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To: Just another Joe
The sun, moon earth, stars, and angels will not be judged by G*d.

Teh sun, moon, stars, and every created thing is judged by G-d every year on Ro'sh HaShanah. And did you not read my original post? Perhaps you just skimmed it? The ground sinned before man was created, and the moon, which was originally the same size as the sun, was reduced.

It doesn't matter WHAT good works we do here on earth, not that we shouldn't strive to do as many as we can, they would almost invariably not be enough to make ourselves worthy to stand before G*d.

You seem to be totally unwilling or unable to understand that this "man was created perfect, then sinned, and is now lost unless he is either perfect or saved" is totally alien to the Hebrew Bible. It is from the "new testament," the truth of which is at issue here but which you insist on assuming. You then retroject this into the Hebrew Bible.

How much does the Hebrew Bible have to say on the state of the individual soul? Some, but it certainly doesn't obsess on it. The Torah (and mostly the Prophets and Writings as well) are concerned with the development of world history. And certainly the Torah, the foundation as well as the peak of Jewish revelation, says nothing about the salvation of the individual soul. It contains history and laws. Does it contain instructions for an atonement ritual? Of course. Did this atonement ritual atone for the individual soul in the chr*stian understanding so the individual could be "saved?" Please. This is your projection of the later, chr*stian worldview into the Hebrew Bible. Have you noticed that all these atonement rituals were given to Israel only? The Torah does not speak directly to non-Jews at all. And Yom Kippur was primarily a communal atonement for the Nation.

Have you read the Torah's threats for sins? It says very little about "eternal damnation." It mentions exile, plague, captivity, diseases, slaughters . . . it says nothing about what happens after death. This is because the afterlife in Judaism is an esoteric teaching, less important than the systematization of Torah Law. You may insist that this "esoteric" nature lasted only until the time of J*sus and that the "new testament" makes the doctrines of the afterlife public for the first time, but this is an assumption on your part. The fact that you assume it does not make it true.

Did I not communicate the idea that Torah is not just some basic, unimportant, temporary, and preparatory revelation but the supreme revelation? All theories of "progressive revelation" are inherently unprovable. If revelation "progresses" from lower to higher, where does it stop? I know you will say with the "new testament," but that is arbitrary on the part of chr*stians. If revelation "progresses," why shouldn't chr*stianity be superseded by islam, which would be superseded by sikhism, which would be superseded by bahai, which would be superseded by something new to come along? When would it ever stop? Judaism, alone of all the religions of the world, is the only one that identifies the first revelation as the supreme one, while every other religion has to claim a "progressive" revelation until it comes to its own scriptures (at which point it stops, of course).

Did I fail to convey the very important fact that the Prophets and Writings are not "higher than" the Torah but progressively lower than it? The Torah was not written under Divine Inspiration at all. It was written by G-d. It is of wholly Divine authorship. Moses was only a stenographer. The Torah was written before the world was created. The Prophets were written by men under the spirit of prophecy, which is a step lower, and the Writings were written under Ruach HaQodesh (the Holy Spirit), which is a step lower still. The Prophets and Writings are only being publicly read in synagogue services temporarily until they are fulfilled, after which they will have served their purpose. But the Torah is eternal. It was before the First Sin, after it, on earth, in Heaven (where it is studied by angels), and even in the World to Come when our evil inclinations will have been sublimated. It is eternally in force.

We can NEVER do enough good works to justify us in G*d's sight.

I really think you didn't even bother to read my post. Did you not read that I don't claim to be "perfect" or "good enough" or any other number of straw men you may choose to come up with? The notion that G-d has only one way of dealing with imperfection--eternal damnation (or else chr*stian salvation)--is something that you and people like you choose to assume. And btw, even most non-Protestant chr*stians don't believe it (else their own rituals, masses, prayers, etc., would be of no use). I was not put on earth to be perfect, damned, or saved. You were not put on earth to be perfect, damned, or saved. The whole "perfect, damned, or saved" thing is a scenario you assume from the "new testament" because you accept its authority from the outset. But I do not. Both of us, on the other hand, accept the authority of the Torah. If there is to be a new religion the Torah must authorize it. And yet even the sloppiest reading yields the fact that it claims to be in effect forever and that it disallows any such "higher revelation" as chr*stianity claims to be. Have you ever read the thirteenth chapter of Deuteronomy?

It is a gift that G*d offers that we have to accept.

Everything is a gift from G-d. Our very existence is a gift from G-d. Can you not for one moment, even if you do not agree with me, pull yourself out of this worldview to see for one moment what I am trying to say? At least then you'd know what you were rejecting rather than rejecting some self-drawn caricature of someone who thinks "I don't need any help getting to Heaven because I'm so good."

The angels still in heaven have not sinned. They may not be perfect but they haven't sinned. The angels that sinned, Lucifer for example, were thrown out of heaven.

Okay. This proves that you never read my original post all the way through. There is no angel named "Lucifer" who fell from Heaven (that's a teaching from the "new testament" based on a misunderstanding of a passage in the Prophets). G-d created the angel Sama'el and gave him the jobs of being HaSatan (the Satan, the adversary), the Yetzer HaRa` (the Evil Inclination), and Mal'akh HaMavet (the angel of death). I think he is also the national angel of 'Edom. But he is not in rebellion against G-d at all. Only a dualist who rejects the idea of One Supreme G-d could believe that there is some evil counterpart to G-d who is responsible for the evil in the world. As I said in my initial post (which, again, you obviously didn't read) G-d Himself created the ground (which sinned), the moon (which sinned), and created 'Adam with both a good and evil inclination (Genesis 2:7). The evil inclination, and even Satan, are creations of G-d. They are part of a world in which man has Divine instructions and the freewill to obey or disobey them. Heylel Ben Shachar ("Lucifer, son of the morning") is not Satan but the planet v*nus. When G-d addressed the king of Babylonia He was sarcastically referring to his pride and his shining garments. "Look at this. What's the planet v*nus doing down here?"

I agree that we should obey G*d here on earth and do our best to make the earth a better place.

Once again you don't quite get it. It's not about merely "doing good and making the earth a better place." It's about each and every one of us doing his part to utterly transform the physical world in "the Kingdom of the A-mighty." Who needs Heaven? We came from Heaven! We were sent from Heaven down here to do this, and all you can only think of it is as a temporary test to be endured on the way to Heaven. If G-d wanted us in Heaven, why did He not keep us there? Obedience to G-d's laws unleashes spiritual forces throughout all the worlds, just as disobedience and sin unleashes destructive spiritual forces throughout the worlds. All our lives long we are engaging in this activity which eludes our senses. And as I keep saying it is not our job to finish the work. It is only for us to do our part. And this is not the "perfection, damnation, or salvation" scenario of antinomian chr*stianity.

Everything we do here on earth will be judged. If we did not have an intercessor we WOULD be damned for eternity. Not necessarily to Hell but not with our Heavenly Father either, and that could be just as bad.

Again, you persist on reiterating the "absolute perfection, or else damnation, or else salvation" scenario, which is the topic of dispute in this thread. Can you justify this worldview by the Torah? Never mind the "new testament." Its authority is what is in dispute here. Just because you believe it doesn't make it true. A moslem could just as easily "prove" islam by quoting the claims of the koran. But the point is that neither chr*stianity nor islam are authorized by the Torah. The fulfillment we look for is a world utterly and supernaturally transformed by Torah observance and in which, even though sin and evil are sublimated, the Torah remains eternally in force.

It is not imperfection that damns a person. It is sin without payment. Payment cannot be made unless the gift is accepted.

What makes you think that the penalty for sin is "damnation?" Does the Torah intimate anything about "eternal damnation?" Or are you just going to quote Paul and expect me to say "Oh well, that proves it?" Quoting Paul no more proves chr*stianity than quoting the "holy qur'an" proves islam!

I'm not sure I understand your last statement. If you would care to amplify I might be able to respond.

I find that hard to believe, as you are surely aware that until the Protestant Reformation all chr*stians engaged in "works" and "merit" that would put any Jew or Noachide to shame. Perhaps you should first convince these people, whose version of chr*stianity actually goes back to the time of J*sus, before you try to convince me, that the whole purpose of G-d's creation was salvation of the individual soul by means of an antinomian loophole?

You know, I'm disappointed that you obviously never read my first post (which dealt with many of the isses you raised in your "response" to it). I can only assume you have no intention of going back and reading over it in its entirety. You probably won't even read all of this one.

The thing is, I used to believe exactly as you do. I grew up under the influence of a preacher who taught that "the worst form of badness is human goodness," that the vast majority of mankind are "egomaniacs strutting their way to hell, thinking they're too good to be damned." I've been there! I never rejected that worldview because I suddenly developed the idea that I was "good enough" for G-d. I rejected it because I came to see in light of the Hebrew Bible that this whole worldview is simply in error. And part of how I learned that was the painful discovery that actual historical chr*stianity did not say this at all. It merely said the Torah had been superseded, but had been replaced by something else just like it "only better" and that my beloved form of chr*stianity (which was at least consistent in its view of human works) was only a few hundred years old.

I suggest Protestants first convince Catholic, Orthodox, Non-Chalcaedonian, and Nestorian chr*stians of the validity of their antinomian worldview before arguing with anyone who defends the Torah.

One thing I can say that I have done is that I have been forced to examine the claims of other people--people with whom I disagreed--seriously on their own terms rather than merely answering those claims by endlessly repeating my own assumptions. I am sorry that you, for whatever reason, do not wish to try doing this for even one moment.

31 posted on 12/23/2008 12:56:28 PM PST by Zionist Conspirator ('Az 'egmor, beshir-mizmor, chanukkat-hamizbeach!)
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To: Zionist Conspirator
We will have to agree to disagree for the moment.

To debate you using specific passages from the Old Testemant is more than I am prepared to do at this moment.
To put it bluntly, I am not as cognizant of all the passages of the Old Testemant as I am of the New Testament.

By the by, just a question - When you say Torah you are meaning only the first five books of the Old Testament, correct?

At this moment I cannot debate your assumption, just like mine, using only the Old Testament or the Torah.

When it comes down to it it is a matter of faith, and faith doesn't require proof.

I will attempt to investigate the old Testament for arguments for this debate.

Have a happy New Year

32 posted on 12/23/2008 1:38:48 PM PST by Just another Joe (Warning: FReeping can be addictive and helpful to your mental health)
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