Response to Concerned Reader
This letter is in response to your recent comment – https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2014/10/19/open-response-to-charles/#comment-15505
In this comment of yours you present some arguments in favor of the Christian faith and you accuse Jewish critics of Christianity of intellectual dishonesty.
All of your arguments have been already been refuted in the course of our discussion but it seems that you have forgotten that which is convenient for you to forget. Allow me to refresh your memory.
The Bible never says to kill the followers of a false prophet.
The Bible never says that the test of a true prophet is the survival of his movement.
If you believe that the movement of all false prophets in history ceased with their death then you must believe that Mohammed and Joseph Smith are true prophets.
If you believe that the movement of Jesus “exploded” then you must believe that the leaders of the Churches that followed Jesus gave legitimate expression to the movement that Jesus established. These leaders spoke of a deep hatred of the Jewish people, God’s firstborn son. These leaders poured the fuel that burned 6,000, 000 innocents in just five years. This is to say nothing of the countless others who died by the darkness of their “light”. Is this the “explosion” that you so proudly look up to? Is this the sign of the “true prophet”?
Now for what you see as our intellectual dishonesty in demanding one standard of evidence for you and allowing ourselves a completely different standard.
In order to make this accusation of intellectual dishonesty you compare Jesus’ claims and the claims of all of Judaism. The more relevant parallel would be to compare Jesus to Moses. Jesus damns those who don’t believe his words and he teaches mankind that those who don’t believe him are spiritually defective. Moses had God confirm his mission as redeemer (Exodus 14:31) and as prophet (Exodus 19:9). If you are looking for a parallel to the testimony of the Jewish community as a whole you would need to look at the testimony of the Christian community as a whole and the two are as far apart as night is from day. One of these communities is passing on what they received from their biological ancestors while the other is passing on a message that their ancestors heard from traveling missionaries. One believes that their message is so self-evidently true that anyone who disagrees with them is forever damned while the other believes that its message only obligates the physical descendants of those who originally witnessed.
Furthermore; I pointed out to you that Jesus attempts to justify himself according to the laws and regulations of an existing system. That existing system exalts the miracles of Moses and the Sinai experience above all other miracles and never looks to the “explosion” of a movement as evidence for its veracity. You can disagree with the faith structure of Judaism as spelled out in the Bible, but you can’t do so and believe in Jesus. Because Jesus accepted the legitimacy of that system and he failed according to the world-view of the system that he acknowledged as valid and true. Judaism on the other hand does not attempt to justify itself according to the norms of any previous system.
Your accusation of intellectual dishonesty reminds me of Matthew 23.
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Yisroel C. Blumenthal