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   PastimesJudgment from Above?


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To: monu who started this subject9/18/2001 7:59:22 PM
From: E
   of 14
 
I noticed this comment in your thread description, and wonder if you would expand on it. I ask because I have heard expressed on talk radio and on Pacifica radio rather a lot of hostility to Israel and to Jews (as opposed to Zionists), since September 11, and it is disturbing to me. I should say up front that I'm not religious. I should also say that I have friends, an elderly Jewish couple, who survived the concentration camps, and have met through them other survivors; and that I have many Jewish friends whose families lost members in the Holocaust. This is probably why I am especially sensitive on this issue, and concerned.

We have seen destruction. Will we now see a fall?
Those who have made a connection between Israel and the U.S. must remember that God chastized his people repeatedly to little or no avail. God himself fought against Israel at times. (See Jeremiah 21: 4,5).

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To: E who wrote (3)9/18/2001 11:15:37 PM
From: monu
   of 14
 
E,
Let me say upfront that I believe God has and has always had a special interest in the Jewish people. I am not Jewish myself but through reading the bible, realize He has a special love for them. Now, I know that will irritate some. Nevertheless, I see this expressed throughout the word of God.

Yet, God is a righteous God and He does judge whether we want to believe it or not. Starting with the "flood", on to Sodom and Gomorrah, nation after nation has been judged for their wickedness. Israel was not excluded and nor will America be.

In the case of Israel, Jeremiah (one of their own) prophesied God's judgment against them. He was (as well as other prophets) considered the villain. Still, what he said came to pass, not what the smooth talkers spoke about.

I see the same attitude in America. Although I never considered us a "chosen" people, I did see parallels between those that are belittled for suggesting judgment and those prophets of old. At the same time, I see the smooth talkers prevailing. There is all this "God Bless America" but meanwhile we ignore what matters to God most and for the most part want nothing to do with Him.

In Isaiah 9:9-11, we see a people determined to build back up what God has meant to be brought down. It is as He says, because of the "pride and stoutness of heart". America has the same spirit when it comes to rebuilding the WTC. We never stop to think that maybe, just maybe, the Lord allowed this in order to wake us up to repentance. Repentance though begins individually for God says, "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God". I believe this and even if my country continues on the road of destruction, I have peace in my own soul.

As far as your friends go, because they are a "chosen" people, they will always be the "enemy" in this world's point of view because the world is at enmity with God.

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To: monu who wrote (4)9/19/2001 12:38:01 AM
From: E
   of 14
 
I appreciate your thoughtful and courteous response. I will say that you are not the first to suggest that God had a hand in what happened to the thousands of people who were crushed and burned and suffocated in the WTC. And each time I have heard that theory i have been amazed that anyone would worship such a God. I would think it would be necessary either to exculpate God, or stop worshipping Him. And i would think a loud voice from the sky understood in every language would be a better and kinder wake up call than killing all those people without explaining. But I warned you that i'm not religious, and i know this is not the way you see it, and may even shock you.

BTW, as I understand it, "the chosen people" means simply that God chose the Jews to receive the Torah. I haven't talked to anyone about this in a long time, so if I have that wrong, correct me.

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To: E who wrote (5)9/19/2001 7:57:28 AM
From: monu
   of 14
 
E,
I think the important thing to remember is that His ways are not our ways. If you believe that mankind was created in God's image and yet is a "fallen" image due to sin (which is what I believe) than you have to realize that we aren't capable of "judging" in the truest sense, God's actions.

There are religions all over the place, along with atheists, agnostics steeped in pride. This is what God is against. Mankind needs to humble himself if He wants to truly see the Glory of God. This is man's stumblingblock. He wants to be his own lord.

As far as the "chosen people", I'm not sure whether or not that's the official line of reasoning. I just know that for whatever reason, God made himself known through the Jewish people and they have always been in His plan of redemption.

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To: monu who wrote (6)9/19/2001 10:12:52 AM
From: Quahog
   of 14
 
Chosen People

us-israel.org

--------------------------------------------------------

The Jews' belief that they are the Chosen People has often provoked antagonism from non­Jews. In the 1930s, as the Nazis were tightening the noose around the necks of German Jews, George Bernard Shaw remarked that if the Nazis would only realize how Jewish their notion of Aryan superiority was, they would drop it immediately. In 1973, in the aftermath of the Yom Kippur War, Yakov Malik, the Soviet ambassador to the United Nations, said: "The Zionists have come forward with the theory of the Chosen People, an absurd ideology. That is religious racism." Indeed, the most damaging antisemitic document in history, the forgery known as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, is based on the idea of an international conspiracy to rule the world by the "Chosen People."

In light of these attacks, it is not surprising that some Jews have wanted to do away with the belief in Jewish chosenness. The most noted effort to do so was undertaken by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, founder of the small but influential Reconstructionist movement. Kaplan advocated dropping chosenness for two reasons: to undercut accusations of the sort made by Shaw that the Chosen People idea was the model for racist ideologies, and because it went against modern thinking to see the Jews as a divinely chosen people.

But does it? After all, how did the notion of one God become known to the world? Through the Jews. And according to Jewish sources, that is the meaning of chosenness: to make God known to the world. As Rabbi Louis Jacobs has written: "We are not discussing a dogma incapable of verification, but the recognition of sober historical fact. The world owes to Israel the idea of the one God of righteousness and holiness. This is how God became known to mankind."

Does Judaism believe that chosenness endows Jews with special rights in the way racist ideologies endow those born into the "right race"? Not at all. The most famous verse in the Bible on the subject of chosenness says the precise opposite: "You alone have I singled out of all the families of the earth. That is why I call you to account for all your iniquities" (Amos 3:2). Chosenness is so unconnected to any notion of race that Jews believe that the Messiah himself will descend from Ruth, a non­Jewish woman who converted to Judaism.

Why were the Jews chosen? Because they are descendants of Abraham. And why were Abraham and his descendants given the task of making God known to the world? The Torah never tells us. What God does say in Deuteronomy, is that "it is not because you are numerous that God chose you, indeed you are the smallest of people" (7:7). Because of the Jews' small numbers, any success they would have in making God known to the world would presumably reflect upon the power of the idea of God. Had the Jews been a large nation with an outstanding army, their successes in making God known would have been attributed to their might and not to the truth of their ideas. After all, non­Muslims living in the Arab world were hardly impressed by the large numbers of people brought to Islam through the sword.

The Chosen People idea is so powerful that other groups have appropriated it. Both Catholicism and Protestantism believe that God chose the Jews, but that two thousand years ago a new covenant was made with Christianity. During most of Christian history, and among Evangelical Christians to the present day, Christian chosenness meant that only Christians go to heaven while the non­chosen are either placed in limbo or are damned.

Mohammed, likewise, didn't deny Abraham's chosenness. He simply claimed that Abraham was a Muslim, and he traced Islam's descent through the Jewish Patriarch.

Nations, as well as religions, see themselves as special. When I visited China, I learned that the Chinese word for China means "center of the universe." Nineteenth­century and early twentieth­century Americans had a belief in their "manifest destiny" to rule the North American continent.

Nonetheless, perhaps out of fear of sounding self­righteous or provoking antisemitism, Jews rarely speak about chosenness, and Maimonides did not list it as one of the Thirteen Principles of the Jewish Faith.

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To: Quahog who wrote (7)9/19/2001 11:21:00 AM
From: monu
   of 14
 
You bring out some interesting points. He reveals himself as He chooses and it is because of Him that we exist in the first place. Your points about the various peoples shows the pride that is so much in each of us i.e. that we think we are "special or knowledgeable" above our fellow man. If there is a "specialness" it is His choosing, not because of anything special about us, individually or corporately.

A friend used to say to me, "It's not about you. It's about Him." There's no getting around this. Mankind was created for God's purpose;not vice-versa. When we see tragedies like the WTC bombing, we need to consider rather than assume the problem and solution is simply man-made.

As a christian, I believe I will be with Him when this life ends. I believe this because I've received Christ as my Lord and Saviour as expressed in Rom 10 and John 1. Nevertheless, the initial "contact" whether to a person or persons is started by God. How can I see this as being "special or chosen" based on anything I've done? I can only attribute this to God's grace. I take no pride in this but rather am exceptionally humbled by it all. At the same time, I realize that everything has an origin and Christianity as well as Islam was rooted through the Jews. There is an indebtedness if you will.

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To: monu who wrote (8)9/19/2001 12:29:42 PM
From: Quahog
   of 14
 
To be clear:

I didn't write that article. It was written by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin and can be found at the link I provided in my last post.

I just thought it was interesting reading, and appropriate to the discussion.

At the same time, I realize that everything has an origin and Christianity as well as Islam was rooted through the Jews.

I wish everyone understood this. The way I think about it is to imagine that Abraham, John the Baptist and Muhammad were all travelling together across country on a train looking for a suitable place to settle down and call home. John and Muhammad jumped off in the town at the first stop, but after a few weeks Muhammad ended up walking to the next town that he liked better. Abraham is still on the train.

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To: monu who wrote (6)9/19/2001 12:30:21 PM
From: E
   of 14
 
We are a million miles apart, but i enjoyed the exchange. Thank you.

Quahog, thank you for that information....

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To: monu who wrote (1)9/19/2001 3:03:45 PM
From: Greg or e
   of 14
 
Hey monu
I just heard about this thread. I thought I would re-post this over here.
For any whom might be interested.
"Where is God in all this?" A response to Sept 11, 2001, from Christian Theologian, R.C. Sproul. Sproul is a respected, conservative Theologian from a Reformed perspective.
javascript:void(window.open('http://play.oneplace.com/Stream/ministries/rym/LiveStream.as...

Message 16379723

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To: Greg or e who wrote (11)9/19/2001 4:17:49 PM
From: monu
   of 14
 
Thanks Greg. I'm familiar with RC and find myself pretty much in agreement. With that said, I'm having trouble with the audio. Oh, well...

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