"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Why I struggle with Christianity

Every once in a while I come across someone with the moronic notion that we should just nuke Iraq or Afghanistan to get rid of the terror trouble once and for all. As if such a horrible and extreme action which would kill millions of innocent men, women and children would rid the world of terrorists.  (People, look in the mirror!)




What's even more disturbing is how a few (OK, it's just been two people, but two too many in my opinion) will use the example of the Old Testament (OT) and insist "those people" were supposed to have been gotten rid of thousands of years ago anyway.

Huh?

Somehow they have ignorantly and wrongly put all of that area of the world into God's directive to Joshua and the Israelites to take the land of Canaan that He had given them.  (Afghanistan and Iraq are parts of ancient Palestine?) So there are a few problems with that OT justification. First, that was thousands of years ago.  Second, if God told the Israelites to do this and they failed to cleanse the land of the wicked Canaanites, that doesn't mean we finish that task all these years later.  That I recall, God never told the United States to clean up any 'leftovers' that the directly-ruled-by-God Children of Israel failed to do.

Most importantly to me: if you consider yourself a follower of Jesus Christ you have to look to HIM as your example not Joshua or Moses or David.  Jesus came along and said you have heard it said "eye for an eye," but he changed things around.  We are supposed to go the extra mile, offer our other cheek, forgive and even *gasp* love our enemies!  So why in the world do I see people who claim to love Jesus say such evil things about those they perceive as their enemies? Is there any wonder people don't take Christianity seriously when our history is full of fighting, killing and doing damage in the name of the Lord?  Is this not taking God's name in vain by using God as your justification for perpetuating evil?

It's such a shame and crime that people look at the history of Christianity and scoff, but I can hardly blame them!  It's disheartening to see people who claim to follow Christ commit such heinous crimes against each other! Why are we not known for how loving, caring, serving and honorable we are?  Why instead are we known for what we are against, how we hate and fight and kill?

This is why I reject the religion of Christianity and oftentimes want to distance myself from the majority who claim to be Christians. If you are truly a follower of Christ, act like him!  Don't act like any ol' person in history who goes after his enemies. Do the weird thing and love and serve others like Christ did!  Put your own needs behind you and put another in the place of honor.


Why are people prone to use 'just war' as their guide and not this?


Do you think this is why Jesus said many will say until him "Lord, Lord, I did all these things in your name" and he will declare "sorry, I never knew you"? Relationship is key!  You can call yourself Christian all day, but if you don't know Jesus, you won't act like him. Instead you will act like your human nature wants you to act and the world will keep on mocking at how there is no difference, Christianity is unrealistic because look at the Christians...do you see them loving their enemies and serving others like the Christ did?

And for those who want to "nuke 'em all" under the justification that they shouldn't be around anyway because God commanded the Israelites to kill ALL inhabitants in the land yet the Israelites failed to complete their mission, don't forget Jesus never reiterated that call. In fact he deliberately went into areas of Palestine and ministered among those people. He didn't tell us to finish off what Joshua and David failed to do.

We are not better than Jesus. If you claim to know Christ, act like it by doing what he did. Start praying for your enemy instead of allowing the anger and hatred to take over.

Don't you want Jesus to one day say that he knew you?  Then get to know him and act like he would act. "Nuke 'em all" should never come out of our mouths if we are following Jesus. 

"Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: 'It is mine to avenge; I will repay,' says the Lord.  On the contrary: 'If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.'  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." (Romans 12:19-21)

Thoughts?

46 comments:

Kind Heart said...

Hello beautiful Susanne

i will give my islamic thoughts on the subject.

1st Jesus will say that he doesn't know the person who is calling upon him and doing things in his name, because he taught his people to worship God alone and do things for God alone not for him. But people made him equal to God and didn't follow his teachings later so he will deny knowing them.

2nd Christ Jesus had many things he wanted to tell his people but they couldn't bear them at the time. but when he the spirit if truth will come and he shall guide them to that.


in islam prophet Muhammad taught we had the power to take revenge through the authority but encourages so much to forgive and in my country Saudi Arabia, there are alot of people who pardon even the persons killing their children, ,and save the killer from the punshiment for killing which is death for the killer"

here is an interesting article

Human Forgiveness in Islam:

Just as it is important to believe in the mercy and forgiveness of Allah, it is also necessary to base human relations on forgiveness. We cannot expect Allah’s forgiveness unless we also forgive those who do wrong to us. Forgiving each other, even forgiving one’s enemies is one of the most important Islamic teachings. In the Qur’an Allah has described the Believers as “those who avoid major sins and acts of indecencies and when they are angry they forgive.” (ash-Shura 42: 37) Later in the same Surah Allah says, “The reward of the evil is the evil thereof, but whosoever forgives and makes amends, his reward is upon Allah.” (al-Shura 42: 40) In another place the Qur’an says, “If you punish, then punish with the like of that wherewith you were afflicted. But if you endure patiently, indeed it is better for the patient. Endure you patiently. Your patience is not except through the help of Allah.” (an-Nahl:126-127)

In one Hadith, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said that Allah has commanded him about nine things; one of them he mentioned was “that I forgive those who do wrong to me.”


When he entered the city of Makkah after the victory, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, had in front of him some of his staunchest enemies. Those who fought him for many years, persecuted his followers and killed many of them. Now he had full power to do whatever he wanted to punish them for their crimes. It is reported that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, asked them, “What do you think I shall do to you now?” They pleaded for mercy. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Today I shall say to you what Joseph…” (referring to Prophet Yusuf, peace be upon him, as mentioned in the Qur’an, Yusuf 12:92) “…said to his brothers, ‘No blame on you today. Go, you are all free.”

Marahm said...

Forgiveness often works better than "an eye for an eye," yet at times, we need to take an eye for an eye in order to prevent the taking of a nose and mouth, too.

Religion evolves. Christianity brought evolutions in Judaism, and Islam brought evolutions in Christianity. Some people are asking, "What's next?" and their question is equated with apostasy.

You sound as though you are struggling not with Christianity but with some Christians' focus upon the more distant stages of religious evolution. IMHO, each religion offers the spiritual tools usable for safe, prosperous living in harmony with neighbors.

People who get stuck in certain developmental stages of religion have their reasons. There's nothing you can do about the, "Nuke 'em all," crowd. They might even have their way in the end.

The best you can do is know that your Christianity is not their Christianity. Talk to them, if you feel so inclined, but don't waste a lot of time on them.

Amber said...

Really? Only two of them? There's plenty of people who have that mentality of kill 'em all and let God sort them out.

Even if it wasn't a genocidal and inherently evil idea (which it *is*), it wouldn't work. I thought this out at one time. Not because I ever thought it was a good idea, but just as an exercise. You would not only have to kill everyone in those lands, but then have to round up everyone of that race on the planet. And then all their friends. Sympathizers. People who protest against this mass slaughter. And you can't keep them locked up in camps forever. No, you need a permanent solution. And you can't trust them if they say that they've come over to your side, because if they'd wiped out your people? You'd want revenge and lie to be able to get it too. So you have to kill them too. Genocide, pure and simple. Does this sound familiar to anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

I do think though that it's less that you struggle with Christianity than with specific Christians. Or at least people who claim the name 'Christian'. Revenge is easy. Bloodshed is easy. It's satisfying, too, on a number of very basic levels. I understand that very well. You know I support the death penalty. Sometimes the only way to have peace and safety is to remove a dangerous individual. But that's on an individual, case by case basis.

Christians, individually, are called to be forgiving and merciful. We are called to be better than our own human natures. Christ could call us to that because He Himself was perfectly able to be merciful and forgiving as God. He wants us to aim for His perfection. We're gonna fall short, because we are human. But the idea is to strive for it and therefore become better than ourselves.

Wafa' said...

woow Susanne, strong words my dear.

But i guess all that you say can apply to all religions, even peaceful ones-as they claim-. i guess it's a problem with orgainzed religions in general. Whereas others who are involved in such things are more peaceful and loving and respecting of others.

Everything you said, i can say it to and about Muslims.

The problem still and will always be is how we shape our holy books the way we want to. These books were revealed thousands of years ago, so not everything in them apply now.

I love your post , it should be a wake up call to everyone.

Suroor said...

Borat: My name i' Borat, I come a-from Kazakhstan. Can I say a-first, we support your War of Terror.
[crowd cheers]
Borat: May we show our support for our boys in Iraq.
[crowd cheers]
Borat: May U.S. and A kill every single terrorist.
[crowd cheers]
Borat: May George Bush a-drink the blood of every single man, woman, and child of Iraq.
[crowd cheers wildly]
Borat: May you destroy their country so that for the next thousand years not even a single lizard will survive in their desert.
[some of crowd still cheers]

So why did I post this? Because this was filmed in a Texan rodeo show where the public had no idea they were being filmed. It was authentic, real and unscripted!

There are many people in every religion who think that their enemies should be nuked. Yes, that is all in the Quran too like Wafa hinted but like you pointed out about the OT, that too was said thousands of years ago. This is a different world. We are different people.

JLNL :-) said...

Which is why I no longer think of myself as a Christian, but as a person striving to live in the way of Jesus. Too many "Christians" have hijacked the name and say and do things under this label that are not only not acceptable, but disgusting.

For far too many, being Christian is about following strict rules regarding everything from baptism to communion to burial, yet don't even try to live out The Greatest Commandment, forget that grace and mercy are freely given to us and it's our responsibilty to return those to God's creation.

I long for the day I can live out the wonderful words my six-year old said through tears when a major tragedy hit our safe, little town, ""We're supposed to love the bad guy too. Why do bad guys make it so hard to love them? I don't like him, but I'll try to love him."

Daniel said...

@ Susanne, I understand what you say, and would add that your struggle isn't with Christianity, but with those who claim it, but don't line up with biblical Christianity. When placed beside Jesus Christ then one sees that these people aren't really "Christian".
@ Kind Heart, I would urge you to double check the context of the Matthew 7 passage. Jesus doesn't say he doesn't know them because they did works in His name instead of God the Father. Their giving a litany of the things they had accomplished was to emphasize that if eternal life could have been gained by doing good works then they would have been in. But it's not, it's a personal relationship through faith in the risen Son of God - Jesus Christ. We even have the example of the apostles where they did many mighty works and miracles in the name of Jesus, and even demons are subject to obey at the name of Jesus. Jesus accepted worship as God and did proclaim Himself as God.
Now, I know I'm "new" here, for the most part... and please know that I am not trying to argue. Just wanted to jump in and give a bit for people to chew on. There is quite a bit of misrepresentation going on concerning Christianity, and I think it's not intentional, but just due to misunderstanding what Jesus actually taught.
I realize I can say you misunderstand Jesus' teaching, just as you can make the same claim about me. We could go round and round. I'm not really interested in that cycle. Rather urge you to read Scripture alone without trying to interpret it through any other book.

Thesauros said...

"If you are truly a follower of Christ, act like him! Don't act like any ol' person in history who goes after his enemies. Do the weird thing and love and serve others like Christ did! Put your own needs behind you and put another in the place of honor."

One of the best places, one of the most challenging places to practise this is sitting with and getting to realy know other sinners in Church. 1st John tells us that if we can't love our brothers and sisters in Christ, we are liars when we call ourselves children of God.

LK said...

This is an amazing post Susanne. I agree, a lot of people do not live as they should. No religion I know advocates for exterminating a whole population. Although I don't believe Jesus is God, I do believe it is important to live to his example as he is a prophet and wise man. It is important to know Jesus, love him, and follow the knowledge he brought to us. This is especially important if you label yourself a Christian. These people are not living as Jesus taught, they really aren't being good Christians.

Lat said...

"Put your own needs behind you and put another in the place of honor"

Very beautifully said.I admire your courage and thoughts,Sus!

We're definitely living in a different era and too much literalism has overwhelmed us in this age that we need spirituality( I believe the answer lies here) to lead us away from whatever 'vice' that's plaguing our hearts and minds.

Changing perceptions is a difficult task.Maybe the world has a way and we just don't know it yet.Or we may never know and live to see it come true.

observant observer said...

Do you have to reject Christianity because of the actions of some people who profess to be Christians? To me personally rejecting Christianity means to reject the "creed of faith" and reject Christ as the Messiah....is that what you have concluded then? Are you in crisis of faith of being a Christian or are you ashamed of some of the "Christians"?

I understand that it's such a disgust that people would even think of wiping out other people, I really pity them since they're the ones who are blind. You should also pray for them to have changed hearts and find the real meaning of being a real "follower of Christ".

The Old Testament to my own thought is just a rough version of what God had intended to communicate, the New Testament is the delicate and clear version of what God intended us to do because He is the one who spoke the Words Himself, He is the Words, I can only see the OT through the light of the NT. So I think if we look at the OT, it shouldn't be taken as literal direct messages to be carried out now, it should be seen through the lenses of the NT and only applicable in the light of what the NT has truly meant or advice.

I understand that to the extent of loving the enemies, you can have your heart torn apart yourself, there are times that people think that what a mess is the world we're living in. Seems like the shortest way is demolishing the old rotten building and start a new. But that should not be taken literally, we should rely on the changing of hearts to have everlasting impact. Demolishing only shows the "hopelessness", that is once again the opposite of what Christ have told us so to have : faith, love and hope.....don't loose them. After all we believe in a living God in actions.

in the vanguard said...

There’s nothing “old” about The Testament. Implying otherwise denies its divinity; And it denigrates its author, the Creator of the Universe.

A more fitting name is “The Living Testament”. Even more fitting is the translation of its Hebrew name, Torah -– “The Manual [of Life]”.

Judaism recognizes the Bible [the Hebrew Torah] as the blueprint G-d used to create the universe, as well as the framework to guide humanity – FOREVER, Jews and Noahides alike. The book is absolutely perfect. It never underwent revision and never will. A work of G-d needs no revision.

The words in the Torah today are the very words G d dictated to Moses. Jewish people separated by millennia and continents have found their copies of the Torah virtually identical. For example, Jews from Yemen and Jews from Europe, who had been separated for thousands of years, found their versions of Torah virtually identical. The entire Jewish code of law, literature, customs and oral tradition stand on this essential premise. Every Hebrew letter, every letter’s shape, every letter's mathematical attributes, every word, every oral note, every vowel - depends on this unalterable singular truth.

And just in case anybody gets the bright idea to modify it, G-d warns us in His Torah, not to add to it nor remove from it.

To imply it has built-in obsolescence simply belittles the greatness of the Creator.

Kind Heart said...

@ Dear Daniel "why call me good" Jesus never accepted worship from anyone and his deciples never worshiped him, worship only for God. Actually the Christianity was only meant for the children of isreal and was not meant to be preached outside Jesus people

in Matthew 10:5-6 is a clear statment of Jesus not to preach his teachings to Gentiles "Go not into the way of the Gentiles" and agian repeats what he said in Matthew 15:22-8 that he was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

>And mostly Jesus closest disciples do not agree that it is correct to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles. This is evident when we read in Acts 11:19 that
>
> "Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only."

in Matthew 10:5-6, Jesus gave explicit instructions to his disciples to whom they should preach his message, by commanding
>
"Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."

15:22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.
(15:22-

15:23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.
15:24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

why follow a massage not meant for you when there is a message God meant for you (Islam)

Susanne said...

Kind Heart, welcome to my blog and thanks for what you shared about the Islamic point of view concerning forgiveness. It sounds really good and I hope Muslims are better at putting it into action than are some Christians. :-)

If you continue reading the New Testament, you'll see where Jesus wanted his disciples to take his message into all the world as it was a message for all people - not just for the Jews.


Marahm, I appreciate your comment. I usually don't waste much time on them. I can't change their minds and have to leave that to God to soften their hard, hate-filled hearts, I guess. Really wise words...thanks much for what you added!



Amber, yeah only two who mentioned the OT as a reason. LOL @ your exercise although it's not a funny subject. I was thinking along the same lines when I said this was NOT a way to get rid of terrorists. Besides if you did that, you'd find the terrorist looking back at you from the bathroom mirror.

Yes, of course I struggle with individual Christians, but also just the history of Christianity as a whole. I mean look at it! Fighting within and without. It's NOT what Jesus called us to do or be. Heck, he never even told us to go call ourselves Christians. That term developed later likely as a derogatory term used by others about those people following Christ. I kind of like "the Way" or "the Path" that was used prior to "Christianity." Jesus told us to follow him so that's good enough.

I really really liked your last paragraph. All of it was good, but that last paragraph was great!


Wafa', and I loved your comment. You are so wise. Thank you for what you added!

Susanne said...

Suroor, I wish people really thought about what they were cheering for. I admit I was for the war in Iraq in the beginning, but my reasons were to get rid of Saddam to free the Iraqi people. I never would agree to just bomb the whole country and get rid of *everyone.* I've learned a lot more since meeting Samer and getting his point of view and my views have changed a lot, but even when I was gungho about taking out Saddam and his evil sons, I was always for the average, ordinary person. I like people of all types.



JLNL,I remember when Samer and I first met the discussion turned to Christians and I said right away, "first what do you mean by that word?" A huge majority in America are "Christian" by their own labels, but they (we/me) surely don't act like Jesus! So I can so relate to your first paragraph. I often find myself using a "follower of Jesus" (or trying to) rather than plain ol' "Christian" any more.

Your middle paragraph was fantastic. I need to print that out and frame it. It's not about following a list rules, but living how Jesus lived. Wow, great reminder.

And when you shared what R said about loving enemies earlier elsewhere, my heart melted. She's wiser than most people 50 years older than she! And I admire the parents who teach her such things very much!



Daniel, yes, I know. My struggle is not with Jesus, but people who claim to know him, but their actions prove otherwise.

Thanks for what you added about the knowing Jesus verses that I mentioned. I agree that personal relationship is the key....not following rules or even doing good works in his name.

Susanne said...

Thesauros, welcome and thanks for your challenge. Good reminder there from first John. That's a great book!


LK, thank you. I really liked what you added. Very true!


Lat, yeah maybe literalism is the problem. :) I appreciate what you shared. I'm glad you liked that part about honoring others. Paul really emphasized this teaching of Jesus in his letters to the churches. I love it and wish to practice it more. But what a struggle with self some days! :-P

Susanne said...

Observant Observer, nice to see you again! No, I'm not rejecting any creeds or Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I hope no one concludes that from this post as I think I spoke pretty highly of Jesus. :) I just struggle with what Christianity has become with so many people calling themselves Christian yet so few actually living as Jesus did. And I include myself most days. I don't always do what he did.

" So I think if we look at the OT, it shouldn't be taken as literal direct messages to be carried out now, it should be seen through the lenses of the NT and only applicable in the light of what the NT has truly meant or advice."

I like this and I agree. But these people will go back to OT teachings in order to justify something I can never see Jesus doing. They speak of his grace, mercy, salvation, love and not being under the Law so WHY go back to treating enemies in an OT style? That's my struggle and the point of this post for the most part. :)

I really love all that you shared. Lots of good thought-provoking things. Thanks much!





In the Vanguard, so do you stone your children when they sass you? Welcome and thanks for sharing your point of view. I appreciate many lessons of the OT, but appreciate Jesus much more. :) I think much of the OT - especially the Mosaic Law - was for the Jews as a set apart nation. I appreciate what you shared though.



Thanks to everyone for your comments. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your points of view on this topic!

Kind Heart said...

Sweetest Susanne,

i would really love much to know where exactly Jesus said to preach his message outside the children of isreal in the NT or OT.


and what did he mean when he said in Matthew 15:24 I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Kind Heart said...

imagining refusing to accept Jesus at his time and saying Nay i will follow Moses way. Not acceptable.


to each people there was sent a prophet the people of Moses will be asked about their message and the people of Christ Jesus will be asked about their message. each message had it's time and people, but the last messenger Mohammed was sent for all coming generations and his book was for all, So prophet Muhammad is the prophet of this time and it is necessarily to follow his message to attain God love, and His heaven.

Say, "What do you think will happen if this Quran is from God and you have rejected it? Besides, a witness from among the Israelites has testified to the divinity of a Book like it and believed in it (Quran) while you have arrogantly denied it.

Susanne said...

Kind Heart, Jesus was sent to the Israelites and most of his ministry was to them. However if you read the gospels, you will see how he deliberately went to Samaria and brought salvation to that area. Also he ministered to other Gentiles including the one mentioned in Matthew 15 which you mentioned but maybe failed to continue reading the rest of the story.

Jesus may have mostly ministered within Israel, but he taught his followers there so they could, in turn, go into all the world and tell others the good news about how salvation has been brought to the world. It would kind of be like Muhammad ministering among Arabs and teaching them the faith and then instructing them to go out and teach the message of Islam to Persians, Egyptians, Africans and so forth.

I base this on verses such as these:

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matt. 28)

8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1)

You wrote: "imagining refusing to accept Jesus at his time and saying Nay i will follow Moses way. Not acceptable."

Here is why I reject Islam. Its message is different from the one I read about in the Bible. It teaches we can earn favor in God's eyes by doing good deeds, by keeping rules and looking outwardly pious. Now those are not bad things at all, but are we trusting in ourselves for salvation? I know Muslims will say "not at all...we are saved by God's mercy and grace" and I like that. However, when we work to put ourselves in special favor...so that God might see "wow, you are such a good person I think I will save you" then we are basing our salvation at least in part on our own efforts. In my beliefs - and maybe I am wrong but this is what I believe - God is my savior. Full stop. I can't earn His favor by being good. HE is my savior. Period. I am grateful for the love and mercy He gives me *in spite of* how bad I am a lot of times.

If Islam were a continuation of this message then yes I could accept it. However it teaches me that I have to work and be my own savior to some extent. If I make myself part savior I have taken the place of God. Is this not shirk?

Thanks for your comment. :)

Kind Heart said...

Hey Dearest Susanne,

yes i'm sorry i failed to continue the story in Matt because i wanted to support my argument.Thanks for pointing to these versus i didn't know about.

and IT IS true for not even prophet Muhammad peace be upon him will not enter heaven except by God's grace and mercy.

But Christians will not enter heaven unless they do the Lord will
even if they said Jesus is their Lord read if you will

Matthew 7:21 (NIV) "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven."

and you will not be loved by Jesus untill you obey his commands for even he himself obeys God's command

John 15:9-10 (NIV) If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love."


Luke 6:46-49 (NIV) "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say? 47 I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. 48 He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete."

so sweetest Susanne "You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only." - Jm 2:24

Who then will be saved?]

so it is ONLY THOSE WHO DO THE FATHER'S WILL...As Jesus said, "...he who does the will of My Father in heaven." - Mt 7:21

yes it is shirk to believe that someone posses God's power to save.


it is not what we chose for ourselves and what we desire that will give us salvation and makes us enter heaven it is as Jesus said to follow what God's desire and wills so to achieve his mercy and achieve salvation by his Grace.


God desire and commands that you accept his prophet Muahmmed and take his message of Islam.


1:41 And believe in what I reveal, confirming the revelation which is with you, and be not the first to reject Faith therein, nor sell My Signs for a small price; and fear Me, and Me alone.

(86) And verily We gave unto Moses the Scripture and We caused a train of messengers to follow after him, and We gave unto Jesus, son of Mary, clear proofs (of Allah's sovereignty), and We supported him with the Holy spirit. Is it ever so, that, when there cometh unto you a messenger (from Allah) with that which ye yourselves desire not, ye grow arrogant, and some ye disbelieve and some ye slay? (87)

salvation is indeed by grace, to get His grace follow his will and commands.

Susanne said...

Kind Heart,

"God desire and commands that you accept his prophet Muahmmed and take his message of Islam."

True IF I believed the Quran. Which I do not. I choose to follow the message Jesus' followers gave instead of Muhammad's followers.

"salvation is indeed by grace, to get His grace follow his will and commands."

7. grace - (Christian theology) the free and unmerited favor or beneficence of God; "God's grace is manifested in the salvation of sinners"; "there but for the grace of God go I"

See I believe grace is given by God freely and NOT because I did something to earn it. Apparently we have different definitions of grace. :-)

For Christians, it is a gift of God...not something we can work for and earn like a paycheck.

Apparently for you grace is something to be earned since you said "to get His grace follow his will and commands."

Thanks for your comment!

observant observer said...

I'd like to add to Susan in answering Kind Heart what I thought of Christianity even though we are from different church, when indeed in Catholicism we believe that it takes grace and merit, those have to go hand in hand to get the salvation. But I understand that it's difficult when the question comes to what comes first: grace or actions of the followers?

Christianity comes with the belief that we are in parental relationship with God. In that case, God has loved us first even from the beginning, before we have all the necessary means to love Him back, so that's why what come first is the grace of the Lord, He so loves us that all the things that He sent us for or instruct us to do or given us with, all comes with the hope that we will love Him back to show the reciprocation of love through the actions on our part.

That's why we really put ourselves humbled in front of Him and say that it's because of His love and grace we would be able to love Him back , because without Him, without His power, without His mercy, we ourselves cannot even perform all the things that we're supposed to do to love Him back. We cannot save ourselves without Him, He's the first source and the first reason.

Even the bad children still have the love of His parents eventhough the parents might be dissapointed with his children. I suggest that you read the parable of the lost child from the Bible to see how God loves us all. Do you think that this child have all the necessary merit to gain his father's mercy? Not at all, he has ruined everything, but for that child to return to the right path and come back to his father is the key to his salvation. That's what Christ told us, and that's what the Christians hang on to.

Suroor said...

I love the recent comment from observant observer!

in the vanguard said...

Someone answered my comment like this:
"In the Vanguard, so do you stone your children when they sass you? ...."

What this person does is assume he understands MY Bible, and therefore quotes from it, as if to say, "That kind of stuff is not to my liking".

Do not assume - for a second - you understand the Hebrew Bible. The closest thing you have to appreciate it is a mere translation - something that just won't cut it because you cannot translate an infinite language into a superficial layer.

So what was my point then? That you are taking some humans' books and ascribing to them, however many times they underwent revision, parhaps a 1,000 times, and ignoring the one true version of Torah - which you'll only understand by asking for a Jewish perspective -and, at the same time, ignoring the ONE GOD that created you. You'd rather spend your time discussing some old Jew who, unfortunately, broke from his ranks and became the star of some new stretch of someone's - some human's - imagination.

So, happy hunting - for your mirage.

Susanne said...

Observant Observer, I love the story of the prodigal son. It's one of my favorite parables if not my favorite!

I agree with what you said. I often explain "faith without works is dead" (the James passage) as our works are because of our salvation not a way to earn it. Because God saved us, we are enabled to do good works. If you don't see works coming forth, that wasn't a living faith.

I think you explained it well. Thanks much!

Susanne said...

Suroor, me too!



In the Vanguard, I apologize for not taking your comment more seriously. I wasn't sure where you were coming from since you just appeared on my blog out of the blue.

I am not a Jew so I don't hold to the Living Testament as my own. How do you explain the passages about a new covenant? I assume you reject the English translations and read and understand the Tanakh in Hebrew and Aramaic. So maybe you can explain it to me.

Your argument about it not being translatable sounds a lot like some Muslims who say the Quran cannot be translated out of the holy language of Arabic.

I rather like discussing my "old Jew" - thanks.

in the vanguard said...

Thanks Suzanne for your warm remarks

Regarding your comparison of the Torah with that other book:

The Koran was written by a human being (a nutcase, to be sure). So let's not compare the Torah, which apparently everyone will agree was a one-time revelation TO AN ENTIRE NATION - by God. The 10 commandments were heard the world over, as they were pronounced. Which is why, generation after generation, knew enough not to relate that happening as a bluff.

The Hebrew language is unlike any other in that every other language was come by - by agreement or acceptance of the terminology. Hebrew, on the other hand, is the language God used for the Torah. In fact, until the Tower of Babel incident, the entire world spoke Hebrew.

Biblical Hebrew has many layers of understanding. The translation of it yields the most superficial of them all, but no less accurate.

Let me give you an example:
The word for UNIVERSE is OLAM. This Hebrew word comes the the 3-letter ROOT word that means "to conceal". (Most Hebrew words derive from a 3-letter ROOT word.) Now, you might ask, what has "concealment" to do with "universe"? Plenty. In a word, God is telling you that HE is playing "hide-and-seek" with us. We need to be aware of life around us and keep a keen eye out for His divine providence, because, despite the perfect clockworks of Nature, it is God that controls the world "behind the scenes".

In fact, the word NATURE in Hebrew ("TEVA") comes from the ROOT word that means "to submerge". That is to say, it may well appear as if no hand can be implicated in the enduring, unchanging, perfect-machine-like rhytmicity of Nature, we know full well that the constancy of Nature is a constant miracle wrought by God.

As for the old Jew, we have literature, written by our sages, that take us back to well over 2,000 years ago. The holy books I speak about, that comprise our oral tradition, also called the Talmud, tell us about this fellow and why he turned tail on his tradition. We don't need "outside" sources to tell us about him.

That's where your tradition kicks in. Who wrote the books you quote from can now be called into question, if only because there have been thousands of versions rendered of that book. And how convenient to these writers and promoters to denigrate the original Bible and call it "old", thus slapping in the face its Author, by implying that The Infinite God could not come up with something permanent or eternal.

Anyways - I'm tired now. Wish you all well. And in case just one of your readers might be interested in what I wrote about "How Many Religions are there in this World?", I invite him/her to read:
http://hezbos.blogspot.com/2010/07/two-modes-of-proper-conduct.html

Again - thanks. It's all said in a way I hope offends nobody.

Daniel said...

@ in the vanguard, this will be brief as I am typing on my phone, in a parking lot at kroger, needing to get home to my wife and children.
Calling the covenant of Moses "old" isn't degrading the Creator. God gave the mosaic covenant as a pointer to Jesus the Messiah. (Which, by the way, I find it difficult to believe you really didn't try to offend anyone using terms like "old Jew" to refer to Jesus.) For example, there is no forgiveness of intentional sins under the mosaic covenant, which I'm sure you are aware of. And Jesus didn't turn tail onthe law, He said He didn't come to destroy it, but to fulfill it. Even the apostle Paul, a staunchly jewis Christian said that we affirm the law by believing on Jesus.
I commend your zeal, to be sure, but feel you are missreresenting some of the facts. I also find it difficult to call the gospels and the epistles (which were written by men who personally spent time with Jesus) "outside" information about Him. It seems more likely that writings by those who didn't follow Him and hated Him would be better classified as "outside information". Don't you think?

in the vanguard said...

Daniel, I appreciate your taking time out while shopping.

God gave the Torah to the Jewish people, giving them the obligation, therefrom, to serve as humanity's lamplighters, to be a model people and to teach others what God expects from them. All Jews were saddled with that obligation. God gave the Torah as a manual of instruction, from which both Jews and Gentiles can live a decent life.

The old Jew I referred to was meant to say the Jew of that olden era. Anyhow, that fellow did break from the Jewish tradition and, although I don't read your books, nor the latest versions of them, he was definitely an outcast, as we know from OUR books.

You may well live with those ideas in your head about this Jew being someone special, and that he said this and that he said that, and you may understand oxymoron terms like "Jewish Christian", and you might think that that Jew wrote "laws" and the like like, but in the end, you are just mouthing stuff you learned from interpreters of some book wfritten by some man, undergone who knows how many revisions, with all kinds of gobbeldy-gook that they "teach" you, and -

you DO spit at the very foundational book of God, and you DO regard His Book, the Torah, as obsolescent, and you do believe what a few people said about one person, when you DO know that God gave the Torah to an ENTIRE Jewish nation.

Our tradition (which should include you as a righteous Gentile) the whole world, at one point, knew about. It's not someone wrote about someone, who says the guy said such and such, ... . It is a fact that for millennia was never disputed because many generations would have looked stupid denying what was a collossal event for hundreds and thousands of years thereafter that people told their children, their grandchildren, across the whole globe, about that one occasion - that culminated in the giving of the 10 commandments to that nation of people, and so it came down to us - until today.

That aside, you say, " there is no forgiveness of intentional sins under the mosaic covenant". Says who? Sure it's not recommended to sin to then beg forgiveness, but your assertion is false, nevertheless. We have real books that go through all the laws of what is correct and what is wrong. We can refer to the paragraph, to the page, where the "sin" is mentioned and explained. Our books, such as the main one written by a latter sage, Maimonides, that covers every "sin" in the entire Bible and Talmud (over 60 huge volumes of Bible commentary), and we have this tradition - SINCE THE TIME OF MOSES in the year 2448 of creation.

Have you such books? NO. You have "preachers" and their talk become your guidelines. Which really translates to mean - you have arbitrary, shifting guidelines.

I suggest you look up the 7 Noahide Laws and begin to wake up to what really is incumbent upon you to understand.

For starters, perhaps read my short post, that you'll find the link to - in my previous comment.

Despite my "attack talk", I say all this is earnest friendship.

Susanne said...

In the Vanguard, thanks for your comment. I enjoy learning others' points of view and I've never had a Jewish person share his/her perspective, sadly. I welcome your thoughts.

The reason I mentioned your comment about sacred language seemed similar to Muslims' thinking about Arabic is because they do believe the Quran is only in Arabic and all the other "translations" can't convey the wonders of the Quran in its Arabic form. I've learned quite a bit about Islam the last three years due to some Muslims coming into my life via the internet so naturally when you said what you did about Hebrew, my mind immediately went to what many Muslims say about their own faith, holy book, sacred language. Hope that explains where I was coming from with my comment.

Also your explanation about Hebrew's root-word system and layers of meaning are ALL things I hear from Muslims about Arabic and the Quran. So many similarities in the language issues if not the content of the two books.

I appreciate your explanation of OLAM and God's "hide and seek" game. That was all very interesting and I agree that He controls what happens behind the scenes.

Speaking for myself, I got the idea of a new covenant (testament) from the Tanakh .. from one of the Jewish prophets actually. So I'm not trying to slap you or God or anyone else in the face by suggesting such a thing. It's in the Jewish book, by a Jewish prophet attributed to the God of Israel.

So you only believe Jewishness is a religion and not also an ethnicity? I see you don't like the idea of a Jewish Christian, but what about a Jew who is atheist like so many in Israel today? I mean someone of the lineage of Judah or Benjamin or Reuben (ethnically a Jew), but who practices another religion or none at all. There were times in Israel's history - as recorded in the Bible - when they worshiped false gods like Baal. Were they no longer Jews because they didn't worship God?

Curious about your thoughts.

Thank you!

in the vanguard said...

Great questions, Suzanne. I wish I had the time to elaborate on all of them.

Regarding the muslim thing - notice first of all how the muslims do mimic us in so many ways. In fact, rather than just mimic us, they go out of their way to "outdo" us. We have fast days, so do they. They even have a fasting MONTH! (although it's a joke because at night they eat. We have kosher, they got halal. We don't eat pork, they don't either. We have prophets, they have one. etc. Why this mimicry? Most probably because the guy who wrote up their book, that so-called prophet, was a worker, or ?servant, for some Jew, in in some Jewish community, for much of his growing up, I suppose. Do you think he made up that religion, or wrote his book, out of sheer originality? Do these people grab you as intelligent? They have 22 huge countries, and look at them. All are dictatorships. They teach hate of the West, even though God created humankind. They kill, amim and torture in the name of their alla. Have you not heard how they're kiling christians in their lands? They are a hot-blooded, hateful bunch, many of them, especially the descendants of Yishmael. (About this you can read here:
http://hezbos.blogspot.com/2010/08/psychology-of-islam-torah-analysis.html
Much of their words, too, mimic ours. Enough said of these people.

As for Jews who live secular lives, and that you can hardly tell them apart from any other neighbor, well that has to do, I suppose, with being "kidnapped at birth", so to speak, by the culture they grew up in. The Jewishness as a religion - from an observer's point of view, looks different, even strange, so, unless they learn about it, they'll want to have nothing to do with it. It is also a matter of convenience, if they do start learning something about it.

In fact, you, as a Noahide, may well have MORE influence in bringing them back to their warm fold, than we observant Jews have the capability of.

Then again, there are always Jews who worship, as you see, teh Ba'al, and the like. I don't know for sure but I do know that Jews, when they left Egypt, had among them many people who converted out of fear, during the year wherein they received 10 plagues, etc. In fact, the Golden Calf incident was mainly THEIR doing, not really a Jewish doing. I suppose that the Jews should have protested, and because they didn't, thus they too were punished.

Anyhow, if there were no avenue of esape from observance, that would mean we'd be bound to observance and have no FREE CHOICE. But God WANTS TO GIVE US FREE CHOICE and thus the phenomena you see.

A somewhat related thing I recently wrote about you can find here:
http://hezbos.blogspot.com/2010/11/extinction-of-reform-judaism.html

All the very best. You may as well consider this your birthday because learning about the Noahide Laws and what it means to become a righteous Gentile is, well, a rebirth, is it not?

All the very best!

Daniel said...

in the vanguard, Thank you for your reply. I apologize for misunderstanding your temperament in your original comment.
I don't know of all the books you speak, and intend to look into it. Although I do not that the Torah lays out prescribed methods for seeking forgiveness for unintentional sins and prescribes nothing short of death for intentional ones (such as adultery). I also agree that the Mosaic Covenant was given to the Jews and they were intended to be a light to the gentile world. That God has always had the intention of including the entire world in His plan of reconciliation (as stated in the Abrahamic Covenant). But the Jews did fail to keep the covenant, God sent prophets to tell them of their rebellion and their spiritual prostitution. God also told them that He would make a new Covenant with them (I think it's in Ezekiel 36-37).
Grant it, I am not knowledgeable about many of the books you speak, but I do not sit and gobble up what a preacher tells me. I do my utmost to examine God's Word and follow what I believe it to be saying. I do not believe in a shifting rule. Someday, maybe I can share what I came out of. The movement I left, I did so for the same reasons of finding an extra biblical standard.
I love the Jews, and believe God is not finished with them. And please understand that I do not spit on the Mosaic Covenant. We obviously disagree as to the intention of that covenant, but I hope you know that I intend no disrespect for it. I believe it to be from God, and intended to be a shadow of the things to come. The New Testament book of Hebrews was written by a converted Jew to converted Jews who were struggling with understanding what was to become of the Mosaic Covenant. If you haven't read it, I would encourage you to, and then welcome your input.

Daniel said...

I have a question also, Vanguard.
If the seven laws of Noah is the way for a gentile to have a meaningful relationship with God, what happens if I do not keep them perfectly?
Is God satisfied with less than holy?
If there is a prescribed sacrifice of an animal that we can bring, then is The Holy God satisfied with less than perfect justice (seeing as animals are not made in God's image, and for a non-image bearing creature incapable of sinning to die in the stead of a sinning image-bearing creature isn't justice). The prophets say "the soul that sins it shall die".
How does this fit?

in the vanguard said...

Dear Daniel,

My humble suggestion to you is the same it was for Suzanne; Go learn about the Noahide"movement". G-d gave us a world in which two sorts of people interact, Jews and Gentiles. Each is expected to behave according to their own prescribed ways. Suzanne asked me why we have 613 and you guts have 7, and I don't really know the answer except to guess that we thus are more closely connected to Him because doing his commandments is the actual channel through which we have a connection to him. A child who loves his father will do as the child says, even if he doesn't understand it, and so we too, to connect to him, must abide by his commandments to us. Know that because G-d is good, never will we be asked to do something beyond our abilities. Also, please do read the posts I suggested to Suzanne - you will find them helpful, I'm sure.

Godspeed on your journies.

in the vanguard said...

By the way, Daniel, and Suzanne, be careful where you step. There are many sharks in them seas. There are many missionary sites, for example, that will profess to some Jewish aspiration or to some Jewish truth, only with the intent of later subverting it.

The site I know is a good place to start your learning adventure of the Noahide Laws and the Noahide creed is at NoahideNations.com. I once spoke to its founder on the phone at some length. And I read some really interesting article by some of its members, BEFORE their forum moved over to become a Yahoo Group. Anyhow, all the best.

Daniel said...

Again, in the vanguard, I ask
"If the seven laws of Noah is the way for a gentile to have a meaningful relationship with God, what happens if I do not keep them perfectly?
Is God satisfied with less than holy?
If there is a prescribed sacrifice of an animal that we can bring, then is The Holy God satisfied with less than perfect justice (seeing as animals are not made in God's image, and for a non-image bearing creature incapable of sinning to die in the stead of a sinning image-bearing creature isn't justice). The prophets say "the soul that sins it shall die".
How does this fit?"
You also said,
"Suzanne asked me why we have 613 and you guts have 7, and I don't really know the answer except to guess that we thus are more closely connected to Him because doing his commandments is the actual channel through which we have a connection to him."
Yet, when king David sinned he said there was no prescription for him to complete to merit God's forgiveness. He threw himself upon the mercies of God.
I've also done some research on the Talmud and found that it is essentially a written commentary that was created mostly due to the destruction of the temple in 70 AD. The Talmud is a documented form or men commenting on the law of God. It wasn't delivered by God as was the mosaic law. So it seems to me that if one relies on the Talmud to interpret the law, he is just as guilty as what he accuses some Christians of doing - that being, letting a preacher tell them what God's Word means.
I think it wrong to use any book other than the one given by God to interpret God's Word.
Since Jesus Christ has come, there is no more distinction between Jew and Gentile. The veil was torn at His crucifixion. He rose again the 3rd day, as was testified by over 500 eye witnesses. Men, such as Nicodemus, John, Peter, Paul - thoroughly Jewish (some well learned and others more brute in their education)believed and preached Jesus as the Messiah. It took an act of God to convince the Jewish Christians (that's what they were) to evangelize the Gentiles. So for Jesus to be so anti-Jewish and yet get an abundant following from the Jews is astounding to me. Even Paul, probably the greatest apologists for Christianity, was a Pharisee of Pharisees. He knew the law. He hated Jesus and was literally knocked off his horse on the way to persecute followers of Jesus. He converted to Christianity. What would cause him to "defect"? He had it all. Power, prestige, etc. Yet he said he counted it all loss to know Jesus Christ. I am told by Paul that Jews see Jesus as a stumbling block, Peter even said that the Jews stumble over Jesus. Jesus came saying that He is the Messiah, the Prince of Peace, the Son of God. He did miracles to validate His words (as the prophets of old did). He said He would die and rise again, and He foretold of the fall of Jerusalem that did happen in 70 AD.
He is prophesied in Isaiah 63, Psalm 22, and more.
He is the seed of the woman God promised Eve in the book of Genesis, that would set all things right again.
He is my sacrifice, once for all. It is by His blood that God sees me as worthy to stand in His presence. Apart from Jesus I have no right to pray to God, read His Word, or even try to keep His rules.
I know it seems I got a little side tracked, but Jesus is the key you are missing. I tell you there is no prescribed sacrifice in the law of God for intentional sins and you point me to the Talmud (a book outside of God's law) for a prescription. I point you to Jesus the Son of God. There is no temple now, yet you insist that the Mosaic covenant is eternal and changeless. Where do you sacrifice now? Has the blood sacrifices that were to be shed on the altar in the temple ceased, and does God accept different sacrifices than what He prescribed in the Mosaic Covenant?
I'll stop as I've asked enough questions for now. Thank you for taking the time to read it.

Daniel said...

Again, in the vanguard, I ask
"If the seven laws of Noah is the way for a gentile to have a meaningful relationship with God, what happens if I do not keep them perfectly?
Is God satisfied with less than holy?
If there is a prescribed sacrifice of an animal that we can bring, then is The Holy God satisfied with less than perfect justice (seeing as animals are not made in God's image, and for a non-image bearing creature incapable of sinning to die in the stead of a sinning image-bearing creature isn't justice). The prophets say "the soul that sins it shall die".
How does this fit?"
You also said,
"Suzanne asked me why we have 613 and you guts have 7, and I don't really know the answer except to guess that we thus are more closely connected to Him because doing his commandments is the actual channel through which we have a connection to him."
Yet, when king David sinned he said there was no prescription for him to complete to merit God's forgiveness. He threw himself upon the mercies of God.
I've also done some research on the Talmud and found that it is essentially a written commentary that was created mostly due to the destruction of the temple in 70 AD. The Talmud is a documented form or men commenting on the law of God. It wasn't delivered by God as was the mosaic law. So it seems to me that if one relies on the Talmud to interpret the law, he is just as guilty as what he accuses some Christians of doing - that being, letting a preacher tell them what God's Word means.
I think it wrong to use any book other than the one given by God to interpret God's Word. …(cont)

Daniel said...

Since Jesus Christ has come, there is no more distinction between Jew and Gentile. The veil was torn at His crucifixion. He rose again the 3rd day, as was testified by over 500 eye witnesses. Men, such as Nicodemus, John, Peter, Paul - thoroughly Jewish (some well learned and others more brute in their education)believed and preached Jesus as the Messiah. It took an act of God to convince the Jewish Christians (that's what they were) to evangelize the Gentiles. So for Jesus to be so anti-Jewish and yet get an abundant following from the Jews is astounding to me. Even Paul, probably the greatest apologists for Christianity, was a Pharisee of Pharisees. He knew the law. He hated Jesus and was literally knocked off his horse on the way to persecute followers of Jesus. He converted to Christianity. What would cause him to "defect"? He had it all. Power, prestige, etc. Yet he said he counted it all loss to know Jesus Christ. I am told by Paul that Jews see Jesus as a stumbling block, Peter even said that the Jews stumble over Jesus. Jesus came saying that He is the Messiah, the Prince of Peace, the Son of God. He did miracles to validate His words (as the prophets of old did). He said He would die and rise again, and He foretold of the fall of Jerusalem that did happen in 70 AD.
He is prophesied in Isaiah 63, Psalm 22, and more.
He is the seed of the woman God promised Eve in the book of Genesis, that would set all things right again.
He is my sacrifice, once for all. It is by His blood that God sees me as worthy to stand in His presence. Apart from Jesus I have no right to pray to God, read His Word, or even try to keep His rules.
I know it seems I got a little side tracked, but Jesus is the key you are missing. I tell you there is no prescribed sacrifice in the law of God for intentional sins and you point me to the Talmud (a book outside of God's law) for a prescription. I point you to Jesus the Son of God. There is no temple now, yet you insist that the Mosaic covenant is eternal and changeless. Where do you sacrifice now? Has the blood sacrifices that were to be shed on the altar in the temple ceased, and does God accept different sacrifices than what He prescribed in the Mosaic Covenant?
I'll stop as I've asked enough questions for now. Thank you for taking the time to read it.

Daniel said...

Since Jesus Christ has come, there is no more distinction between Jew and Gentile. The veil was torn at His crucifixion. He rose again the 3rd day, as was testified by over 500 eye witnesses. Men, such as Nicodemus, John, Peter, Paul - thoroughly Jewish (some well learned and others more brute in their education)believed and preached Jesus as the Messiah. It took an act of God to convince the Jewish Christians (that's what they were) to evangelize the Gentiles. So for Jesus to be so anti-Jewish and yet get an abundant following from the Jews is astounding to me. Even Paul, probably the greatest apologists for Christianity, was a Pharisee of Pharisees. He knew the law. He hated Jesus and was literally knocked off his horse on the way to persecute followers of Jesus. He converted to Christianity. What would cause him to "defect"? He had it all. Power, prestige, etc. Yet he said he counted it all loss to know Jesus Christ. I am told by Paul that Jews see Jesus as a stumbling block, Peter even said that the Jews stumble over Jesus. Jesus came saying that He is the Messiah, the Prince of Peace, the Son of God. He did miracles to validate His words (as the prophets of old did). He said He would die and rise again, and He foretold of the fall of Jerusalem that did happen in 70 AD.
He is prophesied in Isaiah 63, Psalm 22, and more.
He is the seed of the woman God promised Eve in the book of Genesis, that would set all things right again.
He is my sacrifice, once for all. It is by His blood that God sees me as worthy to stand in His presence. Apart from Jesus I have no right to pray to God, read His Word, or even try to keep His rules.
I know it seems I got a little side tracked, but Jesus is the key you are missing. I tell you there is no prescribed sacrifice in the law of God for intentional sins and you point me to the Talmud (a book outside of God's law) for a prescription. I point you to Jesus the Son of God. There is no temple now, yet you insist that the Mosaic covenant is eternal and changeless. Where do you sacrifice now? Has the blood sacrifices that were to be shed on the altar in the temple ceased, and does God accept different sacrifices than what He prescribed in the Mosaic Covenant?
I'll stop as I've asked enough questions for now. Thank you for taking the time to read it.

Daniel said...

Since Jesus Christ has come, there is no more distinction between Jew and Gentile. The veil was torn at His crucifixion. He rose again the 3rd day, as was testified by over 500 eye witnesses. Men, such as Nicodemus, John, Peter, Paul - thoroughly Jewish (some well learned and others more brute in their education)believed and preached Jesus as the Messiah. It took an act of God to convince the Jewish Christians (that's what they were) to evangelize the Gentiles. So for Jesus to be so anti-Jewish and yet get an abundant following from the Jews is astounding to me. Even Paul, probably the greatest apologists for Christianity, was a Pharisee of Pharisees. He knew the law. He hated Jesus and was literally knocked off his horse on the way to persecute followers of Jesus. He converted to Christianity. What would cause him to "defect"? He had it all. Power, prestige, etc. Yet he said he counted it all loss to know Jesus Christ. I am told by Paul that Jews see Jesus as a stumbling block, Peter even said that the Jews stumble over Jesus. Jesus came saying that He is the Messiah, the Prince of Peace, the Son of God. He did miracles to validate His words (as the prophets of old did). He said He would die and rise again, and He foretold of the fall of Jerusalem that did happen in 70 AD. (cont)

Daniel said...

He is prophesied in Isaiah 63, Psalm 22, and more.
He is the seed of the woman God promised Eve in the book of Genesis, that would set all things right again.
He is my sacrifice, once for all. It is by His blood that God sees me as worthy to stand in His presence. Apart from Jesus I have no right to pray to God, read His Word, or even try to keep His rules.
I know it seems I got a little side tracked, but Jesus is the key you are missing. I tell you there is no prescribed sacrifice in the law of God for intentional sins and you point me to the Talmud (a book outside of God's law) for a prescription. I point you to Jesus the Son of God. There is no temple now, yet you insist that the Mosaic covenant is eternal and changeless. Where do you sacrifice now? Has the blood sacrifices that were to be shed on the altar in the temple ceased, and does God accept different sacrifices than what He prescribed in the Mosaic Covenant?
I'll stop as I've asked enough questions for now. Thank you for taking the time to read it.

in the vanguard said...

Daniel - excuse me but I have no time for reading your nonsense about that Jewish outcast of long ago. You have much to learn. You can choose to walk in light - or choose to walk in darkness. You have free will; Use it as your mind best directs you.

Daniel said...

In the Vanguard, I am sorry you feel that way. I willingly listened to you speak of the law, yet you refuse to listen to me speak of The One who fulfilled that law. I listened to you speak of the mosaic covenant, yet you do not wish to hear me speak of The One to whom that covenant pointed. I ask questions and you do not answer them. I point out inconsistencies in your thinking/position and you fail to address them. Due to my willingness to carefully hear you, and your unwillingness to carefully hear me, I see no reason to continue this discussion.
I am not angry with youin the least, rather sad that you will not attempt to dialogue. Since you seem to prefer listening to your own words I will close with this: "You have much to learn. You can choose to walk in light -or choose to walk in darkness. You have free will" but I add "may the goodness of God in Christ Jesus lead you to repentance."

Karrie said...

Ah, posts like this... why I love you, Susanne!

You're a thinker.

My opinion on so much of it is... People will always say "it's not (insert religion here), it's the misinterpretation of (insert religion here) that some people have"....

So much of organized religion consists of people claiming that those who don't think like them (for good or for ill) aren't *really* true followers.. people on BOTH sides of many topics claim it - but there is no emperical way to say who's right... so everyone continues on their own paths.

The way that people are able to pick and choose what they justify with their particular religion reminds me of the saying "..and Man made God in his own image" - i.e. - it says much more about the people themselves than the diety they claim to follow.

Susanne said...

Karrie, thanks for dropping by! :)

I loved what you had to say and this:

""..and Man made God in his own image" - i.e. - it says much more about the people themselves than the diety they claim to follow."

sounds so true. What's that saying about if "God" hates everyone/thing you hate, and loves everyone/thing you love, there's a pretty good chance you've made God into your own image. Wonderful reminder!

Thank you for what you added!