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   PastimesJudgment from Above?


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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

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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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To: monu who started this subject10/7/2001 9:07:48 AM
From: David Alon
   of 14
 
sacbee.com


School rallies to retain sign: The ACLU says the message 'God Bless America' divides kids by religion and is unconstitutional.
By Ryan McCarthy
Bee Correspondent
(Published Oct. 6, 2001)

A demand by the American Civil Liberties Union that Breen Elementary School in Rocklin remove a "God Bless America" sign prompted angry parents, students and administrators to rally at the school Friday evening.
About 250 people, many clad in red, white and blue, gathered to support the message, which was placed on a marquee in front of the school after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States.

Linda Kosturos, an instructional aide at Breen, said, "Rocklin has been closer than ever in the wake of the terrorist attacks. It's so sad this has arisen."

The ACLU contends that the words broadcast "a hurtful, divisive message."

The organization's Wednesday letter to Breen Elementary calls the message a "clear violation of the California and United States constitutions, as well as the California Education Code."

"It must be replaced immediately," says the letter from Margaret Crosby, staff counsel for the ACLU of Northern California, based in San Francisco.

Phillip Trujillo, an attorney representing the Rocklin Unified School District, said the words don't violate laws on the separation of church and state.

"It's simply not a religious expression," he said. "It's instead a patriotic expression."

His written response sent to the ACLU on Friday describes as "absurd" the argument that the phrase "God Bless America" represents a "hurtful, divisive message."

"I would like to think that the ACLU would not attempt to preclude or inhibit the free expression of patriotism and goodwill at a time when it is most appropriate, helpful or even healing," he said.

Mark Forbes, president of the district's board of trustees, said he was "disgusted" by the ACLU request.

"I would like someone to explain how 'God Bless America' hurts anyone," he said.

ACLU attorney Crosby said Friday that "this is a time when we need to promote unity among Americans of all faiths. Many schools are flying flags to instill a sense of unity in a time of trouble."

"By displaying a religious message, the Breen Elementary School is dividing its young students along religious lines," Crosby added. "School officials are hurting and isolating their schoolchildren of minority faiths when they should be supporting them and the values of pluralism and tolerance."

Displaying such a message is not only unconstitutional "but implies only students who share the faith are truly patriotic," she stated.

A parent whose child attends the school and is "greatly troubled by the sign" spurred the request, the ACLU said in a written statement.

Before receiving the letter, Rocklin Superintendent Kevin Brown said he had received calls from two people asking that the statement on the marquee be removed.

He said that with the district's response Friday, "The ball's in the ACLU's court."

Stella Richardson, media relations director for the ACLU of Northern California, said, "It is entirely unprecedented" for a school not to take down a message such as Breen displays.

Richardson said she is not aware of ACLU involvement at other schools over similar issues.

Terry Thornton, Breen Elementary principal, said the words on the school marquee reflect a grass-roots effort following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

"We are planning on keeping up our message," Thornton said.

All's I can say, how low can the ACLU go?

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To: David Alon who wrote (13)10/8/2001 9:05:07 AM
From: monu
   of 14
 
LOL. We owe a lot to the ACLU, don't we? It never ceases to amaze me their efforts to better our society.

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