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Christian Theology and the Jews

 

Since I sometimes write about Christians and Jews, I’ll weigh in on the criticisms of the pastors who spoke at the US Jerusalem Embassy dedication.

I respect that many Christians believe that salvation is only through belief in Christ.

And religious leaders who think Hitler was part of God’s plan? Hardly surprising. And not a good reason to be offended.

Believe whatever you want about what happens to me after my death. And I should hope your theology has an explanation for Hitler.

I have more than enough religious tolerance to not judge these men negatively for such beliefs.

I do fear those who call on their followers to hurt me. And those who minimize their evil statements and actions, and who want me to be vulnerable to them.

I also fear those who try to shame and exclude religious leaders because of beliefs that are not tied to calls to violent action.

But I’m fine with those who will let God decide how to reward or punish me for my beliefs and actions. Especially if those leaders are making common cause with me in this world, and affirming God’s relationship with the Jewish people.

Thank you Pastors Jeffress and Hagee for your support and your kind words. Sorry about the bigots trying to hurt you and drive us apart.

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There are 37 comments.

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  1. Member

    He gave a wonderful <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=u-9XM-q8cdg“> benediction. </a>

    • #1
    • May 14, 2018 at 1:32 pm
    • 1 like
  2. Member

    Oh well. I can’t use the link system here.

    • #2
    • May 14, 2018 at 1:33 pm
    • Like
  3. Thatcher

    Gil Reich: Thank you Pastors Jeffress and Hagee for your support and your kind words. Sorry about the bigots trying to hurt you and drive us apart.

    Gil,

    Calling someone a bigot because they have a purely theological belief that doesn’t apply to this world only the next is a typical overstatement by those playing the social justice game. This is especially true when the bigotry label only applies to Christians. Meanwhile, the Islamic belief in Jihad that justifies murder in this world isn’t ever noticed by these same judges of bigotry.

    Selective sensitivity or maybe just an excuse to take a cheap shot.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #3
    • May 14, 2018 at 1:37 pm
    • 12 likes
  4. Coolidge

    A very valuable and generous statement @gilreich I am impressed and moved by our commitment to religious tolerance, pluralism and civic generosity. No wonder you are a Conservative. Thank you sir for this small but important essay.

    • #4
    • May 14, 2018 at 1:46 pm
    • 9 likes
  5. Member
    Gil Reich Post author

    Brian Wolf (View Comment):

    A very valuable and generous statement @gilreich I am impressed and moved by our commitment to religious tolerance, pluralism and civic generosity. No wonder you are a Conservative. Thank you sir for this small but important essay.

    Thanks Brian.

    • #5
    • May 14, 2018 at 1:51 pm
    • 2 likes
  6. Contributor

    Beautifully and poetically said, Gil. You speak for me, too, right down the line. I especially say that I don’t care what people think, but how they act toward me and others. The rest is up to G-d. Thanks.

    • #6
    • May 14, 2018 at 1:55 pm
    • 8 likes
  7. Member
    Gil Reich Post author

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Beautifully and poetically said, Gil. You speak for me, too, right down the line. I especially say that I don’t care what people think, but how they act toward me and others. The rest is up to G-d. Thanks.

    Thanks Susan! 

    • #7
    • May 14, 2018 at 2:04 pm
    • 1 like
  8. Member

    I just read some of the article you cited.

    You are far more generous, @gilreich than I am.

    Jeffress’s speech in 2008 was just plain disgusting.

    • #8
    • May 14, 2018 at 2:52 pm
    • 2 likes
  9. Member

    Gil Reich:

    I respect that many Christians believe that salvation is only through belief in Christ.

    That would be me. So glad you are gracious about this conviction. 

    And religious leaders who think Hitler was part of God’s plan? Hardly surprising. And not a good reason to be offended.

    I have a hard time reconciling this one either way. I will say God is not surprised or caught off guard on events, good or evil . And He does have a plan that will come to completion at the end of days, and that Israel and the Jews are part of that plan. 

    Gil Reich: Especially if those leaders are making common cause with me in this world, and affirming God’s relationship with the Jewish people.

    Yes, yes and yes. 

    Shalom :)
     

    • #9
    • May 14, 2018 at 3:16 pm
    • 7 likes
  10. Member

    Mike-K (View Comment):

    Oh well. I can’t use the link system here.

    You can embed it easily, though.

    • #10
    • May 14, 2018 at 3:26 pm
    • 4 likes
  11. Member

    Is there a FAQ on using the links ? I use them all the time on other blogs.

    • #11
    • May 14, 2018 at 3:34 pm
    • 2 likes
  12. Member

    Mike-K (View Comment):

    Is there a FAQ on using the links ? I use them all the time on other blogs.

    Just went looking, but there was a problem with the page.

    • #12
    • May 14, 2018 at 3:39 pm
    • 1 like
  13. Member

    Mike-K (View Comment):

    Is there a FAQ on using the links ? I use them all the time on other blogs.

    It’s fairly simple. To embed a video, put the link on it’s own line. If you want to link something, type the text, highlight it, and then copy in the URL from another tab and come back. You can either just paste and it will recognize it as a URL and link it, as I’m doing here or you can highlight the text and then use the link button on the toolbar right above the comment box to insert the link, as I am doing here. The link button looks like a chain and is the eleventh from the left on the formatting toolbar.

    • #13
    • May 14, 2018 at 3:50 pm
    • 4 likes
  14. Member

    MarciN
    I just read some of the article you cited.

    You are far more generous, @gilreich than I am.

    Jeffress’s speech in 2008 was just plain evil and disgusting.

    First of all, I’m not advocating the position Hagee and others have seemed to take, so don’t flame me. But isnt the idea of God pulling the strings at home in Judeo-Christian theology? From God causing Pharaoh to refuse to let the people go, to God causing Gog to attack Israel, to Paul’s concept of predestination? What’s worse, the idea that the Holocaust was meaningless, or that God somehow works it into his plans? Those are really the only two options right?

    • #14
    • May 14, 2018 at 4:28 pm
    • 1 like
  15. Member

    Bob Wainwright (View Comment):

    MarciN
    I just read some of the article you cited.

    You are far more generous, @gilreich than I am.

    Jeffress’s speech in 2008 was just plain evil and disgusting.

    First of all, I’m not advocating the position Hagee and others have seemed to take, so don’t flame me. But isnt the idea of God pulling the strings at home in Judeo-Christian theology? From God causing Pharaoh to refuse to let the people go, to God causing Gog to attack Israel, to Paul’s concept of predestination? What’s worse, the idea that the Holocaust was meaningless, or that God somehow works it into his plans? Those are really the only two options right?

    I think G-d’s only involvement in the Holocaust was to protect Patton’s Third Army as they marched in the snow. :-) 

    • #15
    • May 14, 2018 at 6:01 pm
    • 4 likes
  16. Member

    Since I sometimes write about Christians & Jews, I’ll weigh in on the criticisms of the pastors who spoke at the US Jerusalem Embassy dedication.

    I respect that many Christians believe that salvation is only through belief in Christ.

     

    Not trying to argue, but this misses a pretty important detail. All (not “many”) Christians believe, by definition, that salvation is only achieved through belief in Jesus Christ, his life, crucifixion AND most importantly his resurrection. Without the resurrection the whole thing falls apart, it’s not optional for Christians.

    I agree 100% with your post and could not support the moving of our embassy more, just loving this POTUS!

    • #16
    • May 14, 2018 at 6:37 pm
    • 9 likes
  17. Member

    Thanks Gil. I am as you may or may not know a missionary who works with several Messianic Jews and even more Christian Zionists. And to make sure all my cards on the table and face up, I do pray for Jews to acknowledge Jesus/Yeschuah as Messiah because I believe and am irrevocably convinced he is just that. That said, Christians owe the Jewish people a debt of love and gratitude for the God of Israel adopting us from the Nations in to his family.

    With respect to Hitler (I live in Germany…just so you know), of course he was monstrously evil and the attack on the Jewish people was an attack on Jesus ,who is and always will be a Jew. You may or may not be aware that the Third Reich tried to purge the “Jewish Elements” from the New Testament and replaced the “Vater Unser” spoken in grade schools with the “Adolf Unser”, a blasphemous, idolatrous parody of the Lord’s Prayer (see Susannah Heschel’s “Aryan Jesus” among other works on this subject if you haven’t). In short, he was a dedicated enemy of the God of Israel and I have no doubt that his eternal fate is commensurate with his satanic character. That God can bring good out of evil, however, in no way makes the evil a historical necessity and that is where many Christians go horribly wrong in their theology of salvation history and divine history with Israel and the Jewish people. 

    • #17
    • May 15, 2018 at 12:38 am
    • 9 likes
  18. Member

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Bob Wainwright (View Comment):

    MarciN
    I just read some of the article you cited.

    You are far more generous, @gilreich than I am.

    Jeffress’s speech in 2008 was just plain evil and disgusting.

    First of all, I’m not advocating the position Hagee and others have seemed to take, so don’t flame me. But isnt the idea of God pulling the strings at home in Judeo-Christian theology? From God causing Pharaoh to refuse to let the people go, to God causing Gog to attack Israel, to Paul’s concept of predestination? What’s worse, the idea that the Holocaust was meaningless, or that God somehow works it into his plans? Those are really the only two options right?

    I think G-d’s only involvement in the Holocaust was to protect Patton’s Third Army as they marched in the snow. :-)

    Evil is evil – God doesn’t create it – but He can use it to create a greater good – as long as there is free will, the choice will be either or – the world with all its achievements still has not evolved to reject evil. I don’t think God pulls strings like a puppet.

    • #18
    • May 15, 2018 at 6:31 am
    • 4 likes
  19. Reagan
    iWe

    Bob Wainwright (View Comment):
    What’s worse, the idea that the Holocaust was meaningless, or that God somehow works it into his plans? Those are really the only two options right?

    Not to me.

    The Holocaust was a reminder that we are responsible for evil. G-d did not cause it – he enabled it by allowing mankind free will. We are to blame for the Holocaust.

    • #19
    • May 15, 2018 at 6:45 am
    • 9 likes
  20. Member

    iWe (View Comment):
    The Holocaust was a reminder that we are responsible for evil. G-d did not cause it – he enabled it by allowing mankind free will. We are to blame for the Holocaust.

    No “we ” here. I am responsible for my own evil. The ones who were active or complicit in the holocaust, are responsible for it only. Sin is not shared unless we indeed share the same deed. Free agency . Other than the Adamic sin we all inherit. If that is what you meant.

    • #20
    • May 15, 2018 at 7:07 am
    • 3 likes
  21. Reagan
    iWe

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):
    No “we ” here. I am responsible for my own evil. The ones who were active or complicit in the holocaust, are responsible for it only. Sin is not shared unless we indeed share the same deed.

    I apologize. You are right of course – my brush was too broad.

    The obligation to improve nature, to be holy, to partner with G-d, to elevate the physical into the spiritual, to bring light into the world, to create and invest in the timeless, and to confront and deal with evil are all given in the Torah and are thus Jewish obligations. I have no right to assert that any other people share them.

     

    • #21
    • May 15, 2018 at 7:18 am
    • 1 like
  22. Member

    iWe (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):
    No “we ” here. I am responsible for my own evil. The ones who were active or complicit in the holocaust, are responsible for it only. Sin is not shared unless we indeed share the same deed.

    I apologize. You are right of course – my brush was too broad.

    The obligation to improve nature, to be holy, to partner with G-d, to elevate the physical into the spiritual, to bring light into the world, to create and invest in the timeless, and to confront and deal with evil are all given in the Torah and are thus Jewish obligations. I have no right to assert that any other people share them.

    Thank you Iwe, but no apology was necessary.

    Question. Christianity teaches we are all (mankind) born sinners in need of redemption , the Adamic curse if you will, and sin will always be at our door and must be battled ( thru the power of the Holy Spirit)

    What are Judaism’ view on this. ? “The all born sinners thing )

    Thanks

    • #22
    • May 15, 2018 at 7:27 am
    • Like
  23. Reagan
    iWe

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Question. Christianity teaches we are all (mankind) born sinners in need of redemption , the Adamic curse if you will, and sin will always be at our door and must be battled ( thru the power of the Holy Spirit)

    What are Judaism’ view on this. ?

    That Christianity is fixated on sin. Judaism is interested in what we do next.

    “The all born sinners thing )

    Not so much. We don’t wallow in how we are born – our job is to do what we can in the world.

    We are, of course, partly animal. But again, it is not really about sin, but about making good choices as we go. Our job is to strive to be better than animals, to aim higher. G-d is a partner in our lives.

    • #23
    • May 15, 2018 at 7:40 am
    • 5 likes
  24. Member

    iWe (View Comment):
    That Christianity is fixated on sin. Judaism is interested in what we do next.

    Not accurate to say that. It’s a cart horse thing. We must understand we are in need before we can accept a solution. Once faith is sealed, it should be “fixated” on living Holy lives, not on sin. However, knowing we will never be sinnless in this life, confession is a regular need. Then move forward to live holy lives.

    Fixation on sin is like fixation on failer. Not healthy. 

     

    • #24
    • May 15, 2018 at 7:55 am
    • 4 likes
  25. Member

    What @gilreich said.

    • #25
    • May 15, 2018 at 11:00 am
    • 2 likes
  26. Reagan
    iWe

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):
    However, knowing we will never be sinnless in this life, confession is a regular need.

    Different approaches, for sure!

    • #26
    • May 15, 2018 at 11:03 am
    • 2 likes
  27. Member

    Arahant (View Comment):
    To embed a video, put the link on it’s own line.

    It can’t be this easy. lol

    • #27
    • May 15, 2018 at 11:09 am
    • 2 likes
  28. Member

    iWe (View Comment):

    Bob Wainwright (View Comment):
    What’s worse, the idea that the Holocaust was meaningless, or that God somehow works it into his plans? Those are really the only two options right?

    Not to me.

    The Holocaust was a reminder that we are responsible for evil. G-d did not cause it – he enabled it by allowing mankind free will. We are to blame for the Holocaust.

    The last sentence is a bit off. “We” in the sense that the possibility of a Holocaust is intrinsic to our free will. Not in the sense that all living people share personal responsibility with the shrinking number of Holocaust perpetrators and enablers still alive today.

    • #28
    • May 15, 2018 at 11:32 am
    • 2 likes
  29. Reagan
    iWe

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):

    iWe (View Comment):

    Bob Wainwright (View Comment):
    What’s worse, the idea that the Holocaust was meaningless, or that God somehow works it into his plans? Those are really the only two options right?

    Not to me.

    The Holocaust was a reminder that we are responsible for evil. G-d did not cause it – he enabled it by allowing mankind free will. We are to blame for the Holocaust.

    The last sentence is a bit off. “We” in the sense that the possibility of a Holocaust is intrinsic to our free will. Not in the sense that all living people share personal responsibility with the shrinking number of Holocaust perpetrators and enablers still alive today.

    Whenever something bad happens, “we” are responsible – if not for our action, for our inaction. G-d won’t stop evildoers – that is our job.

    • #29
    • May 15, 2018 at 11:56 am
    • 1 like
  30. Member

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):
    To embed a video, put the link on it’s own line.

    It can’t be this easy. lol

    It is, just put the youtube URL on a separate line and it appears.

    • #30
    • May 15, 2018 at 11:57 am
    • 2 likes
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