Gean Guk Jeon on Jacob’s Vow yourphariseefriend on Jacob’s Vow Wat de boer niet ken… on The Return of Justinas Pr… Annelise Taylor on Are We Them? LarryB on Are We Them?
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Are We Them?
Some of us find ourselves in societies which place much emphasis on human dignity and the rights of the individual. It is so tempting and so convenient to look out from the safety of our respective societies and pass judgment upon those societies and those people who don’t share our values. “Look at them,” we say, “see how their society is so corrupt and so evil, I am not them, we are not them and we will never be them.”
But is this true? Can this be true?
Did you ever watch a pantomime? The actors maneuver their bodies in a way that would convince the audience that they are negotiating with a physical reality when in fact there is nothing there. The actions and the motions of the actors project a reality which is no reality.
Human dignity is real but it is invisible. Even if…
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The exile could not possibly be caused by Israel refusing to pray to or pay homage to a son of man, Period! Do you know how I know this clearly and unambiguously?
“You saw no form of any kind the day the LORD spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully, so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman, or like any animal on earth or any bird that flies in the air, or like any creature that moves along the ground or any fish in the waters below. And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars–all the heavenly array–do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the LORD your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven.” (Deuteronomy 4:15-19)
Your gospel texts confirm that I have the right reading of Deuteronomy 4 because when the beast of revelation comes seeking worship as a man claiming to be a god sitting in the temple, your book tells you to ignore such a one at the cost of your very life.
Ergo, you have a double standard, special pleading, and cognitive dissonance that you are applying unconsciously only in the case of the Nazarene.
I say the Bible teaches unilaterally not to pray to or pay homage to anything that looks like a human being.
You would say the same, but you make an exception for Jesus.
However, I do not even see a physical Nazarene anywhere on planet earth at the moment do you?
You say he is in heaven!
Meanwhile, I see images, sects, and pop culture images everywhere!
So, in the here and now, what is it in terms of actual divine service that you are advocating?
You would love people to go to a Church on Sunday, or Saturday and look at a wooden image of a man on a cross, and hear the stories, hoping that they be reminded and associate this image and various prophetic texts with Yeshua who died 2,000 years ago.
The verses I gave you just above would completely contradict this kind of religious service in form if not functionally as foreign to the covenant.
You never met Jesus, neither did I, we only heard the stories from pastors and family. Based on these stories, we went to Church, where we saw crosses or Crucifixes, and they said “Jesus died for you” pointing to that image!
Imagine if instead of a golden calf, Israel had made a golden Moses.
Based off of their memories of him, they teach the people.
Imagine that while Moses is on the mountain, the people of Israel are telling stories of his mighty works and setting up communities. People go to large temples and gaze at the Golden Moses behind the pulpit and they are healed from all matter of diseases. They sing songs about Moses, they celebrate his birth, his miraculous escape from Egyot, and they await the day he will return.
Now, imagine that he is on the mountain for 1,000 years. Everyone who knew him while he was on earth has died. Are you telling me that he would recognize a damn thing when he comes down with the tablets of the law?
I submit to you, that this is the only kind of service you could ever be advocating for concerning Jesus, because that kind of service is all the gospels have to offer.
I thought I should draw attention to a point that has been stated many
times, but perhaps could bear repeating. When you write that the
Christian messiah rules in heaven, so that he fulfills the passage in
Jeremiah from which you quoted, it should be noted that this is a claim
without any evidence, fitting within the pattern of general Christian
proofs which are invisible. If Jesus rules in a heavenly realm, none of
us can know that. Yet, the passage does contain elements that would be
visible if they had been fulfilled. Jeremiah writes of a time of peace,
a time when Judah will be saved and when Jerusalem would be secure
(Jeremiah 33:16). If these things had happened in the time of Jesus,
they would have been observed and known. However, the opposite happened.
Shortly after the coming of the Christian messiah, no one could say that
Judah had been saved or that Jerusalem dwelt in security. Instead, great
tragedy befell them.
One observes then, that the Christian claims lack credibility, because
any element of a prophecy that could be tested, Jesus is supposed to
have fulfilled in secret. Any elements that would be known publicly, he
did not fulfill. While Christians claim that Jesus fulfilled many
prophecies, these fulfillments must be taken on faith, for they are
private events of which virtually no one had any knowledge. One must be
highly dubious of the claims to fulfilled prophecy that happen in secret.
Let me ask you, honestly, would you accept similar proofs from any other
claimant to the title of Messiah or even Prophet? Let us say a man
arises, claiming to the Jesus returned, and he submits as proof to you
that he just descended from the clouds, privately, in an event witnessed
by few or no one, would you not be right to doubt his claims? Of course
you would be. And, if he claimed that he had been at the right hand of
the Father for the past two millenia, would you accept the mere claim?
Would you pledge him fealty? Would you do his bidding? If not, then on
what grounds do you expect others to behave any differently?
The fulfillment of prophecy in private is not proof of anything, by
nature of the proof being unknown. The missionary claim that Jesus
fulfilled oh-so-many prophecies is baseless, because even if a great
many of those prophecies were not misrepresentations by the Church, they
were fulfilled privately and cannot serve to verify his claims. For
example, he was supposed to have been born in Bethlehem in fulfillment
of messianic prophecy, yet his birth in Bethlehem was a private event,
unknown to the populace. (See John 7:42.) Allowing that Jesus may
actually have been born in Bethlehem—and ignoring questions of Christian
misinterpretation of Micah—this cannot be used as a piece of evidence in
support of the Church’s claim that he is the messiah, because the event
was unknown. His resurrection falls in the same category. It cannot be
used to establish the legitimacy of his prophecy, because it was not
fulfilled publicly. It is an untestable claim.
One must find it highly suspicious that observable prophecies, such as
the security of Jerusalem, were not fulfilled in Jesus’ time, while he
fulfilled all kinds of unobservable prophecies, like sitting on a
spiritual throne far from the eyes of men. All the qualities of the
messiah that one could observe, he does not have. He has only certain
qualities that cannot be observed, that must be accepted on faith—and
under threat of Hellfire everlasting! Of course, the Church tells us
that he will fulfill those publicly observable items later, but then,
that too is nothing more than an unsubstantiated claim, no less dubious.
The deepest yearning of man is the longing to connect with God. It is not enough for a person to know with the mind and the intellect that God exists. We yearn for connection, we yearn to experience God.
In the material world we distinguish between knowledge that is purely intellectual on the one hand and between sensory knowledge on the other. Abstract concepts that were not illustrated to us in the physical world, such as the solution to a mathematical equation, remain in the realm of the intellect. We do not connect with such knowledge on any level of depth. We have not experienced that knowledge. In sharp contrast to intellectual knowledge, we have sensory knowledge, concepts that we encountered through our senses. A scene that we saw, sounds that we heard, experiences that impacted us on the level of the sensory. These concepts touch our inner…
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