Addressing Youth’s Questions About Biblical Inconsistency

Hope This Helps (HTH) is a series, where fellow youth workers share resources they’ve found helpful in ministry.  Of course, some things work in some churches and not others.  But, as always, hope this helps.

These days one of the most-asked questions I receive from students relates to verses from the Old Testament that Christians no longer follow. One student presented this clip from the “The West Wing,” because he was confused as to why we no longer observe certain biblical commandments from Leviticus and Exodus. (Warning: there is one inappropriate word in this clip.) This question largely arises for students in conversations about homosexuality. People will say, “Since we now eat shellfish, then we no longer should consider homosexuality a sin.”

The confusion among students and non-believers is understandable. Without understanding the relationship between the Old Testament and the New Testament, it does appear as if Christians pick and choose which rules they want to observe.

I found both of these articles helpful in resolving this question for students in a basic way:

Shellfish, Mixed Fabrics, and Homosexuality: Picking and Choosing? by Mike Riccardi

Making Sense of Scripture’s ‘Inconsistency’ by Tim Keller

Cameron Cole has been the Director of Youth Ministries for eighteen years at the Church of the Advent, and in January of 2016 his duties expanded to include Children, Youth, and Families. He is the founding chairman of Rooted Ministry, an organization that promotes gospel-centered youth ministry. He is the co-editor of “Gospel-Centered Youth Ministry: A Practice Guide” (Crossway, 2016). Cameron is the author of Therefore, I Have Hope: 12 Truths that Comfort, Sustain, and Redeem in Tragedy (Crossway, 2018), which won World Magazine’s 2018 Book of the Year (Accessible Theology) and was runner up for The Gospel Coalition’s Book of the Year (First-Time Author). He is also the co-editor of The Jesus I Wish I Knew in High School (New Growth Press) and the author of Heavenward: How Eternity Can Change Your Life on Earth (Crossway, 2024). Cameron is a cum laude graduate of Wake Forest University undergrad, and summa cum laude graduate from Wake Forest with an M.A. in Education. He holds a Masters in Divinity from Reformed Theological Seminary.

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