How NOT to Respond to a Christian Missionary – part 2

 

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9 Responses to How NOT to Respond to a Christian Missionary – part 2

  1. Why did Abraham also worship and pray to HaShem appearing as a man? To have claimed to worship HaShem without acknowledging this human figure as His manifestation would have been Avodah Zarah.

    • Dina says:

      Charles, l do not accept your interpretation. But let us say, for the sake of argument only, that it is true. Let us also imagine that there are passages in the Torah that explicitly state that God took on human form. Let us say this is a common occurrence throughout the Bible.

      Even if all of the above were true, it would not change how we worship because God Himself taught the people of Israel exactly how He wants us to worship Him. He taught this to Israel at Mount Sinai, and Moses clearly reiterated this teaching in Deuteronomy 4. Therefore, all your so-called theophanies are completely irrelevant. God has warned us not worship Him as any other entity, whether human, male or female; nor as anything else in the whole host of heaven or on land or sea.

      • Dina says:

        In order to convince a Jewish person, you would need to find a Biblical teaching that directly and plainly refutes the direct and plain language of Deuteronomy 4. In other words, you would need to find a “thou shalt” type of teaching, as in “thou shalt worship God in human form whenever he appears as a human” (or “even after the human manifestation dies, thou shalt continue honoring and worshiping the human manifestation”).

        • charles says:

          Moses worshipped YHVH at Sinai as a Divine manifestation as the same Messenger in the bush, Who had earlier redeemed Jacob, feasted with Abraham, and appeared to Isaac. He is later identified as the means of blessing (רְצוֹן שֹׁכְנִי, סְנֶה). He is also described as the Similitude (תְמֻנַת יְהוָה). Do not think these descriptions supplant the commands, they define them. Who is it we are to adore? The very One Who has revealed Himself. You cannot worship HaShem any other way than that which He appoints. It is a profound error to reject Sinai and instead rest on Hellenic notions of unmediated transcendence as Rambam does, or as the Sadducees had learned from pagans before. Jim’s fictions about tritheism/tetratheism mischaracterise the Torah’s own assertions.

          • charles In what way are Jim’s fictions different than John’s? (other than not being as vindictive)

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Charles, while you say you reject Rambam’s monism as a thoroughly Hellenic conception, do you reject Aquinas’, and the fathers of the Church on these grounds as well?

            Since Hashem spoke from the burning Bush, and appeared before Joshua as a common soldier who identified himself as the captain of the host, should we then think it acceptable to worship these form of the bush or of the common soldier since God’s presence was expressed this way?

            Why have there not been busts or flat paintings (akin to Christian depictions) of the burning bush or this soldier discovered in ancient Jewish sites along with incense or offerings on alters, if its a permitted mode of service to worship God that way, or indeed its what he expects?

            We recognize Christian sites by the Icythis, the cross, the good shepherd, etc. Where is the Jewish equivalent if your practice was known to the ancients?

            The only possible similitude is the Ark, but scripture points out that the presence is not THE ARK itself, but BETWEEN THE CHERUBS where there is NO PHYSICAL THING which is roughly consistant with Deuteronomy’s descriptions of Israel’s interactions.

            Also if a priest touched or gazed at the Ark, death resulted. Why if Hashem wants tactile contact and interaction?

            If you believe its permited by Torah to worship Yeshua as emissary of God, or if you believe he was actually God tabernacled in a body, how can you possibly worship him properly when you dont even know what he looked like in reality? At least the Chabad messianist has his messiah on VHS.

            IE even if its kosher to pray to God as revealed in Yeshua (Or some other Rabbi) as you believe, surely you agree we dont know Yeshua’s visage, but only an image of a thought of a thought of what he may have looked like according to his students’ descriptions, and that only associated with his death?

            At least the dimensions of the Ark and how to build it are in the book and lnown to all.

            Its also hard to accept your mode of expected divine service when your own gospel and epistles warn you repeatedly of false teachers and lying miracles, guys like Simon Magus for example. Or the rebbe? Surely Christians call him a false Christ.

            If I see a vaguely tan middle eastern guy who is glowy with holes in his hands and his feet, and he does a miracle for me, should I assume its Yeshua if his values are roughly consistent?

            The New Testament said he was mistook for a gardener, so what if I have a guy named Jesus who does landscaping? Is that the guy?

            Surely, you can see why this is something folk take issue with.

    • Jim says:

      Charles,

      By a bit of fortuitous timing, a friend of mine just happened recently to return from a trip on which he overheard a conversation pertinent to this discussion. My friend—whose name I am not at liberty to reveal for reasons that will become obvious—invented, a little over a year and a half ago, a time machine. He has had three successful visits to the past and assures me that nothing is as you imagine it. But his latest trip was to the future. On this trip, he did not discover a utopia. Nor did he discover a dystopia. He did, however, discover something of great interest to me and, I suspect, to you as well. He discovered a new religion that claims to be the fulfillment of Christianity and has begun an earnest mission to spread its gospel, “to the Christian first,” as they say.

      The religion is based around a man named Nyukmuluk. According to his followers, he is the son of God, as is proven by his miracles. And as the son of God, he is to be worshipped and all one’s hopes are to be put in him. The work of the missionaries is not going as smoothly as they had hoped, although the Nyukmulukians have not given up. Rather, they pray that God will remove the blinders from the hearts of Christians, so that they too might be saved.

      After having seen video of a missionary encounter between a Nyukmulukian and an unbelieving Christian—unbelieving in Nyukmuluk that is—I have been allowed to transcribe those portions of the conversation that I believe you will find the most interesting. (But please do not publicize this. My friend believes that, if people knew he had a time machine, the government would wish to seize it.)

      What follows is from the transcription:

      Missionary: … And so you see that Nyukmuluk is proven to be the son of God.

      Christian: No, I don’t. Your teaching contradicts the New Testament—the same New Testament you admit to be true! Have you not read that Jesus is the only begotten son of God?

      Missionary: Of course! We acknowledge this just as you do! Heaven forbid that you should understand me to mean that Nyukmuluk is another son! He, too, is the only begotten son of God?

      Christian: Do you know the definition of “only”? It means that Jesus alone is the son of God, he and no other.

      Missionary: Yes, but we understand “only” in its proper context. Just as every Christian admits that God is One—but with an asterisk—and that He is alone and none are beside him—but with a wink—so we understand the meaning of “only begotten son”—with an asterisk and a wink. Just as Jesus is one with the Father, so is Nyukmuluk one with Jesus and with the Father.

      Here we must draw attention to an important distinction. Sometimes people object that two sons cannot be one. This is the argument of so-called philosophers and mathematicians, empty-heads all. As must be evident, we do not claim that Jesus and Nyukmuluk are two in the same way as they are one. That would be nonsense. But we mean that they are one “what,” but two “whos”. Just as the son and the Father are one, without any contradiction, so are Nyukmuluk and Jesus. They are one son, but two persons.

      Christian: I do not even understand what that means.

      Missionary: That’s all right. It’s a mystery. Just as God is one and four without any contradiction—

      Christian: –three!—

      Missionary: –so are Jesus and Nyukmuluk.

      Christian: But the New Testament never references Nyukmuluk! Take for example, a place in which one would expect to find him. Jesus sends out his disciples to do missionary work—

      Missionary: —Just as we are fulfilling! Praise the—

      Christian: —Hold on! When he sends them out to do his work, he does not say to baptize in the name of the Father, the son, the holy spirit, and the other son. It just isn’t there. Nyukmuluk is not mentioned in the entire Bible!

      Missionary: Of course he is. Nyukmuluk is an angel, the angel of the Lord. So you see, he does indeed appear in the Bible. He is all over the First Testament, and you can find him in the Second Testament as well. He is only fully revealed in the Final Testament.

      Christian: You are confused. Jesus was the angel of the Lord.

      Missionary: No, my friend, you are confused. In the First Testament, we find many different theophanies. Abraham, for example, encountered men, one of whom was divine. Others, like Joshua encountered the angel of the Lord. It is obvious that a man is not an angel. Abraham saw Jesus. But Joshua, Manoah, and others, they saw Nyukmuluk, the angel of the Lord.

      And as to passages like the Great Commission, we see the same thing with the First Testament. When the priests, for example, bless the people, they do not bless them in the name of the Father, the son, and the holy spirit. But progressive revelation revealed to us the deity of Jesus in the Second Testament and of Nyukmuluk in the Final Testament.

      Christian: What? First off, how do you know that Nyukmuluk was angel of the Lord? Did you have his picture or something?

      [At this moment a passerby muttered something in the background. It was a little jumbled, but my best approximation appears below.]

      Passerby: How do either of you know that either Jesus or Nyukmuluk was the angel of the Lord?

      Christian and Missionary: Shut up and mind your own business!

      Missionary: Well, does the Second Testament ever call Jesus the angel of the Lord?

      Christian: No, but—

      Missionary: That’s because he wasn’t the angel of the Lord! That’s Nyukmuluk!

      Christian: You don’t know that! And even if you did, one is not to worship angels. That is idolatry.

      Missionary: Well, if it is, then you are doubly culpable, because you worship someone you believe to be both a man and an angel!

      Christian: Yeah, but—Jesus is really a part of the godhead!

      Missionary: So is Nyukmuluk! And he came to fulfill the role that Jesus could not. Jesus could only be the new Adam. He could only reconcile man and God. Nyukmuluk completes Jesus’ work by being divine, angelic, and human. He reconciles all three! Praise the—

      Christian: Wait, what?

      Missionary: Of course, Jesus’ work was important, but in the Final Testament, God’s purpose is fulfilled. Obviously, Jesus did not do all of the work, but now it is done. This is why we worship on Monday, instead of Sunday or the antiquated Seventh Day. This is why, too, Easter is no longer observed. It has been replaced by a celebration of the completing work of Nyukmuluk, Unification. So we see throughout history, revelation progresses: Passover becomes Easter becomes Unification.

      * * *

      The video continues in this vein for quite some time. I hope that you have found something of interest in all this. For my part, I must say that I found it quite interesting. I cannot wait to see what the future holds in store.

      Jim

      P.S. My friend insists that I include a joke he made, and since he was kind enough to let me borrow the video and write up this transcription…
      “Do you think there will be Eighth Day Adventist Nyukmulukians in the future?”

      I guess we’ll know soon enough. He has another trip planned three weeks from Tuesday.

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