PK Media: Last week, Britain’s Home Office denied an Iranian Christian’s application for asylum, claiming the man’s conversion was based on a lie and his faith was “half-hearted.” Specifically, the office said the asylum-seeker’s claim that he converted to Christianity because it is a peaceful religion in contrast to Islam is false, and that because Christianity is violent, the Home Office questioned the legitimacy of his conversion.
In its denial letter, the Home Office cited verses from Leviticus, Exodus, Matthew, and Revelation, which supposedly endorse violence. “These examples are inconsistent with your claim that you converted to Christianity after discovering it is a ‘peaceful’ religion, as opposed to Islam which contains violence, rage and revenge,” the letter stated.
Specifically, the UK government cited Leviticus 26, in which God promises victory over Israel’s enemies; Exodus 34, where God warns Israel not to make treaties with the pagan nations they will conquer in the Promised Land; Matthew 10, where Jesus says He came to bring “a sword”; and Revelation, which “is filled with imagery of revenge, destruction, death, and violence.” more …
Opinion: The Bible is the biggest selling book of all time, the most revered by some, the most taken out of context by others, and the most hated by still more.
When I began reading the Bible and telling others what I had learned, questions came up that I could not answer. Do you smite your neighbor for working on the Sabbath? How did Cain get a wife? Frankly, I was sure that the Bible should be read literally but Leviticus and other OT books left me with more questions than answers as to how they relate to me today.
The OT felt like a million jigsaw puzzle pieces with no box top picture.
It was not until I found the Christian fellowship website called Omega Letter by the late Jack Kinsella that the jigsaw puzzle began to come together. Jack provided the box top in Dispensational Theology that not only helped me fit the puzzle pieces together, but helped me better see how the Old Testament and the New Testament fit together like a finely woven tapestry.
It was a few years later that I began to write it down in what became Bible Prophecy 101.
In Chapter 3, “Doctrines That Divide Christians” I began by defining three theologies to which most Christian denominations adhere.
- Replacement Theology
- Covenant Theology
- Dispensational Theology
Excerpt: There are 7 Dispensations from Genesis to Revelation, representing God’s interaction with man at different periods of time:
- Innocence: Creation to the fall (Gen. 1 – 3) (Gen. 1:27-28)
- Conscience: Fall to the flood (Gen. 4 – 8)
- Human Government: Exit from the Ark to Abraham (Gen. 9 – 11) (Gen. 9:6)
- Promise: Abraham to the Law (Gen. 12 – Ex. 19)
- Law: Ten Commandments to Calvary (Ex. 20 – Acts 1)
- Grace: Pentecost to the Rapture (Acts 2 – Rev. 4:1) (Rom. 6:14; Eph. 2:8-9)
- Millennial Kingdom: Imprisonment of Satan to the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20)
I learned that when we confuse the Levitical laws meant for Jewish people for a specific period of time with the dispensation of Grace (age of grace), a completely different period of time, for a different people group, confusion exists.
Dispensational theology teaches that there are two distinct peoples of God: Israel and the Church. Dispensationalists believe that salvation has always been by faith—in God in the Old Testament and, specifically, in God the Son in the New Testament.
It is those two entities that divide Christians the most, which is why after all these years of leading small groups, I felt the need to define it using a train metaphor that we recently posted on our home page.
(see more on ‘Doctrines that Divide Christians’ in Bible Prophecy 101 chapter 3 here)