A Contemplative Faith
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This speaks for itself. Yet another reason why Christians need to be continually begging non-Christians for forgiveness…
I am a Jew and a Christian with a strong mystical orientation and am new to your wonderful web-site. At one time I became angry and offended like the announcer above when Christians suggested I needed Jesus to be a fulfilled Jew. This anger came from knowning that there are deep riches of spirituality and mysticism in Rabbinical Judaism while knowing little about Christianity. It also offended my then liberal and pluralistic viewpoint.
The problem is not Ann’s fundamental point. If one reads the Gospels and believes them it is clear that Jesus thought of Himself as coming first to the Jews. In other words, if Jesus is the Messiah (and I believe He is) He is at very least the Messiah for the Jews. It is therefore irrational to be angry at Christians who suggest that Jews will be perfected by accepting Jesus, as if that would make someone somehow less Jewish and not more. One may respectfully disagree, if, say, one is a Rabbinical Jew. But how could one suggest that this is not a “Jewish” option? The announcer wrongly equates this with Nazi or Islamic Anti-Semitism. Nothing could be further from the truth and in this it is Ann who should be offended by an announcer who reacts emotionally before hearing what is actually being said.
The problem with Ann’s viewpoint and similar ones is that it leaves no room for the Mystery with how God may working in other religions including Rabbinical Judaism. It is too sharply drawn leaving little room for a spectrum of truth that may indeed be fulfilled most completely in Christianity but is also reflected in other paths. I sense outside of Jews the ones most offended by Ann’s remarks will be liberals and pluralistic types. As maddening as it might be to both liberals and conservatives I have to submit that Ann is both right and wrong. She is right that the ultimate spiritual estate of Jews is with their King and Messiah, Jesus. But there is a mystery in the continuing spiritual survival of another distinct Jewish group, the Rabbinical Jews. In this group there are treasure-troves of spirituality like the Talmud, Kabbalah and Chassidut. Somehow this will be all worked out…in God’s time.
You might, if it is has not already crossed your path check out Roy Schoeman’s “Salvation is From the Jews” and “Honey From the Rock”, published by Ignatius Press. There are something interesting perspectives of Jews who became Catholic while remaining Jewish.
Israel, thanks for a very thoughtful and balanced post. I continually struggle with how to balance my own joyful belief that Christ is the savior of the entire world with an equally strong conviction that Christians need to be grounded in a spirit of profound respect and humility when interacting with those who do not share our faith. A good rule of thumb here — something I see clearly in your post — is to simply trust God. We are called to be witnesses, not prosecuting attorneys. In other words, all we have to do is speak words of truth and integrity. This frees us from having to win arguments and score theological points. As a Christian, I’m much more interested in helping people learn about the treasures of Christianity than in pointing out the defects of other religions. At any rate, Coulter offended me not just because I’m a liberal/pluralist (which I am), but because I see her comments as undermining positive Jewish – Christian relations and also as a propaganda goldmine for anti-Christians. When Ms. Coulter speaks, I don’t hear much in the way of humility, hospitality, or compassion, which suggests to me that there might be some ways in which her formation as a Christian is far from complete.
Both parties in that clip misunderstood some pretty fundamental things about each of their respective religions. I hope no one out there thinks either one of them is the primary spokesman or scholar on Christianity or Judaism because they both got it wrong. I wish Ann would stick to speaking about the things she knows well and stay away from issues like this that make her look so dumb and hateful. I hope that doesn’t sound cruel. I just watched a clip of two people ignorant of the facts both tracking down faulty lines of reasoning.
Matt, I think you’re right that there’s more misunderstanding than anything else going on here. One moral of the story is that humility goes a long way. It never looks dumb and hateful!
Why would anybody provide her a public forum?
Intolerance coming from both sides, but aggression only coming from one.
Ann is a special kind of crazy! She is such a liability to the Republican Party. I have NO idea why they do not stuff a sock in her!
I believe in freedom of speech, but hate speech should not be given a soapbox, especially on a major network!
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