Monday 16 December 2013

Comments on statements by Dr Immanuel Schochet

Since I do not know the best way to introduce the late Dr Immanuel Schochet to those who don't know, I'll let introduce him:

"Rabbi Dr. Jacob Immanuel Schochet, a Chabad scholar and academic, and a preeminent defender of traditional Jewish belief, passed away on Shabbat, the 20th of Av 5773, July 27, 2013, following a long illness. He was 77.

As a congregational rabbi, professor of philosophy, and world-renowned lecturer and personal advisor, Schochet combined erudition and wit to influence and inspire generations of scholars, university students, and young Jewish men, women, teenagers and families from all walks of life."

I want to spend this article commenting on some of the things that Dr Schochet said in his debate with Michael Brown back in 1995, Namely regarding Brown's response on the subject of why Christianity differs from other faiths.

Although Brown did provide a response himself to the comments by Dr Schochet, I want to respond to some of the points by the Dr himself.


Firstly, Dr Schochet claimed that Muhammad and the Muslims have the same atonement as Jesus as the Christians and that if you don't accept Muhammad as the final prophet, of to the barbecue as the Muslims claim.

The problem is that Islam doesn't have a means of atonement for sin, whereas Judaism did once have atonement through the temple and Christians have Yeshua as their means of atonement to cleanse them. Islam doesn't have a means of atonement that can satisfy the wrath of God and deal with the problem of human sin and Muslims don't recognise the TANAKH or the NT as undefiled, but rather see it as corrupted. Sam Shamoun of Answering-Islam has proposed based on reading the Quran and the Hadith Sources such as Sahih Bukhari, Muslim, Sunan Abu Dawud etc that the Quran actually confirms the Torah and the Gospel, which would consequently falsify the Quran because it contradicts the TANAKH and the NT documents.

Another comment made by Dr Schochet was basically that any religion that claims to be universal claims to offer atonement, however, there is ONE problem with Dr Schochet's assertion, Idolatry.

Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, New Age, Satanism etc do not follow the God of Israel nor submit to him, whereas Christianity, despite the misrepresentations, actually points people back to the God of Israel. In fact one of Jesus' exhortations was to "love the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul and strength and love your neighbor as yourself" as found in Mark 12:28-30. Although Muslims claim to know the God of Israel, the fact that their Quran denies God having a son period and other issues which I won't go into now shows otherwise and that they are following a counterfeit. Mormons, despite their claims to know the God of Israel, are guilty of being polytheistic although they will give themselves a different name, so that would immediately disqualify them as being Christians, let alone worshippers of the One True God.

As for his comments on Islam being the fulfilment of the TANAKH and the NT, that has already been covered.

For the life of me I have no idea why Muslims are constantly used as a means of arguing against Christianity, It's one argument I do get sick and tired of hearing from Rabbinic Jews. But anyway, As David Wood of Answering-Muslims has pointed out, the reason that you have Islam growing rapidly is because of high birth rates. Just because any religion is the fastest growing religion in the world, that doesn't make it the Way, the Truth and the Life. I don't even use that argument to prove Christianity as an argument for it's veracity, it's not even a good one.

Dr Schochet then pointed to the fruits of those who become part of cults and that if you truly believe something then it will fix you up, whether it is idolatry or nonsense. Problem, When has idolatry ever brought healing? The hyperdulia found in Roman Catholicism has not brought that, neither has bowing to the black stone in Mecca, or whatever on earth the Hindus and Buddhists bow to doesn't help them. Even Witchcraft, Mysticism, New Age Sorcery and Gnosticism doesn't bring spiritual healing, quite to the contrary they have brought spiritual death to millions. Idolatry doesn't help anyone, we know this from the TANAKH and from the NT. None of those religions deal with the problem of human sin and change you from the inside out to be a new creation in right reconciliation with God. Even under the guise of Christianity, Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy have their fair share of idolatry that takes people to hell, namely the veneration of icons in the EO tradition and Mary Veneration in the RC tradition which I already mentioned. Denial of the Trinity also leads to idolatry, considering many such as Arians, JWs, Socians or groups that deny the deity of Christ expect Christians to pay homage to a mere creature and give him the honor that only God deserves. Their version of Jesus is not the Biblical Jesus and thus would fall into Avodah Zara or Alien Worship.

Christianity as it stands today offers a solution that the other religions Dr Schochet mentioned cannot offer, namely a new heart, a new nature and reconciliation with God.

Feel free to examine my points and think them over.

Answering Judaism.

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