Vol.III No.II Pg.3
March 1966

Christian Or "Moses-Ian"?

Robert F. Turner

The law that God gave the Israelites through Moses had been in existence for 1,500 years when Christ came. Since Christ lived and died under the Mosaic dispensation, we are not surprised to hear Him say, "The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; -- ". Then Christ warned of the hypocritical actions of these teachers. (Matt. 23:)

Did Christ mean we today should be "Mosesians" instead of Christians? No, He was teaching Jews, at a time prior to the Christian Age. Later He sent His Apostles into "all the world" to preach His gospel to "every creature." (Matt. 28:19; Mk. 16:15; Lu. 24:46-) Yet many people today think Christianity is nothing more than a few moral principles -- which, in reality, Jesus cited from the Law of Moses.

For example, many seem to think "Christianity" consists of keeping the 10 Commandments. These commandments were given through Moses, and are recorded in Ex. 20:1-f. The text states that they were given to the Israelites; and the 7th. Day Sabbath is directly related to Jewish history. (Deut. 5:15) How can keeping the 10 Commandments make Christians?

What Jesus had to say on killing, adultery, swearing, etc., is different from what Moses said. Take time to read Matt. 5:21-f. "But I say unto you" is prominent throughout. Jesus taught "as one having authority, and not as the scribes." (Matt. 7:28-29) Now does it not clearly follow that in order to be a disciple of Christ we must accept His statement of matters -- and not rest our case on Moses? It is not enough to refrain from adultery. We must cleanse our hearts of lust. The oft-called "golden rule" was, according to Christ, a summation of "the law and the prophets" (Matt. 7:12). We read "Love thy neighbor as thyself" in Moses' law (Lev. 19:18).

It is not my intention to minimize these great truths; and I realize that Christ gave them new dimensions; but He did much more than this for us. Christ died for us! As our King and Priest He reigns from heaven. From heaven He sent His New covenant, via the inspired Apostles and Prophets of the New Testament. And we must hear Christ -- not Moses -- if we are to be Christians. (Note Matt. 17:1-5)

Christ established His church, giving certain commands by which we may become followers of His. (Matt. 16:18-19; Mk.9:1; Acts. 1:8,2:1-f.) He is savior of the church (Eph. 5:23-) having given Himself for it. (Acts. 20:28) He commanded His followers to partake of a memorial supper, saying, "This do, in remembrance of me." (see Matt. 26:26-f; 1 Cor. 11:23-f)

The church, baptism, the Lord's Supper, etc., are not from Moses, nor from some church society of today. They are things of Christ, clearly. How can one ignore these things, yet claim to be a Christian?

To sum up, we have too long made Christianity some general moral platitudes, as Mosaic as they are of Christ; and have ignored the genuine challenge of following the Son of God.