Originally posted by stellspalfie
sorry to bring this old chestnut up again, but id like some clarity if possible preferably from the more liberal christians or knowledgeable atheists.
I like jesus he seems like a decent enough fella, he seems to have a good moral structure which i could buy into (if i could ignore all the magic/god part). so i can understand people choosing to foll ...[text shortened]... nt follow mosaic law but nearly all follow the 10 commandments? are they not part of mosaic law?
You are reading the OT with a modern era perspective.
If you lived back before the time of Moses, what would the world look like? Most people were slaves at that time. So basically, you had a few elite rulers snapping the whip for the rest of society. Then came Moses.
People say that the Bible endorses slavery, but here we have the beginning of the Bible showing God wanting to deliver people out of slavery. We also see God giving man a "sabbath". At this time, these ideas were revolutionary. Why on earth would the powers that be give the common man any type of power or rights such as these? Although the Bible did allow for slavery among Hebrews, after about 7 years they were to be freed. Those who were not Jews were not as fortunate, but it shows that the Bible is one of the first documents to come out against slavery by in large. Of course, looking at it through our lens today, these people look to be no better than the Egyptians who held them in bondage for 400 or so years, but I think we have the benefit of this lens SPECIFICALLY because of the movement of freedom started by the Mosaic law. After all, even slaves did not work the Sabbath.
We also have Jesus coming out against slavery by saying that those who sin are a slave to sin. At the same time, however, we see that he wishes slaves to obey their masters. Is this a contradiction? If we look at the fate of slave uprisings, like that of Sparticus in Rome, we see the fruit of such rebellion. There is a better approach. Why not change the hearts of men rather than kill them and have those that killed them seek slaves of their own?
And lastly, Jesus spoke of love being the greatest commandment. So does that mean that the wicked are simply given a hug and kiss and sent on their merry way? No, love demands justice. There is no love in ignoring the pain inflicted by the "innocent". It is the reason that we all must die someday. Jesus came to take that sin upon himself, and then free our hearts from bondage to that sin so that we don't feel compelled to continue in it.
From my vantage point, God walks a balancing act. On the one hand, he wishes to show those he loves mercy for their sins, however, he also wishes to judge those who have harmed those he loves. So in the end, it is a balancing act of mercy and grace and judgement. We see this juggling act in the OT. Not all the wicked are destroyed, but some are. I think those that were destroyed were done so to preserve mankind from destroying himself altogether as well as making it possible for Jesus to come and give hope to us all.