Replacing the Old Testament with what? Well, that would be the New Testament, if you are a Christian. The whole proposition looks silly to non-Christians, who probably think that Judaism is a faith the follows the Old Testament and Christianity follows both the Old and New Testaments. But that is not true; Christianity supersedes the Old Testament faith of Judaism as far as theology is concerned.
I don't advocate that Judaism be abandoned, I hasten to add. The faith identity of the Jewish people is theirs to live with, and over time they have allowed their theology to grow and change. The Book of Leviticus is no longer observed strictly in Jewish communities. People are not stoned to death or punished for cutting their hair or wearing cotton jeans and an acrylic sweater. The Law, as it is observed today, has evolved over many centuries. It is ignorant Christians who think that they ought to be living under the theological dictatorship of the Old Testament.
The Old and the New Testaments need to be placed in comparison to each other, and those of us who are Christians must resolve all the conflicts that we possibly can in favor of Christianity. Some ignorant Christians will say that there is no conflict in the Bible, but that is not true. The Old Testament provides for the holding of slaves, and even though St. Paul did not preach liberation of slaves, he did ask that slave owners consider their slaves their brothers when the household converted to Christianity. The concept of slavery was evolving from ownership to brotherhood in the early Church. His remarks on the subject are a perfect example of how consciousness improves over the centuries, though.
The Old-Testament idea of women as property, to be disposed of by their fathers and ruled by their husbands, has evolved as well. The very early Church in Rome left records of women serving in positions of ministry, and spiritual equality has only become more important as today's Church faces the issue of the LGBT Christian community.
You only have to look at the Sermon on the Mount to see what Jesus was teaching. The way that many of his phraseology is translated serves to inform us that he was talking about the nature of God and how the Jews of his day misunderstood God as excluding and judgmental. Jesus says, "You have been told...but I say..." and this is his way of imparting his consciousness to us. Christians think of God as a father, not a judge. Only those who crave certainty are willing to shut their minds and hearts so that they can control their terror. They think of God as a monster who would consign them to eternal torture after one short human lifetime.
We have to look at the actual content of the Sermon on the Mount for this to become clear. Just one precept will do, though, and it is this:
"You heard that it was said: Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and shalt hate thine enemy; but I say to you, love your enemies, bless those cursing you, do good to those hating you, and pray for those accusing you falsely, and persecuting you. Thus you may be sons of your Father in the heavens, because he causes his sun to rise on evil and good, and he sends rain on righteous and unrighteous."
In Judaism it is acceptable to hate your enemies and swear to oppose them, and that is just what Jesus says never to do. In fact, he insists that we do the opposite, and love our enemies. If the evangelical American church took Jesus seriously they would be begging the nation for forgiveness, and Franklin Graham and Bryan Fischer would prostrate themselves before their altars in humiliation and terror for defying the very words of Jesus. But they do no such thing; they are proud of their hatred and they double down on it every chance they get.
The preaching of hate has become part and parcel of evangelical American Christianity. Their hate began with liberals, which was when it was picked up by the Republican Party and woven into what we now call the Culture Wars. That hate has now expanded to include minorities, the gay community, Muslims and immigrants. Every now and then the loony Right comes up with another "enemy" and believe me, they don't come up with this enemies list looking for love. They are looking for someone to hate, and to teach others to hate. They teach hate to children, who reject them and flee from them when they grow up and arrive at an age of reason.
The children of famous evangelicals are making a name for themselves as apples that fled from the tree rather than falling close to it. The children of Jim Bakker and Fred Phelps are doing good things with their lives, while others who have escaped from the fringes of the Religious Right are now telling their horrendous stories, like the heroic Flora Jessop, who escaped from the fundamentalist Mormons in northern Arizona.
The fruition of the unholy alliance between the reactionary Right and the religious Right is now upon us. The Republicans who got rich after Nine-Eleven, developing hatred of Muslims to gain donors to their cause, have now taken up the cause of destroying the American government from within. Their leader and inspiration is Osama bin Laden, and their aim is identical to his. They believe that the American people will stand aside while they use the pretext of Christianity to commit political treason while thousands of Americans' lives hang in the balance. You and I are among them.
What are we going to allow the reactionary Right to do to our lives?