The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci (either Mazarin or Rasputin, if you may), has convinced Americans to stay locked in their homes. Romans 13 cannot be glossed as a command to present-day Christians to go along with any order from the American government, not matter how outrageous. If you resist the government, you may go to jail, get executed, or be financially ruined. I would have to concede that many Christians do snivel and fritter the way Nietzsche accused them of doing. The Old Testament. Moses does not march into Pharaoh’s palace to tell the ruler that the Hebrews are immediately leaving Egypt. For instance, in Genesis 6 and 19, we are reminded that the Lord expresses wrath through severe trials forced upon whole societies. While we keep calling the coronavirus “novel,” there is nothing new under the sun (thank you, Solomon). While we keep calling the coronavirus “novel,” there is nothing new under the sun (thank you, Solomon). By responding with such wild disproportion to Moses’s request, doubling the number of bricks the slave must make and denying them straw to make them, Pharaoh publicly vindicates the exodus from Egypt. The stories reveal to us clues about how we are to interact with civil government. Dr. Fauci (either Mazarin or Rasputin, if you may) has convinced Americans to stay locked in their homes. Four books of the Bible all devote numerous chapters to the rules about almost any scenario, from what to do about mildew to whether one can eat shellfish to how long a fugitive can remain in a sanctuary city. “Love” was defined as a way of interaction which excluded things that defiled or degraded others. There is only one truth, and that is found in Christianity. Though God is loving, his way of expressing love is not like our human ways of expressing love. Despite the author’s perilous status in modern Christianity, the book nonetheless opens us up to certain worthwhile insights about where we are in 2020. An inferior reading of this text would be that Christians must never challenge the orders or pronouncements of anyone in power anywhere because God chose who would have power and who would not. A better reading would be that authentic authorities exist if they come from God, which we can discern according to whether the authorities conduct themselves in a way that reflects God’s design for civil society. Those who support homosexuality often play Leviticus 19:18 as a trump card, but they fail to understand that “love thy neighbor as thyself” does not work if one thinks that defiling a neighbor with sin counts as love. From what we can see of the Old and New Testaments, God would likely be pleased with the basics of the U.S. Constitution, which seeks to provide a standard and fair basis for citizens to have legal protections and reasonable duties. Romans 13 cannot be glossed as a command to present-day Christians to go along with any order from the American government, not matter how outrageous. Paul admonishes Christians to show respect to the legal procedures that existed in Rome during his time. The Old Testament. Though God is loving, his way of expressing love is not like our human ways of expressing love. Nonetheless let us entertain the possibility that Nietzsche was reacting to a misguided form of Christianity promoted by contemporaries who poorly represented both testaments. But you can’t begin a lecture or essay with a reference to Friedrich Nietzsche, or some bored guttersnipe on Twitter will find amusement in trying to get you fired. Things looked promising at the end of Genesis. Let us suppose you complained to me that many churches propagate a false Christianity based on passive-aggressive resentment and glorified weakness instead of boldness and courage. When Moses first encounters God in Exodus 3, the first thing the burning bush commands him is, “remove your sandals, for where you stand is holy.” This order frames the entire drama of Moses’s bringing of the law to the Hebrews; for in telling Moses to remove his sandals, Yahweh makes clear that God’s realm is necessarily apart from the depravity and pollution of the human realm tainted by the fall. Now I do not have to feel bad about quoting taboo writers anymore. He follows a basic fair process. The law gave clear instructions about how to deal with outbreaks of disease. He also said that not even a tittle of the Old Testament would fall away. The Bible begins with an explanation. As Old Testament prophet Jeremiah tells us, the heart is full of wickedness beyond measure. Riprova. The law of Moses also includes a verse forbidding people from eating bats and other animals that we now know carry microbes dangerous to humans. It would be too easy to overlook the fact that Jesus came to mankind, lived his life, and died in specific ways to fulfill important verses of Leviticus. Take Moses’s first petition to Pharaoh. If you resist the government, you may go to jail, get executed, or be financially ruined. For this very reason Christ makes a point to say he came not to overturn but to fulfill the Old Testament. The best-case Christian scenario for this pandemic is that churchgoers will become Bible-readers and will reconnect with the Old Testament. We want to believe that the blood, gore, fire, brimstone, power struggles, evil kings, and Asherah poles of the Old Testament are safely contained in the past, and we can now live forever based on the idea of loving everyone, taking care of the poor, and not judging anybody. I note how many churches embraced the suspension of the First Amendment during the COVID crisis, rather than standing strong in the face of irreligious state repression. Tolkien. ‘Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise’ — I have the courage of my bad taste. In the Old Testament countless passages explain and clarify the tough choices facing Christians during COVID-19. Because our default state is self-delusion and selfish depravity, we carry countless motives to scrap the Old Testament and instead cling to a stilted and false perception of the New Testament. Unless you take the time to read the Old Testament thoroughly and carefully, you will miss the significance of Leviticus. For instance, in Genesis 6 and Genesis 19, we are reminded that the Lord expresses wrath through severe trials forced upon whole societies. “Freedom” is not the absence of restraint; much to the contrary, to escape slavery they need laws to be stricter and clearer than the pell-mell rules applied to them by Pharaoh. Bear with me for a thought experiment. Though God is loving, his way of expressing love is not like our human ways of expressing love. In the New one, on the other hand, I find nothing but petty sectarianism, mere rococo of the soul…How can one make such a fuss about one’s little lapses as these pious little men do! The priests, kings, and prophets all play their roles and balance one another. I could not dismiss your complaint. In the passage above, he rejects not the New Testament, but what Christian churches have made of the New Testament. Certainly not God.” (Translated by Walter Kaufman; Vintage Books, 1967). (Translated by Walter Kaufman; Vintage Books, 1967). The Old Testament contains not only strict laws that people find burdensome, but also, visceral wars, cruelty, and then an enormous range of prophecies that cannot help but bewilder us because they sound lawless and even nihilistic to our naïve ears, even as the prophets rail against Israel for violating laws and failing in their faithfulness. That we think this way does not mean that God thinks that way. In light of this, let’s consider one passage from Friedrich Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Morals. He who would go along with an evil law knowing it is evil would fail to meet the Joshua 1:9 standard. I find in it great human beings, a heroic landscape, and something of the very rarest quality in the world, the incomparable naïveté of the strong heart; what is more, I find a people. I pray that the coronavirus will cause many people to reconsider the Old Testament in light of some important facts.

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