Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Christians, Messianics, and Jews

I have been enjoying an exchange of thought and positions with a blogger who calls himself "A Jew with a View." The more I read about his "bouts" with the Messianic Jews, the more I tend to realize that Christianity thinks that a Jew is something entirely different than an orthodox Jew does. Nomenclature is the root of so many arguments.

First, I have to confess that I can understand and relate to several points he has made stating that Jews themselves define what Judaism is, and it excludes those who worship a man--even the God-Man. So, in other words, the prevailing argument is that Messianics are not Jews.

However, I would like to propose that what is meant by Messianics and Christians by the term "Jew" is not the same definition as what an orthodox Jew might mean, and as such, if we can dissect the issue there may be less of an argument.

Messianics (and all Christians who actually understand orthodox theology... probably an equally minor proportion as in Judaism) understand that what it means to be Jewish is to be an Israelite in covenant with the One God wherein, among many other facets, sins are forgiven by expiation through a sacrifice.

If in fact Judaism and Christianity can agree up to this point, then the key difference is not in whether a person follows Jewish interpretation of the covenant--or rather, an acceptable New Covenant as described by the Prophet Jeremiah--but whether their interpretation is in fact one Jewish interpretation.

At this point, it's prudent to point out that there is a varying viewpoint on theology even among those who call themselves Jews today--ranging from orthodox to apostate.

So, the fact remains that a few Pharisees (Paul & Nicodemus), a zealot (Peter), a Rabbi (Jesus), and several fisherman and carpenters who were all themselves Jews were the originators of this new, albeit unorthodox, interpretation of the Hebrew scriptures which undergird Christian theology and Christology. So, is the Jew with a View right in claiming that Messianics are not Jewish? That they have no claim to the name "Jewish?" I don't think so.

If by this point in reading this post you're entirely lost... I would encourage you to read up on the arguments made at http://ajewwithaview.wordpress.com and, if you are so inclined, join the discussion!

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20 Comments:

  • Many thanks for these comments; I'm keen to respond.

    Your explanation is a very charitable one towards the Messianics and I suspect this is because *you* are a truly decent person, and like most Christians and all Jews, find it hard to accept that any group would lie to the extent of claiming to be 'jewish' when they literally are *not*.

    Let me stress: Messianics do NOT represent all Christians. Jews know this. Messianics are a very specific group that dishonour both Judaism AND Christianity.

    Unfortunately, the suggestion you offer is not correct, and this is shown by the admissions of Messianics and ex Messianics. The movement used to call its members 'hebrew christians', for many, many years. Though not an accurate name, it was nevertheless far more honest.

    But we have to grasp the central point: this movement has always been about trying to convert Jews to its own peculiar form of Christianity. And when it transpired that no Jews were attracted to 'hebrew christianity', the movement went away and rebranded. It returned as "messianic judaism" and swiftly set about insisting it was 'a new form of judaism'.

    It isn't, of course. Messianics are *literally* NOT Jews, just as Hindus are literally not Jews.

    Happily, many Christian leaders and Christian movements have publicly condemned the Messianics for their lies. Indeed, as far back as 1977, Christian, Muslim and Jewish leaders issued a joint statement:

    At the 1977 Washington D.C. Interfaith Conference, Protestant, Roman-Catholic, Muslim and Jewish leaders issued an official statement (published in "Interfaith Connector" Vol. 8, No. 2) stating:

    “We condemn proselytizing efforts which involve deception. Such practices are common among Christian groups calling themselves 'Hebrew Christianity', ***'Messianic judaism'***, or 'jews for Jesus'.
    "These groups specifically target Jews for conversion to Christianity, claiming that in accepting Jesus as the savior/messiah, a Jews 'fulfills' his/her faith.'

    "By celebrating Jewish festivals, worshipping on the Jewish Shabbat, appropriating Jewish symbols, rituals and prayers in their Churches, and, sometimes, even calling their leaders 'Rabbi', they seek to win over, often by deception, many Jews.

    "They target vulnerable groups - residents of hospitals and old aged homes, confused youth, college students away from home. These deceitful techniques are tantamount to coerced conversions and should be condemned."

    By Anonymous Jew With A View, At May 28, 2009 4:41 AM  

  • OK, me again - was running out of space. By the way, many thanks for including a link to my blog :)

    To continue then: I have spoken with many ex Messianics and they all seem to state the same thing. They are told by Messianic leaders to try and make their religion feel less "Christian".

    Thus for example, the crucifix is removed, as is the very name " Jesus Christ", and the pastor, altar, Sunday morning mass and all of the terms and rituals associated with the Church.

    Instead, Messianics refer to "Yeshua HaMoshiach",('jesus the messiah') 'rabbis', (in reality Christian ministers), and Saturday morning services. Dressing up their Church as 'temples', with Jewish symbols, the Messianic movement sets out to 'teach' Jews about 'yeshua'

    Again I really want to stress: this is a ***specific*** Christian group and Jews are aware that they do NOT represent either Christians or Christianity in general.

    When I condemn Messianics, I am purely condemning their deceit in posing as 'jews' - I am in no way criticising Christian beliefs.

    Sadly, the Messianic movement is causing many problems between Jews and Christians. For example: I was at a dinner party some months ago. The topic of religion arose and someone mentioned that I was Jewish. Another girl sought me out a bit later for a conversation and to express how delighted she was that I had 'found Jesus'....!

    When I tactfully tried to clarify, she insisted 'many jews worship Jesus' and upon further discussion, it transpired that SHE had met two Messianics who had convinced her that they were 'jewish'.

    They were not, of course, and never had been.

    When I politely tried to explain all of this, the girl was absolutely bemused and initially thought that ***I*** was lying about being Jewish!!!

    Can you imagine how that felt for me?

    And this was not an isolated situation. It is happening to many Jews, both in the 'real world' and online, as we seek to counter the lies told by Messianics about Jewish beliefs.

    Messianics twist both Judaism and Christianity and all decent people of both faiths need to expose the lies told by the Messianic movement. Neither Judaism nor Christianity tells followers that it's OK to deceive people - thus Messianics are violating BOTH faiths.

    By Anonymous Jew With A View, At May 28, 2009 4:53 AM  

  • Me again!

    Just to mention: Jesus was not actually a Rabbi; we didn't have Rabbis at that time. Jesus did teach basic Judaism, granted. 'Love thy neighbour', for instance, comes from the Tanakh, and of course is a fundamental tenet of both Judaism and Christianity.

    Re Paul: doubtful that he was a Pharisee...


    Finally: I've been remiss and neglected to introduce myself properly; my name's Tabatha :)

    By Anonymous Jew With A View, At May 28, 2009 4:56 AM  

  • Having just read again your post, I need to state unequivocally:

    Yes, I am stating as fact that Messianics are literally *not* Jewish.

    Not via birth, not via conversion - and these are the only ways in which a person can be Jewish.

    Messianics are, of course, welcome to convert TO Judaism but would never do so - because they worship Jesus and practise a form of Christianity.

    At this point it might be helpful if I actually define 'Jewish':

    A person is Jewish if their mother is Jewish *or* they convert to Judaism.

    They remain Jewish ***unless*** they adopt ANY other religion, at which point they become an Apostate.

    No group gets to unilaterally declare itself 'jewish'.

    Messianics are *literally* not Jewish.

    By Anonymous Jew With A View, At May 28, 2009 5:11 AM  

  • Tabitha,

    Thank you for introducing yourself.

    I believe I've stated agreement that I don't approve of deception in the name of evangelism. In fact, being myself a sovereigntist (calvinist), I think that's downright foolish. I've witnessed similar tactics in evangelism to Muslims and reacted with the same disgust.

    However, I have to point out an obvious contradiction. You've stated "No group gets to unilaterally declare itself 'jewish'." Except, of course, the group that you believe IS jewish???

    If we are to demonstrate more reverence for one another's faiths, you need to realize about Christianity that:

    First, Scripture teaches us that the Jewish people (descendents of Jacob) "hardened their hearts" and rejected the Lord's Annointed. Let me restate, I'm not arguing that Christ's first coming met your list of 23 criteria. Instead, I'm stating that God had an altogether greater plan that preceded (not replaced) the political Messiah's reign and that the Jews have rejected that.

    Second, as a result of the Jews rejection, this new covenant was offered to the Gentiles who would come into covenant relationship by faith. Scripture calls this being "grafted in" as a branch is grafted. Whereas, in the metaphor given in Romans 11, Israel is the roots and the Gentiles are wild branches grafted in.

    The Christian faith teaches that "Not all who are descended from Israel are Israel" (Romans 9:6). In other words, it's not the ancestry that makes someone in covenant with God, it's their faith.

    So, getting back to who gets to define "jewish," the Jews today define it as either a maternal descent or conversion... and not even a conversion that is of faith, because you yourself have stated that they can still be Jewish if they have abandoned all faith in God so long as they don't go to another religion.

    Christians, on the other hand, teach that to be "Israel" (now, we tend not to say Jewish because that's not as theologically accurate, but in this context I think you and I both mean the same thing by that term) is to be a chosen people in a covenant relationship with God that is by faith.

    So, by the tenets of our faith, we can say that you are not "Jewish" because you have rejected the New Covenant that God promised through the prophet Jeremiah and that He established through His Son (yes, it's possible to have One God and not polytheistic and still believe in the Son).

    All of this I bring up not to defend any measure of deception by messianics, nor to actually tell you to stop calling yourself Jewish (that is NOT my aim), only to say that there are perhaps other perspectives on the topic that you cannot fully appreciate without being in my shoes--a Christian wholly devoted to my faith and what God has taught me through the Scriptures.

    So, if there is no unilateral definition of Judaism, then that includes the definition given by Jews.

    If you have the time to spare, I would like to hear your feedback on the class I teach called "The Person and Work of Christ" in which we discuss His deity, the Trinity, and His role as the "Annointed." The first lecture you can skip, it's kinda an intro: Person and Work of Christ.

    By Blogger Nick Carter, At May 28, 2009 8:37 AM  

  • Nick, with the greatest of respect, you are incorrect.

    If someone is not Jewish according to Judaism - then clearly they are not Jewish.

    You seem to be suggesting that Judaism does not have the right to define what is - and is not - Jewish.

    Jews don't 'reject' a 'new covenant'. We simply choose to ***remain*** Jewish. Do you 'reject' being a Muslim? No of course not - you simply remain a Christian, despite what Muslims say about Islam being the 'correction' of Christianity and Judaism.

    The same logic applies to Judaism and Christianity.

    Judaism teaches and indeed always has, that *all* humans are equally G-d's children. All faiths have their own, unique connection to G-d.

    Christians, of course, believe in a 'new covenant'. We respect that. But please don't try and tell me that Christianity gets to REdefine the very word 'jewish'.


    The only way in which you can assert that I am 'not jewish' is according to Christian beliefs. But of course, as I'm sure you'll appreciate, Christianity does not define what is and is not Jewish.

    And no matter what the Christian bible says about who is and is not 'jewish', again: the Christian bible has no bearing upon Jewish identity or Jewish beliefs.

    Judaism has defined 'jewish' in the same way for thousands of years.

    A person is Jewish if:
    - their mother is Jewish
    - they have converted to Judaism
    And - they have not adopted **any** other faith.

    Thus, I am Jewish, according to Judaism. Sorry, but for you or anyone to actually try and claim that I am 'not jewish' is frankly bizarre!

    I don't know how familiar you are with the Messianic movement, but I can tell you that the vast majority of Messianics were *never* Jewish to start with.

    If a group of Hindus decided they rather liked some aspects of Jewish ritual, but disagreed with others, and if they then decided to try and mesh a few Jewish customs, with Hinduism, would that make Hinduism or Hindus 'jewish'?

    Would this particular group of Hindus, be honest if they defined themselves as 'jewish hindus'?

    Answer: No, of course not.

    Now change 'hindu' to 'Christian' and you have the Messianic movement.

    To reiterate: Messianics are a specific group of evangelical Christians. I am not in any way criticising Christians nor Christianity. Most Christians condemn the lies told by Messianics.

    By Anonymous Jew With A View, At May 28, 2009 9:44 AM  

  • Just to add a note to my most recent post:

    Yes, of course there are various 'perspectives' on matters concerning religious ideologies.

    But words DO have objective meanings. And if a person is not Jewish by the criteria OF Judaism, they are not Jewish, period.

    Just as a Christian must fulfill Christianity's criteria. After all, a person couldn't go around claiming to be a 'christian' WHILE stating that Jesus never existed, right?

    It would be absurd.

    But you see, it's equally absurd to try and say that a non Jewish group can unlaterally declare itself 'jewish'. You've suggested that Judaism itself constitutes one such group, but I put it to you that this makes no sense.

    I'm aware that I've responded bluntly in my last two posts, but hope and trust you will appreciate I am simply trying to clarify the issue.

    You've asked if I would comment on a class you teach and of course I will be happy to take a look and offer any thoughts :)

    I plan to blog about the relationship between Jews and Christians at some point this week; if you have time I would greatly welcome any comments you'd care to offer.

    By Anonymous Jew With A View/ Tabatha, At May 28, 2009 10:07 AM  

  • Time for some mediation I think (from another Jew).

    Tabatha, I think it is uncharitable to suggest that Christians have no greater claim to the word 'Jew' than Hindus, because crucially Christianity is descended from Judaism whereas Hinduism is not.

    To simplify, a group of people who called themselves Israel practised a religion they called Judaism, and a man was born among them who during his short life satisfied some but not all of the criteria of being their long-awaited Messiah. Some of the people took the view that he had not been the Messiah and stuck to their traditional practices and continued calling themselves Jews. But others believed that he had been the Messiah and would come back to complete his mission. They changed their name and many practices in tune with recognition of the Messiah, but they did not feel that they had abandoned Judaism - they considered themselves its correct continuation and remained (part of) the house of Israel.

    Nick, am I correct in deducing that all Christians lay some claim to the word 'Jew', in which case it would be a shame to allow a small group of deceitful people to drive a wedge between our kinship?

    Phil

    By Blogger Phil, At May 29, 2009 3:30 AM  

  • Thanks for jumping in Phil. I think I can agree with you that Christians lay some claim to the term "Jew" - but more so, the term "Israel" as our scriptures really aim to define "Israel" in Romans 9-11 where the righteous remnant is foretold, ingrafting, election, etc. is all discussed.

    To Tabatha, I want to say, although I can see that my comments have incensed you. I meant only to shed a different angle on it. I'm not trying to steal your term or redefine it for you. However, as Phil has put it, others do lay a rightful (even if not agreeable to you) claim to their own definition of Jewish.

    I can add that I feel your frustration. There are more "sects" to Christianity than any other religion I know of, and many of them aren't "Christian" in the orthodox sense that I and most Evangelicals would define it. Nonetheless, it's a losing battle to try and tell someone they aren't something when they believe that they are.

    The resolution that many Christians have come to has been to abandon the term "Christian" and instead call ourselves "Christ Followers" or some other derivative.

    By Blogger Nick Carter, At May 29, 2009 7:47 AM  

  • OK, I've read Phil's comments and have to say: Oy vey...! LOL LOL (Nick, there is an old Jewish joke that if you get two Jews, you'll have three opinions; or to put it another way, Jews love to argue! :) )

    I will respond to Phil but firstly am keen to address Nick's posts:

    Be assured I'm not 'incensed'. I think this is something that often happens when Jews and Christians discuss religion. It might sound as though I'm digressing now, but do bear with me, I am heading somewhere with this :)

    Christianity is a religion in the true sense of the word, in that it relies upon belief - upon faith. A person is a Christian if they affirm belief in and worship of Jesus and the ideology that surrounds Jesus: virgin birth, resurrection, the trinity, second coming, Jesus as 'god incarnate'; (forgive me if I'm generalising, I realise that different Christian groups differ re beliefs and possibly conversion criteria).

    Now, if a Christian ceases to *believe*, presumably they cease to be a Christian...? Am I correct in stating it in this manner?

    Judaism, though, is not a 'religion' in the same sense as Christianity. Not at all. In fact, many Jews (myself included) argue that the term 'family' is a **far** more accurate term to describe Jews.

    Judaism is a tribal faith. Membership does not rest on faith, nor on belief. You are Jewish if - and only if - your mother is Jewish. When Gentiles convert into Judaism they are effectively *adopted* INTO the Jewish family. (When Gentiles convert, they do actually have to accept Jewish theological beliefs, though, or they won't be accepted. For instance, a practising Hindu would not be able to convert to Judaism)

    A person who is born into the family, remains part of the family **even if** they do not practise Judaism - which of course is the faith attached TO the Jewish family.

    But the least observant Jew, is every bit as Jewish as the most Orthodox Jew. There are no degrees of 'Jewishness'. You are either Jewish - or not. It is all or nothing.

    Again, do correct me if I'm wrong: I believe that the early Christians felt very much that Judaism was 'legalistic'?

    They were right. Judaism *is* legalistic. Christianity is inclusive. A person proclaims belief and is welcomed. Nobody cares which faith their parents followed.

    Judaism is not inclusive. It is tribal in origin and also - crucially - in *psychology*.

    If a person wishes to claim membership, they do in fact have to *prove* they were born to a Jewish mother; that their parents had a Jewish marriage. And so on.

    Perhaps now you appreciate why no person and no group - outside of the Jewish family - can unilaterally declare themselves 'jews' or 'jewish' or part of 'israel'.

    Could someone turn up at your house for a family dinner, invite themselves inside, sit down at your table, and declare themselves part of your family?!

    No, of course not.

    Now, of course Christians believe differently, as Nick has stated. But - and no disrespect intended whatsoever - it doesn't actually matter what the Christian bible states about Christians being 'grafted in' or a person being a 'spiritual jew' and so on.

    Because that is all utterly irrelevant to Judaism and to Jews. Nobody gets 'grafted in' to Judaism. The Christian faith and scriptures don't get to decide who is and is not part of the Jewish family.

    Perhaps more to the point: nobody *needs* to be 'grafted in'. Nobody is loved more by G-d, or knows G-d more, by dint of being a Jew. Nobody is 'special' or 'superior' by dint of being Jewish.

    All humans are equally G-d's children: this is a fundamental Jewish tenet.

    I'm running out of space, I think - will post again in a minute.

    By Anonymous Jew With A View/ Tabatha, At May 29, 2009 10:46 AM  

  • Post Two:

    Nick stated: 'others do lay a rightful (even if not agreeable to you) claim to their own definition of Jewish.'

    Ah, but you see, this is incorrect. Nobody outside of Judaism gets to REdefine 'jewish'.

    If you are going to argue they can, then you have to apply that 'logic' to all faiths. And by that criteria, a group could - naturally this is hypothetical and am just using it as an example - declare that they were the 'true Christians' while stating that Jesus either never existed OR that he did but was not divine and not the messiah.

    But no Christian would accept they were 'right' to REdefine and claim the name 'christian' in this way, correct...?

    I can wake up tomorrow and declare myself a Native American Indian.
    - Do I have a 'rightful' claim on the term?

    No. Now we get to Phil's point: Phil is arguing that Christianity is 'descended from judaism' and thus does have some claim to the term 'Israel'.

    Phil - much as it pains me to argue (LOL LOL LOL) with a fellow Jew, I'm going to state this bluntly: your comments rest on a faulty understanding of:

    - the differences in Jewish and Christian ideology
    - the history of early Christianity

    I'm going to post again in a minute to address these errors - and I'm sure Nick will correct and clarify if he feels I mis-represent anything about Christianity :)

    By Anonymous Jew With A View/ Tabatha, At May 29, 2009 11:00 AM  

  • With all do respect, I realize you don't feel governed what the Bible says about who Israel is... namely that it's not just about lineage, but about faith. But, by the same token, nor am I governed by the Jewish traditional definition of who Israel is.

    So, if we are both ascribing to a different authority and working out of a different worldview, we aren't going to agree on terminology. I'm inclined to end this discussion. I don't see us getting anywhere.

    I don't think I'm Jewish. I don't even think I'm a "Spiritual Jew." I'm quite certain that the meaning of Jewish to you IS familial, hereditary, and of a totally different meaning than what I mean by the 6 letters configured in this order: I-S-R-A-E-L.

    I don't think we're going to come to a solution on this topic. More importantly, I'm not sure it's worthwhile.

    I am, however, really enjoying the dialogue that it's brought about. And, please be assured, I feel no offense. I've been in enough discussions to realize we're not "convincing" each other of anything.

    I wish I could summarize the positions succintly, but I cannot... and I fear that anybody who reads this string of comments later will get utterly confused :-)

    I will have to formulate a cohesive dissertation on the topic in a future post. Hopefully it will allow for a new line of discussion in a more profitable direction.

    By Blogger Nick Carter, At May 29, 2009 11:05 AM  

  • that IS the issue, Tabitha, that I realize there are people who call themselves Christians and that I wouldn't consider them Christians is MY viewpoint. Admitedly, I know I'm "right" in the academic debate, but I don't apply my efforts to trying to reclaim that term for myself. If they choose to use it, I have to be resigned to let them. I cannot prevent people from abusing the term, sadly. I can only hope I may get to speak with them and emplore them individually.

    By Blogger Nick Carter, At May 29, 2009 11:09 AM  

  • One final comment to Nick before I start addressing Phil's remarks:

    Nick, I'm aware - in fact I only learned this recently - that there are numerous Christian groups and that they don't always agree. But again, this is totally different to Judaism. Am I right in saying that however much the groups may differ, there are some core beliefs to which they all subscribe? i.e. worship of Jesus? belief in Jesus as 'messiah' and 'divine'?

    The groups may passionately disagree on many things(Trinity?) but you could find certain common beliefs, right?

    But of course, no Christian group has any of these beliefs in common with Jews. Thus, when a specific Christian evangelical group (Messianics) lies and poses as 'jews', it's not the same as different groups *within* the general term 'Christian' disagreeing on ideology etc.

    It is, in fact, members of one faith(Christianity) posing as members of a totally different and *contradictory* faith(Judaism).

    Judaism does not have numerous group. There are only three main movements: Orthodox, Conservative, Reform. And they all share the same core beliefs. The difference concerns how literally each group views the Torah.

    But every single Jewish group defines 'jewish' in precisely the same way.

    Now, do you appreciate why it is a simple statement of fact when I say: Messianics(being Christians) are *literally* NOT Jewish?

    If they are not Jewish by the criteria of Judaism they are not Jewish, period.

    Because there is no Christian criteria for being Jewish.

    Just as there can be no Muslim criteria for being Christian.

    By Anonymous Jew With A View/ Tabatha, At May 29, 2009 11:10 AM  

  • This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Anonymous Jew With A View/ Tabatha, At May 29, 2009 11:13 AM  

  • Actually, I do need to correct that statement. There are varying sects of Christianity that differ on theological points and yet it can be said that they share a common theme of core beliefs that would unite them rightfully under the title "christian."

    Yet, the groups I'm speaking of, are groups who do not share the same underlying core beliefs with Christianity--they may reject Christ as Lord and Savior openly, call Him just "one way," deny His deity, and more--yet still say they are "Christian." Great examples include Mormonism and Jehovah's Witnesses.

    So, when I say to you that both our terms, Jew and Christian, are abused by imposters who just don't understand what it REALLY means, I hope you know I mean it. In every way!

    By Blogger Nick Carter, At May 29, 2009 11:14 AM  

  • Nick, of course, if you don't feel we can ever reach a conclusion, that's your call.

    I would just be interested in your response to one key question, though...?

    If you're arguing that Christianity has a 'right' to redefine 'Israel' or 'Jewish' - by the same token, you'd presumably agree that Islam has a 'right' to come along and redefine 'Christian'...?

    By Anonymous Jew with a View, At May 29, 2009 11:38 AM  

  • Nick, thanks for clarifying that. I don't know much about Jehovah's Witnesses but I'm aware many Christians don't regard them as being 'Christians'.

    By Anonymous Jew With A View/ Tabatha, At May 29, 2009 11:39 AM  

  • There are two sides to your question. I'll start with the alegory, Islam. They have redefined what it means to be Christian. They claim that to be Christian means we have flawed scriptures and believe in a form of cosmic child abuse and/or escapism that puts our sin on Christ unjustly, thus warping the "real" God. That's their definition.

    Do I grant them that "right?" It's not mine to grant. The important key is that I know what it means to be a Christian. So, I don't allow them to redefine that term for Me, and I don't accept that they can for anyone else, including themselves. I will unequivocally state that their definition is wrong.

    So, as for Judaism. I don't expect you to "accept" someone else's definition... Including my own. I don't ask that you grant someone the right to redefine who you are. I do hope you realize that people will take that right whether you grant it or not. Your role, then, is rightly to defend your definition of the term and argue that theirs is incorrect. However, I would encourage you to not try the battle of stating that they have no "right" to even attempt a definition.

    But, lest anyone thinks I'm a relativist... I will stand in my position and tell you that according to my beliefs, your definition of Israel is wrong. I know you disagree. I know you believe that I can't even define Israel. But, I cannot relent on the definition that is so fundamental to my faith any more than can relent on the definition that is so fundamental to your lineage, thinking, and identity.

    By Blogger Nick Carter, At May 29, 2009 11:49 AM  

  • wait, I'm confused... you'll spell out Jehovah completely, but not God. What's less reverent about the Greek word for a generic deity over (albeit deeply flawed) an attempt at spelling the Old Testament name of Yahweh?

    (I'm being totally facetious, but the way, don't feel compelled to respond)

    By Blogger Nick Carter, At May 29, 2009 11:56 AM  

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