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Thread: Please explain the Rapture to me

  1. #256
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    Re: Please explain the Rapture to me

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
    That last line is just a tad disrespectful. Anyway...

    So what is it, a love poem? Why is it even in the bible?
    Sorry Fenris, for any disrespect.

    I see the Song Of Songs as an allegory of the love of God for His faithful people. The Marriage Supper of the Lamb is in Song of Songs 3:11
    It is also an admonition for people to not awaken a girl to love before she is ready. Song of Songs 3:5, Song of Songs 8:4

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    Re: Please explain the Rapture to me

    Quote Originally Posted by Keraz View Post
    I see the Song Of Songs as an allegory of the love of God for His faithful people.
    Nothing says that my understanding is wrong, aside from you not liking it.
    "For a small moment have I forsaken you, and with great mercy will I gather you.With a little wrath did I hide My countenance for a moment from you, and with everlasting kindness will I have compassion on you," said your Redeemer, the Lord."..."For the mountains shall depart and the hills totter, but My kindness shall not depart from you, neither shall the covenant of My peace totter," says the Lord, Who has compassion on you.

    Isaiah 54

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    Re: Please explain the Rapture to me

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
    So does Judaism. Every read the Song of Solomon? It's about the love affair between God and the Jewish people.
    I do. So I'll reiterate. By following God's laws, they become part of a person. An individual who gives charity for selfish reasons will evolve and eventually give them for selfless reasons. A big advantage of following the law is that even if one is doing it for the wrong reasons, they're still following the law. One can claim to "feel Jesus" but still behave badly. And unfortunately, many have.
    It really depends on what you mean by "behaving badly?" King David behaved badly, and yet "felt God." So let's get beyond personal failures and zero in on what it means to "become good" in God's eyes? Is it just obeying the laws of God, or is it becoming godly on a consistent basis?

    I obviously think it is the latter. I do think that people, consciously or unconsciously, can follow God's laws, and be good people without being *godly people.* God is interested in *godly people* because He wants to be in relationship with them, and by this to be intimately involved in the lives of men. Without this intimacy, people can do good, but cannot be godly.

    It is not enough, for God, to have men simply do good deeds. He may derive pleasure from this, because they are obeying His laws. But I think He wants relationship, far beyond "doing good," which can be done without any conscious relationship with God at all.

    I believe we cannot live in relationship with God unless we are endowed with a new nature, enabling us to do good and to obey God's laws while we are in relationship with God. This *new nature* Christians call "the born again experience."

    It is not just obeying a law, but more, adopting God's character in our lives so that we do good all the time. It is a complete capitulation to the reality of God, recognizing by faith what He is like, and understanding that His laws are to govern our lives. Not only so, but His living word also communicates prophetically to us as we live out our lives in conformity to our revelation of what He is like.

    As Lord He reserves the right to give us orders. But as our father He also gives us freedom to act in conformity with the revelation of what He is like.

    This is what Christianity is after. It indicates that God requires more than good deeds, although that is pleasing to God. God is more pleased with our knowing Him, and knowing what He is like. That cannot happen without His endowing us with a new nature, or the "born again" experience. It is just the way Jesus indicated it had to happen. I think it happened more subtly in the time before Jesus. But since Jesus' coming, we are told that we must be "born again" after the image of Jesus.

  4. #259
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    Re: Please explain the Rapture to me

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    It really depends on what you mean by "behaving badly?" King David behaved badly, and yet "felt God." So let's get beyond personal failures and zero in on what it means to "become good" in God's eyes? Is it just obeying the laws of God, or is it becoming godly on a consistent basis?
    Again, with the law being paramount, king David admitted that he behaved badly. That goes a long way. If all that matters is "faith", then one can behave badly and still be "good with God". And we have a host of Christians from Popes (yes, I know you're Protestant) to Martin Luther himself whose behavior could be found wanting but whose faith was unchallenged. That's why I'll reiterate: With the law, even if a person is lacking in spirituality or faith, you can at least get proper behavior out of them. If the most important thing is faith, you could get the faith and nothing else.

    I'm going to quote Rabbi Baeck again, because he sums up issues that I feel exist within the Christian faith. It doesn't apply to all Christians, mind you, and especially not the modern day American Protestant types. But it existed historically, especially in Europe.

    This finished perfected justice, this self-assurance of the possessing, has also often found expression in a tranquil, comfortable, almost smug indifference. Being satisfied with itself, the Church was capable of beholding a great deal without being at all upset. Since it considered itself a world apart, it could leave many matters in this world to take care of themselves. Having issued from divine grace, the pious faith was superior to everything impermanent and human; hence it could regard earthly deeds, of whatever character, as something inferior and indifferent, as beneath it. So one was prepared to overlook and discount and indulge anything: the correct faith was easily satisfied with itself; for "whoever believes in him is just."

    A good deal of Church history is the history of a the things which neither hurt nor encroached upon this piety, all the outrages and all the baseness which this piety was able to tolerate with an assured and undisturbed soul and an untroubled faith. And a spirit is characterized not only by what it does but, no less, by what it permits, what it forgives, and what it beholds in silence. The Christian religion, very much including Protestantism, has been able to maintain silence about so much that it is difficult to say what has been more pernicious in the course of time: the intolerance which committed the wrongs or the indifference which beheld them unperturbed. Perhaps such indifference is even more romantic than intolerance, for it is more passive. It is wholly fitting for the faith which does not want to wrestle and act, but is content to wait and experience; it is entirely commensurate with the repudiation of the Law. The moral duty of justice and the fight for justice are associated with the phase that lies in the past and has been overcome.


    That American Protestants are involved politically and do attempt to improve the world is a wonderful thing. But it isn't necessarily Christian and hasn't been Christian up until the existence of American ideals. Which, let's be honest, are not Christian but "Judeo-Christian".
    "For a small moment have I forsaken you, and with great mercy will I gather you.With a little wrath did I hide My countenance for a moment from you, and with everlasting kindness will I have compassion on you," said your Redeemer, the Lord."..."For the mountains shall depart and the hills totter, but My kindness shall not depart from you, neither shall the covenant of My peace totter," says the Lord, Who has compassion on you.

    Isaiah 54

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    Re: Please explain the Rapture to me

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
    Nothing says that my understanding is wrong, aside from you not liking it.
    If you don't mind, I would like to get an expert opinion on something. It is somewhat related to this topic, yet I need an expert opinion on this for a discussion taking place in another thread. And since I'm assuming you are likely fluent in the Hebrew language, you would be the expert I'm looking for.

    Daniel 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

    How should 'many'(rab) be understood in this verse? As in, not all of them? Or as in, all of them?

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    Re: Please explain the Rapture to me

    Jewish theology teaches that virtually everyone will have an afterlife. Only the very worst of the worst have their souls destroyed (think your Hitlers and your Stalins). More than that, I cannot say. Why Daniel used that specific word I don't know. Why does he go back and forth between Hebrew and Aramaic? I don't know. Can one calculate the end times from the book of Daniel? I don't know.

    Probably not as helpful as you were looking for.
    "For a small moment have I forsaken you, and with great mercy will I gather you.With a little wrath did I hide My countenance for a moment from you, and with everlasting kindness will I have compassion on you," said your Redeemer, the Lord."..."For the mountains shall depart and the hills totter, but My kindness shall not depart from you, neither shall the covenant of My peace totter," says the Lord, Who has compassion on you.

    Isaiah 54

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    Re: Please explain the Rapture to me

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
    Again, with the law being paramount, king David admitted that he behaved badly. That goes a long way. If all that matters is "faith", then one can behave badly and still be "good with God". And we have a host of Christians from Popes (yes, I know you're Protestant) to Martin Luther himself whose behavior could be found wanting but whose faith was unchallenged. That's why I'll reiterate: With the law, even if a person is lacking in spirituality or faith, you can at least get proper behavior out of them. If the most important thing is faith, you could get the faith and nothing else.

    I'm going to quote Rabbi Baeck again, because he sums up issues that I feel exist within the Christian faith. It doesn't apply to all Christians, mind you, and especially not the modern day American Protestant types. But it existed historically, especially in Europe.

    This finished perfected justice, this self-assurance of the possessing, has also often found expression in a tranquil, comfortable, almost smug indifference. Being satisfied with itself, the Church was capable of beholding a great deal without being at all upset. Since it considered itself a world apart, it could leave many matters in this world to take care of themselves. Having issued from divine grace, the pious faith was superior to everything impermanent and human; hence it could regard earthly deeds, of whatever character, as something inferior and indifferent, as beneath it. So one was prepared to overlook and discount and indulge anything: the correct faith was easily satisfied with itself; for "whoever believes in him is just."

    A good deal of Church history is the history of a the things which neither hurt nor encroached upon this piety, all the outrages and all the baseness which this piety was able to tolerate with an assured and undisturbed soul and an untroubled faith. And a spirit is characterized not only by what it does but, no less, by what it permits, what it forgives, and what it beholds in silence. The Christian religion, very much including Protestantism, has been able to maintain silence about so much that it is difficult to say what has been more pernicious in the course of time: the intolerance which committed the wrongs or the indifference which beheld them unperturbed. Perhaps such indifference is even more romantic than intolerance, for it is more passive. It is wholly fitting for the faith which does not want to wrestle and act, but is content to wait and experience; it is entirely commensurate with the repudiation of the Law. The moral duty of justice and the fight for justice are associated with the phase that lies in the past and has been overcome.


    That American Protestants are involved politically and do attempt to improve the world is a wonderful thing. But it isn't necessarily Christian and hasn't been Christian up until the existence of American ideals. Which, let's be honest, are not Christian but "Judeo-Christian".
    Well, that's very confusing to me, because there is no distinction between "Christian" and "Judeo-Christian." Neither is it true that Protestants divorce themselves from works, activism, or connection with politics within the State. The implication you leave me with is that Christians rely on Christ to the neglect of any moral responsibility. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Protestants and Catholics alike have a long history of requiring *good works* to complete their salvation. We do not obtain eternal salvation through our good works, but we are still required to do good works to prove that we are saved.

    Anybody can be critical of such a large entity as the Christian Church. You should know that as a Jew, since Jews have been prosecuted for anything sinful Israel has ever done in history, including Christ's crucifixion. You simply cannot be charged with the sins of the exceptions to the rule!

    Christians certainly do not claim to have a majority that practices their faith in good deeds. It is our belief that only those who go down the "narrow path" actually live the Christian life. That's why I propose the necessity of being "born again" in Christianity, because this separates those who regularly practice Christianity from those who simply claim to do so. Of course, Christians can also claim to be "born again," and not actually live it out.

    I'm not here claiming that Christianity is any different with Judaism in the sense that God has required, under both systems, that we become, in a sense, born again. Jesus taught Nicodemus, in the NT Scriptures, that he should've known about the "new birth." That was before Christianity was actually initiated, and was stated under Judaism proper.

    I think Jews would do well to try to understand what Jesus was talking about from a Jewish pov. We all need to become "saints," instead of just following God's laws. Practicing God's laws do not make us "saints" anymore than Christians who claimed to be "saved" practiced good works. What matters is that we put on God's holy nature so that it is our nature to do and be good. Once we have adopted that nature as a gift from God we can choose to regularly practice the good works flowing out of that nature.
    Last edited by randyk; Jun 27th 2018 at 11:10 PM.

  8. #263
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    Re: Please explain the Rapture to me

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    Well, that's very confusing to me, because there is no distinction between "Christian" and "Judeo-Christian."
    I think that there is. Here, let me flatter you guys a bit. The Catholic Church is Christian. Straight up. American Protestants are Judeo-Christian. Not the same at all.

    Neither is it true that Protestants divorce themselves from works, activism, or connection with politics within the State. The implication you leave me with is that Christians rely on Christ to the neglect of any moral responsibility.
    No. What I'm saying is, that Christians CAN rely on Jesus to the neglect of moral responsibility and Christians HAVE relied on Jesus to the neglect of moral responsibility. It doesn't necessarily follow, but it many obvious instances it certainly has.


    Nothing could be farther from the truth. Protestants and Catholics alike have a long history of requiring *good works* to complete their salvation.
    You might even believe this to be true, but it isn't technically part of Christianity and has never, to my knowledge, been sold as such.

    Anybody can be critical of such a large entity as the Christian Church. You should know that as a Jew, since Jews have been prosecuted for anything sinful Israel has ever done in history, including Christ's crucifixion. You simply cannot be charged with the sins of the exceptions to the rule!
    Philosemitic, Israel loving Christians are a recent phenomena, very much the exception to the rule. It's a very nice thing, but it definitely isn't the rule.
    Christians certainly do not claim to have a majority that practices their faith in good deeds. It is our belief that only those who go down the "narrow path" actually live the Christian life. That's why I propose the necessity of being "born again" in Christianity, because this separates those who regularly practice Christianity from those who simply claim to do so. Of course, Christians can also claim to be "born again," and not actually live it out.
    Explain to me this "born again" concept, please.
    I'm not here claiming that Christianity is any different with Judaism in the sense that God has required, under both systems, that we become, in a sense, born again. Jesus' taught Nicodemus, in the NT Scriptures, that he should've known about the "new birth." That was before Christianity was actually initiated, and was stated under Judaism proper.
    I'm not really familiar with this concept, but I don't think that it exists in Judaism.

    I think Jews would do well to try to understand what Jesus was talking about from a Jewish pov. We all need to become "saints," instead of just following God's laws.
    But that isn't what God said. God desires the heart. In that sense, following the law is the minimum, not the maximum, that He expects. But He does expect us to follow the law. The bible is very clear on this.
    "For a small moment have I forsaken you, and with great mercy will I gather you.With a little wrath did I hide My countenance for a moment from you, and with everlasting kindness will I have compassion on you," said your Redeemer, the Lord."..."For the mountains shall depart and the hills totter, but My kindness shall not depart from you, neither shall the covenant of My peace totter," says the Lord, Who has compassion on you.

    Isaiah 54

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    Re: Please explain the Rapture to me

    Here is a short study I did;

    A Jewish Redemption
    In Romans 11:28-32: it does say some Jewish people will receive God's mercy, despite their continued rejection of Jesus. Isaiah 4:3-4 tells of them.
    There will be two main criteria for this:

    1/ They must be actual members of the House of Judah. Not those who call themselves Jews, but are not.
    2/ They must show true repentance and remorse, as Jeremiah 12:14-16 tells us:..... I will have pity on them [Judah] and bring them back to their Land, if they learn the ways of My People, [Christians] and swear allegiance to My Name.

    Note; the Jews will be so ashamed of their errors, they will keep very quiet. Ezekiel 16:63

    However; the main Christian peoples who will go to live in all of the holy Land after the Lord has cleared and cleansed it, will be descendants of the ten Northern tribes; the House of Israel, God only knows who and where they are; Amos 9:9, joined by every faithful Christian from every race, nation and language. Revelation 5:9

    This will fulfil God's promise to the Patriarchs, that their descendants will inherit all the holy Land.

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    Re: Please explain the Rapture to me

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
    I think that there is. Here, let me flatter you guys a bit. The Catholic Church is Christian. Straight up. American Protestants are Judeo-Christian. Not the same at all.
    Doesn't flatter me at all. I embrace the historic Catholic Church as *my church!* I embrace the Protestants as a reform movement beginning within the Catholic Church, and being forced outside of it. In reality, the Christian Church is one Church. The diverse number of sects within Christianity are not necessarily *divisions.* Rather, they are different geographical expressions of the same religion, sometimes with divergent views.

    Within all of the historic churches there is a tendency to cool off spiritually, and compromise over time. The same thing happened with ancient Israel. They start off on fire with God, and end up with a flickering flame. It didn't make Israel lose her hope. It doesn't cause me to lose my hope for the churches.

    As a single Church tradition we are all Judeo-Christian. Our religion originated from Judaism. Jesus was a *Jew!* All of the apostles were *Jews.* Our NT Scriptures were written by *Jews.* I'm sure you know all of this, and you should be proud of that. Jews have had more influence in history than any other ethnic group, in my opinion.

    But the Church has become largely Gentile, with just a few Jewish converts. And so, we've had a love-hate relationship with the Jews throughout our history. Even Luther spoke glowingly of the Jews before he turned on them. He became paranoid. There is an evil spirit that tends to condemn the Jews. I'm not proud of what Martin Luther did. But he was great in other ways. I do respect his unwillingness to compromise with salvation by works, which is why he opposed the Jews so strongly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris
    No. What I'm saying is, that Christians CAN rely on Jesus to the neglect of moral responsibility and Christians HAVE relied on Jesus to the neglect of moral responsibility. It doesn't necessarily follow, but it many obvious instances it certainly has.
    You might even believe this to be true, but it isn't technically part of Christianity and has never, to my knowledge, been sold as such.
    That just tells me you've never understood Christianity, in history or now. Christianity argues around the essentials, because the essentials are already established in the creeds. And so we argue over what the essentials mean, and any other peripheral matter that may be involved. Since we've long ago established the necessity of good works, we don't need to argue that any more. It seems you've only heard the arguments, and not the agreements?

    I grew up in the Lutheran Church and was confirmed at around 13 or 14 years old. I understood Lutheran doctrine at that time, and read through the Bible. What I learned from the start was that we should live our lives around the Ten Commandments. We are not saved by works, but the essentials of morality are contained within the Jewish Law.

    I suppose I could go look at my catechism booklet to see if this is so. That is a very long time ago, so I would have to check. I've assumed these things my *entire life,* and I'm now in my mid-60s.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris
    Philosemitic, Israel loving Christians are a recent phenomena, very much the exception to the rule. It's a very nice thing, but it definitely isn't the rule.
    Explain to me this "born again" concept, please.
    I'm not really familiar with this concept, but I don't think that it exists in Judaism.
    The Messianic Jewish movement is new too. The stream within Christianity that supported Zionism initially was a small stream, but has indeed grown over the years. These Christians fear God, and they fear treating God's People, the Jews, improperly. We are proud to see Bible Prophecy come to pass in the modern restoration of the State of Israel. I've supported Zionism since around 1972 or 73.

    The "new birth" is not what a lot of Christians make it, a strictly Christian experience. Jesus taught it as a *Jewish experience,* indicating that following the Law was a change of nature, and not just a cherry picking of rules. It was not perfunctory performance under the Law, but a heart-felt love for God, created within us when we choose to follow him sincerely as our God. I'm sure, as a good Orthodox Jew, you would agree with this.

    The only difference between how I as a Christian see this, and how you as a Jew might see this, is that the new birth experience for me creates an appreciate for the example Jesus set. It is actually more than just a moral example, but a reflection of his deity, enabling me to derive my spirituality from his. Sounds weird, but I didn't make the rules!

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris
    But that isn't what God said. God desires the heart. In that sense, following the law is the minimum, not the maximum, that He expects. But He does expect us to follow the law. The bible is very clear on this.
    Yes, I agree. Nothing really has changed. God still expects us to follow His laws. The only difference for me, as a Christian, is that eternal atonement has been accomplished by Jesus. There is no longer any need to follow superficial laws that are material, and not spiritual in nature. For example, washing with water, or purification by blood, are purely materialistic ceremonies that had value only before final atonement was accomplished. We need not eat certain things, nor practice festivals and sabbaths around a physical temple. A better temple that is lasting has been created for us. In my view the true temple is God's People, after they have received their atonement.

    I spent a number of years exchanging thoughts with a Reform Jew. He was certainly brilliant, and smarter than me. But I think he saw something in me that he could relate to as a Reform Jew. I should think an Orthodox Jew like you would have much more difficulty finding common ground. And yet, you're almost generous in your ways of dealing with Christians. I appreciate that. I wish I could call you "brother." Maybe in a sense you are?

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    Re: Please explain the Rapture to me

    Quote Originally Posted by Keraz View Post
    Here is a short study I did;

    A Jewish Redemption
    In Romans 11:28-32: it does say some Jewish people will receive God's mercy, despite their continued rejection of Jesus. Isaiah 4:3-4 and Zechariah 13:9b, tells of them.
    There will be two main criteria for this:

    1/ They must be actual members of the House of Judah. None of those who call themselves Jews, but are not. Revelation 2:9
    2/ They must show true repentance and remorse, as Jeremiah 12:14-16 tells us:..... I will have pity on them [Judah] and bring them back to their Land, if they learn the ways of My People, [Christians] and swear allegiance to My Name. .
    This truth of some of the House of Judah being redeemed, despite their continued rejection of Jesus, contradicts my earlier posts, where I assert that only Jews who have become Christian now, will be saved. I repent of my error.

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    Re: Please explain the Rapture to me

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    Doesn't flatter me at all. I embrace the historic Catholic Church as *my church!* I embrace the Protestants as a reform movement beginning within the Catholic Church, and being forced outside of it. In reality, the Christian Church is one Church. The diverse number of sects within Christianity are not necessarily *divisions.* Rather, they are different geographical expressions of the same religion, sometimes with divergent views.
    It's almost like we're reading different history books. The Inquisition, the Crusades, the Popes passing anti-Jewish legislation...none of that happened? Oh, wait, those people weren't "real Christians", right? But they claimed to believe in Jesus. They were, in fact, the religious orthodoxy.


    As a single Church tradition we are all Judeo-Christian. Our religion originated from Judaism. Jesus was a *Jew!* All of the apostles were *Jews.* Our NT Scriptures were written by *Jews.*
    And when the Church oppressed Jews, was that Jewish too? When they decided that burning people at the stake for heresy was ok, was that Jewish?

    I'm sure you know all of this, and you should be proud of that. Jews have had more influence in history than any other ethnic group, in my opinion.
    That's true, and I see that as an actualization of Genesis 22:18. doubtless you understand the verse differently.

    That just tells me you've never understood Christianity, in history or now. Christianity argues around the essentials, because the essentials are already established in the creeds. And so we argue over what the essentials mean, and any other peripheral matter that may be involved. Since we've long ago established the necessity of good works, we don't need to argue that any more. It seems you've only heard the arguments, and not the agreements?
    You're creating a history of Christianity that doesn't exist. I'm sorry, but it's true. And because you're doing this, you miss out on what makes American Christianity special. I can't blame you for wanting to see the best in your faith. But it simply isn't what happened.

    I grew up in the Lutheran Church and was confirmed at around 13 or 14 years old. I understood Lutheran doctrine at that time, and read through the Bible. What I learned from the start was that we should live our lives around the Ten Commandments. We are not saved by works, but the essentials of morality are contained within the Jewish Law.
    And again, unfortunately, too many Christians disregarded "works" because they were already "saved".


    I suppose I could go look at my catechism booklet to see if this is so. That is a very long time ago, so I would have to check. I've assumed these things my *entire life,* and I'm now in my mid-60s.
    Ah. I took you for a younger person for some reason


    The Messianic Jewish movement is new too. The stream within Christianity that supported Zionism initially was a small stream, but has indeed grown over the years. These Christians fear God, and they fear treating God's People, the Jews, improperly. We are proud to see Bible Prophecy come to pass in the modern restoration of the State of Israel. I've supported Zionism since around 1972 or 73.
    Ah an early adopter. Again, interesting.

    The "new birth" is not what a lot of Christians make it, a strictly Christian experience. Jesus taught it as a *Jewish experience,* indicating that following the Law was a change of nature, and not just a cherry picking of rules. It was not perfunctory performance under the Law, but a heart-felt love for God, created within us when we choose to follow him sincerely as our God. I'm sure, as a good Orthodox Jew, you would agree with this.
    IA agree with the change in nature. But it's a process, not a one time event. One becomes what they do.

    The only difference between how I as a Christian see this, and how you as a Jew might see this, is that the new birth experience for me creates an appreciate for the example Jesus set. It is actually more than just a moral example, but a reflection of his deity, enabling me to derive my spirituality from his. Sounds weird, but I didn't make the rules!
    Yeah. Well, every religion requires that one believe in strange things. It's all good.



    Yes, I agree. Nothing really has changed. God still expects us to follow His laws. The only difference for me, as a Christian, is that eternal atonement has been accomplished by Jesus. There is no longer any need to follow superficial laws that are material, and not spiritual in nature. For example, washing with water, or purification by blood, are purely materialistic ceremonies that had value only before final atonement was accomplished. We need not eat certain things, nor practice festivals and sabbaths around a physical temple. A better temple that is lasting has been created for us. In my view the true temple is God's People, after they have received their atonement.
    For a gentile this is sufficient.
    I spent a number of years exchanging thoughts with a Reform Jew. He was certainly brilliant, and smarter than me. But I think he saw something in me that he could relate to as a Reform Jew. I should think an Orthodox Jew like you would have much more difficulty finding common ground. And yet, you're almost generous in your ways of dealing with Christians. I appreciate that. I wish I could call you "brother." Maybe in a sense you are?
    Weeeeeelllll I mean I guess we're brothers in faith. Not the same faith, but we worship the same God and look to the same bible for our moral and ethical values. We both want to make the world a more Godly place. We both look forward to the day when all of humanity is united in worship of God.

    How does that sound?
    "For a small moment have I forsaken you, and with great mercy will I gather you.With a little wrath did I hide My countenance for a moment from you, and with everlasting kindness will I have compassion on you," said your Redeemer, the Lord."..."For the mountains shall depart and the hills totter, but My kindness shall not depart from you, neither shall the covenant of My peace totter," says the Lord, Who has compassion on you.

    Isaiah 54

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    Re: Please explain the Rapture to me

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
    It's almost like we're reading different history books. The Inquisition, the Crusades, the Popes passing anti-Jewish legislation...none of that happened? Oh, wait, those people weren't "real Christians", right? But they claimed to believe in Jesus. They were, in fact, the religious orthodoxy.
    Please keep this in mind, when reading the "history books." Much that comes down to us today is in part the product of the Enlightenment. This was a vicious antiChristian movement in the heart of Europe, which tried to characterize Christianity as "myth"--a supernatural source of miracles to give hope to weak men. So much that we read, even in schools today, portray Christianity as on the par with mythology--something that has been outdated by science.

    The result is that we read all of the errors of Christianity, and not the main thrust of Christianity, just as we might note a record of accidents over the last year, ignoring all of the "good times." If all we read are the "accidents" in Christianity, we get the false notion that Christianity is a constant stream of accidents.

    If you want to look at the time in which Catholicism was most corrupt, during the Inquisition and in the later crusades, fine. Christianity was intended to be a State Religion, and as such, it includes the good things along with all of the warts and blemishes that come with a broad spectrum of society.

    The same thing with Martin Luther. Naturally you only see the part of his life that affected the Jewish People in his region. But this was a Christian region, fighting over what orthodoxy consisted of. As such, getting your doctrine right was the equivalent of saving souls and ordering the society in a way that works.

    Luther was more about justification by faith than hate against the Jewish People. To the extent they represented justification by works Luther found this intolerable within his Christian society. But I want you to know, I believe, as a former Lutheran, this view must be corrected.

    As a Protestant I find the Catholics, in the time of Luther, were also intolerable. Catholic rule was oppressive and persecuted the Protestants. It murdered them! I find this offensive, but realize that the Catholics were not always that way, and are not that way now. Nor were all Catholics that way then!

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris
    And when the Church oppressed Jews, was that Jewish too? When they decided that burning people at the stake for heresy was ok, was that Jewish?
    The Jews, led by Saul, were persecuting and killing the Christians at the beginning of Christianity! Who was worse--the Jews at that time for hunting down and murdering Christians, or later Christians who excommunicated Jews from Christian countries? Both were bad, which is how I view both Jews and Christians. They are a mixed breed, and should not be judged too broadly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris
    That's true, and I see that as an actualization of Genesis 22:18. doubtless you understand the verse differently.

    You're creating a history of Christianity that doesn't exist. I'm sorry, but it's true. And because you're doing this, you miss out on what makes American Christianity special. I can't blame you for wanting to see the best in your faith. But it simply isn't what happened.
    Have you read the Small Catechism of Luther? It spells out that Protestants and Catholics alike are expected to obey the 10 Commandments. This is the "works" side of Christianity. It's just that we are not justified by works, in the sense of working for eternal salvation. Rather, we depend on Christ's atonement for our salvation, but obey the commandments with respect to proving our Christianity. Just pick up and read the Small Catechism, and you will see this.

    Better yet, why don't you read just a little bit here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris
    And again, unfortunately, too many Christians disregarded "works" because they were already "saved".
    No Christian believes that. When we get "saved," we repent of our sins. That means we do a 180 degree turnaround, to start following Christ. We turn from manufacturing our own idea of righteousness to get our idea of righteousness from the record of Christ himself. The record of Christ is that he fulfilled the 10 Commadments and the whole Law without personal blemish. That means we must practice righteousness in the same way Christ did, by displaying the morality contained in the 10 Commandments and in the Law.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris
    Ah. I took you for a younger person for some reason
    Yes, I hope to stay perpetually young! Unfortunately, my body keeps confusing me about that....

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris
    Ah an early adopter. Again, interesting.

    I agree with the change in nature. But it's a process, not a one time event. One becomes what they do.
    We also believe it's a process. However, we also believe there is an initial moment in which we choose to adopt the Christian faith and its moral requirements. It would be like a Gentile converting to Judaism. At the moment he chooses to adopt the Jewish Law his nature adjusts to the laws he wishes to live by.

    If you have grown up with the spirituality associated with your morality it may not seem like a fundamental change in spirituality. But for Christians who have grown up pagan, it is a *major change.*

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris
    Yeah. Well, every religion requires that one believe in strange things. It's all good.

    For a gentile this is sufficient.

    Weeeeeelllll I mean I guess we're brothers in faith. Not the same faith, but we worship the same God and look to the same bible for our moral and ethical values. We both want to make the world a more Godly place. We both look forward to the day when all of humanity is united in worship of God.

    How does that sound?
    I don't give reputation, but let me give you my heart-felt, THANK YOU!

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