In response to these three comments
You use words as do politicians and missionaries – not to bring clarity and light, but to create darkness, to sow confusion and to mask the emptiness of your position. Throughout your three responses you do not address the explicit passages that refute your position, instead you harp back to your own speculations that you have gleaned between the lines of your misunderstanding of Scripture. You present these with literary flourish as if there was a shred of substance in your argument.
I hope that my humble words bring clarity to those who may be confused by your elaborate but empty words.
You wonder at the harshness of my language concerning the alleged position held by Isaac Lichtenstein. The missionaries have a history of inventing extraordinary titles for those who convert from Judaism to Christianity. Reading the biographies of these people written by the missionaries reveals the emptiness of their claims. In describing the “Jewish” life of these imposing “rabbis” the biographers prove their ignorance of the basic elements of Jewish habits and customs. The fact that you believe these fairytales is very disturbing to all who love truth.
You ask “Who is God? How can we please Him?” These questions ring hollow coming from your pen. What do you mean “how can we please Him”? By obeying His commandments! The commandment that you consistently ignore is the one that bears on our discussion. Instead of asking what God has directly commanded us you turn to your own speculations.
When it comes to the object of worship God does NOT point to the prior revelation (Exodus 3:2) but to the revelation that was granted to the people as a whole (Deuteronomy 4:15). When it comes to the question of the object of our worship Charles points to the prior revelations but God does not. Does this not disturb you? Why do you consistently ignore God’s direct command? It is clear from Scripture, that whatever the purpose of the prior revelations it was NOT to set the tone for future national worship – in the context of national worship God points us to what the nation did and did not see at Sinai.
You dismiss the testimony of the witness appointed by God with the words “ancestors can and do lie” and you quote Jeremiah 23:28,29 to support your position of Sola Scriptura. As is your habit, you have ignored the testimony of the Scripture you claim to believe in (namely Psalm 78:3,4,5; Isaiah 43:10, Deuteronomy 4:35) and instead you have demonstrated that a claim to loyalty to Scripture can be an empty shell. The passage in Jeremiah does not specify that God limits His communication to the written word. The passage that you have quoted is completely irrelevant to this discussion. As for your argument about ancestors lying. Allow me to remind you that written words can and do lie as well. Without the living testimony of God’s witnesses there is no way of knowing that these books are His word.
I asked how could God demand perfect obedience if man is not capable of producing perfection. You did not respond to this question but brought Scripture to demonstrate that man is not capable of perfection. I knew this when I asked you the question. This was the premise for my question that you did not answer. Do you believe that the commandments of God are a joke? Do you not recognize that God does not demand of man that which man is not capable of delivering? Do you not recognize that imperfect human beings are held as examples of obedience to God’s commandments? (Genesis 26:5; 1Kings 11:34 – note, not a word about mediation in these passages).
You respond to my “quest for evidence” with some more speculation. Do you not realize that the Author of Scripture knew how to write? That He was able to make His point with clarity and with force? Why did He not put anything down clearly which states that Sinai is a pathetic joke and that all of mankind needs to put their faith in a coming mediator? Look, God said very clearly that the Jewish people should observe the Sabbath. He said this in a commanding way and He repeated it many times promising reward for obedience and threatening punishment for disregarding His eternal sign (Exodus 16:29; 20:8; 23:12; 31:14; 34:21; 35:2; Leviticus 23:3; Numbers 15:35; Deuteronomy 5:12; Isaiah 56:2; 58:13; Jeremiah 17:21). Each of these is far more explicit than all of your references together for the “need” of humanity for this savior of yours. Yet God, who knew how to make clear how important observance of the Sabbath is to His heart, was suddenly tongue-tied when it came to the supposed salvation of humanity? Instead of clear commanding words he can find no better way to communicate outside of some hints dropped between the mistranslated lines? How do you explain this to yourself?
I did not ask you to exegete Deuteronomy 30:1-10. I asked you to read it. I don’t care if your heart is circumcised or not. All I ask is that you allow the words to talk. How can you say that we cannot repent if Deuteronomy 30:2 makes it clear that we CAN repent even before the divine circumcision of our heart? How do you allow your own sophistry to render God’s word null and void?
You charge that the community of God’s witnesses have not found Sabbath rest. You charge that there is no solid redemption in rabbinic Judaism. We have the peace and redemption of God as our small sanctuary in exile (Ezekiel 11:16). In every generation he is our dwelling place and we couldn’t ask for a better redemption (Psalm 90:1).
Your read on Hosea 12:5 is backward. The angel wept and pleaded before Jacob it wasn’t the other way round. Just read Genesis 32:27.
I would never accuse you of idolizing the word of God. You manipulate the word of God to please your idol (you know who).
You claim that without mediation we can only expect an all-consuming fire. That is if we don’t believe in God’s word. But if we believe in God’s word we can expect Him to forget our sin when we turn to Him with our human repentance (Ezekiel 33:16). Will you continue to declare loyalty to God’s word when you still insist on ignoring those words of His which you cannot manipulate to fit your theology?
Contrary to your claim, God is always our Father whether we sin or repent (Exodus 4:22; Deuteronomy 14:1). Another example of your disdain for the word of God.
Your accusation that the oral traditions violate the commandment against adding to God’s word has been elsewhere addressed on this blog (https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2010/09/14/letter-to-aryeh-leib/ , https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2011/08/16/two-sides-of-the-same-coin-proverbs-306/ ). If you have a substantive refutation then please share it with us instead of repeating the same accusation. Your argument which demonstrates that traditions can sometimes be misleading (on the basis of events in the time of Manasseh and Josiah) is irrelevant to the argument. No one ever claimed that every tradition originates with Moses. But those traditions that are verified by God’s witnesses are accepted by those who trust God.
You exalt Nebuchadnezzar on the basis of your own speculation (the Scripture does not tell us that the gold represents Babylon because of any spiritual quality that they possessed – that is your speculation). You then jump to an unwarranted conclusion (that Nebuchadnezzar rose to these dizzying spiritual heights on the basis of his “communion” with one who is described as the son of God) which you present as the “word of God” when in fact it is the word of no one but Charles. Perhaps you did not notice, but Nebuchadnezzar says not a word about his “communion” with this figure in his song of praise for the Gracious Host who you refuse to recognize. For some odd reason you also ignore Nebuchadnezzar’s other praise of God (Daniel 4:31,32).
The son of man who is served in Daniel 7:13,14 is none other than God’s firstborn son; Israel whose son-ship you deny. This is the explanation of Daniel’s vision given by Scripture -https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2010/11/23/daniel-713/ . But certainly Scripture cannot trump your theology.
Your manipulation of Psalm 2:12 is also a foundation of quicksand. According to most translations this passage speaks of embracing purity and not of any individual. Even if we were to grant the unlikely translation of “the son” favored by modern missionaries the thrust of the passage will be that the kings are encouraged to submit to the political sovereignty of the Messiah, not to worship him as a god.
Charles. I am just asking you to face the Scripture that you claim to revere. Do not attempt to drown out God’s word with your own speculation. Ask yourself, did God not know how to make Himself clear?
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Yisroel C. Blumenthal