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Christian minister: if Jesus is not God, we are idolaters

March 30, 2015

jesus-christ-pics-1112I’ve read this sort of statement in many Christian books and articles over and over, both old and new – if Jesus is not exactly who Christianity teaches that he was or is, if he is not actually “god in the flesh”, then they [the Christians] are committing idolatry of the worst sort. These grave, somber words are coming not from Jews or other critics of Christianity, but from devout Christians themselves who understand the full implications of their religion which holds that Jesus is god and that to worship him as such is the core of their faith. Although their faith in Jesus makes them feel assured that they cannot possibly be wrong about this, many Christians will readily admit it themselves that if they are wrong, their sin against the G-d of the Bible is indeed of immense proportions as will their ultimate punishment be.

The following is from c. 1848 sermon by B.W. Noel, a well known English evangelical clergyman:

If Jesus was not God, then there never has been a delusion so complete as that which they [DM: the Christians] were the instruments of promulgating among mankind, with a success not only unparalleled, but even inconceivable.

And if they had been thus mistaken, and Jesus was not God, then what is the condition of Christians now? Let us remember that there is no interval – there is nothing between a just worship of Jesus, as Divine, and the most deep-rooted, the most obstinate, the most obnoxious idolatry that this earth has ever witnessed. It is vain to declare that we are innocent; God’s Word declares that the idolater shall be accursed. And if Jesus is not God, we are idolaters….

If Jesus is not the Son of God, Divine, “the Mighty God,” then we are trusters in man, and our doom is pronounced in those emphatic words of the prophet Jeremiah: “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord ;” because trust in man diverts the heart from the Lord. The man who trusts in man to save him is by God’s sure Word accursed. Whether that man be himself or another, it makes no difference; the man who rests his hope of everlasting happiness on anything short of God Himself, must (and justly) be accursed. (from The Messiah, by B.W. Noel)

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27 Comments leave one →
  1. Jim D. permalink
    March 31, 2015 3:02 am

    In my view, belief that Jesus was/is God is a different problem for the gentile than for the Jew. Because God holds Jews to a different standard, belief in Jesus is every bit as much of a profound sin as B.W. Noel fears. But for the gentile, the sin is not as grave. The reason I have this view is that Christianity is tied to the precepts of the Torah in that every good Christian acknowledges the God of Israel as well as Jesus, and is concerned with avoiding sin. And how do they know what sin is? From our Torah, of course. So this belief system is not of the same nature as the pagan idol worship of the ancient Canaanites.

    However, those who worship the man Jesus — although they have come closer to the true God than they otherwise, presumably would have — are still really missing the mark. As long as someone worships the man, they cannot truly acknowledge or worship God.

    But all is not lost, and a Christian need not fear the consequences the way Noel describes. The reason is that with the realization that belief in Jesus is idol worship, it also opens the door to repentance. If one understands that his or her belief has been all the while so misguided, one has simultaneously opened the door to belief in the true God. And that God would love nothing more than for the believer to believe in Him alone. Turning from belief in Jesus to the true God of Israel will not bring a curse at all — it will bring amazing blessings. What brings a curse is to continue worshiping an idol when you begin to realize it’s wrong.

  2. March 31, 2015 9:09 am

    “Because God holds Jews to a different standard, belief in Jesus is every bit as much of a profound sin as B.W. Noel fears. But for the gentile, the sin is not as grave. ”

    Jim, that’s true. At the same time, our sages held that Gentiles who are to inherit the World to Come must abide by Noahide laws, the chief of which is abstaining from idol worship. But I do concur with you that for a Jew, the repercussions of Jesus-worship or any other avodah zarah are far more severe than for a non-Jew.

    “As long as someone worships the man, they cannot truly acknowledge or worship God.”

    True. This is why, in the messianic era, all of the nations will seek out Jews, cling to them and ask them to teach them about the G-d of Israel, that is as He really is.

    “But all is not lost, and a Christian need not fear the consequences the way Noel describes. The reason is that with the realization that belief in Jesus is idol worship, it also opens the door to repentance.”

    It does. In fact, Maimonides taught that the Christians can be taught Torah much more readily than even the monotheistic Muslims. Why? Because at least the Christians, unlike those of the Muslim religion, still view Jewish scriptures as G-d’s Word, and not as later Jewish corruptions of an originally pure text. So, the “door to repentance” is much closer to them, and the tools to pry it wide open are there for the taking. This is why historically many more converts to Judaism and Noahides came from Christians than Muslims.

  3. March 31, 2015 12:52 pm

    More on this post’s theme, this time from Charles Spurgeon:

    Then, further, he acted as a believer: for “he worshipped him.” This proves how his faith had grown. I should like to ask you who are the people of God when you are happiest. … My happiest moments are when I am worshipping God, really adoring the Lord Jesus Christ. … It is the nearest approach to what it will be in heaven, where, day without night, they offer perpetual adoration unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. Hence, what a memorable moment it was for this man when he worshipped Christ! Now, if Christ was not God, that man was all idolater, a man-worshipper …. If Christ was not God, we are not Christians; we are deceived dupes, we are idolaters, as bad as the heathen whom we now pity. It is making a man into a God if Christ be not God. But, blessed be his holy name, he is God; and we feel that it is the supreme delight of our being to worship him. We cannot veil our face with our wings, for we have none; but we do veil them with his own robe of righteousness whenever we approach him. We cannot cover our feet with our wings, as the angels do; but we do take his blood and his righteousness both as a covering for our feet, and as wings with which we fly up to him; and though as yet we have no crowns to cast at his dear feet, yet, if we have any honor, any good repute, any grace, anything that is comely, anything that is honest, we lay it all at his feet, and cry, “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.” (”A Pressed Man Yielding to Christ;’ in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Vol. 46 (Pasadena, Tex.: Pilgrim Publications, 1977), 46: 142. Italics in original.)

    Having placed their faith into yet another artificial god and demigod instead of the G-d of Israel and Him alone, millions have been happily marching into idolatry of “man-worship” for the last two thousand years, proclaiming their adoration “unto the Lamb”. They know the implications if they are wrong, but humans are masters at self-deception and rationalization. And they will be shown to be wrong and all idolaters will be ashamed:

    They (the nations) will bow down before you (Israel) and plead with you, saying, ‘Surely G-d is with you, and there is no other; there is no other god.’ Truly you are a G-d who has been hiding himself, the G-d and Savior of Israel. All the makers of idols will be put to shame and disgraced; they will go off into disgrace together. But Israel will be saved by the L-rd with an everlasting salvation; you will never be put to shame or disgraced, to ages everlasting. (Isaiah 45:14-17)

  4. Concerned Reader permalink
    March 31, 2015 3:39 pm

    Hello Jim. What I’ve recently come to realize, is that while the New Testament teaches that Jesus is God (most unambiguously in books like John and Hebrews) The New Testament also has a strong tradition about a false Messiah who claims the exact same thing.

    In second Thessalonians Paul says the false Messiah will sit in the temple of G-d declaring himself that he is G-d. It’s reported that he will do miracles and lead even the elect astray.

    What I’ve realized, is that if you pay attention to Jesus’s teachings as opposed to theological notions about his person, you are on stronger firmer ground even according to the New Testament. In other words the New Testament itself tells you that the barometer of truth lies in the faithfulness of Jesus and the Commandments of God.

    The New Testament says even the demons believe and tremble. Jesus is reported to have said many will come before me on that day and say Lord have I not done many mighty works in your name, and in your name cast out demons, etc. Jesus says in response to them depart from me you who work iniquity. The whole moral assumption and practical teaching thread (as opposed to theological thread) of the New Testament, and the Bible as a whole, is that the Commandments are trustworthy.

    Even Paul says the law is a tutor to lead you to Christ. Books in the New Testament like Hebrews though make this statement of Paul sound anachronistic, because they say that the Torah was not up to the task. It also shifts focus to mysticism. So for the discerning reader, who focuses on what Jesus’ students said to do as opposed to believe, there is more clarity to be had.

    It’s also interesting That Jesus draws comparison to himself and the brazen serpent, the one thing that was both from G-d, but became an idol and had to be destroyed. The discerning should trust the commandments, not claims to divinity or miracle.

  5. Jim D. permalink
    March 31, 2015 7:04 pm

    Dear Concerned Reader:

    It is no small task for those who have been introduced to Hebrew scripture through the New Testament to begin to discern between the two. This applies equally to Jews as well as Gentiles, by the way (for as you no doubt know, most Christians are more familiar with Hebrew scripture than most Jews).

    I believe you are beginning to discern cracks in the wall, through which light is beginning to stream, but it is difficult to know what to do with your realizations. While you encourage discernment on the part of the reading believer, such discernment will inevitably lead to increased discomfort and discord as both internal and external conflicts are revealed.

    Already you note tension between Paul and other writers, so the logical question is, if one finds internal conflict, which is to be believed? If you don’t accept all NT scripture as equally true, then you – a mere mortal – are left having to decide what is true and what is not. The entire NT must be called into question.

    Even Jesus’ teachings as cited in the NT are in conflict. On the one hand he is quoted as declaring all foods clean, yet on the other he flatly states that not even one iota of the Law is to be abandoned until the End of Days – which hadn’t come during his time on earth nor since.

    There are so many other examples, not to mention conflicts between the NT and the Hebrew Bible. How do you reconcile such things? More to the point, why would you immediately make it your goal to reconcile them rather than make it your goal to try to discern the truth? What really is the Truth? If you look carefully at many NT quotations and conclusions, and follow them through, you will begin to see that things aren’t adding up.

    For example, the famous “the Lord said to my Lord” in Psalm 110, is used in the NT to explain that Jesus is God. More to the point, the NT quotes Jesus as explaining himself by use of this Psalm. But if you understand that David was not the author of Psalm 110, you will suddenly have a truly profound breakthrough realization.

    Firstly, Psalm 110 is introduced as “Of David”, not “By David. Secondly, if you look at the Hebrew, the first instance of “Lord” is the Tetragrammaton, the formal reference to God Himself. The second “Lord” however, should be translated with a lower-case “l”, because in Hebrew it’s “adon”, which simply means a human master. Can anyone imagine that if the writer believed that the one he referred to by the second instance of “lord” was in fact God, that he would not have used one of God’s names? But he didn’t. He used a term that clearly refers to a human, not godly, master.

    Thus, the writer of this psalm is saying that God said to His anointed King David that David will hold a high and close relationship with God and He will help David defeat his enemies. Furthermore, “malki-tzedek” can mean either two nouns in Hebrew – “rightful king” – or can refer to the infamous king and priest of Salem in the Genesis story. If the former, it clearly refers to an earthly king. If the latter, it is in keeping with the fact that David was both king and priest. He performed priestly roles, and 2 Samuel states that David’s sons were priests. (This also explains why David was able to request the Bread of the Presence and was given it by a priest for consumption). But to return to the Psalm, all of this is consistent. It is about God’s declarations to David. If you are willing to see and accept it, this shatters some core scripture of the NT.

    The point of the example above is to show how to follow NT quotations, conclusions and teachings, all the way back to their origins. Do that with the goal of seeking truth and be willing to accept what you find, and you will see just how deep the rabbit hole goes. In this respect, I am reminded of someone’s famous saying that the truth shall set you free.

    And what is another point here? Not that the Torah (erroneously called the “law”) leads to Jesus, but that Jesus can lead to Torah.

  6. April 3, 2015 2:31 am

    What’s the word for idolatry in the Hebrew Scriptures?

  7. April 3, 2015 7:29 am

    There is no word for “idolatry” in the Bible, only for idols (there are several Hebrew words for those). So, one would say “worship of idols” to describe idolatry. In later rabbinic works it is called “strange worship” .

  8. September 9, 2015 12:22 pm

    Hi, I have a question. I have a friend who believes Jesus is “divine” but not necessary God the father. The new testament looks like it teaches more that view than the trinity. Nevertheless, that would be putting another god before God the father. I mentioned that it G-d would not share his glory and that would go against the first commandment. What would you say to someone who has such a belief.

    P.S. I am not sure what “divine” would mean, it’s vague and Jesus would not be god any more. I guess they would say that Jesus is the son of God. But again, I am not sure what that means either.

  9. September 9, 2015 12:42 pm

    “I have a friend who believes Jesus is “divine” but not necessary God the father. ”

    Well, most mainstream Christians believe that Jesus is not “G-d the Father”. So, your friend may be trying to verbally obscure what is really still his (or hers) mainstream trinitarian beliefs. A common way of trying to go around Jewish objections.

    “What would you say to someone who has such a belief.”

    If they pray to or through Jesus, if they worship him directly or G-d through Jesus, they are still committing the sin of idolatry by putting another “god” before the Only True G-d. And don’t forget to remind your friend that Jesus was and is indeed considered “100% god” by nearly all of his past and present followers, with those who view him as something less than god being exceptions that prove the rule. Revering and honoring someone’s idol is still participating in idolatry.

  10. Jamo88 permalink
    November 29, 2016 3:32 pm

    Gene

    When you were Xtian did you find it torture to worship Jesus? I know I do. I have heard others say the same. Whenever I call upon his name I feel pure pain in my heart. I know it isn’t all about feelings but I don’t think it is meant to be painful to worship God. My life has been utter hell since I have followed Jesus for the past 8 years and I know Christians will bring up Job but that was an exception that level of testing I suspect. I just wonder if the pain is a spiritual scourging from God for worshipping idols and indeed if that scourging becomes greater if we with Jewish lineage engage in it. Obviously my Christianity is at the crossroads.

  11. November 29, 2016 5:35 pm

    “When you were Xtian did you find it torture to worship Jesus?”

    What I did find was a lot of cognitive dissonance, which could definitely be “torturous” at times. Especially right before my decision to leave Christianity, when it became extremely difficult to pray to Jesus or in his name, to thank him for something. I felt so guilty, convicted before G-d to continue to do that. From my early days in the “faith”, I found it hard to reconcile a G-d composed of multiple persons who are one yet have their own characteristics, a “divine family”. A god with a split personality, playing good cop/bad cop roles. However, after a while, as a Christian, one tends to and is encouraged to not question and just accept “by faith” that this is how things are, and that Jesus is “#1”. I don’t know what G-d is doing or not doing in your life or what He will do in the future, but as for me, leaving idolatry of Jesus-worship brought great, very positive things to me and my family, and changed my whole outlook on life and my role in this world.

  12. Jamo88 permalink
    November 30, 2016 2:07 pm

    Thank you Gene

    I understand all those things you say and I literally lold at your comment on good cop bad cop. I often have the thought that Jesus is schizophrenic in nature – talking about love radical forgiveness doing no harm then sentencing people to eternal Hell who don’t believe in Him. I went to the Catholic Faith and I thought it was true due to a few of the miracles that are part of it, prophecies that define this age we live in, the beauty and clarity of its teaching on marriage, the pro life movement and the so called virtue of the saints but this type of stuff can be answered by Deuteronomy 13. As Catholic you are told you are refined like gold in a fire. Negative thoughts pain during worship is the devil attacking you. So many of us Christians suffer from vice that we really want to overcome yet we are told that the darkness flees immediately at the name of Jesus which clearly doesn’t happen. Thomas Aquinas said that God loves each soul more than the entire physical world yet each approved apparition within the Catholic Church indicates that 99.9% of people get sent to eternal Hell and the Christian bible indicates the some. Yes my mind has been spilt too long. I remember a guy on a Catholic website saying “we Catholics are all confused”.

    Gene i hope Judaism is true. I cannot begin to articulate the Hell I have been in since searching for Jesus – I lost my family, my chronic fatigue worsened, lost my job house etc etc. Everything I have prayed for in these matters has been denied and in a spectacular fashion. Yet Jesus said everything we pray for in his name will be granted. The things i have prayed for were not unreasonable requests. Without going into too much detail eventually I began to have very dark thoughts on ending things and that made me question things as worshiping the true God shouldnt result in suicidal feelings.

    I googled Jewish objections to Christianity and was shocked when I confirmed the twisting of Scripture to make it look like Jesus had fulfilled prophecies.

    What also disturbing is nowhere in Jewish writing or tradition does it say that God will come down and sacrifice himself for our sins. I have asked Catholics do they really feel in every part of their being did Jesus die for them – they don’t feel it nor truly understand it because ultimately I think it doesn’t make sense. In Catholicism I can feel the man centredness of things particularly the revering of the saints. There are the statues, the worship of the Eucharist probably so much idolatry . I just want to worship God.

    I have discovered that a lineage on my grandma’s side is Jewish so am investigating Judaism. I have prayed to Jesus for years that I can cry as I have emotional flattening and no response. I was talking about all these things to my doctor a Jewish woman and I began weeping the other day.

  13. Jamo88 permalink
    November 30, 2016 2:25 pm

    By the way thank you for responding to me Gene. Have you written anywhere your testimony on how you came to Judaism?

  14. December 1, 2016 9:59 am

    “Yet Jesus said everything we pray for in his name will be granted.”

    Well, there’s a * disclaimer elsewhere in NT about this: “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. (James 4:3)” So, this means, as some Christians would no doubt say, that if you have not received from Jesus what you asked, you’ve been praying with wrong motives, just to satisfy your flesh.

  15. December 1, 2016 10:07 am

    “Gene i hope Judaism is true. ”

    Well, both Christianity and Islam believe that Judaism is true, or least that it “once was”, before they supplanted it with their own “improved” religions, since they wholly depend on Judaism and Jews, and the truths they transmitted, for their very origins.

  16. Jim D. permalink
    December 1, 2016 2:14 pm

    Jamo88,

    First and foremost, I want to acknowledge your courage to question and struggle against so much of what you have been taught, supported and encouraged to believe by your believing brothers and sisters. Clearly, you are distraught, and this is a very difficult struggle for you. But you persevere.

    The testing of Job, while on the surface may seem like a scriptural justification to endure any test of faith, does not apply if one looks with a more discerning eye. Job’s unshakable faith was in Hashem alone and His righteousness — he did not worship any other. Secondly, his testing was no form of punishment for sin or decisions he made of his own free will. This was suffering imposed on him by Heavenly beings, including HaSatan, who was, in the Hebrew Bible, the Adversary — not the Devil, as this character was developed by the Christian Church.

    Indeed, in the text, G-d Himself declares that Job was blameless and upright. So, far from punishment for any sin he may have committed, the story of Job ultimately teaches that suffering not only does not necessarily result from sin, but (although the text reveals the reasons for Job’s suffering) the reasons are unknown to mankind. So for the Church to teach that they know the reasons, is contrary to the lesson of the text itself.

    I would guess that, as Gene proposed, the pain you feel is, perhaps among other things, from the dissonance arising from your innate or growing understandings.

    You stated that you know that faith is not all about feelings, which is true. If it were, you wouldn’t have any problems. (I like to say that Christianity is a feel-good religion, whereas Judaism is a do-good religion.) But you indicated that the real test of authenticity for you is whether your prayers are answered if you ask of Jesus. I’m not sure that’s a valid test, anyway. I think many devout and righteous Jews have had unanswered requests.

    But the Torah doesn’t teach that as a way to discern the truth. It provides underlying principles to understand the truth in advance: no tests necessary. Chapter 13 of Deuteronomy lays the foundation for you in a straightforward manner. In it, Moshe says that we are to observe only that which he enjoined upon the Children of Israel: “…neither add to it or take away from it.” (Dt. 13:1) Now pick up your Bible and look at it. Has the NT been added to the Hebrew Bible? Indeed, it is stitched to it in the volume you are holding in your hand.

    Secondly, verse 3 actually tells you that signs and portents that come true, which I would argue are in the same category as fulfilled requests — for the whole point of a false prophet or medium in demonstrating fulfilled signs is for the purpose of trying to prove themselves — are to be completely ignored. This is a direct argument against your testing for the truth.

    Now, look at two things. First, Dt 13:6 makes the distinction between the god that the prophet or medium urges us to worship, versus G-d Himself: “for he urged disloyalty to the Lord your God who freed you from the land of Egypt and who redeemed you from the house of bondage… What do you see here? That Hashem is defined as the One who took us out of Egypt. Question for you: Did Jesus redeem the Children of Israel from Egypt?

    Secondly, Dt 13:7-8 make the clear case: We are not to worship other gods no matter who else around us does, gods “… whom neither you nor your fathers have experienced…”. Remember, this was Moses addressing the nation at Sinai. Question for you: Did that generation experience Jesus?

    I hope what I have provided above illustrates not only the difference between G-d and gods, but that you don’t need feelings and you don’t need tests to discriminate the truth. It’s all in black and white in the Torah. In fact, I will add this final thought, and this is how I personally view things. Even what I believe or what I think is the truth is not as important as intellectual honesty and theological integrity. I would suggest that if everything were about how we feel and what we personally experience, then there was no need for scripture in the first place. But, you and many would argue, the Hebrew scriptures are G-d’s word. So why would He provide a written Torah? Because our feelings and personal experiences are not to be relied upon. Cognitive dissonance alone, not only spiritual conflict, can result in the pain you experience.

    I hope something in my comments may be of some help to you in your brave struggles, and I wish you all the best.

  17. Jamo88 permalink
    December 1, 2016 3:33 pm

    Touching upon what you said earlier as well – in the Catholic Faith we are told our Faith can be proven by objective truth, logic and principals such as those of non contradiction. However when confronted by obvious contradictions we are told to just have Faith.

    Touching upon the subject matter of this post my youngest daughter was coming up to having her first communion – that is eating and drinking the blood of Jesus so that “he can raise her up on the last day”. I have been disturbed at points with random thoughts jumping into my head that I will be encouraging her to participate in idolatry. I have also noticed the kids struggling at points to say prayers that worship Jesus as God. Then coming to the Jewish objections to Christianity – OUCH. VERY OUCH. There is a reason the church apologists go after Protestants but steer clear of the Jewish objections – you don’t want to bring that stuff out in the open.

  18. Jamo88 permalink
    December 1, 2016 3:57 pm

    ” Even what I believe or what I think is the truth is not as important as intellectual honesty and theological integrity.”

    Concurred Jim that absolutely comes first. I have always admired people who can say their beliefs may not be right when confronted with fresh evidence and new information contrary to. Likewise I am usually repulsed by people getting nasty when their beliefs are challenged legitimately. I will respond later in more detail to your generous comment. But there is a certain promise in Christianity that G-d will grant reasonable prayer requests in the name of Jesus and what I have been through made me question things. All I really wanted is some peace. I do understand the Torah makes no such promises of prayer requests being granted. But these things are beyond secondary compared to assessing Christianity’s claims against the requirements of the Tanakh. The principal of non contradiction seems heavily violated.

    I will say this though – I see some real HELL get unleashed through Catholic families – I have wondered whether these chastisements are from the true G-d for worshipping false gods.

    Thank you for your generosity.

  19. Jamo88 permalink
    December 1, 2016 5:58 pm

    ” Secondly, verse 3 actually tells you that signs and portents that come true, which I would argue are in the same category as fulfilled requests — for the whole point of a false prophet or medium in demonstrating fulfilled signs is for the purpose of trying to prove themselves — are to be completely ignored. This is a direct argument against your testing for the truth.”

    Ok got it. Yes this would rule out testing the Faith as I mention that is a very good point.

    “So, far from punishment for any sin he may have committed, the story of Job ultimately teaches that suffering not only does not necessarily result from sin, but (although the text reveals the reasons for Job’s suffering) the reasons are unknown to mankind.”

    To be fair to Catholic theology with suffering it says you can have Job like suffering without it being your fault. But there does seem a flip from the Tanakh to Catholic theology. Often in the Tanakh temporal blessings seem to be given to those who are obedient to G-d whereas in streams of Catholic theology temporal blessings are often seen in a negative light and almost as a trap.

    Yes dissonance has been massive – I just felt there was such a disjoin between the Tanakh and the NT but erroneously thought that since there was no longer sacrifice and the temple that Judaism had been superceded.

    Also curious if anyone while worshipping Jesus found it impossible like they were blocked from worshipping the Heavenly Father?

  20. Jim D. permalink
    December 1, 2016 6:07 pm

    Got it. I’ll email you.

    Jim

  21. Jamo88 permalink
    December 1, 2016 9:45 pm

    Gene I got Jims email all good can delete cheers

  22. Jamo88 permalink
    December 6, 2016 7:22 am

    “leaving idolatry of Jesus-worship brought great, very positive things to me and my family, and changed my whole outlook on life and my role in this world.”

    Gene I am getting to feel what you mean in some aspects. For example now when I meet non believers I don’t see them as people who are heading to Hell or lesser because “they are not saved yet”. You see them as a fellow human being.

  23. December 12, 2016 1:41 pm

    Glad to hear that Jamo. I had the same feeling when I first went out of the Messianic Movement. I do not feel that Leaving Jesus was as good for me as Gene. Sometimes, half your family stays on the other side. It has been mostly, for me, a dry and lonely road to travel. Now that I also moved away on a small town… I still feel that awful feeling when I hear “in Jesus/Yeshua’s name”. Most don’t understand what I feel. They all think I am deliberately deciding to go to hell, but it’s just the fact that I cannot pray to a second god. I read the new testament, and I think “come on Jez! you are telling me I must believe in you, but you actually don’t give me any reason to do so!” The book of John is particularly brutal, with Jesus versus the JEWS/Judean Leaders (that does not fit!) and all who don’t believe in him as Hypocrites, just because they refuse to accept him and bow down to him. I am one of those who think it’s kind of creepy that he said “amen, amen, unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have no part with me”. And most leave, and I cannot blame them,… I would have done the same.

  24. Jim D. permalink
    December 12, 2016 4:19 pm

    TRM,

    I apologize if I should remember your circumstances, having been following this blog for some time, but I’m afraid I don’t. From what you just posted, it seems that you were in the Messianic movement for long enough to have family that believes in Jesus, then you left, moved to a small town, but now are still dealing with believers. Are these people your family and friends, or are they your social acquaintances you currently have where you live? I assume the former?

    Any Jew who lives a Jewish life shouldn’t be traveling a dry and lonely road. Jewish life is a community experience; it isn’t meant to be lived alone. You say you’re in a small town, and most likely that’s not where you’re going to find a conservative or observant community. Why don’t you relocate to a place where you can find a selection of communities to choose from? And if you were married to a believing wife, have you divorced her yet? You can’t find a suitable wife until you do. Remember, “It is not good for man to be alone.”

    Jim

  25. Jim D. permalink
    January 23, 2017 3:15 am

    Hey all. Is it just me / my computer, or has there been no activity on this blog since 12/12/16?… I’m not seeing any new posts or receiving notifications.

  26. January 23, 2017 4:16 pm

    Hi Jim… it’s not you, it’s me:) In Israel, I have not had much free time yet to resume some regular blogging. The blog does still get a steady flow of visitors.

    You are welcome to do some guest posts! Let me know if interested.

  27. Jim D. permalink
    January 23, 2017 4:54 pm

    Mazel tov, Gene! I hope things are going exceedingly well for you and your family. Maybe you can post an experience report at some point. I’m sure many of us would love to read about your adventures.

    Thanks for inviting me to post. I may very well want to do that, and will submit something to you.

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