Feb 07

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Judeo-Christian (2)

So who uses the term “Judeo-Christian?” For the most part, it is denominational preachers, who are called “pastors.” Generally speaking, they are addressing the moral values of the “Ten Commandments,” the law God gave to Israel at Mount Sinai and the moral values of the teaching of Christ found in the New Testament. It is true, nine of the Ten Commandments are found in the New Testament, but this does not make them “Judeo-Christian!” It makes them the teaching of Christ! Of course, there are others, not “pastors” who use the term “Judeo-Christian.” Yes, the term is heard in politics.
The truth of the matter is, it was not the “Judeo-Christian” ideas that America was founded upon, but biblical principles. It was Alexis de Tocqueville in his most influential book, “Democracy in America,” (if you have not read this book, you should) who first described and popularized the distinctive religious basis for American democracy and culture in the 1840’s. His analysis showed the Puritans, in their biblical views, as providing the foundational values of America. These views included earthly political justice, emphasis on laws and education, and a moral dimension which was lacking elsewhere. De Tocqueville believed these biblical values led this nation to its unique institutions of religious tolerance, public education, equalitarianism, and democracy. (Ideas from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). The point here is that the Bible did play a major role in the founding values, the morals, of America, but it was not “Judeo-Christian!” Judaism and Christianity are different, in fact, they are rival religions! Judaism rejects Jesus is the Christ, while Christianity stands upon it! Judaism rejects the New Testament as being the inspired word of God, while Christianity lives and breathes its inspired truth. Judaism lives in an earthly kingdom, while Christianity exists in the spiritual kingdom of the dear son of God.
The truth is, the concept of a common “Judeo-Christian” tradition has more to do with post-1945 politics and a certain ‘public relations’ than it does with any historical and Biblical reality. One writer put it this way: “Liberal Jews fear most religion. They identify religion — especially fundamentalist religion and especially Christianity — with anti-Semitism. Jews are taught from birth about the horrors of the Holocaust, and of nearly 2,000 years of European, meaning Christian, anti-Semitism. They therefore tend to fear Christianity and believe that secularism guarantees their physical security. That is what animates the ACLU and its disproportionately Jewish membership, under the guise of concern with the Constitution and “separation of church and state” (words that do not appear in the Constitution), to fight all public expressions of Christianity in America.” It should be easy to see, the idea of “Judeo-Christian” is very one sided, “Christian” and totally non-Jewish. Therefore, it is hard to understand why some are so determined to promote the idea of “Judeo-Christian!”
Is it possible that much of the idea in the words “Judeo-Christian” is a belief in a future earthly kingdom in Jerusalem? A future earthly kingdom in Jerusalem, the homeland of Israel, the Jews, would require that both Jews and Christians come together as one earthly kingdom. Of course, it would also require that the Jews, who reject Jesus is the Christ, would have to confess him as Christ and king. Thus, the importance of the words “Judeo-Christian” in the politics of today is easy to be understood, as much of the denominational world believes in pre- millennialism: the belief that Jesus will literally and physically return to the earth and reign as king in Jerusalem. Therefore, America must defend the nation of Israel; we must be pro-Israel!
However, one does not have to believe in “pre-millennialism,” or any other “millennialism” to be pro-Israel. They are the only true, freedom loving, democracy in that part of the earth. They are a very congruous people; they are a very small nation, surrounded by other nations and peoples who would like to destroy them. At the same time, this “Judeo-Christian” term is false! Arthur A. Cohen, in his book “The Myth of the Judeo-Christian Tradition” pointed out: “The Jews expected a redeemer to come out of Zion; Christianity affirmed that a redeemer had come out of Zion, but that he had come for all mankind. Judaism denied that claim.” Then, Israeli Orthodox Jewish Theologian Eliezer Berkovitz said it even more clearly: “Judaism is Judaism because it rejects Christianity and Christianity is Christianity because it rejects Judaism.” So much for “Judeo-Christianity,” but it will not go away!

— Frank R. Williams

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