Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Are Non-Judaic Religions Legitimate? Wrestling with the Implications of Psalms 147:19-20

"Law of the Gentiles:  Continuum or Contrast?
'He issues His commands to Jacob, His statutes and rules to Israel.  He did not do so for any other nation;  of such rules they know nothing.  Hallelujah' (Psalms 147:19-20).  This may sound like a rather extreme statement; but let us recall that even though the Bible expects moral behavior of all people (and not only Jews), it nowhere asserts that God revealed His law to any but Jews.  The Sages, of course, would have to square these verses in Psalms with the belief in Noahide Law that is commanded to all men," Schacter, Judaism's Encounter with Other Cultures, pg. 27
This is very puzzling.  If G-d never revealed His Instructions to mankind, how did Adam and Eve know to teach their children about sacrifices?  If there is nothing to be learned from Gentile religions, why did Moses accept Jethro's teaching in Exodus 18?  If G-d never revealed His Law to gentile nations, why did G-d judge the gentiles of Noah's era for their lawlessness? Etc, etc.

Does anyone have any thoughts?

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Secret Weapon of the Jews in the War on Moral Relativism

I've blogged before about the difference between how Christians and Jews read the Bible (LINK1 and LINK2).  In that little series, I quoted an excerpt from Chaim Saiman's article, "Jesus' Legal Theory" in which the author provided an amusing anecdote that highlighted the difference between Christian and Jewish approaches to the Bible.

The story was about a rabbi (the author) who walked into a church.  He'd been invited to give a lecture about Christian and Jewish approaches to the Bible.  He writes:

"After a short discussion, I told the group that the Talmudic rabbis maintain that the first 'commandment for generations' (applicable beyond Adam and Eve) was to '[b]e fruitful and multiply.'  The group nodded in approval, and I sensed we were on the same page.  Next, I asked a simple, almost inevitable, question from a Talmudic perspective, but one deeply foreign to my audience.
     
     C.S.:  "How many?"
     
     Group:  "How many what?"
     
     C.S.: "How many children?"
     
     Group:  "What do you mean, how many children?"
     
     At this point I realized that we reached a bit of a brick wall, so I backed up.
     
     C.S.:  "Do you believe the Bible is the word of God that expresses His Will?"
     
     Group: "Yes."
     
     C.S.  "Do you believe you have to follow it?"
     
     Group:  "Yes."
     
     C.S. "Well, then how do you know when you have done it?  How do you know when you have been sufficiently fruitful?"
     
     Again, blank stares from the audience."

The little episode shows that the Christian way of life is governed by the heart, not by an objective rule-based system.  To be sure, Christians have their own set of limited rules.  But it's not an all-encompassing system like the Jewish system.  And the rule-averse ideology behind the Christian system makes it very unstable.

In the Jewish Way of Life, you're not allowed to simply interpret the Bible in the manner that "feels right" to you--in effect, to be led by your heart.  This rule-positive system is therefore very objective.  It's also based on the Bible.  The result: a very stable system of halacha that has changed very little in the last 2000 years.

Now, with the recent Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage, a lot of Christian folks are upset but others very calmly say "the world is gonna be the world and the church is gonna be the church" (I think Bishop TD Jakes said that).  The problem is that churches are not insulated from popular culture in the same way of halachic Jewish communities.  Because they don't have all-encompassing rule-based systems that inform their way of life, their hearts often get the best of them.  Case in point:  many churches now welcome practicing homosexuals into positions of leadership.  In other words, Christians should be very concerned about where popular culture is going because it's very likely that the next generation of Christians will see homosexuality as normative.

Normative uncertainty in Christianity will ultimately lead to Christianity's acceptance of secular cultural norms.

So, for Messianics, we must learn from the Jewish model.  We need the secret weapon that combats moral relativism and normative uncertainty.  We need a halachic system:  only then will we our communities be able to promote (1) moral objectivism; (2) normative certainty; (3) long-lasting legal stability.

But to get there we must move beyond "being led by the heart".  We have to embrace an ideology that Christianity disparagingly calls "legalism."  And there will be 2 sides to a Messianic halachic system:  (1) the laws themselves; (2) the meta-laws which explain how to recognize a law as valid.  And the only way we'll achieve this is with Messianic Jews and non-Jews working together as one.   Bipolar Theology (aka "Bilateral Ecclesiology) doesn't even want to provide a halachic system for non-Jewish Believers.  The One Law movement is the only hope for viable Messianic halacha that informs the Way of Life for both Jewish and non-Jewish Believers.

May G-d have mercy on us and bless us with wise leaders so that we may know how to walk in the Way!




Coincidence? SCOTUS Goes After Jerusalem and Marriage in the Same Year

Does anyone else think it's interesting that the same year the Supreme Court of the United States declared that G-d was wrong about heterosexual marriage (by placing the their imprimatur on gay marriage), the Court also declared G-d was wrong about Jerusalem being the capital of Israel (by holding that American citizens born in Jerusalem may not list Israel as their place of birth)?

Is it just a coincidence that SCOTUS goes after Jerusalem AND marriage in the same year?

Of course we know the truth:  the modus operandi of Satan is all over this!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Formal End to Judeo-Christian America by Dennis Prager

CLICK HERE FOR LINK

UMJC Leader, Dr. Schiffman, Says He'd Attend Gay Weddings to be Supportive of His Friends

This is ridiculous (LINK).  Like Schiffman, I have gay friends.  But if they decided to get "married" and invite our family to attend the wedding ceremony, I would say, "Thank you for the invitation.  I love you as my sister but my religious beliefs prevent me from attending."  

Further proof that the UMJC is irredeemably liberal.  Schiffman, by the way, used to be UMJC Theology Chair and now he serves on the humanitarian arm of the UMJC.  




Presybterian Church & United Church of Christ Already Boycotting Israel, Episcopal & Mennonite Churches May Follow In Coming Days

What's with this new wave of Christian hostility being directed at Israel?

CLICK HERE FOR LINK

And then the Satanic Vatican just recognized the Palestinian "State" according to pre-1967 borders:

CLICK HERE FOR LINK


Monday, June 29, 2015

"Why I'm Grateful to Justice Kennedy" by Dr. Michael Brown

Here's one positive way to look at it...

CLICK HERE FOR LINK

The Rise of Babylon? The Link Between Idolatry and Homosexuality in Paul's Writings

"The majority’s decision is an act of will, not legal judgment. The right it announces has no basis in the Constitution or this Court’s precedent. The majority expressly disclaims judicial “caution” and omits even a pretense of humility, openly relying on its desire to remake society according to its own “new insight” into the “nature of injustice.” Ante, at 11, 23. As a result, the Court invalidates the marriage laws of more than half the States and orders the transformation of a social institution that has formed the basis of human society for millennia, for the Kalahari Bushmen and the Han Chinese, the Carthaginians and the Aztecs. Just who do we think we are?" Justice Roberts' Dissenting Opinion, Obergefell v. Hodges (Emphasis Added)

What does idolatry look like?  Is it merely the worship of an image of a miniature deity?  Or is more encompassing than that?

This past Friday we witnessed the final nail in the coffin for America.  Most States had already "legalized" gay marriage (according to man's law).  But then the Supreme Court decided to round things out and make it the official "law of the land."

According to the Apostle Paul, sexual perversion is a symptom of a much deeper problem.  It's not sexual perversion that causes idolatry.  Rather, it's the other way around.  Once mankind forsakes his Creator, G-d forsakes him, leaving him to burn with vile passions:
 "Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened...For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet," Romans 1:21,26-27 
So what we witnessed this past Friday was G-d turning His back on a sinful nation.

And where is the alarm in the Messianic blogosphere?

As for me and my family, I'll publicly declare this:  I reject the civil government's self-proclaimed authority to regulate marriage as though it is a god!

Furthermore, I call on all Messianics going forward to reject the government's intrusion into the realm of marriage.  We do not need marriage licenses because we recognize that only G-d "licenses" our marriages.  And those of us who have in times past registered for licenses can now disavow the governments purported control of marriage.  We will no longer worship at the altar of government, treating it as god on earth with the power define, redefine, and regulate the institution of marriage.

In Acts 15, Peter declared that Gentiles had been called by G-d's Name.  But to belong to Israel, the People Called by His Name, we must reject idolatry!  His Name is not an entitlement.  Scripture makes says that G-d does not put His name on the nations who have rejected the Torah of Moses but rather only on those who belong to or have joined Israel:

"We are Thy people that were of old:  not unto the Gentiles hast Thou given the doctrine of Thy law, neither is Thy name invoked upon them; not unto them hast Thou inclined the heavens and revealed Thyself; the mountains quaked before Thee," Targum Isaiah 63:19

We used to be the idolatrous nations but now we are the nations joined to Israel:

"Many nations will be joined with the LORD in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me to you," Zechariah 2:11

Which leaves only 2 segments of humanity:  Israel and the idolatrous nations.

Choose today which segment you will belong to.





Friday, June 26, 2015

The Supreme Court v. HaShem: What the Same Sex Marriage Decision Has Now Done to America

Shabbat is almost here and my heart is too heavy to write much about what happened today.

In summary, though, the Supreme Court committed an act of tyranny today against all American citizens.  While our system of government provides a way for us to nullify this act of tyranny, it provides no protection from a despotic, over-reaching Supreme Court that shows no regard for our Federal Constitution.  Make no mistake:  today we witnessed the complete destruction of our political system.  And that's not even the worst of it.

What we saw today was nothing less than America's open act of defiance aimed directly at HaShem.

Pray for the country and its leaders.




If Yeshua Isn't G-d, Why Does the Bible Say the Angels Will Worship Him?

Derech Adonai or Derechim Adonai?



One of the reasons I love to hear other points of view is that they force you to re-assess various passages of Scripture---and the more time you spend with Scripture, the more HaShem will reveal to you.  This learning process occurred this morning while I was drinking my coffee and reading James Pyles' newest blog post.  

He said:

"I know that the phrase from Genesis 18:19 where God references Abraham saying “so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice,” has been taken by some to mean that, as spiritual children of Abraham, we should be obligated to the Torah mitzvot in the same manner as the descendants of Abraham’s offspring Isaac and Jacob, that is, the Jewish people.
     This would make things deceptively easy (not that they’d actually be easy) in terms of defining the role of the non-Jew within Messianic Jewish space. We’d just have the same role as the Jewish participants and thus we’d all be one big, happy family (not really, but that’s wish, anyway).
     But the commentary about the aforementioned portion of scripture is very interesting. It states “…he will command (yetzaveh) his children and his household,” as meaning he [Abraham] will “bring [his children and his household] into a communion (with G-d).”
     Except, because of our Abraham-like faith in Hashem through Yeshua, we can and are brought into communion with God. Having a halachic path identical to the Jewish people is completely unnecessary. How complicated does coming into communion with God have to be?" James Pyles, from:  http://mymorningmeditations.com/2015/06/26/we-are-students-of-abraham-communing-with-god/#comment-53116

I responded:

James,

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't Genesis 18:19 say that Abraham would teach his household the singular "way" of the L-rd ("derech Adonai")?  If Jews and Gentiles who believe in Yeshua both belong to the household of Abraham and are meant to follow DIFFERENT ways of life then shouldn't the Torah have said that Abraham would teach his household the PLURAL "ways" of the L-rd ("derechim Adonai")?


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Blood Moons: Is Something Big Going to Happen in September 2015?



Recently, someone asked me to read Hagee's book about the Blood Moon tetrads.  So, last night before bed, I finally glanced through it.  My impression was that Mr. Hagee is very pro-Israel and well meaning.  And may G-d bless him and anyone who actively blesses Israel.

But what of these "blood moons"?

So, to summarize, since 1492, there has only been 3 tetrads of blood moons (groups of four), each instance coinciding with a major event for the Jewish People (e.g. the Spanish Inquisition, Modern Rebirth of Israel, and the Six Day War which resulted in the reunification of Jerusalem).

And the next blood moon, the last in the tetrad, is apparently coming up on...

September 28, 2015.  

That's this upcoming Sukkot (aka "Feast of Tabernacles").

So here's the thing.  I don't put a lot of stock in these types of things.  I mean, one could find something horrible occurring in just about any date--or something really good occurring in just about any date.  In other words, I'm a skeptic.

That said...

We're already commanded to be vigilant, awaiting the Day of L-rd.  We're already commanded to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.  So let's continue doing what we're supposed to be doing.  And that way, if something does occur this September, and that's a big "if", then we will not be caught off guard.

That's my take anyway.  Does anyone have any thoughts about these blood moons?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

UPDATE: TNN Online is Now "Messianicapologetics.net"

Everyone should note that McKee's materials can now be found at the following address: