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Switch to Forum Live View IDOLATRY - An explanation for missionaries
4 years ago  ::  Mar 11, 2011 - 2:02PM #1
rocketjsquirell
Posts: 16,166
The following is a shortish explanation of the idolatry of Christianity. Please note that for Christians, Christianity is not idolatry. As Jews, we accept that Christians do not see themselves as idolaters and therefore we do not see them as idolaters. However, a Jew who becomes a Christian would be an idolater. Hope that makes sense.  


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IDOLATRY


by Rabbi Eli Cohen on Sunday, March 6, 2011 at 1:26am


 By Rabbi Blumenthal


The Jew equates worship of Jesus with idolatry. A Jew sees no room for discussion of this issue. A man cannot be God and that’s all there is to it. The missionary effort to present scriptural quotations as evidence to support his devotion to Jesus, is wasted on the Jew. God gave the Jewish people an understanding of Himself before He gave them the scriptures. The Jewish people read scripture in light of their understanding of God. It was God Himself who gave the Jewish people their conception of God, and it is through the lens of this fundamental teaching that we understand all subsequent revelation. The words of the prophets do not have the power to alter that which God Himself has taught us. The exact opposite is true. Our conception of God is the criterion by which the prophet’s words are evaluated.


God is a living reality in the Jewish world. The Jew who follows the ways of his fathers will mention God’s name more than one hundred times in a day. The ongoing relationship that the Jewish people have with God is the path through which each subsequent generation of Jews is introduced into a personal relationship with God. Jews recognize God as the Creator of all, and as the One who constantly sustains all of existence. God is all-powerful and all knowing, and it is to Him and Him alone that our devotion belongs. There is no room for devotion to any other entity, for we receive everything from God. There is no need to worship another being, because everything resides with God. The Jew is missing nothing in the worship of God, and by its very definition, nothing can be missing in the worship of God.


The missionary is not satisfied with the Jew’s worship of the God who revealed Himself at Mt. Sinai. The missionary encourages the Jew to devote himself in worship towards a fellow who died some two thousand years ago. All of the missionary’s convoluted arguments are meaningless to the Jew. If the Jewish worship of the Creator is not good enough for the missionary, then the missionary is advocating idolatry.


Since Christianity has been around for some time, worshiping Jesus while decrying idolatry, much confusion has been generated on this subject. People equate idolatry with the activity of bowing down to a clumsy wooden statue, and that is where it ends. People fail to realize that by scriptural definition, idolatry includes much more.


. . . cont. . . .


full ARTICLE here:


www.facebook.com/#!/notes/rabbi-eli-cohe...


 

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4 years ago  ::  Mar 14, 2011 - 6:13PM #2
realif
Posts: 60

That is the belief of a Jewish man and to me he has every right to believe whatever he wishes and so do you.  I too have a right to believe and I happen to believe Yeshua lived.  What I don't believe is that He was a threat and needs to be hated.  This is a man who loved, His love was not threatening.

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4 years ago  ::  Mar 14, 2011 - 7:59PM #3
LeahOne
Posts: 16,396

What is your definition of 'idolatry' then?

Moderated by Beliefnet_community on Mar 17, 2011 - 09:42PM
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4 years ago  ::  Mar 17, 2011 - 4:25PM #4
realif
Posts: 60

Idolatry the worship of a physical object as a god.  Webster dictionary. 


I worship the one true God, the God of Abraham, the creator God. 

Moderated by Beliefnet_community on Mar 17, 2011 - 09:41PM
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4 years ago  ::  Mar 17, 2011 - 7:44PM #5
LeahOne
Posts: 16,396

Well, that's a good PARTIAL definition.  Unfortunately, it's so far from complete it's virtually useless here.


'Idolatry' for the Jewish People means "worship of anything or anyone BUT the LORD" - or "ascribing the LORD's attributes to anything else'


People who use the Torah as some kind of 'future-telling' are committing idolatry - as are people who insist that some translation of Torah is better than the original.


The whole 'End Times' thing that Christians do, that is all 'idolatry' as well:  it's treating a book - even though it's Scripture! - as though that book has the attributes which only the LORD does.


That's the point of this thread:  to explain what Jews mean by 'idolatry' in Judaism.


 

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4 years ago  ::  Mar 20, 2011 - 3:46PM #6
Pam34
Posts: 2,655

There's The Creator - and then there's Everything Else.


Associating something from 'everything else' with God is idolatry, and so is worshipping anything/being/person OTHER than God (even 'along with').


 


nutshell definition, just a restatement of what LeahOne had to say.


 


To a certain degree, it doesn't even MATTER whether or not 'Jesus' is or isn't 'God' or 'Son of God' or anything at all, because the minute - the very SECOND - that a 'second being' (whether person, persona, or aspect) is associated with the One Unique Oneness that is Israel's God, then that's 'idolatry' for the Jews.


 


God is neither a man, nor a liar. The 'New Testament' would make God both those things, from our perspective.


 

Blessed are You, HaShem, Who blesses the years.
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4 years ago  ::  Mar 20, 2011 - 8:14PM #7
Beautiful_Dreamer
Posts: 5,162

Mar 14, 2011 -- 6:13PM, realif wrote:


That is the belief of a Jewish man and to me he has every right to believe whatever he wishes and so do you.  I too have a right to believe and I happen to believe Yeshua lived.  What I don't believe is that He was a threat and needs to be hated.  This is a man who loved, His love was not threatening.




I don't think anyone is saying we [non-Jews] don't have a right to believe in Yeshua or whoever else we want. They just don't agree. The impression I've gotten was that Jewish law wasn't seen to be binding  on anyone other than Jews, so what would be idolatry for a Jew might  not be for a Christian or someone else.

More where that came from...

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4 years ago  ::  Mar 20, 2011 - 8:51PM #8
Pam34
Posts: 2,655

Yes - such a thing is idolatry FOR JEWS. We don't teach or believe that 'only' Jews have a line to God, so to speak. Every people/nation has a path.


 


Our standard teaching concerning the Christian concept of God as Three, is that it is clearly idolatrous for Jews, but is just as clearly 'monotheism' for pagans, and we do understand that the Christian doctrine of 'the Trinity' is believed to be a monotheism, and therefore is NOT 'idolatry' for Christians.


 


Still - Islam is closer to our concept of God as Uniquely One.

Blessed are You, HaShem, Who blesses the years.
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4 years ago  ::  Mar 24, 2011 - 11:41AM #9
realif
Posts: 60

The meaning of the word idolatry in Websters dictionary seems to be the same for all people not just Jews, I don't think calling those who believe Yeshua is God will be very popular with the millions of people around the world who do.  I have stated many times that I do not believe Yeshua is a God.  I also would like to question who you are Jew or not to make that statement.


There is something called love and understanding, trying to accept the beliefs of others.  Its obvious to me that many Christians have been led astray by leaders of Christianity, I don't believe it's their fault for believing what lies they've been told since childhood.  The book of Hebrews in the NT calles Yeshua the 'high priest'.  For you to run around claiming He didn't exist or that His teachings are not valid is ludicrous.

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4 years ago  ::  Mar 24, 2011 - 2:50PM #10
LeahOne
Posts: 16,396

Mar 24, 2011 -- 11:41AM, realif wrote:


The meaning of the word idolatry in Websters dictionary seems to be the same for all people not just Jews,


I'm sorry it wasn't clear enough before:  what gets TRANSLATED as 'idolatry' in English, is what's being discussed.  NOT the dictionary English meaning.  This is part of the general problem with translations :  they are not always accurate.


 I don't think calling those who believe Yeshua is God will be very popular with the millions of people around the world who do. 


It's not a matter of 'popularity':  it's a matter of understanding the MEANING over the translated words. 


 I have stated many times that I do not believe Yeshua is a God.  I also would like to question who you are Jew or not to make that statement.


It's not about his being Jewish:  it's about his knowing what the *concept* which gets translated as 'idolatry' in English really means.  It means 'giving worship or divine status to anything or anyone not YHVH' -which includes treating the Torah or any Scripture as being 'divine' in itself.


There is something called love and understanding, trying to accept the beliefs of others. 


Yes, and if you think 'idol -worshipping' is all 'idolatry' means, you will NOT have an adequate understanding of Judaism


 Its obvious to me that many Christians have been led astray by leaders of Christianity,


That's NOT the topic of this thread.  Not at all.


 I don't believe it's their fault for believing what lies they've been told since childhood. 


Since they're no longer those children, I think it's foolish to leave their beliefs unexamined.


The book of Hebrews in the NT calles Yeshua the 'high priest'. 


The 'book of Hebrews' has nothign to do with Judaism:  irrelevant and off-topic.


For you to run around claiming He didn't exist or that His teachings are not valid is ludicrous.


OF course, that isn't what's going on here, but you seem incapable of realizing that - or of staying on topic.


Judiasm doens't CARE if your jesus existed or that he taught:  it's NOT part of Judaism.  


And BTW:  Judaism does not claim ANYTHING 'officially' about jesus anymore than it does about Krishna or the Easter Bunny, or Thor or the Triune Goddess.  And all for the same exact reason:  none of those are part of Judaism.


Our Pagan friends have never complained to us about that.....what's your problem?





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