Nine Letters # 6 – Seven Arguments

First of all; whether  you realize it or not – your world is Jesus centered and not God centered. I see  this in your attitude towards fellow believers in Jesus – as opposed to your  attitude towards worshipers of the Creator of heaven and earth who don’t believe  in Jesus. I see this in the way you approach Tanach (what you consider central  and important has nothing to do with what the Author of Tanach considers central  and important but rather it depends on how it relates to Jesus) – but primarily I see it in your hope for the  future. Your hope for Jesus’ exaltation is central to your hope for the future.  If all of mankind comes to recognize with absolute clarity that they owe  everything to the Creator of heaven and earth – but your beliefs about Jesus  turn out to be wrong – he was just another person – you will not say: “oh I made  a little mistake – the main thing is that God alone is exalted”.

Second – the Author of Tanach emphasizes how obedience to  His direct command is central and foundational. Your approach to Tanach ignores  this central truth. Your entire theology is built on passages that are not  presented as direct commandments – while your theology marginalizes passages  that are direct commandments. If you would approach Tanach with an appreciation  for the concept of obedience to God’s direct command – you would realize that  the theology that you see as so congruent with Tanach – is actually its very  antithesis.

Third – and most important. The bending of the heart  towards Jesus who suffered and died that you see as sort of swallowed up in your  general worship of God – is NOT something small and peripheral. The Scriptures  consistently speak of this worship as the greatest abomination in God’s eyes – as the deepest violation of a created being’s obligation towards their Creator.  The Scriptures magnify this act of the heart and teach us that the purpose of  the entire redemption is the abolishment of this worship – the heart and the  purpose of God’s covenant with Israel is that Israel testify to the world that  this worship is wrong.

Fourth – no one saw your theology in the Tanach before  Jesus failed to fulfill the open Messianic prophecies that his closest followers  expected him to fulfill. This should tell you that your affinity to Jesus is  producing your read on Tanach – and it is not your read on Tanach that is  producing your affinity to Jesus.

Fifth – you are wrenching the Tanach out of its  covenantal context. God sealed a covenant with us at Sinai – we got married to  Him there. It was there that we came to know our God – and it was not Jesus. The  Tanach was not given to us to help us identify God. That process was complete at  Sinai. To use the Tanach to create a new identification of God – different than  what we learned at Sinai, is wrenching the Tanach out of its covenantal context.

Sixth – the theology you built out of the Tanach – is  contradicted by Tanach on so many levels. If you would have focused on the  clear, consistent, comprehensive and direct teachings of Tanach – you would  realize that your theology has no Scriptural leg to stand on.

Seventh – the Scriptures consistently appeal to our  conscience, to our sense of logic and to our sense of humor to help us see the  inherent evil in worshiping an inhabitant of God’s earth. All of these apply to  worship of Jesus – your beliefs about him notwithstanding. The one who suffered  and died on a cross cannot be the Creator of heaven and earth. A man who needed  oxygen for his own well-being – cannot be the author of his own breath. And if  you deny these truths – then you have negated the prohibition against idolatry – how do you know that anything is not “(fill in your beliefs here)”. Your  argument that there is no Scriptural support for the worship of anyone aside  from Jesus – is untrue and irrelevant. It is untrue because passages like  Genesis 18 and Exodus 24 do not point exclusively to Jesus. And it is irrelevant  because before people approached Scripture with an affinity to Jesus no one saw  Jesus in Scripture either. If you approach Scripture with an affinity to anyone – you will be able to produce a coherent theology to support your  affinity.

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Yisroel C. Blumenthal

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1 Response to Nine Letters # 6 – Seven Arguments

  1. I cannot say that I agree with this, overall. I can say I agree that some Christians indeed teach (or learn) a verse or two about Jesus and feel they have educated others (or themselves) about G-d, but that does not at all describe many godly Christians I personally know who study the Tanakh thoroughly and whose deep love for and worship of G-d is evident in their devotion to His Word, their humility, and their love and kindness for others. And these of whom I speak do not primarily study Scripture in order to convert or argue with others; they study to know and love G-d.

    That, I think, is the key. Anyone, regardless of his or her background, who studies Scripture with a truthful and humble heart to personally come to know G-d Almighty will be overwhelmed by His faithfulness (in His devotion despite Israel’s – and all of humanity’s – repeated sin against Him); His righteousness (in his anger and judgment of sin); His redemption (as He states about Himself over and over in Scripture); and His longing for mankind to truly know HIm. So beautiful it is that Abraham, the one to whom the most incredible blessing was given, was known as G-d’s “friend” (2Chronicles 20:7).

    G-d clearly stated that these many stories He told us in the Tanakh were given for our learning, so that we may recognize Him for who He is (Isaiah 43:10). He specifically told Israel there – although all of these dealings with Israel were also given for the learning of all of mankind, most of whom has always been even more corrupt than Israel – the reason He made them witnesses of all of these great things: “To the end that you may take thought and believe in Me, and understand that I am He…”
    Yet later in the same chapter He says, “You have burdened Me with your sins, you have wearied Me with your iniquities. It is I, I who — for My own sake — wipe your transgressions away and remember your sins no more” (Isaiah 43:24-25).

    That, I believe, represents the general tendencies of all of humanity. Mankind does indeed tend to want an “easy way out,” or a way to be self-righteous while disbelieving G-d (i.e., despite being given so many accounts that testify of G-d’s sovereignty and man’s sin, man does not want to submit to G-d’s righteousness or accept G-d’s own pronouncement that it is He, not ourselves, who can truly wipe our transgressions away, and that it is only for His own Name’s sake).

    If a person were truly doing as you say here, ignoring the many, many commands G-d gives in Scripture and reading the Tanakh not to learn about and love G-d but rather to use it as a tool to develop some other theology, then he or she would certainly be in the wrong. That, however, would only serve to further attest to the truth of G-d’s repeated pronouncements about mankind’s generally corrupt condition – most not truly seeking Him for Who He is as He has revealed Himself (to worship Him alone) but rather seeking to establish their own control (worship of self). While many ungodly people do (and always have and always will) jump on the bandwagon to call themselves by whatever name seems popular in the day (and continue to commit great wickedness and worship G-d only with lip-service and not with their lives), the fact that many do so does not make them representative of the ones who have indeed submitted to G-d alone, to truly seek, recognize, and love Him through His Holy Word.

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