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Unity only from a Former
It sketches with some depth the various religious and secular groupings (not in breadth, but with some 'nose' for the aromas). The little more than 30% religious Jew estimate, with around 1/3 of that Orthodox; and the resounding increase in secular Jews, following the huge influx from Russia, of returning Jews: both are noted. Tensions are becoming very deep and strong.
Thus, the DESIRE of some of the Orthodox Jews to MAKE people respect the Sabbath on Saturday, itself of course an Old Covenant SIGN for the reverence of the Lord, and have some ideas of things religious, on the one hand; and the ZEST of the secular, to resist this, and to be a democratic republic, is shown as a vigorous conflict. It is seen in something of its uneven, unequal and uneasy match.
There does NOT seem to be any ready resolution, the
One suggestion it notes from its survey ? It is not CALLED apartheid, but it amounts to separate living for the two groups; another and less constructive suggestion, civil war, is mooted.
There is however a very READY RESOLUTION of this whole affair. Doubtless, this will eventually, and possibly sooner rather than later, occur to many in the nation, to the point of becoming a significant if not indeed a mass movement. It is very simple, very straightforward and very necessary for peace and truth.
It is traced with that quite normal,
and entirely supernatural skill which belongs to Deity alone, in the OLD
Testament (surely an excellent resource for the Orthodox Jew!). In Zechariah
12:10 we read of it. It concerns SOMEONE whom they had PIERCED, an act of which
they are here PREDICTED to REPENT, in a very lively and very personal way,
family by family (12:12-13). The PERSON PIERCED, who is the speaker, is the
LORD. This SAME LORD is also noted in that 500 B.C. approx. prophecy, to have
been SOLD for 30 pieces of silver, and to be coming on the colt of an ass, into
THAT is the ONLY and the PREPARED resolution of the very UNDERSTANDABLE Jewish tension. It is a DIVINE SOLUTION, and it is THE DIVINE REMEDY for this, as for all the imponderable problems (cf. Isaiah 9:1-7, 11:1-10; The Shadow of a Mighty Rock - SMR, Ch.9, and Balms, Arrows and Balms, Ch.17).
Do not be
mistaken. Some people seem almost to love misunderstandings in this sphere, as
if to add mayonnaise to salad. The non-Jew world has much to repent of,
including much of its treatment of the Jews. The Roman Catholic heresy is
exposed in many places, such as in the lives and works of the vastly famous
Reformation scholars who peopled
HENCE the horrendous Roman Catholic Inquisition,
which hit the Reformers hard and often as in Italy and Spain, yes and in
England, with unremitting cruelty and bloodshed, preying on those not defended
in these cases, was not a Christian phenomenon at all. In fact, it ALSO HIT THE
JEWS. The account in such a work as THE STORY OF THE JEWS, Ancient,
Medieval, Modern, by James K. Hosmer, Professor
at Washington University late last century, is almost enough to make the blood
curdle, the heart stop and the head reel. Yet it happened in such a style as
this, and the exultant St Bartholomew's Day Medal which the Pope had struck in
the 16th century, commemorating ... and following unmitigated and incredibly
lusty slaughter of thousands in
It is important NOT to engage in racial hatreds, religious prejudice; and hence to uncover the reality that the JEWISH race has had a very hard time, and that without bias, but with terrible truth, the Roman Catholic Religion was ONE of the chief ministers of this evil. When truth falls in the street through fiction-makers masquerading as peaceable, and THAT additional murder is perpetrated, we need no more talk of hatreds (Isaiah 59:14). THAT is hatred itself. It is one contemporary slaughter which is becoming almost as savage as the Inquisition in its former days. The seduction of convenience becomes an altar to pretence, and truth is often despatched as though it were in a society of lies. It is a secular specialty in which the spirit of man, so often willing to swagger as if indomitable in this way or that, finds a current outlet.
To the point therefore: IF the Roman Catholic Church repents, well; and if not, to masquerade suppression of truth as if it were a friend of peace, is mere enormity. Love rejoices in the truth (I Corinthians 13:6); and in all truth, one forgives readily, but does not meddle with the suppression of the truth. Repentance is not another name for a cover-up, but for such a turning from the things in truth done, that Christ, in truth and for truth bearing these evils, is able to purge and to pardon. Love and truth are intimate friends and allies. Psalm 85 is eloquent on this:
It is not possible to love if you do not love the truth. God is love; Christ is the truth (I John 4:7-8, John 14:6). People are never helped by guilty cover-ups, but by frank pardon on the basis of truth and mercy.
The truth is here crucial. The Roman Catholic body, as noted in the above reference (SMR where cited), and by the Reformers over hundreds of years, is heretical; and that is precisely one reason why it acted as it did, protecting amidst other claims to power, a worldly domain, which it claimed and had claimed explicitly since the papal Bull, Unam Sanctam in 1302 A.D..
What then do we conclude when this IS their way, when
somebody's servants as such, endorse the fighting model for physical
expression! In flamboyant contrast, this religion of
THIS is important for the sake of love, to know. Thus the systematically horrible treatment accorded to the Jewish people by this body has nothing whatever to do with the love of Christ. It is true that the Anglican Church in some of its phases, being CAPTIVE to a NATION which RAN it, also erred in this direction at times. It was horribly oppressive to the Scotch Presbyterians, whose nation could respond, understandably but unwisely, too heavily at the political level to this torturously political, ecclesiastical pressure. On the whole, they suffered immensely and intensely, bravely and with often saintly beauty not least in the interest of preserving the church from political, secular or hybrid domination outside the rule of Jesus Christ.
This assault however was not part of the Anglican basic formulations of doctrine, as a Church! Heaven forbid! It was part of the leprosy which results from being run by a governing body which is not AS SUCH, Christian. For that it paid, and so did many others. It continues to pay, in other ways for this national distortion of the Lordship of Christ. It is nevertheless not PART of its doctrinal structure as a church so to act.
The Roman Catholic matter, however, to the point of
physical ambition and claim, is extensive, intensive, systematic and
incorporated in its own religious doctrine, in terms both of declared world
aspiration and of Inquisitorial practice (see SMR pp. 902-905, 923-924, 949-955, 969-970, 1033-1041). It was repeatedly formally authorised by the papacy. It has all the integral
presumption and invasive rule of
HENCE it is not with Biblical Christianity that the Jews have any historical quarrel: with that form of the Christian faith which is, in short, Christian, Christ-authorised and Christ-governed. NEVER did Christ or the apostles authorise crucifying people, burning them, stealing from the orphans left, as "penalties", releasing souls from purgatory for the sake of money, money for masses and the like. NEVER does the Christian Church, bound to the Bible, do such things (see SMR Appendix D). We are, of course, not speaking of some exemplary perfection in man; but of the principles and normal practice of Bible believing Christians, who would abide in Him and in His words (John 15) as commanded, loving not only in word but in deed (I John 3:18).
The simple reason is this: the Orthodox Jewish segment, with whom one can have some sympathy in their intense desire to be religiously pleasing, nevertheless have not changed gear with the hill of the A.D. world. The Old Testament had the Christ as its focus, and He has come at the date prescribed (SMR pp. 886ff.). He has done all He had to do, and no-one, with all the motive and desire in the world, has EVER been able to show ONE single failure on His part, from the annals of history, to meet ALL that the Messiah had to do in His earthly life. (With the motives then, and now, that is a monumental testimony! See also SMR Ch.6, and pp. 931ff.- starting back slightly. )
It is similarly unwise to discount the Lord God who
made us, as do so many in the secular category. A nation run on these lines, as
increasingly is apparent in
With the Jewish nation, it is well to be old where age is truth, and it is better also and equally, to be fresh and new, where newness is age-old in its predictions and quality, fulfilling the word of the Lord from of old, as in Jesus Christ.
The same, incidentally, in the more extensive and
general sense, applies to the Gentile world. BOTH sides need to
come to the place where peace is to be found. It will never be found elsewhere
It is better, whether Jew or Gentile, to see the writing on the wall, and read the writing in the BOOK which God has kindly given for our EYES and EARS - in addition to the one He has placed in our nucleated cells throughout our bodies - for us to KNOW and to TEST and to SEE and to REPENT and to BELIEVE and to RECEIVE what GOD HAS PROVIDED. That ? In a word: Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, and Him crucified, yes, rather risen bodily from the dead, who provides life, life for evermore.
Before leaving this topic, let us ponder further the state of the case. It is a ground for jubilation, not consternation. The coming renewal and reconciliation is paid for in advance, so that merely its outpouring (Zechariah ) is to be looked for. The payment is past, the procurement is to come on this earth, which will scarcely be able to contain when it arrives, the wonder of this new unity, not in some antichrist without law or love, but in the truth. As Paul put it,
"FOR HE HIMSELF IS YOUR PEACE, WHO HAS MADE BOTH ONE, AND HAS BROKEN DOWN THE MIDDLE WALL OF SEPARATION, HAVING ABOLISHED IN HIS FLESH THE ENMITY, THAT IS, THE LAW OF COMMANDMENTS CONTINED IN ORDINANCES,
YOU, he says to the Gentile church, were OUT OF IT. THEY, the Jews, were up to the neck in it. But you both had to have your eyes opened to the CREATOR in your midst, leaving the torrents of symbols on the one hand, for the reality who at length came, and leaving the cold unbelief, hopeless ignorance, on the other, and meeting where you should meet. In Christ, bringing you BOTH BACK TO GOD.
Thus we see the great apostle to the Gentiles, focussing their divergence and in vision apprehending their coming convergence. As to those to be rescued (cf. Isaiah 66:19) from the Jewish (1) and the Gentile world (2), what is it that had to come ?
· either all but formless or else invaded by mere violence or foolish hope, as in the evolutionary follies of Hitler, or the systematic political stereotypes of Stalin - what of these Gentile escapees ?
Laxity (2) with or without indulged viruses to sap its strength; and legality (1), far removed from its original purpose to prepare for Christ, the predicted Messiah, and adorned with perhaps as much ornamentation as the Gentile world for its part, added in the wild follies of unsuccessful philosophy: these the two extremes. They come together. Now there is in Christ liberty (II Corinthians ), together with inward transformation (), love of truth and obedience to Him and to His word (Luke , John -23), with room for growth with an initiative born of the motivating, activating, grooming presence of the One of whom Abraham was called the friend!
What! impossible, you cry! Surely you know little of the Jewish traditionalists on the one hand, or the Gentile world of philosophy on the other, if you even for one moment imagine that ANYTHING or ANYONE (force for a time excepted), could bring them together.
Not so! There is a name above every name. It WILL take THAT name. This one will most readily concede. There is NO OTHER that will do it: and that name? The Lamb, the Messiah, born in due time as predicted, sacrificed to a world not prepared to listen, whether Jewish priest or Roman Governor, pierced à la mode, as prescribed in the book which claims to cover in advance what is to be, so that this is that to which it refers, for in 2000 years there is no other; and NO ONE has done the things required, nor did God predict someone who would appear to do so.
It is time to repent, receive, believe and return to the Lord. The world cannot - and of course will not - repent; but many is the thousand of individuals, Jew and Gentile, who have done, who will do so. Small wonder that this Christ said this:
"I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth" - from John 17:9-17.
Yet there is not all. Not merely is there this already visible reconciliation of Gentile Christian with Jew. There is also that reconciliation of Jew with Jew. If then one phase of the Jewish people is more weighted with passé legalities of form, of pattern than he should be, faced with the new Covenant of Christ, so often predicted (see No. 17 above); and if another phase is the liberal, the radical, the secular Jew: THIS is no barrier to Christ. THAT, the latter phase, may appear almost at one with the Gentiles, except for a cultural past, and perhaps, a national vision secularised and pragmatised.
Religiously, however, this Jew of liberal religion is as lost as his more rigorous fellow, as indeed is his non-seeing brother Jew. These two - almost a sub-species of Gentile on the one hand, and of 'orthodox' Jew on the other, as surely as they come to Christ - can be reconciled. To each other ? But of course; but equally assuredly NOT by any process of human computation, power broking or harmonious philosophy. We have had about enough of those plagues, which nearly ended the world. Also surely, not few are the Jews who will so come to the peace and unity which is in Christ (Zechariah 12-13, Isaiah 66, Romans 11).
ALL can be, and in significant if not substantial
measure, MANY DIVERSIFIED JEWS WILL BE reconciled to that same Messiah, jointly
murdered by Jewish power and Gentile law, in Pilate and priests, according to
plan, that in Him they should become one new man. For that matter, within
And not small will be the geological trumpet blast heralding His coming. That, however, is slight compared with the inner peace which will greet Him, on the part of His redeemed, when first He comes, for Jew or Gentile who have come to Him who said,