Huh?


#1

May I ask the following two questions:

What problem does Christianity hold to have been
solved by the Incarnation?

In the faith that was followed by Jesus, Mary and Joseph:

-God forgave sin
-the “gates” of heaven [World to Come] were already “open”
-no concept of Original Sin existed
-there was a place in the World to Come for the “righteous
of all nations.”

Second question:

I’ve often see Roman Catholics fulminating against Luther etc.
for departing from the truth and starting his own church, after
1500 years of basically one faith.

Does no one ask the question:

Christianity set aside Judaism…in fact
it was a new religion, not just a “spun off” church.
It claimed a New Covenant, setting aside a Covenant
that had been made 2500 years earlier.

Before the ministry of Jesus, a religion with
a *3500 *year history! taught people:
-who God was
-who they were
-what was expected of them
-where they were headed [the World to Come.]
-how sin was forgiven

So I ask myself:

a group comes along, claims special revelation, sets aside
a 2500 year covenant, claims a stain [original sin] needed
to be erased, and that their group has “fulfilled” the original
faith. They talk of “opening” gates that weren’t closed to
begin with, being saved, [when the original faith says we
are saved] and then complains about Luther.

The answers given are that Jesus was God and Messiah
and that He rose from the dead.

I’m beginning to think that Christianity offers a solution to
a problem that didn’t/doesn’t exist. Sin was forgiven,
the gates to the World to Come were open, so what
exactly are we being saved* from*?

Saul tells me Original Sin.
The Sages of Israel acknowledged no such reality.

The result? People tied up in knots over whether and how
they are saved. [faith/works.] The fate of unbaptized babies.
Emphasis on the afterlife=“life is a pilgrimage”. Abstention
from marriage seen as a greater good, when called to such. [Which flies in the face of Judaism’s emphasis on God’s command to “Be fruitful and multiply.”]

My own assessment is that the Christian faith flourished
among the Gentiles, because they would not be in a
position to pose the questions Judaism would ask about
the new faith.

The fact that this new faith was considered apostasy by the
original faith, is brushed aside by claims of the divinity of
the Messiah and the further testimony that that Messiah rose
from the dead.

I ask a final time: What problem was solved?

Any thoughts?

reen12


#2

I may have missed your point totally but the only thing that came to mind about the pushing aside of the covenants - was that Christianity was a prophecy of the Old Covenant. God lead us to the New Covenant for thousands of years by revealing it a little at a time. With protestantism, there is no such prompting by God, there is/was no such prophecy.


#3

Just some thoughts.

Remember that the Jews were anticipating a Messiah; they were expecting a Messiah.
Are they still? Or have the given up that hope?

Of course the Church views itself as the fulfillment of Judaism. Jesus was Jewish; all the Apostles were Jewish, all the first converts were Jewish.

After Jesus rose, the new Jewish Christians continued to go to the temple and to synagogue for the readings and prayers. They celebrated the Eucharist in private homes. Only when the Jewish leaders formally kicked they out of the synagogues did they combine the prayers and readings with the eucharistic celebration to form a two part liturgy of the word and of the eucharist.

But the idea of original sin did not arise in a vacuum; it came from the Old Testament.

And if the Old Covenant was sufficient for salvation, why were the Jews expecting a Messiah? Obviously the old covenant was not yet complete, not yet fulfilled. With the coming of the Messiah, it was fulfilled.


#4

[quote=reen12]May I ask the following two questions:

What problem does Christianity hold to have been
solved by the Incarnation?

In the faith that was followed by Jesus, Mary and Joseph:

-God forgave sin
-the “gates” of heaven [World to Come] were already “open”
-no concept of Original Sin existed
-there was a place in the World to Come for the “righteous
of all nations.”

Second question:

I’ve often see Roman Catholics fulminating against Luther etc.
for departing from the truth and starting his own church, after
1500 years of basically one faith.

Does no one ask the question:

Christianity set aside Judaism…in fact
it was a new religion, not just a “spun off” church.
It claimed a New Covenant, setting aside a Covenant
that had been made 2500 years earlier.
[/quote]

Where does that leave Jeremiah 31.31 ff. ?

Before the ministry of Jesus, a religion with
a *3500 *year history!

The age of Judaism, though interesting in itself, has no more theological significance than the equally interesting facts that the earth is billions of years old, and that it is one just one of billions of bodies in the Milky Way. Size, age, numbers, have not the slightest relevance to truth or to moral values: we are small compared to blue whales, but more valuable than they. Abram was only one citizen of Ur - if numbers and length of history were signs of theolgical truth, the moon-cult of Ur & Harran has far more validity than the contents of the Tanakh.

That sort of argument is of no value against the Reformers - or against the first disciples of Jesus. ##

taught people:
-who God was
-who they were
-what was expected of them
-where they were headed [the World to Come.]
-how sin was forgiven

So I ask myself:

a group comes along, claims special revelation, sets aside
a 2500 year covenant, claims a stain [original sin] needed
to be erased, and that their group has “fulfilled” the original
faith.

Original Sin is not the basis for the Christian claims - the Person of Jesus very definitely is

They talk of “opening” gates that weren’t closed to
begin with, being saved, [when the original faith says we
are saved] and then complains about Luther.

The answers given are that Jesus was God and Messiah
and that He rose from the dead.

I’m beginning to think that Christianity offers a solution to
a problem that didn’t/doesn’t exist. Sin was forgiven,
the gates to the World to Come were open, so what
exactly are we being saved* from*?

Saul tells me Original Sin.
The Sages of Israel acknowledged no such reality.

Not a problem:

[list]
*]Abraham did not have the explicit ethical monotheism of Second Isaiah
*]The three patriarchs did things which King Josiah, like the Deuteronomistic historian, would have rejected as pagan
*]Elisha had no objections to the massacre carried out by Jehu son of Nimshi - one of the late prophets (Hosea ?) certainly did.
*]Hezekiah knew only of Sheol - not of the resurrection of the upright; that idea came later
[/list]The point being, that Israel was being educated, over a period of centuries, so that what was acceptable or unquestioned at this time or that, later came to be questioned: the book of Job is a protest against much that is in the Psalms.

And as one passage or idea or custom comes to to be criticised, this criticism and re-interpretation leads to change in belief: as with the resurrection. And the Christian belief in original sin and in purgation after death are two examples of this education and re-interpretation - some of what is in later parts of the Tanakh goes beyond what was in earlier parts: with Christians, this process continues into our own sacred books which are not in the Tanakh, and beyond that, after they too were written.

As for original sin, it seems to be like the “evil inclination” in Judaism:

hebrew4christians.com/blessings/daily_blessings/yetzer/yetzer.html

The result? People tied up in knots over whether and how
they are saved. [faith/works.] The fate of unbaptized babies.
Emphasis on the afterlife=“life is a pilgrimage”. Abstention
from marriage seen as a greater good, when called to such. [Which flies in the face of Judaism’s emphasis on God’s command to “Be fruitful and multiply.”]

My own assessment is that the Christian faith flourished
among the Gentiles, because they would not be in a
position to pose the questions Judaism would ask about
the new faith.

The fact that this new faith was considered apostasy by the
original faith, is brushed aside by claims of the divinity of
the Messiah and the further testimony that that Messiah rose
from the dead.

I ask a final time: What problem was solved?

Any thoughts?

reen12

I don’t think Christianity is meant to solve any problems


#5

quote: Gottle of Geer

The point being, that Israel was being educated, over a period of centuries, so that what was acceptable or unquestioned at this time or that, later came to be questioned: the book of Job is a protest against much that is in the Psalms.

An amazing take, Gottle of Geer.

No one in Judaism would deny:
The sinfulness of some of it’s forebears
The increasing understanding of God’s plan

These are straw man arguments, IMHO.

I am aware of the “yetzers”: good and evil “inclinations”.

Are you seriously maintaining that originial sin is a
development of the “yetzers”?
Judaism held and holds that human beings are
capable of resisting evil and choosing good,
that we are not “wounded” in our nature.

As to the “age” of Judaism, why is it that I see
continual references on the forums to: who did
Luther think he was? For 1500 years…etc. etc.
And the argument works both ways: because a
faith is 3500 years old, does not imply that it is
not Truth.

What does have “theological significance,” is the
fact that Christianity totally ignores Judaic presentations
of who the Messiah was to be, what is to be his
function. To call what is considered apostasy a “development” is ludicrous on it’s face.

There is One God. To say One in three Persons is
considered blasphemy. “Three Persons” is a theological construct that tries to say: God is One. God is three in One.

There was one Covenant, an eternal covenant.

Original Sin is not the basis for the Christian claims - the Person of Jesus very definitely is

Oh, really? Tell that to Catholics who have their
children baptized to “wash away” original sin.

Ask them, if you knew you were already saved and
forgiven by God, that you had a choice of resisting
evil and choosing good [the “yetzers”]…then, what
are you doing??

The Person of Jesus is not needed if there is no
original sin to be saved from, if heaven has been
open for millenia.

You have not answered my questions.
And I don’t think Judaism needs tuteledge about
what they believe, do you? Or how others have
"developed" doctrine for them. Replaced their
eternal covenant with a New Covenant…

In my assessment, you are correct in one point:
It is a matter of the Person of Jesus.
I ask you again. What are we being saved* from*?
Why is Jesus called the Savior?

reen12


#6

reen,
I am nervous about even answering because I think you are about 50 IQ points above me, :slight_smile: seriously - but I’m going to give it a shot and forgive me if this sounds so simplistic.

In my Bible studies I learned that the Jews were having to atone for their sins - (all those animal sacrifices) and they were always failing miserably in their attempts to keep all of the law. They realized they weren’t able to save themselves - they could never be good enough (which was the purpose of the law - to show them that) and that sin seperated them from God.

When Jesus came, he fufilled the law - he paid for our sins once and for all by dying on the cross so we no longer need to atone for our sins ourselves - He provided the sacrifice (Lamb of God who takes away the sins…)
And it’s through Him that we have been reconcilled back to God because our sins have been covered by His blood.

That’s my understanding of why we needed a Savior…

God Bless,
CM


#7

Are you sure there was only one covenant? :ehh:


#8

Hi, carol marie,
quote: carol marie

[font=Verdana]I am nervous about even answering because I think you are about 50 IQ points above me, :slight_smile: seriously - but I’m going to give it a shot and forgive me if this sounds so simplistic.

[/font]

It doesn’t sound simplistic to me at all, carol marie.
What you wrote in your post is basic Christian doctrine.
*
[font=Verdana] I’m right! It just means I have a good memory, and
can hook concepts together rapidly…and spot
erroneous arguments in a nano-second.:)]

You see, for 58 years I believed what was taught in your
bible studies class. [or tried to…]
Late in life, I’m just beginning to ask questions that I
should have asked at age 12. But all around me
[teachers, parents] believed it, and it’s hard for a
youngster to even begin to frame questions…

Intelligence has nothing to do with faith, carol ann.
I could very easily be in great error. You have the
gift of Christian faith. I don’t. So I ask for your prayers,
that if what you believe is the truth, I may be given to
see it too.

Thanks for giving me your thought,

reen12*


#9

Dear WBB,

quote: WBB

Are you sure there was only one covenant? :ehh:

I honestly don’t know what to believe, WBB.
If I had been presented with both Judaic belief and
Catholic belief at the critical age of 12, I know for
a fact that I would have chosen Judaism.
This past week I even tried to talk to Jesus.
If He was/is Who He said He was…well, I just
don’t believe that anymore.

“Why call me ‘good’. Only One is good, your
Father in heaven.”
“Not one jot or tittle of the Law…”
“Master, what shall I do to be saved?” [He repeats basic
Judaic teaching.]
“What did Moses tell you to do?”

on the other hand:
“You have heard it said…but I say…”
“He who sees me, sees the Father…”
“I and the Father are One.”

As Saul said: "If Christ has not risen, then our
faith is in vain."
To me, the question isn’t: am I sure there is one convenant?,
but, rather, did Jesus truly rise from the dead?
If He did, my arguments are straw.

best,
reen12

Please note my signature. I realized, after I chose it,
that it is the “mind” of a 12 year old, asking the questions
[buttressed by 45 years of study.]


#10

reen,

I think it is never too late to get your questions answered! Someone who loves you very much once said, “Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock & it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”

I will pray that you get the answers you need - and for the faith that I have been given.

Peace,
CM


#11

God bless you, carol marie. I appreciate your

prayers more than I can tell you.

reen12


#12

[quote=reen12]Dear WBB,

quote: WBB

I honestly don’t know what to believe, WBB.
If I had been presented with both Judaic belief and
Catholic belief at the critical age of 12, I know for
a fact that I would have chosen Judaism.
This past week I even tried to talk to Jesus.
If He was/is Who He said He was…well, I just
don’t believe that anymore.

“Why call me ‘good’. Only One is good, your
Father in heaven.”
“Not one jot or tittle of the Law…”
“Master, what shall I do to be saved?” [He repeats basic
Judaic teaching.]
“What did Moses tell you to do?”

on the other hand:
“You have heard it said…but I say…”
“He who sees me, sees the Father…”
“I and the Father are One.”

As Saul said: "If Christ has not risen, then our
faith is in vain."
To me, the question isn’t: am I sure there is one convenant?,
but, rather, did Jesus truly rise from the dead?
If He did, my arguments are straw.

best,
reen12

Please note my signature. I realized, after I chose it,
that it is the “mind” of a 12 year old, asking the questions
[buttressed by 45 years of study.]
[/quote]

I guess what I am getting at is this: for every covenant that God forged with humanity (Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and David), humanity failed to uphold their end of the covenant. God being God cannot fail to uphold His end of the covenant. With each successive covenant God made with his people, Israel, more people were brought into His family (notice the progression: Adam and Eve-a husband and wife and children, Noah-an extended family, Abraham-a tribe or clan, Moses-a nation, David-a kingdom). I suppose what Jesus did was save us from ourselves. Let me explain. We believe that God became incarnate in the man, Jesus, so that the final covenant could be forged between God and man, but this time the man was no ordinary man, for Jesus was God incarnate. And since Jesus is God, he cannot be unfaithful, for God cannot be unfaithful to Himself. So the final covenant was put in place to bring all of humanity into the family of God through Jesus because with Jesus the covenant would never be broken. Through this covenant, the entire world can be brought into the Family of God (the Church), and this is why the Church is called Catholic because it is a universal family.

I don’t know if I have answered your question to your satisfaction, but I am not sure if anyone will be able to. I do have faith that you will find the answers you are looking for, though.

Many blessings on your journey, reen.

Brian


#13

Hi, WBB,

quote: WBB

I suppose what Jesus did was save us from ourselves.

That’s truly amazing to me. Over 30 years ago, I was
driving to work, my mind on nothing in particular, and
the thought came to me: “He saved me from myself.”
[for several years, I had kept asking myself: saved me from *what?]

You’ve also covered, in your last post, a line of thought
that I’ve had as well: a final covenant extends the knowledge
of God to all humanity.

Judaic thought has it that the knowledge of God is brought
to people by example. That the messiah will be a human
being who will restore Israel, build the 3rd Temple and
righteousness will reign on earth, as humanity acknowledges
the God of Israel. Thus, the Kingdom of God will be
established.
That’s what is meant by “salvation.”
“Save thy people, Lord, and bless Thy inheritance…”

As I said, I don’t know what to believe, anymore. I’ve
swayed back and forth repeatedly. One belief makes
sense, then the other.
Well, I suppose I could say that if and when I can find
my way to the truth, at least it will be an *adult *choosing,
not an uninformed child, as I was at age 12.

Many thanks for your thoughts, WBB,

reen12


#14

Wow. That is it!!! You really do have it!! That is what Catholics believe! Jesus brought knowledge of God by example. He restored Israel to faithfulness to God through the everlasting covenant between God and man. He built the 3rd temple (well, it was His Body). The next few things…well, they are rather shaky, but in the ideal, the Church fulfills those things when people are open to her Truth (righteousness reigning on earth, humanity acknowledging the God of Israel). I suppose this shakiness can be accounted for by the fact that God in His infinite love and mercy gives us the right to reject His infinite love and mercy and follow our own hearts. However, Jesus was and is obedient to His Father, so therefore, the covenant remains intact.


#15

This stuff looks interesting though Im having a hard time following it. What is this stuff about Luther? It looks like your making the claim that what the early/first Christians did was a major “scandal” to the Jews, and yet Christians see no problem with such a “scandal”, in fact Christians say it was “meant to be”…but at the same time what Luther did was a “scandal” to the Catholic Church, and yet Protestants see this “scandal” as a “meant to be” as well. Your saying this is the big irony, the Jews were there “first” and outsiders started to push their way in…Am I understanding you correctly?
If I am understanding you it is because I have though about the same stuff.


#16

reen,

If there is no ‘original sin,’, then why is our world not in the grace of God right now and why are the Jews expecting a Messiah still (they are, right)? Also, why aren’t we in the garden of Eden?

Taken from the CCC, here is our position on original sin:

Man’s first Sin:

397 Man, tempted by the devil, let his trust in his Creator die in his heart and, abusing his freedom, disobeyed God’s command. This is what man’s first sin consisted of.278 All subsequent sin would be disobedience toward God and lack of trust in his goodness.

398 In that sin man preferred himself to God and by that very act scorned him. He chose himself over and against God, against the requirements of his creaturely status and therefore against his own good. Constituted in a state of holiness, man was destined to be fully “divinized” by God in glory. Seduced by the devil, he wanted to “be like God”, but “without God, before God, and not in accordance with God”.279

399 Scripture portrays the tragic consequences of this first disobedience. Adam and Eve immediately lose the grace of original holiness.280 They become afraid of the God of whom they have conceived a distorted image - that of a God jealous of his prerogatives.281

400 The harmony in which they had found themselves, thanks to original justice, is now destroyed: the control of the soul’s spiritual faculties over the body is shattered; the union of man and woman becomes subject to tensions, their relations henceforth marked by lust and domination.282 Harmony with creation is broken: visible creation has become alien and hostile to man.283 Because of man, creation is now subject “to its bondage to decay”.284 Finally, the consequence explicitly foretold for this disobedience will come true: man will “return to the ground”,285 for out of it he was taken. Death makes its entrance into human history.286

401 After that first sin, the world is virtually inundated by sin There is Cain’s murder of his brother Abel and the universal corruption which follows in the wake of sin. Likewise, sin frequently manifests itself in the history of Israel, especially as infidelity to the God of the Covenant and as transgression of the Law of Moses. And even after Christ’s atonement, sin raises its head in countless ways among Christians.287 Scripture and the Church’s Tradition continually recall the presence and universality of sin in man’s history:

vatican.va/archive/catechism/p1s2c1p7.htm#III

The only reason there was any Law given to Moses at all, was due to the consequences of Original Sin. Had man stayed obedient and faithful to God, there would have been no need for the sacrifices required in the OT.


#17

1 more thing to contemplate, if there was no concept of original sin in Judaic thought, then how did Paul the Apostle (a Jew), identify it so easily? I think a common error most people make is seperating Christianity and Judaism, and try to look at them from one perspective without aligning them up parallel to each other.


#18

Catholics should never consider themselves separate from Judaism, but rather as a continuation and fulfillment of Judaism. The Messiah came “in the fullness of time,” in the midst of his people, the Jews. He was called a rabbi and preached in the synagogues. He was steeped in the traditions and the scriptures of Israel–the Law and the Prophets.

He was not quite what many had expected for the Messiah, yet many did believe, motivated by his miracles, his preaching, and ultimately his resurrection and post-resurrection appearances. He called the Almighty God “Abba” (Daddy), yet said, "the Father (Abba) and I are ONE. He told his disciples they must eat his body and drink his blood.

This is all difficult stuff to figure out. Is it any wonder that he just didn’t come right out and state the whole thing on his first day of preaching? (But he did say, after reading the scripture passage from Isaiah: “Today, this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”)

He foresaw the destruction of the temple and the total destruction of Jerusalem; he stood on the hill overlooking the city and wept at the thought of it.

But his people, the New Israel, would continue. He commanded his disciples to preach the Gospel to ALL nations–a new concept in Judaism. It is not one covenant with a 3500 year tradition being replaced by another. It is one continuous covenant stretching back to Abraham, and before him, to Noah, and to Adam, and from Jesus forward to the present time.


#19

Hello, everyone. I had to get ready for a picnic this afternoon, and
I’m just now getting a chance to check the forums.
[gotta go back to the picnic at some point.]

I’ve read a few more replies, and want to read them thru before
I can respond, adequately, I hope.

Thanks to each of you for taking the time to give me your
thoughts.

reen12

reen12


#20

Hello, WBB,

Your post #14 was grand. I’ve got to mull it over some more.

God bless,

reen12


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