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Was Peter Abelard the only pre-Holocaust Christian who related to Jews as to fellow humans?

September 18, 2014

AbelardChristianity has countless heroes of faith and saints. However, almost without exception, virtually none of these “best of Christians” tried to treat Jews with compassion and relate to them as to fellow human beings. They all condemned them to hell for not believing and worshiping Jesus, often looking the other way when Jews were mistreated and even slaughtered, although since Augustine Jewish lives were occasionally preserved as a “witness to their failures”. This is because Christians have always looked at the Jewish people through the greatly distorted lens of the New Testament. That text, as well as the accompanying Church dogma that has been built up on its foundation over the last two thousand years, have made Jews less than human in the eyes of a Christian, a veritable spawn of Satan himself (John 8:44).

Because of this it is exceedingly rare to find a Christian who, prior to the Holocaust (itself a culmination of European Christian antisemitism), truly tried to empathize with Jews, to see the world from their perspective. Few Christians proved able to shake of such a high degree of religious indoctrination, found in their own religious texts, against the people that birthed their god and savior. Indeed, when one reviews biographies and stories of most celebrated of Christian saints, people whose virtues Christians have come to admire the most, not a single one stands out as a friend of the Jewish people. Not one of them who was tried to be truly compassionate to the oppressed (by fellow Christians!) children of Israel and tried to understand them or help them, with virtually all of them speaking of Jews in most condemning of terms and looking the other way when Jews were maligned.

Except for one man – Peter Abelard, the great  medieval French scholastic philosopher, theologian, logician and composer. For his thinking outside of the Christian box Abelard was virtually ostracized by Christian theologians, clergy and thinkers of his day. Yet, when it comes to the Jewish people, he refused to join their chorus. Continue reading this post

Upcoming Daily Minyan posts

September 16, 2014

Here are the posts and topics that I am planning on publishing in the near future on the Daily Minyan:

  • Saving Paul – the great whitewashing of the apostle by New Perspective on Paul theologians
  • Why is “Messianic Judaism” so repugnant to the Jewish people?
  • A Messianic Jew’s guide to doubt and cognitive dissonance
  • The fuzzy midrashic Jesus
  • You may have fallen for antisemitic propaganda if…

Check back soon!

Follow up thoughts on C. S. Lewis’ failed Jesus prophecies

September 11, 2014

smiling-lewisI have received quite bit of off-the-blog feedback regarding my post C. S. Lewis on Jesus’ False Prophecies. Some Christians/Messianics have accused me of taking Lewis’ words of out context. Invariably, those who make this charge themselves have not read the material in its context, but simply refuse to believe that Lewis would actually feel this way as it doesn’t seem to jive with whatever else he may have said or felt about Jesus. And so they dismiss, blindly, without checking the facts for themselves. However, if one reads the book in context it becomes clear that C.S. Lewis uses the failed predictions of Jesus not to malign Jesus, but only to suggest that such embarrassing words were in fact proofs of New Testament’s authenticity, since the authors would have doubtless left out (according to Lewis) anything so embarrassing to their cause had they really had a devious agenda to dupe their audience. C.S. Lewis applauded such embarrassment because it, by a roundabout way, bolstered his own faith in New Testament being delivered to us truthful and unaltered! What is ironic is that in the name of New Testament’s authenticity C. S. Lewis compromised the character of his god-man (as Lewis called him) Jesus, by questioning his master’s prophetic abilities and exposing his ignorance! Continue reading this post

Article: Four ways Christianity and other world religions deceive their followers

September 9, 2014

By Rabbi Moshe Ben-Chaim

The Flaws of Christianity and [other] Religions

Should we allow our lives to be guided by what is popular? Are we to simply follow the crowd, without questioning our beliefs? As all religions oppose each other, all religions cannot be God’s word.

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Our souls are at stake, and our limited time here in Earth demands that we take stock in what our actions and beliefs must be. Are we living life properly, what our Creator asks, what is truly best for ourselves? We must realize the false notions we harbor, be we Jew or Gentile. It is imperative that we all question these popular notions and not blindly coast through life, losing what could be an inspiring and enlightening existence. What a tragic loss of God’s gift of life to each of us, if we do not engage our intelligence, given to man and no other creature. God desires that we use this intelligence in the most important of all areas, our religion: our belief in God and His plan for mankind. Continue reading this post

C. S. Lewis on Jesus’ False Prophecies

September 4, 2014

cslewisC. S. Lewis is one of Christianity’s most celebrated and loved authors. His work Mere Christianity is a classic of Christian apologetics and is easily one of the most influential books among modern evangelists besides the New Testament itself. This is because C.S. Lewis was not only a novelist but also a prolific lay theologian. However, not all of his opinions about the Christian faith have been celebrated by Christians and some have proved quite embarrassing. Those happen to be the views of his that Christians rarely if ever quote. So embarrassing are some of those opinions to the cause of Christianity, indeed to Jesus himself, that some Christians have opined of C. S. Lewis that he was a better writer than a theologian.

In his work The World’s Last Night C. S. Lewis expressed a frank if shocking to most Christians view that Jesus was very wrong. The “God-Man” (as Lewis called him) was clearly wrong when he prophesied about his own return. He was ignorant and has spoken presumptuously. Indeed, Jesus was the cause of the deception among his own disciples and knew no more than they did. Yet Jesus did prophecy, as the New Testament recorded for all to read, repeating the same failed prophecies across all of the four gospels.

Here is C. S. Lewis in his own words: Continue reading this post

Article: If Jesus was a Jew, why are we Catholic?

August 25, 2014

Recently I came across the following article on Catholic.com. I think it illustrates perfectly the attitude that Christianity has displayed toward the Jewish people for the last two thousand years. Even though their Protestant Evangelical brethren of the Hebrew Roots/Messianic flavor generally have a more positive attitude toward Jews and Judaism, they nevertheless invariably agree with Catholicism that Christianity (a.k.a. “Messianic Judaism”) “completes” the ancient Jewish religion, of which the modern Judaism is merely a stunted, “partial, incomplete form of”. Likewise, they also agree with the Catholics that the Church that Christ died for (per Ephesians 5:25) is the new universal body “by virtue of being open to people of all races, not just ethnic Jews” of which Jews (when they convert to Christianity) are merely a part, and is indeed “the fulfillment of the Jewish faith”.

Here’s the article: Continue reading this post

Thought of the day: Christianity from a Jewish point of view

August 25, 2014

Christians view their religion as the fulfilment of every single promise and aspiration found in the pages of the “Old Testament”. They also see the teachings found in their scriptures, in the Greek text of the New Testament, as the summation, explanation and indeed the perfection of everything the Hebrew scriptures taught. Out of the old Judaism comes the new wine, new teachings, custom tailored by Jesus Christ for the new race of saintly people to populate the eternity, “the One New Man”.

The Jewish view of Christianity’s high opinion of itself and its new insights, however, is quite the opposite. It can be summed up in one sentence:

What is true in Christianity is not new, and what is new [in it] is not true.

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