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The Daily Tar Heel

Moral Laws Differ From Ritual Rules Given in the Bible

On Friday, Cameron Mitchell wrote an article expressing his disagreement with some Christian beliefs and practices ("Religion Not Always for the Masses" Jan. 19).

I wish to respond to his dismissal of the Bible as a source of moral teachings.

Mr. Mitchell primarily went about doing this by saying the Bible condemns eating pork as strongly as it speaks out against homosexual activity. Mr. Mitchell, like myself and most people on the UNC campus, doesn't feel bound to accept any moral teaching that is placed on the same level as dietary restrictions.

I believe he is mistaken in rejecting the Bible's sexual teachings on these grounds. He has failed to understand the difference between the ritual laws of the Old Testament and the moral law of the Old and New Testament.

The Old Testament rituals, concerning diet, circumcision, cleanliness and other such areas, served to set the Israelites apart from their pagan neighbors and point to the true holiness that was later to be provided by the saving death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

These symbolic actions were set aside once Christ had risen and the Church had been born. This can be seen in such passages as Acts 10:9-22 when God tells Peter not to prevent those who have eaten ceremonially unclean animals from becoming Christians.

The moral law, as expressed in the Ten Commandments and other Old Testament teachings, remained. This can be seen in such passages as Romans 1:26-27 where homosexual activity is described as sinful, or in Galations 5:19-21 where the apostle Paul lists idolatry, sexual immorality and hatred as things that could separate someone from God.

In such a short letter it is impossible to fully address all issues regarding the authority and relevance of the Bible, but I hope I have presented some evidence supporting the consistency of its moral teachings.

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