Acknowledgment and Denial
Christian theologians attempt to rationalize their assertion that a certain individual, who breathed God’s air and walked God’s earth, is somehow divine and worthy of worship. These theologians present an argument which posits that it was “necessary” for God to “become human”. These philosophers argue that God “needed to become human” so that we can better relate to Him. As finite human beings, it is certainly easier for us to develop and sustain a relationship with another finite human being than it is for us to live a relationship with a holy God that is above every finite definition.
The core line of reasoning of this argument is fallacious. By redefining God, it doesn’t make it easier to have a relationship with Him. The whole concept of living in a relationship with God means acknowledging that every iota of finite existence is completely subject to God and is only here as an expression of God’s love. It boils down to acknowledgment. Can I acknowledge that I, together with all of my fellow creations, are completely subject to our Creator? Or will I withhold that acknowledgment?
Taking one entity, who breathed God’s air and walked God’s earth and attributing deity to him, is the precise opposite of acknowledgment. It is denial. It is a denial that every last finite existence attests to the truth of the Creator just as a work of art testifies to the existence of an artist. It is a denial that the need to breath and the act of breathing proclaim that the breather is but a beneficiary of the One benevolent God.
Denial is the opposite of acknowledgment. Denial cannot make acknowledgment easier. The act of denying the sovereignty of God over one of His subjects leads us in the very opposite direction of developing a relationship with God.
Let us examine this issue from another angle. Let us take a man who might feel distant from God. Let us say that this person is confused, afraid, alone and discouraged. This person finds it difficult to reach out to a God who is above all existence – such a God seems so far from him! But to imagine a person, a human being just like himself, standing there right next to him, empathizing with him and encouraging him – is not difficult at all. It just takes a little imagination.
But is the true God really so far? If this man were to suddenly receive a delivery – the UPS man brought him a box – the return address – “God”! He hurriedly opens up the box and there is a beautiful gift from God – a gift that precisely fits his need of the moment. Do you think that this man would still feel alone and discouraged? Would he still feel that God is distant and far off? I don’t think so.
The fact is that this frightened man together with every man and woman who inhabits God’s earth is receiving beautiful and precious gifts from God every second! The beating of our hearts, is a gift from God. Our ability to think is a gift from God. Our breath is a gift from God. Our very existence is a gift from God. Each of these and many more are personal gifts from a loving God who knows us better than we know ourselves and who loves us more than we love ourselves.
The true God who holds our every breath in His hand (Daniel 5:23) is not far from us. There is nothing closer to us than the One who lovingly sustains every detail of our existence every second. Our problem is that we fail to acknowledge, to recognize that these are all expressions of His love and care. In order to develop a relationship with God we need to allow ourselves to acknowledge that our breath is not an intrinsic possession of ours. We need to allow ourselves to acknowledge that the fact of our existence is not an inherent truth but rather an expression of His love. We need to allow ourselves to admit that we are but beneficiaries of God’s constant care for us.
The Scriptures teach us that the practice of justice and kindness is, in and of itself, knowledge of God (Jeremiah 22:15,16). Justice means being sensitive to give to each entity what is coming to it. Kindness is the quality that appreciates giving and recoils from undeserved taking. Justice and kindness are the tools that God gave us in order that we could acknowledge His benevolence. When we look at our breath through the lens of kindness, we realize that with every breath we are the undeserved recipients of a priceless, personal gift. When we look at our existence through the lens of justice, we realize that we belong to God.
Justice and kindness are to a relationship with God what the sense of hearing is to music and what the sense of taste is to food. The sensitivity to justice and kindness are the tools that God gave us so that we can appreciate God’s constant embrace.
If we feel that God is far, we should turn to acknowledging God’s sovereignty over every facet of existence – not to denying it.
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Yisroel C. Blumenthal
Several good points. The personal opinion of those humanist philosophers that God “needed to become human so that we can better relate to Him”, would only be a valid argument for those who could claim (beyond a shadow of any doubt) that they had seen & touched that human-god and somehow absolutely knew he was indeed God. Everyone else is so distant from that “human” , both in time and space that “human” could only be experienced “in their mind”. Their relationship would only be an indirect “experience of the humanness” of such a pagan styled god. Only truly known by words spoken or written by authors who themselves did not witness that “human god”. They are much more distant from that human god than they are from the “super-man” or the god of the “Klingon humans” of TV and movies. Hearing words from people or reading a book does not get you very close to either a god-man nor the glorious Creator of all mankind and the universe.
If they accept as real or truth a few lines of the source text that “proves” their man-god in unreliable accounts, that invalidates the God in that source text. They make that God into a liar, when the God of that source text said He was not a man, that He should lie. They make His commandments nonsense, foolishness, and a falsehood, by rejecting the concept of idolatry given by the God of that source text. They make God small in order to promote the traditions and stories of Man about a “representation” that they say is equal and perhaps superior to God (since Eternal God’s eternal Words are obsolete, decayed, detrimental, “sin causing” “laws” according to one writer who never physically saw his human god). Unless one man’s word is taken over the Word of God, although that man’s words and teachings often contradicts and distorts the previous written Word that that writer uses as his justification and as partial foundation of his teachings. Some claim that a human god is part of a “higher theology”. Israel rejected those pagan ideas of the Canaanites and of of Egypt & Edom & Greece and said a Creator God is greater than any human or any human creation.
Your information has been useful. Thank you for writing about Jesus/Christianity from such an honest Jewish perspective. For those of us who have come out of Christianity/Messianic Judaism, hearing rational, orderly proofs is very useful and stabilizing.
“These theologians present an argument which posits that it was “necessary” for God to “become human”. These philosophers argue that God “needed to become human” so that we can better relate to Him. ”
To me, this necessitates one of two conclusions. A) G-d set up a flawed system of relationship that had to be repaired (G-d forbid!) or B) That G-d is a treacherous “god” and a liar (G-d forbid!) WHY?
For it to be “A” that would mean that G-d really isnt omniscient. He could not forsee the problems with the Torah and had to scrap it in favor of the “New Testament” relation through a god-man? (again G-d forbid!)
For it to be “B”, that would mean that G-d, after giving Torah and telling us we can “do it” (DT 30), it is not up in heaven or across the sea…but near to us! In our mouths! …would be a lie! We really CAN”T do it. The law was a “tutor” leading us to the god-man….showing how hopeless in sin we are.etc…What kind of a treacherous “god” would give a torah, tell you to do it …knowing FULL WELL, that you are incapable of doing it? After 1,500 years…say to his creation…I know I told you to do it…BUT you cant! I told you the law is forever…BUT it is not!…..I told you at Sinai and through the prophets I am alone…BUT I am not! I am really 3-in-1! And you must believe in my god-man son….who I gave as a human sacrifice …even though I told you I hate it and it is an abomination…I behaved like a pagan and killed my son…who is really me…so believe in him also OR ELSE! WHat kind of treacherous “god” is this of the NT? G-d forbid! This is not the G-d of the Jewish people.
I think an “advantage” Christians/Messianics have in recreating a god in man’s image is that they can manipulate him much like the Greeks did with their gods. This was one reason Israel was attracted to idolatry; they could act out sexually in front of mute idols rather than act with kedushah that Hashem requires of His children. Modern followers of Jesus can do as they please (and often do) because he offers no substance.
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