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