Different Standards – by Jim

You have identified the source of the impossibility of any meeting of the minds between yourself and those that adhere to the Torah of HaShem: the two sides of the argument appeal to two different standards of evidence. Those that follow Torah, use it as their canon and guide, while you rely on a holy spirit as your canon and guide. These two differing evidentiary standards mean that you and we must always talk past one another.

Whenever you make use of the Torah, it is as a bludgeon. It is a weapon with which you hope to defeat your interlocutors. The Torah is not the source of your understanding; it is a tool that you use to support your “spirit-inspired” theology. Therefore, you do not object to the standard Christian practice of violating the text. Because meaning is something you put into the text, rather than derive from the text, the only violation of the text that you recognize is conflict with your own beliefs. The context of a passage is irrelevant to your reading of a verse, because you have imposed an entirely new context on the entirety of Tanach—it is all about Jesus. While no straight reading of Tanach could render such a verdict, a “spirit-inspired” reader feels perfectly justified in re-contextualizing the entirety of Torah in order to find Jesus in its pages—or, rather, force him into it.

And so, you can write that no evidence from Torah will ever move you. You rely upon a different source, altogether.

Those that love HaShem and His Torah cannot accept your standard of evidence, any more than you accept theirs. The Torah does not make the acceptance of a prophet, Messiah, or deity a matter of private interpretation. It does not tell people to consult with the holy spirit to establish the credentials of a man in any of these categories. No one who loves HaShem and His Torah can follow your holy spirit, then, because this is a standard of evidence foreign to him. He will know when Messiah comes when the role of the Messiah is fulfilled as clearly defined in Tanach, not by a list of misrepresented passages. He will know a prophet when a prophet produces observable evidence and by the consonance of his teaching with Torah. And he will know that God is not a triune entity, because Torah teaches that none are beside HaShem (Deut. 4:35). No spirit could convince him to violate the teachings of HaShem.

The spirit-filled person must certainly find it difficult to converse with one that loves Torah. The spirit-filled person arrogates to himself an authority not granted by the Torah. He claims to see what others cannot. Because he cannot demonstrate the truth of his claims from Torah, he can only assert that others are blind, while he sees. However, he has no means to demonstrate the truth of this assertion, so it never rises above mere claim. He unreasonably claims to he heard, while justifying why he need never listen to others.

He does not recognize the kindness extended by the Torah observant person, when the latter does not demand that the spirit-filled person substantiate his claims. It would be most reasonable for one who loves truth to demand of the spirit-filled person a sign or wonder in order to establish his special sight. But this would be to invite disaster upon the spirit-filled person. For, if he performed a sign or wonder, and then he preached a God unknown to the Jewish people, he would condemn himself. (See Deuteronomy 13.) Moreover, the most likely outcome is that the spirit-filled person would humiliate himself, being unable to present any evidence of his claims. It is most likely that no sign or wonder would be forthcoming.

Even by the standards of the Church, it is obvious that the “spirit-filled” are nothing of the sort. If ever tongues of fire appeared, they have long since disappeared. Perhaps at one time, followers of Jesus made the lame to walk and leap, but if so, they have long since lost the ability. The Book of Acts has Peter claiming that Joel’s prophecy was being fulfilled in his time, but nothing is more apparent than that Joel’s prophecy has not yet been fulfilled—it certainly has not been fulfilled in the Church. Those signs that are to accompany those that believe in Jesus are nowhere seen. They are rumored to happen, but always far away. To ask the modern believer to produce evidence of his “spirit-inspired theology” is to embarrass him.

Because those that are devoted to Hashem and those that are devoted to Jesus rely upon two entirely different standards of evidence, it would be a kindness if the Church stopped appealing to Tanach to establish its theology. Moreover, it would serve the truth. It is the frequent claim of Christians that Tanach reveals Jesus to be Messiah and god. But, this is not his standard of evidence, and he should no longer pretend that it is. His canon is not the Torah. His appeal to Torah is a pretext, and when it is shown that he has misrepresented it, it becomes clear that his actual standard is a spirit. Let him say this from the beginning, then, and let him not appeal to a text for whom he has no respect. Let him no longer pretend that what he has pushed onto the text is something he has derived from the text.

When the Christian comes with his gospel, let him no longer bring his “proof texts.” Let him honestly admit that the source of his learning is not the Torah but a spirit that has granted him a new vision. The missionary ought to openly admit that the Torah teaches that God is one and alone, but he does not follow the Torah; he follows a spirit that says that God is three together. He ought to state outright that Jesus does not fulfill the definition of Messiah by Tanach, but that he has a different definition, not provided by Tanach but by a spirit. He should proudly proclaim that Torah teaches that HaShem made the Jewish people His witnesses, but that a spirit has made the Church its witnesses to a human being. He should honestly offer the two different paths of HaShem’s Torah or the Church’s holy spirit and not pretend that those two are one.

This honest approach will prevent the two groups from wasting time. In recognizing that the two are not appealing to the same sources, they can avoid talking past one another. In truth, they need not even talk to one another. The missionary, once he has admitted that he appeals to a non-Torah source has nothing to offer the Torah-minded person. He will have no evidence to offer, only the mere claim that he hears from a spirit. This spirit is of no evidentiary use to those that love HaShem. Once the missionary stops misusing the holy Torah of HaShem, then those devoted to that Torah will no longer need to defend it.

Jim

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1 Response to Different Standards – by Jim

  1. Arin says:

    It seems like people’s beliefs shape their rationality, so you can’t convince anyone of things with logic or emotion. That’s why Torah says listen to the sages of Israel in your day, the mesorah, that is the rabbis today.

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