Friday, February 23, 2018

Concerning the ‘Open Letter’: The Continuity and Discontinuity of Old Testament Law

By Reverend Mark Hunnemann

Referencing the 2-9-18 blog An Open Letter to Christian Pparanormal Investigators (with signatures)

It has become apparent to me that the main objection to our ‘Open Letter to Christian Paranormal Investigators’ is the view that the Old Testament moral law has been abrogated, or done away with, by the New Covenant. I wish we had more time to deal with that issue in the ‘Letter’ but it had already had become long enough!
Four preliminary comments: First, those who reject our summons to repentance are assuming this is merely an OT matter but the NT affirms the same principles!(as we’ll see) Second, the burden of proof really lies on those who jettison large portions of God’s holy Word as being not relevant for today, especially in light of Matthew 5:17ff and 2 Timothy 3:16-17. (I’m doing this because honest questions deserve an honest reply)Third, we all have biblical principles we struggle with, and we need to recognize when we have a vested interest, and how that colors our interpretation. I can honestly say that in this case, I have no vested interest except God’s truth. Lastly, we are not being divisive: the division already existed; we just addressed it.
However, any serious student of the bible will recognize a tension between verses in the NT which uphold the OT moral law, and verses which seem to abrogate it. Below are two sections of verses which are representative of both views; I’ve labeled them ‘discontinuity texts’ (OT moral law seems to be discontinued) and “continuity texts” (those which affirm the continuing validity of the OT, especially the moral law)
Discontinuity texts
13 In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. (Hebrews 8:13)
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (Gal. 5:1)
23 Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. 24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.(Gal. 3:23-26)
Continuity texts
For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. (Romans 15:4)
17 “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. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God[b] may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” (Romans 7:7)
12 So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. (Romans 7:12) 
The text in Hebrews 8 actually says that the old covenant has become obsolete and is ‘growing old,” and ready to vanish!  I’ve included other such verses which affirm that, in some sense, the old covenant is obsolete, enslaving, and temporary, ect. So, we must affirm that, in some sense, at least part of the Old Testament has become ‘obsolete’. We have to because the bible clearly says so. But how has it become obsolete, and why? Only an exegesis of the text can answer that. There are other verses which affirm that every inch of the OT is inspired and profitable for instruction, encouragement, and for teaching unto righteous living—a guide for how to please God. How can we reconcile these two emphasis? Perhaps the key is the word “emphasis”; context of what is being discussed makes all the difference in interpretation.
So, the IMPROPER (but common)thing to do is to simply choose sides, and prefer one over the other; jumping ‘whole hog’ on one emphasis and totally ignoring the other. However, a basic rule of hermeneutics is to compare scripture with scripture; meaning that we need to do the hard word figuring out how these two ‘seemingly’ contradictory viewpoints can be meshed. I say ‘seemingly’ because we know the bible neither errs nor contradicts itself. Surely we all can agree on that, right? The integrity of Scripture demands that we do that, so that we may rightly divide the Word of truth.
Another way of putting it is that we need to find the proper balance between the continuities between the Old Covenant and the New, as well as the discontinuities between the Old and the New. Surely, that is preferable to simply jumping ‘whole hog’ on one position or the other, while not doing justice to the full range of biblical teaching on the relation between the two covenants. That is, to simply say that all Old Testament moral law is done away with is not proper, and neither is denying that the New Covenant is NEW and that the Old is obsolete, in some sense!
The context of Hebrews 8 is that Jesus is shown to be the eternal High Priest, ministering from heaven in the true tabernacle and enacting the better promises of the New Covenant (v. 1-3).Jesus is God with us, Immanuel. But note that the fault is not found primarily with the Mosaic law itself, but with the people’s failure to keep the law (seen in quote from Jeremiah, v.9). But even in that, it serves a valuable purpose: exposing our sin and need for a savior (see Romans 7:7).
The larger context of Hebrews is that Jesus replaced the shadows (V.5)of the ceremonial/temple practices of the Mosaic law with the once for all sacrifice of Himself. Hence, we may say that the Old Covenant is ‘obsolete’ in that the reality which the shadows pointed to has arrived, and He ushered in the New Covenant.  Since the New Covenant has arrived the Old is now Old! Specifically, the obsoleteness means that Christians are no longer living in the Old Covenant; we no longer look to the earthly tabernacle and its priestly functions. We look to Jesus and His finished work on the cross! At the timing of when Hebrews was written, the temple was devoid of God’s presence, and had become the synagogue of Satan because of rejecting its Messiah. In a sense, the writer is saying: behold the New Covenant in all it’s beauty is now here! The Old Covenant was powerless to bring eternal salvation. Once the King had come, He established a new kingdom. Beyond that, the meaning of this text can only be fully explained by comparing it with other scripture.
The passage in Romans 15 is clearly referring to the Old Testament, which is given to us as a gift: to teach us, encourage us, and to instill hope. Pretty clear, isn’t it?
In Matthew 5, Jesus says that He came to fulfill the OT and not to abolish it (Law and prophets means the entire OT). These verses are the key to interpreting the entire Sermon on the Mount and indeed the whole of Jesus’ ministry. How did Jesus fulfill the OT? And how does that square with the text in Hebrews 8? All of the OT points to Christ (thus, serving a valuable function); in its specific messianic predictions of Him; fulfilling of sacrificial system; many events in Israel’s history foreshadowed His life as God’s true Son; in the Laws which only He obeyed perfectly; and He was the divine embodiment of all the Wisdom literature. This passage and 2 Timothy 3 clearly teach that Jesus did not replace/abolish the OT but fulfilled it. So, whatever Hebrews 8:13 entails it is substantially clarified by these texts.
But Jesus goes further: in v. 18 He confirms the full divine authority, and current applicability, of the entire OT, as scripture for all time (“until heaven and earth pass away”), and its ethical normativity for NT believers, as re-stated by Paul in 2 Tim. 3.
Hence, the entire OT is an expression of God’s will for His NT children. Furthermore, Jesus warns against relaxing or doing away with any OT laws (correcting any wrong interpretations of Hebrews 8)—with the proviso that He had stated regarding fulfilling the OT law. Some laws, as we’ll see, must not be literally practiced, but still have divine authority and ethical normativity in application, such as for teaching us regarding the Person and work of Christ.
James refers to the ‘perfect’ law (referring to Mosaic law) as ‘the law of liberty” (1:25)—for Christians. Here is where we are getting to the heart of the matter! The Old Testament law in itself did not have the ability to empower sinners to obey it. Thus, the Old Testament law did not liberate people but ‘enslaved them’ (Gal.3) But, and this is key, the OT law is now one of “liberty” for us because it (the OT Law) comes with the liberating word of the gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit to change hearts. Please read that again. Thus, for New Testament believers, the entire OT law is now the “law of liberty”, which we are now commanded and enabled to obey! We are now His children, with greater privileges, power, and responsibilities.  The same power that raised Jesus from the dead empowers us to live righteously.
Perhaps this analogy will help: suppose you are hiking a mountain and someone hands you a 25-pound bag you have to carry in your hands. Very soon it becomes an intolerable burden, and lactic acid is burning your arms. However, if you take that same load and place it in a nice, sturdy backpack on your back, then the load becomes hardly noticeable as you bound up the trail. The load is the same, its just been evenly distributed in something that was designed to carry it. The same load which once burdened you beyond your capacity is now entirely bearable.
In similar fashion (and no analogy can do the gospel justice), with the weight of the law carried by Christ (as He both lived it perfectly for us, and died for our transgressions against it for us), and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we are empowered to live the law; out of gratitude for God’s grace—that is liberating! The burdensomeness of the Law has been taken out of our hands and placed on ‘Christ’s back.’. Jesus carried the burden for us, and the once burdensome law is now a law of liberty instead of burning the lactic acid in our spiritual muscles. Yes, we still struggle against sin (Gal. 5:17) but we are forgiven and we have the Holy Spirit in full measure!
When you look at the context of Galatians 5:1, it is dealing with the controversy over the OT ceremonial law as a means of salvation. In Gal. 5, as in chapter one, the issue was people reverting to the law to be saved, which was never its purpose; from Adam onwards, we have always been saved by grace through faith.(see Romans 4) Hebrews 8 and Gal. 3 and 5 concern the discontinuance of the ceremonial law and temple complex, as well as correcting heretical views of salvation, and the Holy Spirit’s enabling us to obey OT law, so that is not burdensome. Obedience to OT law as a guide for pleasing God was not the issue in these texts; it wasn’t the emphasis. Because of the complexity of OT law and its relation to the NT, it is imperative that we pay careful attention to each text’s context or emphasis.
Furthermore, all the continuity texts above affirm that every word, every letter, is inspired by God Himself, and is still useful for instruction, encouragement, and training in righteousness for us today. Indeed, the OT was the only bible most of the first generation Christians had for making ethical decisions (along with oral recollection of Jesus’ words), as the NT was still being formed. And it served its purpose well until the full canon was formed.
When you compare scripture with scripture, then Jesus’ and Paul’s words clarify the enigmatic text in Hebrews 8. But that still does not clarify the distinction between the continuities and discontinuities totally.
The theologian John Frame has a useful tool for dealing with this conundrum: he speaks of general normativity and literal normativity. Let me explain.
The idea is that ALL OT laws are applicable today, in some way, because, since they are divinely inspired, they are normative and require implicit obedience from us. General normativity means that a particular text is not to be literally obeyed, but the underlying, general principle is normative for us and must be applied/obeyed (hence, general normativity).
 Literally normative texts are also inspired by God and express timeless, and transcultural truths which are to be literally obeyed; they are normative in a literal way (hence, literal normativity) How does one distinguish between the two?
Theologians have distinguished between three kinds of OT law: ceremonial, civil, and moral. These are rough and ready distinctions because there is overlap and they are often mixed together, as in Leviticus.  According to Frame (and many others, including myself), it is only the moral law which is LITERALLY normative today, while the ceremonial and civil laws are generally normative.
Any law which is not ceremonial or civil is a moral law.  Note that all of the OT is ethically normative in this scheme (consistent with Matt. 5 and 2 Tim. 3); its just that the civil and ceremonial laws are generally normative. What does that mean? It means that they are not to obeyed literally, but they still are inspired teaching with absolute divine authority regarding important instruction that imposes ethical obligation upon us. Both common sense and careful exegesis of each passage is needed in determining which texts are ceremonial, civil, or moral and how they are all to be applied in our situations, in an appropriate way.
Ceremonial law mostly involves the OT temple, priestly duties, and sacrificial system. An example of ceremonial law and how it is generally normative is Leviticus 1-5. In this section, the five major kinds of sacrifices are discussed: burnt offering, grain offering, peace offering, sin offering, and guilt offering.  The NT is adamant (e.g. Hebrews)that these are not to be offered anymore, as Jesus embodied on the cross all five of these sacrifices. So, in Hebrews 8 we can see why, in this sense, these laws are obsolete! However, they are still generally normative because the ‘continuity texts’ above tells us ALL of the OT is useful for instruction and training in righteous living—belief as well as and practice. And in this case, a study of these five offerings can deeply enrich ones understanding (and be encouraged by it!)of the full-orbed nature of the atonement; it is like a finely cut diamond with many lovely facets! If we had the time, we could show how Jesus fulfilled all five of these sacrifices/offerings. That is how we apply those verses today; they are inspired instruction which is still normative for us to obey in terms of understanding how each of these offerings shed light on how we are to view the atonement of Christ, and how to live as a result. Is not a richer understanding of the Person and work of Christ a good thing?! That is general normativity. So, though they are “obsolete” in one sense (not to be literally offered), they are also generally normative in that they teach unchanging principles regarding the nature of the once, for all sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and how we should then live.
The civil law has to do with the laws of Israel as a theocratic nation under the kingship of Yahweh, which obviously are not literally applicable today either (just like the ceremonial) because the ‘promised land’ is now the entire earth. There is no longer a theocratic nation under God.These laws were designed to show the holy nature of God and of His people, who were surrounded by pagan nations. Circumcision would be an example. Civil laws, generally speaking, were not meant to be extrapolated to other nations.
Another example of civil law, which is generally normative today, is Deuteronomy 22:8 :“When you build a new house, you shall make a parapet for your roof, that you may not bring the guilt of blood upon your house, if anyone should fall from it.” Huh? In ancient times, roofs were often flat and were used to sleep on when it was hot. A parapet was basically a railing, and the principle was concern for the value of human life and safety. It is not literally normative today because we are not a theocratic nation and we don’t live on our roofs! However, this text is divinely inspired and we need to ask how can it be applied today?  Remember it is generally normative and we are ethically obligated to apply it.  An example of application might be a homeowner who has a pool, who builds a fence around their pool out of concern for the value of human life, and safety of the two year old child in the home/neighborhood. Do you see the general normativity principle? Its not literally applied but the text is divinely inspired and imposes upon us ethical obligation regarding belief and practice, but we have to use common sense and the Spirit’s guidance in properly applying it.
These are examples of what general normativity mean and ‘looks like’. It does justice to the texts above, which affirm that every inch of the OT is inspired and applicable, IN SOME WAY, but not necessarily literally.
We come now to ‘literally normative’ texts. These are moral texts—neither ceremonial nor civil—and ARE meant to believed and practiced by NT believers in a literal fashion; either in belief or practice, or both. There are texts which are literally normative: they are to be believed and/or imitated literally today, because they express timeless, objective moral values stemming from God’s holy nature, which were not shadows of the coming New Covenant, nor civil laws for His temporary theocratic nation, but express God’s unchanging attitude towards certain beliefs and practices—both good and bad, which can be seen throughout the OT and NT. God’s commands regarding pagan beliefs and practices, such as communication with the spirit realm, are a clear example of literally normative texts. These are literally normative for believers today, and not just generally normative. They must be obeyed in the letter and spirit of the law.
In stating it this way, I think we now have a way to safely navigate this confusing terrain. On the one hand, we can affirm with Hebrews that some practices/laws were abrogated, while also affirming that ALL of the OT law is inspired and profitable for instruction and training in godly living, and in some sense, still normatively applicable today; and that some laws are still to be followed literally. Common sense, and careful exegesis, is needed in determining which texts are which—generally normative or literally normative.
The text in Deuteronomy 18 is clearly in this literal normative category as it is neither civil nor ceremonial in nature; not to mention the fact that a messianic prophecy is found in it (v 15). I submit that this way of looking at the two sets of texts above is the best way of doing justice to the injunction to ‘rightly divide the word of truth.’ It affirms both the continuity and the discontinuity of the OT.  The moral law is what is neither ceremonial or civil in nature, and expresses a clear , explicit moral obligation based on the character of God—which is unchanging and was not restricted to Israel. Remember that the Canaanites were destroyed in Deut, 18 because of their systemic spiritism, which God has always hated and always will.
 Remember that Jesus quoted 3 times from Deuteronomy when being tempted and said ‘gegreptai’…”It is written”, in past perfect tense (something written in the past with current normative authority). Are you ok with jettisoning the moral laws which Jesus quoted as His sword?  Jesus modeled this principle of the moral law in the OT having binding, literal normative authority over us.
Deut 18 is perfect example because of how clear it is; it contrasts morally illegitimate and morally legitimate means of acquiring knowledge of the spirit realm. Are these not timeless? And God appeals to His own nature in expounding these laws. How can these be temporary when God ‘s nature is unchanging? Such as, ‘be holy for I am holy’. It has nothing to do with ceremony/temple, nor Israel as a theocratic state, but specific moral commands, which express God’s heart for all time. We must seek God’s prophets/apostles vs seeking knowledge via attempts to contact the dead or through psychics or mediums. Has God’s hatred of paganism and the occult changed in the NT? Absolutely not!
As we said in “ the Open Letter”, the latter half of Deut. 18 contains a Messianic prophecy. So, to be consistent, those who reject the validity of Deut 18 have to toss out the prophecy as well. Some texts are clearer than others, but none are more clear than this one. Common sense would dictate that you see this as different from ceremonial or civil law; it is our unchanging God expressing His unchanging laws regarding how we approach the spirit realm, and His persistent expressions of hatred for attempting to communicate with the dead, from the dawn of time though the entire span of redemptive history.
Without being simplistic, the heart of the pagan/occult belief (with all its vast variety) and practice is the rejection of the distinction between the Creator and His creation, as manifested through multiple means of attempting to communicate with the spirit realm: that is, attempting to acquire illicit knowledge via necromancy and psychics/mediums.
For our purposes, we must ask: are God’s OT laws regarding attempted communication with the dead, and the use of psychics and mediums, abrogated or not? Are they generally normative or literally normative? Do we simply glean principles from them or are they an expression of God’s eternal and unchanging character, which are to be literally obeyed?  Does not the text in Deut. 18 give us timeless, literal truths regarding the way to determine a true prophet? Are not the injunctions to obey God’s prophets, especially the coming Divine Prophet, literally normative? So, why should we reject the illicit means of communicating with the spirit realm, which the Holy One of Israel has hated since the shape shifting appearance of Satan in the garden? The text below from Isaiah shows the same principle of contrast: seeking wisdom from mediums/necromancers or from God’s holy law? This is many centuries after Moses, so it shows the persistency of God’s detestation of His children’s illicit attempts to engage in spiritism and mediums.
19 And when they say to you, “Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter,” should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living? 20 To the teaching and to the testimony! If they will not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn.” (Isaiah 8:19-20)
To Christian Paranormal Investigators, I would say: shouldn’t you seek wisdom from the Word of the Living God and not from demons? To the teaching (the law) and the testimony! Amen!
Dispensational theology (Schofield Bible, Charles Ryrie, ect) has introduced an unfortunate view toward the law as well as the gospel itself (easy believism, which is a false gospel)—totally disregarding this distinction between general and literal normativity. In some forms, it views the different covenants as water tight compartments. In reality, they (covenants) are progressive and assume and build upon the preceding one. The divine words given to Adam were sufficient for him, but not for Noah because of the coming flood, so God graciously gave Noah more divine words which added to the Adamic covenant. But it did not displace the covenant with Adam; rather it enriched it with progressive revelation. The covenants with Noah, Abraham, Moses and David all assumed and built upon the preceding covenants; progressive revelation.
Think of all the OT covenants and NT covenant as concentric circles, with the NT on the outside—building on its very Jewish heritage. There is a very real sense in which the Mosaic covenant was the richest of the OT covenants because God revealed so much more of Himself to His people. : 6 “Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is to us, whenever we call upon him? And what great nation is there, that has statutes and rules so righteous as all this law that I set before you today?”
“Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children's children. (Deut. 4:6-9 emphasis added).
I say all this because some people have the mistaken notion that the Mosaic covenant was totally miserable and is to be completely rejected by NT believers. How sadly mistaken! Read psalm 119 to get a godly OT perspective on the Mosaic law. Would that we had such a fervor and love for God’s law which teaches us so much about Himself, ourselves, the world, and how to love others!
The first ethical obligation/law is found in Gen. 1:24ff-subdue the earth and fill it. The institution of marriage is a law of God, as is the cultural mandate; the distinction between male and female is a law of God-are we free from those? Do you reject these because they are OT?
 The prohibition to not eat of the tree of illicit knowledge is prior to the Fall and hence a creational ordinance. At the heart of paganism is this persistent attempt to eat of the tree of illicit, hidden knowledge. Paganism at its core is some attempt to communicate with the spirit realm, just as investigators are doing.
So, I ask again, which laws are you referring to as being abrogated? It seems odd to me that many of the same people that bemoan that the 10 commandments have been taken out of the classroom, also say that is the Mosaic law that has been abrogated. But why pick on Moses when law was given from the very beginning in the Garden? And the Mosaic law was a good thing (Rom. 7:7,12)—designed to help re-establish the creational paradise in one nation, Israel--as well as pointing us to see our sinfulness and need for Christ’s grace? (Romans 1-4)
Let me ask you this: what is God's perspective on pagan beliefs and practices in the OT and NT? Does God like paganism? Is He indifferent to it? Is it not true that from the dawn of time, and right up until today, the main enemy of God and His truth has been paganism? Did not God punish Adam and Eve for what was essentially an occutlic/pagan sin-speaking to a spirit being/Satan to achieve secret knowledge? Did not Adam know that He was speaking illicitly? Did He not judge and utterly destroy Canaanite countries for their paganism and occult practices—which included spiritism and mediums? Has not pagan beliefs and practices been the chief enemy of true religion since the Fall? Did not the prophets persistently plead with Gods people to stop their spiritual adultery due to succumbing to paganism—which included spiritism, and the use of mediums/psychics? Do not the psalms, which many of you read and cherish, frequently condemn paganism and delight in God’s law? Do not the historical books record the sad history of Gods people flirting with paganism, and that they were severely judged for it, and ultimately exiled?
So, the 3 sections of the OT—the Law, the Prophets and the writings are all in agreement—paganism breaks Gods heart and is viewed as spiritual adultery. Over and over and over and over and over again, Gods prophets rail against this especially repugnant sin—paganism—and its lustful attempts to communicate with the spirit realm.
From my study, I cannot think of a motif in scripture that is more persistently repeated than God’s utter detestation of all attempts at illegitimate communication with the spirit realm. This speaks to the fact that this is a literally normative principle and not generally normative. It is certainly and most emphatically not abrogated, as it is repeated in the NT as well!
“Yet I will leave some of you alive. When you have among the nations some who escape the sword, and when you are scattered through the countries, then those of you who escape will remember me among the nations where they are carried captive, how I have been broken over their whoring heart that has departed from me and over their eyes that go whoring after their idols. And they will be loathsome in their own sight for the evils that they have committed, for all their abominations.” (Ezekiel 6 8-9, emphasis added)
I recently read through Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel and was astonished at how persistently God expressed, in the most graphic and shocking terms, His utter hatred of pagan beliefs and practices. When I read the text above, in which we have a glimpse into the holy chambers of God’s heart, and He says that the abominable practices, such as listed in Deut 18, break His heart…”I have been broken…”—I just stared at that text for a long time and wept. How can we look at our actions, knowing that they have caused God to be broken, and callously continue on?
Pagan practices and beliefs that God so passionately hates, such as are being practiced by paranormal investigators,  is a thread that runs from not only Genesis to Malachi, but from Genesis to Revelation.  Does God hate paganism or not? Yes or no? And if what you are doing is pagan/occultic in nature then its clear what God thinks about it.
I think we have done justice to the twin emphasis of continuity and discontinuity, and being faithful to the bibles teaching as a whole regarding OT moral law. Given how persistently God rails against paganism and the occult, then it would need to be explicitly stated to be abrogated in the NT…but that is not what we see.
And then we come to the NT. Has God’s character changed? Has His blazing hatred of communicating with the dead via spiritism or mediums evolved?  Say what you will about some specific laws, but can you picture Jesus, Paul, or Peter consulting a medium or attempting to contact the dead?  The notion is so outrageous that I cannot even imagine it. They never attempted to contact the dead in the gospels or Acts. Instead we see Peter and Paul confronting those engaged in occultism. And the only spiritual entities Jesus spoke to were demons, whom He was exorcising—neither Jesus nor His apostles ever communicated with deceased humans, as paranormal investigators are attempting to do all the time.
 In Acts 19 recent converts expressed their true repentance by a book burning of 6 million dollars worth (in today’s currency) of occult books and paraphernalia. Would you burn, or sell, your investigation devices, as Dana Emmanuel did, as a sign of repentance?
In Galatians 5—we see that ‘sorcery’ (humanly invented means of communicating with spirit realm) will prevent someone from inheriting the kingdom.  That is intensely sobering.
In Revelation 21 anything smacking of the occult is forbidden in Gods holy new heavens and earth.  These are but a sampling of NT teaching on pagan beliefs and practices.
Jesus IS the New Covenant. Should we not embrace our Creator and redeemers view of OT law (Matt. 5)?
The purpose of this article was to show that the objection to our Letter, that was based on the rejection of the bible’s clear condemnation of pagan practices, because the OT laws were allegedly abolished, has been shown to wrongheaded in several ways. God hates all attempts to communicate with the spirit realm, and Christian paranormal investigators must repent of their current practices, or risk not inheriting the kingdom. God is tender and gracious; ready to forgive, if we repent.
Mark Hunnemann is the author of Seeing Ghosts Through God's Eyes: A Worldview Analysis of Earthbound Spirits. It's also available in eBook format.

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