Sunday, May 30, 2010

I think I Caught a Live One...

Hi Folks

Blessed Trinity Sunday!

I found this in my com box today.  Aside from my excitement of having a comment, I see it could provide me with months of blog-worthy material.

Sadly, I need to eat and sleep:

"Anders Branderud has left a new comment on your post "The Roots of Christianity"

Quote: “ if we have not drifted to far from the Jewish moorings of the Christian faith.”

I want to comment on this. 

Le-havdil, A logical analysis (found in ( is the website of the only legitimate Netzarim-group)) of all extant source documents and archeology proves that the historical Ribi Yehosuha from Nazareth and his talmidim (apprentice-students), called the Netzarim, taught and lived Torah all of their lives; and that Netzarim and Christianity were always antithetical. 

The original words of the pro-Torah teacher Ribi Yehoshua were redacted by Roman Hellenists, and the redaction is found in the “gospels”. J…. is described in the “gospels”, and le-havdil the teachings of the historical Torah-teacher Ribi Yehoshua from Nazareth are found in the reconstruction (using a logical and scientific methodology to create the reconstruction), Netzarim Hebrew Reconstruction of Hebrew Matityahu (NHM). 

The historical Jew Ribi Yehoshua is not the same as the Christian Jzus The historical Ribi Yehoshua was a human.

The above website proofs that the roots of Christianity are Hellenism, not Judaism".

Sorry, Anders.  All this website proves is that the writers knew/know very little of Christian History.

The "core message" of the Netzarim says this:

"The original—and only authentic—plan of salvation is found only in Tor•âh′ . Everything subsequent is a supersessionist "pretend salvation" of Displacement Theology."

Included on the website is a  book quoted called "The Da Vinci Code: A Jewish Perspective".  It is written by Rabbi Michael Skobac.

Where to begin?

At the top of page 15 of the excerpt, we are told that the real title of the 'Book of Acts' is "The Acts of the Apostles".  No!  Really?  Any legitimate, English Catholic Lectionary would have told you the same thing.

Rabbi Skobac says:

Jews for Judaism, Da Vinci Code 18

First, a little tangent.  The Gospel writer Luke did not meet Jesus either.  

History is written by the victors.  Should we be surprised?  As Protestantism increased its hold on the Christian world, anti-Catholicism became rampant.

Denying St. Paul's teachings is just 'Historical Jesus'-speak.  Jesus was most definitely a practicing Jew, as 'revealed' on another part of this website.  Paul was Pharisee.  God's salvation plan was for all people, and in order to get the message out (Some Jews will credit Christianity for spreading the Torah.  The Jews were not doing it)  there would have to be some assistance given once Jesus had ascended.  Saul/Paul was a Jewish Pharisee and a Roman Citizen.  His conversion to Christianity gave him a certain authority which made him able to reach the Gentiles.

The excerpt supplied effectively ignores the presence and teaching of Roman Catholic, and later Orthodox, Church during the first 1500 or so years of Christianity's existence.  The excerpt (pg 17) says that Martin Luther did not wish the Epistle of James to be included in the Christian Canon.  Is the writer unaware that the Epistle of James HAD been included in the Christan Canon since the Canon itself was settled (the full Christian Canon) about 1000 years earlier?  This was sanctioned by the Catholic Church!  Martin Luther was an unfortunate and unsettling presence in Christian History, and many Christian have been limping along with a shorter Bible ever since (although not without the Epistle of James!).

The Epistle of James includes teaching very clearly present in the teaching of the Catholic Church.  So who, other than Luther, was trying to mute James?

Besides, what is this to the Netzarim if they believe that Salvation is written completely and exclusively in the Torah, as stated in their core message?

In another part of  the core Netzarim message:

 "The doctrine that Tor•âh′  is the "law of sin and death" is a Christian canard, the epitome of misojudaism"

This is not a "doctrine" I have ever encountered in the Catholic Church. In fact, The Catechism of the Catholic Church says this:

 121 The Old Testament is an indispensable part of Sacred Scripture. Its books are divinely inspired and retain a permanent value, for the Old Covenant has never been revoked.

Also in the 'core message' is a link to the glossary entry "Displacement Theology".

This is also new to me.  Reading the glossary entry, I am linked to "misojudaism".  We are told here that Christianity is antinomian.  Wrong again! Catholicism actually considers antinomianism to be a heresy.

This is all I can deal with for now.  If anyone cares to look at the site, please feel free, but be warned!

PS  The spacing of the lines you are seeing is NOT what is in my compose box.  Sorry for the spaciness...

Friday, May 28, 2010

Rabbi David Aaron: Isn't Humbleness Just Low Self-Esteem?


I am borrowing this article. I think it is an excellent explanation of self-esteem and humility for a Godly person.

It is written from a Jewish perspective, but I think it fits perfectly well into the Christian life.

In fact, it seems to give us the root of the Catholic belief of the Communion of Saints.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Well, it would seem that the turbo booster has been applied to the New Evangelization.


Okay, Europe, time to smarten up.

When will be North America's turn?

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Big Picture

We recently returned from a brief trip East, which meant that we spent a good deal of our travel time in Quebec.

I think I have mentioned Quebec before.  For hundreds of years it was a bastion of Catholicism in Canada.  The remnants of that can till be seen nearly everywhere you go in the province.  I am not going to dwell upon what I've said before.

I did have another thought though, as we drove past so many old stone churches in tiny little communities.

The big picture.  Perserverence.

Driving along Highway 20 in Spring is lovely.  Windy, but lovely.  You drive along the St. Lawrence River, which is impressive in its length and breadth.

I was thinking about how cold it must be in the winter.  The wind...and all the old houses that would at one time have been heated with wood, without fancy argon filled double paned windows or fiberglass insulation.  Cold!  Yet for several hundred years, people have lived here.

And they built churches.

Not the modern, spare barns we so often see, but stone churches with bell towers (with real bells).  They are often graced on the inside with many pieces of lovingly carved wood (I'm specifically thinking of the church at St. Jean Port Joli.  Amazing carvings throughout, and added over many years), paintings and real gold.

Even when they were built, these churches were not cheap.  But they arose from the labour and sacrifice of the people who would use them.  And often, it would take more than a generation to complete the work.

Why did relatively few people, with little money, contribute vigourously to the building of Churches they might not see completed? Why would they not spend their money and efforts on their own homes and families?

I think they had a better vision of the 'big picture' than we tend to have today.  We want to see return for our time and money.  We want to see it quickly and we want to see it in an earthly sense.  Eternity takes too long.

In times when infant mortality was higher than it is today, and when diseases we barely think about today could kill you, earthly existence was seen as fleeting.  People had a greater grasp of Eternity.

Besides all that, they had a greater sense of these church buildings being the resting place of the Body of Christ.  The King of Kings.  It was worth it to make it the Church the very best that it could be, even if it took years, and sacrifice.

A slight aside:  A few years back, one of my children brought a book home from school about great Canadians.  One listed was Paul Emile Cardinal Leger.  I will not argue one way or another on his greatness, as I do not know much about him.  I do know that one of the attributes they mentioned which attested to his greatness was that he stopped building elaborate churches, so that the money could be used for purposes which would better suit the here and now.

This distressed me.  I would hope that a man of the cloth, and a Cardinal no less, would be able to see that building worthy, beautiful churches is not wasteful or extravagant, and that it is certainly not exclusive of using money for other purposes such as supporting schools or charity.  If the book I read was correct, Cardinal Leger did not think as I do.

Aside completed

I also think that the Quebecois of earlier generations may have had a better grasp on perseverance.  They got through those winters AND managed to continue building lovely churches...They didn't all move to British Columbia.  I think of how often I complain, who am not very near wintry winds blowing off a large body of water, when the snow plow takes too long to clear the street.

I think that these lovely buildings in tiny little towns and villages are something we can look to in admiration.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Manhattan Project

Manhattan Declaration 
May 7, 2010 
Manhattan Declaration
A Letter to Signers of the Manhattan Declaration
Dear Friends,
We hope you've visited our new website, It is loaded with resources to defend life, marriage, and religious freedom.
If you've been to the website in the last few days, you saw the story of the eight nurses in New York who refused to participate in taking the life of an unborn child by abortion. They were punished, but held their ground. (Later their employer relented and even apologized to them.) Here are people who refused to render to Caesar that which belongs to God! If you didn't get to the story, please read it. More people must follow their example.
The second bit of exciting news comes from England. Weeks ago, a group of British pastors and Christian leaders, including the former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey, posted on a website a condensed version of the Manhattan Declaration. They called it, appropriately, the Westminster Declaration. In the first week they had 5,000 signatures. As we write, they have close to 50,000! This is extraordinary. The church in England has not, in recent years, distinguished itself by giving Christian witness on public moral issues. So this was welcome change and big news - all inspired by the Manhattan Declaration.
Around the world we're getting similar reports of the Declaration being picked up and circulated. It has been translated into a number of foreign languages.
Here at home, we're looking forward to a very busy fall. There will be a New Mexico Christian worldview summit, August 24-26 in Albuquerque, bringing together 600 Catholic and evangelical pastors. It is being co-chaired by Archbishop Michael Sheehan and former congressman Bill Redmond, who is a Colson Center-commissioned Centurion. Chuck Colson, along with the eminent Catholic theologian Michael Novak, will be present for this event.
This is the kind of movement-building event that is growing out of the Manhattan Declaration, and that our website will help connect people to. Keep visiting the site and join our online community. It will link you up with like-minded citizens across the country. The movement section will give you blogs and lists of signatories, as well as a feature called Signer Vision. We will be asking people to post comments on our forums and find events related to the Manhattan Declaration.
You may be wondering whether our efforts are bearing fruit. This Declaration has been the most galvanizing force for the Christian church within anyone's memory. It has brought together leaders across the confessional divides to take a clear, unequivocal stand for life, marriage, and liberty. And it is gaining momentum. But we need each signer to get one other fellow believer to sign so that we can swiftly reach one million. Please take a moment today to call the Manhattan Declaration to the attention of a Christian friend. You can share it using our website.
Here's what else you can do:
  • Pray for us regularly.
  • Educate the laity through on-line study resources.
  • Host local events just like the people in Albuquerque are doing in August; and
  • Give as you're led to support this movement. Our only major expense thus far has been for e-mail and the upgrading of the website, which was contributed by two of our supporting organizations. But we do have ongoing costs to support the website and the Movement. As you'll see, there is a convenient way to give on this website.
Please join the movement. Get others involved, and make full use of the website resources to connect with others who share your convictions about the most important and critical moral questions in our lives today.
God bless you.
Dr. Timothy George
Dr. Robert George
Chuck Colson
 Visit us online at www.manhattandeclaration.orgManhattan Declaration