Calvinism / Reformed that you don't agree with?
Mainlly question regarding baptism and some historical things that went on with baptists in the reformation.

Edit: Also cesassionism, but that may not be a reformed/calvinist only position, either way I'm against it.

Edit2: Yeah I agree that monergism is the only theological framework that makes sense of the bible as a whole, many texts of the bible wouldn't make sense otherwise, I can't honestly read romans 9 (and many other texts) and come to any other conclusion without being dishonest with myself.
 
Last edited:
Oct 26, 2017
2,211
California
Mainlly question regarding baptism and some historical things that went on with baptists in the reformation.

Edit: Also cesassionism, but that may not be a reformed/calvinist only position, either way I'm against it.

Edit2: Yeah I agree that monergism is the only theological framework that makes sense of the bible as a whole, many texts of the bible wouldn't make sense otherwise, I can't honestly believe read romans 9 (and many other texts) and come to any other conclusion without being dishonest with myself.
Good stuff. What is it about cessationism in particular?
 

SchuckyDucky

Avenger
Nov 5, 2017
1,921
Hey y'all! I'm leading part of my Bible Study tomorrow night and I was wondering if y'all could give me your thoughts on the passages I'm leading the discussion on on. I'm doing 1 Peter 4: 1-11. There is a lot I can pull from for the discussion, almost too much haha! Having a bit of trouble deciding what would be the best place to try and focus my discussion on. Thinking about talking abiut how we are to live as Christians and why its important we live that way, but there is just so much I can pull from these verses I feel. Let me know if you have any thoughts!
1 Peter 4:1-11 ESV
Stewards of God's Grace


Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does. The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
 

DarkDetective

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,453
The Netherlands
Hey y'all! I'm leading part of my Bible Study tomorrow night and I was wondering if y'all could give me your thoughts on the passages I'm leading the discussion on on. I'm doing 1 Peter 4: 1-11. There is a lot I can pull from for the discussion, almost too much haha! Having a bit of trouble deciding what would be the best place to try and focus my discussion on. Thinking about talking abiut how we are to live as Christians and why its important we live that way, but there is just so much I can pull from these verses I feel. Let me know if you have any thoughts!
(This took me quite a while to write, but I think/hope I helped you with this post:)

My Bible refers to a couple of other texts for the text you quoted.
In 1 Timothy 3:2-7, Paul lists a lot of things that we shouldn't do. Why shouldn't a believer do those things? Well, he explains that right there: "so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil." (1 Timothy 3:7). And we should be careful of that threat, as "the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth." (1 Timothy 4:1-3, of which verse 1 is a reference to 1 Peter 4:5). In this text, Paul is referring to our current days, where the world increasingly loses faith and the devil continues to win terrain. Similar things are said in Titus 1:6-9, with a similar reason: "so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it." (Titus 1:9).

So there are all these things that Paul basically forbids us to do: "an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive", etc. It's pretty much the same enumeration in 1 Timothy and 1 Peter.

While Paul even says we should help each other in staying on the right track and correct each other, that doesn't mean we should treat these instructions as commandments. This is not a Law in the way commandments were treated under the old covenant.

That piece of text in 1 Timothy 4:1-3 that I quoted above isn't just some text on its own. I recommend to read those verses again, but include (the beginning of) verse 4 this time: "For everything created by God is good".

To which Romans 14 says (verse 14 is referenced in 1 Timothy 4:4) the following: "Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean." (Romans 14:10-14)

When we will stand in front of God's throne in heaven, each of us will have to take responsibility for their own actions during life on earth. We have full responsibility. God will judge, so why should we judge each other? All we should do is remind each other what is good in the eyes of God.

And this suggests we should not follow the Law of Moses anymore. And that's true. The apostle explains this multiple times and the statement gets confirmed through many other texts, including ones in the Old Testament, as well. In my Bible, the part of Romans 14 that I quoted above even has references to other texts that confirm this (which of course have their own references as well).

"For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him." (Romans 6:5-8)
Notice the time indication at the beginning of verse 5: we have been united with him. Which means:

"For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised." (2 Corinthians 5:14-15)

"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose." (Galatians 2:20-21)

"yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified." (Galatians 2:16)

"Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.”" (Galatians 3:11)

"Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith." (Habakkuk 2:4)

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”" (Romans 1:16-17)

"assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness." (Ephesians 4:21-24).
Note how this text tells how our old self and our former earthly manner of life are corrupt through deceitful desires (which are the 'sins' addressed in 1 Peter 4), but also tells that belief in Jesus can save us.


So the conclusion: we should correct each other on the things listed in 1 Peter 4 (and other places), in order to let our faith in Christ grow and assist each other in that process - everyone is responsible for their own decision to believe/trust Christ or not! We should not judge each other, however, as God will take care of that during the Last Judgment.

And let me repeat Galatians 2:21, which says that trying to live in accordance with the Law of Moses is equivalent to denying the resurrection of Jesus as Christ and his position as Son of God!
 
Last edited:

SchuckyDucky

Avenger
Nov 5, 2017
1,921
(This took me quite a while to write, but I think/hope I helped you with this post:)

My Bible refers to a couple of other texts for the text you quoted.
In 1 Timothy 3:2-7, Paul lists a lot of things that we shouldn't do. Why shouldn't a believer do those things? Well, he explains that right there: "so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil." (1 Timothy 3:7). And we should be careful of that threat, as "the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth." (1 Timothy 4:1-3, of which verse 1 is a reference to 1 Peter 4:5). In this text, Paul is referring to our current days, where the world increasingly loses faith and the devil continues to win terrain. Similar things are said in Titus 1:6-9, with a similar reason: "so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it." (Titus 1:9).

So there are all these things that Paul basically forbids us to do: "an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive", etc. It's pretty much the same enumeration in 1 Timothy and 1 Peter.

While Paul even says we should help each other in staying on the right track and correct each other, that doesn't mean we should treat these instructions as commandments. This is not a Law in the way commandments were treated under the old covenant.

That piece of text in 1 Timothy 4:1-3 that I quoted above isn't just some text on its own. I recommend to read those verses again, but include (the beginning of) verse 4 this time: "For everything created by God is good".

To which Romans 14 says (verse 14 is referenced in 1 Timothy 4:4) the following: "Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean." (Romans 14:10-14)

When we will stand in front of God's throne in heaven, each of us will have to take responsibility for their own actions during life on earth. We have full responsibility. God will judge, so why should we judge each other? All we should do is remind each other what is good in the eyes of God.

And this suggests we should not follow the Law of Moses anymore. And that's true. The apostle explains this multiple times and the statement gets confirmed through many other texts, including ones in the Old Testament, as well. In my Bible, the part of Romans 14 that I quoted above even has references to other texts that confirm this (which of course have their own references as well).

"For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him." (Romans 6:5-8)
Notice the time indication at the beginning of verse 5: we have been united with him. Which means:

"For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised." (2 Corinthians 5:14-15)

"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose." (Galatians 2:20-21)

"yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified." (Galatians 2:16)

"Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.”" (Galatians 3:11)

"Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith." (Habakkuk 2:4)

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”" (Romans 1:16-17)

"assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness." (Ephesians 4:21-24).
Note how this text tells how our old self and our former earthly manner of life are corrupt through deceitful desires (which are the 'sins' addressed in 1 Peter 4), but also tells that belief in Jesus can save us.


So the conclusion: we should correct each other on the things listed in 1 Peter 4 (and other places), in order to let our faith in Christ grow and assist each other in that process - everyone is responsible for their own decision to believe/trust Christ or not! We should not judge each other, however, as God will take care of that during the Last Judgment.

And let me repeat Galatians 2:21, which says that trying to live in accordance with the Law of Moses is equivalent to denying the resurrection of Jesus as Christ and his position as Son of God!
Thanks for this very thoughtful write-up! You hit on a lot of the things I was thinking about as I read the verses and found in my research. My Bible study actually got cancelled tonight due to the family who normally hosts it having travel difficulty, so I will have another week to prepare. Definitely going to take a deeper look into those verses you cited. Thanks again!
 

SchuckyDucky

Avenger
Nov 5, 2017
1,921
(This took me quite a while to write, but I think/hope I helped you with this post:)

My Bible refers to a couple of other texts for the text you quoted.
In 1 Timothy 3:2-7, Paul lists a lot of things that we shouldn't do. Why shouldn't a believer do those things? Well, he explains that right there: "so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil." (1 Timothy 3:7). And we should be careful of that threat, as "the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth." (1 Timothy 4:1-3, of which verse 1 is a reference to 1 Peter 4:5). In this text, Paul is referring to our current days, where the world increasingly loses faith and the devil continues to win terrain. Similar things are said in Titus 1:6-9, with a similar reason: "so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it." (Titus 1:9).

So there are all these things that Paul basically forbids us to do: "an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive", etc. It's pretty much the same enumeration in 1 Timothy and 1 Peter.

While Paul even says we should help each other in staying on the right track and correct each other, that doesn't mean we should treat these instructions as commandments. This is not a Law in the way commandments were treated under the old covenant.

That piece of text in 1 Timothy 4:1-3 that I quoted above isn't just some text on its own. I recommend to read those verses again, but include (the beginning of) verse 4 this time: "For everything created by God is good".

To which Romans 14 says (verse 14 is referenced in 1 Timothy 4:4) the following: "Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean." (Romans 14:10-14)

When we will stand in front of God's throne in heaven, each of us will have to take responsibility for their own actions during life on earth. We have full responsibility. God will judge, so why should we judge each other? All we should do is remind each other what is good in the eyes of God.

And this suggests we should not follow the Law of Moses anymore. And that's true. The apostle explains this multiple times and the statement gets confirmed through many other texts, including ones in the Old Testament, as well. In my Bible, the part of Romans 14 that I quoted above even has references to other texts that confirm this (which of course have their own references as well).

"For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him." (Romans 6:5-8)
Notice the time indication at the beginning of verse 5: we have been united with him. Which means:

"For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised." (2 Corinthians 5:14-15)

"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose." (Galatians 2:20-21)

"yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified." (Galatians 2:16)

"Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.”" (Galatians 3:11)

"Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith." (Habakkuk 2:4)

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”" (Romans 1:16-17)

"assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness." (Ephesians 4:21-24).
Note how this text tells how our old self and our former earthly manner of life are corrupt through deceitful desires (which are the 'sins' addressed in 1 Peter 4), but also tells that belief in Jesus can save us.


So the conclusion: we should correct each other on the things listed in 1 Peter 4 (and other places), in order to let our faith in Christ grow and assist each other in that process - everyone is responsible for their own decision to believe/trust Christ or not! We should not judge each other, however, as God will take care of that during the Last Judgment.

And let me repeat Galatians 2:21, which says that trying to live in accordance with the Law of Moses is equivalent to denying the resurrection of Jesus as Christ and his position as Son of God!
Thanks for this very thoughtful write-up! You hit on a lot of the things I was thinking about as I read the verses and found in my research. My Bible study actually got cancelled tonight due to the family who normally hosts it having travel difficulty, so I will have another week to prepare. Definitely going to take a deeper look into those verses you cited. Thanks again!
 

DarkDetective

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,453
The Netherlands
Thanks for this very thoughtful write-up! You hit on a lot of the things I was thinking about as I read the verses and found in my research. My Bible study actually got cancelled tonight due to the family who normally hosts it having travel difficulty, so I will have another week to prepare. Definitely going to take a deeper look into those verses you cited. Thanks again!
No worries! I find it really interesting to dig into subjects and find texts on the topic. I'm glad you were looking into the same direction with your research. It's a difficult topic, because some things are definitely bad to do, and as a human of flesh, we would want to judge others when they do those things. And the apostles tell us those things are bad to do, yet we should try to notify those offenders without judging them and appreciating the mercy we get from Christ instead.

In my country, a lot of Christians actually still have a lot of rules/law they try to obey. No working on Sunday (including things that aren't a job), no TV in house, and whatnot. I have no idea what they're thinking, but they somehow manage to keep looking away and ignore the verses I quoted in the spoiler part of my post (which only is a spoiler in order to keep the post readable, between all bold lines and such :P). I'm glad most (if not all) of the people on here have good Biblical knowledge - and especially the New Testament.

Oh, and good luck next week! :)


Edit: in other news, I came across this, and I had to laugh.
 
Last edited:

duckroll

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,527
Singapore
Hey all. I've been away for a 5-day retreat conducted by the archbishop here. It was a pretty amazing experience that changed my perspective on many things and gave me a chance to personally experience God and reconcile many of the issues I've had which hinders my closeness to Jesus. Still feeling pretty pumped but also a little empty and scared since it's the first day back to work and it's already clear there are distractions everywhere. >_>

Hey y'all! I'm leading part of my Bible Study tomorrow night and I was wondering if y'all could give me your thoughts on the passages I'm leading the discussion on on. I'm doing 1 Peter 4: 1-11. There is a lot I can pull from for the discussion, almost too much haha! Having a bit of trouble deciding what would be the best place to try and focus my discussion on. Thinking about talking abiut how we are to live as Christians and why its important we live that way, but there is just so much I can pull from these verses I feel. Let me know if you have any thoughts!
I'll take a stab out of this: For me the focus here is love. Love is the central theme that envelops the entire entire passage. Every single line is related to the love Jesus instilled on his apostles. Jesus' suffering of the flesh was an act of love for us, in understanding and accepting that love, we in turn choose not to sin because we love Him and we love ourselves. Avoiding indulgences and temptations of the flesh is self-respect for ourselves as temples of Christ. That self-respect comes out of love. Avoiding idol worship of any kind comes out of loving God. In the same way it concludes with the urging of more love between Christians, and better unity in the mission among those who serve. A truly unified body of Christ in the Church is one of the ultimate expressions of love.
 

Mariolee

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
3,328
Hey all. I've been away for a 5-day retreat conducted by the archbishop here. It was a pretty amazing experience that changed my perspective on many things and gave me a chance to personally experience God and reconcile many of the issues I've had which hinders my closeness to Jesus. Still feeling pretty pumped but also a little empty and scared since it's the first day back to work and it's already clear there are distractions everywhere. >_>
This sounds fantastic! Do mind going into detail of how it reconciled certain issues you've had? I think it would be a good testimony :)
 

duckroll

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,527
Singapore
This sounds fantastic! Do mind going into detail of how it reconciled certain issues you've had? I think it would be a good testimony :)
Sure. I actually went up to give a testimonial at the end of the retreat after the closing mass. There's personal stuff which I'm not really comfortable with sharing in public on a forum like this, so I won't go into that. But what I really appreciated was how the retreat was conducted and how the talks were a mix of theological principals and more practical stuff like how various sins manifest in our lives itself, along with how religious concepts apply in modern society. It captures the entire [God's Unconditional Love -> Our Sins -> Redemption through Christ's sacrifice -> Faith from hope via the resurrection] format in a really great way because our archbishop is such an amazing speaker. Knowledgeable, down to Earth, very connected to people and society.

So what changed for me? I got to reflect and accept a lot of my faults and really own them because I could learn to accept the fact that I didn't need, and in fact could not, earn any more of God's love than what He already gives freely. There's nothing I need to do to feel like I'm living up to my half of the transaction. He already gives all of it at all time, and being able to know that in reality, allows me to accept myself for who I am and surrender my life to Jesus. Surrendering is true freedom.

Beyond that, what really struck me about the retreat was how it didn't just teach love, but it showed love. From day 1 you can feel every single volunteer helping out at the retreat center being totally united in mission to help everyone be as comfortable on their journey as possible. It was just so filled with love across every single service group involved. What that showed me was a glimpse of the perfect unity a church community could have if we weren't so divided by personal glory, politics, disagreements, bias, bitterness, etc. Sometimes it's not enough to be taught the concept of something like love in the way Jesus preached it, but to experience it for yourself. Seeing it work so well for an extended period of 5 days gives us all hope that we can all carry a little bit of that back to our own parishes to enact small bits of change in our own ways. If every church in the world had that level of unity and love within the community, it would truly be heaven on Earth.
 

Deffers

Member
Mar 4, 2018
1,262
Hey guys. Been a hot minute since there's been anything posted to the thread... but I've got somethin' that's been getting under my skin for at least a couple days that might be worth discussing, even if it's a bit weird.

So a few days back, there was this weird thread about TST and Netflix and it's a whole mess. What do those guys have to do with us? Well, TST in particular is a religion raised up in protest against Christianity. Now, that in itself obviously is rankling (especially as a bi guy who is a believer) but honestly it's not worth starting any discussion over. What bothers me is that in that thread there were a few people describing why the Bible is bad to them-- which, of course, it would be to people who support an organization like TST, and someone there in particular who had nothing to do with that org came away with the impression that the Bible is like, outright evil. The post regarding slavery is post #225, and the response in question is post #230. Now that-- that does bother me, and the feeling like I need to address this somehow hasn't left me for a couple days. Now, I've written at length before about how homosexuality is probably not actually condemned by the Bible-- but discussion about the significance of Levitical law regarding slavery is an arena well outside my own sphere of familiarity. I know the basics-- that Levitical proclamations regarding slavery are utterly distinct compared to the abonimable institution of chattel slavery that is well known in America, and that the Jubilee provided a system by which slaves would not remain slaves for any length of time. I also recognize some fundamental omissions regarding the commandments about the treatment of slaves that further remove context from the discussion at hand-- and I suspect that the references to Ephesians and Titus are also misplaced, and know that in 1 Corinthians Paul specifically says that any slave who became a Christian doesn't have to worry about remaining as they are when it comes to slavery. But any specifics past that just aren't my own expertise.

And this feeling like I oughta do something to address specifically this case (post number, on page) is really strong and persistent-- the subject of that thread kind of came up at random, even. It's enough to give me pause-- but it's enough also to help me recognize that I just lack education, particularly, in the field of Old Testament writing in general and Levitical law in particular. The thread got even weirder later on. Like, I know a bit about Gnosticism and there's some mischaracterizations about even that. I don't like any bit about that. As an activist organization, I tend to think of TST as positive (that's how damaging I think fundamentalism is to Christianity)-- but when it comes to the spiritual basis of what they do it always gives me a real deep-down bad feeling, and the context that it frames even Gnostic subjects in always gets at the heart of my objections.

So I guess this post is a bit of a request for help and expertise from my brothers and sisters in Christ who are more knowledgeable about these subjects, particularly Old Testament discussion, than I am. If there's any assistance that I can lend I'd be happy to-- debunking the concept of homophobia in the Bible is is a big deal for me, and my odd relationship to Gnostic concepts makes me upset when people dig up elementary school takes on it even if much of it is heretical and blasphemous outright. My goal is primarily to establish contact with the people in that thread who came away with the idea that the Bible is evil due to the slavery and homophobia quotes, primarily-- anything past that is, like... I'll take what I can get. Anybody up to it? I know some of you are pretty well-versed in even Old Testament stuff.
 

Mariolee

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
3,328
Very interesting, a lot of this is beyond my knowledge but I'm hoping there are others who are more knowledgable. Maybe duckroll ?

On another note, gonna go to mass instead of my usual nondenominational service today since I have a busy day tomorrow! Excited.
 

LuxCommander

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
502
Austin, TX
I'll see what I can do digging up some resources for you on Levitical law and how it's laid out Deffers, as I don't want to speak out of turn. But from what I recall from my own studies in the past, a lot of confusion comes from a misunderstanding of the structure of Jewish law and how Christ coming to fulfill it renders certain laws void and others in effect as a guideline for Christ-like behavior. It'll take me a bit to get that assembled, so hold tight brother.

Have a good mass MarioLee!
 

Deffers

Member
Mar 4, 2018
1,262
Thanks for the help, LuxCommander (and have a good mass, MarioLee)!

Anybody else got any insight? DarkDetective, you've mostly talked about NT stuff but you're pretty Biblically well-versed. Got any info you're able to share on this one?
 

LuxCommander

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
502
Austin, TX
Deffers,

If you would like to go deep into the structure of Levitical law, Gordon Wenham's commentary is by and large one of the stronger resources out there. He's a studied Old Testament scholar whom has taught at Cambridge, Harvard and is currently at Trinity. Suffice to say, he's an expert. There's also a full list of other commentaries you can take a look at on this list on the wikipedia page for Leviticus, but my recommendation is to start with Wenham. Jacob Milgrom's commentary also pops up quite a bit.

As far as a high level breakdown based off of my own studies (reminder that I'm a filmmaker and storyteller, not a theologian), most Christian scholars generally agree that levitical rule is made up of these three codes: Sacrificial Law (Chapters 1 - 7), Treatment of Uncleanliness (Chapters 11 - 15), and the Holiness Code (Chapters 17 - 26). The remainder of the book consists of historical information on the institution of the priesthood (Chapters 8 - 10), the Day of Atonement (Chapter 16), and Redemption of vows related to people and things dedicated to the lord (Chapter 27). Of the three codes, it is the Holiness Code that causes the most controversy and debate because of the nature of Christ as fulfillment of the law, with the keyword being fulfillment. Christ as fulfillment of the law removes the need for sacrifices, therefore rendering Chapters 1 - 7 as a historical segment that demonstrates the length to which we as sinful creatures must go to be "right" in the eyes of God, all pointing to the ultimate sacrifice of Christ. Treatment of Uncleanliness is generally accepted to be a set of guidelines set up for sanitary reasons to protect the children of Israel from disease. Dietary restrictions against unclean animals primarily come from Chapters 11 and 17 and are directly addressed in the New Testament as being rendered moot in the New Covenant as per Acts 10 in Peter's vision. Christ being the ultimate sacrifice also renders the majority of sacrificial rules as irrelevant, as Christ was sufficient for us to enter into relationship with Him.

Where people ultimately get tripped up on are two areas: Chapter 18, which lists prohibitions on sexual behaviors, and the amount of behaviors where the prescribed punishment was death. Chapter 18 is a can of worms because it essentially outlines rules for incest and homosexuality (which receives details towards punishment in Chapter 20). Incest is obviously called out in Mark 6 by John the Baptist and Paul in 1 Corinthians 5, so that's obviously covered. Where things get messy is with Homosexuality. I really don't want to get into the weeds with that one because I know there will be a difference of opinion between all of us towards whether or not the New Testament reinforces it as a sin. Regardless of where it stands in God's eyes, we are all still born sinners, so one's sexual orientation has nothing to do with their ability to be saved and be in relationship with God. If I, chief among sinners, can be in communion with the Lord, then the opportunity is open to all who are willing. I truly believe that, and will leave it at that as to not offend anyone here. Let's keep walking towards Christ together!

That last part actually feeds into the punishment parts. The law constantly calls for punishment of many misdeeds as death. This is something that Romans 6:23 puts into perspective beautifully. "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" essentially tells us that to live in rebellion of God is to deserve death. When you boil that part down to its core, it tells me that what ultimately drives people away from the idea of Christ and the bible is not actually the grotesque and barbaric nature of Levitical punishment. It's the implication that all people are imperfect, and as a result deserve death. The lack of a scale of punishment that fits the moral compass that we as an individual have developed for ourselves scares us to no end; it's something we see reflected in the world around us thanks to our current political climate. We want justice done our way. Right here. Right now. Christianity as described in the bible does not allow us to take such a pious approach towards seeing other people; we are specifically taught that Christ wishes no man to perish. As a result, by fulfilling the law, Christ has essentially shown that the entirety of the law was designed to show us the ugliness that is human nature. Yes, all sin is punishable by death, but Christ provides salvation to all who are willing, meaning no sin is unpardonable, and that no act one makes will prevent them from entering the kingdom of heaven if they are willing to follow Him.

If I can be fully transparent for a moment, talking on this subject here on this particular forum was pretty hard for me. I've had to deal with more than a fair share of people that were calloused to the gospel for the same reasons as those people you've mentioned Deffers in my own personal life, mostly offline. Leviticus, by nature of being the Law of Moses, the law that proclaims that there is none that are righteous in the eyes of the Lord in and of themselves, is incendiary. It draws a line in the sand that demands a response, and even my own nature finds it to be a shock to the system at first glance. But once we understand it primarily as a commentary on human nature, it becomes something that is easier to read and can help us find what ways we can improve our own lives based off of what God intends for us while we are still here in this dying, finite universe (because we know not the time or place of his returning, I don't assume we're trapped on this rock we call Earth).

With regards to your concerns for this particular user Deffers, first and foremost my advice is to pray for them. Ask God to be able to equip you or whoever the Lord would have deliver his true Gospel in complete form to him/her and that they'd be able to answer their questions in love and speak in truth. Also understand that when one has made up their mind on something, it is very difficult for even the most well-worded argument to convince them otherwise. Pray that if you find their heart to be hardened to the Gospel, that in time they'd become more receptive towards it in His perfect timing. If you choose to pursue this, do not go into it for the sake of trying to win an intellectual debate, especially with regards to the definition of evil, as we now live in an age where subjectivity is the majority consensus. We as a people of God have consistently made mistakes by forcing those that do not believe to live by the standards that even we ourselves are not capable of living in full with the help of the Holy Spirit present in our lives, and it's the entire reason movements like TST exist to begin with. As we reach out to others, we must go forth with grace and understanding, and not demand that others see things the way we do. Instead, we share what we have learned and allow them to reach their own conclusion. As the saying goes, "you can lead a horse to water..."

Thanks for bringing this to the thread, you've given me a good challenge that I feel has allowed me to reflect a bit deeper than I have as of late, and I hope you walk away from your own studies with the answers you need.