Challenges to Orthodoxy – In Discussion

Seems societyvs not only denies the true gospel but seeks to come up with his own, one which looks to works righteousness rather than the gift and righteousness of God.” (Swordbearer)

Interesting you should mention this – in fact – I am studying the roots of the atonement idea – anyone else doing this – in fact yes? I am looking at what the Jewish rabbi said about the 3 aspects of atonement in the torah and prophets and how Jesus says ‘he will fulfill the Torah and Prophets’…and then looking at the idea with more depth. Maybe I am working through this idea and the discussion is very helpful – where I stand at the atonement I am not sure at this point but it goes like this:

(a) Jewish atonement – 3 aspects (Torah (Blood), Repentance, and Charity)
(b) Christian aspect actually respects all 3 of these ideas – but holds up one as the only atonement that matters
(c) Jesus mention each idea in all gospels – repentance, charity (we also see this in Acts community), and sacrifice
(d) Maybe Jesus fulfills the blood atonement (from Hebrews) once and for all – not to happen yearly now – all are cleared
(e) However, all may be cleared but we still have our parts in the good news – repentance and charity.

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Jesus – Matt 5:17 and John the Baptist’s – Matt 3:2 – first words). Jesus seems to be telling people ‘repent’ is the first thing to do to follow him – and first thing John requests of everyone in following God (exact same message). Repentance is given a fairly weighty position if you ask me.

We can see – for some odd reason beyond any reason – God accepts people that are charitable (Matt 25: 31-40) and loving (Matt 22:36-40). Nowhere in these gospels until the very end is the atonement even mentioned – at that we have discussed in depth – but we are still required to do something or we can lose our place in the kingdom.

Heck, even Puritan is saying not believing in the Messiah makes one subject to no atonement – but what he is really saying there is ‘what you do’ matters. Believing something is a type of action in Puritan’s wording (a verb). I find it hypocritical you guys can push on idea about faith and then hold another about losing that salvation based on ‘actions’. It’s not one or the other obviously. Even Paul in his letters admits this – even after he talks about how people are saved by faith – apparently they condemned by their actions. And I am not pulling one over your eyes – check it out in Paul’s letters when he tells people they will not inherit the kingdom of heaven – apparently it is based on ‘what they do’ (ie: namely being immoral in some way or form). He is telling this to a Christian community all the time in his letters.

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The article I sent you shows the existence of the Trinity in the Old Testament” (Puritan)

Actually, I am asking rabbi’s and others in the Jewish community who actually study the Hebrew and have dedicated themselves to studying the whole of the Tanakh – and they say there is no proof of a Trinity…I have to think they are right on this – they dedicate their lives to those teachings. I have not set up a ‘straw man’ whatsoever – I have claimed the Tanakh does not mention a Trinity and I am very sure of this – even the NT never uses the actual word. I don’t see why not addressing the idea Jesus may not be God is problematic – he was the Messiah/Christ sent from God.

 As for the divinity of Jesus – I am not worried. If he is God – I follow his teachings anyways – if He is not God – I am not breaking the 1st commandment (There is only One God). To be perfectly honest, most of the disciples outside of the 3 synoptic gospels neither make this claim about Jesus’ divinity – but mainly his special position as Messiah(Jewish term)/Christ (Greek term). It’s rather funny that you guys bash pluralism yet hold to a form of it in the Trinity – irony?

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Let me ask you, since Judaists were wrong about Messiah…why trust them on the Psalms (or any other prophetic interpretations)?” (Puritan)

(v.5-6)
Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which You have done,
And Your thoughts toward us;
There is none to compare with You
If I would declare and speak of them,
They would be too numerous to count.
Sacrifice and meal offering You have not desired;
My ears You have opened;
Burnt offering and sin offering You have not required.

David is writing a Psalm and in vs. 5 we see how God is very insurmountable in knowing about- in vs. 6 David says simply ‘you opened my ears’…so he could hear and write some of it. Now you tell me, in context, how a ‘body you have prepared for me’ (from Hebrews 10:6) even fits in the context of that Psalm? I think the Psalm 40 version is accurate and makes sense from the Rabbinical viewpoint – Hebrews 10 is flawed.

Just some Food for thought?

Calling Out Your Sacred Cow…

Rabbi Singer – a well studied individual from Outreach Judaism – quotes and comments on the Trinity (also links to the whole statements and proofs used in the debate about the Trinity and Jesus)

“The verse is found in Psalm 82:6 where the Bible refers to judges who teach God’s divine law as gods. This title was bestowed on them because they were teachers of the Almighty’s divine law, not because they were actually God in any way. This usage is quite common in the Jewish scriptures. For example, in Exodus 7:1 Moses is called a god because he was God’s representative to Pharaoh. In essence, Jesus’ reply supports the very opposite of what missionaries are trying to put forth. Jesus, as depicted by John, is explaining that his identification with God is comparable to the Jewish judges’ identification with God.” (Rabbi Singer – Did Jesus Claim to be God)

“The question that immediately comes to mind is: If the Hebrew word echad can signify either a compound unity or one alone, how can one tell which definition is operative when studying a verse? The answer is: In the exact same way the word “one” is understood in the English language, that is, from the context. “Four chairs and a table make up one dinette set” is a compound unity, and “Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one” is unsullied monotheism.” (Rabbi Singer – The Trinity in the Shema)

“In response to this argument, I have explained that contrary to the missionary claim that blood sacrifice is the only method of atonement in the Bible, there are 3 methods of atonement clearly defined in the Jewish scriptures: the sin sacrifice, repentance, and charity. Moreover, the sin sacrifice (known in the Jewish scriptures as korban chatat) did not atone for all types of sin, but rather, only for man’s most insignificant iniquity: unintentional sins. The sin sacrifice was inadequate to atone for a transgression committed intentionally. The brazen sinner was barred from the sanctuary, and had to bear his own iniquity because of his rebellious intent to sin against God. The Torah teaches this fundamental principle in Numbers 15:27-31.” (Rabbi Singer – Could Jesus’ Death Atone For Any Kind of Sin?)

“Judaism teaches of forgiveness and a wonderful salvation program based on the Bible. From your letter, however, it is quite clear that the reason you are not forgiven is because you have not sought forgiveness. You must first lament of this iniquity and turn back to the One God of Israel for His precious life-giving atonement. There is no greater iniquity in the Bible than idolatry. Scripture refers to this act as spiritual adultery. This is the very first of the ten commandments.” (Rabbi Singer – Monotheism and Idolatry)

I had never ever read Rabbi Singer but after a quick read of his stuff – I am almost certain we are making the same conclusions and points. Just more food for thought in the on-going research into Jesus’ God status – is Jesus being made into God by Gentile communities is now the greater question?