Responding to an Atheist

Responding to an Atheist (and a Christian)

Common sense tells us that this complex universe that we live in did not come about by accident. So much wisdom and coordination are evident in every detail of the universe that it is impossible to conceive of one detail, let alone the confluence of all of them, happening by chance.

Furthermore; in the universe that we know, every effect has a cause. What then was the first cause that started everything?

One line of reasoning that atheists use to deflect these two arguments is by pointing out that those who believe in God must face these questions as well. If God is so intelligent as to devise such a complex world then this begs the question; how did this intelligent God come about? And how does positing that God is the first cause explain away the need for a first cause; doesn’t God Himself require a first cause. Who created God?

This line of reasoning misses the central point of Judaism. The central pillar of Judaism is the concept that all of nature, including all of its laws and all of its limitations, are but creations of something that is above and beyond nature. The first cause and the intelligence that designed the world cannot be inside of nature.

Both the Jew and the atheist accept that there is a point that cannot be understood by the laws of nature. How did this coordinated world come into being? What was the first cause? The difference between the Jew and the atheist is in where they seek the answer. The atheist insists that the answer must lie somewhere within the confines of nature. The Jew’s answer is that nature doesn’t allow for this point that cannot be understood; rather, it must be something that is outside of nature that is beyond our understanding.

In a certain sense the argument between the atheist and the Jew is not about God but rather about nature and the universe as we see it. The atheist insists that there cannot be anything outside of nature as we know it. In a certain sense the atheist is deifying nature; arguing that everything must be contained within the jurisdiction of nature and her laws. While the Jew argues that nature and all of her laws must be a subject to something outside of it and nature cannot be the ultimate master of all.

We can look at the two questions; the one from intelligent design and the concept of a necessary first cause, as questions about subject and master. The fact that within the realm of nature – complexity doesn’t come about by chance, together with the fact that natural laws require a first cause tell us that nature must be a subject and not a master. The Master must stand outside of nature and all of its laws.

The argument between the Jew and the Christian also centers on the concept of subject and master. The Christian insists that a certain individual who existed within the confines of nature is worthy of our devotion. The Jew points out that the Christian has forgotten that in order to be worthy of devotion one needs to be the Master and cannot be a subject in any way. Since the object of Christian devotion existed within the confines of nature it must have been a subject itself.

The subject; any subject, has no right to demand the devotion that is coming to the Master.

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Thank You

Yisroel C. Blumenthal

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40 Responses to Responding to an Atheist

  1. merlynleroy says:

    “Common sense tells us that this complex universe that we live in did not come about by accident.”

    Common sense also tells us that the earth is flat, and that the sun goes around the earth.

    That’s why you shouldn’t trust “common sense.” A great many facts about the universe are counterintuitive.

  2. Annelise says:

    I think that what merlynleroy is saying is the reason why almost all atheists are actually agnostic. People say that they don’t know what our first cause is, or what it is like, but that they see a lot of competing claims (from our own subjective feelings, from religions, and from academic theories) and don’t know how to judge between them with truth.

    I read last night that when the eighth century Jew Abu al-Khayr was asked about whether God is known intuitively or logically, he answered that “It is intuitive from the point of view of reason, and inductive from the point of view of the senses.” So, human reason recognises that we have an intuitive knowledge of God; and also, that knowledge can be demonstrated in a way that allows for reasonable faith. The two work together in someone’s decision to seek Israel’s God. But questions of how humans can know anything intellectually, and then have loyalty to that knowledge in a way that belongs to personal relationships, are still very difficult.

    So… in the question of whether we can trust God to begin with, should we let go of trust (to keep it all from being circular) and rely not on Him but on the probability that things will be okay in the meantime; on things in our world that give comfort, rest, and enjoyment, ‘of their own selves’, rather than as blessings relied on from Him? Though we don’t have all the answers, for other people or for ourselves, a person who has experienced a relationship with God within Judaism still has a few choices. We could journey on our own. We could seek God but ignore all the Jewish beliefs about Him, not knowing whether He is really in relationship with us, whether He is good and trustworthy. Or we can continue in our commitment to seek Him amidst Judaism.

    I don’t have the answer, because that’s such a personal and relational question. But I will point out that from here, the Jewish witness to what God deserves from us is astonishingly clear. According to the Shema, our creator is the only power on which we must and can rely. We can see the relationship with God in people’s lives, both Jewish and in other religions, as they seek Him. And when I see Jews who really love God, I see that they believe they exist to show others that we should be humble before God; that He will in turn bless us with His presence and holiness in our world. The experience of watching Jews keep kosher, Shabbos, the Jewish holidays, daily prayers, a desire to lift everything to the service of God, and even lesser traditions designed to remember the sanctity in their calling as a nation, has impressed on me a strong notion of how much beauty there is in being set aside as a gift to our creator. I have a lot of questions about the Torah, historically, philosophically, epistemologically, psychologically. The Jewish testimony to an experience of God still makes more sense to me than the religion I grew up in, or any other belief. But if I can’t attain to a clear profession of belief at the moment, I still believe that I have a choice to make in front of God, about how to even start asking the question. If I avoid circular thinking for the sake of ‘truth’, I’m left with the need to justify why that even matters… and for many people, the knowledge that our creation deserves our surrender and trust in a way that nothing else does is experientially as deep as (or deeper than) our knowledge that truth is important.

    I know that doesn’t answer the question, but it is a reason why many people choose to search from within the Jewish knowledge of Him.

    • merlynleroy says:

      “I think that what merlynleroy is saying is the reason why almost all atheists are actually agnostic.”

      No, most atheists are ALSO agnostic. An atheist (like me) is someone who doesn’t believe any gods exist.

  3. Annelise says:

    Typo: “the knowledge that our CREATOR deserves our surrender and trust”
    I was typing too fast

  4. Annelise says:

    To Yisroel… what is wrong with the Christian belief that God might humble Himself and be known as part of creation, even though He still deserves our worship… and even more so because of such a gift?

    I understand that there’s no way within Judaism of testing that someone/something that seems like part of nature actually is an incarnation of God and deserves our worship. But I’ve never understood the idea that categorically God could not do this; that He *could not* make His person known in a human person, who had just a breath of air in his nostrils, if that were in His wisdom and kindness.

  5. Linda says:

    to Yisroel<<<>>>Annelise (and anyone else for that matter) please read the following article and let me know your take is on it please.>>>> http://bible-truths.com/lazarus.html

    the jews and the gentiles etc
    thank you so much for your time

  6. David says:

    Why should we expect anything different out of an admitted Christian basher.

    You pretend to give both sides of the issues as a basis for your flawed analysis (regarding Christian and Jewish beliefs). And you are masquerading your piece Responding to an Atheist (and a Christian) as an objective analysis regarding the point of view of the atheist tangentially applicable to the Christian (of course because that’s just more of your Christian bashing). But you yourself are one who purposely goes out of his way to mischaracterize the Christian point of view so why should we expect anything different. Your stated on record objective on this blog is to denigrate Christianity and show it in the poorest possible light. You modus operandi is to use the tool of mischaracterization and misinformation as you have done here and consistently in the past.

    You said: “The argument between the Jew and the Christian also centers on the concept of subject and master.” Not true. Your postulation in mis-framing the debate is really about to whom or to what is given godly worship or to use your word devotion as befitting only to God himself. The Christian does NOT “worship” a “created” subject of a master (God) as if he were the master (God) himself.

    In the first place, the Trinitarian Christian does not believe that Christ is created by God the Father, rather that Christ is co-eternal with God the Father and is one of three in the Godhead (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit). Therefore the Trinitarian Christian worships his Trinitarian God as God.

    In the second place, the non-Trinitarian Christian does not “worship” Christ AS God but “honors” Christ as the Son and the Christ of God and worships only God the Father as God and no other. Christ, the Son of God (for the non-trinitarian) was created by God and is not worship as God.

    Now you’ve been informed (if you weren’t already).

  7. David
    you calim that the Christian does not believe that Jesus was created – I understand – but then they are denying the basic fact that if somone exists in this world – that testifies that he is but a creation – just as teh atheist denies that all of creation is created.
    I wasn’t addressing non-trinitarian Christians in this article

    • Paul says:

      Hello Phariseefriend and David. Messiah Jeshua doesnt exist in this world! (well not in a physical way) I think thats the point here. Yes of course Messiah became a man in His full Humanity but also being devine also. Messiah has always co-excisted in the Father. So He couldnt be created because that would say that there is a beginning to God, which of course there isnt. If you compare Genesis ch 1 v1 with John ch v 1-4a you will see that chronologically John is more detailed. ” In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was Life, and the light of men”…….v14 “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” Jeshua constantly told His disciples that He was doing the work of His Father, and He prayed before the Romans crucified Him that it was His Fathers will was to be done. On the cross He bowed His head to His Father (submission), breathed His last and gave up His Spirit. No where in the scriptures does it state the Messiah Jeshua was master over the creator. However They are Co equal. x

      • Yedidiah says:

        “Common sense can be right and that is what makes it so common”. Words have certain meanings, be careful how you use them (or misuse them). Watch so that you don’t take words out of context from the text as it was written and as the original writer wanted it to be understood by the intended audience (and not by how later editors or redactors or modern readers think the texts read or by how they want the text to read). Don’t take poetry as literal narrative. Don’t take symbols or analogies as realities. Don’t take common translations of words in one language as the most accurate translation of those words, because the translator’s motive may not be accuracy.

        So what does one mean by “the word was with God”? Doesn’t the word ‘with’ mean that we have 2 separate entities and that the 1st one is relative to the 2nd and not vice versa? That seems similar to the concept of a divine “son” in relation to another divine being or “father” or god (like Zeus), which suggests a “polytheism”. A son cannot exist unless there first is a father and that is not a “co-equal” relationship between the two. The entity that is a father could have chosen not to be a father and therefore the son would not even exist. The son would need to be “created”. What is “word” or logos? Seems like the “word” as described or defined by Plato. Seems like Sophia or “wisdom” of the Gnostics. Or it simply means intelligence and/or thought expressed by speech. It could mean gospel. Or is word just another word for God? The word for “Word” in the Greek dictionary could mean one of many things, including, “something said”, “rumor (what is talked about)”, a “report”, “a saying”, “a topic”, “communication”, “a conversation”, etc. But usually not a god or divine being and definitely not the God of Israel.

        So if something is “with God”, how can it also “be God” or “the thing God is with”? So “”God is with God” and “the God was God”? Or does the Greek say “god was with God”? Who is “he” and why was “he” separate and yet “with” God? If Jesus was not God, why do non-trinitarian Christians still elevate the “man Jesus” (“manifested god”) to the level of God as if he were God? It may be interesting to note that neither the “golden calf” nor asherah poles, etc., were worshipped as God, but only as manifestations of God, incarnations, or “messiahs”. A human King who made himself a god, was god in the flesh (a man-god, or a god who became “man in his full humanity”).

        According to “The Appropriate Translation” by Craig Bluemel, (a non-trinitarian Christian), taking John 1:1-5 in context with the rest of John’s gospel about the ministry of Jesus, a better translation of those verses would be something like, “At first the news was spreading {everywhere} and the news was about God being close at hand and God was involved in what was being said. This same {message spoken} started when God was close at hand. Everyone was being drawn through {this message}; however, none of those being drawn was able to come apart from Him {God}. In it {the message} was {felt} a genuine spiritual life and this spiritual life came to men by revelation of the truth. And the revelation of the truth was appearing amid the obscurity and dimness {caused by sin}, and the obscurity and dimness {caused by sin} could not grasp what it meant.”

  8. Annelise says:

    Hi Paul… I just wrote a comment on Rabbi Yisroel’s last post that shows my perspective about the things you wrote. It’s at ( https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2012/11/07/supplement-to-responding-to-an-atheist/#comment-3004 ) … if you have thoughts, I’d be interested to hear them.

    Merlynleroy, I think I misunderstood what you meant by atheism. In my understanding, it means the belief that there is certainly no personal power who is responsible for creation. I think that what you mean by it is a lack of belief in a god or gods, without the categorical proof that they don’t exist, but recognising that the burden of proof is on religion. Thanks for clearing up the distinction, because I think the way you use the words is helpful.

    • Annelise says:

      Hm…to correct what I just wrote, not all people groups believe in their gods as Creator or as primarily so. Some do, but some people believe in gods as spirits within nature who deserve the fear and reverence that we understand as worship. As I understand it, an atheist would believe neither in this kind of spirit nor in a ‘first cause’ who inherently deserves that honour from us as humans.

    • merlynleroy says:

      “Merlynleroy, I think I misunderstood what you meant by atheism. In my understanding, it means the belief that there is certainly no personal power who is responsible for creation.”

      I don’t know of any atheist that uses that definition. I think the more straightforward definition is “not a theist.” A theist believes one or more gods exist. I’m not a theist.

      “I think that what you mean by it is a lack of belief in a god or gods, without the categorical proof that they don’t exist, but recognising that the burden of proof is on religion.”

      Yes, that’s much better.

      • Annelise says:

        Right, I see what you meant. I feel that a lot of people do treat their lack of belief in a personal creator as anti-belief with a very high level of certainty, and that’s where my confusion probably came from. Sorry for not being sensitive enough to where you were coming from though.

  9. Paul says:

    Hello there, thanks for all your comments. Im not a theologian or a teacher of the written scriptures, so exuse me. I think the best way I can explain the concept of Messiah as always being with the Father is this: Consider a fire, if you had to explain or to write down the main characteristics of a fire you might say this? A fire has three main characteristics, A flame, a heat source and light. All three work indipendantly of each other. However all three have different roles but there own qualities. But all three do work together, to give fire. And without each other they dont work at all. You cannot have a fire with no flame but with with a heat source and light. You cannot have a fire with heat source but with no light and no flame etc etc you get the picture!!? All three co exist. Different roles but co equal.

    God did not create life!!!!!….. Life always excisted,…….. in Him. It excisted in God…… before time.(our time) He just gave it (life) to man when He said ” Let Us (plural) create man in Our Image.
    So the image of man in the Father has always been there. Seeing that mankind was made in His (Our) image, (of course mared with sin now) Are we not the pinacle of His creation? The Son always had to be there from the start. He is the Son of Man, The son Abraham, The son of David, The Son Of God.
    If Messiah is still to come, and He is the Son of David can someone please explain how Israel will see Him as the Son of David, seeing that all records of linaege were distroyed in AD70? Surely He must have come prior to AD70? . Hope any of that makes sense?? xx Shalom x

  10. Linda says:

    Trinitarians doing math: 1+1+1=3; 1x1x1=1 and says that God doesn’t just add, he multiplies hmmm^^^^^^bible says God is ONE, God is the only ONE, there is nothing else!!!! To add-subtract–multiple-or divide. God is the only one=1 O+N+E. He isn’t Father, Son, Holy Spirit 1×3=3. One apple, one orange, one banana =3pieces of fruit. The son isn’t the father, the father isn’t the son, they are 2 different beings, …..1x1x1=1 yes in math numbers but is God a number? is Jesus a number is the holy spirit ( which is actually the spirit of God ) a number???
    Oh my goodness 1(God)x1(God)x1(God)=ONE GOD ( nothing else ) now if you have a mother, a daughter, and a nana you have 3 separate people. Yes they make up a family but what makes a family? 2 or more people!!!!! not ONE PERSON. Oh I could go on and on but let me stop with>>a person or a family etc need to worship the ONE GOD plus nothing or no one else.

    A fire,flame,light= creations of God,,,not God He isn’t a creation. He is complete in Himself and doesn’t need or depend on anyone or anything else. We depend on Him not the other way around. We don’t or shouldn’t worship fire the creation. God doesn’t depend on our worship. We depend on our worshipping God. We aren’t to put our Creator in a box and label this or that. And certainly not to worship that box or what is it…

    Love to all….I treasure this discussion…it lifts up our Creator who made us all and loves us all; no matter our numbers : 0 ))

  11. Yedidiah says:

    Atheism seems to be not a rejection of theism in the broadest sense, but in the popular sense or the much more narrow sense of theism. Confusion has come about because of popular concepts or understandings, mainly Christian, of the “nature” of “god or gods” or deities. In one sense, God is just a name that some people give to the mostly unnamed phenomena or philosophical concepts that are held not only by “theists” or “deists”, but by “atheists”. Almost every “thing”, belief, or idea that an “atheist” or “non-theist” may accept can be held by a theist, except the non-acceptance of a “god or deity or gods or deities or God”. A theist can believe “God does not exist”, especially since the word “exist or existence” has more to do with “creation of God” and not “God”. As the Rabbi seems to be saying, the Jewish idea of God goes far beyond the popular definition of God as held by not only atheists but by most Christians.

    Thus, we see that “trinitarians” always fail in their attempt to explain how their concept of a trinity is the same as a “unity” or God. Whether they use an analogy of fire (which greatly simplifies the nature of fire, eg., the “fuel” is also in the flame and it exists separate from fires) or water (eg., water is hydrogen AND oxygen, which can exist separately just as ice & steam exist only under certain conditions, unlike God which exists despite different material or physical states or conditions) or other analogies which attempt to make equal the Creator and created. Like many Christians, earlier posters to this article, Paul & David, show the typical misunderstanding of what a “messiah” or “anointed person or thing” is. Many use analogies like a “son”, but then forget what the relationship of a “son” or “daughter” is to a “father”. A “Son of Man” was or is an ordinary male human (especially a Jew, Israelite, or Hebrew). A “Son of God” can be a Jew or the whole nation/kingdom of Judea or Israel. Judea and Israel were also called a “Daughter of God”, as was the City of Jerusalem. This “Son of God” was also called a “Bride of God”. Stop holding on to untruths lineages and about “70 c.e.”) and some supposedly “records. Besides, not all the Jews who had memories of who their parents and grandparents were destroyed. Your arguments attempts to place limits on God, who does not require human records. And humans, Jew or non-Jews, will know when “The Messiah” has arrived when “The Messiah” has done things that “The Messiah” is supposed to do. Don’t be one of the many who accepts or “runs after” any of the numerous “false messiahs”, just because of what they or their followers SAY or wrote.

    • Yedidiah says:

      It may be interesting to note that Roman rulers and philosophers 2000 years ago, thought that Jews were “atheists” because the concept of the “God of Israel” was so unlike the normal concepts of the gods of most people in the world at that time. The Jews believed in “no gods’; It seemed like anti-theism. To the Jews, it was the other way around; it was the non-Jews who believed in “no-gods” or created things (like sun or moon or a man) which are called idols. Those gods of “the nations” could be men (or women) or people could be gods. In other words, those gods were created in the “image” of Man. Those gods were truly plural; to the Hebrews/Israelites/Jews God was One, in a way the Creator of even some of the things that non-Jews CALLED gods. But there were no gods beside God. But We are also the “Us”. But we were created after the First, the Alpha. Or else there could never be an “other” or a “we” or an “us”. And we are an “other”, just as are plants and rocks.

      If some of the non-living material can change into “thinking” and “living beings”, it is easier to imagine a “cause” that has more potential, more power, more intelligent than the unthinking, non-living material that is now human.

  12. Annelise says:

    Paul and Linda, if someone said that there are actually five ‘persons of God’, rather than three, how would you feel about the idea? Would you be open to it, on the basis of some convincing revelation within the Christian faith in the future? If so, how would it change your relationship with God? Or if you wouldn’t be able to stomach or accept such a worship, why not?

    I’m sorry the question is crude and awful, but I feel that it kind of reflects what we’re talking about in a way.

    • Annelise says:

      Anyway, the topic of Rabbi Yisroel’s post was the claim of incarnation, not the claim of trinity. I know that the topic has come up through the comments, but it’s worth pointing out that they’re quite separate from the point that was first being made in this article.

    • Paul says:

      Hello. Well if the Scriptures did teach a quintet Godhead then I suppose the answer would be yes, I would believe. So I would feel fine, why wouldnt I? However since the scriptures teach a Tri Godhead I will have to stick to what your Torah teaches. The oracles of God were given too Israel not to the Gentiles, (which I am). However since you have harned your hearts, I feel that it is my duty to tell you to look again at your scriptures. Believe me, Im only grafted into the natural branch of Gods promise (Israel) by Gods merciful Grace. I would be a dead man walking if it wasnt for the Blood of Jeshua, the One True Lamb of the Passover. Please read the scriptures AGAIN and ask the Lord to show you Him.

      ” You are My Son, Today I have betton You”……….”You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedeck”………….”Today, If you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts. Be Blessed in Him. xx

      • Paul says:

        Forgive me Begotten. x

      • Yedidiah says:

        We (us, Christians) must remember that Judaism & Christianity (Jesus-Yeshua) are 2 different religions. There is no teaching of a “Tri Godhead” in the Jewish scriptures, no man who is also God, no worship of a created object or being (no gold bull, no asherah pole no matter how beautifully carved), no “salvation by the blood” of any man nor no reason for God to “die” temporarily to show grace, and no priestly order of Melchizedek in either the Jewish Tanach, where he is a minor character barely even mentioned, or in the Christian OT or even in the NT he is only mentioned by one later Church or Christian author. Likewise, the “lamb of Passover” and the “grafting in” are Christian ideas or theories very loosely based on, or misunderstandings or misinterpretations of, Jewish Scripture. Likewise, when Israelite or Judean kings were inaugurated to rule, they were called a begotten son of God. The kingdom of Judea and of Israel were also “a Son of God” and a “Daughter of God” and a “Bride of God”, but no one, especially not Christians, take that literally, unless those analogies are used with Jesus or with the church. But in the NT, not only does a man become a god (like many pagan gods and unlike anything in Jewish traditions), but a human woman named Mary, actually becomes a Mother of God; a god that can “die” (like some pagan gods and human Kings like Augustus Caesar, but unlike the eternal God of Israel).

        • Yedidiah says:

          Sorry. If you think I’m insulting or in gross error by calling Mary, the Mother of God, just begin to imagine the even greater insult it is to Jews (and others), that you call her 1st son & child, “God” or even to call him the “son of God” in a way quite unlike what you or I might mean by calling ourselves a “child of God” in a non-physical, non-literal, non-polytheistic, and non-idolatrous way.

          • Yedidiah says:

            If Jesus was the only way you could get to your Father, perhaps it is now time to re-focus your mind and worship on God, your Father, instead of on His “messenger” or on His “messiah”, or on “the method” or “the way”. Focus not on some other son or child, for YOU are a Son, Daughter, or Child of God.

      • Paul says:

        Hi, No problem with any insults. When you can touch a feel the Grace and Gift of Salvation, who am I to be insulted. Its my fallen state of sin thats has enmity between me and the Father. Of course Im no Roman Chatholic, and I dont actknowledge Mary at all, apart from the fact that she was chosen to bring Jeshua into the world. Apart from that she was as just as you and I. Thats all. Infact 95 % of Jewish persecution has been from the RC Church. Not sure if you know this but the RC church is not christian. There whole teaching is anti-Christ. Hence all the murderous persecution over the centuries.So I do understand why Israel/Jews have a problem with the cross. Who Wouldnt? The visible church of today has no idea where it came from. (Judaism) Without wanting to sound patronizing or insulting I do think that the majority of Jewish rejection of Jesus is this; Tradition! The majority of Israel believed in Jeshua, not all but most. The ones who rejected Him were the scribes, pharesees etc. The common everyday man looked to the pharisees for an answer. Because they felt threatened the pharasees rejected Him. Rabbinical thinking of the time was “When Messiah comes he will perform 3 Messianic miracles to authenticate His Messiahship. The cleansing of a Jew of leprosy, healing a person who was blind from birth, and the final one was casting out a demon from someone was deaf and mute. It was on the grounds of this miracle that the pharasees claimed that Jeshua was demon posessed. Hence the “Unpardoble sin” ……. So the unpardoble sin is Israels national rejection of the Messiahship of Jeshua while being present on eatrh for being demon posessed….. Note… This a national rejection, not on a personal level. But nationally. This can be seen finally in the temple distruction in AD70. Not one believing Jew was harmed during that time of bloodshed. Over 1 million saved. Simon Bar chocba (spelling?) was thought to be Messiah. And all that followed him were killed. Jesus warned His disciples that many would come after Him in His Name. When/if you read the book of Hebrews in the NT the majority of the book is warning the early church, which is going through persecution, not to go back to the Law but to reamain in faith in Jeshua. Why, because of the destruction which was to follow. The rest as you know is history. No temple. No yearly blood offering, no attonement. A hard question……………. but where in the Law are you told to stop offering a blood sacrifice? According to the Law its still through blood??? Did Israel miss it on the 15th Nisan at 0900 hrs. Thankyou for reading this. Im only telling you what I know. xx

        • Yedidiah says:

          And it appears you know little of 1st century c.e. Judaism and little of the history of Christianity and of the NT text that you read, which is the approved text given to you by the Roman Catholic Church. You only know Jeshua through them. If the RCC isn’t Christian and pro-Christ, then nobody is. They were with Christ before you. It is likely that they see you as following a newer, invented man-made religion; a heresy? Why be in a state of denial? Denial & invention & rewriting history is not Truth.

          Since, I am not a Jew, persecution is not the problem that I see with Christianity. It is the words of Jesus or rather the words of the unknown NT authors. It is the NT text and traditions of Man reading that text, that has given us the legacy of the Church. And the written history is not the same as your imagined history. I made the point about Mary as “mother of God”, since that argument is as valid as Jesus is “Son of God” or “God”. Why dishonor who God chose to be “wedded” to, while the kid you accept? Just because the NT writers preferred the pagan model, why disparage those who accept the Torah or Tanach model of God?

          It is the gospels that show us, that it was the common people, the ordinary people which came to reject Jesus. Eating flesh and drinking blood, however symbolic, is an abomination even to those who knew no Torah. A million saved? Where? It is a mystery where all those supposed Jeshua followers went to!. If they were waiting on Zion, if they were zealots (as Jesus told them to be), they were massacred in Jerusalem or other cities. If the legend of Pella is true, they faded away & disappeared. It was the Pharisees who survived to keep hope alive that one day they will rebuild the temple of their Father, which the Pharisee Jeshua had earlier failed to cleanse. He was one of several thousand that Pilate killed; one of the first in the war. If the temple destruction was punishment, then God chose Rome over Jerusalem (including his remnant) as did the NT writers. No wonder the brutal, tyrant Pilate is pictured almost as a saint (in the Syriac church, sainthood was actually conferred upon him).

          If there is enmity between you and your Father, it is your choice that you prefer to remain in sin & ignorance. The prodigal son (Jeshua?) erred and unapologetically returned to his father (God?), but the father took the arrogant son back anyway.

  13. Linda says:

    May I ask what group you put me in? I thought I clearly pointed out that Our Creator is the only ONE plus nothing that He created meaning it isn’t Our Creator plus some trinity or any other number that might be thrown into the argument.

    the subject matter as I understood it to be was stated in the very last line of the blog:
    “The subject; any subject, has no right to demand the devotion that is coming to the Master.”

    and the very last paragraph as follows:

    “The argument between the Jew and the Christian also centers on the concept of subject and master. The Christian insists that a certain individual who existed within the confines of nature is worthy of our devotion. The Jew points out that the Christian has forgotten that in order to be worthy of devotion one needs to be the Master and cannot be a subject in any way. Since the object of Christian devotion existed within the confines of nature it must have been a subject itself.”

    Thought>>the king might think he is worthy of worship<<?? the king worships himself..think not,,,,the people should worship the king..think not…

    May Our Creator abundantly bless you as you seek to be “well pleasing in His sight”
    We’re together in this final conflict of the “Ages” and our calling is sure as we seek to do what He has planned for us.

    • Annelise says:

      Oh… I now see that for a lot of your previous post you were quoting lots of trinitarian explanations (with which you disagree) rather than giving them as your own opinion. Sorry for addressing that comment to you, then.

  14. Linda says:

    <3…O:) I take it that we "are" on the same page? (tongue in cheek)…but about the article (Lazarus and the Rich Man ) I sent to review, if it is at all possible for you…talks about the parable ( that it is actually ) and not to be take as literal, but in a sense we are to because Abraham is the representative of Judah/Jews the Rich Man and Lazarus is representative of the gentiles ( the poor man/ servant ) which author of the article believes to be Eliezer the very faithful servant of Abraham which Abraham was going to leave "all" his possessions to since he didn't have a son/heir.. but then His Heavenly Father gave him that heir ( knocking of the perch ) But Eliezer still remained faithful to Abraham If this is so or not than the gentiles only get the crumbs of the rich…because they have an heir apparent ) but in the end where does that leave things?
    The quote of the last paragraph follows:

    "I am sure that there is much more that can and will be learned and understood regarding this unique parable of Lazarus and the Rich man. However, whatever we teach regarding it must at least stand on solid Scriptures and not contradict. The real truth of this parable is not nearly as morbid as it may appear at first glance. God has a plan that eventually brings all the Jews and all the Gentiles to salvation. The very heart of the Gospel is the salvation of the Jews and Gentiles, the salvation of the WHOLE WORLD!"

    By the way, this is still on subject because we are talking about Judah/Gentiles and where does that leave the atheists which probably fall into the Gentile group? the secular which can fall into both groups and etc and etc

    Again thank you for the time to you might give for this article and discussion .
    Linda

    • Yedidiah says:

      Mr Smith goes to such a great length in an attempt to prove his theory, but with several gaps, weak points, and bad assumptions, he finally himself admits his error in interpretation of the parable when he writes, “Perverting a parable to such gross extremes as to nullify hundreds of plain and exact verses of Scripture (that are not parables) is a damnable thing.”

    • Paul says:

      Yes Im trying to keep up here also. Im gutted because I left a lengthly response then I lost it! Doh! Anyway I saw this topic I couldnt help but to respond. Lots of people say that the Rich man and Lazurus was a parable. Why? The Bible never states that it was. There is far to much personal detail in the account for a parable. The whole account tells us of the life which the deceased incounter prior to the ressurection. Abrahams Bosom etc. x

      • Fred says:

        >>>>>Why? The Bible never states that it was.<<<<<

        The story itself tells you it is. Can a single drop of water cool someone's tongue burning in hell? Can the people in hell make requests of those across the gulf? Can all the people in "Abraham's bosom" ( that's a BIG bosom!) look across a gulf ( likely separated by the River Styx) and see everyone writhing in hell? The imagery is far closer to Greek Mythology than Judaism. It is not a parable but an allegory.

  15. Annelise says:

    Mm. Not exactly on the same page, because I don’t believe that Jesus was an incarnation of God, and I don’t agree with what you were saying about God worshipping Himself in anything remotely like the way that worship is like for dependent creatures. My last question to Yisroel after his ‘Supplement to Responding to an Atheist’ post touches on exactly what you said, though. But that’s a big conversation in itself 🙂

    When I was a Christian I did think similarly to the way you do about how God can’t be numbered. To me, the ‘relationship’ that I thought existed within God had to be a revealed mystery beyond the natural capacity to understand, not something that could be explained in metaphors. But I can’t see how you can test a claim that any human being, or any other imaginable aspect of nature, is inherently included within the ‘self of God’. The default assumption that we have for humans whom we meet is that they aren’t our creator, and the Bible doesn’t talk about an exception to this. How could someone possibly be convinced with no shadow of a doubt that their worship of God must be opened to a person they met? Whatever that person was like, whatever they claimed, and whatever miracles or righteousness seemed to come with the claims?

    Anyway, I’m sorry for not reading your post closely enough to get what you were saying. I’ve been busy lately, so I skimmed the comments and saw all the things about ‘1x1x1’ and the fire imagery all through what you wrote and just assumed that they were your opinion. I didn’t really read your sentences properly. It’s an important and clear lesson for me about listening carefully to each individual and what they are trying, uniquely, to say.

    I do plan to look at the article and give you my thoughts, but it is so long. The author’s perspective seems strange to me, and it’ll take some thought to listen closely. I have essays and exams due for university till the last week of this month, but if December comes and I haven’t got back to you… please remind me! I look forward to talking more with you.

    • Annelise says:

      I’m looking at these comments again… please forgive me if I’m still making assumptions about where you’re coming from, it’s hard for me to catch it.

  16. Yedidiah says:

    When most people think of Jesus, they think first & foremost of a man in the flesh, a created being whether or not they also think of him as God or One). Now, more and more today we hear of modern “Docetist” Christians, especially those calling themselves “messianic believers” or non-trinitarians who try to resolve that problem. This is a full or a half-way approach of saying that Jesus was not created (he is God) which is the heresy spoken of in 1John 4:1-3.

  17. Yedidiah says:

    There is an attempt today by many believers in Jesus (or Yeshua; they are one and the same) to resolve the problem of a “created” Jesus. This is a heresy spoken of in 1 John 4:1-3, which can be called Docetism or one of the several other heresies that flourished in early Christianity. At that time, some Christians believed Jesus was never divine, while others argued that he became divine either at the resurrection or only at his death or some event prior to his death or only at his baptism or at conception or birth (or before the “foundations of the world” or eternity). All those theories (or heresies) have major problems, mostly irreconcilable, when trying to incorporate them into the Jewish (Hebrew) concepts of God or Oneness and keeping them out of being idolatrous or ba’alistic worship.

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