I have been reading everyone's favorite book of the Bible - Leviticus. If you've read it you know that there are a lot of do's and don'ts (how to pluralize don't properly?). It got me to wondering why some of these don'ts have become "OK you can do that now". There are many people, and I have probably been one of them on occasion, who say something like, "Well, that was 'Old Testament'". Ohhhhkay - so just because it's in the OT means we should no longer abide by it?
Let me go ahead and tell you specifically what I'm wondering about. TATTOOS. Leviticus 19:28 says, "You shall not make cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the LORD." Now, this is the only place in the Bible where I could find the word "tattoo". I don't know if God is talking about ALL sorts of tattoos that people get for any number of reasons, or if the emphasis should be placed on the part of the verse that says, "for the dead". Apparently this was a custom of pagans during that time and God didn't want His people doing that sort of thing. So, tattoos are OK if they're not "for the dead". This was just ONE of MANY laws given and for the most part, most of those laws are still, for the most part, observed today: Keeping the Sabbath (debate on which day is the Sabbath, but I won't go there), no idols, do not defraud your neighbor, do not hate your brother, do not practice magic or sorcery. These are just a few of the laws given in this specific chapter. There are many others like: no marrying your sister and such. There are also laws about not cutting your hair/beard a certain way. So I'm just wondering when it became OK to stop following these laws. Deuteronomy 11:1 instructs His people to "keep His requirements, His decrees, His laws and His commands ALWAYS" (emphasis mine).
Some will argue that because Christ and died on the cross we are now covered by grace. I get that. HOWEVER, Christ said in Matthew 5:17-18, "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished."
Paul tells us in Romans 3 that we are no longer saved by keeping the Law, HOWEVER, in verse 31 he says, "Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law".
Now don't think that I'm hatin' on people with tattoos. I'm not. I am only using this one as an example. I am simply thinking out loud here, which is usually dangerous in my case! I have not exhausted all of the verses in Scripture that deal with the Law. Honestly, I don't know if I can - there are SO MANY verses that talk about God's laws, which makes me again wonder why we do what we do today. Why do we fall back on the saying, "that was Old Testament"?