Wednesday, October 26, 2011

#44- The Investigator is Born 2

1.  Why Did Jews Reject Jesus?

I read this book to find answers
After I brought up that there are serious problems in the Bible that should be examined I found out that there is a nonchalant attitude towards investigation in the church.  What made it more frustrating was that I was far more familiar with the Bible than my peers and I knew that it would take time to catch them up.

It was under these conditions that I approached the head pastor of the church to ask him a question that is rarely discussed.  I asked the pastor "Why did the Jews reject Jesus?".  He answered "Because they were sinners" dismissively.  I felt that my manhood and intellect were insulted.  He did not take me serious.  He did not take the question serious.  He did not take the gravity of the question serious.

In the post 9/11 world, I realized that people's beliefs had real life consequences.  The answer to my question would help me understand Jewish-Christian and maybe Muslim relations.  After my pastor dismissed me I had another epiphany:  I can talk to Jews and find out myself.

This was not hard to do.  There are a lot of Jews living in South Florida.  But since I saw religion as a private matter I could not bring myself to ask a random Jew about Jesus.  I suspected that this was a taboo subject for them.  Luckily I found a website that was dedicated to answering questions like mine.

I spoke to and corresponded with a kind lady from the group Jews For Judaism.  She explained that there were Christians who were posing as Jews who were trying to get Jews to become Christians.  I asked her why Jews did not believe in Jesus and she told me it was because he did not meet the requirements of what Jews and the Bible were looking for in a messiah.  I was shocked.  I asked her for proof and she provided it.  When I read the article I asked her why Jews had not shared this with more Christians and she said that they tried that in the Middle Ages and were killed and persecuted for it.

She sent me a letter with the Jewish interpretation of famous Isaiah passages used by Christians to justify their belief that Jesus was the messiah and I sided with them.  I was dismayed yet excited to share this discovery.

I took what I learned to church in order to get the information cross-referenced but this time much more quietly.  I asked select individuals for their opinions and I was dismissed again.  I asked my Sunday School teacher who looked at me with glazed eyes.  He looked at me exasperated, as if I was an annoying rabble-rouser.

The gentleman who helped run the Sunday School was a pastor himself.  He visited my class from time to time and caught wind of my inquisitive nature.  He and some other older guys offered to give some answers to the Jewish problem but usually offline in order not to distract from the predetermined Sunday School lesson.

I didn't see the point of teaching about a man who wasn't what was being advertised.  I tuned out and was very disagreeable.  I thought that I could do a better job of teaching the class and started to ask tougher questions to the teachers.  I asked questions that were provocative and rhetorical in nature.   I asked questions to see if my teachers knew there stuff.  Looking back I now see that I could have handle things better but I was very sad and angry that the church members did not take the faith seriously.  In fact I began to see the goals and the culture of the church to be contrary to my values.

No comments:

Post a Comment