Saturday 4 June 2016

Cheating on G-d with Jesus? A response to Daily Minyan

I came across an article with respect to Jesus and an analogy that has been used and it is an interesting analogy to use to give to people to show how God feels when you are following another. While I disagree with the article claiming that the worship of Jesus is cheating on God, it's still has an interesting analogy to use. You can find the article in question here:

Let us take a look:
"The other day I have went out to lunch with an old Christian friend of mine. He already knew about my return to Judaism and wanted to talk about my life and especially what led me out of Christianity (a.k.a. “Messianic Judaism”). He told me that he’s not going to attempt to talk me out of it. As I was relaying to him all of the reasons and happenings, he listened very intently, shocked not so much at my choice, but rather from all the things he was hearing, as if for the very first time. As I quoted the Hebrew Bible to him and compared it with the New Testament, he acquired a worried look on his face. As I brought up the biblical verses, one after another, where G-d over and over said to Israelites that He was not a man, that He can’t ever die, that we are not to place our trust in other human beings for our salvation, that we are to love Him above all else, that there’s no one next to G-d, he was actually shocked about the possibility that worshiping Jesus is in fact idolatry. He had so many questions.
I met him again, a few weeks later. He told me that he cannot stop thinking about what I said and that my words have turned his world upside down. I remember telling him one analogy to help him grasp the enormity of the sin of idolatry that Christians commit by focusing their affections on Jesus, a mortal human being, above all else, betraying their Maker:"

and then the analogy in question:

" You are a married man. Imagine coming home one day and finding your wife, the one you love so dearly, passionately embracing and kissing another man, a stranger neither you or your wife ever met before. Angry, shocked and dismayed, you approach your wife (still in the arms of that other man) and ask for an explanation of what clearly looks like a betrayal of marriage vows and trust. “What is this?!”, you shout.
She slowly turns her head to you (still locked in the tight embrace) and tells you matter-of-factly and with a smile: “Honey, don’t worry about it! This is not what it appears. You see, this man is a good man that I can trust. He is a trustworthy man who would never do anything wrong. This is not adultery! In fact, this man told me that you were the one who sent him to me – he represents you! Don’t you remember? He told me that when I speak to him affectionately, when I hug and kiss him, when I am intimate with him, when I love him more than anyone else, that it was as if I was hugging, kissing, and making love to you! Relax, my dear, you have absolutely nothing to be jealous of”. She again turns her head away from you and toward the stranger, placing her lips on his.
Still in shock and pain, the words come out of your mouth: “But… you… are… married …. to… me. What about our vows to each other? He’s…not…me and I am standing right in front of you! How can you do this to me?!”
But your wife is so smitten by passion for the stranger, she can no longer hear anything you say."

An interesting analogy right and it works. The question is, Is the worship of Jesus cheating on God? We'll see.

Keep in mind that some of the points I raise will be similiar if not the same as previous points in previous papers I have written.

We'll go through the objections.
" that He was not a man"
So true, a Christian affirm that. it isn't our claim that God eternally existed as a man, it's our claim that the eternal God took on flesh and became a man (without ceasing to be God of course). First of All, God taking on human flesh doesn't negate his divinity. Jesus was still God but his deity did not vanish when he took on flesh.

Furthermore Trinitarians don't worship flesh, we worship the Holy One who tabernacled among us (John 1:14) We agree God is not a man, but this doesn't mean he cannot take on a human nature and still be God. Secondly the context is saying that God isn't like man, he never lies like man does. If God says he is going to do something, he will deliver, this can also be found in Hosea 11 and 1 Samuel 15.

A question I pose, can God become man and still remain fully God and not cease being God? If not, why not?

"that He can’t ever die"
This depends on what you mean by death, the point is too vague. Do you mean God cannot cease to exist? or God cannot die physically? Death in a Christian context doesn't mean ceasing to exist, death is biological cessation. It is not heresy to say God died provided death is correctly defined. Jesus as the God-Man did NOT cease to exist. If he is in Sheol, Jesus would still be fully conscious and communicate with others who were there. It is only heresy to say that God ceased to exist, not to say he died.
"that we are not to place our trust in other human beings for our salvation"
Certainly you cannot place your trust in a human being, but you can place your trust in God for salvation, namely the Triune God, with Jesus being the second person of the Trinity, fully Human and fully God.

"that we are to love Him above all else"
Something that Christians can agree with Jews on, Love God above all else. Not much to say in that regard.

", that there’s no one next to G-d"
Again, rather vague. No Christian who believes in the Trinity believes someone is next to God. In the context of the Trinity you have God the Son seated at the hand of God the Father. This wouldn't violate monotheism  at all since Trinitarians themselves are monotheists (Contrary to what the naysayers like to say).

I am happy to link to some of my papers to answer certain issues.

Regarding the resurrection of Jesus and a vindication of his claims by the resurrection, see the following papers:

See my articles on the Shema:

See also a video response I did to Rabbi Yisroel Blumenthal with respect to two objections he raised: Being sure of the Trinity and Messiah: A response to Yisroel Blumenthal:

Feel free to look at the article written by Annelise Holwerda she wrote in response to me. I'll let you judge our words:

So would worshiping Jesus mean spiritual adultery, Or is it in fact God-honouring? What do you think?

Answering Judaism.

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