Tag Archives: Messiah Truth

What the New Testament means to me

This exchange occurred at Messiah Truth:

MT 3

The New Testament equips me to love All.

On the one hand, one who diligently lives as Jesus taught eventually reaches a point where loving All is not merely a possibility, but a responsibility. I am at that point now.

On the other hand, loving All of necessity entails loving situations, events and people one might much more easily abhor.

1 Corinthians 12 applies to the need to love one’s whole self.  We are acquainted with an individual who finds one feature of himself, or rather of his story, so abhorrent that he preoccupies himself with it, until the self-hatred becomes unbearable; at which point he lashes out.  I wrote “A short route to agony” with that person specifically in mind.

In 1978, I applied through the United Methodist Church Board of Global Ministries to become a missionary to Japan; I would teach English at a Japanese Christian high school.  As part of this process, they required me to read William Stringfellow’s An Ethic for Christians and Other Aliens in a Strange Land.  I hated it.  For the most part, it was a typical 1970’s radical screed, blaming America for every single problem that exists in the world.  One point stuck with me, however.  Stringfellow opines that the Kingdom never does or will manifest in any permanent or worldwide basis; the Kingdom instead appears here and there, now and then, in a community that honors the gifts of its each and every member.

1 Corinthians 12 applies equally here.  I belong to “A real church in a real ’hood.”  We are diligent and intentional about being that sort of community.  Now, I have learning opportunities here: even though I am homeless myself, it is easy for me to look down on “the critters and the crazies” whom I meet at McDonald’s.  Birur nitzotzot relates: evangelism entails facilitating each person’s discovery of his or her own way to shine.

In the Parable of the Great Dinner, the master directs his servant:

“‘Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ 22And the slave said, ‘Sir, what you ordered has been done, and there is still room.” 23Then the master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the roads and lanes, and compel people to come in, so that my house may be filled.'”

In the Kingdom, there are no outcasts.  Everyone has a place at the table.

(Originally posted 2014-09-24.)

Genesis: How much historical and how much allegorical?

Genesis: How much historical and how much allegorical?

I thought this thread at the Messiah Truth discussion forum, where I am known as “Proteus,” might interest some readers here. Keep in mind that most of the participants there are Orthodox Jews. Some of the views expressed as of 05/28/14 have surprised me already.

(Originally posted 05/29/14.)

Moltmann: A thumbnail portrait

In coming posts, I must refer to “revealed God” vs. “hidden God” religion. To lay some background now, I reproduce a 2007 post from Messiah Truth, where I am known as Proteus.  The context was a moderator’s insistence that Naziism was a Christian expression.  I refer to the premiere Christian theological response to Naziism, Jürgen Moltmann’s The Crucified God. Continue reading Moltmann: A thumbnail portrait

How can Jesus possibly be wrong?

In a recent post, I said, if Jesus did teach thus-and-so, he was wrong.

That’s an extreme position for someone who calls himself a Christian.

And some may be alarmed at the total rejection of Biblical “inspiration” it implies.

There are quite a few wrong things in the Christian Bible.

For the moment, I’ll pass over those I find in the “Old Testament.”

Particularly from a series of threads done by Sophiee at Messiah Truth about “365 Prophecies of Jesus,” it has become clear to me that nearly all of the “Old Testament” quotations in the book of Hebrews are misapplied.

Yes, it can shake one’s confidence in what one thought one believed.

Why Christians believe

A new thread at Messiah Truth.

This is most emphatically not Jewish teaching.  I expect it correctly to be condemned as not-Jewish.  I also expect it to be condemned, correctly or not, as just plain wrong.

The point is to facilitate understanding of what motivates belief in the Christian myth.

Sunday was Palm Sunday.  The appointed “Gospel” text this year was Luke 22:14-23:56, which covers from the beginning of the Last Supper up to Jesus’ burial.

The pastor normally reads the “Gospel” lesson.  Pastor’s voice quavered throughout this reading, which I found hard to figure since his beliefs are similar enough to mine.  We waded through all the problems in the text, e.g. the impossible trial at the High Priest’s house on Pesach.  But I also got re-acquainted with why Christians believe so fervently in this text.

Continue reading Why Christians believe

Transference, BLM and anti-Semitism

When I hang out at Dunkin’ Donuts in the morning, I have a prescribed spot, in a corner, by the door.

This morning this woman came in scowling.  She was deeply resentful about something.  Once she got her order and began to head out, it became clear that the something had changed.  Whatever she’d been resentful about before was no matter; what she resented now was my skin color.

Transference is the removal of emotions, normally negative, from connection with one idea or situation, and attaching the same to a different idea or situation.  This incident this morning was an epiphany for me of how easily it happens, and how evil it can be.

Continue reading Transference, BLM and anti-Semitism