Discipline and Destiny

What we teach determines our future.

Recently I was conversing with a professing Christian who expressed a strong aversion to the “God of the Old Testament.” In particular, he found God’s law distasteful, harsh, and offensive. In his view, the God of the Old Testament was overly concerned with punishment and judgement, a God who had given a law that “didn’t work” in history since punishment for sin was not an appropriate motivator. He juxtaposed Yahweh, the holy God of law and justice, with faith and love in the Jesus of the New Testament. This man’s ignorance of Scripture was profound, and yet he regarded his personal judgments, idea of justice, and moral sensibilities to be more righteous than God Himself.

This belief is a kind of Marcionism, an ancient heresy that dismissed the Old Testament and its God as someone different from the God of the New Testament, as well as antinomianism. It falsely divides both God and the scriptures and makes for itself an idol – a God of our imagination that our sinful hearts would prefer to the living God. It is rife within Western churches today and is highly destructive of the family, church discipline and our cultural life. In new and unexpected forms, idolatry is alive and well in the church.

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About the author

Rev. Dr. Joseph Boot (M.A., Ph.D.) is a Christian thinker & cultural apologist/philosopher, Founder and President of the Ezra Institute for Contemporary Christianity. He also served as founding pastor of Westminster Chapel, Toronto for 14 years. Now resident home in Great Britain, Joseph has worked in the fields of Christian apologetics, worldview education and church leadership for over twenty-five years on both sides of the Atlantic. He has spoken and guest lectured globally at numerous university events, seminaries, churches, colleges, and conferences. He regularly addresses pastors and Christian leaders as well as academic, medical, legal, and political professionals and has publicly debated leading atheistic thinkers and philosophers in Canada and the United States.