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Featured Learning to decipher between beliefs and indoctrination

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by Aaron Rich, Jan 3, 2017.

  1. Aaron Rich

    Aaron Rich New Member

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    Before putting this out to an open forum like this, I gave it to my brother to ask his thoughts as he is a bit more accustomed to listening to my crazy thoughts. He enthusiastically said post it! He also told me to offer you a few more verses regarding practicing our own traditions to give you more to go on.

    Here's the thought -

    Everything within Christianity that is true, faithful and obedient to God and His Word is actually Judaism. Everything that cannot be shown to be Hebraic in origin, is in fact pagan and by definition fully disobedient and evil.

    Can you please offer examples that do not fit this statement?

    Deuteronomy 12:20-32 makes it clear that we're not to use pagan practices to worship God. Throughout history, we as a faith group, have removed the pagan gods from certain practices and plugged in the One True God and declared the practice “good” or even “holy”. Other verses that would indicate we shouldn’t do this – Mat 15:3; Col 2:8; Jer 10:1-5; Heb 10:26. So it would seem that anything non-Hebraic in terms of practicing our faith (there’s A LOT) is therefore evil.

    Guidelines and important notes -

    1. Please don't take this as an attack on your faith. I am simply trying to grow my own understanding of the Word and using your help to get me outside of my own "box" of thoughts. This is an exercise in growth and faith building for me...I hope it is for you as well.

    2. Please don't get angry and rude, but please do reply with a well thought out rebuttal and explanation as to why my theory is actually inaccurate.

    3. Please thoroughly research the practice you're highlighting as non-pagan and non-Hebraic to be sure it's accurately represented, because I assure you, I will.

    4. This question is asked with the assumption that you acknowledge that Jesus is Jewish and therefore practiced Judaism in the fullest and an utterly obedient fashion. Jesus is the Jewish Messiah and "belongs to Judaism" just as must as He "belongs to Christianity."

    5. This is said with the assumption that the only source of absolute truth currently available to us is the Bible in the form generally accepted throughout greater Christianity.

    6. While the Holy Spirit is a source of absolute truth, it is understood that He will never, under any circumstance, instruct you or anyone else to practice a walk of faith in contradictory manner against the written Word of God - the Bible.

    7. It is understood that Jesus did not excuse you or anyone else from obedience. He did pay the price (death) for your inability to practice inerrant obedience.

    8. All Biblical references used to refute my theory should be verified by 2-3 different Bible translations as some translations are written with a doctrinal leaning that often skew the true message of the Word.

    9. I am not saying that everything in Judaism is correct and perfect. I am saying that Judaism was the selected method of worship practiced by our God and Savior, Jesus.

    10. I am not saying you are going to hell because you practice pagan rituals. I am not God and therefore I can’t make such a judgement. Face it - we've all been fooled by Satan as he has manipulated our system of faith of the last 2 millennia. And yes – contrary to popular belief, 2 billion Christians can be wrong and they are wrong on many many things.
     
  2. Papias

    Papias Listening to TW4

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    Christianity came up with a number of ideas that are not present in Judaism. By saying those are pagan and fully disobedient you are saying that practically all Christians are practicing paganism.

    Here are some for discussion. Maybe you can find these in Judaism, but I'll be surprised if you can accurately show them all to have existed prominently in mainstream Judaism before Jesus.

    For instance, nowhere in Judaism is the idea of a hell as a place of eternal torment for non-Jews. While most of Judaism focused on God's judgement while one is alive, the most prominent view of afterlife existence was sheol - a dark, forgetful pit where everyone goes.

    Another is the idea that the Messiah is to be defeated, suffer, and be executed in shame. The messiah was expected to be a great leader who would win. Some Jews saw this a great military leader like the Maccabees, others expect a messiah who is a spirit being who will lead the Jews to military victory.

    Communion - I don't see anything suggesting that the Messiah is to be the sacrificed, cut up, and eaten. As before, the messiah is expected to be a great victor, and has nothing to do with with the paschal lambs which are eaten at passover.

    The trinity - as a strictly monotheistic religion, Judaism has no concept of the Trinity. In fact, some sects of early Christians saw Jesus as simply a human prophet, like Elijah. That's how Muslims see Jesus as well.

    Original sin - Christians came up with this, not Jews.

    The idea that the snake in the garden of Eden was Satan. Ha-satan is a member of God's court in Judaism, not a snake.

    There are probably others, but six is a good start. In all of these cases, one could mistranslate the scripture to make arguments against them. In fact, this is nothing new, and has been done for nearly 2,000 years. A good example is Isaiah's "behold the virgin is with child", which is a mistranslation. It actually reads "behold, the young woman is with child", which is nothing unusual, of course.


    That doesn't make sense - the Bible is a Christian book, not a Jewish one. If you want to look to Judaism, you need to use Jewish scripture. For many old testament verses, the text is the same - but not always (and of course the chapter titles are all added later).

    Saying we'll go by the Bible to learn about Judaism is the same as saying that we'll just read the Qu'ran to find out about Judaism.

    There is also plenty of Jewish scripture besides the Tanakh. The Midrash, etc, are also relevant if you want to learn what's in Judaism.

    In Christ-

    Papias
     
  3. Paul Yohannan

    Paul Yohannan Cyber Janitor and Thread-Cleaner Extraordinaire Staff Member Moderator Trainee Supporter

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    I know of no major Christian denominations that historically (i.e. 300 years ago) allowed Pagan practices. The infilitration of non-Christian elements into worship was limited in ancient times to the Gnostics, and in more recent times came back with an unfortunate modernist syncretism in certain mainline denominations, but even then, it has been controversial.

    I would reject outright as being baseless and showing a lack of knowledge concerning both Christian worship and Paganism, the allegation that there exist Pagan elements to Orthodox or Catholic worship.
     
  4. Paul Yohannan

    Paul Yohannan Cyber Janitor and Thread-Cleaner Extraordinaire Staff Member Moderator Trainee Supporter

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    Rabinnical Judaism. The Karaites do not use it.
     
  5. Paul Yohannan

    Paul Yohannan Cyber Janitor and Thread-Cleaner Extraordinaire Staff Member Moderator Trainee Supporter

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    By the way @Aaron Rich, are you aware that the system of letters used to write Hebrew are not of Hebraic origin? They are Imperial Aramaic. The Samaritan torah is written in something closer to Paleo Hebrew IIRC, but even Paleo Hebrew looks a bit Phoenician to me.
     
  6. Aaron Rich

    Aaron Rich New Member

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    Papias,

    The concept of hell is one I am currently trying to study. That said, briefly speaking, I am beginning to strongly lean toward the fact that the concept of hell, as taught within most churches, seems to be mistaught or misunderstood in an effort (by Satan) to breed fear and misunderstanding into our ranks. The concept of “hell” in the “New Testament” isn’t actually there. It came much later with influences from non-biblical sources. Here’s a resource for you to consider on the subject, but there are many others if you take the time to find them - The Church's Development of the Hell Myth


    The idea of Messiah as a great military leader is a bit misunderstood. In Judaism many teachers think there are in fact two Messiahs. Messiah son of Joseph and Messiah son of David. The first is the great military leader that will suffer and die for Israel and the second is the Messiah that will reign as King forever. That is in fact very Biblical once you dive deep and study it. It's indicative of the two comings of Jesus. The first coming, Jesus fought and died for our sins. The second coming He will return as the conquering King. I believe this was a theology God expected to happen and made reference to the uniting of those two philosophies into one. Ezekiel 37:16 has more than one meaning (as all of the Bible does). The uniting of the sticks is a prophetic allusion to the uniting of the two Messiah doctrine just as much as it is a prophetic allusion to the uniting of the House of Judah and the House of Ephraim. That in itself in an entire study that could potentially take weeks or months to wade through.

    Communion - This is a fascinating study as well! Jesus was in fact sitting down to a Passover Seder when the illustration of communion was given. In Judaism it's remembered once a year where in Christianity it is remembered in an abbreviated format quarterly, monthly or sometimes even weekly. The underlying act however is entirely Hebraic. I would strongly recommend you seek out a messianic seder this spring to explore your faith further on this. I know several people that have begun hosting their own after doing so. If nothing else, you will understand a missing bit of knowledge regarding your faith.

    Trinity - have you heard the name of God as "Elohim"? The "im" at the end denotes the plural form of the word. The second word in the Bible, in Hebrew form is Elohim and that reference occurs dozens, if not hundreds, of additional times throughout Scripture. In the first two chapters of Genesis, it is quite evident that all three personifications of God exist. Some rabbinic writings make references that make you scratch your head and wonder how they haven’t accepted the existence of the Trinity. If you think about it, that denial comes with the partial supernatural blindness God has put on the nation of Israel “until the fullness of the Gentiles come in.” If they accept Jesus, they accept the Trinity. If they accept the Trinity they will accept Jesus. They cannot accept one without the other. So there again, the word “Trinity” is something we have come up with, but the concepts behind it are quite Hebraic when you dig in and research it.


    Original sin - Again, I suppose the name we’ve given it doesn’t belong to Judaism, but they absolutely recognize where and when the original sin occurred.


    Your reference to the snake being Satan confuses me, so rather than respond to that specific piece I will ask that you elaborate on what you mean. I want to be sure I fully understand what you’re saying.


    I fully agree that the translation from Hebrew to English offers too many opportunities to mistranslate words and verses. This is absolutely why I ask people to verify their quotations with multiple translations. Unfortunately, English is far to shallow to capture the full meaning of the scriptures.


    The Bible is a thoroughly Jewish book. The TaNaK may be organized differently, but the books are the same. When you read the Gospels and Apostolic writings in the proper light of Hebraic thought, it becomes very clear that those too are Jewish writings. The only author “accused” of NOT being Jewish is Luke. And really there’s more reason to assume he is Jewish rather than gentile. Just because we claim them as our sacred writings, we don’t negate the fact that they are Jewish writings.


    You say that “many” of the Old Testament verses are the same but not always, that’s entirely inaccurate. If a translation stays true to their original text, every verse and every word should align with the Hebrew Scriptures. If it does not, it is either the translator's bias showing through, a mistranslation or the sad fact that English is far too shallow of a language to grasp the full meaning of Hebrew words. The chapter verse additions didn’t change the message, it simply made it easier to find specific quotations and sadly, they’re often abused to meet the needs of someone trying to use the scriptures out of context.


    When I say “Judaism” in my original statement, I am strictly speaking of Biblical Judaism. Rabbinical Judaism, Reformation Judaism and the others are sects and offshoots of the original system of faith. They have a lot “right” within them but just as Christianity does, they also have A LOT that’s wrong.


    In your last paragraph you stated there is a lot of Jewish scripture outside the TaNaK. While that is an accurate statement according to Rabbinical Judaism or others, according to Biblical Judaism that is not true. When Jesus says something about the “law of the prophets”, He’s speaking about the Hebrew Scriptures. Not the Talmud, not the Mishnah or anything else. That said, there’s certainly reasons to believe that not all of the teachings considered “oral Torah” were ignored by those writing the Bible. Consider 1 Cor 11:2 and 2 Thes 2:15 both make reference to “the traditions” and the second makes reference to the “spoken” traditions.
     
  7. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

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    Sure. Jesus Christ is the eternally begotten Son of the Father. Judaism has no concept of this, but is something that can only be comprehended in light of Christ's coming, His life, death, resurrection, and the pouring out of the Spirit on Pentecost and the mission and teaching of the Apostles.

    If you are working with the premise that that the only thing that is "true" is what Jews believed before Christ, then you'll need to get rid of Christ, get rid of Christianity entirely, and do away with your Bible.

    Perhaps set up an appointment with a rabbi to begin the process of converting to Judaism? If you are really serious about that, expect to be rejected several times. Rabbis will typically tell someone "no" several times when they show interest in converting, because Jews understand conversion to be a very serious undertaking, one that isn't even required as one can, in Jewish thought, live as a righteous Gentile without becoming a Jew; becoming a Jew is therefore a major undertaking that shouldn't be entered into lightly. But if you are serious enough about it, then I wish you well on your chosen path.

    -CryptoLutheran
     
  8. Aaron Rich

    Aaron Rich New Member

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    Paul,

    Thanks for the reply! Let me list a couple for you to consider before you say my statement is baseless and showing lack of knowledge.

    Steeples - Yup, that's evil and unfortunately it's a middle finger to God on the majority of our houses of worship. Deut 16:21

    Praying to the dead (i.e. "Saints") - Deut 18:11 as well as several other places.

    Sunday observance rather that Sabbath observance - Too many verses to even begin to list.
     
  9. Aaron Rich

    Aaron Rich New Member

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    Ha! I definitely should have added an additional bullet point under the guidelines. I am absolutely NOT suggesting I want to convert to be a Jew nor am I recommending that anyone does. Paul makes it quite clear that there's no need.

    Also, I should have spelled out "Biblical Judaism".

    My statement would indicate that Christianity is a sect of Judaism and not that I am suggesting we should do away with the truth that is Jesus.

    I am saying that the core beliefs of the system, those that Jesus did not rebuke people for, are the foundation of our system of belief.

    If you read the Old Testament with a passion to learn about Jesus you will recognize that Jesus is on every page of the Bible. And the Rabbi's realized that the "Messiah" they're looking for is on every page. So to some extent, yes, I am saying that Judaism believed what Christianity at least professes to believe on many topics. They simply have not realized (as a nation) that Jesus is the Messiah they're looking for.

    If the Christian church would start to see Torah observance as something beautiful rather than something to teach against Christianity would help Jesus bring all of Judaism into faith in Him.

    So convert, no. Observe God's teachings rather than ignore them in an effort to keep to Christianity's traditions - absolutely!
     
  10. Aaron Rich

    Aaron Rich New Member

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    And yet, the language of the original text is far more meaningful than the shallow language that is English.

    The English bible conveys the concept of eternity with words like "forever" and "eternal" when we're actually translating at least 6 different Hebrew words into this identical concept. 6 different words in Hebrew do not mean the identical concept of eternity that we convey in English. Sadly, that's not the only concept that we simplify to such an extreme either.
     
  11. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

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    Deuteronomy 5:1-3
    Acts ch. 15 (yes, the whole chapter)
    Colossians 2:8-23
    Galatians ch. 3 (yes, again, the whole chapter)

    Christians don't observe the Sabbath because the Sabbath was given to the Jews exclusively as part of the covenant God made with them at Mt. Horeb. The Sabbath wasn't given as a weekly day of worship, but as a day of rest--don't believe me? Read the Bible.

    Christians, on the other hand, have come together on the first day of the week since the beginning. Jesus Christ was raised on the first day of the week, the Gospels make this perfectly clear, especially Luke (c.f. Luke 24:13-34); we see Christians coming together on the first day of the week to break bread, etc. It was Paul's custom to go into the synagogue on the Sabbath, as He was a Jew, as He was preaching the Gospel to Jews there. But Christians have been meeting on the first day of the week since the beginning, more historical evidence of this can be seen:

    "Finally He says to them, 'Your new moons and your sabbaths I cannot endure.' You see what is His meaning: it is not your present sabbaths that are acceptable, but the sabbath which I have made, in which, when I have set all things at rest, I will make the beginning of the eighth day which is the beginning of another world. Wherefore also we keep the eighth day for rejoicing, in which also Jesus rose from the head, and having been manifested ascended into the heavens." - Barnabas 15:8-9, c. 80-120 AD

    "On the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together in one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read…. Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead." - St. Justin Martyr, First Apology, ch. 67, c. 150 AD

    The Sabbath was never given as a weekly day of worship, but as a day of rest.
    Sunday was never made by the Church a day of rest, but as a weekly day of worship.

    Christians do not observe the commandment to observe and rest on the Sabbath because we aren't Jews under the covenant God made with Israel on Mt. Horeb; a covenant that is signed by circumcision and formal entrance into the covenant community.

    Christians do not come to gather on Sunday for worship because God commanded us to, for God has commanded no day for regular worship; but rather Christians follow the tradition and precedence set before us by the Apostles and their pupils, as evidenced and confessed by the holy fathers of the Church consistently.

    Those who would say Christians must observe the Sabbath, not only as a day of rest as the Torah commands, but also as a weekly day of worship add to Scripture, deny the reason for the Covenant God gave to Israel on Sinai, and deny the significance of Christ, His Gospel, and the new covenant found in Him. It confuses the things of old with the things of new; it denies the meaning and significance of the coming of the Christ and the life that is found in Him and by Him; and it renders Christianity a great big mess.

    Again, if you want to observe the Sabbath, if you want to practice as Jews do, then there is a perfectly good religion for that: Judaism. If what you want is to practice Judaism, then practice Judaism, but don't confuse Judaism and Christianity; these are entirely different religions; religions with a shared heritage, religions with many things in common, and we can regard Jews as our spiritual cousins--but still, very different religions. And there's nothing wrong with that.

    But it is entirely wrong to try and force Christianity to be like Judaism when it simply isn't; just like it would be entirely wrong to try and force Judaism to be like Christianity. Personally I have nothing but respect for the Jewish people and their religion, and I find Jewish perspectives to often be incredibly helpful in my own life--but it would be entirely wrong for me to pretend I was a Jew when I'm not.

    -CryptoLutheran

    -CryptoLutheran
     
  12. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

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    The way I see it you have a few choices:

    1) Convert to Judaism so you can practice Torah observance lawfully.
    2) Continue to practice Christianity.
    3) Violate the fundamental teachings of both religions by trying to smash them together like putting a square peg in a round hole.

    -CryptoLutheran
     
  13. Paul Yohannan

    Paul Yohannan Cyber Janitor and Thread-Cleaner Extraordinaire Staff Member Moderator Trainee Supporter

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    Steeples are not Asherah Poles. A knowledge of West Semitic Paganism will confirm that.

    We do not engage in necromancy, unlike, for instance, King Saul.

    This is something which I have addressed in innumerable discussions with the SDAs and is a bit of an uninteresting point.
     
  14. Paul Yohannan

    Paul Yohannan Cyber Janitor and Thread-Cleaner Extraordinaire Staff Member Moderator Trainee Supporter

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    Or daily.
     
  15. Aaron Rich

    Aaron Rich New Member

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    The Jerusalem council is sadly abused far more than it should be! It’s as though people *want* to do the minimum possible for their God! If I were to tell my wife that I will only do the minimum required, how healthy would my marriage be?! If I were to always do the minimum around my house as a child, my rear end would have been awfully red on a regular basis. The Jerusalem council is a path for new believers to come to Jesus without an overwhelming burden. Verse 21 makes it clear they are expected to grow and advance beyond the minimum.


    How sad is it that people refuse to acknowledge verse 21 where it specifically says that the minimum expectations outlined in verses 19 and 20 are enough because they will learn the rest as they attend their congregational meetings every Sabbath day!


    Please quit using Paul to excuse yourselves from obedience. Your abuse of his writings have long been called out within the scriptures - 2 Peter 3:16


    Colossians 2:8-23...Yeah, you’re making my point for me. We as a church have been taken captive by our human traditions. The rest of that quotation if read from a Hebraic perspective is only supporting my original statement. When read from the twisted “Christian” view that uses it to excuse our disobedience it becomes plain that we’re looking for reasons not to obey our God and His teachings.


    It’s interesting that the only author of the entire Bible that we manage to use to excuse ourselves from obedience is Paul. Folks, Paul talks like a lawyer. Lawyer’s are hard to understand, hence 2 Peter 3:16. Not only that, but you’re trying to use speech given with Hebraic thought according to your non-Hebraic understandings. He’s supporting his Master and all the teachings that go along with it. If you try to claim innocence because you misunderstood when standing before your King, He’ll point toward the hundreds of other references throughout the rest of scripture that prove you misunderstood the one author you insist on using to justify ignoring His Word. God doesn’t change nor does He contradict Himself which leaves a single possible conclusion - you misunderstand and misuse Paul’s writings.


    Galatians 3 - I reply with James 2:14-26. Again, don’t use the lawyer of the group to try and excuse yourself from the rest of the authors unified message. If you take the lawyer's words to court in an attempt to prove your innocence, the royal court of Heaven will laugh you out of the room - except, not really because they’re much more gracious and loving than that. They will however show you how plainly God communicated in all of His other writings. The lawyer of the group simply put it in a fashion that cannot be legally argued in a courtroom just like every lawyer does. They talk and write in weird and hard to understand language because they have to close loopholes. Just because we misunderstand Paul’s writings doesn’t give us the right to be disobedient.


    Regarding the Sabbath - Jesus was raised on the first day of the week because God the Father considers the Sabbath day so Holy, He allowed His son to sit dead in a grave an extra day in an effort to observe it’s holiness, not to change the day of gathering each week.


    Christian’s have not been meeting on the first day since the beginning. The only Biblical evidence of a first day gathering is an indication of the gathering after sundown on the Sabbath (making it the first day). And that’s called Havdalah. That’s where they came together to bid the Sabbath goodbye as they looked forward to the next Sabbath. This is why you see Paul preaching all night and not all day in Acts 20:7.


    Your insinuation that the Sabbath was not given as a day of worship is very misguided. Perhaps you missed the part of the command that required the hold a “Holy Convocation” - Lev 23:3. The Sabbath was observed long before it was given as a requirement in the Ten Commandments - as in from the 7th day of creation. Forgotten multiple times, but always a Holy day and appointed time.
     
  16. Aaron Rich

    Aaron Rich New Member

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    Steeples absolutely are pillars which is expressly prohibited in the previously quoted verse - though some translations curiously change the language to suit their needs on this one.

    We may not practice necromancy, but we pray to the dead saints rather than to our own God. Not to mention the praying to priests instead of God.

    The Sunday observance may be uninteresting, but it is nonetheless an important thing to your God. He selected the day that we observe and we took it upon ourselves to change it. Uninteresting maybe, important absolutely!

    This is making my point for me. Rather than practice our God's teachings we choose what is more convenient and meaningful to us and practice that instead claiming it's worshiping the God that already told us that's unacceptable to Him. All of these things tie back to paganism that has long infiltrated our belief system, our congregations and our hearts. Our ways are more important to us that His ways.
     
  17. Aaron Rich

    Aaron Rich New Member

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    I appreciate your views, but really they don't line up with the Bible that you claim faith in. They line up well with our doctrinal teachings, but not at all with your Bible.

    God has not excused you or me or anyone else from obedience. He paid the price for our inability to do so inerrantly.
     
  18. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

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    Your misunderstanding of the word מִקְרָא as though it means a time of worship is the problem; the weekly Sabbath, along with other appointed times, are indeed מִקְרָא־קֹדֶשׁ; not to attend a weekly worship service, but to observe the commandments associated with the appointed time.

    And no, Deuteronomy 5:1-3 stands.

    -CryptoLutheran
     
  19. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

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    I'm quite familiar with my Bible, and it's that familiarity and knowledge of Scripture that I'm using to point out the errors of your own position.

    Alright, then I suppose you know some kohanim and a legitimate kohen gadol; we'll go make some qorbonot together. Sound good? Your goat or mine?

    Because if you believe Torah is to be observed, and if you reject the Jewish understanding of Torah in favor for some imaginary "Biblical Judaism"; then it should follow that all the Torah should be observed. So as soon as you find some sons of Aaron feel free to make an offering to God.

    Until you do, your "Torah observance" is bluster.

    -CryptoLutheran
     
  20. Paul Yohannan

    Paul Yohannan Cyber Janitor and Thread-Cleaner Extraordinaire Staff Member Moderator Trainee Supporter

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    US-Republican
    Faith:
    Oriental Orthodox
    A pillar is a structural support, whereas steeples are structures in their own right.

    There is no "rather." It is both/and, not either/or.

    We do not pray to priests; if you think that is what happens in the liturgy you are mistaken.

    You miss my point; I have addressed the point of Sunday worship elsewhere ad nauseum, and am uninterested in addressing it here, particularly since @ViaCrucis is doing such a nice job.