I’m not sure where I’m going with this, so bear with me.
There are some passages of scripture that are meant for all people for all time everywhere. Right?
And there are some that are meant for some people at a certain time and place. Right?
We can’t keep a whole lot of the commandments in the old covenant, because 1.) most of us Christians aren’t Jews; 2.) there is no temple in Jerusalem where we could sacrifice even if we were; 3.) the Law was a schoolmaster until ….
Okay, how about the new covenant:
“Slaves, obey your masters.” Meant for some people at a certain time and place. Or not?
“Love each other deeply, for love covers a multitude of sins.” Meant for all people for all time. Or not?
Maybe those seem obvious to you. But there are a lot of things in the new covenant that aren’t that clear to me. To whom were they written and meant to benefit? For all time or for a certain time? For every people, race and nation or for a small definite group of people in a nation which perhaps no longer exists?
How do we decide?
If context gives clear clues, are we allowed to ignore those clues if they conflict with what we’ve been taught – or have otherwise always believed?
If what Paul teaches as command seems to conflict with what Jesus taught by example, who trumps whom?
If some of those teachings are contingent upon a certain event – such as Christ’s return and judgment – and I understand that differently from you (and most everybody else!) should I continue to teach something that I do not in my heart believe is applicable to us and now and everywhere and forever?
Like I said, I don’t really know where I’m going with this. I really don’t have these answers.
And I really, really do want to know them.