Thursday, January 31, 2008

Study on The Covenants

Lately I've been really, really wondering about the place Torah has in our lives. Jews say follow it, Christians say don't follow it. I'm not Jewish but the mainstream Christian belief that keeping God's law makes you sinful and on your way to "hell" is absurd! I understand where they get the idea, I always considered myself one of them, but it doesn't take much study to see that there's WAY more to the story than "Jesus fulfilled everything so now we do nothing. As a matter of fact, if you do anything, you're evil and sinful."
Anyway, all the study led me to studying covenants, something i don't know much about in my normal American life. I only knew of the two, the Old Testament (Covenant) and the New Testament (Covenant). I didn't even know there was a dispute about "Old" and "New"! I found this site that's helping:

MESSIAH REVEALED - a hosted site by a guy named Jeremy Springfield

This site has a 4 part study on The 7 Covenants in scripture that's been helpful. It seems to involve a bit of reaching for some of his points and references to Hebrew number values that i'm not real sure of. BUT that's okay, the overall information is easy enough to check out. I tried looking up some words in Strong's Concordance, some things i was able to verify, some I wasn't. But don't take that as him being wrong necessarily, you have to know what you're doing and i often don't!

I printed out the four parts of the study after editing it down to make it more feasible to use that much ink and paper. Sitting at the computer the whole time to read it doesn't work for me, I need to get up and move. I don't think these studies from his site are available in print, i'll have to check. But I'm about halfway through again (I had to sit and read a lot to edit it, but i want to have the pages available to take to the library with me, to reread while i wait places, things like that.) After I've read the study thoroughly, i want to read through the Bible again and see if it all pans out, makes sense of things that haven't before. Every little bit helps.

By the way, this study finally gave me a point of view on the whole idea of circumcision. That always seemed so bizarre, WHO came up with that idea?! I haven't studied the actual history of the practice, so i don't know if it started with Abraham, i need to check. But this guy's study actually showed something that made serious sense!

Friday, January 25, 2008

What Exactly IS He?

I'm not sure I believe God is a person kind of being. Even His name - YHWH - which is supposed to mean I AM. That brings to mind more of a force, the whole underlying existence of everything.

But if He's a force of good, a force of love, how could He have any influence in our lives? For the most part, it seems that God is involved only if we ask Him to be; an impersonal force that we always have available to plug into. If so, there is no overall plan per se. It would be more that we can fit into another dimension of life; if things are different, that's just how it works 'there'. Positive thinking works in this scenario, the Bible 'advises' positive thinking but not based on ourselves or fate; instead based on knowing God has a plan He's working out. That's how our lives and bodies work best - concentrating on what is noble, good, just, and true. This doesn't say or prove anything about God's nature because if it's all physically natural, why is it?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Clean and unclean

Clean and unclean - was being unclean considered a sin? Or merely a temporary state that required rectification? Yahshua (Jesus) did things that rendered himself unclean when it was necessary to help someone or to make a point. Did this just show that being willing to be made unclean was acceptable when the situation demanded it? What was the result? Anyone unclean was not allowed to serve in the temple until they were clean again. From a health standpoint, that makes good sense, i hope people now with contagious diseases or something unhealthy stay away from public meetings.

I've thought that the whole deal with YHWH requiring the Israelites to use running water and standards of cleanliness was a way to protect 'primitive' people with no understanding of germs. But when was it noticed that contagion existed? And the earliest civilizations had indoor plumbing - do we just assume this was merely for convenience? Or did they know more than we think?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Lazy Idolatry!

Okay, this was GREAT! At least, i think so. In a discussion on why we shouldn't put up christmas trees, some people refer to Jeremiah 10:3-5. In a cursory reading, one would think these verses specifically prohibit exactly that; reading just a bit more shows that isn't the subject after all. The prohibition is on making idols. Then someone threw in a comment that was hilarious! He said:

...having a Christmas tree is something akin to "Lazy Idolatry"! It's like, "Let's don't bother with all the intensive labor in making this thing look like a deity, let's just decorate it and get it over with!"