Christians ignore the views the Jews have of their own beliefs?

I came across a great comment from a former Christian believer on a great post that questions Christianity in a way that takes Christian views into account.  Here is the blog post:

And here is the comment (posted by permission):

“Speaking as a former believer; had you asked me that question while I was a believer I would have said, simply, ‘no’. I didn’t think there was anything that would make me think that my view about God was mistaken. I had no trouble accepting that the God of the Bible was a supernatural entity that was…ineffable.

All of that, however, hinged on this:

The Bible, consisting of all the books of the Old and New Testaments, is the Word of God, a supernaturally given revelation from God Himself, concerning Himself, His being, nature, character, will and purposes; and concerning man, his nature, need and duty and destiny. The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are without error or misstatement in their moral and spiritual teaching and record of historical facts. They are without error or defect of any kind.”

When I learned how the Bible was actually put together, coupled with the reasons the Jews don’t believe that Jesus is Messiah (questions I have no idea why I never asked myself before), multiplied by the inconsistencies in the Bible when read objectively, my faith fell apart like a house of cards but, kind of, in slow motion. Some have accused me of “Bible worship” and said that the Bible was my idol. My reply is that the Bible is the document that forbids idolatry. If it isn’t the word of God, if it’s fallible man’s understanding of the world around him, why should I put any more credence in those words than any other. The Bible is the very document that is supposedly God’s revelation to mankind. If it’s only man’s revelation of his progress toward greater understanding how do I know if this God even exists, that any of these words are his any more than any other religious text? The short answer is: I don’t.

The Bible, the one that Christian believers value, tells them that the wisdom of the world is foolishness to God. So you’ll likely find a good many who, no matter what evidence they’re presented with, will never change their minds or believe they are mistaken about God. The stakes are just too great, and while they may not admit it, their belief in God is not based on any tangible evidence at all.”

(commenter’s blog: http://gulliblestravelsdma.wordpress.com/)

The comment about not taking Jewish belief into account in that Jesus is not seen as the Messiah is what really caught my attention.

Christians typically seem to have a difficult time considering perspectives from outside of their faith, but this observation suggests that their faith is built upon the Jewish faith without much consideration for the general perspective of the Jews. 

If Jesus fulfills Jewish prophesy so well, why aren’t Jews convinced?

This does seem to be a good indicator of why Christianity demonstrates a strong desire to evangelize.  You know, like how Beta video tape machines were superior to VHS, but because word was spread more effectively in supporting VHS that it ended up becoming the standard tape machine?  I don’t think this is all that different, though Judaism’s superiority would be in understanding its own beliefs.

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32 Responses to Christians ignore the views the Jews have of their own beliefs?

  1. nikeyo says:

    Examining ancient and second-temple Judaism was also what started my card deck of Christian theology to go crashing down. It simply does not make sense. Especially when Jesus’ recorded sayings are read in proper Jewish and Hebrew context. What the Christian religion has become is so far removed from it’s roots and, most likely, what the original Jesus character would have wanted, if he existed, and if any of the writings are accurate.

  2. Arkenaten says:

    It was Pauline doctrine from the word go.

    Jesus became a pawn for the Roman Church.

  3. Ruth says:

    It is a rather significant point. The New Testament Christian faith is entirely built on prophecy from the Old Testament. I was taught that the Jews had to reject Jesus as it was part of prophecy. I was taught that they had completely misunderstood the message from their god about Messiah. So I never bothered to look into it any further until I started to have doubts. Their reasons are varied and many. It’s not so simple as ‘they misunderstood’.

    This is a good summary:

    http://www.jewsforjudaism.ca/resources-info/the-jewish-messiah

  4. Soduhson says:

    We forget that the early Christians themselves were Jews. In fact, the doctrine of the trinity (ironically) was an attempt to keep Christianity in sync with the Jewish derived monotheism. If Christianity wasn’t interested in connecting Christianity to Judaism the early church would have accepted the demi-god or separate god interpretation of Jesus’ godhood.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      Some people do believe things without double checking full accuracy of the claims – just look at some of the lines politicians feed people in order gain votes. Choose a side on the pro-life/pro-choice debate and surely you will have people who vote only on that issue while ignoring other issues that might actually have a greater impact on society. Offer people eternal life, and surely people will jump on board without seeing that there is unmet prophesy.

      Christianity was derived from Judaism, of course they are going to work to keep that connection as a way to legitimize the belief. Jesus worked from Judaism in order to do what he did. I’m sure he knew full well the unlikeliness of many people double-checking every last detail, and that if he could pull off a resurrection, anyone double-checking would easily be overshadowed by what witnesses believed they experienced.

      • Soduhson says:

        We also ignore the fact that Judaism was (and is) not a unified faith. While not as divided as Christianity (another debate for another time), it was very diverse. Christianity can be looked at as a subjectively “incorrect” interpretation of Jewish scripture and doctrine, but to suggest it’s a mistranslation (implying they didn’t know their own teachings) is an ignorant, essentialist, (borderline anti-Semitic) argument. You actually could make the case that instead of looking at Christianity as a branch from the “tree” of Judaism, you can look at Christianity and Rabbinical Judaism as two branches split simultaneously from each other.

      • jasonjshaw says:

        Are there any faiths that are unified?

      • Soduhson says:

        There is always division. Even among softer, secular, and/or satire religions (Like the Atheist Mega Churches or the Universalist Unitarians).

        It’s really a matter of whether or not faiths are “less divided” than previously assumed. Also, are faiths’ divisions based on pertinent information. Or is it a “priests can or cannot have beards” sort of issue.

  5. Derek says:

    Hey Jason,
    I just saw your comment directing me here. Two things: many Jews were convinced that Jesus is Lord. A majority (I think) of the first round of Christians were Jewish. Most of the Jews not being convinced was part of a prophecy in Psalm 118. “The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief corner stone. This is the LORD’S doing; It is marvelous in our eyes…” As you point out in your VHS example, the facts, or in this case the fulfillment of prophecies, are sadly often only an annoyance to the hardhearted skeptic.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      That’s not prophesy. Psalms were written before Jesus’ time and this one is speaking in present-tense, not of the future.

      Also, there is God-supported destroying of nations in this psalm. That does not fit well with Jesus’ important message to love your neighbour as yourself.

  6. Derek says:

    Your lack of Biblical knowledge is slowing you down here.

    A lot of prophecy’s are written in the present tense. Jesus refers to the Psalms as prophecy.
    Matthew 22:44, and a bunch of other places.

    God does destroy nations that are evil because he is just. The real Jesus is not opposed to this either Luke 10:13, your fictionalized Jesus (who seems bizarrely ignorant of the psalms that the real Jesus quotes multiple times) may not, but that’s beside the point.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      So thoughtful that God left things so confusing if that is indeed the case.

      No, Jesus is bringing about change. It’s the inconsistency of God that is my issue. And that Psalm wasn’t God doing the destroying, it was from a human writer’s perspective. Jesus taught his followers to love their enemies, not fight back. That’s the opposite of this psalm writer praising God for being able to destroy others. Together it depicts an inconsistent God.

      It seems so naive of God to have not done the self-sacrifice atonement for sins to begin with rather than have to change His ways through time like a human would.

      • Derek says:

        It definitely becomes confusing if you don’t read it, or try to draw a new reading from the text that the text doesn’t support. I don’t think that you can blame God for that though. Can you elaborate on what exactly you find confusing?

        “No, Jesus is bringing about change.”
        I’m not sure what this sentence is talking about. At face value, I think I agree.

        There is no inconsistency about God. You need to actually read these things for yourself and come up with a text-based argument rather than mix a pop-culture Jesus with cultural hearsay about the Old Testament God to draw the inconsistency. If that’s all you’ve got, I agree that those two characters are inconsistent, but they’re also not the whole picture. I’ve heard this argument before, but it’s always from people who cherry-pick scripture and aren’t prepared for someone who has actually read the Bible to respond outside the scope of their limited reading.

        I’m not sure what you’re trying to say exactly here, but the Old Testament points to Jesus over and over and over again. Why God chose the exact moment in time to be a human and die for our sins is not something I can claim insight on.

      • jasonjshaw says:

        “Why God chose the exact moment in time to be a human and die for our sins is not something I can claim insight on.”

        Yes! It basically boils down to God making up the rules as He goes at His whim. It begs the question, why didn’t God set things up right to begin with?

        And with how consistent existence is as we know it, it seems odd that God doesn’t fit with that sort of consistency.

      • Derek says:

        “Yes! It basically boils down to God making up the rules as He goes at His whim. It begs the question, why didn’t God set things up right to begin with?”

        Haha! This again! God’s creation was good. Man sinned, rebelled against God, and God’s creation went bad as a result of Man’s disobedience. God, in his mercy and grace, sent Jesus to suffer the penalty we deserve so that we could have a relationship with God again.

        And with how consistent existence is as we know it, it seems odd that God doesn’t fit with that sort of consistency.

        Can you explain what you mean by consistent? In every way I can think of the universe for you and I is incredibly consistent. Gravity, air to breath, temperatures conducive to survival, etc. Maybe you mean something different than those things.

      • jasonjshaw says:

        God would have known it would go bad though and he would have put the Jesus plan in motion right from the start, instead of going through having to kill all sorts of people and allow animal sacrifice atonement to go wrong. God comes across like a fallible human in the way He handles things – and that is the inconsistency of the Christian version of God. God lacks foresight and has to keep making changes.

    • Derek says:

      He does know that it would go bad from the start. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t all going to be better in the end though. If God is God, I have faith he knows what he’s doing. Animal sacrifices point to Jesus.

      It’s hard for me to respond without an actual example here, so I guess I’ll just say I disagree and point out that you’ve provided no actual evidence or example.

      • jasonjshaw says:

        God having to change from animal sacrifice to self-sacrifice is the evidence. If God knew how things were to go, He could have set things up properly to begin with instead of allowing animal sacrifice to fail and then having to try something new.

    • Derek says:

      The animal sacrifices were never “good enough” they were always simply a sign post point to Jesus who would be an end of all sacrifice. I was going to paste Hebrews 10, but you can look it up yourself. Can’t God decide for himself when he wants to send Jesus to be a sacrifice for our sins? I genuinely don’t understand even the supposed inconsistency here. Animal sacrifices were only symbolic. “It is impossible for the blood of a bulls and goats to take away sins”.

      If you ask, well then how were people who God loved and who loved God saved before Jesus, this is a great question. They were saved by their faith looking forward in time to Jesus in the same way we are saved looking back through time.

      • jasonjshaw says:

        For being just a sign post, Jesus seemed pretty pissed off about what became of that sign (money changers in the Temple).

        Did God not foresee that happening either?

        The Christian God seems to me to be too flawed a character to be the embodiment of perfection.

    • Derek says:

      Jesus wasn’t angry with animal sacrifices when he drove out the bankers in the temple. He was angry at the highway robbery happening in a place designated for the worship of God.

      God did know this would happen. “Zeal for your house consumes me”

      God is flawless. We are the ones that have fallen short of the mark of perfection.

      • jasonjshaw says:

        Why would God be angry about something He knew would happen? That’s not logical and that suggests imperfection.

      • Derek says:

        You’ll have to explain how one should not be angry if you knew something would happen, but in a lieu of such an explanation, I’ll try to infer what you’re getting at.

        As humans, we have reactions to things in time. We get angry when we realize something bad has happened at our own expense. Over time, that anger often cools and we are not angry, or as angry anymore once the infraction against us has been weakened by the passing of time. Sometimes we remain angry, but we of course we were not angry about the event before the event happened.

        God does not exist in time like you and I do. He is eternal. He knows everything that will happen. He knows everything that did happen. He doesn’t get angry like a reaction. He gets angry because something has happened that is contrary to his perfect will and perfect desires for his creation. He is not surprised by our deeds. He is as angry with them now as he was before you were born. Since Christians, however, have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

      • jasonjshaw says:

        Do you realize that so many of your defences of my points are basically “because you can’t apply human logic to God”?

        That basically gives you an open-ended argument that lacks any logical substance.

        If you give a group of high-energy children a fragile porcelain figurine to play with, you know it’s very likely to get broken. If you did that and then got mad at them for breaking it, I would think you’re a fool just like I think the Christian version of God is a fool for getting mad at people making money off of animal sacrifices when He knew it would happen. If God is mad at anyone, it should be Himself – and that would be a sign of imperfection.

      • Derek says:

        “Do you realize that so many of your defences of my points are basically ‘because you can’t apply human logic to God’?”

        I’m not sure where I said that, so I guess my answer is, no I do not realize any instances of that claim are present in my defenses. Maybe you could cut and paste one?

        “That basically gives you an open-ended argument that lacks any logical substance.”
        What? So if God really is eternal, which is absolutely necessary by the way, I have an “open-ended” argument? For the argument lacking “logical substance” it’s peculiarly lacking a substantial logical response. I can’t, thankfully, change who or what God is so you can have a stronger argument against him.

        In your example, and this is not the first time, you are eager to remove all human culpability from the situation. This is a really important point: people choose sin. Your hyper children analogy sums this up perfectly. Humanity to you is just a bunch of adorable children who have a predilection for destruction because they’ve been fed poorly, and they are dumb kids after all. God has much more respect for us than your delinquent babysitter does for her children, and at the same time he asks much more of us. We choose sin. God is not responsible for our refusal to do what He lovingly pleads with us to do. We are.

      • jasonjshaw says:

        You completely sidestepped the point. The point is that God knows how things will go wrong, such as giving kids something that you know they will break. It is illogical to be mad about things going wrong when you know, as both the person in the example as well as God, know perfectly well.

        And yes, when I challenged you about God killing so many people, it’s ok because He’s God. Whenever I challenge you about God acting immorally, you back it up by suggesting it is ok – because if it says God did it, it must be ok because God did it, regardless of how immoral it is or seems from a human perspective.

      • Derek says:

        You completely sidestepped the point.
        I didn’t mean to sidestep the point, there was just a greater assumption you made that made the rest of your argument far less relevant. Can you address the culpability of humans or do you not think humans are responsible for what they do?

        “The point is that God knows how things will go wrong, such as giving kids something that you know they will break.”

        Man, where were you when I was a teenager. My parents got mad at me fairly often for good reasons, but armed with your logic I could have explained that I was quite obviously going to make mistakes in my life and their anger was illogical. But of course, they weren’t angry because I had surprised them, but instead they were angry because I had done something wrong. I had fallen short of a standard. God’s standard is much higher, yet the same kind of anger is present when we disobey God. Predictability does not mean that right and wrong suddenly don’t matter.

        “And yes, when I challenged you about God killing so many people, it’s ok because He’s God. ”
        Not what I said exactly, but to your point you had no actual counterargument.

        “Whenever I challenge you about God acting immorally, you back it up by suggesting it is ok – because if it says God did it, it must be ok because God did it, regardless of how immoral it is or seems from a human perspective.”

        Well God is perfect. That’s true. Do you have an actual argument here? You claim God does immoral things, but I keep explaining (note: not just saying God is God, although that’s true) how God’s actions are not immoral and you keep failing to prove they are immoral. We can have the discussion or you can cling your unfounded belief God is immoral but let’s avoid existing in this fictitious world where I’m not actually proving everything I claim with reason and evidence.

      • jasonjshaw says:

        It’s a double standard! Don’t children learn from their parents by example?

        God kills people, it’s ok! He’s perfect. He has reasons! But no, it’s a ‘do as I say, not as I do’ situation. That’s some poor parenting right there.

        So, tell me of a situation where your parents knew you were going to do something wrong ahead of time and then got mad at you for it. If they knew the wrong thing you were going to do ahead of time, they should have no reason to be getting angry at you, unless they are simply trying to control you or they are not good at teaching about consequences.

  7. Derek says:

    *Prophecies
    Oh my goodness. Thank you for being so forgiving of my grammar and spelling.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      No worries, I know that I’m known to mis-type or change thoughts mid-sentence now and then. That’s one thing that I learned from Christianity is that the concept of grace is a good one to keep in mind.

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