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Featured How Paul changed the course of Christianity

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Trailblazer, Oct 13, 2018.

  1. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    I will voice a few of my objections.
    Paul "Cannot himself have heard at all..." sounds very presumptuous, and I think it is presumptuous as well as incorrect. Surely Paul would have at least asked around, but this paragraph presumes him to be an innocuous baby. Also I found that throughout the OP does not show any cognizance of the writing tradition: there is more than one person writing Paul's writings most likely. It embraces the relatively unknown Ebionites and upholds them as shining stars, the Ebionites who became forgotten and ceased to function, perhaps because they were ineffective. I'd say they were. They are like a dead language. Its easy to put them onto a pedestal, since they can no longer do anything wrong or anything at all.

    Again, probably not one person. Also its not Paul who wrecks things but people who wreck things, because the church grows large and influential and is torn apart by political wrangling. Someone writes by Paul's hand a warning not to be followers of particular teachers, but the churches do not listen. (1 Cor 3:4) Hence they fall into the same fault of the Ebionites, that of being caught up in particular doctrines and followers of particular teachers. No longer is there one teacher, one father. They lose the elasticity needed for a catholic union, and we see infighting very early on in the churches. The Ebionites could have done nothing to help. Blaming Paul is misdirection, and what is the next? What follows is ignoring the real problems that the churches face and then letting them continue to burn.

    What does a Bahai really know about Paul? A Bahai seems forced to compromise with Islam. I can imagine the mental torture required, and it does not provide a clear path for understanding Paul who is trying to build a catholic church and to avoid elevating particular teachers and speakers.

    Paul's letters are all we have, and they show some variation on the subject of the Law. He also recognizes several kinds of Law: the law of sin, Moses law, laws for gentiles. The question is which law he denies has the power of salvation, but he recognizes that Moses laws are powerful for Jews. Perhaps this is a question best answered by catholics and not by Bahai's.

    There are some assumptions in the above, and blame is getting dumped onto a straw figure of Paul. The problem with this is that it avoids assigning responsibility where it is due: on the people. They messed up, even with the Holy Spirit's guidance. They failed to remain brothers and allowed Paul's dream to be damaged. Paul actually expects something like this to happen, however and says so. He also expects that despite this Christ will triumph. Christianity has not conquered the world, either. That is ridiculous. The world is not Christian nor has it ever been.

    They weren't just 'Conservatives'. They were against the concept of a catholic faith. They absolutely did not believe the time had come. If it were up to them we might all be barbarians today, because they would have snuffed out the catholic movement. They would not let the little children come to Jesus.

    Praise be to the Ebionites who are actually good Muslims! This sounds like a bad attempt to prop up Islam and so to prop up Baha'i religion indirectly. Here is how I think of the Ebionites: Ebionites were brittle, picky, unaccepting. They were all the things that were wrong with the council of Nicea, just hundreds of years ahead of time. Hence they ceased to function early. The church today still is trying to make a go of it and trying to be accepting, but that is the long road. There is a long road ahead to catholicism which may still be achievable but not without some changes. Even so, I don't think Islam is the end of that road. Islam is very factional and will always be so I think. Its just so unchangeable that it seems doomed, but Baha'i are forced to cling to it and to confess it and to apologize for it.

    Syncretism is present in the gospels and sourced in Jeremiah, Isaiah, Zechariah and others, but it is convenient for the OP to argue it is Paul's invention. What Paul believes is that there is no longer a Canaanite, so when he reads Zechariah 14:20 it means to him something other than it means to a Muslim. A Muslim believes everyone must submit. The two are orthogonal opposed. The Baha'i seems forced to hammer against Paul and beautify the Ebionites, who were nevertheless not catholic at all.

    Oh, yes. This is because of the sudden translation of the Bible into common languages and the rise of churches formed with no understanding of the ancient cultures. I think, however, that modern archeology is making a huge difference and will continue to do so. Perhaps the churches can be softened and learn to give up the self destructive tendency to idolize leaders. Perhaps things can change for the better, and maybe catholicism is going to revive soon.

    That seems debatable, because he does not allow his disciples to say that to anyone. He says it to a Samaritan women in a passage that is considered to be a late addition (per Bart Ehrman's book Misquoting Jesus), but he does not say to people "I am the messiah." I think it would be idolatrous for any man to say it. What was king Cyrus if not idolatrous, yet he was a messiah.
     
  2. Redemptionsong

    Redemptionsong Well-Known Member

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    Paul was clearly not a deceiver, but an educated Pharisee, called to serve the Lord. The Tanakh contains the prophecies that relate to the salvation of the Gentiles, and it was Paul who ended up as the apostle chiefly responsible for this missionary work.
    All the apostles, Israelites by birth, had the difficult task of working out how to deal with Gentile inclusion in the Church.

    The words of Jesus to his apostles makes it clear that the apostles were to go to the Jews first, and only then to the Gentiles. Acts 1:8, 'But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.'

    This is just the manner in which the witness occurred. Firstly, in Jerusalem, at Pentecost. Then in Judea, as thousands responded to the apostles witness, and then in Samaria. Finally, the apostles accepted that this was a message for all people, everywhere.

    The message to Jew and Gentile was everywhere the same. Ephesians 2:18, 'For through him [Jesus Christ] we both [Jew and Gentile] have access by one Spirit unto the Father.'

    And in Galatians 3:28, 'There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

    It was probably the fear of losing an identity provided by the Law that caused many Jews to fall back on religious traditions. The Law has always been perfect [Psalm 19:7], so many were doubtful about a new way. And once the religious authorities had convinced the people that Jesus was a false Messiah, based on his crucifixion and failure to establish national peace, it was a short step to a general persecution of Christians.

    The irony of the national rejection of Christ is that events would make it impossible for Jews to follow the Torah. Many of the laws relate to the Temple, which after 70 CE was no longer in existence. And when the diaspora occurred, further obstacles stood in the way of a Jewish adherence to the Law. So the physical temple is destroyed and in its place is a spiritual temple, with Christ as the cornerstone. As scripture says, 'The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner:' (Psalm 118:22,23/Mark 12:10).
     
  3. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    I do not know what you mean by “made up.” Made up by whom? I certainly do see the contradictions you noted on that thread. I would not have any idea what that means but the Bible is full of contradictions, and it is not wholly authentic.

    From Letters Written on Behalf of the Guardian:

    ...The Bible is not wholly authentic, and in this respect is not to be compared with the Qur'an, and should be wholly subordinated to the authentic writings of Bahá'u'lláh.
    (28 July 1936 to a National Spiritual Assembly)

    ...we cannot be sure how much or how little of the four Gospels are accurate and include the words of Christ and His undiluted teachings, all we can be sure of, as Bahá'ís, is that what has been quoted by Bahá'u'lláh and the Master must be absolutely authentic. As many times passages in the Gospel of St. John are quoted we may assume that it is his Gospel and much of it accurate.
    (23 January 1944 to an individual believer)

    The Bible: Extracts on the Old and New Testaments

    To a Christian the Comforter is the indwelt Holy Spirit.

    To a Baha’i, the Comforter is a word that refers to a Manifestation of God who would bring the Holy Spirit. Jesus was a Comforter and Baha’u’llah was another Comforter as noted in John 14:16. Baha’u’llah claimed to be the Comforter and I would not be a Baha’i if I did not believe that He was who He claimed to be.

    “Give ear unto that which the Dove of Eternity warbleth upon the twigs of the Divine Lote-Tree: O peoples of the earth! We sent forth him who was named John to baptize you with water, that your bodies might be cleansed for the appearance of the Messiah. He, in turn, purified you with the fire of love and the water of the spirit in anticipation of these Days whereon the All-Merciful hath purposed to cleanse you with the water of life at the hands of His loving providence. This is the Father foretold by Isaiah, and the Comforter concerning Whom the Spirit had covenanted with you. Open your eyes, O concourse of bishops, that ye may behold your Lord seated upon the Throne of might and glory.

    Say: O peoples of all faiths! Walk not in the ways of them that followed the Pharisees and thus veiled themselves from the Spirit. They truly have strayed and are in error. The Ancient Beauty is come in His Most Great Name, and He wisheth to admit all mankind into His most holy Kingdom. The pure in heart behold the Kingdom of God manifest before His Face. Make haste thereunto and follow not the infidel and the ungodly. Should your eye be opposed thereto, pluck it out. 2 Thus hath it been decreed by the Pen of the Ancient of Days, as bidden by Him Who is the Lord of the entire creation. He, verily, hath come again that ye might be redeemed, O peoples of the earth. Will ye slay Him Who desireth to grant you eternal life? Fear God, O ye who are endued with insight.” The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, pp. 63-64
     
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  4. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    No, I am not saying that Muhammad and Baha’u’llah were God. They were Manifestations of God. Jesus was a Manifestation of God, not God incarnate. Jesus was also the Son of God, but not biologically, because God does not have children. The Son of God refers to the “relationship” Jesus had with God, as a Father to a Son.

    God cannot incarnate His Essence and reveal it to man.

    “Know thou of a certainty that the Unseen can in no wise incarnate His Essence and reveal it unto men. He is, and hath ever been, immensely exalted beyond all that can either be recounted or perceived. From His retreat of glory His voice is ever proclaiming: “Verily, I am God; there is none other God besides Me, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise. I have manifested Myself unto men, and have sent down Him Who is the Day Spring of the signs of My Revelation. Through Him I have caused all creation to testify that there is none other God except Him, the Incomparable, the All-Informed, the All-Wise.” He Who is everlastingly hidden from the eyes of men can never be known except through His Manifestation, and His Manifestation can adduce no greater proof of the truth of His Mission than the proof of His own Person.Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 49

    The Manifestations can be considered God, but only in the sense that they perfectly reflect the names and attributes of God.

    “Were any of the all-embracing Manifestations of God to declare: “I am God,” He, verily, speaketh the truth, and no doubt attacheth thereto. For it hath been repeatedly demonstrated that through their Revelation, their attributes and names, the Revelation of God, His names and His attributes, are made manifest in the world.......And were any of them to voice the utterance, “I am the Messenger of God,” He, also, speaketh the truth, the indubitable truth .......... For they are all but one person, one soul, one spirit, one being, one revelation. They are all the manifestation of the “Beginning” and the “End,” the “First” and the “Last,” the “Seen” and the “Hidden”—all of which pertain to Him Who is the Innermost Spirit of Spirits and Eternal Essence of Essences. And were they to say, “We are the Servants of God,” this also is a manifest and indisputable fact. For they have been made manifest in the uttermost state of servitude, a servitude the like of which no man can possibly attain. Thus in moments in which these Essences of Being were deep immersed beneath the oceans of ancient and everlasting holiness, or when they soared to the loftiest summits of Divine mysteries, they claimed their utterances to be the Voice of Divinity, the Call of God Himself.”
    Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 54-55
    The spirit is the connection that man has with God, and when this dies a man is in a state of sin. That is why Adam's transgression of God's law resulted in an immediate spiritual death and led God to ask, 'Where art thou?' (Genesis 3:9)

    When the gift of Holy Spirit does dwell in a man, then he is a 'new creation'. All the things you listed, except final judgment, are part of the responsibility of the body of Christ, the true Church. Remember, it is not one individual member, but the whole body that ministers in the power and fruit of the Holy Spirit. And side-by-side with the true Church is a false religion that does its best to undermine the work of Christ.

    The Holy Spirit cannot dwell within a man. Rather, God speaks to the Manifestations of God such as Jesus through the Holy Spirit.... In other words, the Holy Spirit is a medium through which God communicates... The Holy Spirit is the Bounty of God that emanates from God. The Holy Spirit cannot proceed from anyone but God. The Holy Spirit was sent by God to the Manifestations of God and they brought it to humanity. Indeed, they released it into the whole world. The Holy Spirit reflects upon humans and is associated with their intellectual reality but it does not descend into their bodies as most Christians believe.

    The Holy Spirit does not live inside anyone’s body, not inside the body of Jesus and or inside the body of anyone else. Entrance and exit, descent and ascent, are characteristics of bodies and not of spirits. Intellectual subtleties and mental realities such as the Holy Spirit do not enter, nor come forth, nor descend into the body, but rather they have direct connection to the body through the soul, which is associated with the mind while we are alive in the physical body.
    It is true that you have to do more than just believe in Jesus to gain eternal life. Obedience to the teachings and commandments of Jesus are also necessary.

    All of the promises of Jesus to send the Holy Spirit were promises to send Baha’u’llah, who was the Comforter and the Spirit of Truth and who brought the Holy Spirit to humanity.
     
  5. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    @ Brickjectivity

    Thanks for your feedback. As it says in the OP, this is an excerpt from the book entitled The Light Shineth in Darkness, Studies in revelation after Christ by Udo Schaefer. It is important to note that the views expressed by this author reflect his individual perspective and do not represent the official views of the Baha'i Faith.

    The Baha’i Faith does not agree with the Ebionites regarding the nature of Jesus because we believe that Jesus was a Manifestation of God, not just an ordinary human being. So we also disagree with Jews and Muslims, since both those religions believe that Moses and Muhammad were merely human beings, Prophets. Baha’is believe that a Manifestation of God is human but He is more than human. He has to have a human nature in order for humans to be able to understand Him, but He also has a divine nature.

    A Manifestation of God is not an ordinary human; He is another order of creation. Only He can understand His divine nature because He His divine nature is beyond out level of comprehension. We can only comprehend his human nature. We can understand that he has a divine nature but we cannot understand about His divine nature. It is perhaps for this very reason that from the very beginning Christians did not understand the nature of Jesus. They knew He was more than a man, so they eventually settled upon that He was God incarnate, but Jesus never claimed to be God, not once. It is simply the way that Christian interpreted verses that caused them to conclude this about Him and once it was decided upon at councils such as Nicaea it became Church doctrine it has been a part of mainstream Christianity ever since.

    You said “They messed up, even with the Holy Spirit's guidance.” I do not believe that the Holy Spirit guides anyone except the Manifestations of God. Please refer to the post above if you want my take on that.

    Personally, I believe that what Christianity because is not the Christianity of Jesus, but I do not know how much of this is owing to Paul. I do not know enough about the history of Christianity or the Bible to have an opinion, but I agree with the following regarding how the Church changed the teachings of Jesus into something Jesus never said. Please note that this is not from the “authoritative writings” of the Baha’i Faith. It was written by George Townshend in the early 20th century. He was a dignitary of the Anglican Church in Ireland and a Canon of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin who resigned his Orders after forty years to proclaim his conviction that Christ has come again to an unheeding world in the person of Baha’u’llah. Since he had been a Christian for over forty years, and because he had been appointed one of the Hands of the Cause of God, I think he has the qualifications to comment on Christianity. He also cites Bible verses to back up his views.

    Chapter Four: THE FALSE PROPHETS

    As Jesus prophesied, the false prophets contrived to change the essential meaning of the Gospel so that it became quite different from that which the Bible recorded or Jesus taught. (Matt. Vii 15-23 and see pp. 11, 12).

    It has long been generally believed that Jesus Christ was a unique incarnation of God such as had never before appeared in religious history and would never appear again. This tenet made the acceptance of any later Prophet impossible to a Christian. Yet there is nothing in Christ’s own statements, as recorded in the Gospel, to support this view, and it was not generally held during His lifetime.

    Jesus emphatically claimed to reveal God, Whom He called Father, but continually differentiated Himself from the Father. In many such references as “Him that sent me,” “my Father is greater than I,” (John xiv 28). “I go to the Father,” (John xvi 16). “I will pray the Father,” (John xiv 16). “I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me,” (John vii 28). He made this abundantly clear, and even stated specifically that the Father had knowledge which was not possessed by the Son. “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” (Mark xiii 32). He referred to Himself as the Son, and as a Prophet, (Matt. Xiii 57, Luke xiii 33) and was so regarded, (Matt. xxi 11, Luke vii 16) and related His Mission to those of Moses and Abraham before Him, and to others to come after Him, specifically “he, the Spirit of truth, “who would reveal the things which Jesus did not. (John xvi 12,13).

    The followers of every world religion have invented for themselves a similar belief in the uniqueness and finality of their own Prophet. The result has been that no religion has acknowledged a Prophet of a later religion. The Hindus do not acknowledge Buddha, the Buddhists to not acknowledge Christ, nor yet do the Zoroastrians. The result of this delusive belief has been that the world religions have not tended to the unifying of mankind but rather to its further division.

    Another opinion which Christians universally hold about Christ is that His teaching was absolute and final. They believe that if the Truth were partly withheld from them for a time because they could not bear it, it was divulged at Pentecost in its fullness and that now nothing remains to be revealed. But there is nothing in the account of Pentecost to suggest such an interpretation and there is no one who will believe that Jesus would have named the false prophets as characteristic of His age if this warning was to be followed by an immediate release of all Truth to the Church. What the Bible shows is rather a succession of teachers—Abraham, Moses and Christ, each measuring His Revelation to the needs and maturity of His authors: Jesus, for example, changes the divorce law and says, “Moses gave you this because of the hardness of your hearts but from the beginning it was not so.” Many times He says, Ye have heard it said by them of old time . . . but I say unto you . . .”

    Another universal opinion among the Christians is that Christ was the Lord of Hosts of the Old Testament. Yet the Jewish Prophets had foretold that when the Lord of Hosts came He would not find the Jews in the Holy Land, all would have been scattered among the nations and would have been living in misery and degradation for centuries; but when Jesus came Palestine was full of Jews and their expulsion did not begin until the year 70 A.D.; it may be said to have continued till the year 1844.

    To confirm orthodox Christian opinion it is customary in all churches to read on Christmas morning, as if it referred to Jesus, the passage which Isaiah wrote about the Lord of Hosts (Isaiah ix 6-7).

    “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”

    Yet the descriptive titles given do not belong exclusively to Christ, while some of them He specifically repudiated as if to make such a mistaken reference to Himself impossible. He disclaimed being the Mighty God when He called Himself “the Son of God;” (John v 18-47)where Jesus repudiates the charge that He claimed equality with God, disclaimed being the Father when He said, “my Father is greater than I;” (John xviii 36) and being the Prince of Peace when He said, “I came not to send peace, but a sword.” (Matt. x 34). He disclaimed bearing the government upon His shoulder or that it would be His judgment and justice forever when He said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” (John xviii 36).

    Many of these false interpretations involve repudiation of the Word of God in favor of the word of man. This impious act is so craftily performed, with such an air of humility, that it might escape the notice of the most sincere and devout of worshippers. Probably few churchgoers realize today that the Gospel of Christ as known to the few in the pulpit is wholly different from the Gospel which Christ preached in Galilee as recorded in the Bible.

    In spite of Christ’s promise of further revelation of Truth, through the Comforter, through His own return, through the Spirit of Truth, the Christian Church regards His revelation as final, and itself as the sole trustee of true religion. There is no room for the Supreme Redeemer of the Bible to bring in great changes for the establishment of the Kingdom of God. In fact this Kingdom is often described as a world-wide Church.

    Having thus closed God’s Covenant with the Bible, sacred history—God-directed—came to an end, and secular history, having no sense of divine destiny nor unity, began.

    Jesus’ revelation was purely spiritual. He taught that “My kingdom is not of this world” and that the “Kingdom of heaven is within you.” His great gift to man was the knowledge of eternal life. He told men that they might be physically in perfect health and yet spiritually sick or even dead. But this was a difficult truth to communicate and Jesus had to help men to realize it. He would say that He was a spiritual physician and that men whom He cured of a spiritual disability were cured of blindness, deafness, lameness, leprosy and so on. This was the real meaning of His remark at the end of a discourse, “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” For a hearer might hear the physical word of Jesus and yet fail to comprehend the spiritual meaning. Jesus, in other words, was forever trying to heal spiritual infirmities. He thus would be understood by His disciples as a healer of spiritual ailments but by others He might be taken as relieving physical ills only.

    Doubtless Jesus could, and often did, heal bodily ills by spiritual means, but this was nothing to do with His real work as a Redeemer. On the other hand these spiritual cures which he effected might be misinterpreted as physical miracles, and so were little stressed by Him. (“See that no man know it.” Matt ix 30.

    Christ’s spiritual mission was, at an early date, materialized, specifically in regard to such things as the miracles, curing the blind and deaf, raising the dead. Even His own resurrection was made physical, missing the point entirely. Moreover, none of the complex order, of the ceremonies, rituals and litanies of the Church can be attributed to Christ. All are man-made, by inference or invention.

    Well might Christ warn His followers that false prophets would arise and misinterpret His teachings so as to delude even the most earnest and intelligent of His believers: from early times Christians have disputed about Christian truth in councils, in sects, in wars.

    To sum up, if Christians say “our acts may be wrong,” they say truly. If they say “however our Gospel is right” they are quite wrong. The false prophets have corrupted the Gospel as successfully as they have the deeds and lives of Christian people.

    (George Townshend, Christ and Baha'u'llah, pp. 25-30)


    To read the book: Christ and Baha'u'llah
     
  6. IndigoChild5559

    IndigoChild5559 Loving God and my neighbor as myself.

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    Hi Redemption. Very nice to meet you on this holy day -- Shabbat shalom. Since this is our first conversation, please know that I'm not here to convert you away from Christianity. I merely hope to have an enjoyable intellectual discussion with you. Since you worship God and live a life of virtue, you are a-okay in the eyes of Jews.

    Actually the Tanakh says almost nothing about Gentiles -- It's a book written by Jews about Jews for Jews. It basically says that God cares about Gentiles and their behavior, and that in the messianic era, Gentiles will keep Sukkot and come to worship at the Temple, which will be a house of worship for all nations. But that's it. Jonah and a few other verses.

    Actually those are the words of Paul, not Jesus. Jesus actually instructed his disciples to AVOID Gentiles in their mission work, and stated that he had come to the "lost sheep" (sinners) of Israel (IOW not th nations). The verses about going unto all the world are believeed by scholars to have been added later in Chuch history.

    This verse indicates per Paul that all are equal before God and all have the identical opportunity for grace though Jesus, as the stry goes. It does not mean that there aren't Jews and Gentiles, just as it doesn't mean there aren't males and females.

    Your scriptures teach different behavioral roles for men and women. Men are the head of women as Jesus is the head of the man. Women are to submit. Women arre not to teach men, and are to remain silent in church. I'm not going to pass judgment on those cultural roles--the point was there was differentation between men and woman -- a guyway of doing things and a gal way.

    In the same way, there is a Jewish way of doing things and a Gentile way. This is not contrary to Paul teaching there is neither Jew nor Greek as we have seen.

    We learn from the Council of Jerusalem that Gentile believers are not required to become circumcised and come under the Law, but we turn around and read in Acts 21 that all the Jewish believers were "zealous for Torah", even bringing sacrifices (even Paul).

    It is not idle fear. When Jews stop observing the Torah and assimilate Gentile culture, within only several generations, their grandchildren no longer identify as Jews, and their entire line is lost to Israel.

    But it's more than that. This is our everlasting covenant with God. We should keep it for no other reason than that.

    Nonsense. We can follow Torah just fine.

    I'm sure you must be referring to the loss of the temple and inability to offer sacrifice. You may not be aware of it, but Hosea told us long ago what to do should there be no temple (i.e. during the time of Daniel). "The words of our lips (prayers) shall be as calves (sacrifices)." Hosea 14:2 The three daily prayer times for Jews are named after the three daily sacrifices. And this is why Daniel prayed three times a day. Surely you don't think that Daniel didn't keep the Law!!

    Take care. :)
     
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  7. wizanda

    wizanda One Accepts All Religious Texts
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    When we dissect the Gospel of John carefully, we find much of it being information only the Sanhedrin would have known; where it is purposely bias to put the Jews off accepting Yeshua, and implying their hand in the authorship.

    Here is an article explaining how it has Pharisaic origins.

    If John can be consistently shown to be disinformation, we can not use it for building a theological house of cards, as it all falls down.

    In my opinion. :innocent:
     
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  8. Redemptionsong

    Redemptionsong Well-Known Member

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    Shabbat Shalom, IndigoChild5559,
    Good to speak with you.
    As I see it, there may be little said about the Church in the Tanakh, but it's enough to demonstrate that God had a plan of salvation that extended to all the peoples of this world.

    This is what Moses prophesied: Deuteronomy 32:21. 'They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.'
    This is what Isaiah prophesied. Isaiah 65:1. 'I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name.'

    It's true, the Lord Jesus came for the 'lost sheep of Israel' at His advent, but the commission given to the apostles was to take the Good News to the ends of the earth.

    In the New Testament, Paul explains why this 'mystery' of the Church, the foolish nation, made up of individual Jews and Gentiles, had to remain hidden in the Hebrew scriptures.

    1 Corinthians 7,8: 'But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory:'
    [I hope you appreciate this text, because it is amazing!]

    Romans 11:25; ' For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.'

    Again in Ephesians 1:5, 'Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.'

    Ephesians 1:10. 'That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in him:'

    As regards Acts 21: In the context, we read that Paul was returning to Jerusalem from his journeys. At Tyre, disciples told Paul he should not go to Jerusalem because they understood (in the spirit) that trouble lay ahead (verse 4). Then a prophet called Agabus shows Paul that he will be bound and handed to the Gentiles by hostile Jews (verse11).
    In Jerusalem, Paul is accused of teaching 'the Jews which are amongst the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.' Paul is then asked to demonstrate by purification, that he 'walkest orderly, and keepest the law.' He is happy to oblige, but he never makes an offering, because 'when the seven days [of purification] were almost ended, the Jews which were in Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him.' In Numbers 6:9 we read that the offering is made on the eighth day. So Paul never made an offering. But this does not mean that he did not keep the law, because in Christ he goes beyond the law, in love. The offerings he now made were all unto Christ in the spiritual realm.

    If a man is born-again of Christ's spirit, then he lives unto Christ, whether he be Jew or Gentile. It doesn't therefore matter if there are differences in custom, as Paul says, 'One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.'

    What matters is that a person live in Christ, and not according to the flesh. 'Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For all are children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.' (Galatians 2:23-25)

    Finally, as regards the Temple and Daniel. As you know, Daniel was a prophet in a foreign land. He may have prayed three times a day but he couldn't keep the law of Moses. Exodus 23:17 states, 'Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord GOD.' [At Pesach, Shavuot and Succot.] Did Daniel appear before the Lord GOD in Jerusalem at the Temple three times every year? No.

    Daniel said this, 'Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his ways, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.' (Daniel 9:10,11)

    Daniel says 'WE' because he includes himself in the nation of Israel. Therefore it is possible to conclude that Daniel did not keep the law. He was, however, repentant of his transgression.

    The kingdom cannot be restored to Israel until all Israel repent and receive their LORD [Jesus Christ].
     
    #48 Redemptionsong, Oct 27, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2018
  9. Redemptionsong

    Redemptionsong Well-Known Member

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    Trailblazer, you say that Jesus, Muhammad and Baha'u'llah were not God. Then answer me these simple questions:
    Was Muhammad without sin?
    Was Baha'u'llah without sin?
    Was Jesus without sin?
     
  10. IndigoChild5559

    IndigoChild5559 Loving God and my neighbor as myself.

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    Hello again! Yes, it's a beautiful day to love and serve our God, baruch Hashem.

    There actually isn't a single mention of the Christian church in the Tanakh. However, if verses regarding Israel inspire the church, more power to you. I condemn replacement theology as being a root of anti-Semitism, but I'll be the first to say that Gentiles having the Torah has made the world a better place.

    I believe that the Apostles moved away from Jesus when they began outreach to the Gentiles, especially Paul. A few Gentiles is one thing. A massive missionary movement is definitely not what Jesus wanted. (Remember I think that the Great Commission was added to your scriptures later in time.)

    Just to clarify something for future conversations --
    Remember that I don't accept your Christian scriptures as authoritative. To me they are no different than the Book of Mormon or the Quran or the Vedas, meaning they some wisdom, but also mistakes. Although all of these are valuable to the world, they simply aren't MY sacred texts and I do not base my beliefs on them. I may speak of them as works of literature, or as sources for what their respective religions teach. IOW, I might quote a letter by Paul to you to show you something that is Christian teaching, but I myself feel no obligation to adopt Christian teaching.

    On to other issues. What you think matters and what I think matters are very different. I go with Ecclesiastes 12:13 -- "When all is said and done, one thing remains: fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole of man."

    When Daniel speaks of WE broke God's commandments, he is not being personal. He is speaking of Israel, of which he is a part. But he is not saying he was a part of the great idolatry. Or perhaps he was, but repented. The point is, in Babylon, Daniel kept the law. The sacred texts are clear on that.

    Again, as Hosea is clear about, "The words of our lips (prayers) are as calves (sacrifices)." And just as Jews could keep the Law in Babylon, so we can keep it today.

    Keep in mind that Israel cannot live in the promised Land unless we are on good terms with Hashem.
     
  11. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Hello, IndigoChild. First off, I'd just like to say how much I enjoy your posts and how refreshing I find your attitude of tolerace and respect to be. I wonder why you, as a Jew, do not believe Jesus did not want his message to be for the gentiles? I believe that His own ministry was definitely solely to the children of Israel, but that His gospel message applied to all. It seems kind of odd to me, that you, as a non-Christian, would really even have an opinion on this issue.
     
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  12. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    Muhammad, Baha'u'llah and Jesus were Manifestations of God.
    Manifestations of God represent the Will of God, so They cannot sin.
    Yes, they were all without sin.

    In the Baha'i Faith, Divine unity means that whatever pertains to the Manifestations of God is identical to the Will of God.

    “The essence of belief in Divine unity consisteth in regarding Him Who is the Manifestation of God and Him Who is the invisible, the inaccessible, the unknowable Essence as one and the same. By this is meant that whatever pertaineth to the former, all His acts and doings, whatever He ordaineth or forbiddeth, should be considered, in all their aspects, and under all circumstances, and without any reservation, as identical with the Will of God Himself. This is the loftiest station to which a true believer in the unity of God can ever hope to attain. Blessed is the man that reacheth this station, and is of them that are steadfast in their belief.”
    Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 167
     
  13. IndigoChild5559

    IndigoChild5559 Loving God and my neighbor as myself.

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    Hi Katz. I enjoy your posts as well.

    It all boils down to this. As Jews we believe we have a covenant relationship with God, meaning that we have special responsibilities that other nations don't have because we are called to be an example to the world. In exchange for this, God gives us the promised Land forever. These special responsibilities are the 613 laws of the Torah. Some of them are good morals that everyone should follow like, "Don't murder." But most are things that are peculiar to us as a people, such as "Don't eat shrimp." All of this is called Judaism. Because it is a covenantal relationship between the People of Israel and God, we don't try to proselytize others.

    What we do hope to inspire others to is ethical monotheism. IOW we hope you believe in God and behave like a good decent person.

    In Jesus' day there was an interesting movement among the Pharisees. They sent missionaries out into the diaspora to help teach and support hellenized Jews, and to teach Gentiles about God and turn them into righteous Gentiles (sometimes called God fearers or B'nei Noach, they were ethical monotheists, not practitioners of Judaism). Now it is true that they would run across Gentiles that would be so gung ho that they would willingly desire to be circumcised and take on the 613 (become Jews), and the Pharisees would do these conversions. But this was never the objective.

    Jesus did not preach a new religion. Jesus taught Judaism. He therefore was not interested in converting Gentiles. His interest was in bringing Jews who had fallen into sin back to the way of God, aka the covenant.

    In addition, he was also a Galilean, and as a typical Galilean, he was prejudiced against Gentiles (I can go into this in more detail if you like). In the gospel accounts, he refers to Gentiles as dogs, for example. He specifically tells his disciples to avoid Gentiles on their missionary trip.

    I only have an opinion incidentally, as an intellectual and amateur scholar. I have been a student of comparative religion all my life and have read nearly all the sacred texts of the various religions. I have spent extra time trying to learn about Christianity
    1. first and foremost because I live in a Christian country, and need to understand what is all around me
    2. Christianity and Rabbinical Judaism came out of the same crucible of second Temple Judaism, so I find that era of particular interest. I spent time studying under Dr. Robert Eisenman -- one of the few geniuses that have had direct access to studying the Dead Sea Scrolls, and an expert on Paul and James (although I have come to disagree with his general conclusion).
    3. Jews have suffered under Christian anti-Semitism for nearly 2000 years. I have a great desire to try to understand this baffling phenomenon that has been a source of such suffering for us.
    4. Jesus was, after all, a Jew. I find it fascinating that a major world religion has its origins in the teachings of a Jewish man. It *is* interesting to me that via this one Jew, Torah has spread over all the earth. But there were major changes in the message. I'm just curious, plain curious, how things evolved from Judaism to Christianity.
     
    #53 IndigoChild5559, Oct 28, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
  14. Saint Frankenstein

    Saint Frankenstein Ov Fire and the Void
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    I would like to hear more about the prejudice of the Galileans against Gentiles. It's an interesting topic. Why were they like that?
     
  15. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    I am unaware of him or his book, but thanks for your reply.

    These are core beliefs of most southern baptists and evangelicals, but they are not the whole story of Christianity. Actually they have proven to be hypocritical and pathetic misrepresentations of Christianity which allow evils to go on in our midst: slavery for example. These are what you get when you read the Bible from back to front (backwards) presuming Revelation to be an expose of the Roman Catholic church and presuming the gospels to fairly describe Jewish culture in total. It is a reimagining of Christianity without any cultural cues to help, relying only upon a particular set of books and excluding historical input. To say that these are core beliefs of Christianity is only going to make things worse. Baha'i claim to uphold scholarship highly, so please do so. Do not call their backward teachings the core of Christianity. Please be more specific. They are the core Southern Baptist and Evangelical teachings which sometimes overlap with the core of Christianity but not necessarily.
    Well, of course they are not going to accept the Baha'i Faith if they believe everyone but themselves is damned. On the other hand I should require Baha'i to know better about the 'Core of Christianity', because Baha'i are supposed to be scholars. Why do I keep hearing them preach Oral Roberts and Billy Graham? We have plenty of people doing that and making their millions on the backs of Christians. We don't need their ideas reiterated. We need release from them.
     
  16. Redemptionsong

    Redemptionsong Well-Known Member

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    Good afternoon!
    I'm interested to understand from you what you mean by 'the law'. IMO, the covenant made with Israel, as given by Moses, has both a temporal and eternal meaning, of which the temporal is the physical.

    In the passage you quote, Hosea is giving the law of Moses an eternal and spiritual interpretation - which is what Paul does with all the temporal and ritual law. So Hosea is actually providing a New Testament interpretation.

    This spiritualising and fulfilment of the temporal law is what Jesus Christ was all about. Jeremiah says, 'I the LORD search the heart,' (17:10) and this is exactly what Christ does. He is the face and countenance of God - you cannot know the Lord unless you know His face (IMO).

    Take, as an example, the fulfilment of the festival of Pesach - the festival of freedom from physical slavery. What does Jesus Christ do? He turns it into a festival of freedom from sin - spiritual slavery. At Shavuot what does Jesus Christ do? He sends the Holy Spirit at the very time that Jews celebrate the giving of the law to Moses. The law becomes spiritual. And so it goes on.

    It's not that the Mosaic law is wrong, it's come from God and is holy. But what is hidden must be revealed, and Christ does this. He becomes the true sacrifice that is hidden in all the ritual. He IS the perfection that all prophecy is directed towards.

    Tell me, would you want a return to animal sacrifices in a Temple in Jerusalem?

    The new Jerusalem, of which Revelation speaks, is a city without a Temple. 'And I saw no Temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.'
     
  17. Redemptionsong

    Redemptionsong Well-Known Member

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    Well, Trailblazer, do you realise that you are now going up against everything said in the Bible?

    Romans 3:23 says that 'all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.' Thus indicating that God is holy and without sin, but that all men are sinful.

    This is confirmed in endless places. In 1 Kings 8:46, we find the words, '(for there is no man that sinneth not)'.
    In Psalm 24:3,4, it says 'Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.'

    Then we read that only Christ fits the bill. 1 Peter 2:21-24.
    'Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again: when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.'

    Muhammad and Baha'u'llah were men, born of human parentage; whereas Jesus Christ was born of a heavenly Father and earthly mother. This enabled him to be the true mediator between God and Man. 'For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;' (1 Timothy 2:5)
     
  18. IndigoChild5559

    IndigoChild5559 Loving God and my neighbor as myself.

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    It has to do with the history of Galilee. Galilee had at one time been part of Israel, but the people there had become Hellenized pagans. During the Maccabean wars, when Galilee was taken, the pagans were basically converted by the sword. It is the ONLY time in Jewish history that this was ever done, and no good ever came from it. Trust me when I say we learned our lesson.

    Because the conversions were forced, the Jewish identity of the Galileans was always called into question. Even the children and grandchildren of these forced converts were considered suspicious.

    Because of this, Galileans had an inferiority complex. They constantly had to prove to others and to themselves that they were real Jews.

    One of the results of this is that they turned on non-Jews. It is as if to say, "Look, we are so not you that we hate you. We want nothing to do with you, you dogs, because we are Jews and you aren't."
     
    #58 IndigoChild5559, Oct 28, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
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  19. IndigoChild5559

    IndigoChild5559 Loving God and my neighbor as myself.

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    I usually capitalize Law (sorry for the typo in my post)to show that I'm referring to the Torah (the first 5 books of the Bible). Strictly speaking, Torah actually translates as "instructions," but it does include 613 rules for Jewish behavior, everything from don't murder to don't mix linen and wool. Somes of these rules (or laws) are really binding on everyone, such as don't steal. But most of them are particular to the People of Israel, such as don't eat shrimp.

    There is nothing in the Torah that refers to an afterlife. I know that Christians like to read things into the text, but at face value, there is simply nothing there about any life after death.

    You'll have to be much more specific -- I really have no idea what you are talking about. Start by quoting the verse, then show step by step how it means what you say. Pleas focus and don't go off onto a different topic like Paul and temporal/ritual law.

    "I the Lord search the heart" (Jer 17:10) has nothing to do with spiritualizing the law or fulfilliling it.

    I've read your Christian Scriptures, and I don't see anything to support a figurative (spiritual) teaching of the law by Jesus at all. Jesus taught obedience to th Torah, in full, both written and oral. He DID prioritize it, stating that one needed to observe the basics of the written Torah FIRST and THEN add the oral Torah. But he was talkig about the same Torah that the Pharisees taught (Matthew 23:1-3, Matthew 23:23)

    The Christian ritual of the Lord's Supper and the Feast of Pentecost are not the same as Passover and Shavuot. Our holy days remain as they always have been.

    It's not a matter of my personal desires. Although according to Hosea we can keep the sacrificial laws with prayers, it is still asked of us to build a house of worship in Jerusalem if we can. IOW, it's not a matter of if, but when. There are obstacles to be overcome. I am not the sort of Jew that goes around destroying mosques. Something must be negotiated that will be neither good nor bad for each side. I think it needs to be remembered that in the messianic era the Temple will be a house of worship for ALL peoples not just Jews. Perhaps that is what we should shoot for, as a way of inviting the messiah.
     
  20. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    Baha’is believe in the Virgin birth but the fact that Jesus was born of a virgin does not mean that God was His Father in a biological sense. God does not have biological children. The Virgin Birth is simply a miracle and we do not understand how it happened. For whatever reason, God chose to have Jesus be born miraculously. Jesus performed miracles but Moses and Muhammad and Baha’u’llah also performed miracles. That demonstrates that they were more than ordinary humans.

    The Virgin Birth is unrelated to the fact that Jesus was sinless. All the Manifestations of God were sinless because they all did the Will of God and God is without sin.

    The Virgin Birth is not what enabled Jesus to be a mediator between God and Man. What allowed that was His divine nature, His universal divine mind.

    As a Manifestation of God, Baha’u’llah was not just an ordinary human being, nor was Moses or Muhammad. The difference is that ordinary human souls come into being at the moment of conception, but the souls of the Manifestations of God (Prophets) have always existed in the spiritual world, which is why we Baha’is refer to their souls as Pre-existent Souls.

    (96) PRE-EXISTENCE - of Prophets
    The Prophets, unlike us, are pre-existent. The soul of Christ existed in the spiritual world before His birth in this world. We cannot imagine what that world is like, so words are inadequate to picture His state of being. (Shoghi Effendi: High Endeavors, Page: 71)

    This is a very important concept because this is one thing that differentiates the Manifestation of God from ordinary human beings. It was in the spiritual world that their Souls were given the “capacity” to receive God’s revelation on earth and to communicate it to humanity in a way in which we can comprehend it. Since the rest of us are only human we can neither receive messages from God nor can we communicate God’s messages to humanity in a way that they can be understood by all. We just do not have that capacity.

    A Manifestation of God is human, but more than a human. He has a human nature so He can communicate to humans and act as a mediator, but He also has a universal divine mind, which is beyond our understanding. We can understand His human side, but not His divine side.

    Only the Manifestations of God have a universal divine mind, heavenly intellectual power, which is beyond nature, embraces things and is cognizant of things, knows them, understands them, is aware of mysteries, realities and divine significations. A portion and share of this power comes to the righteous man through the Messengers of God.

    'For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;' (1 Timothy 2:5)

    This verse applied to the Dispensation of Jesus Christ and is similar to this verse:

    John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

    When Jesus said He was the Way, Jesus was referring to that time period in history and He meant that He was the Only Way to God (the only mediator) during his dispensation. Every Manifestation of God is the Way to God during their dispensation. No Manifestation is the Only Way to God for all time since there will always be another Manifestation of God in the future.
     
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