Dear George, I feel sad I did not adequately explain my points in earlier note. Bible categorically says that Yahweh alone is the God of all gods, the Almighty God. This concept applies to Jews, Christians and all the people of Planet Earth whether they accept it or not. Christians as such do not have a separate God; they share and acknowledge the same God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob by Name, Yahweh, who introduced himself as God of Israel, whom Jews worship. Many ‘so called Christians’ think Jesus as a separate God for ‘Christians’ which is totally blasphemous and with incorrect understanding of Bible. Bible is quite clear that Christ is the Son of Yahweh and always subjected to His authority. Holy Spirit is the spirit of Yahweh which rest upon His Son Christ as well. The word ‘authority’, in Bible terminology is ‘god’ which was illustrated in my earlier write up. Yahweh is God of all gods, where as Christ is God of all except Yahweh. The whole Universe comes under the authority of Christ and Christ in turn is subjected to his Father, Yahweh. This concept is purely biblical and does not need any human interpretation. Now when the relationship between Yahweh, Messiah and Holy Spirit is explained by Bible itself where is the need for bringing in a concept called ‘Trinity’ which Bible nowhere mention at all? The very word ‘Trinity’ itself is alien to Bible and brought from pagan religion to Christianity. When Bible claims itself as the one and only revelation about the Eternal Living God and when we know Bible in itself is complete where is the need for bringing an alien word and alien concept to refer to or explain the God of Bible? Think about it.
Now coming to the words ‘Christian’ or ‘Jew’ which is more appropriate and biblical for God’s people?
Honestly we study Bible, we come to the conclusion that the most appropriate word for followers of Christ is ‘Jews’ and not ‘Christians’. See what Bible says. Gospels called followers of Christ as ‘Disciples’, not as ‘Christians’. God of Bible never termed them as Christians, Christ never termed them as Christians. The very word ‘Christian’ was given to the Disciples of Christ by outsiders, subsequently. Acts 11:26 says - And the Disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
True, once, only once Peter mentioned this word as we see in 1 Peter 4:16. This is the only place in Bible where the word ‘Christian’ is used by an insider, a disciple of Christ.
That name sticks to them, and they accepted this name since it was a necessity to differentiate this new group from the traditional Jews. However this new name had no biblical significance or importance whatsoever. It was merely to identify and differentiate them from traditional Jews. We hear no instructions from God or Christ about this name.
This new group never considered themselves as a different or totally new sect. They thought themselves as continuation and part of their mainstream Jewish brethren. For them, Messiah according to their prophets is the Son of Yahweh, the God of Israel. (Read Proverbs 30:4, Psalms 2:7 and compare it to Hebrews 5:5). Son of God, Messiah and Son of Man all referred to same person. Jews clearly knew this concept through their scriptures. Messiah’s arrival and subsequent program of redemption of world was purely a continuation of Mosaic Law and as such it was not something totally independent and alien to what was revealed in their Jewish scriptures. All the disciples were clear about this concept. They all understood it as continuation of the prophetic revelations, from Eternal God, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel.
They thought naturally that the golden era of the world has come. The Messiah has come and he is going to restore God’s rule over earth. They never thought it is still going to take time, may be many centuries or even millenniums.
Christ’s teachings and subsequent death and resurrection unfolded a new dimension to what was not clear till then. That is the Gentiles also have to come to the true knowledge of God of Israel and partakers with Jews. Even though Christ himself in the initial stages limited his ministry among twelve tribes of Israel, in the end just before his departure he gave the great commission to them to go and preach the gospel to all Nations of the World and …………make them Disciples. . Even after Jesus departure, the Disciples kept on their life as per Mosaic Law. They never rejected it. They kept on going to the Temple of Eternal God, the one and only Temple for Him in this Planet Earth, built on the spot as directed by Him which is going to be rebuilt in future once again.
Bible clearly differentiates between Jews and Gentiles, JEW FIRST AND THEN THE GENTILE! The same order follows for both good and bad, for reward and punishment!! That is the God’s order!!
Read the following verses, which spells out this concept quite well
Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 2:9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; 2:10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:
At the same time Paul says in Colosians 3:11 -Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. (This he talks about the Church of God, the collective entity of believers, both Jew and Gentile, The True Olive.)
See what Paul says, in Rom 2:28 - For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: 2:29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
See how Paul does a balancing act!! In other words Paul tells us that Jew is always important before God even in the so called church period!! Romans chapter 9, 10 and 11 further illustrates this concept.
The concept of True Olive is plainly mentioned in these chapters and tells us that The True Olive is none other than ‘Jewish People’, obedient to their God, who are the descendants of Abraham, lived as per Law of Moses and who identified and accepted Jesus as the Promised Jewish Messiah.
After Jesus arrival, the wild olive, the Gentiles, through Christ’s sacrificial death got an opportunity to be grafted to the True Olive. In other words, by this process, gentiles are also becoming ‘Jews’ in the sight of Eternal God!! Not “Christians”. Read Roman 11:16- 24. .
With this concept in mind we should probe further. After the destruction of Temple in AD 70 Jews were dispersed from their land which definitely affected the Disciples of Christ (Christians) as well who before the eyes of Rome were part of mainstream Jews. After the revolt of AD 135 Jews were banished from Jerusalem with a heavy hand by Romans. By this time a lot of gentiles were part of this new faith. Over a period the Jewish disciples were a tiny minority and they lost the leadership due to the turbulent times which they also have to suffer as part of Jewish community.
Unfortunately the gentiles who came to the leadership position had little Jewish back ground or knowledge of the prophetic scriptures of Prophets of Israel. Remember, it was not very easy to have copy of Old testament and the New Testament was yet to be canonized! So it was no surprise that the new Christian leadership from pagan origin brought in a lot of pagan concepts into Christianity.
Once Constantine, a murder of his wife and his own son became Emperor and accepted the Christianity, the persecuted church till then, all of a sudden tasted the power and glory along with lot of political power. And this new power and prosperity lasted for many years were primarily responsible for corruption of the church. The Canonization of New Testament and the origin of Nicene Creed etc has to be understood with this kind of back ground in mind. The organized leadership (Papacy) under single person who claim to be the representative of Jesus in Earth was forced on the ignorant masses, which continues till date. History tells us that a number of these so called Jesus representatives (Popes) were terribly immoral, corrupt and murderers! Many were responsible for mass murder of Jews and Muslims during the so called Crusades. See the legacy Christianity inherited due to this false leadership!! Till date Muslim people have not forgiven us for this act of the church. Was it as per Christ’s advice to turn the other cheek? How nice it would have been if ‘Jesus Representative on Planet Earth’ just took advice from Jesus before sending the troops to Jerusalem! This action of Pope gave opportunity for enemies of Church to blame Christianity for ever.
In other words the Power and Prosperity corrupted the church. What can one expect from such a leadership? Subsequently we see the behavior of Popes further. So many sincere Christians were killed. Even Bible translators were burnt at stake!
Modern Europe got such a turbulent history and background. The ideology and leadership concepts which were immoral, corrupt and responsible for crusades, continued. Of course there were many honorable men in between, but the policy followed was same. What kind of Christianity we can expect from them? With a corrupted gospel, corrupted leadership and corrupted teaching it was no wonder the church could not successfully face the stiff criticism from the enemies from within the Church and from outside right from 19th century. Church could not do much when the so called Christian Nations of Europe fought each other and each prayed to Jesus to give victory over their fellow Christians in rival land, particularly during the first and second world wars. Inability of church to effectively react to the horrors of Holocaust further made Christianity to lose its credibility before so many European Christians. So many German Christians abandoned their faith as a result of it and same affected the Christians of other nations as well.
Also how a just God can forget the Europe’s hand in the blood shed of God’s chosen people for centuries and her reluctance to repent, and instead her increasing hostility to the Jewish people and their country.
The post war prosperity in Europe further helped Christians to lose their sight and vision and they fall easy prey for the materialistic world. (True for Christians of other nations as well).
The attack of leftists, humanist and gay and lesbian movements etc were clear organized movements for destroying Christianity. Unfortunately the church leadership which was part of organized political power and paid by governments become totally blind to these facts and was ill-equipped to face such stringent attacks. And the result, the Europe has come to a post Christian period with hardly any spiritual direction!
The concept of Welfare state as in Sweden with long term agenda of destroying the institutions of family and marriage further destroyed the church. Result more than 50% kids are born out of marriage.
Also to so many Christians it was difficult to understand the totally illogical so called Holy Trinity which no human being can understand. Instead many turned to Islam.
The so called humanism, new age movement, multiculturalism, sex in advertising and cinema, literature etc and uncontrolled immigration, gay lesbian movements, so called civil liberty unions etc are all are part of the agenda, well spelt out in Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, to destroy Christianity. True, many discard it as fake document; then how come the agenda is so effectively implemented in Europe, USA and world over.
What is the solution? Realize, we individuals have no one to look at to get advice. Since no such leadership exists as on today. Only way is to study Bible with open heart and utmost honesty and change our course of life which definitely will have impact around our surroundings and our society. Turn back to the Ten Commandments of God of Israel and the Commandment to Love one Another by Son of God. Pray for a genuine revival in church and work for it.
God’s message is all about peace and prosperity. Read Deuteronomy 28. It is true it is conditional! It is true that it is not an immediate outcome. However ultimately the God‘s program is to bring mankind back to the initial prosperity and peace and fellowship with God which they enjoyed in the Garden of Eden.
I do admit that the personal relationship with Jesus is most important. However, this personal relationship is based on acknowledging Jesus as the foretold Jewish Messiah, the Son of Eternal God Yahweh.
Any acknowledgement of Jesus considering him as Almighty God, without accepting his biblical relationship with Yahweh as Son of Yahweh and always subject to Yahweh’s authority, is nothing but blasphemy!!
Despite all this talk, you failed to answer both of my questions in the previous message. This means you are not interested in talking with others, but just in exposing your views. I asked you: 1) if the Holy Trinity doctrine is responsible for the decline of faith in Europe, how comes and non-European Christians (who also believe in this doctrine) have not lost their faith? 2) If a Christian tradition of two millennia that keeps its faith in the Holy Trinity, is wrong, why are you right? Because you are smarter, because you are more religious? Why? Isn't it a little arrogant and foolish to set aside so many generations in order to return to an ancient Church that exists only in your theories?
In spite of the faults of Christians, and especially of Papacy, all of Christianity (including Catholics) all of these centuries has given many holy persons, saints and fathers, as you also admit. All of them were believing in the Holy Trinity.
The Holy Trinity doctrine is subtle and I won't try to give here an exposition. If you wanted to know, you would have done it already, unless you are impotent. Suffice to say that without Trinity there can not be the One God. It seems irrational, but it is a simple truth. God can be only Triune, if God is not a solitary being as a stone, but a relationship, as Christianity believes.
Your other persistence, in speaking about Jews and not Christians, is strange indeed; I can explain it only as one more way for you to persuade us to abandon the Holy Trinity doctrine. Of course this, as your whole concept of Christianity, is absurd and useless. You'd have more chances to persuade the fishes to be called birds, than Christians to be called Jews. We are not in the 1st century now, when the Church was being born. Now Jews have permanently denied the Christ, and no Christian can be called a Jew.
Your theory that Christ is inferior to the Father, has already appeared in the beginnings of the Church, e.g. with Origen, and is sufficiently answered. I won't say here anything about it, because this also you could have known, if you wanted to.
Dear George don't mind words of persons like sunnyp. Persons like him work to cause further sufferings for Christ whose body is splintered in several parts. In short I ask you to be optimistic. Has not God promised new Heaven and New Earth! This was after fortelling the deterioration of faith on earth. We believe in a living God who made heaven and earth. Will not God who even gave his son as a sacrifice for saving the world, revive faith? Now, pray for the reconciliation and coming together of Catholicism and eastern Orthodox churches which alone will bring about revival of faith in western Europe. Repent, pray, fast and have hope.
Europe. Christians from Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe are also pouring into the Western countries, and bringing with them a vibrant and enthusiastic faith that is helping to transform the face of European Christianity. Jenkins agrees that both Christianity and Islam face real difficulties in surviving within Europe's secular culture. But instead of fading away, both have adapted, and are adapting. Yes, the churches are in decline, but there are also clear indications that Christian loyalty and devotion survive, even as institutions crumble. Jenkins sees encouraging signs of continuing Christian devotion in Europe, especially in pilgrimages that attract millions--more in fact than in bygone "ages of faith." -------------------- williamgeorge http://www.christian-drug-rehab.org
Hi From my experience Christianity in England, the drop of interest in Christianity, seems to happen accordingly to the decline of interest in The Bible as a book to be studied in depth by all congregation members day after day.