Category: Christianity

Articles related to Christianity and Christian practice.

Was Jesus the Jewish Messiah?

Was Jesus the Jewish Messiah?

This is a difficult topic for Christians. We present this information in defense of our views–not to try to convince anyone of anything. If you are unwilling to be confronted with information that at least some people see as providing evidence against Jesus’ messiahship, you may want to stop reading this now.

We do not accept that Jesus was the promised messiah. We also do not deny that it is within the realm of possibility that he could one day be. We simply don’t feel it is proper to crown anyone as messiah who hasn’t completed the messianic tasks, nor to put some sort of “saving faith” in him to be righteous or redeemable.

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Does Forgiveness Require Death?

Does Forgiveness Require Death?

In the New Testament book of Hebrews, we find this well known Christian assertion:

Indeed according to the law almost everything was purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. (Heb 9:22 NET)

Is this actually true? This idea is often cross referenced to the following “prooftext” from the Hebrew Scriptures:

for the life of every living thing is in the blood. So I myself have assigned it to you on the altar to make atonement for your lives, for the blood makes atonement by means of the life. (Lev 17:11)

Taken out of context, you might agree with the assertion given in Hebrews 9:22, but there are a few easily overlooked problems that arise if one jumps to this conclusion.

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The Problem with Christian Holidays

The Problem with Christian Holidays

25 years before my deeper study of the scriptures prompted me to leave the church, I had already developed strong convictions against Christian holidays. There is virtually no-one, not even among conservative Christian scholars and apologists, who denies the pagan origins of Christian holidays. The question is: what, if anything, is wrong with co-opting pagan practices?

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Are we Free from the Law?

Are we Free from the Law?

Torah, as a body of instructions, was given to the nation of Israel through Moses at Mt. Sinai (see Exodus 19). The famous 10 commandments are but a small subset of Torah. Jews view the 10 commandments more as top level categories for the larger body of Torah, which consists of an enumerated 613 separate instructions, at least according to Rabbinic Judaism, by which Torah observant Jews (and gentiles) order and live their lives.

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Paul the False Apostle

Paul the False Apostle

The title of this article, it could be argued, is inflammatory. Kudos to you if it hasn’t yet turned you away. I think sometimes the truth just needs to be said directly, without any sugar coating. Sort of like pulling a bandaid from your young child’s booboo, or duct tape from the mouth of your abductee, (don’t be alarmed, I’ve only seen it in the movies), it’s better to just get it done than to prolong the pain.

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The New Covenant Problem

The New Covenant Problem

First, a disclaimer: We do not accept as divine any writings outside of the Torah (the five books of Moses.) We do not accept that future prophecy recorded outside of the Torah, particularly prophecy that promises peace and prosperity, is destined to come true, much like Jeremiah himself (Jeremiah 28:8-9). That said, this article discusses Jeremiah’s future prophecy of a new covenant in order to show the Christian concept of a current new covenant to be untenable. This does not indicate a belief on our part that this particular prophecy must come true. Time will tell.)

A foundational principle of Christianity is the claim that a new covenant was instituted by Jesus’ death and resurrection, replacing the covenant made between YHVH and Israel at Mount Sinai. No longer are we required to observe YHVH’s instructions, for we are saved by simple faith in Jesus and nothing else.

What if it could be easily shown from the New Testament that the new covenant is still in the future? What would that mean for Christianity? Could it be that the Mount Sinai covenant stills stands, leaving Christianity without excuse for abandoning YHVH’s instructions, even teaching people to break them?

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