Mercy me! I just can't resist responding to the fine folks at the Charisma forum.
I was taught to look at the Bible as a whole, focusing on the New Testament, and in particular the Gospels. What did Jesus do? What did Jesus say?
So many times we read that Jesus started out, "Ye have heard it said by men of old... this, yet I say unto you...that," where this and that are opposite things.
Look, I was told, at Jesus' words and His actions. Find in these instructions the principles to live by. If some verse here or there, even those written by Moses or Paul, is in conflict with Christ's teachings, then it is an error committed by these human beings who are just as fallible as we are.
Those today who quote this verse and that one to condemn others, whom they disagree with, are no difference the those Pharisees in His day who upheld every jot and tittle of the law, yet lacked human compassion for others.
Thanks for the heads up about the Pharisees. However, I think we are on parallel tracks. When I wrote about the jots and tittles, I was referring to the nit-picky details like the 4000 steps you mentioned. The Pharisees got on Jesus' case about healing the sick on the Sabbath. He asked them about the ox in the ditch and rebuked them for thinking it more important to keep the Sabbath than to cure someone's illness.
When I asked the question about the lesbian couple and their two young children moving in down the block, I noticed that those who responded would tell them how they were living in sin according to your understanding of the Bible passages you have been citing. I also noticed that no one suggested how you might give them a hand. Yet their family, like God's family, is a concern we all ought to share.
Jesus asked the young lawyer, "who was the neighbor to this man who had fallen among thieves?" So I ask you, "Who is the neighbor to this new family of four down the block?" Is it the one who chastises the couple for being gay? Or is it the one who welcomes them to the neighborhood and helps them move in? This is what Jesus was suggesting when He said that some are so intent on some point of law that they neglect being charitable to others.
Jesus advised us to gather up our treasures in heaven. So far as I can tell, being kind to our neighbors is the best way to do it.