Want to make a Jew mad?
Easy: inform them that Judaism is 'really Christianity, but sans Jesus'.
It's something that Jews hear fairly often, and we don't like it. Why would we? It suggests that Judaism was merely some archaic, warm-up act that set the scene for the main event: Christianity. And it reinforces an idea that many Christian fundamentalists espouse: namely, that Christianity is 'perfected judaism'.
So let's set the record straight.
Christianity is not 'fulfilled' nor 'perfected' nor 'completed' Judaism. And the correct response to anyone suggesting this, is laughter, frankly. Because such a statement only shows how ignorant the person is about all things Jewish.
Christianity = the rejection of Judaism.
Now, this is not to imply that one faith is right and one is wrong, or that one is somehow 'better' than the other. Not at all. But let's be crystal clear: Christianity does represent a rejection of core Jewish beliefs.
For those out there reading this, and now muttering in disagreement, take a look at the things Judaism and Christianity disagree on:
- says that no human can ever die for the sins of others
- says that Jesus died for the sins of mankind
- says that all humans are born pure, and innocent
- says that all humans are born with 'original sin'.
- says that G-d would never allow/enable a 'virgin birth'
- says that Mary gave birth, though a virgin
- says that no man gets a 'second coming'
- says that Jesus will have a 'second coming'
- says that every human should speak directly to G-d
- Jesus claims in the 'new testament' that the 'only way' to G-d is via him
- says G-d is one, indivisable, cannot be separated into three aspects/incarnations
- speaks of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit
- says that we are ALL equally G-d's children
- says that Jesus was 'god's son' above all others
- has no concept of 'hell'
- *some* Christians non believers to 'hell'
- has no 'devil', the Jewish 'satan' is just an ordinary angel, under G-d's control
- describes 'satan' as a devil and 'fallen' angel
- the 'messiah' will be a normal, mortal man who must fulfill all the Jewish messianic prophecies in one normal, mortal lifetime
- Jesus was the 'messiah' and will fulfill the prophecies when he 'returns'
- says that the righteous of ALL faiths will reach 'gan eden' or 'garden of eden'.
- *some* Christians insist that only those who 'know Christ' can reach heaven
- forbids Jews from trying to convert anyone to Judaism
- believes in actively 'witnessing' and encouraging people to convert to Christianity
These are just some of the differences between Judaism and Christianity. Only those unaware of such differences could possibly state that the two faiths are 'similar or, even more bizarrely, that they are the 'same'.
And let's shatter another myth, while we're here.
Some Christians claim that their faith is somehow 'jewish' because 'the first christians were jews'.
Now, using that 'logic', does that mean that today's Australians are 'British', because the first Australians were Brits?
Clearly, the answer is 'no'.
The tiny sect of Jews that then became part of the emerging Christian faith, left Judaism when they violated Torah and began practising the new religion that ultimately, would become the Christianity that we know today. The fact that they were born Jewish, is irrelevant.
Just because a Jew converts to Christianity, does not make Christianity somehow 'jewish'. Yet a surprising number of people think it does!
Again, let's use their 'logic':
I'm Jewish, by birth. So are some of my friends. If we decide that Scientology is the right faith for us, and begin practising it, does this then confer 'jewish' status on Scientology?
Answer: NO, of course not.
Well, the same reasoning does apply to Christianity. A Jew who becomes a Christian is a CHRISTIAN.
The Jewish bible, the Tanakh, makes it clear that no Jew can follow another religion or deity AND remain Jewish: a person who was born a Jew can at some point cease to be called a Jew.
In the Book of Kings, Elijah the prophet is sent to rebuke those Jews who were worshiping a foreign god called Baal. In I Kings 18:21, Elijah says to them:
"How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is G-d, follow Him: but if Baal, follow him."
In other words, you are either a Jew or a worshiper of Baal. Not both.
A Jew who follows another religion is Jewish only in that that he is obligated to return to Judaism. But, while his beliefs are idolatrous and foreign to Judaism, he cannot call himself a Jew.
That is why the terms "Messianic Jew," "Hebrew Christian," or "Jew for Jesus," are all totally, utterly nonsensical.
Judaism and Christianity are two entirely different, separate religions. And anyone who knows even the basics of both, knows this.