Wandering

As the Israelite’s wandered in the wilderness for 40 years looking for God and His will, I have constantly tried to understand what motivated the Israelite’s to go in circles for all these years in an environment that was trying to kill them with every step.  I would think they would have grown tired of constantly moving and getting nowhere. As a Christian, I find that at times I also take to wandering.  Why do I do the things I do?  I think there is a direct relationship between the wandering by the Israelite’s  when they were trying to find their purpose and following a Godly leadership, with my own Christian walk today. I would think that there are four ways to understand the motivation of Christians in today’s modernistic world: Gizmos, pathways, rebels, and stubborn fatalism.

Israel in the wilderness was called to follow an external device of smoke and fire.  True they had a leader. Yet even Moses was guided by these heavenly prompts. When the manifestation of God moved so did the Israelite’s.  It did not matter what the path these prompts pointed toward, there was an inner belief that these manifestations knew where they were going. They were guided every mile, every year to following the presence of God. When the smoke moved, they moved. Following as they were pointed, may well be characterized as a mechanical device or Gizmo we find in most cars: the GPS. When we want to go somewhere, we simply punch in a destination and there is a turn by turn guide to grandma’s house. It tells us when we will get there and even if there is any delay on our path.  We listen carefully to a voice, usually a woman’s voice, telling us where to turn, what road or exit to take, even the name and number of the street or highway which is on our path.

When our GPS Gizmo tells me to turn, I make every effort to follow and fully expecting she knows better than any path I could figure out. But there are times when I may well think “That’s not right”, or “I want to make my own path” or  “I know better than this,” or I want to stop along the way to get a Diet Pepsi.”  But when I do, my loyal GPS gleefully reports, “Recalculating.”

That little disembodied voice say does not say, “this is not what I told you to do.” Instead, this tiny Gizmo realizes the place you are and plans a new path. Recalculating is saying, “I will start from when you have gone astray and I will map you a new path to your destination. I will set you straight. Trust me I will get you want to go.”

Sometimes I question this seemingly blind faith in the displayed path.  I know for a fact there are two routes from the church to my house and they both get me there.  The problem is my GPS GIZMO randomly chooses one path over the other because they both are the same distance and duration.  To the Israelites God was their heavenly GIZMO.  God gave them a turn by turn directions and the first type of Israelite and consequently many blessed Christians will find their way to the promised land.

The second way we can look at the wandering at the wilderness and also our Christian walks in our wandering is characterized by the ant. The total purpose of an individual ant is to serve the whole.  To follow the rules of searching to find a source of sustaining resources is the entirety of one class of ants.  Some stay home and take care of the young.  Some receive the bounty provided by the wanderers.  The wanderers provide for the rest of the ants.  Each ant has a responsibility to do their job and not to stray in the least. The philosophy of an ant is to survive the journey.  And they do this by sending out individual ants in search of a new source of food and bring it back the report to the nest.  To find their way back to the nest they produce tiny scent trails wherever they go.  They spread out as far as their scent will allow them to go.  If they don’t find anything they simply die.  Wandering along looking for some choice morsel or better yet a large source of choice morsels like a dollop dropped from my peanut and butter sandwich.  If they find the gooey mess, they follow their own scent trail back and tell everyone.  In rapid succession, hundreds of ants follow blindly the previously laid down path.  All the while, the additional scent is laid down to reinforce the path. Every ant in this parade simply follows the ant in front of them.  Every time a new path is found a group of ants will follow.  Every time there is a new source of plenty there are followers.  Each Ant following dutifully the ant in front of them.

A problem arises when the lead ant loses the scent for a moment and doesn’t know which way to go. When the scent is lost the lead ant turns abruptly looking for the scent again and all the while, every ant behind follows. The lead ant repeats this turning until it finds the scent. What often happens is they run across their own scent line and turn to follow it and in doing so they make a giant circle and they go around and around and around each of the succeeding circles.  Every ant following in step following the ant front of them. The mindset of every ant in the parade is to constantly follow the ant in front, “he must know where he’s going.” Every ant following believes and accepts the, “follow the one in front” idea and is fully convinced that they are going the right way.  And every trip in the grand circle it increases the scent and they can’t stop.  They go around and around and around and ultimately, they simply die of exhaustion. A catastrophic end. Again the Hebrews followed until most of them who had experienced Egypt died.  In the Christian walk we must keep the cloud in mind not the person in front.

The 3rd characteristic of those who would find themselves in the wilderness trying to find God’s will is the rebel. The rebel mindset says to himself, “there must be something more in my divine destiny of life.”  In the Hebrews in the wilderness, they were characterized as the “Grumblers”.  They grumbled about the quality of water, they grumbled with the lack of food, they grumbled with the lack of variety of provided food and they complained because there was not enough water.  Dissatisfied with Moses on the mountain they were the first ones to, “make a god for ourselves.”  This rebel belief reveals itself with trying and changing everything. A complaint of “we have always done it this way” is confronted with “we have never done it this way.” Let me be first.

These rebel firsts keep saying, “I have to go faster, fly higher, explore everywhere, to boldly go where no one has gone before.” “I am the creator of my destiny.” Or “I can do anything I want.” The rules of sanity and common sense simply doesn’t mean anything to me. It doesn’t matter if I crash and burn; at least I can be an example of what not to do. It is a modern self-description. It is a mindset that says, “I have emerged from the cave where man created God, created faith and created religion and I no longer will follow blindly. It is an attitude of personal self-responsibility. “I know who I am and I don’t need or want some old sage to dictate my life.”

The rebel is plastered all over YouTube.  Riding bicycles off of a roof into a swimming pool, or trying to jump over a car while it is coming at you at 20 miles an hour are examples of this rebel attitude.

It is the rebels who have stretched the common beliefs of the church. “Let’s have a church in a deserted drive-in theater,” or “we don’t need pews” or “let’s get tables and coffee” were all once thought of rebellious ideas. “Let me be the first, at least I will be cool about it.”

They live by their own rules because everyone else seems stuck in a pattern and that pattern is I can’t live with. This rebel spirit believes and is willing to die for that belief. Columbus was going somewhere and if he died along the way so be it. Alan Shepard strapped himself onto the back of a rocket to prove something not only to himself but everyone who was going to follow him. It is not a question of, “lead or follow” but just stay out my way.  And like Evil Knievel and all his copies, more often than not they crashed and crashed hard.

The last group of wanderers is those who simply give up: the fatalists.  “If we keep going, day after day, we will ultimately die, so why go on.”  To the fatalist, any path is a path to destruction.  The Egyptians wanted to kill them, the people in the destination wanted to kill them, the desert wanted to kill them, all the new laws set by Moses are all filled with death and punishment, I might as well just dig a hole and climb in. When the Christian does not see that perfect path before them like a heavenly GPS, or another ant in front of them, or there is no unction in your gumption to change the path, the fatalist simply sits down and dies. “If I don’t know where I am to be, this spot is good enough.”  These fatalists die alone because they find no responsibility to follow anyone or conform to any path.  

 Four paths:  Follow the presence of God, follow the other ants in front of you, rebel and do your own thing, or give up. As we walk the walk that is Christianity, it is my choice and it is your choice.

How do I find intimacy with God?

Sermons just don’t do it for me anymore. For that matter the music or should I say spiritual songs, don’t do it for me either.  I have served as a preacher in five churches of various lengths and sizes.  It was overwhelming experience to which I have always accounted as both a privilege and call. To translate the difficult and make it plain and relevant is a task not to be taken lightly.  I am fully aware of the time which must be expended to reach that perfect balance between deep theology and practical understanding. It is a gift from God to both the preacher and those who submit themselves each Sunday. They come to fill their spiritual bread baskets full for the week. They depend on the preacher to fill infuse them to carry on for a little while longer.

Years have come and gone.  Hundreds of messages, prayer meeting studies, Sunday School lessons and Bible studies have been completed. I continually study, build and prepare messages.  Weekly Bible study for the men in our church requires just as much time and preparation as preaching; or maybe even more.  And if the truth be known, these studies are more preaching than a shared study. A few faithful shows up each week and seem to be challenged.  Some are even studying ahead.  One even told me that the studies has caused him to dig deeper.  

As I recollect on the nearer present, I am not quite as enthused.  I don’t get much out of the messages as presented in church.  Sure, there is evidence of study and all the video clips are well placed, but they are not doing it for me. There is nothing new.  There is nothing challenging.  I am easily distracted and the slow pace of the sermon allows my mind to wander.  I guess I would rather read a well thought out argument, than to listen to one more three point, fill in the blank sermon.

I connect to God by working. My connection to God is more focused and more intimate when I am doing for Him. I find true joy in study and passing on that knowledge, that wisdom on to others.  It is not enough to just accumulate a vast amount of facts and illustrations.  There is a true joy in helping someone else to light the fire of their own intellectual pursuits.

So, I am at a quandary.  Do I just keep on going to church to be seen by my brothers and sisters?  Does the effort equal any reward?  I can well fill my own basket.  I share from my basket and it never seems to run out.  I feel an inner satisfaction with the supply by God.  I read voraciously the great preachers; I am challenged by the great hymns of the church.  I long for a church which challenges me more and coddles me less.

Where do I find intimacy with God? It is in my books, in my study, in the crafting of words to would challenge others.  I guess that is good enough.

WOKE

I am a WOKE Christian.  Now before you get all judgmental on me, let me explain.  The original use of this word was back in the 1940s quoted in the Atlantic.  It quoted a black United Mine Worker as saying, “Waking up is a damn sight better than going to sleep, but we’ll stay woke up longer.” It was a way of saying I am aware of social injustice.  It has been adopted, for the most part by minorities of all races and ethnicities. But the meaning is still the same.  To be aware of how society marginalizes and makes efforts to minimalize anyone who is different. In the 1960s, WOKE could more generally mean “well-informed” in Black English, but it still strongly aligned with political awareness, especially in the context of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950–60s and appearing in the phrase, “stay woke.”

So what do I mean when I say I am a WOKE Christian?  There are so many in our society that has been and is both marginalized and minimized because of perceived differences. When I say I am WOKE, I am stating for the record I am aware of social injustice.  I believe the spectrum of talent, intelligence, and drive includes everyone.  Those who are WOKE, exclaim that all those in the spectrum of life are not given the same access to opportunity. 

Restriction of opportunity has been pictured as prejudice, racism, hate, and discrimination, of which I can neither support nor permit in my life as I live in my Faith in Jesus.

Facebook, the news, and politicians all seem to be screaming at me.  Each trying to emphasize the terrible nature and reputations of opposing politicians.  Republicans or Democrats both have their problems.  Both would require my vote for them to the exclusion to the other.  They have become so apart and divisive, there is no middle ground.

Now, this is where I get into trouble.  I am trying, as a Christian, to understand the differences between the two prominent political parties and their stands on the access of opportunity.  Is one party trying to limit access to all? Is one party providing pathways to opportunity over the other? A comparison is needed to determine the most “limiting” faction.

As a Christian, I must start my examination by saying, “everyone has sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God,” Romans 3:23 and that Jesus died for everyone 1 John 2:2.  This includes those who run for political office. Every candidate has equal access to the grace of God.  And lastly, it is not my place to judge anyone based on their faith; that is God’s job, not mine.  All politicians are limited by a sinful nature. I must concern myself with the policies and promises, not the moral content of their personal lives.  It is not my place to judge the spiritual nature of another.

Therefore, I must, if I am WOKE, vote for the candidate I believe will do the best job to overcome injustice in any form and restrictions of access and opportunity.  It falls on the rule of law, justice and, equality.

I am not saying I must set aside biblical principles.  Politics matters to God. Politics and the choices they make can well mitigate some of the effects of a fallen world. The society around us should multiply and flourish. After all, Jesus, in everything he did was a motive to uplift or make better.  He healed lepers, gave hearing to the deaf, opened the eyes of the blind.  Every effort in his life, death, and resurrection was to redeem, restore, and empower. Jesus was WOKE. It did not matter if they were Hebrew or Gentile.

Recently the President of the United States was found not guilty of charges set against him.  Some would say it was just politics. And mostly I would agree.  I think the whole thing was about limiting access and therefore an opportunity for him to do the job he was elected to do.  I think the process was not about the abuse of power but simply a difference of opinion.  It was a process wrought by fallible people with fallible judgments.  It was more about a self-perceived set of standards.

Character has always been a factor on the political stage. George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, and every other president had their detractors.  Some voters that did not vote for President Obama only on the criteria of his skin color. These restrictors of access are accountable to God.

Again, I am a WOKE Christian.  My vote is not based on perceived character. I do not know what is in the heart. Only God can do that.  I vote for the person who is most likely to give equal opportunity and access to everyone who is being governed. And for me, that specifically includes my right to shout I am a Christian and I understand and care.

So, who is the most WOKE in politics today?  The pickings are few. If I would take out the judgmental aspect of my choice, I am left with a decision of which would increase the opportunity of all.  What is the track record for this specific quantifiable question? Which one will set the standard of access?  And which one limits access and therefore opportunity to thrive.

Let’s start with the big one; Pro-life V Pro-Choice.  Which would seem to limit access and opportunity?  I must say taking a life severely restricts the access and opportunity for the child.  To abort a life up to the minute of birth is simply not WOKE.

One party seems to welcome all, including all faiths, ages, races and sexes and the other jumps over the moon when a Catholic schoolboy wears a MAGA hat to a rally.

One party seems to be promoting religious freedom for all faiths, even for Christianity. Christianity seems the most beleaguered and limited and ridiculed.  One party sees the value of faith the other tries to marginalize and mock faith of any kind.

Of the two parties in this contest, one fought for both the 1964 Civil rights Act and the 2018 justice reform to reduce mass incarceration.  One party was founded as the Anti-Slavery party and the other voted against every effort to open access and opportunity to the enslaved population.

Of the two opponents in the political world, one encourages the right to disagree and make voices heard and the other seems to what to silence civil discussion even on college campuses.

I applaud the need for every person to have access to healthcare, but in the application it impacts access. All the rhetoric talks about healthcare but it really is about insurance. It is about who pays.   A Faith based Hospital is required to conform to a single standard that allows for abortion and the right to die measures. 

One party has given us the elimination of terror threats from across the world and the other gives us unisex bathrooms.  One believes marriage should be between a man and a woman, while the other says it doesn’t matter.

Not only has Trump not drawn us into a nuclear war, but he also relegated ISIS and Iran’s murderous General Soleimani to the dustbin of history. Not only has he pursued regulatory reform and created millions of new jobs, but his administration also heralded the lowest unemployment rate ever recorded for Latinos and African Americans. Combined with sweeping criminal justice reform, Trump’s policies are not just symbolic, but real steps forward in our country’s enduring quest for racial equality. Not only has Trump sought tax relief for families and children, but he has also been the greatest protector of unborn lives since the atrocity of Roe v. Wade. Meanwhile, Mitch McConnell’s Senate has confirmed 187 qualified, originalist federal judges.

Neither party has the high ground as models of Christian virtue and sinlessness. I must choose one over the other.  President Trump may well not deserve it, but nobody does if the only qualification is being an unbroken, infallible, sinless, politically correct automaton.

We live in a broken world; sin, hate, prejudice, and discrimination is rampant.  Our lives are our decisions.  While President Trump is a most unlikely banner holder for the WOKE, our lives are better for it.  Millions of forgotten and disenfranchised men and women of all races and creeds and faith have been renewed and are blossoming through the actions of this man.  And it is this blossoming of circumstances that ultimately matter most. “I am WOKE”.

a goose and guilt

Quite a few years ago I toyed with the idea that I could enjoy golf. I was wrong, but that is another story. I was in Reno, Nv and after I had picked up a set of fourth-hand clubs and headed off to the local public golf course. It sits adjacent to Reno International Airport in the apex between the North and West runways. Reno for its relatively mild winter weather was filled in every green spot with non-migratory geese. The fairways was just the place for them to eat grass and leave their little gifts of grey and white clumps along the fairway.

I think it was on the fourth or maybe the fifth hole I was ready to tee off and my attention was diverted by the sound of thirty or more geese landing in the fairway before me. They were close enough that my shot would easily clear the flock. I put the ball, a brand new one just purchased from the office, on the tee, sized up the shot and let it rip. In golf parlance it was a hedge hopper. It took one hop and hit a goose in the head. There was an immediate feeling of guilt.

Guilt does terrible things to a believer in God. But it was not my fault. But I still felt bad very bad. Even after running up to the now struggling goose to retrieve my ball the shame of it all was almost overpowering. I started to second guess myself, my unworthiness to strike on of God’s creatures had destroyed my will to continue my game.

In the Old Testament the Hebrews had a sacrificial system that was to cover over their sin. To make them no longer responsible. But it was not helping for the individual to deal with their guilt. I was like those Hebrews of old that was struggling with a conscience that would not give peace.

In the book of Hebrews I have since found the solution to the sense of guilt or shame. Hebrews 9:13,14 The blood of goats and bulls and ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from act of that lead to death, so the we may serve the living God.

What is the solution to shame and guilt from within with no cause? What do we do with our memories that bring up the bad stuff that has been confessed and forgiven? REMEMBER, Jesus not only died for our sins but to cleanse our guilt.

Every time I remember that goose and feel a little remorse, I remember full well that I have a clean conscience by the blood of Christ. With that remembrance, I by faith, know it is not real guilt or even shame. AND I SMILE.

Ten Fears for the American Church

My Bible tells me perfect love casts out all fear.  Here on the edge of a new month, a new year and a new decade, I am alarmed at the signs within the church which can well be called fear.  Here is the ten that disturbs me:

  1. I am greatly fearful of the church having the form of godliness but without the power of God.  I find more and more people using Christianity as an inoculation to provide an entrance into the Kingdom of God and not truly living the life of a blood washed throng.
  2. I am fearful of the body of believers tolerate sin far too much.  Some would well say it is legalism but sometimes we swing to far to acceptance at any lifestyle there is no real distinctiveness.  If it makes no difference, then there is no difference.
  3. I am fearful of the relevance movement in the church.  We have music that no longer teaches us about God and more about the beat and the light show.  Sometimes it may well be called 7-11 music: eleven words sung over and over eleven times.  We tell the world come as you are, but even at a football game there are uniforms. 
  4. I am fearful of the seeming lack of the use of the Bible.  In church, if the scripture is not posted up in a PowerPoint presentation on a big screen the Bible is ignored.  We don’t take our Bibles to church, we don’t study, we don’t memorize, we don’t hide the Word in our hearts much anymore.
  5. I am fearful of the American church that thinks it is the center of Christianity.  The growth of the church is stagnant if not declining in America.  The places where the church is growing is in the poorest places in the world.  Has the Church in America become complacent?  Probably.
  6. I am fearful of a church that gets hung up on the things that simply don’t matter.  We readily say we are in agreement with our Christian denominations but under our breath, we think they are simply misguided and wrong theologically.
  7. I am fearful of the American church which reserves prayer for the up-fronters in worship.  Prayer meetings have become a thing of the past.  The power of prayer has been replaced by the power of the committee and community.
  8. I am fearful of the American Church that produces not strong Christians but milk drinkers.  Discipleship that reciprocates to create more disciples is being lost.  When Jesus said to go unto the whole world, he said our job was making disciples not increasing attendance at a worship service.
  9. I am fearful of the American church because of the movement to the Mega-church model.  There is nothing wrong with big churches, but they often kill the small fellowship of believers with care for each other and know each other.  Sure, there is more struggle to make ends meet in the small church, there are fewer opportunities for specialized ministries. Never-the-less they have been and must be the source of the true strength of the American church.
  10. I fear for the American church because they seem to have lost the awe of God.  I miss the tears, the testimonies, the victories, the little old ladies with handkerchiefs raising them in victory, of altar calls, of singing Victory in Jesus and meaning it, of my heart pricked to do more for God, of a preacher that gets excited at what he has to share, of sinners saved, of habits broken, of redemption and rejoicing.

Just my thoughts today. If you agree with any of these, pick one and work on it. Strengthen the American church by beginning with your congregation.

New Year’s Plan

This is the day the Lord has made, Rejoice and be glad in it.
We have to be alive.
Think freely, practice patience.
Smile often. Savor special moments.
Live God’s message.
Make new friends. Rediscover old ones.
Tell those you love that you do.
Feel deeply, forget trouble.
Forgive an enemy. Hope. Grow.
Be crazy.
Count your blessings. Worship.
Observe miracles; make them happen.
Celebrate small victories.
Discard worry. Give, Give in
Trust enough not to take.
Pick some flowers, Share them.
Keep a promise. Look for rainbows.
Gaze at stars. See beauty everywhere.
Work hard, be wise. Try to understand.
Take time for people. Take time for yourself. Take time for God.
Laugh heartily, Spread joy.
Take a chance.
Reach out. Let someone in.
Try something new. Slow down.
STOP
Be soft sometimes, Celebrate life.
Believe in yourself, Trust others.
See a sunrise. Listen to rain. Reminisce.
Cry when you need to.
Trust life. Have faith.
Enjoy, wonder, comfort a friend.
Have good ideas. Learn.
Make some mistakes.
Explore the unknown, Hug a kid.
Be alive.
Anticipate a good day,
Believe a good day,
Plan a good day,
Think a good day,
Work a good day,
Pray a good day.
Be Still and know God.

Christmas

As we come to the celebration of the birth in a manger of a Messiah King, each of us must look toward our own spiritual needs.  Pie, and drink may well satisfy the physical. It is not the satisfaction the dusty soul seeks.  It is a sweet well of cool water that flows and urges us to drink of the Well of Life. It is not great intellectual knowledge of the great things of man or even God, but the very person and presence of God.  Some would well say restore the Christ in Christmas.  Instead I think there is a greater need to restore Christ in Christians.  This yearning after God has never completely died in any generation.  There have always been some that have looked beyond the Santa Clause hats and grossly decorated trees and insisted on reading the story in the Bible of the reason for beginning and end of Christmas. Please my friends and loved ones, take time this week to read Luke Chapter 2 verses 1-20 for your own and perchance around that aforementioned tree, read it to the those you love and care for the most.

Merry Christmas

Restoration of AWE

Christmas has changed since I was a child.  The four of us kids slept in the same room and Christmas was always a special time.  If you looked carefully through the vent you would see into the living room to view the Christmas tree.  All decked out with both homemade ornaments a whole lot of tinsel.  Mom and Dad would never put our presents under the tree until the night before.  The anticipation for the big day was palpable. The change in this experience of Christmas is a change in expectation.  Kids submit there “have to have” list and expect the parents to come through.  The guess work is all gone. There is no awe.

It could well be that Christmas now starts almost a month earlier during the Thanksgiving celebration.  With Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it seems so contrived and commercialized.  It feels like the day after Halloween the Christmas commercials begin. I try to hold Christmas at bay in my mind until after Thanksgiving.

In a world drowning in trinkets and knickknacks, reruns and plastic, people are hungry for the real thing.

The celebration has become an event.  Big difference. One is filled with awe and expectation, and the other is just one more milestone to mark off the calendar.

At the heart of the celebration is not a tree and presents.  It is not Santa and red-nosed reindeer.  What it is and what will instill in my life the rightful place of awe, is to understand it is about a single gift.  A gift given freely by a man almost 2000 years ago.  It is a gift that met a need of my life for redemption. It was a gift that was both revelation and reconciliation.  And He did it for me.

I don’t believe there’s a formula that helps overwhelmed, sometimes jaded, struggling-for-a-new-Noel-angle members to reclaim our lost wonder. I just know that when I don’t have it, I can’t fake it. And in a world drowning in trinkets and knickknacks, reruns and plastic, people are hungry for the real thing. So I’ll keep fighting for wonder, and if you battle with me, we’ll have something great to bring to Christmas.

Thoughts on a question

I received a question on a post the other day and it caused me to do some research and soul searching. The question was about the place of the current descendants of Abraham, the Jewish people, in the necessity to be evangelized by the Gentiles.

Excellent question.  From that question you have to make the assumption that the chosen people of Israel, those who are a direct part of Abraham’s family, are not saved.  That opens a hole can of worms.  There are those who think that God’s promise to Abraham to make him a great nation and the world will be blessed by them, only refers to the acts of bringing the Messiah to the world and does not afford any special privileges or spiritual status to them other than birthing Jesus.  These of the Supersessionism movement would assert a theological view that the Old covenant to Abraham was replaced by the New covenant of Jesus. Following this line of theology, the Jews like the rest of the world must accept Jesus to be saved.

Supersessionism is a very well accepted theology in the Christian Church for the majority of their existence. Christian traditions that have championed this single Covenant Theology are the Roman Catholic, Reformed and Methodist. never-the-less in a recent poll of Christians, 60% believe there will be righteous Jews in heaven.

The other side of the argument is dual-covenant theology which holds that the covenant given to Moses is still valid and therefore the Jews do not need evangelizing. If a ethnic Jew is keeping the Law and as Micah states in 6:8, “O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, to live kindness and walk humbly with your God,” then they are assumed righteous and deserve the associated rewards. They would take the statement of Jesus, “No man comes to the Father but by me,” and translate the word man as Gentile. That Jesus only came for the Gentiles.

If this dual-covenant theology then it opens the possibility of a third and a fourth and a fifth covenant. This view is currently being championed by Islam saying that the final and most authentic expression of Abrahamic prophetic monotheism, supersedes and replaces both Jewish and Christian teachings. The doctrine of tahrif teaches that earlier monotheistic scriptures or their interpretations have been corrupted, while the Quran presents a pure version of the divine message that they originally contained.

So now back to the original question.  In God’s eyes “Whosoever believes in Jesus” John3:16 includes Judaism.  Whether we actively do so that is up to the individual and calling.  But just because a person is a gentile or a Jew makes little difference.  It is one of those things we will discover when we get to our final reward.  But before then it is just a talking point.

The greatest enhancement

Stop and think.  Think of God, better think of God’s mind. Imagine God with a concept of creation.  To create something that is perfectly designed, perfectly built, and perfectly understood. Think of a God who made decision after decision in the design of man. And once built, watching intently the happenstances and sometimes chaos resulting in His design.  Get inside the mind of God and seek the trillions of detailed decisions He made before He made it all. And He said it “WAS GOOD”.

We stop and think and wonder strange things and we ask questions.  “God why did you make the Duckbill Platypus and mosquitoes?”  And that is just the point of the greatest design enhancement, the greatest augmentation to his ultimate creation was to allow us to ask, “WHY.”

The Study of God and Life