Wolf’s Attack on Fear in Faith

Comment taken from Naked Pastor’s ‘Dung’ Blog

You mentioned Satan. He is real, and he is after us. And the evil that is in the world, and that we all have within us is bad enough.” S&M

Probably the most well know sermon ever preached is called, “Sinners in the hands of an angry God.”” Fishon from I see Dead Trees walking

So satan and god are both after us. That’s what I mean. too much negativity. It seems like faith doesn’t give people a reason to celebrate or feel joy . Just sit around waiting for either the devil to get them when they are good. Or a god when they are bad or good (cause if you believe in the wrong type of god, he is still going to get you). it’s this type of thinking that lead me to be an unbeliever.

I agree that there is enough “evil that is in the world, and that we all have within us is bad enough” , but when even god doesn’t give you a break. wow. why live?

All I am trying to say is that faith should be there to step up and encourage and help a brother when he is down. Not remind him that there is a ground when he is flying high. Let him fly! (Wilfred Bird)

***I like this piece if advice – it really hits home on the aspects of fear that religion can produce. It also talks about the point of faith – it should be something ‘good’ and not something that ‘torments’.

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31 thoughts on “Wolf’s Attack on Fear in Faith

  1. I think much of our religion and our scripture is a projection of OUR love capacity on God. We love conditionally, we are fickle, so we assume God is that way…. even if we confess otherwise. We are either messed up thinking God is out to get us… or we think we’ve got it together but what will happen if we lose it. The threat is always there, even for most folks who are very Grace oriented… there is always the “but”.

    I may be wrong in the end, but I don’t believe God loves that way. I believe he loves like I do at my best moments of being a Father. Acceptance and being in the family is not the issue. I think we are all accepted. The question is can we take our acceptance by God and go on to live a life that brings life to every situation we touch.

    Faith in God should bring life… not fear of punishment or abandonment.

  2. I think you need both. You won’t know the good without the bad. You need to be tormented by the law so that the gospel can have an effect on you.

    Like pretty much everything else in the Christian faith, it is a paradox.

  3. you need to be tormented by the law?

    Yes, I’ve seen this ‘tormenting’ expressed over and over by the Psalmist. ‘Your law is my torment’ and ‘In Your law I am tormented day and night.’

    Deuteronomy 30:14-20
    See, I set before you this day life and prosperity, death and adversity. For I command you this day, to love Adonai your God, to walk in God’s ways, and to keep God’s commandments, God’s laws, and God’s rules, that you may thrive and increase, and that Adonai your God may bless you in the land you are about to enter and possess. But if your heart turns away and you give no heed, and are lured into the worship and service of other gods, I declare to you this day that you shall certainly perish, you shall not long endure on the soil that you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day. I have put before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose life – if you and your offspring would live – by loving Adonai your God, heeding God’s commands, and holding fast to God. For thereby you shall have life and shall long endure upon the soil that Adonai swore to your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give to them.

    Perhaps, Old Adam, the law torments you only because you feel guilty for dismissing it and claiming it to be a horrendous thing? If so, then get over it. The law wasn’t given to gentiles anyway. The only gentiles required to live by it were those who had attached themselves to the Children of Israel. Perhaps the law torments you because you claim to worship the God of Israel, yet you have added another god to the mix when Torah says that there can only be ONE God for Israel?

    As for me, “I will be preoccupied with Your commandments which I love. I will lift my hands to Your commandments, which I love, and I will discuss Your statutes.”

    I prefer the Torah of Your mouth more than thousands in gold and silver.

    O how I love Your Torah! All day long it is my conversation. Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies….How sweet to my palate is every one of Your words, more than honey to my houth.

    I have taken Your ennobling testimonies as my eternal heritage, for they are the joy of my heart.

    The introduction of Your words illuminates, making simpletons understand. I opened my mouth and swallowed deeply, because I crave for Your commandments.

    My eyes shed streams of water, because they did not keep Your Torah.

    (Ps 119:49, 72, 97-103,112,130-131, 136)

    My Tanakh is just over 2000 pages long, it has both Hebrew and English, so let’s cut that in half. We have 1000 pages of sacred text which were given us just to torment us for thousands of years until something ‘better’ came along? If so, why aren’t we Jews tormented by it? If so, why are those like Old Adam tormented by it when they claim to follow a better way? If you claim to be free of what never bound you to begin with, at least go live free then and stop claiming Torah is a torment to you!

    I don’t literally cry tears, but inwardly I do when Torah is mocked, when Torah is paraded as a torture device. Every day I bless God for having given Torah to God’s people; every day I study Torah because I love doing so. Every Shabbat we recreate the giving of Torah and being wrapped in Torah. Every fall we bring out all of our Sefrei Torah so we can dance with them and celebrate Torah. Come join us sometime as we freely express our delight in Torah.

  4. As St. Paul tells us in 2nd Corinthians, “the law is the ministry of death.” No one will be justified in the sight of the law. This is why the law torments. It must be kept perfectly at all times. It shall not be mocked.

    Weak attempts at law keeping will not go unpunished.

    But the forgiveness of sins in Christ brings life. “My yoke is easy, Jesus said.”

    “Christ is the end of the law for all those who have faith.” Romans 10:4

    This from a guy who was on his way to kill, and or, arrest Christians, when Jesus knocked him off his horse and saiud, “you’re mine.”

    When Christ grabs a hold of you, there is no turning back to the law.

    Thanks!

  5. As usual, you ignore everything addressed to you and merely reply with another rendition of your gospel but, I will try one more time to see if you have any answers other than that one

    Did you ever wonder why the first half of Acts is all about the disciples, but all of the sudden half way through the book there is a disagreement between Paul and the disciples after which Paul is supposedly sent off on his journey and the rest of the book is all about Paul? Was he really sent off or was he kicked out? One has to wonder since neither Jesus nor the disciples spoke badly about the law yet Paul never misses the chance to tear into it in his efforts to build his own following among gentiles who didn’t seem to like that Judaism required them to have a little snip in a sensitive area in order to join the tribe.

    The way I see it, instead of building their own relationship with God, these gentiles insisted on standing on the outskirts of someone else’s relationship and in the end trashed what they didn’t have the fortitude to take hold of for themselves. Gentiles didn’t want to follow the law? So what? Again I ask, where in Torah are gentiles not attached to the people Israel required to follow Torah?

    I have asked this question already but received no responses but I will try again. Where in Torah does it say the law must be kept perfectly? Please give me chapter and verse.

    I’m not worried in the least about being punished. You don’t know me, you don’t know anything about my life. To depict it as a ‘weak attempt at law keeping’ is a bit presumptuous on your part don’t you think? Please point out to me what laws are so difficult to keep and also point out to me where in Tanakh it says that God will not forgive those who ask for forgiveness. Again, chapters and verses would be helpful.

    How do you explain the very positive views of Torah expressed in Tanakh? Were these lies? Did God tell us the law was great just so God could jerk us around and show us to be deluded fools? Was the Psalmist on drugs when he wrote how great the law is?

    Turning back to the law? Again, when were you ever required to keep the law? Your thinking it’s so great to be free from the law, which obviously you aren’t even free from since you claim it ‘tortures you’, would be like me rejoicing that I’m now free from the laws of Canada when I’ve never lived in Canada, but then spending half my time fretting over how I’m not able to keep those laws unless Jason does it for me, or some other such nonsense. Can I really not feel good about my life here in the United States unless I find fault with Canada and Canadians? Why can’t I just enjoy being neighbors with Jason and let him worry about his laws since they have nothing to do with me anyway unless I choose to go to Canada.

    The law doesn’t torture people, God doesn’t torture people, and some satan doesn’t torture people. It’s people who torture people and it’s people who torture themselves. If we can stay away from such types, life is good! So why not work to make it even better, stop with the blame game and stop denigrating what others value just because you don’t happen to hold those same values?

  6. Paul was a great law keeper…a Pharisee amongst pharisees. He kept the law as well as anyone. he said that compared to knowing Christ, that was all dog-stuff.

    In the book of Isaiah 64:6 it says that “we have all become like one who is unclean, and that all our righteous deeds are as a polluted garment.”

    Are you not included in that “…we all”? I guess not.

    Yaelbatsarah, you are doing just fine on your own, and have no need for Christ. No problem…you will not have Him.

    What’s your problem?

  7. ” I do when Torah is mocked, when Torah is paraded as a torture device.” Yael

    hell yeah! it is disgusting how the bible is used in this matter… esp. since there WAS no satan in Hebrew cosmology until the PERSIANS came (as they have a good god/evil god thing going on). however, satan isn’t bad…

    i don’t see a belief relavent in jewish tradition to warrent such a poor reading of Ha Satan, the Accuser and tester of Mankind (in Job). God sends HA Satan in jewish tradition to test the faithfullness of man and help God judge accordingly. God is merciful and satan is like the prosecutor in a court room. this doesn’t make Satan inherently evil.

    There is no biblical record of the “fall of Satan” in oral or written tradition. it took the Christian church 200 years to come about a doctrine of ‘Satan the devil’ and the whole NON-BIBLICAL story of his fall.

    Believing in Satan as evil is rather unfounded. I just don’t support for it until the gospels, and even that scholars have been scratching their heads about the purpose and lead up for this… I think it’s just another example of a duelistic doctrine no one wants to question because it’s easy and convenient. It’s time to grow up and get a fuller picture of God… As “For the Bible Tells Me So” says, “a 5th grade view of God is okay… if you’re in the 5th grade.”

  8. There is no biblical record of the “fall of Satan” in oral or written tradition. it took the Christian church 200 years to come about a doctrine of ‘Satan the devil’ and the whole NON-BIBLICAL story of his fall. (Luke)

    When you say “there is no biblical record record of the fall of satan, in oral or written tradition” are you refering to Tanakh only?

    Because Luke writes in Luke 10:17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” 18 He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” Which I think a lot of people would consider biblical

  9. thejust1, you could have kept reading and noticed ” I just don’t support for it until the gospels, and even that scholars have been scratching their heads about the purpose and lead up for this”

    quoting one line “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” from Luke 10:17 is NOT the whole story of when and why and how HA-SATAN (a title) became THE DEVIL (the ultimate personification of evil) and was “cast out” or “fell.” that is an illusion to a tradition the bible doesn’t spell out for us in the canonical text.

  10. Paul was a great law keeper…a Pharisee amongst pharisees. He kept the law as well as anyone. he said that compared to knowing Christ, that was all dog-stuff.

    You know, I don’t believe in Christian teachings, not even the slightest bit, but that will be the day when I call these teachings shit. That other people find meaning in these teachings? What’s it to me? But, when they go around calling my beliefs a source of torment, and now just plain old shit, I’m not just going to sit here silent. No way.

    Paul claims to have been a Pharisee, yet there is no evidence aside from his words that he actually was one. His teachings, unlike those of Jesus, do not reflect him having any knowledge of Rabbinic Judaism. It seems he was probably just a wannabe who couldn’t cut it which would explain his extreme hostility.

    You are still ignoring my question. So, the Psalmist was a liar? Tanakh teaches lies when it says those who follow God’s commands will find life and not death? How do you explain the positive view of Torah presented in Tanakh if it was really all just a pile of shit? (Wasn’t it really nice of God to feed us dog excrement and tell us it was life giving?)

    No, I am not included in the ‘all’ of Isaiah. That comment, pulled out of context constantly BTW, was addressed to a very specific situation. Does one verse from Isaiah nullify everything taught in the rest of Tanakh?

    In your Gospels, Jesus tells his followers to follow the teachings of those who sit in the seat of Moses, even if those teachers aren’t doing the right thing. (No mention of shit here. Funny how Jesus didn’t seem to know what Paul knew….) It seems to me Jesus said he didn’t come to abolish the law. Obviously you don’t follow the law, given your high views of it, so how come you believe what Paul said, but not what Jesus said? Is Paul the greater of the two?

    My problem, Old Adam, is your denigration of my beliefs. You don’t like them? Fine. How about trying to live your life without insulting mine? Surely your system of belief has more to offer the world than just being oppositional and insulting to Judaism?

  11. I didn’t realize that this was a Jewish perspective only blog. of course Christian and Jewish beliefs are at odds.

    The New testament says these things about the law being secondary to Christ. Paul, the great law keeper, said these things about the law in comparison to Christ.

    When Paul speaks, Jesus speaks.

    I have the utmost respect and love for the Jewish people. I believe they are wrong, as you believe I am wrong. I’m ok with that…but I won’t change my beliefs to suit you. I don’t expect you to do that either. I’m not, however, so thin skinned that I expect you to shut your mouth about your beliefs.

  12. Yaelbatsarah,

    For clarification: What Paul said was that ‘his efforts’ at keeping the law were dog stuff compared to knowing Christ (not the law itself)

  13. Old Adam,
    So, in your world blogs which can speak respectfully about Judaism must be ones that only allow a Jewish perspective? Do you consider it impossible for Christian perspective blogs to do such a thing?

    This is most definitely a Christian blog. I’m merely here as an invited guest of Jason’s in order to give a Jewish perspective, per his request. If you don’t want to hear a Jewish perspective, learn to write about your religion without speaking badly about mine. It has been known to be done.

    I seldom if ever speak up when totally Christian topics are under discussion. But, as I already said, I will not sit silent when someone claims Torah’s purpose is to torment people until such a time as they’re ready to accept Jesus. Tanakh teaches us a totally different view, a view I have questioned you about several times now, questions which you conveniently ignore. If you don’t like being challenged when you make such claims that’s fine, but perhaps you shouldn’t then post them on a blog where a Jew hangs out?

    I don’t think of religion in terms of right or wrong. What is right for me may not be right for you. Given your views of the law, your enjoyment of letting Jesus take care of things for you and your discomfort with being questioned I have to say you’d make a piss poor Jew so it’s good you’re not at all inclined to become one. Given my views on the law, my total disinterest in Jesus, my loathing of Paul, and my love of questioning and wrestling with Torah, I would suck at being a Christian.

    One size doesn’t fit all. We’re all different. I think we all end up where we need to be in order to be the best person we can be, but in order to do so, we have to let other people be who they are without thinking we’ve got the corner on the God and truth market.

    I’m not thin-skinned. No way could a Jew survive in evangelical land being thin-skinned. Stop the insults and you’ll find I’m quite easy going. Keep up with them and I’m right back at you.

  14. And now because you seem to have a knack going from one pitfall to the next, even though I sense you are trying to be nice….

    Would you tell a black person how much you respect and love black people?

    If only you could know how much we cringe when we hear Christians tell us how much they love and respect us. Specimans in a jar, animals in the zoo, flannelgraph figures on a board? Do you see us as real people? How could you and still claim to love us all?

    Personally, I will never make the claim to love and respect Christians. Some of them I like and some of them I don’t. Some of them I respect, some of them I don’t. It depends on the person. And this is something that I had trouble doing until someone brought it to my attention.

    Respect Judaism, respect and love Torah, but please deal with us Jews as individuals. We’re not some quaint group to be patted on the head and shoved to the side. Some of us are good people, some of us are real assholes, just like with every other group of people. I go out of my way to be unlovable to people who claim to love us just so they can no longer truthfully make that claim. After that they can only say, “I just love the Jews, except for HER!” I figure at least it’s a start. So, am I succeeding with you? If not I can keep trying. 😛

    Anyway, I’m through with a boring night of work so I’m going to get out of here. Busy day ahead plus I bought 5 new books yesterday which I’ve barely had time to check out. Life is good. Lighten up and enjoy.

  15. Luke,
    I almost forgot, great explanation and right on the money. My father managed to keep five kids in line with his ‘god is going to get you or the devil is going to get you unless you submit to me’ routine. He had this one daughter though, that looked him in the eye and said ‘let them have at’. Bet you can’t guess who that was…..

  16. Yaelbatsarah,

    I actually do have an affinity for the Jewish people. First off, they are God’s chosen people. They are the race and nation of people that have been through many trials and tribulations, they have wandered away from God and yet God always brings them back. The horrors of WWII and the subsequent re-establishing of the Jewish State in Israel and the steadfast defense of their lives and country amidst constant attack. I do love and respect the Jewish people, in spite of the occassional run in with an asshole. Assholes are to be found everywhere. The love of which I speak is not the individual love of which you speak. I do reserve that type of love for those close to me.

    I’m not out to convert you, or anyone else on this blog. But of course I have to speak to that of which I believe. I would not expect anything less from you.

    I will try and lighten up, and you are right…life is good!

    Shalom!

    – Steve M.

  17. “Where in Torah does it say the law must be kept perfectly?” – yaelbatsarah

    I love this question, and I wished I would have asked it! There is too much emphasis on “perfection” and what that means.

  18. thejust1, you could have kept reading and noticed ” I just don’t support for it until the gospels, and even that scholars have been scratching their heads about the purpose and lead up for this”

    I actually did read the comment. I just found it odd, or maybe I am not reading you right, that you would say that it was not biblical when alot of people would consider the gospels to be biblical.

    “quoting one line “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” from Luke 10:17 is NOT the whole story of when and why and how HA-SATAN (a title) became THE DEVIL (the ultimate personification of evil) and was “cast out” or “fell.” that is an illusion to a tradition the bible doesn’t spell out for us in the canonical text.” (Luke)

    I am not disagreeing with you on the concept and origin of Satan. Sure I’m only quoting one line, but it is one line that is found in the bible, that Luke the gospel writer attributes to Jesus. Some people would consider the gospels to be a canonical text. But I may be misunderstanding what you are writing.

    Because it may be that you are saying the whole story of Satan being the ultimate personification of evil is not found in the biblical texts and that belief is not supported by the bible.

  19. Yael….

    Remind me not to get you too worked up. I go away for a few days and lo and behold I miss the fireworks 😉

  20. Me? I’m as meek and mild as they come! Really….Actually, no fireworks from me. You guys always think I’m pissed off just because I get rolling with what I’m thinking about and won’t just take pat answers and certainly not insults. I don’t get mad about the insults, but I’m not about to let them just ride either. Anyway, Steve’s OK.

    I have a feeling a Torah study session at shul might get a bit too intense for some, however. Did you ever watch the movie ‘Yentl’? If you haven’t, you should take a look at the Yeshiva scenes. You might just understand me a bit better as a result! I question everything, including my own questions; I have thought about all of this stuff in great detail from many different angles and actually enjoy being challenged to find new ones. People who claim to have all the answers quickly bore me. I can’t imagine anything more uninteresting than living in a world where all the answers are just fed to me. No thanks. No thanks.

    I’m weird, I freely admit. For whatever reason, I am fascinated with God and Judaism. I told Rabbi once that this really pisses me off because if I had the same fascination for business I would likely be a wealthy woman by now….

    Such is life. Some day I’ll be a rabbi who will write the most profound insights into all of this and you’ll be able to say you knew me back in the day, even though you still won’t agree with me! But, we’ll go have that beer for you and scotch for me anyway, swap some stories, tell a few jokes and then you’ll realize I don’t really take any of this all that seriously. 8)

  21. “Because it may be that you are saying the whole story of Satan being the ultimate personification of evil is not found in the biblical texts and that belief is not supported by the bible.”

    yes i am… as there is no tradition or hebrew understanding as Satan being evil until that line you quoted.. it’s like saying “that guy is an einstien” (title). then saying “no, really, that guy is Einstien!” (name). THEN saying “i saw Einstien falling like lighting” which makes no sence.

    the leap is not brought out in the biblical text as this tradition is exclusively oral and doctrinal… a doctrine not invented until the 300s when the early orthodox church agreed that there should be something about satan becoming evil. it’s not in the TaNaK and one line in the gospels hardly makes it supported by the bible. it’s just not there!

  22. “Because it may be that you are saying the whole story of Satan being the ultimate personification of evil is not found in the biblical texts and that belief is not supported by the bible.” (Just1)

    I would also state – what makes the NT scripture anyways? I think it’s connection with the Tanakh makes it scripture for us Christians. The gospels are based on the ideals from Torah and Prophets – this much seems clear to me. I think scripture is the Tanakh – the addition in is the gospels and letters. I thnk we have to know why we think the NT is God-breathed – because for it to hold any weight – that God would have to be the One in the Tanakh (thus the establishment of what truly is scripture in the first place).

    As for the satan – I think Luke is right – that’s a figure that really spends little time being discussed in Tanakh scripture – and the one book he is in (Job) is likely a fictional account. That doesn’t say much for the development of a doctrine around the character.

  23. “I agree that there is enough “evil that is in the world, and that we all have within us is bad enough” , but when even god doesn’t give you a break. wow. why live?” (Wolf)

    There is something precise in this statement that revirbrates with the type of faith I live out and speak of on this blog. I serve God because I love God. But even when I do a piss poor job of serving God – I think God loves me and wants the best for me – and I am able to turn back to that same God in a hopeful manner. Now I believe the law is good and was meant to be good – but once someone see’s it as condemnatory – then I think we get into what Wolf is mentioning here. No breaks nowhere – and that’s a faith one cannot keep.

  24. Just a few comments:

    I’m not out to convert you, or anyone else on this blog. But of course I have to speak to that of which I believe. I would not expect anything less from you.

    I’ve already been converted. That happened a few years back when I sat in front of a Beit Din (Jewish court) and went to the mikvah. 🙂

    Speak of your beliefs all you want, just let me ask you this: Which of these approaches do you think is better for me in striving to become a better person and is more useful in conveying to others what Judaism is all about? If I speak of Judaism as a beautiful, practical way of living life, a wonderful way of connecting to God and community, and a vehicle for repairing the world? Or if I speak of Judaism as saving me from church and Jesus so that one day I will be able to move to Israel and spend the rest of my life in a Jewish society, free from Christian influences? Personally, although I have easily slipped into the latter at times myself, I truly prefer the former.

    Glad you admire our tenacity. Just remember now, ‘More than the Jews have kept Torah, Torah has kept the Jews’! And surely it has.

  25. JB……thought you might like this

    Excerpt from the Inescapable Love of God, by Thomas Talbott

    The idea that divine justice requires forgiveness accords very well with the NT analogy
    between God and a loving parent. It also illuminates in an intriguing way the nature of Gods opposition to sin. As the Augustinians see it, God opposes sin enough to punish it, but not enough to destroy it altogether; instead of destroying sin altogether, he merely confines it to a specially prepared region of his creation, known as hell, where he keeps it alive for an eternity. According to our alternative picture, however, God forgives sin for this very reason: in no other way could he oppose it with his entire being. For as the St. Paul saw so clearly, our specific sins express a sinful condition, and the latter is a form of spiritual death; it is simply our condition of being separated or estranged or alienated form God and from each other. So the oppostie of a sinful condition is a state of reconciliation; and if that is so, then God cannot be against sin, cannot oppose it with his entire being, unless he is for reconciliation. And he can hardly be for reconciiation unless he is prepared to forgive others even as he has commanded us to forgive them. Indeed, if God should refuse to forgive someone, as is not even possible given his loving nature, he would then separate himself from this person; and that is the very essence of sin as Paul himself understood it.

    But there is, I believe an even more subtle reason why divine justice requires the forgiveness of sin, namely this: Divine forgiveness is one of the essential means by which God protects the innocent from irreparable harm and will eventually vindicate his righteousness in the face of unjust suffering. Without any cooperation from us, God can deflect much of the harm that we might intend to do to others; he can resurrect victims of murder, for example, just as easily as he can victims of old age. He can even use the harm that we intend to do to others as a means of perfecting them and of promoting their good. But the real harm we do to others is another matter, because it rests upon the harm we do to ourselves, as the mother whose teenage daughter commits suicide illustrates so nicely; the agony the mother experiences rests upon the harm that the daughter has done to herself. Of course, in this case, God can always reunite the mother with her daughter in another life. But suppose that God should refuse to do this; suppose that he should refuse to do anything to reclaim the daughter and refuse to forgive her even on the condition of repentance. If he should thus permit the daughter to harm herself irreparably, then he would also permit irreparable harm to befall all of those , such as the mother, who love her; and if he should refuse to forgive the daughter, even as the mother would forgive he, then he would separate himself not only from the daughter, but from the mother as well. Nor would it make any difference if , instead of committing suicide, the daughter had committed murder or even if , like Ted Bundy and Jeff Dahmer, she had committed a series of brutal murders. When the mother of Ted Bundy declared, so agonizingly and yet so appropriately, her continuing love for her son who had become a mosnter, she illustrated how in harming himself her son had also harmed his own mother. She also illustrated this all-important point: that not even God can impart supreme joy to such a mother or vindicate his righteousness in permitting her to suffer so, unless his forgiveness can find a way to reclaim her son.

    Now thats a mouthful that gets you thinking …………………..

  26. Yaelbatsarah,

    Converted to ‘my belief’ system (I should have said).

    Feel free to speak of your beliefs in any way that you want. I’m really into freedom, and not just for me.

    Only you know what will make you a better person, and not being a Jew, I wouldn’t know the best way for you to go about promoting your cause.

    I do know that Christianity is all about freedom from the law (for righteousness sake), so that ought to be a part of the Christian witness for all those that have experienced the life giving freedom that comes along with Jesus grabbing a hold of them. For me not to speak of my freedom from the law, would be like you not speaking of your need to keep it.

    I think God has kept the Jews. The Torah is just an aspect of God, is it not?

    Thanks Yaelbatsarah!

    – Steve

  27. OK, Old Adam, if you would rather be in someone’s face all the time rather than be respectful of what is dear to them, that’s your choice. Hope that approach works well for you.

    If all your beliefs have to offer is that they are NOT someone else’s, that doesn’t say much for them, IMO.

    Think what you will, I’m done talking for now. What does it matter anyway? Take care. Life is good.

    Yael

  28. I didn’t think I was in anyone’s face.

    There’s a lot more to Christianity than not having to toe the line of the law for our righteousness.

    Later, Yaelbatsarah!

    You take care, as well.

    – Steve

  29. “I would also state – what makes the NT scripture anyways? I think it’s connection with the Tanakh makes it scripture for us Christians. The gospels are based on the ideals from Torah and Prophets – this much seems clear to me. I think scripture is the Tanakh – the addition in is the gospels and letters. I thnk we have to know why we think the NT is God-breathed – because for it to hold any weight – that God would have to be the One in the Tanakh (thus the establishment of what truly is scripture in the first place).” (SVS)

    As I was reading this, a thought came to me regarding “scripture”. It’s a philosophical question more than anything and I am building upon the question Jay asks -“what makes the NT scripture anyways?”

    If we take the question a little bit further I guess I am wondering what is it that makes the Tanakh and the NT become scripture, for us gentiles, and even more specifically what makes it scripture for us First Nations people?

    There is no requirement or expectation in either the Tanakh, or the NT for that matter, for gentiles to become followers of the Law. I think we read it to gain some kind of an understanding on how God interacts with people and to learn what is expected from us in a general sense, but these writings were not specifically handed down to us. They may have been preserved for us in some sense so that we can read them, but does that make them authoritative for us as First Nations people?

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