Amazingly, there are those who consider themselves to be “Christians” who do not believe that the Old Testament is a necessary part of their belief system.
Just to give some brief examples to show that such attitudes exist, let us take note of the following:
“In the USA, North Point Community Church (of Alpharetta, Georgia, USA), Senior Pastor Andy Stanley has stated that Christians need to ‘unhitch’ the Old Testament from their faith. In the final part of a recent sermon series, Stanley explained that while he believes that the Old Testament is ‘divinely inspired,’ it should not be ‘the go-to source regarding any behavior in the church.’ To justify this, Stanley preached last month about Acts 15, which described how the early church decided that Gentile converts did not need to strictly observe Jewish law to become Christians” (christianpost.com).
The above Pastor also said that “(First Century) Church leaders unhitched the church from the worldview, value system, and regulations of the Jewish scriptures (the Old Testament). Peter, James, Paul elected to unhitch the Christian faith from their Jewish scriptures, and my friends, we must as well.”
Of course, we know that that was not the outcome of the Acts 15 conference, and in our Q&A we say: “For instance, we read in Acts 15:5, ‘But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them [Gentiles who became Christians], and to command them to keep the law of Moses.” The context of the discussion shows us that they were not arguing about the Ten Commandments — including the Sabbath — but whether circumcision and other rituals contained in the Law of Moses were mandatory for Gentile Christians.”
One lady wrote of her experience: “Just the other day I was straightening up the Bible section when I overheard a customer tell one of my coworkers that reading the Old Testament was like moving backward in faith. He said that since we have the New Testament and Jesus, there is no need to bother reading the Old Testament.”
For some, there is an antipathy towards the Old Testament. Ted Grimsrud stated the following in a paper “Old Testament Bases for Christian Peace Theology”:
“Christian peace theology tends to be New Testament centered, especially drawing on the gospels. Most Christians would seem to assume that the Old Testament has little to offer for the work of overcoming war and violence. The comment of a friend of mine many years ago may be representative. We were in a Bible study group together and when someone suggested we study something from the Old Testament, my friend snorted and stated flatly, ‘I don’t want anything to do with that ……. book!’ And many Christians who have wanted something to do with the Old Testament, going back to Augustine, have mainly used it as a justification for the acceptability of warfare.”
We have covered the matter of war in our 78-page free booklet, “Should You Fight in War?”
Anyone can buy a copy of just the New Testament but why would anyone want to do that – getting only a part of the story of God and His creation and plan for mankind?
In our booklet, “The Authority of the Bible,” we ask the question on page 4:
“Dismissing the Old Testament?
“Aside from those who flatly reject the Bible as myth, many people claiming to practice Christianity dismiss the Old Testament (as well as some books of the New Testament, such as the Book of Revelation)—all of which are part of the enduring Word of God (compare Isaiah 40:8; Matthew 24:35; Psalm 119:89). In fact, many who embrace Jesus as their Savior have never even read the prophetic Scriptures about His first appearance, and they are, likewise, unaware of the dramatic prophecies concerning His return that are recorded throughout the Bible.”
We want to expand on the fact that anyone dismissing the Old Testament will be in serious spiritual trouble as they will only have part of the story and will not be able to understand the plan of God that is revealed in the Old Testament.
Ignoring the Old Testament is like seeing a film half way through and not really understanding fully what is going on.
It does seem that the absence of not having and using the Old Testament is dwarfed by those who see the clear need to have the full story. However, the downside is that mainstream Christianity, while using all of the Scriptures, often come to erroneous conclusions as will be seen by their theology and practice. Please see our Statement of Beliefs.
Let us review 7 reasons (and there are many more) why we should use, and take the Old Testament seriously. There will inevitably be some overlapping under the different points below but will give conclusive evidence of the need for the use of the whole Bible.
- Both the Old Testament and the New Testament combine to give revelation about God, His creation of the universe and of man.
Where else would you find the ultimate knowledge about creation? Interestingly, there are three verses in the New Testament that are instructive: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made (John 1:1-3).
However, we have to revert back to the book of Genesis for much more information. We find written in Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” and the first 3 chapters of Genesis give a resume of the beginning of the 6,000-year-reign of man, information not given in the New Testament.
First, we learn something about “God”—that God consists of more than one Personages. We read in Genesis 1:26 that God said: “Let US make man in OUR image, according to OUR likeness.” From John 1:1-3, we know that there are two Personages—God the Father and the Son Jesus Christ, the Word.
We also learned that God—the God Family—created the heavens and the earth. It’s simple and straightforward unlike the disunity of proponents of the false religion named “evolution” who propose, argue and debate the theory of the beginning of creation through the concept of the “big bang” theory or some “primeval soup”. In our free booklet “The Theory of Evolution – A Fairy Tale for Adults?,” we conclude on page 34 with the following comments:
“If we want to follow God, we must believe what God says, as we pointed out at the beginning of this booklet. And God tells us very clearly in His inspired Word, the Bible, that He created the heavens and the earth, as well as man. We did not evolve from animals, but man was created directly by God.
“How accurately the Apostle Paul described the wise and learned of his day who believed the concept of evolution, as we pointed out at the beginning of this booklet! He stated in Romans 1:20-23, ‘For since the creation of the world His [God’s] invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse… Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man and birds and four footed animals and creeping things.’
“God is saying the same to all of us today. We also are without excuse if we replace the truth of God and His creation with the ungodly idea of evolution, essentially degrading man as descending from a mollusk. What an insult to mankind, and what blasphemy toward man’s Creator!”
Then in Genesis 1:26-28 and 2:21-23 is the creation of man, both male and female. This was not some evolutionary process where man evolved over billions of years down to our present time and is Old Testament information.
(To be continued)
Lead Writer: Brian Gale (United Kingdom)