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    Rickster

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    Coffee House Question-

    Post  Rickster on June 29th 2011, 3:37 am

    I think it had to do with a lot of antisemtic veiws early Christian had like the Jew were Christ killers. So they didn't want to have Christianity assosiated with the Jews hince why Christians celebrate Pagen Holidays when the Jewish ones all point to Jesus. As for how we might change the perception is to have a hybrid of the two religions have Christians celebrate the 7 Jesish feast that were in the Bible.

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    Re: Coffee House Question-

    Post  mindspike on June 29th 2011, 1:02 pm

    Coffee House Question wrote:Why do you suppose we don’t usually think of Christianity as a “Jewish Religion” and how might we change that perception?

    I don't know that this is actually a good idea. Christianity and Judaism are different religions that hold incompatible views on a number of very important issues.

    Just as a crude summary of one very important difference: Judaism denies the divine origin, authority, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the fulfillment of prophecy - a statement of ideology which is essential to Christianity.

    Other incompatible differences include:
    Christianity================Judaism
    salvation by faith==========salvation through ethical behavior
    sinful nature of humanity===dual moral/immoral nature of humanity

    Anyone who wishes to get into serious discussion on this issue should really do their homework and speak with religious authorities. Perhaps the best resource I've ever seen when attempting to unite Judaism and Christianity is Ken Ham's material in "Answers in Genesis" at http://answersingenesis.org


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    Re: Coffee House Question-

    Post  Hackmodford on June 30th 2011, 1:02 pm

    Really we're supposed to move on from the old testament... we have a new promise now... So I agree with mindspike


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    mindspike
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    Re: Coffee House Question-

    Post  mindspike on June 30th 2011, 8:54 pm

    Hackmodford wrote:So I agree with mindspike

    ::batters back his ego with a club::

    I appreciate the booster. Very Happy But don't let's start thinking there is any difference in divine promise between the New and Old Testaments. The divinely inspired origin of scripture ensures perfect harmony between the two. I think this is really, really important to understand.

    The New Testament is the fulfillment of the prophecy of the Old Testament, and the explanation of God's plan for the world. You will find nothing in the NT that is not promised in the OT, and no difference in the character of God.

    Perhaps no greater illustration of this exists than Galatians 3:6. "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." He believed in the promise of salvation to come. The apostles believed that the promise of salvation was in execution. We believe that promise of salvation has been accomplished. From a divine perspective with absolute authority over time and space, there is no difference between those statements.

    When bridging the gap between Christianity and Judaism, there is a ready road to salvation through faith in the Torah, in the very opening chapters of Genesis. No matter how doctrine may differ, both religions recognize that God has promised an eternal destination for His people, with Himself. This is the first, best, and most secure statement that can be made concerning the issue.

    I don't want to move on from the Old Testament. I want seek out the continuing ways in which God is accomplished that which He promised therein. Guess I'm a seeker.... Cool


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    Paeter
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    Re: Coffee House Question-

    Post  Paeter on July 6th 2011, 7:17 pm

    mindspike wrote:
    Coffee House Question wrote:Why do you suppose we don’t usually think of Christianity as a “Jewish Religion” and how might we change that perception?

    I don't know that this is actually a good idea. Christianity and Judaism are different religions that hold incompatible views on a number of very important issues.


    Very good point. Just to be clear, I didn't use the word "Judaism" in the Coffee House Question. I'm not suggesting we try to view Christianity and Judaism as similar or compatible. But Christianity is a religion that, biblically, is first and foremost by and for the Jews, though is also available to and welcomes non-Jews. So in this sense it is a Jewish Religion.

    Hopefully that clarifies the intent of the question.


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    Re: Coffee House Question-

    Post  WhiteBoy on July 7th 2011, 12:13 pm

    I guess I've always over-simplified this issue: Christianity believes Jesus was the Christ (Messiah) but Judaism has rejected Him as the Messiah and are still waiting for a messiah. Of course I realize that brings major ramifications. Jesus was rocking their world even in His time because they'd lost the intent of the law and had become a religion of pure legalism. The law is there to expose how unworthy we are; how incapable we are of keeping the law. It exposes our need for the Messiah.

    I agree with Mindspike, too. We need to be cautious to not discount the OT; they are compatible and it is the same God. God never changes.


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    Re: Coffee House Question-

    Post  Hackmodford on July 7th 2011, 12:18 pm

    However we, as Christians, are not bound to the law anymore... Read Galations Wink

    But the law is a good indication of how God thinks...

    Atleast that's how I understand it.


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    Re: Coffee House Question-

    Post  mindspike on July 7th 2011, 11:46 pm

    Paeter wrote:Christianity is a religion that, biblically, is first and foremost by and for the Jews, though is also available to and welcomes non-Jews. So in this sense it is a Jewish Religion.

    I see where you're coming from with this, but I have to disagree with your conclusion.

    Romans 1:16 says famously (KJV) "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." The etymology of this sentence is not one of priority, but of chronology.

    Let's be very clear on what this passage is saying. Paul is arguing reverse chronologically from fulfillment to promise to revelation in preparation for his teaching in the rest of the book. His argument begins in v16 by saying that Jesus is the fulfillment of God's plan for salvation, experienced at a point in time first by the Jews, and then by the Gentiles. Paul then references the promise of which Jesus is the fulfillment - a promise which was made to the world as a whole - and recorded in scripture (v17). By quoting Habakkuk, Paul specifically include the non-Jewish nations as full partakers of this promise. And of course, v18 onward goes on to reference that revelation which was given at creation and continues to this day. The passage goes on to draw pointed parallels between antediluvian times and Paul's own time.

    For Christianity to be a religion whose origin is Jewish, that is, a religion primarily for the benefit of and whose origin lies with the Jewish nation, Christianity would need to have been founded by Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob - with whose lineage the Jewish nation began. Paul argues in Romans 1 that the good news of Jesus Christ predates the birth of Abraham, thus predating the establishment of the Jewish nation. God's promise to Abraham is that He would use Abraham's descendants to execute the plan of salvation, but the plan itself was in place long before Abraham existed.

    That point is crucial to understanding that even though Jesus was Jewish, Christianity itself cannot be considered a Jewish religion, because its origins predate the Jews. Paul makes this point in Romans for a very specific reason: so that people of all nations would obey unto salvation (v5). Part of his motivation here is contextual, and part of it is super-textual. Contextually, the Jews as a nation were wrapped up in their identity as a nation, including their religion. To ratify the Christ as a function of that religion would be to increase the political power of whichever subdivision of Judaism claimed fulfillment of prophecy, and to dilute the message of salvation by faith with one of salvation by works. Super-textually, by removing Christianity from Jewish origins (while still emphasizing the factuality of the event as occurring in a documented place and time), Paul enables salvation *_without_conversion_* to Jewish practices or beliefs, a point he spells out in Galatians.

    Christianity is not "by the Jews". It predates the Jews.
    Christianity is not "for the Jews" in any selective manner. The Jewish nation was chosen only as the first recipients of the realization of the promise of God.
    Christianity is not "available to and welcoming of non-Jews" because it does not require conversion and action as a means of salvation, nor does it allow integration of non-Christian beliefs.

    This last point is the most important.
    Christianity does not derive from or belong to any one nationality or belief system.
    Christianity began with God's revelation to Adam of the existence of a plan for the salvation of man; all nations descend from Adam.
    Christianity is the foundational belief system from which all other philosophies and religions derive their own values. Even those Eastern paths that seem so far removed from Christianity can trace their origins back to God's general revelation to mankind. (Romans 1:18+ again)

    I stated my opinion near the beginning of this thread that I believe attempting classify Christianity as deriving from Judaism was a harmful idea. I wish now to expand that opinion to include the statement that classifying Christianity as descending from a Jewish origin is also a harmful idea. I believe that doing so makes effective communication of the gospel more difficult by introducing nationalistic and racial elements. I believe that doing so runs counter to the intent of Biblical passages such as Romans 1 and the book of Galatians. This is only my opinion, based upon my current understanding of scripture.


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    Rickster

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    Re: Coffee House Question-

    Post  Rickster on July 8th 2011, 2:52 pm

    Christianity would need to have been founded by Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob - with whose lineage the Jewish nation began

    While the jewish people did come from Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. I wouldn't consider them the founders of the jewish religion. I would give that honor to Moses who gave the jewish people the law what to and not to do in situations, how to worship, and when to worship. But Moses didn't come up with these laws himself he got them from the Burning Bush which is God which includes Jesus. So in a way you could say Jesus was the founder of the jewish religon and everything about the law pointed to Him. The jewish feast of passover was celbrated on the very day Jesus died for our sins. the jewish feast of firstfruite was celbrated on the very day that Jesus rose from the grave. The church was even established on the jewish feast of penticost.

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    Re: Coffee House Question-

    Post  Paeter on July 8th 2011, 8:44 pm

    mindspike wrote:
    Paeter wrote:Christianity is a religion that, biblically, is first and foremost by and for the Jews, though is also available to and welcomes non-Jews. So in this sense it is a Jewish Religion.

    Christianity is not "by the Jews". It predates the Jews.
    Christianity is not "for the Jews" in any selective manner. The Jewish nation was chosen only as the first recipients of the realization of the promise of God.
    Christianity is not "available to and welcoming of non-Jews" because it does not require conversion and action as a means of salvation, nor does it allow integration of non-Christian beliefs.

    This last point is the most important.
    Christianity does not derive from or belong to any one nationality or belief system.
    Christianity began with God's revelation to Adam of the existence of a plan for the salvation of man; all nations descend from Adam.
    Christianity is the foundational belief system from which all other philosophies and religions derive their own values. Even those Eastern paths that seem so far removed from Christianity can trace their origins back to God's general revelation to mankind. (Romans 1:18+ again)

    You've made some really good points here. I think my response should be to partially modify the position I expressed in my last post, and also to highlight where this is becoming a semantic issue as well.

    I think I need to correct my statement that Christianity is "first and foremost by and for the Jews". It is founded by a Jew, Christ, from whom its name derives, in the context of Jewish religious teaching. If it can be attached to any culture, and I think for these reasons it can, it would be the Jewish culture. What I should not have used is the word "foremost", which sloppily implies, as you pointed out, that Christianity is more for Jews than for anyone else. Sorry everybody. That post wasn't very well thought out on my part. "Chronologically" would have been a much better word, so thanks for your feedback on that.

    I can also see that the phrase "Jewish Religion" can imply that it is a religion primarily for Jews, which was not my intent. (Part of the reason I put that in quotes at the first was because I knew the phrase has some descriptive shortcomings. Thankfully it's led to some great clarifying discussion here!) By "Jewish Religion", I mean that I think that Christianity is tied to Jewish Culture. (Jewish founder and birthed and described scripturally in a Jewish context, such as in the book of Hebrews.)

    I see "Christianity" as a sub-category of the more general plan and revelation of God to man. What you're calling "Christianity" in the above re-copied section I would call something else. Maybe "God's Kingdom" or a made up term like "Truthism" or "Yahwehism". No one was calling Moses or Abraham Christians. I don't think they were.

    "Christian" and "Christianity" are terms the Bible says little or nothing about. In fact, if I remember correctly, the term "Christian" was invented by non-Christians to describe Christ's followers.

    I think at best, Moses and Abraham were "Messians", if such a word exists, and "Yahweians" even more than that.

    This is where I think we're actually on the same page, just using words differently.


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    Re: Coffee House Question-

    Post  mindspike on July 9th 2011, 12:20 pm

    @Paeter- You're right, this does seem to be devolving into semantic choices. While you're talking about Jewish culture and history, I hear "Jewish religion" and immediately leap into theology... There's a very important difference!

    @Rickster- Sounds like you and Paeter are on the same page, while I may be reading a different book!

    When viewing Christianity as coming from a basis of Jewish culture, it's interesting to bring up the book of Hebrews as part of that discussion. The doctrine of salvation by faith ("The Way" or "the good news of Jesus Christ") was so far removed from the experience of the Roman Jew that author of the book of Hebrews took great care to predate the establishment of Mosaic law in laying the foundation for that teaching. Christ's fulfillment of promise acted as the culmination and realization of all those sacred writings that the Jewish people had preserved as a nation.

    It would be interesting to revolve the viewpoint and say that the Jewish culture descends from God's plan, of which Christianity is the culmination. To the Roman Jew, who placed great value on chronological priority, this would validate every teaching of the apostles concerning Christ, without invalidating 24+ centuries of their own culture by making the Jews the custodians of "Christianity" between initial promise (Adam) and realization (Jesus).


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