Re-Digging the Messianic Soil

Comment taken from Deacon Blue’s ‘Triple Play’ Blog

I think Judaism is the foundation, but the fact is that the Old Testament points to a schism of millennia upon millennia between humans and God.” (Blue)

Schism – I think we see a constant backing away from the statutes of the law of God – but as for schism between humans and God – I don’t know about that. God seems to have a good track record of keeping in touch with these people – from prophet to prophet – king to king – judge to judge…so much so Christianity is grown from that soil.

He pointed us to new ways of looking at things and more important things to focus on than the law in a strictly literal and ritualistic fashion.” (Blue)

Is this what you think Judaism was like up and until Jesus arrived? I know for a fact it wasn’t – not for the prior 500+ years according to the Jewish rabbinical tradition that surfaces after Nehemiah (and that re-building of the temple). The law was seen as a ‘bottom line’ type thing – where killing someone for any crime was very rare – 1 person says a death in every 70 years seems a little excessive (and would call that a bad judge).

But we are not simply continuing Judaism. There is a strong and good foundation in there, but it wasn’t meant to carry us through to the end, because it is rooted in a tradition of separation between humans and God” (Blue)

If this is true – then isn’t Judaism still seperated from God? And if this is so, how do we explain some of the very enlightened rabbi’s coming out of that religion?

and a different face of God is revealed to us than the one that we could only see when he was LORD and KING and not also FATHER.” (Blue)

Worth noting here – prior to Jesus the term ‘Father’ for God was being used in Jewish circles.

Regardless, if this is not a continuation of Judiasm (which I agree it is not) then how much of Judaism is valid to a Christian person? None? Some? We are sharing 39 books – so how much of what they do speaks to us? Or is changed so much to make the face of Christianity look nothing like the face of Judaism (which has taught from the 39 books for like a 1000 years longer than Christianity)?

Think about it – attractive religion in the midst of the ‘known world’ that many people may have been interested in…then comes Paul with his allowing of the ‘known world’ in. Changes the dynamic of knowledge involved in the constructing of this new faith (Christianity) – with no direct line to the rabbinic teachings and synagogues (the whole background) – the faith has to be built upon – so they lean away from Judaism to Gentile thought (having no real recourse) – building a new thing based on majority Gentile ideas.

So we see a ’son of God’ ideology come out – to take away from Caesar worship. The messiah becomes a literal God in another pantheon of beings – this time a Trinity – where God is a Father, Jesus is his son, and the Holy Spirit functions as the spirit of this Being – to stay somewhat connected they call it ‘One’ – but the logic they use fails for the most obvious of reasons. Jesus is found to be against Jewish authority of all kinds (and lets not forget the Romans – whom he has a kinder relationship with for some reason – even Pilate) – from Herod, to Pharisees, to Sadducee’s, etc…he’s a rebel for Gentile inclusion.

But for all this explanation – the painting of Judaism in a bad light in the NT is not accidental…it’s meant to serve a purpose. It is known that Judaism was causing quite the stir with Roman occupation and did not accept this new form of Judaism (Christianity) – so what did Christians do…they severed their ties. Why be persecuted along w/Jewish uprisings? Easy way to do that – make them look so uniquely different in your writings so as to not cause any confusion. People would not mistake Christian communities for Judaic ones after a while – no synagogue, no temple, no rabbi, no same rituals…plus they were kicked out of synagogues anyways. So what did they do? They fought back…and denied Judaism as it’s founder – and found a way to usurp it – the messiah.

Now I know on some of this I am opiniating – true – but most of it lines up with historical accounts from within Judaism – something most of are not privy too nor look into with much depth. But I live in a city and know how easy it is for some original idea to be borrowed and adopted. It is plausible – Christianity adopted a lot of stuff and was on the right path (with Peter, James, and John) but then veered off centre after Paul and the divergence from Israel.

11 thoughts on “Re-Digging the Messianic Soil

  1. I like the subject – so here is Blue’s latest comment:

    When I say it’s not a continuation of Judaism I mean more specifically that it’s not a continuation in the exact same form…and the Judaism I refer to is the Judaism from which Jesus emerged…something that is different from much of Judaism today.

    What came from Jesus and his apostles is the next step, so to speak. It was the continuation of the evolution of things.

    Because let’s face it, Judaism itself didn’t follow just one track, did it? There were multiple convenants, changing relationships with God. Does that mean the later version of Judaism were wrong? No. Abraham. Noah. Moses. David. Jesus. There have been multiple steps.

    I’m not saying that Judaism is immature or wrong per se. I’m not into denigrating other religions. But I will still maintain that Jesus is the messiah. He wasn’t what many Jews of his time expected in a messiah (nor what many Jews today would expect), but that’s what he was…and is.

    And I don’t see Judaism painted in a bad light in the NT. I see many of the Jewish leaders and priests painted in a bad light. And I would argue that many high-profile Christian leaders need to be painted in a worse light today than many of them are. I have never read the NT as an indictment of Judaism, and I still don’t see it as such.

    And the idea that Christians fit in better with the Romans? Um, first off, they didn’t have much trouble crucifying the man on whom Christianity was based. I seem to recall some Christians being tossed to the lions. So the notion that early Christians were trying to kiss up to the Romans somehow by distancing themselves from Judaism doesn’t fit for me. And as to whether or not Paul usurped the Gospel…well, there is going to always be a lot of debate around that. He’s a controversial figure. But I don’t see that anything he did particularly ingratiated Christianity to the Romans.

    Whatever relationship developed between Christians and Rome was, I believe, in spite of Paul and the earlier apostles, not because of some deliberate and concerted attempt by the earliest church leaders and founders to mold their faith into something more palatable and save their skins. They put themselves in danger of harm from both Jews AND Romans with what they did and what they professed.

  2. “I have never read the NT as an indictment of Judaism, and I still don’t see it as such.” (Blue)

    And neither have I per se – wasn’t my thing thats for sure. But I am aware this is core theme in the Christian faith down the ages – so they are not just pulling that idea from thin air. Most of the time anti-semitism is backed in any Christian context guess what they use? The NT for justification…so even if they are twisting words – there is very little they have to do some of the time to arrive there.

    “So the notion that early Christians were trying to kiss up to the Romans somehow by distancing themselves from Judaism doesn’t fit for me.” (Blue)

    And the idea Mormons distanced themselves from modern evangelicalism doesn’t make sense to me – but they did it…faced some persecution…then became legit (even had their founder killed and still grew). Early Christianity follows a similar pattern – different – but similar.

    Christians were not part of Judaism – they were ostracized from the synagogues and meetings in that circles – even as early as Paul this is happening. BY AD 70 I think we see all we really need to – to assume Christianity would try find some distance – or death. You see, Christianity was thought to be Judaism and was not – Judaism was an allowed religion of the time – Christianity was not. Christianity had to prove itself to the Roman regime of the time – as to legitimacy – and with Judaism denying they are a form of Judaic faith – what do they do? They try go legit and be unique.

    Problem for Christianity is it’s not seen as a unique religion and faces persecution right off the start – first in the form of Judaism throwing them out (not legitimizing them) and then the Romans (questioning them and even killing them at times)…all this in the quest to seek the status of ‘accepted religion’. They needed the books, the letters, the churches – they needed to prove they were a ‘faith’ of the Roman Empire….and they get some level of it (since they continue to grow) and eventually they usurp all other religions – getting king approval as the ‘one’ (under Constantine).

    So it was a fight to get there – but in the process they needed to identify themselves uniquely and distance themselves from Judaism (intentionally) – and these sentiments can be found in the gospels and letters. In there, we see a community struggling to find it’s identity and to create distance with Judaism (and at times – even usurp it).

    All these same things exist until this day – by no mistake – good theologians made these points on behalf of their denominations and they are still taught as the norm over most pulpits – the point being – Christianity is still trying to distance itself from Judaism and usurp it’s natural place. Just saying is all.

    “But I don’t see that anything he did particularly ingratiated Christianity to the Romans.” (Blue)

    Conversion of their citizens for starters.

    “Whatever relationship developed between Christians and Rome was, I believe, in spite of Paul and the earlier apostles, not because of some deliberate and concerted attempt by the earliest church leaders and founders to mold their faith into something more palatable and save their skins.” (Blue)

    But it was – Christianity would of never survived without making itself into some credential faith of it’s time – and it worked. How did it happen – simple – evangelism throughout the known world. Many Roman citizens became Christians – many poor people did – it was in this faith where equality was part of the belief system (plus some rebellion – and who doesn’t like some rebellion).

    Eventually, Rome adopts this faith – not Judaism – this faith…my guess is it developed quite a following in some 270 years via this evangelism – cementing itself as a formidable faith and a unique one. Prior to this – no canon for the Christians – the stuff existed but no real canon – no uniform articles of faith (ie: the creeds) – etc. Christianity was always defining itself in those early days (a process that has never ended).

    Some things don’t change even with time – which means this faith – and for as much as you claim Judaism has changed – how can you be that sure of that?

  3. it’s good to note that Christianity came out of Judaism… once these Jesus followers got jettisoned from the synagoges they focused their marketing on the pagans. after 2.000 years i think it’s safe to say that Christianity is about as Jewish as a bird is a dinosaur.

    that isn’t to say that Judaism is extinct or outdated… y’all should know i think dinosaurs are the coolest things in the world! what i’m trying to say is that it’s related but time and context has caused adaptation in both religions. evolution at work! just like we share 98% of a chimp’s genetics doesn’t make us behave or relate in any similar way. sure, one can make comparisions, but i wouldn’t combine the two.

  4. Hey, man…I’ll try to hop on back here later for some comment. Lost my Internet connection all day pretty much, and behind on some work. But I want to check out your latest comments in more detail and see if there’s anything I can pass off as intelligence discourse.
    😉

  5. “see if there’s anything I can pass off as intelligence discourse.” (Blue)

    Of course there’s intelligent discourse – it’s me – SocietyVs – you’re talking with (lol)

  6. “sure, one can make comparisions, but i wouldn’t combine the two” (Luke)

    This is true about this present time – but we must remember – that someone saw the connection somewhere and did combine the 2. Since that time Christianity has been trying to distance itself from Judaism and yet keep it close (credibility is a helluva thing to get these days).

  7. i’m not saying there isn’t a connection… sure there is! just read James and many of the early Christian writings… but too much distance and tradition separates the two. plus Jews are still waiting on the Messiah, Jesus wasn’t the Jewish messiah no matter how hard you try to make him fit the mold… and despite the gospel’s attempts. he was something else.. maybe a global messiah.. i dunno.. but not the Jewish one.

  8. “i’m not saying there isn’t a connection… sure there is!” (Luke)

    This is really the earnest search of my life at this point – because I am interested to know how close the connection once was – what happened – and how that’s all changed (in drastic ways). I also think the search will develop a level of respect and admiration for the Judaic faith that hasn’t been in Christianity for some time – I think it is neccesary actually (and is a call to honesty from this faith). In the end, I will never truly know how cloesly they were tied and how this one branch came about – but I know the original intent was respectful (don’t know why – it’s the feeling I get when I read the NT and it’s tie back Torahnic teachings). But somewhere that all changed – question is…why?

  9. I understand James Parkes “The Conflict of the Church and the Synagogue: A Study in the Origins of Antisemitism” is supposed to be pretty good. I own the book but have only read parts of it. I think you would like it. If you ever come to visit me I’ll give it to you.

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