Posts tagged ‘judaism’
This is a true story that just missed being included in the bible by a whisker.
Herschel and Lucy Goldman are in their early 40’s living in Judea. Herschel is a tent maker and Lucy is a homemaker. They work hard all day and in the evenings when they gather as a family for a meal, they always invite local people who have no family of their own to join them. They believe this is how Yahweh wants them to treat others.
Every Saturday, they go to the synagogue to worship God and pray for a messiah. They are praying for a saviour to free them from the Romans and bring peace to the region. They hope for a king of the Jews to lift them out of their hardships. They trust god, who has brought them this far, to continue to be at their side and help them know when ‘the One’ has come.
At this time, there are regular rumours and mumblings of messiahs. People are so desperate for salvation that it seems that some are willing to fall for any old claim. Hershel and Lucy are reasonable people. They believe that god will make it clear to them who is the one, and that they should trust him. While they have an idea of what they are expecting in a messiah, they know that Yahweh moves in mysterious ways; so they tell their children to always keen an open mind.
Recently, there has been another messiah claim. This time it is about a guy called Jesus of Nazareth…
One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Romans 12:2 –
Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world but be transformed by renewing the mind…
One of the major patterns of thinking humanity has created and cultivated is religion. This, in most cases, includes a deity who is to be feared unless a long list of unattainable demands are met. Failure typically means spending eternity being relentlessly tortured.
Judaism follows this pattern. An ancient nomadic Middle Eastern tribe created a god who demanded blood and a long list of rituals in order that they would be forgiven of their transgressions. The description of the ritualistic slaughter of innocent animals and the amount of blood which flowed in the temple as a result of these sacrifices would make any modern day bloody thriller seem like a children’s movie. This god also gave divine direction to their conquests as he demanded the extermination of entire nations of people including babies, children, and animals. A Christian will tell you that this was required in order to somehow bring to an end to evil pagan practices such as sacrificing babies to idols. I think it’s a bit ironic that babies are killed in order to stop the killing of babies. How does that make sense?
Christianity continues to build on this pattern as God ended up having to sacrifice himself to himself as the ultimate penalty for man’s sin…
I have recently posted a blog about how I have personal reasons to believe in a God, which goes in well with how comforting superstitions can be when it comes to finding easy answers. I’m going to touch on a list of reasons why I don’t believe in Jesus Christ as redeemer, the risen one, alpha and omega, and so on.
1. The Trinity doesn’t make sense
You may find evidence for a Trinity in the Bible, but it’s not clear and wasn’t so until the Nicene Creed was established. The word “Trinity” isn’t in the Bible, neither is a single verse in the Bible that says that all are of the same yet all are different. The Idea is received from several verses however, so it’s not necessarily a blind assumption. A comprehensive study of the Trinity will still lead to it not making any sense. The result was that I just had to ‘believe’ in it anyways.
2. Clashing theologies, clashing denominations
There’s always a denomination demonizing another and there’s too many churches out there saying they have the select elite going to heaven while everyone else is doomed( even though they believe in Christ). My biggest issue was this is that I could not find a theology I was at peace with – The result was I just had to ‘believe’ I had the right theology anyways. What if you’re wrong? You see Christians are still at risk for eternal damnation according to their opposing denominations. There is no sure fire way a Christian can know they’re saved without just ‘believing’ which in the end makes no sense…
One of the most interesting phenomena of American Christianity is its apparent affinity for Judaism. Politicans regularly speak of a “Judeo-Christian” moral base for American law (even though it is, in reality, closer to Roman law), and evangelicals often refer to their “Judaic” or “Jewish” roots – especially with those sophisticated enough to realize Jesus was not a blonde-hair blue-eyed American. I don’t feel the need to extrapolate all of the ways that American evangelical Christians look fondly at the Jewish nation – it is fairly transparent. But it isn’t the only thing about the “Judeo-Christian” tradition of America that is transparent.
There is no way of getting around it: Christianity, in any form other than the most original Jesus movement (in which we can probably only see a glimpse of through the Ebionites of the 1st and 2nd centuries), is directly antithetical not only to the Jewish tradition, but to the Jewish people. This is the most dishonest aspect of contemporary evangelicalism: “we” are friends with “you” [Jews] here on earth, but guess what – you messed it all up and now only “we” [Christians] can regain the paradise lost…
Way back in the beginnings of d-C (yea, March of this year), Roopster posted some troubling examples of what Jesus thinks about family values. Whether it was his youthfully pious mischievousness (Luke 2), his insensitive treatment of a man’s dead father (Luke 9), his over-the-top hyperboles on hate (Luke 14:26), or his inability to reconcile the institution of the family with service to God (Matthew 10:34-36, Luke 18:29-30, Matthew 23:9), Jesus didn’t seem as enthusiastic about family values as Focus on the Family and others lead us to believe.
I feel we should maybe, due to a slightly larger contributor and reader base, revisit that topic a little bit. It does seem awfully important in today’s politics, among other places, to distinguish oneself as a “family-values” proponent. Of course, this isn’t limited to the Christian Right: Muslims, Mormons, Orthodox and Conservative Jews, and other such religious groups all somehow believe their flavour of faith champions family values. I haven’t read too much of the The Book of Mormon yet, but it doesn’t take very long into the Tanakh or Koran to get the head scratching. When it comes to “family values,” it is rather surprising that the topic isn’t swept under the rug in embarrassment.
Of course when Focus on the Family and the Religious Right speaks about “family values,” the focus is rather limited to an oddball arrangement of minor issues that are blown up to make it seem like they are “[affirming] the Bible’s far-reaching impact on religion, culture and history…”