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Judaism & Christianity

Reader comment on item: How Church Attendance Affects American Attitudes toward Israel
in response to reader comment: If you think Judaism is that bad, Christianity is even worse

Submitted by Michael S. (United States), Sep 4, 2014 at 02:12


The way I read my email, I somehow missed that your question concerned why JEWS, in particular, should or should not "take Christianity seriously".

I've already commented about the many divisions you mentioned; and noted that the "Jewish-Christian" split was simply one of many -- and that the reasons for such splits have nothing to do with the "Christian" or "Jewish" character of the respective schisms. Whether they occur within Christianity or within Judaism (or, for that matter, in Islam), the root cause is the fact that all these faith groups are based on the belief that they have received a revelation from the One True God.

There have been splits, over the ages, among other groups -- such as the Taiping Rebellion in China. In that case, however, the root problem was a peasant uprising, whose champions used religion (a bastardized mix of Christianity and Chinese Folk Religion) as justification in the eyes of the peasantry that they had the "Mandate of Heaven". This was and is a native Chinese concept that does not require either monotheism or doctrinal purity. Even in modern times, the Chinese people are virtually unmoved by religious matters; but they can be whipped up into a frenzy over hatred of foreigners. The same is true of the Koreans and other East Asian groups.

I agree with you, that Jews find little of value in Christianity. Jewish society is rent with divisions: In Israel, there is a continual low-burn struggle between puritanical Hassids and Seculars, and among the Orthodox themselves there is often tremendous antagonism. Jews have learned to live with this sort of thing for over 2000 years, and are able to accomodate it. Why should they exchange this "devil that they know" for the Christian devil of pastors breathing hellfire and brimstone upon parishoners who desert their parish and join the church across town? In this, you are correct.

My own desire for the Jewish people, is that they should put away their pride and divisiveness in exchange for an appreciation of the God who chose them and separated them from the nations. If a Jew were to read the New Testament objectively, he or she would realize that this is the issue Jesus was trying to address among them. Jesus was not a Christian, but a Jew: and those who handed him over to be killed did so not because of their Jewishness, but because of their excessive pride. If Jesus were to do the church circuit today, he would probably encounter a similar reaction from Christians -- and for the same reasons.

Whatever Jews today believe or practice, this out-of-proportion hatred of them by the people of the world is not because of those beliefs and practices: It is because God chose the Jews and not them.

Shalom shalom :-)


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