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Switch to Forum Live View A Theological Conclusion: Is It Orthodox?
7 years ago  ::  May 28, 2008 - 1:37PM #1
wolflord
Posts: 98
Dear brothers and sisters,

I have been wrestling intellectually with trying to find a conclusion to how and why Christianity lost its overt Hebraic expression. This overt Hebraic expression now only subsists in Messianic Judaism and Hebrew Catholicism. I wanted to know if this was God's Will, and why He would have allowed this.

After praying about it and thinking over it I have reached a conclusion. This conclusion provides me with great comfort as I feel it is a good conclusion encompassing Biblical and historical (along with Church) teaching.

However I really want to make sure (as much as I can) that my conclusion is Orthodox. In my following conclusion I have CAPITALIZED key thoughts and/or words that are integral to my conclusion. I hope it is understandable.

My Conclusion:

Originally, after mankind fell from God, the Lord began His plan of saving the world. He found a man of faith, Abraham our father, and established a covenant with him and his descendents because of his faith. God then progressively revealed Himself to His Chosen ones, which consisted SOLELY of the Israelite people. The way in which He revealed Himself was Jewish in nature. In His Old Covenant He made it so if one wanted to be in full communion with God, then one MUST be a born Israelite or a Gentile convert to Judaism (embracing ALL of the Jewish traditions and customs).

When the "fullness of time came (Gal. 4:4)" Jesus (God in flesh), established a new Covenant. Since Convenants can never be revoked (only abrogated or ammended) Jesus took the Old Covenant and EXPANDED it to include ALL peoples, not just the Jews. This New Covenant abrogated the obligatory nature of the ceremonial customs of the Jews, but retained those things which were established from all time (Ten Commandments and such).

Jesus also took all the old Jewish rituals outlined in Torah and GAVE THEM FULFILLMENT in the sacraments of the Catholic Church, and to a lesser extent the traditions of Catholic Christianity.

In doing this, Our Lord (through His Apostles) established ONE set of true beliefs (orthodoxy) and ONE set of practice (orthopraxis). However, in order to partake of this one faith and practice one no longer needed to be a Jew, practice Torah, be circumcised or whatever. Also this ONE Faith and practice was (since it was stripped of intrisically ethnic concepts) flexible and maleable on non-essential levels.

As the Faith spread this ONE faith and ONE practice took on the cultural patterns of the peoples it encountered. However despite the variety of expressions the Faith and practice was always ONE.

Thus, God's people which originally consisted on the Jews, was expanded to include ALL mankind. The rituals and beliefs which God originally revealed to the Jews with an obligatory ethnic component, was abrogated and expanded to include a UNIVERSAL set of beliefs and practices that were able to be expressed according to the traditions of ALL mankind.

THUS (thanks for staying with me if you have) it is no longer obligatory to follow Jewish customs, BUT it is not to be condemned either.

Is this conclusion orthodox?



Thanks in advance!

-Antonios Ioannes
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7 years ago  ::  May 28, 2008 - 1:37PM #2
wolflord
Posts: 98
Dear brothers and sisters,

I have been wrestling intellectually with trying to find a conclusion to how and why Christianity lost its overt Hebraic expression. This overt Hebraic expression now only subsists in Messianic Judaism and Hebrew Catholicism. I wanted to know if this was God's Will, and why He would have allowed this.

After praying about it and thinking over it I have reached a conclusion. This conclusion provides me with great comfort as I feel it is a good conclusion encompassing Biblical and historical (along with Church) teaching.

However I really want to make sure (as much as I can) that my conclusion is Orthodox. In my following conclusion I have CAPITALIZED key thoughts and/or words that are integral to my conclusion. I hope it is understandable.

My Conclusion:

Originally, after mankind fell from God, the Lord began His plan of saving the world. He found a man of faith, Abraham our father, and established a covenant with him and his descendents because of his faith. God then progressively revealed Himself to His Chosen ones, which consisted SOLELY of the Israelite people. The way in which He revealed Himself was Jewish in nature. In His Old Covenant He made it so if one wanted to be in full communion with God, then one MUST be a born Israelite or a Gentile convert to Judaism (embracing ALL of the Jewish traditions and customs).

When the "fullness of time came (Gal. 4:4)" Jesus (God in flesh), established a new Covenant. Since Convenants can never be revoked (only abrogated or ammended) Jesus took the Old Covenant and EXPANDED it to include ALL peoples, not just the Jews. This New Covenant abrogated the obligatory nature of the ceremonial customs of the Jews, but retained those things which were established from all time (Ten Commandments and such).

Jesus also took all the old Jewish rituals outlined in Torah and GAVE THEM FULFILLMENT in the sacraments of the Catholic Church, and to a lesser extent the traditions of Catholic Christianity.

In doing this, Our Lord (through His Apostles) established ONE set of true beliefs (orthodoxy) and ONE set of practice (orthopraxis). However, in order to partake of this one faith and practice one no longer needed to be a Jew, practice Torah, be circumcised or whatever. Also this ONE Faith and practice was (since it was stripped of intrisically ethnic concepts) flexible and maleable on non-essential levels.

As the Faith spread this ONE faith and ONE practice took on the cultural patterns of the peoples it encountered. However despite the variety of expressions the Faith and practice was always ONE.

Thus, God's people which originally consisted on the Jews, was expanded to include ALL mankind. The rituals and beliefs which God originally revealed to the Jews with an obligatory ethnic component, was abrogated and expanded to include a UNIVERSAL set of beliefs and practices that were able to be expressed according to the traditions of ALL mankind.

THUS (thanks for staying with me if you have) it is no longer obligatory to follow Jewish customs, BUT it is not to be condemned either.

Is this conclusion orthodox?



Thanks in advance!

-Antonios Ioannes
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7 years ago  ::  Jun 18, 2008 - 4:26PM #3
Bob_Bennett
Posts: 916
The original Apostles were all Jewish, and the Jews had no tradition of evangelizing.

Then Paul came along and rather enthusiastically evangelized everyone in sight, most of them Greek speaking gentiles.  He further taught that it was not necessary to become a Jew first or at all.  So, the plurality soon became a gentile church and that's why it no longer is overtly Jewish.

Yet the Mass is Jewish and so is the altar, and the sung high mass.
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7 years ago  ::  Jun 18, 2008 - 4:28PM #4
Bob_Bennett
Posts: 916
Cont.

And the church's emphasis on sin instead of on love as Jesus taught is also Jewish.
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7 years ago  ::  Jun 18, 2008 - 5:35PM #5
cove52
Posts: 999

Bob_Bennett wrote:

Cont.

And the church's emphasis on sin instead of on love as Jesus taught is also Jewish.




Church's teachings empphasis sin and not love? Really??? I have been a Catholic for 47 years and that is news to me.

"I yam what I yam and I yam what I yam that I yam / And I got a lotta muscle and I only gots one eye / And I'll never hurt nobodys and I'll never tell a lie / Top to me bottom and me bottom to me top / That's the way it is 'til the day that I drop, what am I? / I yam what I yam."
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7 years ago  ::  Jun 19, 2008 - 2:27PM #6
Riesl1
Posts: 270
[QUOTE=Bob_Bennett;571415]Cont.

And the church's emphasis on sin instead of on love as Jesus taught is also Jewish.[/QUOTE]

Could you please site this in the catechism or possibly an encyclical...maybe it's somewhere in Benedict XVI's first encyclical entitled "God hates sin"....oh, no...that was actually "God Is Love". Well, I gotta say Bob, I am at a loss as to where to find this one. Could it possibly be that you made it up?
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 23, 2008 - 6:18PM #7
gehez126
Posts: 4
Dear Wolflord,

I think you did a pretty good analysis. Remember, though, that Judaism always had a universal element highlighted by the prophets. "All nations shall come to the Lord's house"  etc.  So even though God called the Jews as his specially chosen people, their mission was to be a light to the world.

Read St Paul, especially Romans and Galatians. Paul is very clear that Christians do not have to observe the Jewish law. More recent scholarship on Galatians is saying that while Paul had not problem with Jewish Christians observing the Jewish law (as long as they acknowledge that their faith in Jesus is what justified them), Paul did not want Gentiles observing the Jewish law. It doesn't bring salvation; only faith in Christ does.  So I don't think it would be a good idea to start bringing back Jewish practices.
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 24, 2008 - 7:25PM #8
WaveringCC
Posts: 5,140

Riesl1 wrote:

Could you please site this in the catechism or possibly an encyclical...maybe it's somewhere in Benedict XVI's first encyclical entitled "God hates sin"....oh, no...that was actually "God Is Love". Well, I gotta say Bob, I am at a loss as to where to find this one. Could it possibly be that you made it up?



Third try - my responses keep disappearing into thin air.????

No, he didn't make it up.

I suspect that you, like Cove, are young enough to be post-Vatican II Catholics. Those of us who were raised in the church before Vatican II had a totally different experience than that of younger Catholics - even younger Catholics who are now middle-age. I don't know if Mr. Bennett was ever Catholic (he's not now, apparenlty), but if so, I'm guessing he had an experience like mine because I'm guessing he is closer to my age than to yours.   Vatican II was a major revolution in the church - not simply a change from Latin to the vernacular in the liturgy!

Those of us who grew up in the pre-Vatican II church, in the 1950s and earlier, grew up in a church that emphasized sin and never mentioned love. Which is why all Catholics of my generation and older have internalized the reality that the phrase "Catholic guilt" refers to, while most younger Catholics are usually somewhat puzzled by true meaning of this commonly used phrase.

It was sin, guilt, and threats (ie, If you have a hamburger on Friday night with your friends and you're killed in a car accident later, you will go to hell.") Love was not part of the equation.

One reason those of us like Jane and I tend to squirm at any sign that the church is moving back to the pre-Vatican II mindset - whether in liturgy or anything else. To us, those were the "dark ages" of recent church historyl

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6 years ago  ::  Jul 07, 2008 - 6:26PM #9
WaveringCC
Posts: 5,140

Wandering Poet wrote:

"Which is why all Catholics of my generation and older have internalized the reality that the phrase "Catholic guilt" refers to, while most younger Catholics are usually somewhat puzzled by true meaning of this commonly used phrase."

Almost the entire western world is well aware of what Catholic guilt is, so I find that rather odd.

"It was sin, guilt, and threats (ie, If you have a hamburger on Friday night with your friends and you're killed in a car accident later, you will go to hell.") Love was not part of the equation."

The errors of the priest do not the Church make.



No, of course not.

But the errors of the past were not confined to a single priest  here and there as you imply - it was the overall tone of church teaching in that era, and these errors of the past of the church are real. When Catholics fail to face the reality of  the church's past errors (ie, in teachings ranging from insisting that the sun moves about the earth, and confining one who disagreed to house arrest,  through the condemnation of freedom of religion) and in the way it exercised its teaching authority (emphasizing fear rather than love) they cannot ever understand the church's past impact on members of the church who did experience the worst of the era to a degree that it outweighed the good they may have also experienced.  A couple of younger posters here totally dismissed the gentleman who made the original statement about the church's lack of love.  I was simply pointing out that those who grew up in the post-Vatican II American church for the most part had a very different experience than most of those who grew up in the pre-Vatican II church.  It appears that the original poster is not Catholic, or is Catholic no longer. Perhaps he never was. However, I can say from my personal experience that approximately half of my age cohort - all raised in "devout", " and "obedient" Catholic families, Catholic schools through college etc - have left the church and refused to raise their children Catholic.  Why?  Because of the lack of love they experienced in the church.

Fortunately the spirit of V-II did impact the church's "tone" for the better.  Those who are too young to remember the past should know these things.

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6 years ago  ::  Jul 09, 2008 - 11:28AM #10
Riesl1
Posts: 270
Wavering,

Just wanted to let you know that the way you explained this on this particular thread inspired a great conversation with my parents about pre-vatican 2.  I didn't realize what the condition of the church was before te council, and how much it has changed in attitude, not just liturgy. I still think that we have taken some of the liturgical changes beyond where the council intended, but understand a bit more where you are coming from.
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