Following the Whole Bible… but.
Judaism as separate from Christianity…. but
I always feel like I am the But person. People make a statement and I have to say the But. Regardless of whether or not I actually agree with the statement, I must ruffle their feathers if I feel they have been unthoughtful. During our vacation with some friends, we did daily devotions as a group. They are a whole group of what I consider- thoughtless Christians. Christ and following the Bible is a way life that has very strict rules and guidelines that should be adhered to for our benefit. Scripture is read daily, but mostly as kind of history/self-help book. It’s not to be analyzed and they definitely don’t take any passage interpretation out of the norm. They are just the kind of feathers that I see and can’t help but ruffle, and as I promised I would, I am now going to tell you a little about it.
On the coffee table upstairs, there were tons of booklets that the family had set out for interested parties to look through. Due to a recent conversation and fascination of mine, I picked the one entitled “Judaism and Christianity: A Contrast.” It said that many people focus on the similarities between the two, but you shouldn’t because they really have nothing to do with one another. No thing to do with one another? Don’t we still follow the Torah? Well, we’re not bound by the laws and it wasn’t written for us. Okay, so why not just disregard the Old Testament then? Why feel the need to associate our religion with theirs? Well, they say, we have to follow the whole Bible here’s the verse. When I was presented with that kind of rebuff, I thought to myself I wonder how much they know about Biblical history. Have they even heard of the apochrypha? Well, I just have to ruffle feathers, so I asked when 1st Timothy was written and what was considered part of the Biblical cannon at that time. The father knew that the apocrypha existed at least asking if that’s what I meant. I then asked why we didn’t seek out and hold up the books that were the scripture at that time considering that many of them were not readily distinguished from scripture. I also happened to mention that the man who was responsible for the cannon we know use was a bloodthirsty warlord, and probably not the person that you would want choosing what would and wouldn’t be in scripture. Well, sadly, the only part that everyone heard was my critique of Constantine.
They took turns explaining that God could have God’s hand on people who were not the best and move them to do great things. This all made me wonder how they would feel if Ahmadinejad painted a cross on tanks and tore through the Middle East (excepting Israel) and then decided to re-decide on the inspiration on certain books of scripture shortly after declaring a Christian state. Would they find him converted radically like Paul and follow blindly, or would they question his motives? At that point, I figured I had ruffled enough feathers and they definitely didn’t want to engage in the histrionics of it all and the whole “God is in control” mantra was simply going to smother any questions.
The other aspect we discussed was that we are worshiping the same God as the Jews are. How can we have such a completely different religion and be worshiping the same God? I brought up the idea that the Father God is certainly still the same even if they missed the Messiah. I mean, if the three parts of God are one and you’re worshiping one, then aren’t you worshiping them all? Believe it or not this discussion went over much better. They simply can’t deny that we don’t worship the same God. Though they did think that Jews would have no concept of the Father God, but that’s not true. God the Father is used throughout the Old Testament, it simply has a different context ie. God the Father of creation vs. God the Father of Jesus. The only reason it went better is because the whole family stopped responding to questions and let the father, who’s very well researched, handle the ‘situation. It was a very interesting place to be in. Almost as though the questions were a threat and their Dad was rolled out to defend them.