Thursday, March 02, 2006

A Little Here, A Little There

My sister asked me a few days ago why, if Jesus was born in Israel, ministered there and the early church was based there and everything, why is it that Israel isn't a Christian nation?

Hmmm. I had never wondered that before. After pondering it a little, I think it's conceiveable that it's linked to Isaiah 28:9-13, though I have a hard time grasping the context of those verses. I'm not standing too firm on that, it's only a theory. Maybe one of you more intelligent folks can explain that...

Another thought I had, and I'm a little more confident about this one, is a thought that grew out of a post I saw on JLF81's blog. (I needed binoculars to see it, of course, since his blog is way up in Canada). Could it be that the authentic early church ("C"hurch) started getting bogged down in legalism and became the "c"hurch? Or diluted or misled or lured back into Judaism, while those who dispersed kept a keener ear to the Spirit and their eyes on the prize, thereby taking the truth and life of the gospel to foreign lands where it flourished even as the Church in Israel faded into a church with a small "c"? I think I still see the connection to the Isaiah passage even in this theory, but I need to give it more thought. Anybody else?


Blogger JLF said...

Or maybe it's a sign to Israel...

Romans 11 seems to suggest that the nations will accept the gospel so that Israel will see the signs, be made jealous, and turn to God (if you take "Israel" there to be the national, ethnic group).

It has also always been interesting to me that Hebrews comments on the Old Covenant and how it is "ready to pass away" now that the true temple has been revealed only 2 years before the temple in Jerusalem (along with the rest of the city!) was utterly demolished. Again, it seems this was intended to be a sign to the people that the old covenant has become obsolete and is no longer valid.

There is no value in being Jewish. The true Jew is one inwardly... one who is circumcized of heart.

And as Stephen pointed out (right before the religious elite murdered him), the Jewish nation has a long, drawn out history of rejecting God, his prophets and his revelation.

I don't see any reason why that would change now... they're just as dead in sin as anyone else, and they're a relatively small group in the world. Why would we expect more of them to be saved?

If history's any kind of indication (the whole OT itself is witness against them), they would never accept the True Messiah. (Unless, of course, you believe there's a future plan for the national group of people currently called "Israel"... in which case, that wouldn't come till later anyway.)

March 06, 2006 3:47 PM  
Blogger DErifter said...

I think we're on the same page. Israel's rejection of God (as I understand that Isaiah passage) results in God more or less telling them, "OK- I'll go to where the people are hungry for my word, and when you hear it from them it will remind you of your rejection of Me."

March 06, 2006 6:17 PM  
Blogger JLF said...

I believe that even be an accurate summary of Paul's understanding of Romans 11. He's preaching through it now.

March 07, 2006 12:38 PM  

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