A Parable – by Annelise

A family are walking on a dark and isolated street when a man walks in front of them and stops them. He says he is a police officer and asks them to get into his car. The mother demands to see he is who he claims to be. So he says to her, “I am a police officer!”

She asks again for proof of his identity and he says, “I am not a fraud! I’m a member of the police. You must come with me or you will be arrested.” A few more times she tries to reason with him, but he replies, “I know you think that I may be a fraud, but I am a police officer. I am one. It is the law that you follow me because I’m with the police.”

The family, unsettled and fearing for their children, start to walk away from the man. He runs after them, “It’s the law! You’ll be arrested!” The father asks what law would have them arrested for not coming with them, and he simply replies, “I’m a police officer and you have to come with me.”

I’m not saying that all Christian evangelism is like this… often people do try and present reasons that they think are important. But when people keep saying over and over- Jesus is this and Jesus is that, and that his followers worship only “The Holy One,” “Avinu Malkeinu”… expecting people to respond to the forcefulness of what they say… then they are effectively asking people to drop their guard about worshiping what seems to be part of creation, just because “it’s true and important”, “it’s true and important”, “it’s true and important”. To ask people to do that is to ask them to violate the sanctity and holiness of their covenant with Hashem.

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6 Responses to A Parable – by Annelise

  1. Paul summers says:

    Once upon a time, many years ago. The Lord God made a covenant with a man. God told the man because you are faithful and God fearing I will bless you and all the families of the world. So God set about His buisness and put His plan into action. Many years later once the time was right the Lord did has He had promised and delivered. He had shown His might,mercy and devine deliverence and brought His promised people out of bondage. o how they thanked the Lord for His grace. Yes they followed Him everywhere and obeyed His every command. In fact the Lord showed His love that He entered into a marriage type relationship with them. What bliss! What a happy ending. Hang on a minute, Whats this? Adultery, Spiritual fornication, backsliding Idol worship.
    What will God do now?
    I know send prophets. No good. They will just get stoned to death.
    Go into captivity for a while? Well they will repent for a while, but soon go back to there old usual ways.
    Famines, wars, evil kings to rein over them??
    Still no good.
    I know says God. I will come to earth dwell with my people. Show them the correct way to live. I will shepherd them face to face. Unthenticate my Messiahship with there Law wich I gave them. Surely now they will see Me and understand everything which I have been showing them since creation.
    Hang on whats this. Rejection for being in league with satan?
    Whats that you say? You are sons of Abraham, who needs God? We have our own rewritten pharasecic law.

    Im not saying all Jews are like this. History tells us that God has a remnent saved for Himself. Because of mans free will the other unbelieving portion just simply dont wont to bend the knee.
    x

    • Paul
      Thanks for providing an example for Annelise’s point – If you have an appeal to our sensitivity to truth – you are encouraged to share it. If you are engaged in intimidation – know ye that you are only testifying that you have no appeal to honesty

    • Larry says:

      In your version of g-d, he just never learns does he? What’s this, Adultery, spiritual fornication, backsliding Idol worship all over again. What’s next? I know I’ll send him back and try this just one more time. That’ll do it.

    • Annelise says:

      A man appeared in public a couple of years ago, claiming that no one could know God unless they listened to him. He called himself a doorway, a teacher, and a shepherd appointed by God over everyone in the world.

      Would you feel obliged to listen to him? Would there be any reason to be hesitant or cautious? Let’s imagine that when you met him at grocery store, the man didn’t tell you that he was God or ask you to worship him, or to do anything you think is immoral. But he did say that the kingdom of God was going to come closer through him, and that if you didn’t become one of his followers then you would be cut off from God because of your pride and have a worse punishment than Sodom and Gomorrah.

      Most people would say no: there is no reason to accept a claim in those circumstances, even if there is no danger at all of idolatry or of doing something immoral. Neither the traditional Jewish scriptures nor the Christian scriptures give you the impression that God will not let you know Him unless you listen to this person. And in fact, there would be a danger: the danger of telling all the sincere followers of God in the community where you have always sought Him together that they are walking in darkness, that they are bad influences on you despite their wisdom and their sincere worship, and that they need to be saved from God’s judgment against all who reject this particular messenger.

      Now imagine that this man came and joined your community for a time of worship, and when he was there he came out the front and healed someone in front of your eyes. Then he repeated his message that the kingdom of God was coming soon for everyone who would be his followers. Some of the trusted leaders of the congregation spoke with him on behalf of some of the community, and questioned the magnitude and severity of his claim.He simply reminded them of the miracles and called them hard-hearted snakes. In the coming weeks you heard that this man had been teaching his followers messages of humble love for God and for others, sincerity and wisdom in life, and caring for the poor. He was spending a lot of time with poor and homeless people and asking his followers to look after them. And many of your friends, and friends of friends, said that their child had been raised from death or that their crippled grandfather was now walking.The man’s followers said that they had even seen him flying and time-travelling. But he was criticising a lot of people whom you believed were godly people and leaders, and he was still making these claims that unless you follow him you are a child of Satan.

      About a year ago, you received a letter from your sister who lives with her husband and children a few hours’ drive away. She said that some of this man’s followers had come door-knocking at their house, saying that God’s kingdom was about to come and that everyone should pray only in the name of their teacher. They did miracles for some of her friends, but eventually they left her town in anger that not many people were listening to them. Your sister wanted to know who this teacher was, and if you thought that God would judge her for not following the people who did the miracles, tricks, magic, or medicine (whatever it was) and said there was no other choice but to listen to their authority on all matters of faith.

      A couple of months ago, the man was killed by a few members of the police who received the complaints about this leader and were afraid about the unrest of the population. Some people felt sadly relieved, some were very happy, some were unsure and all of his followers were devastated. But everyone assumed that the situation was over. Within a few weeks, though, a number of his followers started telling everyone that they saw their teacher alive. They started to take verses about suffering, and anything connected to their leader’s appearance or personality, out of the Bible and say that they were clear prophecies. When people visited their meetings, they saw many unfamiliar practices going on, but the miracles continued to occur.

      What would you do? More specifically, what would the Torah and the Hebrew prophets suggest you should do?

      • Annelise says:

        (PS this is not intended as an accurate historical picture of what happened in early Christianity. It’s just a hypothetical dilemma that reflects some aspects of the New Testament version of its story.)

  2. Shomer says:

    I am reminded of this statement of Jesus Christ;

    Mar 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

    But if you consider certain Christian comments, they even tell you that this “statement” (in fact the whole end of the gospel of Mark from verse 9 on) has been added centuries after “Jesus” had lived; thus no-one in the “first church” had an idea about it. The man in the parable threatens the family with consequences. what else does the Roman Catholic New Testament do? If this would be so, we should know where Hell comes from but we don’t. In this case the Church has forgotten to “correct” BeReshit 1:1 – In the beginning God created Heaven and Hell and Earth…. No, there is no hell but the Church insists upon it. And if you trust her you can trust the “Police man” in the parable, too.

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