What Pope Francis never told you: Present-Day Judaism is not Old Testament Judaism

destrjerusalem

General Titus’ Siege of Jerusalem – Pentecost Sunday, 70 A.D.

“What The Jews Believe” is the subject to which “Life” magazine devoted eleven pages of its September 11th issue. The writer, Rabbi Philip S. Bernstein of Rochester, N. Y., is the president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, “the largest organization of rabbis in the world.” The article enforces the conviction that the Judaism of today is not Old Testament Judaism.

The two opening sentences alone of the lengthy article warrant the above declaration, viz:—“The Jew has no single organized church. He has no priests.” This is enlarged upon in these words:—“The congregation’s rabbi is a teacher, not a priest.” The rabbi is “without any vested ecclesiastical authority, he is not even necessary to the functioning of the synagogue. Any male Jew with sufficient knowledge of the prayers and the laws can conduct a religious service, officiate at marriages and bury the dead.”

This is not new in Jewry. Ludwig Lewisohn, professor of English literature at Brandeis University, Waltham, Mass., says in his “Mid-Channel”:—“With the destruction of the Temple the sacrificial cult of the Jews was destroyed. For among the people there was but one altar, hence the Jewish people were suddenly laicized. Priests and sacrifices and tangible mysteries were no more.”

Surely this is not Old Testament Judaism, which was, as the Catholic Church is, an authoritative God-instituted priestly religion; the high priest being the supreme ecclesiastical authority. Aaron was its Peter, who was ordained by God through his brother Moses (Exodus 28), having successors until about the time of the destruction of the Temple in the year 70 A. D.

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Judaism and the Catholic Church: before and after Vatican II

The key text of Nostra Aetate on this point is in the document’s fourth chapter:

Given this great spiritual heritage common to Christians and Jews, it is the wish of this sacred Council to foster and recommend a mutual knowledge and esteem… the Jews should not be presented as rejected by God or accursed, as though this follows from Scripture… The Church… deplores all hatred, persecution and other manifestations of anti-semitism, whatever the period and whoever was responsible.

Of course, no Catholic may favor the mistreatment of Jews or of anyone else. This is a given. What’s troubling, however, is the ambiguity contained in the phrase, “The Jews should not be presented as rejected by God or accursed, as though this follows from Scripture.”

This phrase lacks necessary distinctions.

Firstly, all of us are members of an “accursed race” – the human race. None of us are born Catholic, but enter this world stained with original sin as children of Adam and Eve. We are thus born, as Blessed Abbot Marmion explains, “enemies of God.” [5] The Psalms teach, “Indeed in guilt was I born and in sin my mother conceived me.” (Psalm 5:7) St. Paul affirms, “For we are by nature children of wrath.” (Eph. 2:3). We are all born as part of the Kingdom of Satan.

To be freed from this kingdom, we need to be “saved”. The eminent Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton explains, the process of salvation requires a transfer from the Kingdom of Satan to the Kingdom of God. This Kingdom of God, according to the age-old doctrine of the Two Kingdoms,[6] is the Catholic Church, the one and only supernatural society established by Christ in which salvation can be found.

The process of salvation, as Fenton notes, is similar to being saved from a sinking rowboat wherein the individual is sure to perish, and being transferred to a sea-worthy ocean liner. This necessary transfer from the Kingdom of Satan to the Kingdom of God requires Baptism and acceptance of the Jesus Christ and his Divine Revelation. “He who believes and is baptized will be saved. He who does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:6) This teaching applies to all people on earth, whether they be Jewish, Muslim, Hindu or secular humanist.

We are all thus born as part of an “accursed race.” The only way to free ourselves from this curse, the only way out of the kingdom of Satan, is to leave the devil’s empire and transfer into Christ’s one true Church, and to keep oneself in the state of grace by means of prayer and the sacraments.

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Faith in Jesus Christ and in the Church he founded, remains the essential, positive, free-will response to God’s grace.

An excellent treatment of a complex and controversial subject:

…The ultimate rejection of God by the Jews was the rejection and murder of their own Messiah – Jesus of Nazareth.

Because of their “unbelief” – Saint Paul writes – Israel was “cut off” (Epistle to the Romans 11:19) from their standing before God…

Israel as the People of God – Part One: Who is a Jew?

Israel as the People of God – Part Two: The Land of Israel

Israel as the People of God – Part Three: Israel and the Church

Conference addresses critical difference between Judaism and Zionism.

In order to recognize Zionism for what it is, one has to know about Judaism, about Zionism — the opposite and negation of Judaism, and about Jewish history … As a Jew, I plan to discuss Zionism, which is rebellion against G-d and treason to the Jewish people.

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Incredulous: Writer expects us to believe that widespread Jewish support for abortion can be attributed to something other than liberal politics.


The Jewish community is deeply concerned about the effects of an article published and syndicated last week about a Jewish crisis pregnancy group called In Shifra’s Arms—actually, it’s a website that offers a variety of services to dissuade Jewish women from having an abortion. This group is an anomaly – the only known Jewish service of its kind – yet the article suggests it reflects a standard view in Judaism. Speaking from the perspective of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, we need to speak out lest this article contribute to the further erosion of the reproductive rights of all of us.

The Jewish moral imperative of pikuach nefesh – saving a life – makes safeguarding reproductive rights a vital Jewish moral value.

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Editor’s note: I can’t help wondering precisely to which Jewish community this writer is referring. That said, the now fashionable Jewish penchant for aborting babies has, in light of the history, always been totally illogical and based on the flimsiest of precedent … derived not from the Old Testament of the Bible … but from the seriously flawed and far from settled opinions of various Rabbis … some dead … some still alive.

When the victims of Hitler’s Holocaust openly support the wanton destruction of millions and millions of innocent babies … many of them Jewish … we can be sure that diabolical disorientation is already hard at work.

The Catholic Church Is ISRAEL

The Church, particularly the Catholic Church, is Israel. There is no other Israel today, in a Biblical sense, than the Church. The Church is also Zion. There is no other Zion, in a spiritual sense, than the Church. The Church is also the New Jerusalem.  There is no other “Jerusalem,” in a spiritual sense than the Church.  This is a fundamental teaching of the New Testament. Without this understanding, everything becomes convoluted. If you read Israel and the Church as being two separate entities than you’ve missed the boat, and one of the most fundamental teachings of the New Testament just went right over your head.

In the eleventh chapter of St. Paul’s epistle to the Romans he uses the illustration of an olive tree to make his point. He compares the Church to a tree that has it’s roots in the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob), and it’s trunk representing the Law and Prophets in the Old Testament. No tree trunk grows upward into infinity. At some point it must sprout branches, and so St. Paul’s “olive tree” does the same. These branches make up the modern Church in Jesus Christ.

Some branches are Jewish Christians. Many branches are Gentile Christians. Both are precious in the eyes of God.  This is the “Israel of God.”

What about those Jews who refused to believe in Jesus Christ? St. Paul himself tells us those are the branches that were cut off from the tree – at least for the time being. These branches can however be grafted back in at any time, and indeed he assures us that someday they all will be, in the fullness of time. As far as we’re concerned anyway, Christianity (neither Judaism nor some piece of real estate in the Middle East) makes up the new “Israel of God,” and it’s been this way ever since Christ initiated the New Covenant some 2,000 years ago.

This is how we Christians are to understand ourselves, and the Church, in the context of Israel and the Old Testament. I cannot stress how incredibly important this is, because if it is not understood, the errors that will arise from it will be nothing short of monumental!

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Islam and Judaism both have similar rules about food

Islam’s Halal:

Based on “General Guidelines for Use of the Term Halal” (CAC/GL 24-1997 1) issued by the Secretariat of the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standard Programme (1999), halal food is defined as food permitted under the Islamic Law and should fulfil following conditions:

1. does not consist of or contain anything which is considered to be unlawful according to Islarnic Law;

2. has not been prepared, processed, transported or stored using any appliance or facility that was not free from anything unlawful according to Islamic Law; and

3. has not in the course of preparation, processing, transportation or storage been in direct contact with any food that fails to satisfy 1 and 2 above.

In addition, halal food can be prepared, processed or stored in different sections or lines within the same premises where non-halal foods are produced, provided that necessary measures are taken to prevent any contact between halal and non-halal foods. Halal foods can also be prepared, processed, transported or stored using facilities which have been previously used for non-halal foods provided that proper cleaning procedures, according to Islamic requirements, have been observed.

More about Halel

Judaism’s Kosher:

The Jewish religion incorporates within its tenets regimen of dietary laws. These laws determine which food is acceptable and in conformity with Jewish Law. The word kosher is an adaptation of the Hebrew word meaning fit or proper. It refers to foodstuffs that meet the dietary requirements of Jewish Law.

There is a prevalent misconception that kosher reflects the conferring of a blessing on food by a Rabbi. There is no truth to this whatsoever. Jewish ritual does require the recitation of a blessing prior to the consumption of food as a gesture of appreciation and acknowledgment of the Divine source of sustenance. However, this requirement applies to everyone, not just a Rabbi. This has no connection with kosher requirements or status.

The barometer of kosher and non-kosher depends on two variables: the source of the ingredients and the status of the production equipment. Kosher certification, which is the guarantee that the food meets kosher requirements, revolves around these two criteria.

More about Kosher

Judaism


This short, Real Catholic TV video
correctly explains the facts, regarding the Judaism of old, present day Rabbinical Judaism, and the true relationship between Catholics and (at least some) of today’s Jews, by virtue of the Abrahamic Covenant and the Church.

Ted Pike’s comprehensive video then goes on to present all of the various historical events which continue to help explain the identity of today’s Jews in ethnic, religious, and/or national contexts.

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Click here to watch the video

Compiled after 15 months’ filming and editing, this fast-moving, professional video documentary will give you a unique education on the inner teachings of Judaism and the talmud.

Through the television camera “The Other Israel” takes you where few Christian scholars have gone before.

Some claim this controversial video is anti-Israel, anti-Jew, and/or anti-semetic.

After much study and reflection, I have come to believe that the intentions of the video producer are pure, and he is simply trying to shed some light on matters that remain very  mysterious to many … including the majority of our Jewish brothers and sisters … and that what you will see on the video is the essential truth.

For the record, this is what the official Catechism of the Catholic Church says about non-Christian faith traditions … including Jews, Muslims, and others:

The Church and non-Christians

839 “Those who have not yet received the Gospel are related to the People of God in various ways.”325

The relationship of the Church with the Jewish People. When she delves into her own mystery, the Church, the People of God in the New Covenant, discovers her link with the Jewish People,326 “the first to hear the Word of God.”327 The Jewish faith, unlike other non-Christian religions, is already a response to God’s revelation in the Old Covenant. To the Jews “belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ”,328 “for the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable.”329

840 And when one considers the future, God’s People of the Old Covenant and the new People of God tend towards similar goals: expectation of the coming (or the return) of the Messiah. But one awaits the return of the Messiah who died and rose from the dead and is recognized as Lord and Son of God; the other awaits the coming of a Messiah, whose features remain hidden till the end of time; and the latter waiting is accompanied by the drama of not knowing or of misunderstanding Christ Jesus.

841 The Church’s relationship with the Muslims. “The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.”330

842 The Church’s bond with non-Christian religions is in the first place the common origin and end of the human race:

All nations form but one community. This is so because all stem from the one stock which God created to people the entire earth, and also because all share a common destiny, namely God. His providence, evident goodness, and saving designs extend to all against the day when the elect are gathered together in the holy city. . .331

843 The Catholic Church recognizes in other religions that search, among shadows and images, for the God who is unknown yet near since he gives life and breath and all things and wants all men to be saved. Thus, the Church considers all goodness and truth found in these religions as “a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that they may at length have life.”332

844 In their religious behavior, however, men also display the limits and errors that disfigure the image of God in them:

Very often, deceived by the Evil One, men have become vain in their reasonings, and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and served the creature rather than the Creator. Or else, living and dying in this world without God, they are exposed to ultimate despair.333

845 To reunite all his children, scattered and led astray by sin, the Father willed to call the whole of humanity together into his Son’s Church. The Church is the place where humanity must rediscover its unity and salvation. The Church is “the world reconciled.” She is that bark which “in the full sail of the Lord’s cross, by the breath of the Holy Spirit, navigates safely in this world.” According to another image dear to the Church Fathers, she is prefigured by Noah’s ark, which alone saves from the flood.334

Father Fahey on Anti-Semitism

20th century historical background

Problems with Christian Zionism

Why the Sadducees didn’t believe in the Resurrection … and how Jesus set them straight!

The Resurrection: Sistine Chapel

Fundamentally, they rejected the resurrection due to the fact that they accepted only the first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Now this is somewhat debated among scholars but for our purposes we can surely say that if something was not explicitly in the Law of Moses, they were unlikely to accept it. All the other Old Testament books such as the prophets, the historical books, the psalms, and the wisdom tradition were set aside by them as authoritative sources. They further claimed that, in these first five books, the resurrection of the dead was not taught. Most other Jews of Jesus’ time did accept the complete Old Testament, and teachings such as the resurrection of the dead which are set forth there, but the Sadducees simply did not. They were a small party within Judaism (Josephus said they were able to persuade none but the rich). Nevertheless they were influential due especially to their wealth and to the fact that they predominated among the Temple leadership. You can read more of them here: Sadducees

Hence the Sadducees arrive to poke fun at Jesus and all others who held that the dead would rise. They are no match for Jesus who easily dispatches their arguments. And Jesus uses the Book of Exodus, a book they accept to do it. In effect Jesus argument proceeds as such:

You accept Moses, do you not?
(To which they would surely reply yes)

But Moses teaches that the dead will rise.
(Jesus must have gotten puzzled looks but he presses on).

You accept that God is a God of the living and not the dead?
(To which they would surely reply yes).

Then why does God in Exodus identify himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, all of whom have been dead (for hundreds of) years? How can he call himself their God if they are dead?
Obviously they are alive, for he could not call himself their God, for he is not a God of the dead but of the living.

So they are alive to God. They are not dead.

Hence Jesus dispatches their view. For us the point is to see how forcefully and clearly Jesus upholds the fact that the dead are alive in the Lord. He powerfully asserts an essential doctrine of the Church and we should rejoice at how firmly Jesus rebukes their disbelief in the resurrection of the dead. Rejoice! For your loved ones are alive before God . To this world they may seem dead, but Jesus tells us firmly and clearly today, they live. Likewise we too, who will face physical death will also live on. Let the world ridicule this, but hear what Jesus says and how he easily dispatches them. Though ridiculed, the resurrection is real.

Editor’s note: There are many living today who do not believe in the resurrection of the body, let alone that Jesus Christ rose again from the dead. The Catholic Church, along with 2000 years of systematic Catholic scholarship and superb theology, and the most successful philosophy of life that the world has ever known, remains the living the eye-witness to the truth of the Gospels, until Jesus comes again.

Those who, for whatever reason, fail to participate fully in all of the work, worship, sacraments and devotions of the Catholic Church have a lot in common with the Sadducees. And that’s just … sad!

Pro-Israel writers almost get it right … but leave mistaken impression about Judaism that isn’t quite Kosher.


…the relationship between the Jewish people and God is one that commonly elicits strong (and divergent) reactions. But what does the Church have to say about this relationship? In particular, are the Jewish people still “chosen,” maintaining a special relationship with God? And, if so, does this therefore mean that they are already in a salvific covenant with him such that they have no need of Christ and his Church?

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Editor’s note:

First of all, today’s Jews (and Judaism) have no central governing authority, and no comprehensive, systematic, universal  theology, doctrine, or creed. Most cannot even agree on which portions of sacred scripture they choose to affirm … or deny.

This means that, Chosen People or not … many, many Jews are on the wrong side of things when it comes to routine matters of natural law and the Christian faith in general, and that means they are almost totally at odds with the authentic teachings and principles of Catholicism.

It also means that Jews no longer fit the conventional (and erroneous) stereotype that many Christians have in mind … and they haven’t, for almost 2000 years.

In short, Catholics must be very careful when it comes to routinely supporting those who they perceive to be “the Jews” … and/or Israel … since proper identification of the “Chosen People” is (and always has been) very problematic.

Revelation 2:9  I know thy tribulation and thy poverty: but thou art rich. And thou art blasphemed by them that say they are Jews and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

The key point is that today’s authentic People of God … those “marked for salvation” and presently living under a truly salvific covenant, thanks to Jesus Christ … are Christians. Not the “Chosen People” of Israel.

The most sensitive and practical thing a Christian can do for any non-Christian is to try to clearly make that point, in a respectful, loving, and non-discriminating way.

Unfortunately, many liberal, “Jews don’t need to be evangelized” post-Vatican II Catholic church hierarchs have failed to properly preach and teach this essential truth, to the continuing detriment of Jew and Gentile, alike.

Click here for a more detailed and scholarly response (PDF file)

What do today’s Jews believe? It all depends …

The path to Orthodoxy is long and labyrinthine. Does G-d exist? Did He give the Torah? Did He also provide an oral tradition? Like many Jews rediscovering their heritage, I had to confront and resolve each of these challenges. Eventually, we pre-ba’alei tshuva arrive at the denominational crossroads. Convinced of the Torah’s Divine origin and aware that, to be decipherable, the Pentateuch must have been given with an oral explanation, I sought the Jewish movement in possession of that ancient Mesorah.

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Milwaukee bishop appears to subscribe to heresy about Jews … and publicly proclaims it

If the quote is correct, Milwaukee Auxiliary Bishop Richard Sklba is on record as saying that Catholic Church documents developed during the reign of Pope Paul VI, “… affirmed that the Jewish people were not responsible for the death of Jesus, that their covenant with God was never abolished, that they are still God’s chosen people …”

The bishop evidently failed to get the memo about the CORRECTION issued to the USCCB Catholic Catechism for Adults which states that it’s the Abrahamic Covenant, applied to Jews and Gentiles alike, through the fulfilled work of Jesus Christ and his Catholic Church which ALONE provides the hope of salvation to ALL persons of faith.

The Mosaic Covenant, along with all the associated laws, statutes and ordinances, is NOT and NEVER WAS capable of saving a soul … so ANYONE who would choose to mistakenly cling to the OLD Mosaic Covenant, which was perfectly fulfilled (by Christ), respectfully set aside (by Christ), made obsolete (by Christ) finally and totally REPLACED with the NEW, BETTER, and SAVING covenant (by Christ, in HIS BLOOD, at the Last Supper and subsequently, on the cross, at Calvary) … is just plain confused.

The last time I checked, the enduring words of Jesus Christ to the apostles went something like this:

Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Go therefore, teach ye all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.

There was certainly no exception included in the above, for Jews. To the contrary, Christ’s words were given to men who were themselves Jews, and his words were first preached in Jerusalem, on the first Pentecost, specifically to the Jews … and only later to ALL nations.

It’s time that all the old stereotypes about the Jews were put to rest. There is no longer ANY standardized system of Jewish beliefs and practices extant in today’s world. Judaism as a religion and a culture means many different things to many different people, all around the world.

About the only thing that remains relatively consistent in terms of Judaic teaching and practice is liberal politics and continued opposition to a host of long established traditional Catholic beliefs and principles.

The facts: Jews are people, just like everyone else, and they are in need of salvation in Jesus Christ, just like everyone else. To treat Jews differently than ANY other group would constitute DISCRIMINATION, and it would also (quite probably) be a sin.

Why a Catholic bishop (and there are evidently many like-minded Catholic bishops out there) finds this so difficult to understand remains a mystery. But it probably stems from a basic flaw in the Catholic seminary system … repeated over the last 45 years, with “cookie-cutter” regularity.

One would think that a genuine successor of the original apostles would know better!

Here’s hoping the above quote is wrong … but I doubt it.

Read the whole story

A treatise on Judaism


Philosophy 101: Naturalism vs Christianity

Naturalism

Naturalism is a worldview that asserts that the universe is a closed system in which matter and energy are the only realities. This perspective rules out the existence of any supernatural beings including God. According to naturalism, the world operates according to natural laws in which there are a series of cause and effects. Because the universe operates according to natural processes there are no miracles or events that have any supernatural cause. Thus, everything in the universe is subject to scientific study and verification. Naturalism would be consistent with materialism and monism in which all of reality is inherently connected to the physical realm. Naturalism disagrees with dualism and its assertion that reality is made up of two distinct substances—the material and the immaterial. This rejection of dualism means that naturalists do not believe that people have an immortal soul that can survive physical death. For naturalists, the present life of a person is the only life he or she will ever have. There are no past lives to due to reincarnation nor is there a future life in some state of bliss or torment.

Because naturalism rejects any concept of the supernatural this view is intrinsically linked with atheism, the belief that there is no God. Naturalism also usually leads to the rejection of moral absolutes since there is no divine being or law that determines standards for right and wrong. Thus, naturalism often leads to ethical relativism in which individuals and societies are free to determine their standards for right and wrong.

David Hume was a key figure in laying a philosophical basis for naturalism. He refuted the idea of miracles claiming that testimonies of miracles were most likely false reports. Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution was also important in that it offered a purely naturalistic explanation of origins. Naturalism is well-represented today and is the prevailing worldview in the academic and scientific communities of the West.

Christianity and Philosophy

Christianity is often viewed as one of the world’s major religions, but Christianity also offers a philosophy of life that has greatly influenced Western society for nearly two thousand years. Thus, to ignore Christianity in the study of philosophy is a great mistake.

Christianity was founded by Jesus of Nazareth (c. 4 B.C.–A.D. 33) who is famous for his teachings, miracles, death, and resurrection from the dead. The Christian movement was furthered by Paul of Tarsus who through his missionary travels took Christianity to many areas of the known world. Much of Judaism is found within Christianity such as beliefs in one God and a linear view of history in which God will eventually triumph over evil and establish a new heavens and a new earth. Christianity differs from Judaism, though, in its assertion that Jesus was the divine Son of God and the Messiah of Israel. Christianity also uniquely asserts that Jesus’ death on the cross was a substitutionary atonement for the sins of the world.

While Christianity itself is rooted firmly in the life of Jesus and the writings of both the Old and New Testaments, this religion has often intersected with the discipline of philosophy. Some early Christians rejected any merger between Christianity and philosophy. For example, the church father, Tertullian, (160–225) declared, “What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?” to show that Greek philosophy has nothing to do with Christianity.  Other church fathers, though, were positive toward the value of philosophy. Justin Martyr (c. 100–165), for example believed that God scattered “the seeds of his Logos [Word]” throughout the world before sending Jesus. Thus, Justin believed that the world had experienced some truths of God through philosophy even before Jesus came into the world. Justin also held that Christianity brought to fulfillment some of the insights of classical philosophy including that of Platonism. Another church father, Clement of Alexandria (c. 150–215), asserted that God gave philosophy to the Greeks in order to prepare them for the coming of Christ. Thus, Greek philosophy was not a competing worldview. According to Clement, Jesus was the fulfillment of philosophy.

The influential theologian and philosopher, Augustine of Hippo, also viewed philosophy favorably. Although acknowledging that some areas of philosophy were not valuable, he believed that there was no reason why Christians should not adopt the good things of philosophy and use them in their Christian walk and witness. Augustine, himself, relied upon several major teachings of Plato and Plotinus, the founder of Neo-Platonism. Augustine credited Neo-Platonism for helping him reject the Manichean view that all reality was material. Augustine also adopted Plato’s theory of forms, placing these “forms” in the mind of God. In fact, until the thirteenth century, the Christian church often looked favorably upon the ideas of Plato. During the thirteenth century, though, Christian scholars rediscovered the writings of Aristotle. Thomas Aquinas (1225–74), for example, attempted a merger between Aristotelian ideas and Christianity. Aquinas used Aristotle’s concept of a Prime Mover who caused all motion in the universe as support for his idea that the Christian God must have created and designed the universe.

Dictionary of Philosophy (A-Z)

Hanukkah and Jesus Christ, the Light of the World: “I and the Father are one”

“When the day came for them to be purified as laid down by the law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the lord.”- Luke 2:22

Simeon holds Jesus aloft and proclaims the Child is the promised Light of the World. Now Jesus will replace the Menorah, the seven-branched lamp stand which to the Jews was the symbol of the presence of God’s light. Jesus is dressed in green priestly vestments: green is the symbol of hope. To complete the ritual of purification, forty days after the birth, Mary and Joseph offer two turtle doves as the sacrificial gift of the poor.

***

The feast of Hanukkah lasts eight days because Judas Maccabaeus wanted to imitate King Solomon. After all, Solomon had dedicated the original temple during the eight-day feast of Tabernacles. However, the feast of Tabernacles falls in the month of Tishri, not Kislev. Instead of waiting another ten months, Judas Maccabaeus decreed that a new eight-day festival be created in imitation of the festival of Tabernacles, beginning on the twenty-fifth day of the Jewish month of Kislev. The book of 2 Maccabees records that Judas Maccabaeus instituted the eight-day festival because, “Solomon also kept the eight days,” when the original Temple was dedicated (2 Macc 2:12).

The Jewish Talmud offers another tradition to explain the eight days of Hanukkah. When the Jews recaptured Jerusalem from the tyrannous Greeks, the Jewish priests did not have enough oil to keep the Temple’s menorah lit. There was only enough sacred oil to burn for one day and it would take at least a week to mix a fresh supply of holy oil. Yet, the one-day supply of holy oil lasted for eight days by a divine miracle. For this reason, faithful Jews light the menorah during the eight days of the festival.

Many Christians are unaware of these connections. As a result, they miss the important “Hanukkah message” of Christ in John’s Gospel. The presence of Christ at the Temple during Hanukkah is important because Hanukkah recalled how the Maccabees dedicated the Temple after the Greeks had defiled it. However, the presence of God’s glory did not manifest itself at the re-dedication of the Maccabees and fill the Temple as it did in the days of King Solomon. Since the time of the Maccabees, God had not inhabited the Temple as He had before the Jews’ Babylonian exile. The presence of Christ in the Temple at Hanukkah shows that God’s presence had once again entered to the Temple.

It was the feast of the Dedication [i.e. Hanukkah] at Jerusalem. It was winter and Jesus was walking in the Temple, in the portico of Solomon. So the Jews gathered round him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us openly” (Jn 10:22-24).

It was during Hanukkah that Christ answered them by boldly proclaiming: “I and the Father are one” (Jn 10: 30). Christ entered into the Temple at the feast of Hanukkah and presented himself as the God of Israel. His enemies immediately understood His claim in light of Hanukkah’s significance. We know this because they took up stones to stone him and said “we stone you for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself to be God” (Jn 10:31-33). Hence, the festival of Hanukkah serves as a sign of Christ’s fulfillment of the Temple and the entire Old Covenant. Jesus was not only a gifted rabbi from Nazareth—He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. As it turns out, Jesus’ relationship with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the righteous of the Old Testament sheds light on why Catholic Christians honor and revere the saints.

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Stained Glass Window: Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church
Carrallton,Georgia
Presented in Loving Memory of Lou and Mary Benchina

JUDAISM VERSUS ZIONISM

templemountenh

There is a vile lie, which stalks the Jewish people across the globe. It is a lie so heinous, so far from the truth, that it can only gain popularity due to the complicity of powerful forces in the “mainstream” media and educational establishment.

It is a lie which has brought many innocent people untold suffering and if unchecked has the potential to create extraordinary tragedy in the future.

It is the lie that declares that Judaism and Zionism are identical.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Read the article

Right, Left, Socialist, Marxist/Leninist, Nazi … all of the above, or other? You decide.

hitler_adolf

The Nazis’ dislike for Christianity was so great that, not surprisingly, they sought to destroy it. Leftists may scoff at a notion so contrary to their prejudices, but the evidence of this fact is now overwhelming. And of this evidence, perhaps the most compelling was uncovered by a Jewish attorney named Julie Seltzer Mandel, a woman whose grandmother was a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp. I addressed her discovery in my piece “Hitler and Christianity,” writing:

While a law student and editor of the Nuremberg Project for the Rutgers Journal of Law and Religion, Mandel gained access to 148 bound volumes of rare documents — some marked “Top Secret” — compiled by the Office of Strategic Services (or O.S.S., the WWII forerunner to the CIA).

After scouring the papers, she published the first installment of them in 2002, a 120-page O.S.S. report entitled “The Nazi Master Plan: The Persecution of the Christian Churches.” Reporting on these O.S.S. findings in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Edward Colimore wrote: “The fragile, typewritten documents from the 1940s lay out the Nazi plan in grim detail: Take over the churches from within, using party sympathizers. Discredit, jail or kill Christian leaders. And re-indoctrinate the congregants. Give them a new faith — in Germany’s Third Reich.” He then quotes Mandel: “A lot of people will say, ‘I didn’t realize that they were trying to convert Christians to a Nazi philosophy.’… They wanted to eliminate the Jews altogether, but they were also looking to eliminate Christianity.”

To this day nothing has changed. If you examine the writings of contemporary white supremacists, you will find much hatred for Christianity, affection for paganism and sympathy for Islam.

Now, I ask you: Which is better characterized by this description, the right or left? When answering, remember that those euphemistically-named censorship bureaucracies of the left, “human rights commissions,” consistently silence those who dare criticize Islam, most notably Christians.

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What are the differences between Christianity, Judaism and Islam’s core values?

Q: What are the differences between Christianity, Judaism and Islam’s core values?

A: Judaism and Islam are based on pleasing God by keeping his law … something which has been proved by long experience, to be impossible to do.

Those who spend all their time attempting to do the impossible get frustrated, and often find it difficult to love.

 Christianity is based on that which God accomplished for us, that we were never able to do for ourselves. In another word … grace.

No longer being obsessed with law, Christians can concentrate on the important thing … which is love.

Love is THE core value of Christianity.

Some of You May Remember the Reformation – by Mark Shea

Some of You May Remember the Reformation – by Mark Shea

March 11, 2008

What to my wondering eyes appeared on my computer screen a few months back but a big advertisement from something called “Paula White Ministries”. It had that sort of “Oprah” vibe to it that many non-denominational “women’s ministries” do. Unlike the martial vibe one gets from male-run Evangelical outfits that are about “Fighting for the Truth!” and “Making an Impact on this Generation for Jesus Christ!” Oprahfied non-denom women’s ministries tend to make you think of The View or “Cawfee Tawk” or Susan Powter-plus Jesus.

So what’s Paula all about? Well, in her email, she was inadvertently illustrating that Catholic teaching is a boomerang. When you throw some of it away, it tends to come back and hit you in the head from unexpected angles. Permit me to explain …

Click here to link to the rest of this “Catholic Exchange” article.

Jim Akin: Easter A Pagan Holiday? Not a chance!

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Q: Isn’t Easter a pagan rather than a Christian holiday, as shown by its very name by the fact that its date is determined by the full moon after the Spring equinox?


A: By Jim Akin – Anyone making this charge shows a total lack of comprehension of global Christianity. In fact, only a person speaking English or German could even possibly make this charge.
First, let’s deal with the date. Easter is the first Sunday after the first full moon following March 21 (historically, the Spring equinox).

The reason, however, has nothing to do with paganism. It has everything to do with Judaism and with Christ’s Resurrection.

Christ was resurrected on Sunday — the first day of the week (Matthew 28:1) — thus since the First Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325 all Christians have celebrated his Resurrection on Sunday.

Prior to that, most celebrated it on Sunday, but some, known as Quartodecimians (“Fourteenth-ers”) celebrated it on the 14th day of the Jewish month of Nisan, when Passover occurred.

At First Nicaea all Christians agreed to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ on first Sunday after 14 Nisan because that
was the day Christ was Resurrected in the first century — the Sunday after Passover.

Because first century Jews used a lunar calendar, every month was twenty-eight days long, beginning with the new moon and having the full moon on the 14th of the month. Nisan, being the month in which the Spring equinox occurred, always had Passover — the 14th of Nisan — falling on the first full moon on or after the Spring equinox.

Thus since Passover was always on or after the first full moon after the Spring equinox, and since the Resurrection was the first Sunday after Passover, Easter is always the first Sunday after the first full moon after March 21 (historically, the Spring equinox).

There is nothing about a pagan lunar celebration in here. It has nothing to do with paganism, but everything to do with the Resurrection of Christ in its Jewish-Passover context.

Now let us deal with the name of Easter.

The fact is that there are only two languages in which the name has any pagan associations whatsoever
— English and German.

This, of course, is a problem for King James Only-ites, since the term “Easter” appears in the King James Version in
Acts 12:4 as a translation for the Jewish holiday of Passover. In English, of course, the name is “Easter” and in German “Ostern.”

These are related in name to a pagan spring festival, whose name, if you check a dictionary, was derived from the prehistoric West Germanic word akin to the Old English term east, which means, simply enough, “east,” the direction of the rising sun.

It has nothing to do, contrary to what you will hear from some anti-Easter-ites, with the goddess Ishtar.

But in virtually every language except English and German, the name of Easter is derived from the Jewish word Pesach or “Passover.”

Thus in Greek the term for Easter is Pascha, in Latin the term is also Pascha.

From there it passed into the Romance languages, and so in Spanish it is Pascua, in Italian it is Pasqua, in French it is Paques, and in Portugese it is Pascoa.

It also passed into the non-Romance languages, such as the Germanic languages Dutch, where it is Pasen and Danish,
where it is Paaske.

Thus only in the highly Protestant countries of Germany (where the Reformation started) and England (where the intense persecution and martyrdom of Catholics was the harshest), does the term “Easter” have any pagan associations at all.

So perhaps in these two Protestant countries paganism was not sufficiently stamped out to use the Judeo-Christian term
for the celebration of Christ’s Resurrection that was used everywhere else in Europe.

Submitted by Doria2