Monthly Archives: July 2013

What Is The Relationship Between Christianity and Judaism?

The Occidental Observer has a piece about how the Roman Catholic Church changed its official position on the relationship between Christians and Jews– from one of opposition to one of “fellowship”, or “friendship”, however one-sided.

A plain reading of the New Testament shows Jesus opposed and condemned no one so strongly- in fact he didn’t condemn or oppose anyone, except for calling them to repentance, with this one exception- than the Pharisees. In fact, Jesus tells us there only one unforgivable sin- the blaspheming of the Holy Spirit. Jesus performed his miracles not through his own power, but through the power of the Holy Spirit, and when the Pharisees said he had this power from Satan, they blasphemed the Holy Spirit.

What do the Pharisees have to do with Jews today? The Old Testament makes no mention of Jesus, and to the extent that Jews follow the Old Testament, they can be considered to be in the word, if only partially. The Talmud, however, which while itself is not a religious document but interprets and instructs from the Old Testament- says that Jesus was a sorcerer. No contemporary source denies that Jesus performed miracles. The question was how he did them.

Christianity can’t “supercede” Judaism, as Jews accused Christians of doing, because Judaism is actually a newer religion than Christianity. It had its origin before Jesus- as the Hebrews started to live around a lot of foreigners and looked for ways to make their culture and way of life distinct and separate- but only came into existence in its present form after the destruction of the Second Temple and the establishment of formal schools of Old Testament instruction with the permission of the Roman Emperor- schools that produced the Talmud.

To the extent that Jews live by the OT and don’t harm anyone else, they are no more opposed to Christians than any other pre-Christian religion. To the extent Jews follow the Talmud, which has a lot of anti-gentilism, they have to be considered opponents of Christianity.

To people who hate Christianity for laying down for hostile Jews and other enemies of Europeans- this is a recent development. For most of its history Christianity has opposed Jewish racism and exploitation.

The way the change has typically worked is that Protestants came up with something anti-Catholic, which eventually became anti-Christian, then anti-white. Martin Luther didn’t want to help Catholics against Turkish invasion, so he said the Crusades were evil and war was evil. This later became an attack on Christians and then Europeans. Protestants, as urban people have tended to use Jews as a model so their attacks on Catholics over strict sexual morality and anti-Semitism became attacks on Christians and then whites in the same way.

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You Are Not Equal

You probably thought you were just as good as anybody else, regardless of who you are. Everybody is really equal, right? Everybody believes that. If you’re a Christian of some kind, you may believe that while people in this life are unequal in various ways, everyone is equal before God. Or you may believe that because of original sin, everyone is equally evil before God.

Bruce Charlton talks about how the Church of England has been “hollowed out” like all other institutions in leftist England. This is the inevitable result of the idea of equality, which while heavily promoted by people who are not even nominal Christians, is an idea of modern liberal Christianity. This results in “easy-believism” and “get out of jail free card” Christianity in which former criminals and drug addicts get to look down on well-behaved people who don’t go to their churches.

The truth is people are not equal. People are different, some better in some ways and some in others, some worse in some ways and some in others. OK, you will admit to that, but isn’t everyone equal before God? Obviously not. Some people are particularly good, and some particularly bad. All people have sin, but it varies widely in type and degree.

“Pride” is the feeling or belief you are superior in some way. “Hubris” is a Greek word that was used to describe some especially bad crimes that resulted from excessive or inappropriate pride, such as aggravated assault or rape. “Nemesis” was the god that punished hubris, which has come to mean simply excessive pride, arrogance or the behavior that results from this. “Humility” is the belief you are not superior. “Modesty”, in its older English meaning, is not being arrogant or boastful about the ways you are superior.

All these are very important concepts. Modern society is based on the idea that everyone should feel good about themselves, even if there is objective reason for them not to. This has been a disaster, as great masses of people have or need to convince themselves they are wonderful, when they know they aren’t. It’s a great boon for sociopaths, who don’t even need to pretend to be humble, and can turn up the charm to an 11.

Modern liberal Christianity is based on the idea that since everyone has original sin, all are equally bad, and no one can judge anyone else or feel superior to anyone else- unless it is a Christian looking down on a non-Christian, or someone they judge not to be a real Christian- usually a traditionalist Christian of some kind.

Pride was the basic value of pagan civilizations. If you were a great warrior, or champion athlete, or rich you were proud of yourself. If you were poor or a slave you were ashamed of yourself. The very special were like junior gods, and could even become gods on death. Some people let this go to their heads and decided they were actually gods while they were alive- the Roman emperors Nero and Diocletian I believe. Pride leads to a lot of fighting over who is the best, within and between societies.

In Christianity- and as far as I know Judaism, since it comes from the Old Testament- the ultimate example of pride is Lucifer, the highest of the angels, who was really proud of himself. So proud, he thought he would replace God. That’s way too much self-esteem, I think even Nathaniel Branden would agree. (Although not Ayn Rand- her heroes were very pagan in that they became godlike through their achievements.)

Ancient Hebrew society was based on the idea that God- one all-powerful, all-knowing, all-creating God- ruled over all, all of whom had the same duty to obey and worship him. People were obviously not equal, but having higher social status did not allow you to act with impunity, as it did under Roman rule. The poor, slaves, hired workers, and children were expected to be respectful and obedient, but the rich, parents, and slave owners were obligate to treat their charges decently.

I think the problem that the ancient Hebrews had was that they were surrounded by pagan societies based on pride, and this was continually infecting them. Eventually they were conquered by the Greeks, and faced with the total demise of their religion and culture- which then as now couldn’t really be separated.

The response was to create a religion based on pride, of being better than the dirty pagans that surrounded them by ritualistically observing various customs of cleanliness, dress and observance. If you were an affluent urban dweller, this would be a possible lifestyle option, maybe even a good one in terms of social and business connections- much like modern Calvinism. If you were a poor rural person, it would be difficult or impossible to do this, and you would come to hate and resent the moralists who told you you were dirty and not good enough, which would be understandable, but possibly even the worship of God and God himself, which would be a terrible tragedy.

I was humiliated as a child with false religion and it took me many years and a few special people to get over this. Many, probably even most don’t, which is why I think Jesus hated the Pharisees so much.

Modern society is based on minimizing sin, giving people a false sense everything is OK, and elevating people who believe they get to tell us what’s right and wrong. These are both forms of false pride, which unlike the real thing doesn’t even have any earthly appeal.

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