Heresy?

OK. I should preface this. Maybe this was heresy. I actually wasn’t there. Last week we had an Anglican priest who has ties to Messianic Judaism come in to my church and celebrate with a Passover meal.

I have no problem with this.

Why the post on heresy then? Apparently as an aside this priest said that as a church this is something we should be doing every year.

If that is what he said, a rebuke is needed for this man. Paul would have done it.

Formerly when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? You observe days and months and seasons and years! I am afraid I may have labored over you in vain. Galatians 4:8-11.

We live in the presence of the age to come, the new covenant. Faith has arrived. The tutor of the law is no longer necessary (3:23-26). In light of the coming of the Son, to turn back to the law is to turn back to “weak and worthless elementary principles of the world.” Paul here demonstrates his eschatological vision where the law is put into its proper place in redemptive history. The purpose of the law was to increase transgressions (3:19) and prepare Israel for the coming of the true Israelite, the Messiah (3:24), amongst other things. Since the one whom the law pointed to has come, to return to the law is to return to downright paganism. The era of the law has passed. It is fleshly and we are to be people of the Spirit, not flesh (5:1-26).

We don’t have to celebrate the Passover. If you want to, go ahead, but don’t impose this on the Church. That’s Galatianism. That’s the party of the circumcision. The ‘dividing wall of hostility’ has been brought to an end by Christ (Ephesians 2:13-16). The people of God are defined by faith in Christ, nothing more (Galatians 2:15-16).

It’s a good thing Paul isn’t around. If so, our Bibles might have a stinging “The Letter of St. Paul to Emmanuel Anglican” in them.