Monday, April 28, 2014


False Division

Dan Edelen:
Can’t stop thinking about this…

Whenever Church leaders talk about how great it is to be a follower of Jesus, does it ever bother you that they always go back to the Old Testament for props for their teachings and sermons?

In the Old Testament, the reward in this life for faithfulness included the following:


Material prosperity

Freedom from want

Large families

Respect from the community

Long life

But then in the New Testament, something else enters that idyllic picture and seems to replace it. The reward in this life for faithfulness in the New Testament:


Separation from family

More persecution


Amid all those sermons on all the great stuff you’ll now get from claiming OT promises, no one seems to talk about the hallmarks of NT faithfulness and what its rewards now look like.
I object to pretty much any effort to create dichotomy between the Old and New Testaments. They are of a whole. But I find this one particularly objectionable.

There are simple logical reasons to object. New Testament "rewards" were declared in a time when Christianity was not the dominate religion of the land. But it has been in the Western world for quite some time (Though who knows if that will last? - doesn't look like it.). That is to say, when the fullness of Christ's ministry is seen, would it not be reasonable to assume that the promises of the Old Testament would be upheld?

But then there are the deeply spiritual reasons for objecting. Our focus is on Christ and if we are so focused, whatever reward we receive - prosperity or persecution - large family or separation from family - will seem a) insignificant compared to the glory of Christ and b) a blessing because it originates from Christ.

We do not need such divisions, we need Jesus!


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