Wednesday 29 January 2014

Core of the Relationship: Examining "Heart of a Relationship"

For this article I want to take a look at another article recently penned at, which can be found here:

Let us take a look at it shall we?

"Christians contend that Jesus was a manifestation of God. They compare Jesus to the fire of the burning bush that Moses saw at Horeb (Exodus 3:4), to the pillar of cloud that led the Israelites in the wilderness (Exodus 13:21), and to the Angel of the Lord that appears throughout the Jewish Scriptures (Exodus 23:20; Judges 6:12; Isaiah 63:9).

This argument is rooted in a misunderstanding of the relationship that the Jewish people share with God. The relationship between God and Israel includes many activities that are ancillary to the essence of the relationship. The essence of the relationship is God’s love for Israel and Israel’s love and reverence for God. As expressions of His love, God guides His people, He speaks to their prophets, and he protects them from their enemies. As expressions of Israel’s heart for God we offer sacrifices, we build a Temple and we follow His Law. All of these activities are only part of the relationship inasmuch as they express the heart of one party to the other. If you remove the heart from these activities, they remain empty husks."

All of the manifestations of God that are found in Scripture relate to the ancillary aspects of the relationship. God showed His people that He chose Solomon’s Temple with a cloud of glory (1Kings 8:10), God accepted Elijah’s sacrifice with a fire from Heaven (1Kings 18:38), and God spoke to Abraham through the agency of an angel (Genesis 22:15). These have no impact on the essence of our relationship with God; namely, the love of our heart."

We do claim that Jesus is seen in Exodus 3:4 and the various passages that have been cited in the first paragraph. That is correct, but we don't say that Jesus was a manifestation of God, we say he is the Second Person of the Trinity. We also say that Jesus did appear to the OT in the passages that have been cited. There is also no question that "God showed His people that He chose Solomon’s Temple with a cloud of glory, God accepted Elijah’s sacrifice with a fire from Heaven". However, the angel in the context of Genesis 22:15 is not treated as a mere agent of the Father. While he does speak on The Father's behalf and we don't claim he is the Father, this wouldn't make him less than deity and it is quite clear that the angel is not simply relaying from the Father, but is in fact making it clear that HE is swearing by HIS name. 

"15 The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring[b] all nations on earth will be blessed,[c] because you have obeyed me."

"When God came to teach His people about the essence of our relationship with Him, they saw no image. God emphasized this point when He reminded His people of this covenantal encounter (Deuteronomy 4:15). The Sinai encounter was the definitive teaching about the heart of our relationship with God. And in this critical context the Scriptures emphasize that there was no manifestation at all.

Christianity’s claim for Jesus is a claim about the essence of the relationship. Christianity demands a love and a reverence for the person portrayed in the pages of the Christian Scriptures. This is not telling us at which location to bring our sacrifices, it is not guiding our travel and it is not merely bringing us a message. This is telling us where to direct our hearts. It is a teaching that attempts to place a finite existence in the essence of our relationship with God. This is idolatry."

No question that no manifestation was present at Sinai regarding the point made by the article and also, The subject of Deuteronomy 4:15 I have wrote on in this article here:

I have also written on Deuteronomy 13 in this article here:

In addition to this, let's read the passage:
"15 You saw no form of any kind the day the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully, 16 so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman, 17 or like any animal on earth or any bird that flies in the air, 18 or like any creature that moves along the ground or any fish in the waters below. 19 And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars—all the heavenly array—do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the Lord your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven. 20 But as for you, the Lord took you and brought you out of the iron-smelting furnace, out of Egypt, to be the people of his inheritance, as you now are."

Reading the passage we see there was no form seen at a particular point in time, but specifically at Horeb and thus there is a warning to the Israelites not to worship graven images or even the sun moon and stars within the heavens.

Another point which I have made in my first paper responding to Supplement to Contra Brown:
"It is Jesus' claim and the apostles that he was God in the flesh. If Jesus was not who he claimed to be, Then the Jews were right in concluding that bowing to him in worship would be idolatry. If however Jesus is God but he is not the Father in heaven and proved that to be the case, then worshipping him is acceptable. We don't bow to the flesh, we bow to the one who took on flesh. He "tabernacled among us" as John 1 puts it."

If the claims of Jesus are true, then Christians are encouraging devotion to HaShem and not detracting from him with their worship of Jesus, considering that the Trinity teaches that Father Son and Spirit are HaShem. If his claims are false, then the article written by my Rabbinic friend would have absolute merit and I would be a fool responding to it.

Here is a video I did on my bobo577 account which I think I will be of interest to you:

Feel free to judge this article and video and I hope have addressed the issues.

Answering Judaism.

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