The Pope Has a Problem in Rome

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by Ben Masada, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    THE POPE HAS A PROBLEM IN ROME

    The fact that we, the Jews, have ended our dispersion, returned to our biblical homeland, and built there a modern, and vital Jewish State - a Third Jewish Commonwealth - it is extremely relevant to Christianity.

    However, while some evangelical Christians celebrate our return to Israel as the necessary first stage in their concept for the coming of the Messiah, others, particularly the Vatican, see it as a theological dilemma with implications for their own interpretation of the Scriptures.

    They figure that, if for all these years, it was thought that the Jews were wandering as their punishment for rejecting Jesus; if for all these years it was believed that the Jews were just a prelude to Christianity and then
    supposed to be reduced to a footnote, what in the world are they doing back in Israel fying F-15 fighter jets over the skies of Jerusalem?

    It is no accident that the Vatican has never recognized the State of Israel; and it was also no accident that when the Archbishop of New York, John Cardinal O'Connor, visited Israel in January 1987, the Vatican refused to allow him to meet Isreli President chaim Herzog in his office. If Herzog is really at home in Jerusalem, then the Pope has a problem in Rome.

    As the Christian theologian Paul van buren once put it, "Modern Israel is both unsettling and exciting for the Christian world. It is unsettling because it was not supposed to happen this way as we read the story.

    The very existence of Israel as a modern State is slightly mind-blowing. This was not in the script. You thought you had some understanding of the Jews and where they were, and now they are not there. If you reflect on it all, it becomes even more unsettling, because maybe you have to go back and rethink your own story a little bit.

    At the same time, it is exciting, because with Israel back on the scene again, the whole story suddenly becomes modern. For anyone with a biblical faith, the existence of this State, with Jerusalem as its capital, reawakens the whole possibility that this is not all in the past. Something about this is happening now.

    It is a problem we have to think about now. Maybe God is not as dead as we thought. I think this rings a note in the subconscious of even the most secular Christian."

    Ben
     
  2. Dream

    Dream New Member

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    The Vatican may be upset, but if so its not world news. I haven't heard anything on the news about it. Perhaps the problem is that its not even clear to Jews whether Israel is a Biblical return. I know that believe there is going to be a return and that they want there to be one, but many Jewish people did not seem convinced that this current state of Israel was the one. Has this changed? There is this interesting thing they do in Israel, where during a festival they closely inspect citrous fruits to find the very best. People pay experts to do it for them. If a citrous is not absolutely spectacular they're not happy. What is the criteria for your particular citron? What is a 'Biblical' return as opposed to a return to one's homeland? It seems like you're saying its more than just 'Returning'. This confuses me, because there are many Biblical criteria that Israel does not yet meet. I mean, no offense but, there are other countries that are much more famous and well spoken of. What kind of 'Return' is the 'Biblical return' you are speaking about?
     
  3. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist

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    Holy See?Israel relations - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    *raises one eyebrow*


    One factor mitigating the external appearances of that animosity was the spread of media coverage of Israeli society, which caused politicians as well as the general public to refrain from openly advocating violence against non-Jews in general. In addition, as the Israeli government is receiving considerable support from Evangelical Christians around the world, it must restrain some of the negative attitudes against Christians prevalent among many Jews. This was instrumental in 1997, when some Knesset members tried to pass a bill that would criminalize any proselytism by Christians in Israel, but the government under Netanyahu blocked their attempt.[38][39] Nevertheless, social antagonism among Jews in Israel towards Christians is still prevalent, even though less visible on a daily basis. However, some sporadic acts of violence against Christians – foreign and Israeli – are being committed by ultra-Orthodox Jewish individuals.[40] The most severe act of violence so far was on 20 March 2008, Amiel Ortiz, the 15 year old son of Messianic Jewish Pastor David Ortiz in the settlement of Ariel, was critically injured and lost two fingers by an explosive package that was meant for his father.[41][42] It was later discovered that the explosive was sent by a religious settler named Ya'akov (Jack) Teitel.[43] Animosity towards Catholics of Jewish origin in particular was displayed in 1995, when Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger visited Israel and the Chief Rabbi Meir Lau publicly accused him of betraying the Jewish people.[44][45]
    As a result of negative stance against Christians, even though there is no law against Jews converting to Christianity or Christians living in Jewish cities, many Jews are very reluctant to visit in a church or enter into friendly relations with any Jewish convert to Christianity or any Christian – Israeli or foreign – who is trying to find employment or residence within the Jewish sector in Israel.​
     
  4. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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  5. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Not really. A week is a long time in politics. A century is the blink of an eye at the Vatican. The State of Israel's only been around what, fifty years. Fifty years? That's nothing.

    Really? Which interpretations of what texts, exactly? By whom?

    Actually the Vatican doesn't figure that at all. The Vatican figures that a Covenant made with Israel stands forever — that's Scripture — The Letter to the Romans is an extended discourse on that issue.

    The Vatican calls this 'Supersessionism' — it was the common view among Christians, but it was never doctrine, and nor is it now.

    I think you're making all this up.

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  6. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    I see our return as the return of the Jewish People from the 70-year exile in Babylon. Quite similar. Even almost the same struggle with occupiers found in the Land of Israel, as then we had the Samaritans and now the Palestinians. Those among us who have doubt of this return being spiritually genuine or not is found among the superstitious religious sector, that expected it to happen in a super natural manner, which they have forgotten was not a characteristic of the return from Babylon.

    Ben
     
  7. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    Yes, I understand you. I do agree with you that there is indeed Jewish hostility, mostly from the Ultra-Orthodox sector against Christians, especially of Jewish origin. And they are vehemently hostile to Christian missionary activities among Jewish families. A mistake, I believe, which depicts lack of knowledge of both ours and their territory.

    Some years ago, a very humble and apparently fearful family of five, the mother with four teenagers, two boys and two girs, knocked at my door on a Shabbat afternoon. As I opened my door, they, in a very courteous manner, asked me if they could speak to me about Jesus. I said, "Most definitely, please, come in and feel yourselves at home."

    They were from the Seventh-Day Adventist Christian orientation. They kept returning every Shabbat. After two months, they were listening more and speaking much less. After a certain time, they disappeared for eight months, when I got an invitation to attend their conversion cerimony and mikveh. I was honoured as being the one responsible for their conversion. Orthodox style, mind you.

    A year later, the two girls got married to two nice Jewish youngmen, and today, they both have two Jewish children each. It means that I have contributed with nine souls to Judaism. Not to mention two from the "Messianic-Jews" faction who returned to Judaism proper as a result of our face-to-face dialogues for some extended time.

    BTW, I maintain every Shabbat dialogues with "Messianic Jews" and "JW's". I invited some Mormons, but they are so typical in their appearance that some of my neighbors threatend to report their presence to the police and they returned no more. I live in Ramat Gan, just North of Tel-Aviv.

    Ben
     
  8. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    Thomas, I think you ignore more than you think about Christian doctrine, especially Catholic. It is only recent that we have Christians (Evangelicals) lobbying for our return to our homeland as a reason to rush the second coming of Jesus. But Christians from the Catholic orientation are of the same opinion of Orthodox Jews that the third Jewish Commonwealth is to be established with the coming of the Messiah, which of course is considered from a different point of view as who the Messiah is concerned.

    Zionists have proved that the collective Messiah has been more practical. We returned and, as everyone can see, the third Jewish commonwealth has been established. And it has been already 64 years that we have been here, live and kicking.

    Ben
     
  9. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Well where you think I'm wrong, please point it out.

    I can't speak for what goes on in the US, where most of this seems to stem from. I can only speak for my own doctrine. Whether it's Evangelical doctrine that a return to Jerusalem is necessary, or just evangelical Christians who think that's what the doctrine says, is another matter.

    There is no such thing as a 'third Jewish Commonwealth' in Catholic doctrine.

    I think this is not the case of my ignorance, but your imagination.

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  10. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    Good point, Thomas. As a sword and shield of all that is classically liberal (say from time of Jefferson and Paine), especially the religious rights of the minorities (who are now, in toto, the majority) here in Middle Amerikkka (Ohio USA, where decision 2012 will happen), I agree.

    The Radical Relgious Right here quite recently invented this notion of "biblical return". Just so they have only recently invented dominionism and the rapture and all the social issues (why couldn't fundamentalists and evangelicals just remain on the sidelines and lick their self inflicted or imaginary wounds?).

    "It is only recent that we have Christians (Evangelicals) lobbying for our return to our homeland as a reason to rush the second coming of Jesus."

    As Thomas said, this fad (the doctine of return) is mere belief or wishful thinking. It cannot be doctrine because it has no tradition behind it pre-1950 or so. Or you can choose to believe the G!D is so mixed up She changes His mind all the time. Shucks, there are some very old-fashioned people (including some Haredim) who see no religious context for Medinat Israel whatsoever.
     
  11. Dream

    Dream New Member

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    Thanks for clarifying your position, Ben.

    Yes, things here in USA do seem a tad bit different than in many places, but the evangelical influence spreads mostly following cultural strata not national strata. It is a lot like a fad in some ways. It hit a peak here among southerners (both blacks and non-blacks) during the 80's I think and has been in decline since, with ups & downs overall. I don't have statistics for you, but that is my impression. Its just barely rooted in South America, Cuba, parts of Africa, China and many other places but there are places where it has already hit a peak such as in South Vietnam. The subject of Jesus return to Israel is a very popular topic, presuming that Israel's statehood is or was a pre-requisite, now requited. It makes for very exciting sermons that prop up the ministry of whomever happens to be shearing the sheep, what with Jesus just about to come around the corner at any moment.

    I don't think it is correct to lump in the Catholics with the evangelicals when it comes to zionism and anything pertaining to Jewish people. The Catholics and Evangelicals do not mix very much, mainly because Evangelicals are very suspicious of all of the 'Weird' catholic trappings, statues and obsession with Mary. The Catholics should have come away with us during the Reformation, but they didn't. There are rumors and books claiming they started WWII, etc; some of which are believable and scary. Many worry that Catholics are possibly idolatrous though well meaning, and I think ministries find this convenient since Catholics are also a bit of an enigma. They are part of our history, yet their rituals seem very weird. The only major connection between Evangelicals and Catholics is an opposition to abortion and legal recognition of gay lifestyles. Although it is commonly preached that there is a connection through prayer, the way that Catholics and Evangelicals pray and worship are so different as to be off-putting when one visits the other's gatherings. On most other topics Catholics are markedly different: gun rights, war, death penalty, dancing, drinking, clothes, life-focus, education, religious instruction, and many others. Evangelicals disrespect many Catholic trappings, such as solid gold crosses and other gold decorations, bleeding statues, saints, beautifications, Liturgies, Popes, Cardinals, priests, or even holidays sometimes. Overall you need to treat them as very distinctively different with different motives and tastes, even if there are overlaps.
     
  12. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    No, I agree with you that there is no such thing as a 'third Jewish Commonwealth' in Catholic doctrine. The Church never could dream that Israel would ever be formed as a State again till the return of Jesus. No wonder, it took the Vatican almost 50 years to recognize Israel as such. The difference from Evangelical Protestants is that the return of the Jews to Israel would be the pre-evidential condition for the return of the Messiah. That's true, but not according to their messianic idea. Hence the third Commonwealth has been formed with the return of the Messiah, but the collective Messiah as the People of Israel. It has been 64 years since we have returned and Jesus is still a mirage of the Christian mind. Evidence therefore, that the Messiah could not be an individual but the People.

    Ben
     
  13. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    Dream, not that I desagree with you, but this post of yours reminds me of the cold war between Catholics and Protestants that started with the Reformation and is still on to this very day.

    Ben
     
  14. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Oh Ben ... the Church hopes in a 'spiritual Israel', the same as spoken of by the Prophets, so in that sense it was and always has been 'here and now'.

    The coming of Our Lord is in no wise dependent upon an Israel defined by geopolitics.

    For Jews, maybe ... not for Christianity.

    Your mirage mate ... not ours.

    God bless

    Thomas
     
  15. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    For the Jews, there is no difference between the return of the Messiah and the return of the Jewish People from exile. That's what the concept of "Return" is all about. Read this if you please:

    THE CONCEPT OF A COMING MESSIAH

    The concept of first or second coming, or third for that matter is related to the People of Israel as they return to the Land of Israel. The first coming was when the People left the life of captivity in Egypt and returned to Canaan with Moses to build the First Commonwealth.

    When Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, destroyed the first Temple built by Solomon, the Jews were taken into exile for 70 years. Jews then, would speak of the second coming until it happened under Ezra and Nehemiah, when they succeeded to rebuild the Second Temple and therefore, the Second Commonwealth.

    Now, when the Romans destroyed the Second Temple, the Jews were expelled into an almost two thousand years exile. As that was over, and having raised our Third Commonwhealth, this has been our third coming back. The Temple will soon be rebuilt. God willing!

    This concept of "coming" is of the People, or of a remnant of the People, but as a People, not the individual. The individual once dead, he will never return. (Job 7:9,10; 10:21; 14:12; Psalm 88:6; Prov. 2:19)

    Jesus' second coming has no grounds to stand but on faith only. If you are ready to believe blindly, go ahead, but anxiety as a result of empty hopes will strike with time. When I finally understood this concept in terms of the collective rather then the individual, the pain of unfulfilled expectations was gone.

    Ben
     
  16. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    But we're Christians.

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  17. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    But Jesus was a Jew. To insist that an individual Jew was the Messiah and not that the whole Jewish People is the Messiah is Replacement Theology. Jesus was only part of the Messiah for the span of the 33 years of his life.

    Ben
     
  18. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    And the Son of God.

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  19. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    Absolutely not. He had to be a Greek man, to be a man and God at the same time. That's what is called the Hellenistic myth of the demigod, which is the son of a god with an earthly woman. There is no such a thing in Judaism which was the Faith of Jesus.

    Ben
     
  20. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Well make your mind up, here He's Greek, there He's Roman ... I think you're clinging to straws.

    He had to be a Jew. He was taken to the Temple as a kid, He was circumcised, He preached in the Synagogue ...

    God bless,

    Thomas
     

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