The Case for Christianity

 

My formal education was as an historian, and so I tend to try to see things through an historical perspective. I realized the other week that I need to overrule my instinctive desire to defend my own people, because the data points, quite strongly, in a different direction.

By the time of the reign of Herod in Jerusalem, Judaism had essentially failed in the mission dictated by the Torah: to provide a light unto the nations, and to convince other peoples to aspire to goodness and holiness. Indeed, it could be quite reasonably argued that the Judaism of the age had been far more corrupted by Hellenism and Rome than Rome and Hellenism had adopted compassion and human rights from the Jews. Indeed, these were some of the criticisms of the Pharisees leveled in the New Testament, and I think that there is some substance to those criticisms.

A Judaism that was increasingly unmoored from the core lessons of the Torah, had lost its way. It could not market itself to outsiders effectively not least because it has also struggled, in the main, to sell itself even to an internal audience (there is a reason the number of Jews in history, despite an enthusiastic pro-child outlook among the observant, has been essentially flat – 8 million in the first century CE was only exceeded in the 20th century; apparently today’s Ashkenazic Jewish lineage sources to a mere 350 individuals from 1350CE). Jews are not great at marketing Judaism even to our own children.

History makes it very clear that Christianity, however unlinked it might be from much of the Torah, has been a far more effective marketing force to the world. The Christian message, from the perspective of this Torah Jew, has been incredibly powerful and effective. Unlike Judaism, Christian missionaries managed to spread the influence of core ideas to the four corners of the world. Ideas like the belief that within each person – friend or foe – lies a soul that is due respect if for no other reason than it was gifted by G-d. Ideas that stem from this; love, compassion, the notion that the “Other” is not subhuman. Key among these, especially for indigenous natives the world over, is that worshipping natural forces is wrong, and eating people is most impolite.

By spreading these ideas, Christianity has done a great service to the world and to G-d, bringing humanity away from the base paganism that attracts men in a state of nature.

This is not to suggest that Christianity has not engaged in evil as well. I have plenty of ancestors who suffered at the hands of Christians, and there are countless Jews who no longer exist thanks to being burned alive in autos-da-fé or in synagogues enthusiastically lit afire by crusaders.  Expulsions from European countries were brutal and evil. If my mother were still alive, I can picture precisely how she would react to this piece; her mother barely survived a pogrom that others she loved did not.

Nor is this to suggest that Christianity has itself not been corrupted by other peoples: it has. Deep and loving interaction with native peoples has led to compromises that have diluted or confused Christian principles. Like Jewish adaptations of Greek and Roman ways of thinking, Christianity is also a product of the ages and cultures it has lived through and within. Some of that is, of course, good. I would not care to live in a Jewish ghetto during much of European history, locked in and constrained by Christian overlords. So at least some of those more-modern corrupting influences have been very good, indeed. I am grateful that Christianity, led by the example set by the Founding Fathers, is tolerant of other faiths, and allows me to live as an observant Jew in this nation that I love and in whose principles I see G-d’s fervent hopes.

Alas, there are dark storms overhead. Just as Hellenism corrupted both faiths in the ancient world, today we face a more existential enemy, the oldest of them all. Paganism is back, disguised in the garb of environmentalism, and preaching unbridled self-expression in service of our natural desires. Supported by anti-religious scientists, this paganism is in full attack mode on every principle and moral good that we hold dear. Today, both Judaism and Christianity are losing to an enemy that many of us refuse to even acknowledge is at war with us. In our desire to be considerate and tolerant, we keep finding compromises with the pagan ideals, compromises that, over time, make our faiths entirely disconnected from our founding principles. (I have been in synagogues where Shabbos can be casually ignored, while throwing a soda can in the garbage triggers a nuclear response.) This neo-paganism will, if it gets its way, suck all meaning and goodness from the faiths that derive from the Torah.

The Torah is a profoundly anti-pagan text. Countlessly it drives the message that we are supposed to improve the natural world, teach people that our natural urges must be focused toward good and away from narcissistic and hedonistic practices that, in every indigenous people we have records of, invariably lead to human sacrifice and cannibalism. This is no slippery slope fallacy: we have no shortage of data that tells us exactly what happens to peoples who do not acknowledge the value of every human life. In China, in the year 2022, they remove vital organs from still-living prisoners and think nothing of it.

As much as I work towards Judaism focusing more on the Torah and what it means for the world, I must also acknowledge that Christianity has a two-millennia track record demonstrating greater success in the war against darkness. That is, if Christianity is still able to distinguish the enemy and has within its numbers courageous leaders and practitioners who are willing to battle for what is good.

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  1. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    iWe: . . .and eating people is most impolite.

    I have to pause here to give appreciation for this line.

    • #1
  2. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    iWe: Unlike Judaism, Christian missionaries managed to spread the influence of core ideas to the four corners of the world

    Are there Jewish missionaries? 

    • #2
  3. David B. Sable Coolidge
    David B. Sable
    @DavidSable

    Christianity has baked into its culture the missionary sense that all the world needs to hear of Christ.  (Unfortunately, in the process of witnessing/marketing Christians have a history of misrepresenting Judaism).   Judaism does not have such as impulse seeing the 615 commandments for those who had been chosen and the rest of the world should live in a moral way through the Noahide  covenant.  They are to be a light and blessing to the nations by living according to Torah, not necessarily making everyone Jewish.

    (At least that is my understanding and I am often wrong when I get out of my lane and speak of what Jews believe!)

    My father’s side of the family were Russian Jews and his parents came over likely due the pogrom.  He married a German Catholic after WWII which explains why his family is not in the wedding pictures.  My father’s side took a huge hit on who on that side of the family remained religiously Jewish.  Almost no one.  I was shocked a few summers ago when I talked to a cousin from a family deeply involved in synagogue and discovered that for her family it was all tradition (her words) and that they really didn’t believe it.  I was so saddened!

    One more reason why Jews may have a harder time is because of the Holocaust.  The reason so many leftist-Jews cling to ideologies that are opposite of Torah can be traced to the fact that living according to God’s word puts an unsustainable target on your back.  Blending in seems a better option.

    But the Christian side has the same growing problem.  One survey made years ago said the average Christian believes Moralistic Therapeutic Deism – a belief that I’m “more just”, God is called upon as needed to make me feel better, and the Bible is a series of morality lessons to help me cope with life.  Progressive churches want to distance themselves from the historic Christian faith and embrace the values of Amazon, Google, and Starbucks only with Christian language.

    We can only trust that God will not leave Himself without a witness.

    • #3
  4. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    Arahant (View Comment):

    iWe: . . .and eating people is most impolite.

    I have to pause here to give appreciation for this line.

    I have heard people complain that missionaries have changed the cultures of so many indigenous people groups. But having someone come in and build schools, hospitals, and discourage cannibalism maybe isn’t a bad thing.

    • #4
  5. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    iWe: . . .and eating people is most impolite.

    I have to pause here to give appreciation for this line.

    I have heard people complain that missionaries have changed the cultures of so many indigenous people groups. But having someone come in and build schools, hospitals, and discourage cannibalism maybe isn’t a bad thing.

    Darn tootin’.

    I have lived and worked in the Canadian Arctic. Before 1963 the Inuit regularly practiced infanticide, and old people would voluntarily go out in the cold to not be a burden to others. They also delight in eating still-palpitating caribou heart. There is plenty of room for improvement.

    Alas, Canada gave them things but no solid replacement. So they replaced material desperation with spiritual desperation. Drug use, suicide rates… awful beyond words. The Inuit need more Christianity, please.

    • #5
  6. Clavius Thatcher
    Clavius
    @Clavius

    This is an excellent post.  As a Christian (raised Episcopalian, converted to Catholicism in my early 30s), I feel a deep appreciation for the Jewish legacy that underpins Christianity.  The fundamental difference, it seems to me, is that Judaism is more focused inward as a community where Christianity is focused outward, apostolic, if you will (“one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church”).

    iWe: As much as I work towards Judaism focusing more on the Torah and what it means for the world, I must also acknowledge that Christianity has a two-millennia track record demonstrating greater success in the war against darkness. That is, if Christianity is still able to distinguish the enemy and has within its numbers courageous leaders and practitioners who are willing to battle for what is good.

    Therein lies the challenge.  All people need to fight against the new paganism and its anti-human tenants. I hope we can use all the tools we have.

    • #6
  7. JoelB Member
    JoelB
    @JoelB

    This is an excellent article which brings to mind the following exchange from The Book of Mark, Chapter 12:

    28 Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?”

    29 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. 31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

    32 So the scribe said to Him, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He. 33 And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

    34 Now when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”

    But after that no one dared question Him.

    • #7
  8. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    It was actually the historical record of influence that started my journey back to the faith of my fathers from atheism. I simply could no longer deny the profound (anti-pagan) good that came from the life and brutal crucifixion of a 1st century Jewish peasant and the witnesses to his Resurrection and Ascension. It was evidence for the claims of Christianity — that God would fulfill His covenant promise to bring about a worldwide blessing through a Jewish messiah. 

    • #8
  9. She Member
    She
    @She

    Arahant (View Comment):

    iWe: . . .and eating people is most impolite.

    I have to pause here to give appreciation for this line.

    Oh, me too.  And then, I have to give appreciation for Flanders and Swann:

    What an odd childhood I had.

    Subsequently, I enjoyed a book by neurologist Oliver Sacks: The Island of the Colorblind. Sacks includes a short digression on his puddle-jumper trips through Micronesia in the company of the man he calls the “Spam King,” and in which he discovers that (supposedly) the popularity of the greasy chopped-meat product in certain parts of the world is its similarity in taste to “long-pig.”

    That is, human beings.

    Spam, anyone?

     

    • #9
  10. Ole Summers Member
    Ole Summers
    @OleSummers

    This is a fine post concerning somethings I have been pondering and making notes on for a while now and you have nailed it, in that most of the “isms” which battle in the present are just present-day versions of man’s constant paganism – placing everything, anything before God’s truth and His calling for us. We are told that we are ruled by nature and it is to be appeased , instead of us being its stewards. Children, instead of being God’s gift and our chance to imprint the future, become pawns subject to sacrifice for the convenience, pleasure or fear of weak human with no grasp of how interlock all lives can be. 

    It is all a disconnect from reality and devalues everything that is truly human.

    • #10
  11. Cassandro Coolidge
    Cassandro
    @Flicker

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    iWe: . . .and eating people is most impolite.

    I have to pause here to give appreciation for this line.

    I have heard people complain that missionaries have changed the cultures of so many indigenous people groups. But having someone come in and build schools, hospitals, and discourage cannibalism maybe isn’t a bad thing.

    Even the horrid British Empire stopped sati.

    • #11
  12. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    iWe:

    By the time of the reign of Herod in Jerusalem, Judaism had essentially failed in the mission dictated by the Torah: to provide a light unto the nations, and to convince other peoples to aspire to goodness and holiness.

    Hence the warning at the end of the book of Malachi, picked up by John the Forerunner/Baptist in the book of John.

    • #12
  13. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    iWe:

    Alas, there are dark storms overhead. Just as Hellenism corrupted both faiths in the ancient world, today we face a more existential enemy, the oldest of them all. Paganism is back, disguised in the garb of environmentalism, and preaching unbridled self-expression in service of our natural desires. Supported by anti-religious scientists, this paganism is in full attack mode on every principle and moral good that we hold dear. Today, both Judaism and Christianity are losing to an enemy that many of us refuse to even acknowledge is at war with us. In our desire to be considerate and tolerant, we keep finding compromises with the pagan ideals, compromises that, over time, make our faiths entirely disconnected from our founding principles. (I have been in synagogues where Shabbos can be casually ignored, while throwing a soda can in the garbage triggers a nuclear response.) This neo-paganism will, if it gets its way, suck all meaning and goodness from the faiths that derive from the Torah.

    Right on.

    • #13
  14. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    David B. Sable (View Comment):
    The reason so many leftist-Jews cling to ideologies that are opposite of Torah can be traced to the fact that living according to God’s word puts an unsustainable target on your back.

    If you think that Jews living according to God’s word will suffer, then I think that you don’t believe God’s word.  I recommend that you read Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28.  God makes it perfectly clear that nothing bad will happen to the Jews if they are obedient.  He makes it equally clear that He, Himself, will see to it that horrible things happen to them if they are disobedient.

    It seems to me that there is a strange philo-Semitism among professing Christians over the past 70 years or so.  It seems to coincide with the Holocaust and its aftermath.  Criticism of Jews and Judaism seems forbidden, and people don’t seem to even know the relevant Scriptures.  Many Christians somehow seem to think that being a Jew leads to salvation, without believing in Jesus.  It was actually difficult for me, over the past couple of years, to accept the teaching of both the Old and New Testaments on this issue, and I think that this is because I had been taught the philo-Semitic narrative throughout much of my life.

    The teachings of Jesus about the Jews who reject Him are very harsh.  John 3:17-21; John 8:12-59; Matthew 21:33-46; Matthew 23.

    • #14
  15. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    iWe: Unlike Judaism, Christian missionaries managed to spread the influence of core ideas to the four corners of the world

    Are there Jewish missionaries?

    I kinda wish there were.

    • #15
  16. J Climacus Member
    J Climacus
    @JClimacus

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    David B. Sable (View Comment):
    The reason so many leftist-Jews cling to ideologies that are opposite of Torah can be traced to the fact that living according to God’s word puts an unsustainable target on your back.

    If you think that Jews living according to God’s word will suffer, then I think that you don’t believe God’s word. I recommend that you read Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28. God makes it perfectly clear that nothing bad will happen to the Jews if they are obedient. He makes it equally clear that He, Himself, will see to it that horrible things happen to them if they are disobedient.

    And yet the Jews remain faithful to that original Covenant, or at least some do. Why does God permit evil? The classical Christian answer is that God permits evil so that good may be drawn from it. As Christians, we believe the Jews are mistaken in rejecting Christ. It is an evil when Christ is rejected.  The good being drawn from it is the persistence of the Jews in following God’s Law despite the suffering and the Holocaust. It is a powerful witness to the truth of the original Covenant, which we believe was fulfilled in Christ but was never abrogated. 

    This should embarrass us Christians. Christ did not promise us success in this world, but only suffering and the Cross for His sake, and eternal life with Him as the reward. We Christians should expect to suffer.  The Jews did not get that promise from God. Yet they persist in the original Covenant despite it all. 

    If we Christians were truly following Christ, there should have been 50 million Christian martyrs in the Holocaust in addition to the 6 million Jews. There were Christian martyrs in the Holocaust (thousands were sent to Dachau), but not the collective rejection by Christians of the idolatry of race and nation that was Nazism. Catholics became martyred saints like Maximilian Kolbe, but also German Field Marshalls complicit in the Holocaust like von Leeb. What should have happened is that Catholics as a whole should have rejected Nazism and joined the Jews in the camps.

    Is this philo-Semitism? I don’t know. It doesn’t mean we should hide or downplay the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But I think it does mean we should reflect on the reasons that Jews persist in their unbelief, which I suspect has more to do with the failure of Christians to truly follow Christ than any pigheadedness on the part of Jews.

     

    • #16
  17. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    J Climacus (View Comment):
    And yet the Jews remain faithful to that original Covenant, or at least some do. Why does God permit evil? The classical Christian answer is that God permits evil so that good may be drawn from it. As Christians, we believe the Jews are mistaken in rejecting Christ. It is an evil when Christ is rejected. 

    Just curious, JClimacus. Are you then saying that the Jews are commiting evil by rejecting Christ? (No hostility in my question)

    • #17
  18. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    J Climacus (View Comment):

    It is a powerful witness to the truth of the original Covenant, which we believe was fulfilled in Christ but was never abrogated. 

    This should embarrass us Christians. Christ did not promise us success in this world, but only suffering and the Cross for His sake, and eternal life with Him as the reward. We Christians should expect to suffer. 

    Not that it matters, but I think I could cite Augustine saying that stuff.

    • #18
  19. J Climacus Member
    J Climacus
    @JClimacus

    Evil by omission.  I’m using “evil” in a strict philosophical sense, which is an absence of a good. If we think it is good that someone convert to Christ, then we have to consider it an evil when they don’t. Not necessarily a moral evil on the part of the unbeliever, because the Gospel may not have been preached correctly or with the appropriate love. That was part of my point, actually.  Who is to blame for the failure of the world to follow Christ? Well, Christians need to point the finger at ourselves. 

    • #19
  20. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    J Climacus (View Comment):

    Well, Christians need to point the finger at ourselves. 

    Yeah, Auggie: You jerk!

    • #20
  21. J Climacus Member
    J Climacus
    @JClimacus

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    J Climacus (View Comment):
    And yet the Jews remain faithful to that original Covenant, or at least some do. Why does God permit evil? The classical Christian answer is that God permits evil so that good may be drawn from it. As Christians, we believe the Jews are mistaken in rejecting Christ. It is an evil when Christ is rejected.

    Just curious, JClimacus. Are you then saying that the Jews are commiting evil by rejecting Christ? (No hostility in my question)

    I’d like to also give a more personal answer to this.  My reconversion to Catholicism happened in part due to my (secular) Jewish father-in-law. This guy is the straightest arrow I’ve ever met. I’ve never heard him say a bad word about anyone, he’s been a devoted grandfather, and is as honest as the day is long. And utterly non-religious.  Knowing him for a while, it became obvious to me that I didn’t measure up to him as a man. And the situation wouldn’t be fixed on my own power. That lead me to reconsider Christianity – “for I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” I was, and am, one of those sinners.

    Since that recoversion 30 years ago, I’ve thought about my father-in-law and also my wife, who is non-religious. I think I have discovered something wonderful in Christ, but how do I communicate it to them?  I think it “evil” that they are not Christians (in the technical sense that they are missing something good), but there is no point in trying to argue them into Christianity. If they ever convert, it will only be because they have seen the work of the Holy Spirit in my own life and they respond to it.  I’ve generalized that point in my comments above. 

    • #21
  22. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    It seems to me that there is a strange philo-Semitism among professing Christians

    I’m a philo-Semite, I confess. I must have missed that part where Jesus said to hate your neighbor. Or where judging them unfit for heaven would attract anyone to the faith. . .

    • #22
  23. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    J Climacus (View Comment):

    Evil by omission. I’m using “evil” in a strict philosophical sense, which is an absence of a good. If we think it is good that someone convert to Christ, then we have to consider it an evil when they don’t. Not necessarily a moral evil on the part of the unbeliever, because the Gospel may not have been preached correctly or with the appropriate love. That was part of my point, actually. Who is to blame for the failure of the world to follow Christ? Well, Christians need to point the finger at ourselves.

    I understand the part of not blaming the non-convert for not accepting Christ if he or she is not exposed to him. But I wonder if, in general, Judaism would agree with “evil by omission.” I can understand, for example, being called evil if one sees a person who is being attacked and not acting to help. Maybe I need to ponder this a bit more. 

    • #23
  24. J Climacus Member
    J Climacus
    @JClimacus

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    J Climacus (View Comment):

     

    I understand the part of not blaming the non-convert for not accepting Christ if he or she is not exposed to him. But I wonder if, in general, Judaism would agree with “evil by omission.” I can understand, for example, being called evil if one sees a person who is being attacked and not acting to help. Maybe I need to ponder this a bit more.

    I’m using the word “evil” in both a metaphysical and moral sense, not always at the same time.  It’s a metaphysical evil, for instance, that a child is born with a cleft palate. But there is no moral evil implied. “Evil” in this case means “absence of a good.”  

    I think it is a metaphysical evil that some people don’t believe in Christ.  In that sense of evil, I think you might agree that it is “evil” that not everyone follows God’s Law.  That just means that they are missing out on a good they might otherwise have. And that could be because they never heard of God’s Law, or they are forcibly prevented from following it, etc. In other words, a metaphysical evil does not always involve a moral evil.

    A moral evil happens in the case that a metaphysical evil happens by the free, rational choice of someone. So it is a metaphysical evil that a child is bruised, and nothing more if it happened because he fell off a swing set. But a moral evil would also be involved if the bruise occurred because of child abuse.

    So is there always a moral evil involved in the metaphysical evil of people not following Christ? Maybe, but not necessarily on the part of the person who doesn’t believe.  We live in a pluralistic age with many competing religions and philosophies, as well as secular forces intent on distracting us and enslaving us through our appetites (e.g. beer and most everything else sold thru sex.)  With all this going on, who is to say that the Gospel can authentically be heard thru all this competition and noise? And the moral evil, if it is there, might well be found in Christians, who thru their failure to follow Christ put the Gospel in disrepute.  Who can blame anyone for not being Catholic after the various financial and sexual scandals of the last few decades? 

    • #24
  25. David B. Sable Coolidge
    David B. Sable
    @DavidSable

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    David B. Sable (View Comment):
    The reason so many leftist-Jews cling to ideologies that are opposite of Torah can be traced to the fact that living according to God’s word puts an unsustainable target on your back.

    If you think that Jews living according to God’s word will suffer, then I think that you don’t believe God’s word. I recommend that you read Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28. God makes it perfectly clear that nothing bad will happen to the Jews if they are obedient. He makes it equally clear that He, Himself, will see to it that horrible things happen to them if they are disobedient.

    It seems to me that there is a strange philo-Semitism among professing Christians over the past 70 years or so. It seems to coincide with the Holocaust and its aftermath. Criticism of Jews and Judaism seems forbidden, and people don’t seem to even know the relevant Scriptures. Many Christians somehow seem to think that being a Jew leads to salvation, without believing in Jesus. It was actually difficult for me, over the past couple of years, to accept the teaching of both the Old and New Testaments on this issue, and I think that this is because I had been taught the philo-Semitic narrative throughout much of my life.

    The teachings of Jesus about the Jews who reject Him are very harsh. John 3:17-21; John 8:12-59; Matthew 21:33-46; Matthew 23.

    I wasn’t going theological in my statement.  It is an open question as to why those who profess to be Jewish have become so secular.  Books such as The Rise of David Levinsky suggest that in coming to America it was much more difficult to hold on to their heritage while trying to survive in the new world.  There was more of a support system in their small communities in the old world (think Fiddler on the Roof).  Other Jews suggest that there is a move to blend in due to continual persecution and I don’t think that is an argument easily dismissed.

    But to your point:  Like you, I had the example in my early Christian life to be highly critical of the unbelieving Jews in the desert, the Pharisees in their externalism, the Sadducees and their coziness with the cultural elites, their inability to see the “obvious” in Jesus.  Now these examples instead point to me as I’m not confident that Christendom in general and I in particular is doing much better.  We all need grace both Old and New Testament.

    • #25
  26. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    David B. Sable (View Comment):
    I wasn’t going theological in my statement.  It is an open question as to why those who profess to be Jewish have become so secular.  Books such as The Rise of David Levinsky suggest that in coming to America it was much more difficult to hold on to their heritage while trying to survive in the new world.  There was more of a support system in their small communities in the old world (think Fiddler on the Roof).  Other Jews suggest that there is a move to blend in due to continual persecution and I don’t think that is an argument easily dismissed.

    I think these are all valid points, as well as a few others. I think that many Jews believed (unjustly, I think, due to G-d’s allowing free will) that G-d deserted them with the Holocaust. They believe He should not have allowed it to happen. Evil people have free will, too.

    • #26
  27. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    J Climacus (View Comment):

    Well, Christians need to point the finger at ourselves.

    Yeah, Auggie: You jerk!

    Yeah. He’s incontinent too.

    • #27
  28. Lawst N. Thawt Coolidge
    Lawst N. Thawt
    @LawstNThawt

    Christianity isn’t really Christianity.    It’s enlightening how one word can seemingly change or maybe obscure history.   The word Christian was first used in Antioch according to the NT and it was most likely used in a derogatory manner.   It is interesting that it is often still used the same way.

    However, what the world thinks of as Christianity was originally and could still be considered a Jewish movement created and spread throughout the world originally by men who were Jewish by birth.  The first 5,000 plus disciples were all Jews according to the record in The Acts of the Apostles.

    So to answer the question above about Jewish missionaries, what we call Christianity wouldn’t exist without them. 

    • #28
  29. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Lawst N. Thawt (View Comment):

    Christianity isn’t really Christianity. It’s enlightening how one word can seemingly change or maybe obscure history. The word Christian was first used in Antioch according to the NT and it was most likely used in a derogatory manner. It is interesting that it is often still used the same way.

    However, what the world thinks of as Christianity was originally and could still be considered a Jewish movement created and spread throughout the world originally by men who were Jewish by birth. The first 5,000 plus disciples were all Jews according to the record in The Acts of the Apostles.

    So to answer the question above about Jewish missionaries, what we call Christianity wouldn’t exist without them.

    Speaking of which, Jews have always been missionaries for monotheism if not for Judaism as such.  Any number of Gentiles in the Greco-Roman world were monotheistic proselytes who accepted the revelation of the Torah/Writings/Prophets and without fully converting to Judaism.  Many who jumped right into Christianity once Messiah was resurrected were in this category.

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  30. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    It seems to me that there is a strange philo-Semitism among professing Christians

    I’m a philo-Semite, I confess. I must have missed that part where Jesus said to hate your neighbor. Or where judging them unfit for heaven would attract anyone to the faith. . .

    Few Catholics seem to read the Bible very much, as far as I can tell.  Maybe you do.  I don’t know.

    I gave you the citations in comment #14.  They are to the words of Jesus Himself.  I recommend that you go read them.

    Blind guides.  Whitewashed tombs.  Children of their father the Devil.  Sons of Hell.  That’s what He calls the Jews who rejected Him.  He also made it clear that they have no excuse — He said that if they believed Moses, they would believe Him, because Moses wrote about Him.

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