Make your own free website on Tripod.com


Spirituality for the Skeptic




HOME PAGE
ABOUT US
ABOUT THIS SITE
BOOK OF THOMAS HAS ARRIVED!
MANIFESTATIONS
CONTACT US
GOD & COUNTRY?
JESUS' REAL FAMILY VALUES
IS GOD MALE?
WHAT GOOD IS FAITH?
BY FAITH ALONE?
IGNORANT SUPERSTITION
NATURAL LAW?
BIBLICAL ABORTION
GAYNESS & THE BIBLE
HOW ABSURD WOULD THAT BE?
WHAT IS "GOD"?
HYMNS OF SOPHIA
INSPIRATIONS
AN EVIL GOD?
PROBLEM OF EVIL
POST MODERN NIHILISM
THE MYSTERY OF CHRIST'S TWO NATURES
THE MYSTIC WAY
THE SEFIROT OF KABBALAH
HEBREW GODDESS
THE MYSTIC "SON" IN KABBALAH
TRUE NUMEROLOGY
MAGIC OF NAMES
JUDAIC/CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVES
OTHER SITES OF INTEREST

CAN CHRISTIANITY BE CONCEIVABLE TO JEWS?

TOWARD A JEWISH PERSPECTIVE OF CHRISTIANITY:

 

 

There is no “pure’ religion.  Both the Eden and Flood myths stemmed from the Gilgamesh fable in the earliest civilization of Mesopotamia.   The Ten Commandments were also first recorded in Mesopotamia by King Hamurrabi.  The Golden Rule was recorded almost simultaneously by Lao Tzu, Confucius, the Buddha, and Leviticus (19:18), about 500 years before the rabbis Hillil and Yesua  (Jesus) declared it themselves.  Also the Persians recorded the myth of End Times about 500 years before the Jewish and Christian apocalyptic writings. 

 

Christianity adopted all these teachings, with the addition of being strongly influenced by the Near Eastern mystery cults and resurrection myths as well.  All of the above again was adopted by Islam.  Moreover, if what we call” God” by definition is universal, there is room for all such perspectives and beyond even that.  For if we tried to hone the Godhead down to something much more constricted, we would end up with merely some limited, local god, nothing more.

 

However, no one religion can be conceivable to another if it retains the audacity to claim itself the only true religion.   Therein lies the tragic fallacy of fundamentalism in all religions throughout history.  So I must therefore admit my own Christian orientation results from but an accident of birth, not from being especially blessed or chosen.  I have learned much from the study of other faiths, and thereby enriched my own. 

 

The Brahman and Taoist religions let me realize the ineffable, unimageable Mystery of what we call the Godhead, and inspired me to turn also to the mystics of my own faith.  The Hindu religions showed me there were other spiritual paths beyond blind faith alone.  Buddhism helped me realize the impermanence of things, and the futility of frivolous desires and false clinging.  Judaism revealed the delightful freedom to interpret Biblical myths according to my own ever-growing knowledge and experience….

 

Therefore, when revealing (oft hidden) parallels and similarities between Judaism and Christianity, I have no motive to convert anyone to any particular faith.  My goal is instead to develop a richer understanding between the two faiths.  For not only is anti-Semitic bigotry totally unacceptable, neither should Jews feel spiritually alienated in a Christian dominated Western culture.

 

So after pointing out some understandable areas of agreement, we will delve into the Christian concepts that at first will seem inconceivable to Jews, e.g. the “Virgin Birth”, “Mother of God”, and the Trinity wherein the Christ becomes “God the Son”.  These latter concepts especially seem to fly in the face of believing in just one monotheistic God.

 

 

SOME POINTS OF AGREEMENT:

 

My inspiration for this writing is Rabbi Neil Gillman’s book The Jewish Approach to God: A Brief Introduction for Christians.  A main thrust of the book included Franz Rosenswig’s influential interpretation of the Sh’ma liturgy and it’s three movements signifying: Creation (Yotzer), Revelation (Torah), and Redemption (Geulah).    [See Rosenswig’s Star of Redemption]  My approach here is to trace these three Divine acts back to what aspects of the Godhead could cause these acts.  Let us first explore these divine aspects in microcosm, i.e. as they affect human beings on this earth. 

 

 Genesis 1 reveals God’s Spirit hovering over the deep in the act of creating all things, thereby revealing it to be God’s creative power.   This Spirit was said to directly affect humans when it entered into the prophets resulting in their revelations.  Hence we can rightly say: God creates and reveals through the Spirit.  And the revelations become God’s Law in the teachings of the Torah.  This leaves Redemption, which is celebrated through Rosh Hashanah culminating in Yom Kippur.  Here each individual Jew can be redeemed and renewed.  Some Jewish factions also believe Israel and the world will be also redeemed by the Messiah in the End Days.

 

So far, how does all this compare with Christian beliefs?  Christians believe in the same Spirit as God’s creative power, and as the power of rebirth and renewal in individuals as well.  Here Christ as “son of God” is no different from all who are “sons” or children of God when they are thusly reborn.  Christians also see Scripture as revealed knowledge of God.  Many Christian factions also believe the Messiah will come to redeem the world in End Times. 

 

The difference here is Christians already have their Messiah picked out, i.e. the Christ (Greek for Messiah).  Here is why The Christ is also sometimes called “Son of Man”, as the Messiah is depicted in the Book of Daniel.  The concepts herein still remains Hebraic:  The Christ’s crucifixion and degradation can be made conceivable through the Hebrew passages of the suffering servant and human scapegoat depicted in Isaiah 53.   The triumphant return of a militant Messiah can be found in the Christian Testament’s Book of Revelation.

 

In Christianity, individual redemption holds a special place.   The Christ’s suffering and resurrection (whether physical or spiritual) becomes a powerful archetype catalyst to trigger his followers’ redemption, renewal, and rebirth in this life and hopefully beyond.  Mystics like Meister Eckhart have even viewed the “virgin birth” as the conversion-birth of their own virgin (uninitiated) souls. 

 

To delve more deeply into individual renewal and rebirth in Judaism we must reexamine the teachings in the Hebrew Merkabah.  Here the divine person above the throne in the Book of Ezekiel, along with the Son of Man in the Books of Enoch and Daniel, signify the prophet’s higher, sanctified self as a Son of God.  Another personal vision and path to renewal and rebirth would be God’s Presence in Shekhinah God’s feminine image and gateway to the Divine.  Here is a Hebraic mystical aspect of a “virgin” or conversion birth for Jews to embrace if desired.

 

Hence, there should be no great problem, at least for liberal and ecumenical Jews, in conceiving of God as creative Spirit and Lawgiver even in Christian terms.  Nor should there be a real problem in conceiving of a chosen Messiah, or even of an inspiring prophet or personal image acting as catalyst toward individual renewal and rebirth is this life. 

 

This understood, how could Judaism possibly reconcile symbols like the “Mother of God”, and  “God the Son” as an actual aspect of God in a Trinity?  Such symbols can be conceivable from the deeper and more expanded perspective of the Kabbalah.

 

“MOTHER GOD” AND “TRINITY”

  IN COSMIC PERSPECTIVE:

 

The Kabbalah’s symbolic Tree of Life portrays Einsof, the Mystery of Eternity as containing all the lawful and creative potentials of the cosmos (Hokmah), which finally emanated into the Void (Keter), which in turn became the virtual womb of the cosmos or “Mother of God” (Binah).  Then the Void shattered activating the initial triad of chaotic and creative cosmic energy (Hesid) impregnated by cosmic law (Gevurah) manifesting in constant new creation (Tiferot). 

 

The esteemed Palestinian rabbi, Abraham Isaac Kook, taught that all of existence is the body of God (echoing Alexander Pope’s “One stupendous whole/ with cosmos as body/ and God the soul”).  Seeing the cosmos as God’s body can render the birthing mystery lurking in the original Void as the cosmic womb or metaphorical “Mother of God” indeed.

 

 We then can view the creative cosmic energy of Hesid as God’s creative Spirit (a Hebraic female power) impregnated by God’s Law, Gevurah, (a Father-God principle) producing the cosmic offspring, Tiferot – which in Kabbalah can be referred to as “Cosmic Son”.  (See G. Sholem’s The Mystical Shape of the Godhead, 1997, and L. Leet’s Secret Doctrine of  Kabbalah 1999.)

 

Hence, we now have the lawful and creative power of the cosmic Godhead, which constantly resurrects new creation from chaos throughout the heavens.   This can be seen in Christian terms, the Cosmic Lawgiver (Father-God) and Cosmic Power (Spirit) gives birth to Cosmos as Offspring  (Son) – Matthew Fox’s “wounded body of the universe”. 

 

This Trinity of God’s powers can work microcosmically for Christians through the Spirit, Commandments, and personified Son-symbol.  The historical Jesus remains then a catalytic, personified, archetypal symbol of rebirth and resurrection both here and in the heavens. 

 

Jews can also tap into the cosmic power of rebirth through equally forceful symbols of their own.  For it all exists in the Torah and Kabbalah.    God's Spirit and Law constantly resurrects new creation throughout the heavens and renewes new life in devout worshipers, each a Child of God.  For just as all of nature is resurrection -- as without, so within each reverent soul. 

 

Like myself, you need not convert to anything beyond what you already have.  But expanded perspectives can enrich your own.  May your faith receive the hybrid vigor that mine has attained.  May you never stop growing in God….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Copyright2004:  Anyunauthorized commercial use of the above is procecutible by law.