By Patrick Hawthorne
There is a movement that is growing and is picking up steam within the Church. It is a movement in which the goal posts between grace and the law are easily moved. This movement is a return to Torah – a return to the Law of Moses.
The Torah is comprised of the first five books of the bible. According to certain sects within this movement, a return to Torah is a return to a true peace, power and joy with God. While claiming portions of the New Testament, anything that could be viewed as contradictory is easily discarded with a shrug of the shoulders and a nod of the head indicating, “That is not what that verse means.” They will then lead the person to the old covenant for the correct interpretation.
While many who follow this path claim the whole Torah of Moses should be obeyed in its entirety, special consideration is made for those regulations which cannot be tolerated by current governmental law such as stoning and animal sacrifices. Yet, obedience to “touch not, eat not, observe this, don’t do that” are strictly followed.
So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. (Colossians 2:16-17 NKJV)
To follow the path that once again leads to obedience of the Torah is to follow after the shadow rather than the Creator of the shadow. A shadow cannot be touched nor felt. A shadow cannot know or understand, weep, nor laugh.
Did not the shadow give birth to the Light? Why then would you want to return to the shadow? As a Christian, are we not the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus? Why would we disregard the words of Paul, “…Knowing this, the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate…” (1 Tim 1:9). The answer given is, “Jesus followed Torah. Therefore, we will follow Torah.”
Did not Jesus appear to Paul? Do we now discard his inspired words, “If you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations – “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” which all concern things which perish with using – according to the commandments and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh?” (Colossian’s 2:20-23)
Jesus came to redeem us from the curse of the Law (the inability to follow the strict guidelines of the Law). The Torah served well as our school master to illuminate sin. It was holy in that it brought us unto Christ so that we might be justified by faith. However, the strictness of its ordinances has been forever nailed to the cross. Look unto Jesus for life and life more abundant. Keep your focus on Him and not the Torah. He will direct your steps and lead you in the path of righteousness. Be blessed.