Applying Doctrine Differently (For the Jewish Community)

My heart is aching over the death of children and continued misery for the rest of an Orthodox family in Brooklyn, New York.

Their tradition is that you must do NO WORK on the Sabbath. They define “work” much more strictly than I do. My Rabbi and I agree that “work” means doing something to earn money – gainful employment. The effort is to be extremely respectful of God’s Laws. However, it is my personal opinion, God wants us to be sincerely seeking His Way, and His Face, His Heart, to behave as He wants us to behave.

My education is a combination of Christian and Jewish thought, so I’ll reference the New Testament here. I know some Jewish People have no interest in Jesus or the New Testament. I think that is a mistake.

This “Jesus” who came to speak to Rabbis did what he thought could be done to show them their errors and change their ways. But, since the most ancient of time, Jewish traditions do not change quickly, and Jewish People have valiantly fought and died to retain their traditions.

I maintain this view:  God wants your sincerity! Jesus spoke to a group of Rabbi’s saying essentially, You’re so busy counting every last seed for tithe and doing every effort to respect G-d and Torah, but you miss the big picture. 

From New International Version (NIV) Mark 7:

He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:

“‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.’[b]

You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.”

What’s the big picture?  NIV: Mathew 22: The Greatest Commandment

34Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’c 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’d 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

All the law and the prophets are attached to these two commandments. God wants us to sincerely Love Him and Love Our Neighbors.

Does God care if you do or do not start a fire to make breakfast on Saturday morning? I think “no.” Does God sorrow at the death of a devoted family in Brooklyn? I think “yes!”

Mark 7 New International Version (NIV)

That Which Defiles

The Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus and saw some of his disciples eating food with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. (The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders. When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles.[a])

So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, “Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with defiled hands?”

He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:

“‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.’[b]

You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.”

we have to be sensible. Jesus also said so. He said Sabbath is made for man. Man wasn’t made for Sabbath. The Sabbath is intended for us to rest, study God’s Word, Remember God created the Sabbath and created our lives and all the Universe. If we renew these memories every week we never fall into the pit believing God is a myth made up in our minds to help us justify our lives and “feel better” about something.

Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath  Mark 2: NIV

23One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. 24The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”

25He answered, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need? 26In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.”

27Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

This Jewish home owner left a hot plate running all night to avoid lighting a fire and breaking a Sabbath law. The electrical wiring in that old building overheated, I suppose, and a fire started. Before they knew it they were engulfed in dense smoke and flames!

It is my opinion that we are carrying doctrine to such a degree it looks like we’ve lost our minds. If one carries this fear of breaking commandments to the ultimate degree, one will do nothing. Don’t start your car, you’ll pollute the world. Don’t use electricity ever because making it pollutes the world. Don’t eat any animal because the animal belongs to God and we’re supposed to love animals. Don’t earn or invest money because then you’re part of the Satanic system and ultimately your money is involved in making weapons of mass destruction….We could go on and on until we’re afraid to do anything, or as someone said, until we’re so Heavenly minded, we’re of no Earthly good.

The home owner didn’t want to light a fire to cook breakfast, but I wonder, did he turn the heat off in his home before going to bed too? No matter how you heat (and probably that place was heated with gas or fuel oil) you start a fire. Aren’t you breaking Sabbath by allowing the heater to start a fire through that 24-hour period?

The hot plate issue could be prevented by not running a hot plate: by altering our view about how to apply doctrine.

A friend writes:

It’s hard to misconstrue “if you do work on the Sabbath, you die” And we have a very specific definition for what that means.

Jesus answered this too: If you break any law even once you die. That, Jesus said, is why we need forgiveness. Whether you believe he was Messiah or not is your business, but the point is taken, we cannot keep all the law, and so we all are doomed. We have no peace or comfort about our lives so long as we believe we may have sinned once and therefore when we die on Earth our lives are finished.

Consequently we may say, “I’m going to roast in hell for a year or die forever anyway, so I’ll just live a life of financial sin, robbing on the stock market, or lusting after one girl followed by another. I’ll do everything we’re told to avoid. Hand me that bacon and tomato sandwich!

Apostle Paul discussed this several times. Shall we continue to sin so that grace may abound? Certainly not!  Romans 6: NIV  Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ

1What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

Everyone has sinned, and fallen short of the law and the glory of God, therefore we all need forgiveness. Romans 3:23  (NIV)  23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

No one can keep all the law. That’s why we need forgiveness. No one, not even Orthodox Jews can  keep all the law perfectly, so the best answer is to do the best you can, seek God’s forgiveness through the one Christians insist was the Messiah, OR, at least, apply doctrine more sensibly remember G-d wants your sincerity and your Love much more than He wants your effort to keep all the laws.

My friend and I ended our discussion with his view: God allows things to happen and I don’t question why.

Christian doctrine simply says Satan hates humans and especially Jews because The Christ came through a Jewish family, who were in a monastic community on Mt. Carmel, and were according to the study of his descendents and…

Romans 1:3 was Jewish Royalty:  New International Version

1Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— 2the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures 3regarding his Son, who as to his earthly lifea was a descendant of David, 4and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in powerb by his resurrection from the dead:

G-d is in charge and allows things to happen for his reasons. Sometimes His reasons may be to show us our error and force us to return to sincerely seeking God’s Love, and God’s Way, rather than spending our time counting every 10th of a 10th for a tithe.

Some of  us think Satan is allowed to do His evil to prove we need G-d in charge FOREVER because we aren’t wise enough to see the big picture and govern ourselves. I think in this case Satan did his will.

Did these lovely people die in vain? I shall hope not! I shall hope that some of us reorder our thinking about how we apply doctrine. Rather than robotically go about doing without question I think it is entirely true that G-d wants us to question, to seek wisdom, to find answers, and to change our ways to finally Love Him and Our Neighbor even more than the Law.


About stephennewdell2011

Graduated Palmer College of Chiropractic Davenport, Iowa, March 1977. Also completed Massage School locally. Combined numerous techniques and developed an advanced method/technique for Natural Spine Care Therapy that is gentle, more effective, and does not require manipulation movements. More:
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