Fusion and Confusion

Fusion and Confusion

 

When people of two different cultures attempt to communicate with each other, they often encounter difficulties. There are several factors that serve to frustrate the efforts of these two different people to converse with each other. One of these impediments is the fusing together of two concepts in the mind of one of the participants in the conversation.

 

For the sake of illustration let us take the concepts of success and happiness. In the mind of the Western world the concept of success is fused together with the concepts of fame and wealth and happiness is intimately associated with instant gratification. If a person who is inculcated with the mentality of the modern Western civilization attempts to talk about happiness and success with a person from another culture that does not share in these artificial associations, there is bound to be some misunderstanding between them. Whenever the word happiness is mentioned in the conversation the Westerner will be thinking “instant gratification”, while that concept may not be the intention of his counter-part at all.

 

In order for people to have meaningful conversation it is necessary to identify these potential impediments that could stand in the way of people’s attempts to understand each other.

 

The impediment of artificial fusion of concepts is pronounced in the ongoing conversation between Jews and Christians. In the mind of the Christian the concepts of: “God” and “Jesus” are fused together. The Christian mind sees these as one entity. When the Jew says “God”, the Christian hears “Jesus” while the Jew never meant Jesus to begin with. When the Jew accuses the Christian of worshiping an idol, the Christian is baffled. In the Christian mind the God of Israel is inextricably intertwined with the Jesus of the Christian Scriptures. When the Jew talks of rejecting Jesus, the Christian hears a rejection of the God of the Jewish Bible.

 

The first step in a meaningful conversation would be to attempt to untangle this confusion, but it is not so easily accomplished. You may explain to the Christian that God and Jesus are not one and the same and that the two concepts could be separated. The Christian will perhaps understand you on an intellectual level, but the association between “God” and “Jesus” in the Christian mind runs much deeper than the intellect. Every emotion and every feeling that the Christian associates with God is also attributed in his or her heart to Jesus. It is very difficult for a Christian to disentangle these two concepts.

 

It would be premature to attempt to prove to a Christian that Jesus is not God and that God is not Jesus as long as the two words are synonymous in his or her heart. It is first necessary to establish a working language before attempting to engage in a complicated conversation. In the emotional vocabulary of the Christian, the word “God” means “Jesus” and the word “Jesus” means “God”. It is as if there was a language barrier preventing communication between the Jew and the Christian. That language barrier must be crossed before a meaningful discussion could begin.

 

Perhaps one way to overcome this language barrier is to use the words “God without Jesus” instead of using the word “God” alone. If you succeeded in breaking the language barrier, you can them begin talking with your Christian counter-part. You can only know that you broke the barrier if the Christian you are talking with is not comfortable with the term: “God without Jesus”. If the Christian is too comfortable with the concept of “God without Jesus” then these two concepts (“God” and “Jesus”) are still fused together in his or her mind and even though you are saying: “God without Jesus” the Christian is still thinking “God with Jesus”.

 

Perhaps you might need to take it a step further. You might try to explain that when you say “God without Jesus” you mean the Creator of heaven and earth accomplishing all He needs to accomplish in His universe without coming down to earth as a human. You might want to articulate that you are thinking of a God whose relationship with humanity is complete in every way without Him having to come down in an incarnation. Ask the Christian you are talking with to attempt to conceptualize this idea – “God without any possibility of Jesus”. Try to get him or her to imagine a universe where Jesus was not and will not be born. If the Christian you are talking with has understood the concept of “God without Jesus” – you could then begin the conversation.

 

You might want to explain to you Christian friend that the Jewish people have a covenant with this entity called “God without Jesus”. They share a deep and intimate relationship with this entity – a relationship that the Scriptures compare to a marriage. If this entity is too small for your Christian friend, you may want to explain to him or her that this is the One who we followed into the wilderness out of pure love (Jeremiah 2:1). It is to this God (the One without Jesus) who we are loyal to and we will stand for His truth forever.

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Thank You

Yisroel C. Blumenthal

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10 Responses to Fusion and Confusion

  1. Jeffery Graff says:

    As a Christian, I really never had this problem. I certainly comprehend belief in God without Jesus. I certainly can’t understand why other Christians have this problem. I have talked with some Christians who can’t see one without the other, but I think they’ve got serious doctrinal problems.

  2. @Jeffery actually, the definition of Christian implies that you totally accept the Nicene Creed of 325 CE which says that Jesus is 100% God and 100% human that basically expresses the concept that Jesus and God are synonymous and that you cannot separate them. Something analogous to water, ice and steam all being Two Hydrogens and One Oxygen Molecule, but in different states at different temperatures. You cannot really suggest that Steam and Ice are not the same entity. That is what Mainstream Christianity imposes as doctrinal on its adherents. Of course before 325 CE there were different understandings of the Triune doctrine, but it was set as it stands today at Nicea in 325 CE.

  3. To all those Christians out there. I would posit the following dilemma: If we address the following point that Jesus came to save the world from eternal damnation as is states in John 3:16; we see as the Gospel suggests that Jesus was born, and reborn on the cross, we see that Jesus introduces a new revelation and new achievement of reaching heaven. The fact that Jesus was born, we have to imagine a world as prior to Jesus. If we posit that Jesus represents a new approach to Divine Salvation, then we have to posit (since it is pointed out that the New Testament represents a New Covenant, to replace the Old), we have to understand that there is a pre- and post- Jesus world-view. A Christian World View must understand the didactic nature of this position, and therefore we have to understand properly what a pre-Jesus world looks like. If we posit that Rabbi Blumenthal suggests that Jesus and God are synonymous then what is a pre-Jesus world vis a vis a post-Jesus World, given that position? In other words what does Jesus accomplish in the flesh, that requires his coming, given that Jesus and God are synonymous? We see therefore from the question, that they cannot be the same, and that there is a fundamental difference between God the Father and Jesus, even in a post-resurrection era. Given that then, we have to understand that Rabbi Blumenthal’s observation about Christian debate may be correct in terms of his analysis of what people say, but clearly the meaning and understanding is totally warped. I posit that while Christians may attempt to fuse Jesus and God into one picture, they’re really avoiding the difficulty of Triunitarianism, and Trinity in general, and really are not making rational sense, even on their own terms, as we have suggested above.

  4. Linda says:

    Ezekiel 37:27 My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
    Ezekiel 37:28 And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.

    evermore>>>forever, always, in a future time, continued for all time to come, everlastingly, eternally.

    The old testament and new testament may actually not be correct titles, and who needs labels anyways? If one gets a new shirt, does that mean that the old ones should or need to be thrown away? Or better yet should old shoes be thrown away when a new pair is acquired ? NO…the old is just as important and maybe even more so in many cases as the new..

    Romans 11:32-36 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen
    Isaiah 45:22-25
    Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other.”
    “I have sworn by Myself, the word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness and will not turn back, that to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance.”
    “They will say of Me, ‘Only in the Lord are righteousness and strength.’ Men will come to Him, and all who were angry at Him will be put to shame.”
    “In the Lord all the offspring of Israel will be justified and will glory

    Sure, I knew that Philippians 2:10-11 says that every knee will bow to Christ and every tongue confess him, but I had no idea of what God had said in this passage from Isaiah. Talk about powerful–this is God’s call to every human being, and it shows the power of His ability to make this promise to come to pass.

    As one might see that the above goes back and forth from old testament to new testament…and it is actually intertwined. Could man whether deceitfully on purpose or respectfully on purpose actually and perfectly put such a wonderful collection of scriptures together? The Lord spoke the words of the prophets before him and said that he didn’t come to change the laws and the word but to full fill it.

    and here is a great example of Our Heavenly Father putting the old/Israel and the new/gentile together and reign with HIM forevermore

    ISAIAH 45:22-25–SNAPSHOTS
    Posted August 2nd 2011 at 4:53 pm by patriciazell
    As I have thought about Isaiah 45:22-25, I have two images that seem to sum up what is written. First, we’ve all seen courtroom scenes on television where witnesses are sworn in, right? The clerk of courts or the bailiff usually holds a Bible (or some other holy book) for the witness to swear on with the words such as, “I swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth, so help me, God.” Can you imagine a courtroom where God is the witness and He swears on the Bible that what He is saying is the truth and nothing but the truth??!!

    Hebrews 6:13, 17-18 (NASB) deal with the meaning of God swearing on Himself. Listen to what these verses say:

    For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself … In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie…

    So, in the Isaiah passage, God’s promise, His purpose, is unchangeable and it is truth–it will happen.

    Which brings me to the second image that has come to my mind as I have thought about what God has sworn will happen. The actions of bowing knees and swearing allegiance brings another setting to mind–that of subjects coming before the throne of their king. In my mind, I see a snapshot of the Great White (white equals righteousness) Throne Judgment mentioned in Revelation 20. The people who are before this throne are those who did not participate in the second coming of Christ. I wouldn’t be surprised if these will be the people who were angry at God. As they are set free from death and hell and as God reveals His judgments (which are truth), these unbelievers will see that their anger was unfounded and was the result of the deceptions they believed. When they finally understand the truth of God’s absolute love, they will be ashamed of the choices they made. They will turn to God, bow their knees, and gladly swear allegiance to God as they see all the deceptions they believed and all the destructive choices they made burn up in the lake of fire.

    For my next post, we’ll talk about the nutshell meaning of Isaiah 45:22-25.

    ©2011 by Patricia Hylton Zell. All rights reserved.

    Tags: courtroom, God, judgment, righteousness, swearing, White Throne Judgement
    Posted in Isaiah 45:22-25

    my prayer is that WE all will be joined together to become ONE

  5. Linda says:

    I would be very interested in any input , I forgot to check the follow-up comments via email block, thank you

    • What is your point? Please try to be concise and to the point.

      • Linda says:

        May i ask what point that I need to be concise about, so I can make the point that you might need for me to make? I was showing how the old and new testament intertwine, together . And that the new testament did not replace the old testament, and is no way the same, but the new is a fulfillment of the old. Look at this quote >>>-I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are nothing like your Christ – Gandhi.
        The old testament was of the Law>>and look here>>>Mat 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Hey here is a point to make,,,the old is telling how it SHOULD be and the new is telling how it is GOING to be…of course Jesus Christ is the key to bridge the two key words His way is what should be so it is going to be that way in God’s Kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven. Amen and look at John 14:6

  6. naaria says:

    “Could man whether deceitfully on purpose or respectfully on purpose actually and perfectly put such a wonderful collection of scriptures together?”. Yes, most definitely can a person select a few verses and repeat them. And mostly not done so “perfectly”. What is more important is the many more verses left out.

    “The Lord” “spoke the words of the prophets before him and said that he didn’t come to change the laws and the word but to fulfill it”. If someone says what has already been said before, one does not have to “advise” others that he will “fulfill” the previous words or law; that is what is expected of an honest “teacher”. Nor does anyone have to say they “won’t change” the law or the words, unless the audience is hearing something new and they are disturbed by what they are hearing and the speaker is concerned they will reject his changes. Especially when the “remnant” of Israel remembers the chastisement of Israel in the past when many of the people, especially in the northern kingdom, strayed after the “lords”, idols, & gods of the “baalists” and of the “nations”. When “eating blood” & human flesh is a sin & an abomination in their “bible” and it is a sign that a people are” cursed”, when someone teaches that is “ok” & even required, those who have known God won’t be convinced that these new things are from God. Reminds me of the “serpent” who made some new words appeal as “truth & God’s will” to Eve. And Eve convinced Adam to follow her “experience” with this new fruit (a “spiritual rebirth”) & also to follow the words of a creature over that of the Creator. Reminds me of the “lamb” who inwardly is “not such lamb”. Many have been or will be deceived, but not all; a small remnant remains faithful to the “original God”. As some Rabbis have said in the past about the “oldness” of Jesus, “What is “old” is good and what is “new” is not so good”.

    • naaria says:

      And of course what was “old” to the Jews was already known and so Jesus was unnecessary & redundant.

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