Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Jew, Christianity and the "War on Terror"

It is a little known fact that Christianity, at its very outset, was Jewish.  Rather than belabor that point, I simply sight chapter 15 in the Book of Acts of the New Testament, as being about a small group of Jewish believers in Yeshua (Jesus) getting together to discuss the plausibility of the notion that a Gentile can come to believe in Yeshua (Jesus) without first becoming a Jew.

Whereas in the First Century A.D., it was a mystery that a Gentile could believe in Yeshua, Today, in the 21st Century, it is a mystery that a Jew can believe in Yeshua.  To date, I have not yet found an adjective that can adequately describe the nature of this irony!

Today, we are engaged in what has popularly been dubbed a “war on terror”.  In light of the fact that this war is a struggle between Islam and the West with its potpourri of divergent belief systems, I believe that it is safe to say rather axiomatically that...

Until the human race collectively comes to a consensus about who God is, what He is like and what He expects from us, we shall forever be at war.

As I see it there are three possible ways by which we can come to this consensus1

     1. We humans willingly debate the issue rationally and dispassionately 

     2. One particular view is dictatorially imposed upon everyone else, or

     3. The truth is irrefutably revealed to everyone.

It is unlikely that we humans will agree on anything.  Personally, I find that this substantiates the reality of the doctrine of sin.  We humans are too arrogant and biased to relinquish our view points despite the evidence.  The above mentioned axiom would concur that this reality is to our detriment because it inhibits consensus thus perpetuating the atmosphere conducive to promulgating war.  

Sadly, even if the truth were to be irrefutably revealed to everyone, in the present state the world is in, many would still reject it.  In reality, I’m pretty well convinced that this objective truth already exists today.  The writer of the Book of Proverbs wrote “Wisdom shouts in the street, She lifts her voice in the square;”  (Prov. 1:20).

Even though the voice of Wisdom can metaphorically be heard today, I fear that her voice is drowned out by the rabble of foolishness... whether it come in the form of peer pressure, vogue thinking, tradition, individuals assumed to be experts, any other of a myriad of influences on thought processes or just plain unwillingness of people to put in the effort to think critically.

Unfortunately, in this day and age, there seem to be only two remaining alternatives.  Continued war or the imposition of a world view upon the masses by a dictator or group of self-appointed dictatorial elitists.  The former alternative is destructive at face value to say the least.  The latter alternative may or may not be consistent with objective truth.  In all probability it will not be based upon objective truth, and its foundation will be a lie.2  

Feeding heavily into this “gemish” of confusion over the nature of God, what He might be like and what He expects from us, is the fideistic rejection by the Jewish people of the Messiahship of  Yeshua.  As a whole, the Jewish community defines a Jew as someone who is the child of a Jewish mother but who does not believe in Yeshua.  To much of the Jewish community, the contention that Yeshua is not the Messiah is an axiom in itself.  This “axiom” however, is built upon a paradigm which places it directly at odds with Christianity.  The Jewish rejection of Yeshua as the Messiah is a direct refutation of Christianity which claims, to the contrary, that He is the Messiah.  The rabbis seem to be oblivious to the fact that their “faith stance” is, in reality, an affront to Christianity and the modern western Church does not perceive this either.  Not wanting to “offend” much of the church relegates “Judaism” to being 'just another religion' and makes up some canard that “Jews can’t be reached for the Gospel or they have their own means of receiving salvation”.

This clash between Christianity and Judaism, rather than being confronted, is ignored.  Each side seeks its own comfort zone.  It’s not comfortable to confront.  It’s not comfortable to challenge one’s culture and opinions as they stand up in concurrence with or contrary to Biblical truth.  Ironically, this pursuit of comfort produced exactly the opposite effect. Ignoring the debate only contributes to the afore mentioned lack of consensus on the nature of God.   This, in turn, carries with it its already noted horrific consequences.  Instead of finding comfort, the one who pursues comfort unwittingly foments war and the inevitable accompanying threat to personal safety… the very antithesis of comfort.  

There is another element of irony that accompanies this issue.  Even though Judaism fundamentally invalidates Christianity, Ironically, when one dismisses Judaism as a religion which is a human construct in light of the fact that it is an interpretation of the divine, but acknowledges the historic survival of the Jewish people simply as a people, this affirms the claim to the divine origin of the Bible and therefore the veracity of the Bible’s claim that, in fact, Yeshua IS the Messiah of the Jewish people.3

Interestingly, popular perception confuses the religion with the people.  Most Jews are not actual practitioners of Judaism.  And where the religion invalidates the "Gospel", the mere existence of the Jewish people on the world stage, does validate the Gospel because the the Gospel is found only in the Bible and the Bible has promised that the Jewish people would survive history which they've done.5  Hence, the death, as it were, of Judaism, as it exists today, (only to be replaced by an authentic personal relationship with God to be experienced universally)4 coupled with the perpetual survival of the Jewish people, as claimants to Yeshua as the fulfillment of God’s covenant to them4, lend a potentially very strong argument in favor of the notion that the Bible is the very word of the creator God of the universe and since that's the case, the Bible is also the sole accurate source for understanding the nature of the Gospel.

In light of this reality, it is safe to say that, in light of what the Bible has to say in the matter, peace will never come to this planet until either the Jewish people, are destroyed, (as is the contention of many anti-Semitic groups) which will never happen5,  they en-mass, receive Yeshua as their Messiah which will happen6 one day, or Biblical Christianity is determined to be utterly false which, also, will never happen7.  In spite of the inevitability of the universal salvation of the Jewish people at a specific time in the future,  it behooves the Church Invisible, nevertheless, to “pave the way” as it were, by prioritizing prayer for and evangelism to the Jewish people.  Even if they do not believe now, a seed will be planted that will bare fruit on “that day.”  Furthermore, there’s a double investment in this endeavor.  It’s part of the war on terror.  Jewish validation of the Messiah-ship of Yeshua invalidates Islam.

1.All three of these mechanisms for achieving consensus are mentioned in the Bible.  Although there are several references to each mechanism, the following are one or two references to each.

A. Rational debate - "Come now, and let us reason together, "Says the LORD," Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool.  (Isa 1:18)

B. One view is imposed upon the masses - Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon. He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed.  And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life. Rev. 13:11-14)

C. The truth is irrefutably revealed to everyone - "I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn. (Zech. 12:10)

2. Scripture would not argue that the foundation of this dictatorship will probably be a lie.  I use the word “probably” only for the sake of argument.  Scripture argues irrefutably that it is a lie. - And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life. Rev. 13:14)

3. The fact that the Jewish people have survived two millennia of exile from there homeland, endured wave after wave of intolerable persecutions including attempted genocide, and returned to their original homeland to speak the same language they’d spoken two millennia earlier, is a testimony to the predictive nature of the prophecies inherent in the Bible.

4.  Behold, days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them," declares the LORD. "But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the LORD, "I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. (Jer.31:31-33)

5.   Thus says the LORD, Who gives the sun for light by day And the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar; The LORD of hosts is His name:  If this fixed order departs From before Me," declares the LORD, "Then the offspring of Israel also will cease From being a nation before Me forever." Thus says the LORD, "If the heavens above can be measured And the foundations of the earth searched out below, Then I will also cast off all the offspring of Israel For all that they have done," declares the LORD.                                            ( Jer 31:35-37)


7. And they sang the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, " Great and marvelous are Your works, O Lord God, the Almighty; Righteous and true are Your ways, King of the nations! (Rev. 15:3)

No comments: