In Search of Victimhood

In Search of Victimhood

 

 

The tendency of man is to focus on that which is most obvious. The loudest, most colorful, most attractive and most forceful draws our attention and skews our perspective of reality. Our enthrallment with the obvious blinds our eyes to the still silent voice of truth.

 

This human tendency favors the present over the past and future. Instead of looking at the arena of human activity as an intricate chain of cause and effect we pass judgment by what our eyes see here and now.

 

The Jewish people carry a legacy that teaches them not to be swayed by color, noise, flash and smoke. After all, we serve a God that cannot be seen. The Eternal Jew sees the activities of men as a saga which stretches from the past into the future, with the present simply being one link in the chain.

 

Christianity is certainly one of the prominent characters in the story of humanity. Those who are drawn by the magnetism of the present see only one face of this character. But the Jew, who refuses to be blinded by the flash of the present, sees a completely different face of this same character.

 

The institution of Christianity entered the stage of human history with one goal; to draw the hearts of men to their hero. One way of getting people’s hearts to identify with the central character of Christianity is by magnifying his victimhood. The story that Christianity spun for mankind is that Jesus is the most innocent of victims and his killers are the most evil race on earth. By contrasting Jesus against a people who are inherent murderers and liars, the Church managed to give Jesus the perfect victimhood that they sought for him.

 

This story was told and retold by the mouthpieces of Christianity. This story was dramatized and played up until the minds and hearts of European men were saturated with a deep hatred for the supposed killers of Jesus. The fires of this hatred were stoked by the institution of Christianity as long as this story was still conducive to the image of an innocent Jesus. When Hitler entered the scene he did not teach the European anything new about the Jew. Every accusation that Nazi propaganda threw at the Jew was already believed by Christian Europe. In their effort to demonize the supposed enemies of Jesus, the moral beacons of the Church did not leave out one accusation that Hitler would use to launch the final solution; not one.

 

As the enormity of the holocaust sank in to the minds of humanity, and as the Church lost its grip on the minds of men, the tide began shifting. The hearts and minds of men began recognizing that the true victims are those who were demonized by centuries of Christian theology. And the Church realized that Jesus stands the risk of losing his victimhood.

 

In a cynical exploitation of its own crime, the institution of Christianity came up with a new way of preserving the victimhood of Jesus. Have him walk into the gas chambers. If Jesus would have been born in 20th century Poland he would have been put on a train to Auschwitz together with the rest of the Jews, or so the slogan goes. But what the Church fails to tell you is that if Jesus would have been born in 20th century Poland instead of 1st century Palestine, those trains would have never rolled.

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Yisroel C. Blumenthal

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68 Responses to In Search of Victimhood

  1. Annelise says:

    Wow that is very heavy. Thank you for writing it.

    If someone says that the churches’ old beliefs are not characteristic of true Christianity, where Jews made up much of the early church, and even the followers of the Pharisees are considered beloved brothers whose ‘salvation’ is,to be yearned for…if they say that these centuries of teaching came from politics and racism rather than the force of Christianity, many of whose adherents saved the lives of Jews in the Holocaust… then they have a point. And it is easier for the Protestant to say this than for the Catholic. Yet the lesson of history must not be forgotten: that affection for Jesus has in the past, and still does in the present, completely shape the way a Christian thinks about the qualities of those who do not accept him.

  2. Annelise says:

    Also to exploit the immense suffering of Jews through the centuries as they have stood firm against all forms of Christianity, and use that testimony as an argument in favour of what they suffered so as not to assimilate with…it is the height of arrogance, to refuse to listen to the voice of the victim who is innocent of the charges put against it, and to speak of these events with anything from casual ignorance to deep felt sympathy while adding punches to the face of the generations who paid a price for something important.

  3. Annelise says:

    Also… I really agree this tendency of humans to focus on the most vibrant, tangible, flashy thing is a big reason why we should be careful before pouring our hearts in response to individual stories and the experiences with a community. These things can flood our intuition without really representing the bigger picture.

  4. LarryB says:

    Great article. This brings up a question of mine I have wondered about. Why do christians refer to J as the lamb of g-d. Back in the day in egypt, the lamb was a great pagan g-d to the egyptians. I can imagine the response of people when John refers to J as the lamb of g-d. What did they do in egypt during passover, they slaughtered the pagan g-d spread its blood on the doorway, and probably ate it. I doesnt make sense for john to refer to J as the pagan g-d sacrifice for the sins of mankind.

  5. Sean Trank says:

    I disagree and though it is easy to speculate that “if this then that” in history, have you all forgotten that the Jewish people have been faced with annihilation before by non-christians. Did we just glaze over the book of Easter in Hebrew school? Or how about the mass murder of Jewish children in Egypt? The Jews are in danger for one reason, because they are God’s people. Satan does not like this and has been in opposition to God’s Will since his fall. A deeply rooted “Christian” can be identified by their love for each other and their enemy according to the J man and just because you claim to be a fig tree does not make you a fig tree, the proof is in the fruit you produce. A follower of Jesus will fail just like the Hebrew people did time and time again in the wilderness and throughout history, but God’s grace through the J man is what atones for those errors and corrects and teaches and grows a person of faith.

  6. Sean – there is only one G-d and his name is not “satan.” That word simply means “adversary” and while G-d gives each of us human and sometimes angelic adversaries, G-d is in charge. There is no devil. PEOPLE are responsible for the evil they have done to the Jews and in the case of the Nazis the hatred was stirred by Christianity. Have you ever read Martin Luther’s “On the Jews and their Lies”? He speaks of murdering all the Jews, burning the Synagogues — pretty much what the Nazis did. Martin Luther was the creator of Protestantism — and most of the Nazis were Christians who hated the Jews. Face up to historical fact.

    • Sean Trank says:

      Just because satan’s name means adversary does not mean the entire account of his existence is untrue. Go read Job, or Isaiah, or Zechariah, or how about the Genesis account. Disbelief of the king of lies is his strongest foothold in evil people. I don’t disagree that people are responsible, but they did not all wake up one day and say “hey, I have an idea, lets go kill the Jews.” No, it started with a lie from the adversary just like the lie told to Eve in the garden. Famous Lie: You can be like God all you have to do is eat the fruit.

      • Sophie Saguy says:

        I’ve read all of those books and not one of them speaks of your demi-god (your second god) — the devil. In Job (a story written by Moses), HaSatan (the adversary) is mentioned. This is a description of the role of the angel in the story, which was to act as the “prosecuting attorney” or adversary to Job. In Zechariah 3 there is a scene of Joshua being “on trial” with G-d (or an angel of G-d) as the defense attorney and another angel acting as an adversary (satan). How you get two gods out of that is anyone’s guess! In both cases the adversary of man is the agent of G-d — testing the humans. Isaiah (I assume you mean Isaiah 14) doesn’t speak of satan. The Latin word “lucifer” has been twisted to mean the Christian devil Isaiah 14 is about the King of Babylon and speaks of his fall. There is no “lucifer” it is a latin word for a Hebrew word (Helel) which means “son of the morning.”

        But it gets better.

        The Babylonians (and Canaanites) had a god named Helel who was the god of the morning star and his father was Shahar, god of the dawn. So Isaiah is saying that with the fall of the King of Babylon so falls his false gods Helel and Shahar.
        Quote:
        ________________________________________
        Isaiah 14:12 (NIV) “How you have fallen from heaven, O (Helel which is translated as morning star), (Shahar translated as son of the dawn)! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!”
        ________________________________________

        Now the KJV says:
        Quote:
        ________________________________________
        Isaiah 14:12 (KJV) “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!”
        ________________________________________

        Lucifer doesn’t show up in the early translation, but in the 4th century CE (lucifer is latin) the word appears in a Latin Christian translation.

        Got me why the KJV translators (perfect as they were tee hee) would keep a latin word for “son of the morning.” They probably didn’t even know about good old Helel the fake god which in turn the English would be “son of the morning.” So Lucifer isn’t a devil, it is the latin translation of a Canaanite / Babylonian god!

        Funny, isn’t it?

        The 4th century Xians translated Helel (Hebrew) into lucifer (latin) and then folks began to misinterpret lucifer as being a fallen angel. No such thing — Isaiah is speaking of false gods of the Babylonians “falling” because the kingdom was destroyed.

      • Sophie Saguy says:

        BTW — there is no mention of “satan” in the Garden of Eden. It was a SNAKE. There is no such thing as original sin — but there was a sin by both Adam and Chava (Eve). The main sin was not in eating of the forbidden fruit, but in blaming others and not taking personal responsibility. Adam blamed Chava. Chava blamed the snake. No one took responsibility, repented and atoned for their sins. . . The story of Adam and Chava (Chava) shows the gulf between Christianity and Judaism. Even at this starting point the two faiths diverge greatly. Original sin is not a Jewish concept. People are not “born into sin” because of the fall of Adam and Chava (Chava). The serpent is not Satan – it is just a snake!

        Christianity NEEDS original sin. Christian theology holds that a sinless Jesus was part of the heavenly Father’s plan from the outset, to redeem mankind. After all, the act of disobedience by Adam and Chava in the Garden of Eden, the Fall of Man, placed the stain of sin on humanity, one that cannot be removed through a person’s own actions.
        This opens the way for Jesus, the perfect sacrificial offering of the future, was born through the impregnation by the Holy Spirit of the virgin, Mary. Jesus was thus born without the stain of Original Sin, since he was conceived of G-d and not through the customary act of copulation by two sinful humans.

        First of all: sex is not “sinful” it is a gift from G-d to “be fruitful and multiply.” Secondly there is no original sin that makes all of mankind tainted so that a human sacrifice (or god-sacrifice) has to come along to redeem us. Man is not born “into” sin.

        How do we know that the sin wasn’t that grievous? Because of the Hebrew word used to describe the sin. In Hebrew there are many words for sin, but the big “three” are pasha (a rebellion against G-d), an ovom (a lustful act of passion) and a cheit – an unintentional “missing of the mark.”

        Torah tells us that Adam and Chava committed a cheit. A missing of the mark. The word comes from an arrow that misses its target. The result may have ramifications, but the act was not done with malice aforethought.
        Hardly the stuff “original sin” comes from.

        Further we know that G-d didn’t immediately punish Adam and Chava and bar them from the Tree of Life because they disobeyed and ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, but He gave them an opportunity to repent and tell Him the truth (after they had eaten and could recognize that it was wrong to disobey). Teshuva – repenting and turning to G-d.

        But Adam and then Chava failed to do teshuvah but blamed someone else for their actions. Chava blamed the serpent. Adam blamed Chava. No one said “I’m sorry. I did wrong. Forgive me.”

        So was the real sin the eating of the fruit, or the immature finger pointing and refusal to take responsibility that happened after they ate the fruit? The far greater sin is the second one. The whole point is that teshuvah is an essential part of Torah, and thus Torah gives us the opportunity to partake of eternal life (i.e, communion with G-d) Even when we sin – but we must take responsibility for our own actions.

        Christians say G-d cursed Adam and Chava – to a horribly hard life and to death. This is because of their “fall from grace.” But that is not what Torah says happened. G-d curses the serpent – not Adam and Chava!

        “Cursed are you”, arur atah, is not repeated, nor is a synonym used when G-d addresses Chava and Adam. Instead G-d says arurah ha’adamah, cursed is the earth/ground. This speaks of the earth/ground that Adam will have to work – but G-d does ot curse Adam or Chava.

        This major point is lost in the Christian concept. G-d does not curse Adam and Chava! Adam and Chava are punished, but they are not cursed. They are told that they will not be “on easy street” because of their transgression – she will have pain in childbirth, and he will have to sweat to earn his bread.

        People are not born into sin. People are not even born with an inclination to sin – per Genesis 8:21 we are inclined to sin from our youth (not our birth) and we may choose between good or evil. Again, this is clearly stated in Torah.

        This is re-enforced in Genesis 4:7 when G-d speaks to Cain and tells him that good and evil are his choices and that he (Cain) should choose good. G-d tells Cain that he can master evil.
        Ergo if Cain can CHOOSE he isn’t “born evil” or “born into sin.”
        Read the psalm 24 which speaks of man being given a pure heart. In Genesis we also find out that mankind has an “evil inclination” (“evil in their heart”) from their youth, not from birth:

        Genesis 8:21 – And the L-rd smelled the pleasant aroma, and the L-rd said to Himself, “I will no longer curse the earth because of man, for the inclination of man’s heart is evil from his youth, and I will no longer smite all living things as I have done.

        So G-d tells us as early as Genesis 4 that we ourselves can master sin and evil – that we ourselves must take responsibility and atone. Not only are we NOT born into “original sin” there is no other person that can take the blame for your actions. You and you alone must atone for your sins.

        Evil is not external to you – a devil or a taint. Evil is internal to you – it is part of who you are. Evil and good battle inside each of us and we have the power to choose good over evil. We are, with the aid of G-d, our own saviors.

        What is sin? Sin is anything that moves you farther away from G-d.

        ‘See! I give you today (a choice of) a blessing and a curse. The blessing, when you listen to the commandments of G-d your L-rd, which I command you today. The curse, if you do not listen to the commandments of G-d your L-rd, and you deviate from the path which I command you today, in order to follow other gods which you did not know.’ (Deut. 11:26-28)

        • David says:

          Hi Sean,

          I’m a Christian and I disagree with some of your understanding about sin and the Adversary/Devil.

          The Snake in the Garden is one and the same actor as in Job. It’s all the same. The Old Testament doesn’t focus on the Devil. The New Testament goes into more detail on the role the Adversary plays in humanity. The Adversary, or Accuser is in opposition to God just as Pharaoh was. But God’s plan cannot be thwarted neither by the hardened heart of Pharaoh, stiff-necked man, or the Devil.

          Sin is nothing more than disobedience to God.
          The Devil was the first to sin against God by free will and then man sinned against God by his own free will. Sin wasn’t in man until he sinned. Sin is within man because he sinned not because the Devil sinned. The Devil is an influence to sin, but we are responsible for our own sin. The Devil is responsible to God for the Devil’s own sin and man is responsible to God for man’s own sin.

          God said that He couldn’t let man stay in the Garden and eat from the tree of life and live forever because of his knowledge of good and evil. Adam’s knowledge of good and evil came from his free will choice to commit personal disobedience against God (sin).

          You say the only “source” of sin is man. That’s true regarding one’s own personal individual sin. Sin is a free will choice. As stated above we are responsible for our own sin. But the Devil is an influence to sin, and we shouldn’t be ignorant of that. It is no different in that respect from the time of Adam in the Garden.

          I agree with you (and Christians I know agree) that God did not curse man. God cursed and punished the Snake because he influenced and facilitated the man to sin.

          I also agree that God also cursed the ground as a result of man’s free will disobedience and refusal to be a good servant of God to care for and rule over God’s creation in obedience multiplying him-self over the earth as commanded.

          You are mistaken very much so on the lesson of Cain. It is true that Cain had free will as do we all to choose the right or the wrong. But this is now in the context of our inclination to sin from the time of our youth (Genesis 6:5 and 8:21) as passed on from Adam to his offspring following his original disobedience.

          Judaism has no answer or explanation as to why God says we are inclined to sin from our youth. Judaism denies the obvious.

          Christianity has the answer.

          Christianity says we are responsible for our free will choice to sin or not to sin, but we also carry within us the legacy of Adam’s first disobedience which God says inclines us to sin.

          In conclusion:
          God created Adam. Adam was neither inclined to the right or the wrong from youth. Through free will Adam sinned and eventually a race of man inclined to sin from youth was created. This inclination is within mankind since we all come from the same man. Jesus is the exception who came not by Adam but by God through the power of God’s Holy Spirit.

          Adam was fully accountable to God for his own sin even though the Devil played a role and was an influence the sins of both Adam and Eve. We are also all responsible to God for our own free will choice to sin even though we have influences through our inclination or the Devil.

          We are accountable to God just as was Adam, for our obedience to God’s rules in force at the time we are alive. So Adam in the Garden will not be judged the same as Cain following the Garden because the rules and circumstances were different and changed. Cain will not be judged under the same rules as the sons of Noah following the flood because the circumstances and rules changed. The sons of Noah will not be judged the same as Moses and the Israelites following the exodus as the rules had changed once again.

          The Israelites and Jews and Gentiles who lived prior Christ will not be judged under the same rules as all of mankind (including Jews, Christians, Muslims, pagans, atheists, etc.) who lived and are living following the time of Christ. The rules have once again changed. ALL of us living now will be judged on one set of rules as established by God through His son Jesus.

          • Dina says:

            Two questions for you, David.

            1. What do the words “forever” and “eternal” mean?
            2. How do you know the rules haven’t changed again with the advent of Mohammed, and yet again with the advent of Joseph Smith?

            Lastly, here are some Jewish responses on original sin:

            http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/Original_Sin.html
            http://www.outreachjudaism.org/articles/original-sin.html

            Thanks,
            Dina

          • Dina says:

            David, sorry, one more question. Do you see Numbers 21:8 as a messianic prophecy, and if so, can you explain it to me?

            Thanks,
            Dina

          • David says:

            Hi Dina,

            The links you provided are not really applicable to my argument because they don’t see original sin in the same way I was explaining the first disobedience to God (sin) as committed by Adam and Eve. Contrary to what your links claim, I am NOT saying we are born with sin as such (although some Christians do claim that). But, we are born with the result of personal knowledge of good and evil inherited from our parents which goes all the way back to Adam and Eve. And as such (if we were to remain in that state) we cannot have eternal life just as Adam was not allowed to remain in the Garden to experience eternal life. In that respect there is no real difference between us and Adam.

            Jesus solves this problem as well as our own personal sin so that we can experience eternal life.

            And I stated Judaism has no answer for why God said that we have an inclination to evil from our youth. At least I’ve never heard of an explanation from a Jew. Maybe you or someone could offer it if you have an opinion. The argument from Jews that I’ve heard tends to be that we are just as likely to choose the good as the bad, that we are not inclined either way. But this argument is contrary to the Hebrew scriptures as I’ve already cited in my earlier post.

            In terms of prophesies in general you and I don’t agree there on anything because you think that prophesies are not able to be fulfilled on various levels at different times in history in part or in whole as I do. But nowhere is the Hebrew scriptures does it state that a prophesy must be fulfilled completely at one time and place in history. Jews say this but the scriptures don’t say this and no one has every proven the contrary.

            In addition there is no logical reason why God through Scripture can’t refer to an historical event and then later God bring a new and deeper meaning related to that event; and this is the case with your reference to numbers 21. This is also the case with reference to Jesus as the “Lamb of God” which harkens back to the historical event of the night of the exodus with the sacrificial blood of the spotless lamb which resulted in the pass over of death. The above examples are not prophesies as such, but God never the less speaks to us with new and deeper significance through these historical events.

          • Dina says:

            Hi David.

            The following statement of yours is speculation that is not taught in the text: “And as such (if we were to remain in that state) we cannot have eternal life just as Adam was not allowed to remain in the Garden to experience eternal life. In that respect there is no real difference between us and Adam. Jesus solves this problem as well as our own personal sin so that we can experience eternal life.”

            As for man’s inclination to do evil from his youth: we have several ways of understanding this. One is that children are naturally selfish. Another is that God expects man to sin because of his imperfect nature, but he also expects man to freely choose to repent or to continue sinning. A righteous man is someone who sins occasionally, not never. Either way, this does not contradict the notion of free will and that we are responsible to take charge of our spiritual destiny (Genesis 4:7; Deuteronomy 30; Ezekiel 18 and 33).

            I asked about Numbers 21 because I wanted to know if you personally see it as a messianic prophecy. I’d like to get your explanation of it, if you don’t mind.

            Thanks,
            Dina

          • David says:

            Hi Dina,

            Your explanation of why God said man is inclined to Evil is not found in scripture and missed the point. The fact that through our observation and experience we see that children maybe selfish doesn’t explain why God said that man (meaning adults) are inclined to evil from their youth. God said that He wouldn’t destroy the earth again through water NOT because the children are selfish or that when we were children we were selfish. And your explanation that God expects man to sin is not only without scriptural support but is completely contradictory of why God would even create man in the first place. When God tested Abraham did he expect him to sin? When God test Job did he expect him to sin? Where’s your scriptural support that God expected Adam to sin?

            Cite WHEN man came to be inclined to evil. Cite WHEN man acquired in your words “an imperfect nature” and define “imperfect nature” please. Are you saying that this is from the beginning?

            Fee will and accountability to God for our choices has been with us since the beginning, and on that we agree. Your scriptural references to free will as in the case of Cain and the Israelites found in Genesis, Deuteronomy and Ezekiel do not support your assertions regarding imperfect nature. Actually they don’t address “imperfect nature” at all.

            This is how God saw man in the beginning; nothing mentioned here of an imperfect nature or an inclination towards evil.

            Man was created in the image of God; Genesis 1:27.
            God saw everything that he had made (including man) and indeed it was very good; Genesis 1:31.

            Then man changed through his own free will and this is how God sees man following the change:

            Man gained a knowledge of good and evil which he didn’t have previously to choosing evil through his own free will.
            Man is no longer fit in the eyes of God to take from the tree of life and live forever due to the change (knowledge of good and evil) he acquired through choosing evil; Genesis 3:22

            This is how man sees himself following the change.

            Man is afraid of God and sees himself for the first time as naked before man and before God; Genesis 3:10

            If Adam was of an imperfect nature and inclined to evil and God expected him to sin from the beginning as you seem to be claiming why wouldn’t God allow future righteous, although imperfect by nature, men back into the Garden? I cite Abel, Enoch, and Noah.

          • Dina says:

            Hi David.

            Why is it that people like you and Matthew insist that I back up every Jewish idea with literal Scriptural passages, but you don’t hold yourself to the same standard?

            You approach the story of Genesis with your theology firmly in place, make up questions that fit your theology, and find the answers by interpreting Scripture to fit your theology.

            I had asked you about Numbers 21:8. You did not answer, so I did some digging around and found that the snake impaled on the pole represents Jesus impaled on the cross. Just as the people looked up at the snake and were healed, so people look up to the exalted Jesus and are healed.

            In this passage, the serpent represents Jesus.

            In the passage in Genesis, the serpent represents Satan.

            How do you take yourselves seriously, I ask you?

            Neither of these interpretations are supported by Scripture. To me they suggest that Christians, in their eagerness to see Jesus on every page of Scripture, shoehorn him into the text willy-nilly.

            Having said that, I will answer your challenge that God expects us to make our own choices, which means that, being imperfect, we will sin. That’s why He gave us the option to repent.

            If God didn’t expect Adam to sin, why warn him that he will be punished for eating from the forbidden tree?

            In Genesis 4:7–right after Adam’s fall, no less!–God reassures Cain that though sin will tempt him, he can rule over it.

            In Deuteronomy 30, Moses predicts that after we sin (yes, you see, here is the expectation of sinning–and there are other places in Scripture where you can find similar predictions), and after the curses befall us, then we will repent and God will restore us to our previous exalted state. He further goes on to tell us that life and death, good and evil, are ours to choose.

            Ezekiel 18 and 33 expound on this theme.

            In all these cases, I am not interpreting Scripture but going by the plain meaning of the plain text.

            Here’s a thought, David: The Torah was given to the Jews. That doesn’t mean you can’t read it and interpret it however you wish. Of course you can. But for gentiles to instruct Jews on how to understand their own private communication between them and God is a lot like me instructing you on how to understand your own private love letters from your wife.

            So forgive us if Jews, bearing this in mind, don’t take Christians seriously.

            Wishing you well,
            Dina

          • David says:

            Hi Dina,
            Contrary to your claim, I did answer your question on numbers. Just because you don’t like the answer doesn’t mean I didn’t answer it.

            Your original question:
            David, sorry, one more question. Do you see Numbers 21:8 as a messianic prophecy, and if so, can you explain it to me?

            My immediate response in the following post was:
            “…there is no logical reason why God through Scripture can’t refer to an historical event and then later God bring a new and deeper meaning related to that event; and this is the case with your reference to numbers 21. This is also the case with reference to Jesus as the “Lamb of God” which harkens back to the historical event of the night of the exodus with the sacrificial blood of the spotless lamb which resulted in the pass over of death.

            The above examples are not prophesies as such,

            but God never the less speaks to us with new and deeper significance through these historical events.”

            You wrote:

            “…I will answer your challenge that God expects us to make our own choices, which means that, being imperfect, we will sin. That’s why He gave us the option to repent.”

            My response:

            That was never my challenge to you.

            Let’s be clear. My challenges and questions were; I quote myself from the last post:

            “Where’s your scriptural support that God expected Adam to sin?”

            “Cite WHEN man came to be inclined to evil. Cite WHEN man acquired in your words “an imperfect nature” and define “imperfect nature” please. Are you saying that this is from the beginning?”

            “Genesis, Deuteronomy and Ezekiel do not support your assertions regarding imperfect nature.”

            “If Adam was of an imperfect nature and inclined to evil and God expected him to sin from the beginning as you seem to be claiming why wouldn’t God allow future righteous, although imperfect by nature, men back into the Garden?”

            But to be fair, you did address one of my challenge questions to you (in a way), by turning it around and asking me basically the other side of the coin of the same question.

            My question to you was:
            “Where’s your scriptural support that God expected Adam to sin?”

            And you turned that question around to me as another question:
            If God didn’t expect Adam to sin, why warn him that he will be punished for eating from the forbidden tree?

            My response:
            God warned Adam so that he could make a fully informed decision, to know the consequences of disobedience.
            Again, nowhere does scripture state or imply that God expected Adam to sin, quite the contrary.
            When God saw the wickedness of man he regretted and was sorry he made man, and it grieved Him in his heart (Genesis 6: 5, 6). Contrary to your claim, scripture tends to show that God did NOT expect man to sin (at least not in the beginning as He made him).

            God made Adam and placed him in the Garden for a purpose. The bible states what Adam’s purpose and duties were – to care for and work the Garden (Genesis 2:15).
            Nothing stated there about expecting Adam to fail or disobey.

            Then immediately after making Eve He blesses them both and states in detail a more thorough purpose and set of instructions for the both of them and their descendants to succeed in life. The set of instructions given to the both of them do NOT contradict, but compliment the earlier set of instructions given exclusively to Adam (Genesis 1:28-31). Again, there is no hint here of any expectations of failure or disobedience, only a promise of success if they follow His instructions.

            You wrote:
            In Genesis 4:7–right after Adam’s fall, no less!–God reassures Cain that though sin will tempt him, he can rule over it.

            My response:
            Faulty logic on your part. Yes, right after Adam’s fall, no less! Our argument is not that man, following Adam’s original disobedience, doesn’t have an inclination to sin. Our argument is did Adam have that same inclination to evil as would others in the future. I say no; you say yes apparently.

            As stated earlier in my previous posts we both agree that we have free will to choose and are accountable to God regardless of negative influences to disobey God that may be arrayed against us from within and without. Cain is less a lesson about God’s expectations and more a lesson about our continued (following the Garden) free will to choose and continued accountability to God. At the point God talks to Cain, Cain has already exposed his “inclined to evil” heart and by his free will CHOICE to NOT do well and harbor jealousy (enmity) against his brother. Never the less, having been fully counseled by God that he would be accepted if he yet does well, he still chooses to sin. Cain is accountable to God for his sin even though his heart is inclined to evil. There is no justification for disobedience to God, you can’t even blame it on an inclination to do evil.

            All the rest of your citations and examples in your post suffer from the same faulty logic. They are examples following Adam’s original disobedience and say nothing of Adam himself as to whether or not he also had an inclination to evil as did those that followed and say nothing of God’s “expectations” of Adam to commit sin as you so claim.

            You wrote:
            In Deuteronomy 30, Moses predicts that after we sin (yes, you see, here is the expectation of sinning–and there are other places in Scripture where you can find similar predictions), and after the curses befall us, then we will repent and God will restore us to our previous exalted state. He further goes on to tell us that life and death, good and evil, are ours to choose.

            My response:
            I absolutely agree. Moses and God came to know all too well the backsliding tendencies of the stiff-necked Israelites. Yes, at this point in history when a people has proven their character faults through a pattern of disobedience there is every expectation that the pattern of disobedience will continue at least for a while until they make a free will choice to change. Again, just because we are inclined to evil doesn’t mean we are no longer accountable to God for our free will choice to sin, as in the case of the Israelites.
            My challenge to you was not that we now do not have an inclination towards evil from our youth as stated by God himself in Genesis 6:5 and 8:21, but rather WHEN that inclination began. You have been arguing here that it is from the beginning with Adam. And you’ve provided NO proof of that. All of your biblical references following the first sin of Adam to prove that Adam had an inclination to sin, obviously suffers from faulty logic and are irrelevant. The references need to point to the beginning with Adam prior to his disobedience to be relevant.

            My original challenges to you remain unanswered. I’ll narrow it down for you to just two.

            1. Cite your scriptural support that God “expected” Adam to sin.

            2. Cite your scriptural support that Adam had “an imperfect nature” And define imperfect nature please.

          • Dina says:

            David, I don’t really care about “when” man’s inclination to evil from his youth started. That’s a Christian concern. But I’ll turn the challenge back around to you.

            1. Cite your scriptural support that God “expected” Adam to be perfect.
            2. Cite your scriptural support that Adam had “a perfect nature.” And define perfect nature, please.

            What signifieth your silence on the serpent?

            Thank you and have a good night,
            Dina

          • Dina says:

            Even better, David, cite your Scriptural support for the following:

            1. Acceptance of the Messiah as your lord and savior is necessary to attain spiritual salvation.
            2. After the Messiah arrives, Jews won’t have to keep the Law of Moses.
            3. After the Messiah arrives and is rejected by his own people, the truth will be handed over to the gentiles, and the Jews will need to go to the gentiles to seek the truth.
            4. Although God chose the Jews to be His witnesses (Isaiah 43 and 44), the Jews will need to receive instruction from the gentiles on how to understand their own scripture.

            Finally, if Jesus is the final atoning sacrifice, what is the point of the rebuilding of the Third Temple and the re-institution of the sacrificial system?

            Good luck,
            Dina

            P.S. I’m changing the topic because this discussion is a distraction. Let’s talk about what really divides us and try to achieve some clarity. Peace and blessings–DB

          • David says:

            Dina,

            You wrote:
            “David, I don’t really care about “when” man’s inclination to evil from his youth started. That’s a Christian concern.”

            My response:
            Thanks for being honest. But Judaism does have a response.

            You wrote:
            1. Cite your scriptural support that God “expected” Adam to be perfect.
            2. Cite your scriptural support that Adam had “a perfect nature.” And define perfect nature, please.

            My response:
            1. I never said that God “expected” Adam to be “perfect.” I said that God never “expected” Adam to sin. He may “expect” others (following Adam) to sin based on their conduct, but he never expected Adam to sin. And I’ve already provided more than enough scriptural evidence for that.
            2. I also never said that Adam had a “perfect nature” neither have I said that he had an “imperfect nature.” Those are your terms which are not found in the bible. That’s why I was asking you to define your own terms. God made man, provided for him, gave him a purpose, blessed him and pronounced him and all of creation “very good.” Furthermore, man was made without knowledge of good or evil. Following a free will choice of Adam to disobey for the first time in human history, we all now have knowledge of good and evil. In addition, as a result, we all now have an inclination to evil. In spite of that we remain accountable to God for our free will choices. As stated above, I’ve already provided ample scriptural evidence of this.

            Your other comments and follow-on post are nothing more than a distraction from the original topic to get out of the box you find yourself in. It’s clear at this point you have not, and will not stay on topic. And you said yourself that you, “don’t really care about “when” man’s inclination to evil from his youth started.”

            I therefore have nothing more to say.

          • Dina says:

            Hi David.

            I think you will be surprised to learn that I agree with much of what you wrote here, especially this: “God made man, provided for him, gave him a purpose, blessed him and pronounced him and all of creation “very good.” Furthermore, man was made without knowledge of good or evil. Following a free will choice of Adam to disobey for the first time in human history, we all now have knowledge of good and evil. In addition, as a result, we all now have an inclination to evil. In spite of that we remain accountable to God for our free will choices.”

            You are also correct that Scripture does not explicitly say “God expected Adam to sin.” I think it’s fair to say that God assumed the possibility of Adam’s disobedience and therefore threatened punishment. I cannot imagine why you disagree with that nor why you think that is important.

            So where then do we disagree? I would have to ask you if you believe, as most Christians do, that Hashem demands from us that which we are not capable of producing or that Hashem doesn’t reward good deeds if there is even one sin. If you do, then that is a doctrine that divides us.

            So what do you say, David?

            Also, I can’t help wondering why you’re ignoring me on the question of the serpent. It’s a mighty good catch, that one!

            Best wishes,
            Dina

          • Dina says:

            Hi everyone.

            David doesn’t want to talk to me although I respectfully returned to the topic under discussion. I’d love to find out his position on original sin, but be that as it may. Are there any Christians who have been following this thread who’d like to pick up my challenge on the serpent?

            In short, according to the Christian interpretation, the serpent in Genesis 3:15 represents Satan and in Numbers 21:8 represents Jesus. What gives, my friends?

            Thanks,
            Dina

  7. Sean
    I never said that people didn’t hate Jews before Christianity. Most enemies of God hate Jews. But doesn’t it strike you as odd that for many long centuries hatred of Jews was taught by those who loved Jesus? Do you really believe that the fact that for many centuries the people who were considered to be the moral guides of Europe taught their people that the Jews are children of the devil wasn’t a major factor in causing the holocaust?
    why do you consider yourself a greater scholar on Jesus than Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther and John Calvin who all considered love of Jesus and hatred of Jews and Judaism to be synonymous? Why do you still study the teachings of these men if you truly believe that they were not “real” Christians?
    The fact is that the historical Jesus is dead. the only Jesus that existed in the minds of so many Europeans was evil. You are trying to reconstruct a new Jesus now – but you are still standing in the shoes of those who loved that evil Jesus.

    • Sean Trank says:

      It doesn’t strike me as odd because being born in a “Christian” family doesn’t make you anymore “christain” than being born in a bakery makes you a bagel.

      You are absolutely right, the teachings of church leaders have direct correlations to antisemitism and they will be held accountable for their sins. But just like it is unfair for a Gentile to stereotype all Jews it is also wrong to stereotype all followers of Jesus, both Jew and Gentile as propagators of hate.

      False teaching has run rampant throughout history and Jesus himself warns against it. “Watch out for false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are voracious wolves. You will recognize them by their fruit.”

      Christians are by no way perfect, false teaching can slip in because there is an adversary who continues to work against God. It is through God’s word that followers of Jesus are to test for sound teaching. Scripture is clear “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Genesis 12:3

      The fact is that Jesus is alive and is coming again, he will judge all, Jews and Gentiles alike and unless we have found a way to atone for our sins outside of the sacrificial system setup and commanded by God we will be held accountable to the law and face the penalty. But God loved the world so much he send his Son to be our Messiah and to become the atonement for our sins and to all who call on Him they will become sons of God. Being a victim does not atone for sin, only a sinless sacrifice can do that.

      • “The fact is that Jesus is alive and is coming again, he will judge all, Jews and Gentiles”

        for the past 10 years i have predicted that jesus WILL not return and so far i have been right.

        “The fact is that Jesus is alive and is coming again, he will judge all, Jews and Gentiles”

        JUDGED

        1.
        a public officer authorized to hear and decide cases in a court of law; a magistrate charged with the administration of justice.
        2.
        a person appointed to decide in any competition, contest, or matter at issue; authorized arbiter: the judges of a beauty contest.
        3.

        According to the nt, jewish + roman decision makers judged jesus and got him pinned to a cross. jesus , on the cross, cried out , ” my god, my god, why have you forsaken me?”
        when the pnuema leave’s jesus’ flesh it goes out with a loud cry.
        what doesn’t make sense is how did a god get humans to pass judgement on him?
        the judge gets judged?

        • Sean Trank says:

          And what sin was Jesus guilty of? He predicted his death and betrayal and could have forgone the whole ordeal but chose the will of God. He gave his life as a spotless lamb.

          Jesus said no one knows the day or the hour of his return. So feel free to keep making predictions.

          • Dina says:

            Sean, if Jesus “predicted his death and betrayal and could have forgone the whole ordeal but chose the will of God,” why then did he cry out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

          • Sean Trank says:

            Do you know where that line he said came from. Hint Psalms.

            A song of David about the suffering of messiah and then salvation through him. Jesus quotes the prophecies about himself even at his death.

          • Dina says:

            Sean, this verse from Psalm 22 is, in your words, a prophecy about Jesus. How so? Jesus knew this would happen to him, so why does he complain about God abandoning him? How is this a fulfillment of what prophecy?

          • Sean Trank says:

            Read the verse, every moment of Jesus’ life he alludes to his identity through the words of the prophets as well as prophetic songs of David. The song itself completely express why Jesus said the words. Try taking the cup of God’s wrath poured out on you for all of humanities sins and you might understand why Jesus sang those words.

          • Dina says:

            Sean, I think this is a strange verse for Jesus to choose if he is a god. Why would God ask God why he forsook Himself? Why would God pray to God? If Jesus knew this would happen, why is he feeling that God has abandoned him? You haven’t begun to answer the question.

            Instead you pointed to Jesus’s suffering.

            And let me tell you, I am not impressed. I don’t mean to minimize death by crucifixion. It’s a horrible, agonizing, drawn-out death.

            But Jesus was one of the lucky ones. He suffered for a few hours before dying, while many victims of crucifixion lingered for days on the cross. And he wasn’t the only one to suffer like this. Up to 100,000 Jews were crucified by the Romans; did you know that?

            Jesus was one of the lucky ones. Never having been married or fathered children, he was never forced to watch his wife being tortured and raped before his eyes, his children tortured and killed before his eyes, and then himself be shipped off to a death camp to be stripped of every human dignity, suffer every human privation, and finally be gassed to death if he hadn’t already succumbed to hunger, disease, or some other horrible thing. Such and more did many Jews in the Holocaust suffer.

            And do you know what verse they chose to recite, on their way to the death chambers? According to eyewitness accounts, they recited the Shema, proclaiming God’s Oneness before giving up their souls. They sang a song in Hebrew, as they went to their deaths, which in English means this:

            “I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the Messiah, and even though he should tarry, still I await his coming each day.”

            I come from a long line of people who recited the Shema while being burned at the stake rather than be converted in your churches.

            So don’t you lecture to me about what I would say if God’s wrath were poured on me. We Jews know about suffering far too well, thanks to your spiritual ancestors.

          • Sean Trank says:

            I’m only addressing your first question, why would God ask God why he forsook Himself? Answer: The same reason why God said to God, let Us make man in Our own image. Why would God say Us and Our? I believe it was because Jesus was with God and was God just at John 1 says. Check it out.

          • Dina says:

            You are not answering the question; you’re dodging it. How can God forsake Himself? That’s very different than telling yourself, “Okay, let’s do this!” (There are other explanations supported by the text, but this will suffice for now.)

            Your words here show you believe there is more than one God. Therefore, you do not believe this:

            “See, now, that I, I am He–and no god is with Me” (Deuteronomy 32:39) and “I am the Lord and there is no other; other than Me there is no God” (Isaiah 45:5) and “I, only I, am the Lord, and there is no savior aside from Me” (Isaiah 43:11).

          • Sean Trank says:

            Not dodging just tired of trying to write messages from my phone. it’s a poem that Jesus was quoting and it served to draw our attention to the full song. Try to read the song less literally and more like a poem like Song of Songs.

            They are not more than one if they are the same and existing outside of time and space. Jesus says before Abraham I Am. Have you read that account before?

          • Dina says:

            Hi Sean.

            Psalm 22 is not a prophecy but King David talking about himself, while Song of Songs is obviously an allegory.

            One could fairly ask, if this entire Psalm is about Jesus, why he chose the second verse to be his last words and not verse 29 or verse 23 or verse 25 and so on.

            To me this suggests that Jesus was less heroic than simple Jews who went to their deaths proclaiming God’s oneness rather than renounce their faith.

            And it also suggests to me that Jesus himself did not believe he was God.

          • Dina says:

            Sean, for the sake of clarity, you might like to know that Jews do not hold that which you call the “New Testament” to be in any way authoritative. Therefore, to prove your point, it would be most effective to quote only from the Jewish scriptures (and that would be what you call the “Old Testament).

            Thanks,
            Dina

          • Sean Trank says:

            Do you know why it is called the New Testament?

          • Dina says:

            Can you cite Scriptural support for the reason?

          • “And what sin was Jesus guilty of?”
            you mean he got judged even though he wasn’t guilty of any sins? he still got judged by humans and was pinned violently. god got judged.

            i don’t know why christian ask a question like yours. you believe you are guaranteed heaven even though you are guilty of sins. you believe that no punishment shall touch you even though you are guilty of sins. you believe that god took care of yours sins by punishing and suffering for them for a few days.

            ” He predicted his death and betrayal and could have forgone the whole ordeal but chose the will of God. He gave his life as a spotless lamb.”

            i think those predictions were inserted later. jesus promises all the 12 lofty rewards when he talks to them in private. paul has his jc appear to the 12.

            “he predicted his death”

            the nt writers portray the jewish authorities as violent mafia type. it wouldn’t be difficult to predict your death when every time you are on the RUN from authorities . jesus was on the run all the time and one time he dodged an angry crowd

            luke:28
            So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, 29 and rose up and thrust him out of the city; and they led him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw him down over the cliff. 30 Then passing through the midst of them, he went his way.

            in light of this account his predictions seem even more strange.

          • Sean Trank says:

            Nice theory, you should see all the theories the Muslims have come up with to deny Jesus’ claim of being God’s Son.

            Jesus also predicted his own resurrection, figure that one out. The Muslims say that he conspired with Judas and that is was really Judas on the cross while Jesus escaped to India. There are plenty of theories out there for anyone who plainly wont consider Jesus.

          • okay, lets replace jesus with another person and have that person say, “my god, my god, WHY have you forsaken me?”

            people listen to this proclamation and say, “this man wants to get saved”

            can you tell me what Yhwh said about those who He forsook?

          • Sean Trank says:

            Not sure what you are trying to say… Explain?

          • jesus makes a loud cry with words, “my god, my god , why have you forsaken me” then when his pnuema departs it goes out with a LOUD wordless cry.

            here is something interesting

            everytime mark has spirits DEPARTING from human flesh, he has them depart with wordless loud cries.

            the cry of DEFEAT?

          • it’s not about “nice theory”

            jesus REALLY didn’t know the future. i will prove it to you.

            “27Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?”

            “28Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wifee or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.”

            do you see?

            what is interesting is that the denier who will denie jc asked jc what they will he get in return. jesus told his deciples that they WILL receive lofty rewards.these words seems to be words of guarantee. you must ADMIT that when jc said , “… you WILL ALSO sit…” he didn’t know that pete would DENy him.

      • Dina says:

        Sean, I have a question for you. Is there any Christian leader in Christian history from the period of the early Church fathers until, say, the 1500s, that you uphold as a paragon of Christian virtue, whose life and works you feel are worth studying? I mean, specifically Christian. Sir Isaac Newton is interesting, but that’s not what I mean.

        Thanks,
        Dina

        • Sean Trank says:

          That is a good question. I know from Hebrew school much of Jewish though is focused on the great Rabbis and while I respect Rabbis and Christian leaders such at Martin Buber or C.S. Lewis I am very aware that the word of God itself is much more important. The same Ruach HaKodesh that may have inspired them is among followers of Jesus today and He is my teacher. It is when a spiritual leader/the church begins to rely on their own strength/knowledge that false teaching sneaks in and much damage is done.

          • Dina says:

            Sean, Christianity didn’t produce any great thinkers and writers until the nineteenth and twentieth centuries? What does this say of the movement?

            Obviously, God’s words are important. But those who follow Him surely have some wisdom to impart. Do you not agree?

            From the period of the early church fathers up until, say, the sixteenth century, you can find no one who is worth studying, who inspires you. Does that not give you pause?

          • Sean Trank says:

            Not sure what that says, I’m not a historian. Though I don’t agree with much of the writings that came out of catholic history, they might argue otherwise.

            I don’t think having the right commentary from teachers is as important as having the Holy Spirit. Unless wisdom was given by God how do we know what to trust? How do we discern the wisdom of the Lord? By looking at the fruit produced by those claiming to be wise we can see what is from the Lord.

            We have the word of God why would we put more faith in the words of men?

          • Dina says:

            Sean, you confirm a recent discovery of mine: Even many Christians admit that Christianity has not produced men of such caliber that they are worthy of admiration and emulation. This revelation blows me away.

            Thanks for bringing more clarity to this discussion.

            Peace and blessings,
            Dina

          • Sean Trank says:

            It will never produce any man greater than Jesus and that is ok.

          • Dina says:

            Jesus was the only great man? Are you serious?

          • Sean Trank says:

            Until someone else lives a sinless life and dies for my sins and rises from the dead… yup

          • Dina says:

            Okay, let me try to approach this from a different angle.

            Are there good people and bad people?

            (And I’ll take up your answer tomorrow; it’s getting late in my time zone.)

          • Sean Trank says:

            I know how you feel my eyes are barley open. 🙂 I guess I don’t categorize people in such terms because I don’t know everything about everyone. According to King David I was sinful even in my mothers womb and none do righteousness no not one. I agree with the king at least for my own life and I trust him when he speaks of everyone else’s life as well. I believe we have been born with a sin nature that we inherit from our fathers. According to the terms of the law I am guilty and deserve God’s judgment. This is how I honestly feel.

            If I were to be less than honest with you I might tell you that of course I’m a good person because there are far worse people out there than me and why would God judge me I pay my taxes and I don’t kill people.

            But then honesty kicks back in and I stand condemned because my hart has harbored hate, lust, greet, murder and I realize I can’t even go a day without sinning in my own heart. That is why I need Jesus because not only does he atone for sin but he gives me a new heart of flesh instead of my old heart of stone. I don’t have to way my goodness against anyone else because Jesus has and continues to purify my heart. And that is good news for everyone.

          • Dina says:

            Sean, I am not asking you to categorize specific people or to tell me your opinion of every inhabitant of this earth, just if you accept the concept of a distinction between good people and bad people. Put differently, are some people righteous, some people wicked, and others somewhere in between?

            Thanks,
            Dina

          • Sean Trank says:

            None are righteous no not one. But I have met many decent people but as I got to hear their stories all of them had been very unpleasant in different points in their lives. Do you think there are good and bad people?

          • Dina says:

            Sean, you said that no one is righteous.

            I’m wondering what you make of the following:

            Genesis 6:9, Psalms 118:20; Ezekiel Chapters 18 and 33

            In these passages (there are many more; this is but a sampling), Scripture talks about righteous men, or righteous men versus wicked men, or that righteous men can become wicked and wicked men can become righteous through the exercise of their free will.

            Do you still stand by your words? Or do you disagree with God’s holy words?

          • Sean Trank says:

            I can’t claim to know the hearts of men but I believe it is possible to be made righteous as Abraham’s faith was counted as so. I know that I am far from righteous and need atonement. Righteousness can only be given by God otherwise it is self righteousness and it won’t holdup in court.

          • Dina says:

            Sean, did you read Chapters 18 and 33 in Ezekiel? Because they say the opposite of what you are saying. Can you cite Scriptural support for your assertion?

            Ezekiel does not say that righteousness is granted by God but is determined by our actions.

          • Dina says:

            In other words, Scripture tells us exactly what actions we can take to become righteous or wicked. Our spiritual destiny for good or ill is in our own hands (Genesis 4:7). You cannot say what you said and then pretend that humans have free will and or that personal accountability means anything.

            Furthermore, can you show me one place, just one, in all of Tanach (Hebrew Scripture) that tells us that turning to God in prayer and repentance is not enough to atone for our sins?

            Can you show me one place, just one, in all of Tanach, that only through belief in and acceptance of a messiah one will attain eternal salvation?

            Good luck,
            Dina

  8. Dina and Sean
    The very fact that the Christian reaction to the holocaust seems to be more busy trying to prove Jesus’ innocence rather than seeking the roots of the evil that was spawned from their own pulpits speaks louder than anything else

    • Dina says:

      That is exactly right, Rabbi Blumenthal.

      But just to be clear, Sean, nearly two millennia of Christian anti-Semitism is not the reason Jews reject Christianity (although it certainly doesn’t help your case). So why don’t we start at the beginning? Since Jews don’t believe in what you call the New Testament, prove to me from the scriptures we hold in common, the Hebrew scriptures, the truth of your religion.

      Are you up to the challenge?

  9. Yedidiah says:

    If as a Christian, I didn’t have similar sentiments as that expressed below, then I have heard something close to it expressed or implied by other “believers”.

    How dare those Jews believe their Holy Scripture. “How dare they” (along with many God-Fearing, God-loving ex-Christians) “believe that one can believe in God without Jesus and that one can have such strong faith in God, without focusing on an image of God as a person or without first and foremost having faith in a “divine” human agent as the only way to ‘know’ non-human God”.

    How dare they hold to their covenant with God, based on the Holy Words of God, that makes it appear that our new covenant is lacking or may be inferior. How dare they force us to look at the so-called “divisions within the church”. How dare they point to the large amount of heresy written about in non-canonical and even canonical sources, as if this were a failure of the teacher, his students and appointed messengers, and even of the validity of the message. How dare they draw attention to what they see as “the great gaps of silence over many decades” in the timeline of early church history and in the lack of written records over decades and scores of years and more, and how that “increased the probability and the likelihood of error and corruption of the oral transmission of the tradition, especially in light of the fact that these few messengers were scattered all over the Roman Empire with little or no training, guidance or control. How dare some use such Christian writings like the Didache or the “early church fathers” to confirm these many problems and failures. How dare they show that a lot of what is considered history is “actually unsupported beliefs and even pure speculation”.

    How dare they force us to promote or preserve our faith in our ‘new version’ of God by having us teach extreme defensive measures, such as a concept of eternal torment in hell as punishment for not accepting what they consider to be “beliefs that are so opposed to Torah and Tanach and that are so pagan in origin and in principle”.

    Or, that we must take such extreme expenditure in time and effort and advertising dollars to missionize and promote in conversation, “door-to-door sales”, print media, internet blogs, TV, radio, and various other venues or methods, in order to attempt to overcome what they consider as “the historically very poor word-of-mouth advertising of Christianity and the very weak & twisted arguments that we have attempted to make in the past and that we still feebly make”. How they force us to confront so often what they call the “contradictions between our NT and their bible” and “the many inconsistencies between our Christian writings”.

    Or they say “that we must widen the narrow gate in an attempt to show that the ‘savior of all mankind’ truly is loving and merciful and that he can tolerate us ‘sinners’ and truly does want to save us, despite the absurdity and difficulty of the teachings we must accept to be ‘saved'””. “Or they say “that it is inconsistent that we Christians believe that the God who can’t tolerate sin and can’t stand before flesh and blood, yet could stand before satan in the Book of Job and yet supposedly could Himself become flesh-and-blood and could sit and eat with sinners before they believed, if they believed”.

    How dare Jews consider that they are victims, just based on written, objective history, while we have “less merit based on far fewer instances or periods in far fewer places and largely based on our own unverifiable human traditions (some even termed by scholars as myth) and often our victimizers were fellow Christians”.

  10. Yedidiah says:

    Somewhere someone earlier mentioned that “God gives righteousness”(?). God can judge if one is righteous and many have been declared as righteous in the Hebrew (Jewish) bible (pre-Christian OT). Righteous basically means to “do what is right”. Not only can one be righteous, but God even has commanded His people to be much more than that. God said they were a “nation of Priests” and God commanded that they be Holy as God is Holy. Whatever Holy God meant by Holy, Holy God believes (knows) that we “sinners” can be Holy as God and should be Holy. And God commanded that of people without either God or the Israelites (Jews or us) needing a Jesus.

    • Yedidiah says:

      Christians need to stop making God a liar, so that they can keep faith in a man, Jesus. They need to stop making God a small god by their “faith” in Jesus. God is bigger, more glorious than Jesus.

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