Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Why are we Christians and not Jews?

Question Today someone asked me a question and I didn't really know how to answer. Jesus was the King of the Jews, so why do we believe in Catholicism rather being Jewish? I know it has something to do with how the Jews forsoke the Lord, but do you have any more in depth knowledge about this?

Answer The Jews were the original chosen people. God made a covenant with them. A covenant is like a contract, except instead of an exchange of goods it's an exchange of persons. Marriage is an example of a covenant. So God said to them "I'll be your God, you be my people. I will do the following, and you can do the following" (10 commandmants). But the Jews did not live up to their side of the bargain. Again and again God sent them prophets to say "Listen, guys, get on board. Stop worshiping idols. Stop supporting unjust economic policies." So by analogy, it's like God was married to them, but they were being an unfaithful spouse. Over and over God used that kind of marriage language, notobly in Ezekiel, and he even told Hosea to marry a prostitute to show an example of someone being faithful to an unfaithful spouse like God was doing.

Well, part of the deal with the Jews was that one day God would send them a king, and he would be in the line of David (their greatest king ever) and he would rule forever. This was the culmination of the covenant. But rather than accept it, the Jews rejected and killed their Messiah! This is why Jesus always said things like "The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone." When they rejected him, they basically rejected their covenant with God! But God still remained faithful- he made the covenant binding, and said "Alright, if the Jews don't want it, we'll fling open the doors to everyone, including the Gentiles." (Notice the analogies Jesus makes to a wedding feast and those who were invited don't attend?)

So basically, the old covenant was broken, but God made a new one. Jesus sealed the deal by dying for us. That's why he said "This is my blood, the blood of the new covenant." And on the cross he said "It is finnished" or better translated "It is consumated". When we recieve the Eucharist, we recieve Gods gift of himself, and we become the new covenant people.

So... the short answer is that we are not Jewish because when Jesus came he was a total game changer. The covenant with the Jews was destroyed, and a new covenant was made, and we are part of the new covenant. (That's also what is meant by "Old Testament, New Testament"- like last will and testament. We are the inheritors now of Gods offer because the Jews wouldn't take it.)

It's interesting too, because the Jews no longer can fulfill their part of the deal. They had to offer sacrifices in the Temple, but the temple was destroyed shortly after Christ, marking the end of the whole deal. This got described in the book of Revelation as the destruction of the "Whore of Babylon", because 'she' had been Gods unfaithful spouse.

You should know that alot of people don't like to address this stuff, in case it sounds like anti-semitism, but once you get this it makes sense out of all kinds of Bible passages!


  1. Peter, hope you don't mind if I give a free-thinking answer to your questioners:

    Most Christians are Christian because of an accident of birth. If you were born to Jewish parents you would probably be Jewish, and you wouldn't lose a wink of sleep about not being Catholic. For those of us who change religions, it is usually due to social/family influences.

    What a person who cares about truth should probably do is examine all religious claims in order to decide which are true. The best method humans presently have for doing so with some level of objectivity is the use of science and reason. That means that extraordinary claims of religion require extraordinary evidence.

  2. First of all, claiming that "Most Christians are Christian because of an accident of birth" is beligerent and arrogant. You can't simply make this assertion. In the song, "Mind's Eye" by DC Talk, one of the verses goes as follows.

    "Can you catch the wind?
    [Can you see God, have you ever seen Him?
    I've never seen the wind
    I seen the effects of the wind
    But I've never seen the wind]
    Can you see the breeze?
    [There's a mystery to it]".

    So it is with God. We are not believers merely because we were born into Christianity by some accident or mistake, this would never provide sufficent ground for action or true belief. At some point, God had to have intervened. I can only speak for myself, but if I were believing only because my parents took me to Church every Sunday, that would've likely ended long ago. Even if God hasn't done anything specifically in your life, faith is the belief in things unseen. I've never physically seen God, but I've seen the effects of Him on others and I've felt him working in me. This is why I believe. Is feeling or witnessing the power and greatness of God first hand not sufficent reason or evidence to believe?