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Tuesday, 19 January 2016

The Eighth Principle

Seeing Judaism Anew: Christianity's Sacred Obligation,
Ed. Mary C. Boys, Rowman and Littlefield, 2002, page xvi-xvii

The CSG's eighth principle is this: Christian Worship that teaches contempt for Judiasm dishonours G-d.

The New Testament contains passages that have frequently generated negative attitudes towards Jews and Judaism. The use of these texts in the context of worship increases the likelihood of hostility towards Jews. Christian anti-Jewish theology has also shaped worship in ways that denigrate Judaism and foster contempt for Jews. We urge church leaders to examine scripture readings, prayers, the structure of lectionaries, preaching and hymns to remove distorted images of Judaism. A reformed Christian liturgical life would express a new relationship with Jews and thus honour G-d.

I can go along with - in fact, support and applaud - the principle itself. But the application is not only unworkable and undeployable, but equally dishonouring to G-d. What is needed is proper teaching and understanding of what these "offensive" passages really mean and meant for the original intended hearers. Any text (religious or otherwise) can be twisted and abused by a manipulative speaker.The solution is not to ban parts of the Bible, but to educate people so that the invalid and destructive understandings that have been and, sadly, continue to be taught are disenfranchised as simply being wrong and a perversion of G-d's intention.

Posted By Jonathan, 9:00am Comment Comments: 1

Tuesday, 19 January 2016
Comment -

Your commentary is exactly right. One of the problems in the Anglican Church in Israel and the Palestinian Authority area, and beyond that in the Diocese of Jerusalem, is the insufficient use of the Tenach. It is largely absent and where used, highly selective. This is inherently distorting to theology. The same is true in the western churches, though perhaps for reasons of simplifying the gospel and making it immediately accessible. For instance, in the Alpha talk "Who is Jesus?" the discussion is entirely without reference to the Hebrew Scriptures for the sake of immediacy and accessibility and the strategy works well with non-churched 20-somethings in London. But left there without further exploration and follow-up there will inevitably be a theological distortion that will affect the whole church in the long run.

Posted By Timothy Butlin 09:24am