It started when I watched Rabbi Tovia Singer’s video: ”Are Christians Going to Hell ? Rabbi Tovia Singer explores the Toxic Doctrine of the Trinity” around two weeks ago. In all my years of watching , listening and reading articles on polemics against the Trinity , this video troubled me the most. He stated twice that those who know the truth yet still reject it has “no place in the world to come”.
Rabbi Tovia challenged Trinitarians to read Isaiah 41 to 48 to see if Isaiah was really talking about the Trinity in these passages, which I did.
True enough, these passages did not speak of the Trinity at all. The other surprising thing that came to mind is how G-d , like a loving parent /husband , rebukes Israel as being “blind and deaf”(Chapter 42) , yet comforts her and declare her to be a witness and a light to the nations. This cycle of rebuking and comforting messages continued as I read along these passages.
I was particularly stunned upon coming across this verse:
Isaiah 45: 18-19: “I am the LORD, there is no other. I have not spoken in secret, from somewhere in a land of darkness; I have not said to Jacob’s descendants, ‘Seek me in vain’. I, the Lord,speak the truth; I declare what is right.”
This is because , despite everything that I’ve learnt these few months , the contempt and prejudice that I have towards the Jewish people is still there and it shows in the disbelief that I have when reading these passages with your people in mind instead of Jesus , and also in my previous e-mails to you. This verse , to me , repudiates the claims of the New Testament writers and Church Fathers that your people are in lost/in error –it is we , the Gentiles/Nations/Christians who are in error.
Also, I can’t help but to tie the issue I have with the Trinity and the Jewish people as witnesses to the truth.
I have had doubts on the Trinity and the idolatrous practices of my faith for many years.
Listening to these and other anti Christian polemics from a Jewish counter missionary is more lethal and “deadly” than listening to it from a Muslim missionary. I have never learnt so much and being troubled so much in my life.
Perhaps it’s because Christianity started as a sect within Judaism .I have always viewed Christianity as an enhancement to Judaism-sort of like a product enhancement where the core design is not fundamentally changed -never as a separate religion that Marcion advocated. There should be cohesive storyline from the Jewish Bible to the New Testament.
Another reason is because the message of antisemitism in New Testament really brings the polemics against Christianity to a whole new level for me. The most troubling aspect is seeing Jesus , a Jew from the eyes of fellow Jews-did Jesus uphold the Torah and its teachings or did he came to establish a new religion . I see conflicting messages ,on one hand yes , on the other hand no. Perhaps the most convincing answer is that he did come to establish a new belief-which is what I gather from my readings and following your blog.
I also observed the interactions in the blog-those who revere Jesus (including me) will have contempt for the Jewish people ,irrespective of whether they’re Trinitarian or Unitarian .I see it in Dr Michael Brown’s opening lines ,I see it in CP,I see it in me. One have to choose -it cannot be both.
Rabbi Tovia asked a question-do Christians believe deep down that Jesus is equal to the Father -to me ,the answer is NO. I never have and can never bring myself to equate Jesus with the Father, no matter how much I look up to him.
Yet-there is a tug of war within -to believe Jesus ,the Jew or to believe the Jewish people ?If I hold on to the belief that God is One and that He has no equals ,then I have to believe in the testimony of the Jewish people.
I was searching for some videos to learn more about the prophecies in Isaiah and came across a very short excerpt by none other than Rabbi Tovia on Isaiah 53 . The opening line -where the nations are astonished really echoes the shock I’m feeling . Looking back ,it seems that Isaiah 53 is describing my journey as a Gentile of learning and the knowledge and insight I’ve received from the Jewish people -“by his knowledge my servant will justify many”.
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Yisroel C. Blumenthal