A Question from a Believer

The Question: Do you believe that Christians should follow the Jewish festivals?  And if so, why?

I respond: I most assuredly do not believe that Christians are bound to observe Jewish feasts. These were ordained by God, in the Law handed down through Moses, to be observed by the Hebrew nation. The bases for the various feasts may be found among the 613 Mosaic Laws. I am sure you know that every one of the 613 Mosaic Laws is binding on every non-Christian Jew, whether observant or not.

It is worthy of note that a number of the ceremonial and theocratic requirements of Mosaic Law, though binding on Jews, have not been possible to fulfill since the Roman army destroyed the Temple in 70 AD. For example, for more than 1900 years, no Jew has been able to observe Passover according to the dictates of Mosaic Law. How could they? The sacrificial lamb had to be offered on the altar of the Temple and neither altar nor Temple exist? Without considering any other demand of the Law, every Jew who has lived since 70 AD has been and is guilty of the entire Law (James 2:10)..

I am saddened by those professing Christian shepherds and members of their flocks who continue to observe selected bits and pieces of Mosaic Law, all the while declaring that “we are not under the Law, but grace.” (Romans 6:14). What was Paul saying when he wrote this to the Church at Rome? Was he telling Roman believers that they were free from the impossible necessity to satisfy the requirements of the whole Law? Or was he telling them that they were free from the obligation to meet “most” of the requirements of the whole law?

Are professing Christians who subscribe to Sabbatarianism—observing the Sabbath on Saturday in conformity with the letter of the fourth commandment—truly free of the Law? Or are they guilty of the entire Law? Should we consider them to be brothers in Christ? Or are they a mission field?

In Mosaic Law, God established a number of tithes. There are tithes of livestock firstlings, of holy things, of honey, oil and wine. There are tithes for the Levites and the poor, etc. Under the Law of Moses, all Jews were bound to yield their tithes; lest they be guilty of sin. Which, if any, of the tithes levied by God on the Hebrew nation are professing Christians required to pay? Are those who believe that the tithing provisions of Mosaic Law are binding on the Body of Christ required to pay all the tithes that God requires of Jews? If they are, and folks are only paying one or two of the Mosaic tithes, are they guilty of the entire Law? If they own a pet that has ever birthed a litter, to whom did they pay the tithe of firstlings? Or do they simply select from among the Hebrew tithes those they wish to pay, while ignoring the others?

There are professing Christians who declare that believers are prohibited from consuming alcohol. I have not found this prohibition in the Scriptures, yet every Sunday men preach abstinence from alcohol. Are they adding to the Law something that God apparently forgot to mention? Was Jesus inducing men to sin when He changed water to wine at Cana? Were Jesus and those gathered with him for Passover in violation of the will of God when they drank the four cups of watered wine required in the Passover Seder? If professing Christians believe it sinful to drink wine or other forms of alcohol, does that mean that Jesus and His apostles sinned on that night of Jesus' last Passover?

In answer, once again, to your question; I do not believe that believers are bound to keep any of the Mosaic Law—whether feasts, tithes, keeping the Sabbath or whatever. I also believe that those who profess the Christian faith, yet seek to keep the 613 laws that God made binding on the Hebrew nation, would be well advised to polish their exegetic skills.

Believers are not free to modify Mosaic Law; nor are we free to create a new body of religious law, the keeping of which is considered to have eternal consequences. Jesus Christ gave us new commandants to keep. These commandments embody the whole Law and Prophets. They are:

36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
-- Matthew 22:36-40

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