Thursday, June 8, 2017

FAKE NEWS: That Christianity's NOT Jewish

Nowadays it seems that “Fake News” is the only thing that’s in the news.  News outlets, politicians and pundits seem only intent on reporting those stories that agree with their predetermined biases whether they be factual or not.  In fact, more often than not, we’re seeing evidence of people making things up to counter contrary evidence.

People don’t really know what to believe anymore.  Most folks, rather than pursuing truth have chosen to simply disregard the facts. 

But as Koheleth (The Preacher of Ecclesiastes) says, “There’s nothing new under the sun”.   “Fake News” has always been around.

We humans have a terrible inclination to deceive ourselves.  On a fundamental level, we are all confused about how we got here.  Some say we “evolved” out of some primordial goo and there is no God to account for our existence.  If these folks are right (which is not my opinion) I really do find it hard to believe that they’re able to find significant meaning in life.  Even their so called good deeds or achievements seem to have only temporal value.

Others have said that there are many gods.  Others have said that there are many many gods.  Some have said, and history has confirmed, that these gods actually demand human sacrifice.  Unimaginable horrors have resulted from human misunderstanding of our origins.

Some have taken these many gods and gotten rid of all except one and declared that this is the one and only true god.  Some of these folks have killed a lot of people who’ve not agreed with them.

All these speculations concerning our origin are just that… speculation… Fake News.

There is in the human heart an innate knowledge of good and bad. We have an awareness that there are virtues and vices.  We can distinguish between, for instance, humility and arrogance, patience and impatience, compassion vs. dismissiveness, hopefulness vs. despair.  We can distinguish between loyalty and back-stabbing, kindness and cruelty.  I would hold that the virtues are conducive to life and the vices are more conducive to death.

These virtues are behaviors and attitudes that all of we human beings ought to be able to display all the time, but none of us do.  Some of us are better at it than others but none of us is perfect at it by any means.  Culture, religion (or lack thereof) pervert and distort our understanding of the importance of these virtues.  For instance, there actually are people groups who say that it is more virtuous to be deceptive than to be straight-forward and honest.1   Many in the “west” have come to be brainwashed into thinking that what one regards as “success” is more important than the personal exercise of virtue.

Sadly, our variant perspectives on how we got here impact how we deal with this inadequacy on our part which, for the sake of argument, I’ll call as “guilt”.   Some of us live with remorse.  Some engage in self-sacrifice.  Some of us go to war on behalf of our fake cause.  Some of us think we can mollify our guilt by engaging in, what we think are charitable or righteous endeavors.  And many fake religions have promoted ways of mollifying our guilt whether it be through good deeds or “throwing money into the coffer” or recitations of mantras of some sort.  And the real news is that none of those endeavors work.  They’re like putting a band-aid on a cancerous skin lesion.

One day, the one and only true creator God of the universe manifested Himself to one man by the name of Abraham.  This God was about to destroy two cities named Sodom and Gomorrah because the people of those cities were universally and irredeemably displaying no virtues and only vices.  As Abraham was looking down into that valley with those cities infected by corruption, God said of Abraham

“…I have chosen him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him.” 
Genesis 18:19

The Bible gives a record the early history of the Children of Abraham, which today, we call “the Jewish people”.  And the Bible’s stark honesty displays our collective inability to “do the righteousness and justice” that Abraham had commanded of us.  Despite our failure however, two things emerged with unchanging and irrevocable certainty … the absolute standard of virtues as opposed to vices and the Messiah who came into the world through those people whom we call the Jews.  What is objectively good or virtuous is as prevalent as the air we breathe.  It cannot change!  To compliment that, the Messiah is the only person among the billions upon billions of people who’ve lived on this planet throughout its history, who had determined that always, in every instance, in time, choosing and practicing virtue over vice was more important than even survival itself.  He was the way that God would be if He would ever choose to manifest Himself as a man.

His death alone was capable of compensating for our inadequacies.  His death alone would pay for our guilt.  By comparison, all the money we would “throw into the coffers” or any of the sacrifices we would make on behalf of our pseudo perception of God are thoroughly inadequate because we are inadequate.

The news of this man and the wonderful forgiveness available to anyone who would simply trust in Jesus’ death as the appeasement of God’s wrath towards us, was spread by Jews with names like Shimeon, Yaakov, Yehudah, Shaul, Yochenon and others.  The “Church” however, has hidden the Jewishness of this story.  It changed the names of these men to Simon-Peter, James, Jude, Paul, and John respectively.  It drew pictures of Jesus with a halo around His head or with wavy blond hair or it made him look weak and effeminate.  The church certainly made Jesus to not look Jewish!  In fact, it changed His Name to Jesus which really has no meaning.  Jesus is a transliteration of His real Name which is the Hebrew name Y’shua which means “the salvation of God”.  The Church called the afore mentioned disseminators of the Gospel “Christians” whom, by virtue of that epithet along with the “gentilization” of their names, were now no longer perceived as Jews.  The Church made up its own holidays and traditions which further disguised the origin of their faith.  Much of the Church even went so far as to say that the Old Testament is irrelevant which is quite ridiculous by virtue of the fact that literally 33% of the text of the New Testament consists of Older Testament quotes.

The Church removed the cultural trappings of the context in which Jesus lived and replaced them with its own culture and even forbad Jews who wanted to “join the church” from practicing elements of their own culture disregarding the reality that much of Jewish culture, by virtue of its link to the Old Testament, which speaks of the nature of, time of manifestation and foreseen accomplishments of the Messiah, compliments the Gospel message.

Admittedly Jewish leadership has also been responsible for historic Jewish rejection of Jesus.  The end result of all of this separation of Christianity from its Jewish roots is that it is now, perceived as something which is fundamentally not Jewish.  Consequently, it is viewed as just another religion like Buddhism, Hinduism or Islam.  It is not!  GENUINE CHRISTIANITY IS A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH THE ONE AND ONLY LIVING AND ETERNAL GOD  who has an infinite, selfless love specifically for you and He manifested that love through the excruciatingly agonizing death of Jesus.  I don’t know how He does it, but I’ve come to realize that because He’s God, you are the very undivided focus of His attention.  He loves you as if you were the only person who exists.  And you may find it difficult to believe, but all things that take place in your life, even the difficult things, take place because He specifically loves you!  As scripture says...

    "God causes all things to work together for good to 
     those who love God and are called according to His      purpose."
                                                                  Romans 8:28

Hey, maybe you might think that what I’m telling you about God and Jesus is fake news.  I certainly hope not.  But whether you agree with that or not, disregarding the trappings that have come with the Church, and going right to the source… the scripture, whether you believe the scripture or not, you will discover that both the Old and New Testaments are thoroughly Jewish books.  This is undeniable.  Check it out for yourself!  And I dare say that to claim that Christianity is NOT Jewish is FAKE NEWS.

I want to thank you for reading this essay.  If you don’t already, I do hope you’ll come to agree concerning what I’ve said about the universality of virtue and your and my inability to practice it.  I hope you’ll come to realize that the only way of forgiveness for this inadequacy is through Jesus’ death and that His subsequent resurrection opens the gates for eternal life for you and for me.  I would argue that despite the failures of the “Church”, it, for the most part, got those universal fundamentals right.

May God bless you.

Benyomin Ellegant



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Erik said...

Benyomin, thanks for your essays! I saw you with your sign on Poplar and Ridgeway and my interest was piqued. I like your ideas of Christianity being a continuity of Judaism instead of at odds with Judaism, as seems to be the prevalent belief. I consider myself a Christian first and foremost and do not associate strongly with any particular denomination. I've been trying to learn as much as possible about other religions/denominations/beliefs/cultures lately and your writings are very insightful. Thanks for the food for thought! I look forward to more.

Benyomin said...

I thank you for your kind and encouraging words. May God bless and keep you. Seek Him with everything you've got. Keep in touch. Benyomin