Is the faith that Jesus proclaimed merely an upgrade to Judaism? Was God saying that Judaism is the full expression of My will, but people failed to live up to it, so now through Jesus, you have a better way to obey My will? In my observation and reading, I find that most Christians are either confused by God’s Law (and thus ignoring it) or they are attempting to hold onto the written code of God’s Law with some form of faith in Jesus expressed by their church’s codification of God’s Law.
God’s Law: What do we do with it?
The questions I have wrestled with for over 20 years are these: What does Jesus want us to do with God’s Law? Salvation is by grace through faith, but how then should we live as a Christian? Are we then bound to some sort of written code?
I have searched high and low, and even committed myself “hook, line and sinker” to something I thought was the best expression of handling God’s Law. Yet still I did not find clear answers that satisfy logic, Scripture and the Spirit’s teaching. I have found much division, anger and illogical thinking.
Christians: Marked by division in our days
If there is any word that describes Christians in my generation, it is the word “divisive”. Christians are not only divided on what to do with God’s Law, we are divided by nearly every issue under the sun. The body of Christ appears to me to be held together by a frail contract of “agree to disagree” and the fragile glue of “you leave me alone, I’ll leave you alone.”
In my workplace, I’ve noticed that business people can work together and accomplish much good without ever praying or opening a Bible once. Why? Because they are united by money. How much greater is the grace of God than money! How much more should Christians be marked by “unity” than business people! Yet Christians are clearly not united. In our generation, I see nearly nothing in Christianity that would even come close to Jesus’ prayer in John 17.
A Challenging Claim
Today I make a claim that is, to me, clearly taught to me by the Holy Spirit. A claim that does not violate my conscience nor the God-given logic in my mind. A claim that reveals a consistent message from Genesis to Revelation. And a claim that challenges much of the Christian thinking the past several centuries.
I am well aware that I am an unordained pastor and a common man. Compared to most I am but a child. Still I am prompted today to write, to put pen to paper (or words to a blog rather). I have resisted writing this blog post for many months now. But still every morning, the message keeps coming back to me. The message keeps being confirmed over and over as I engage in thousands of dialogues about a whole range of topics relating to Christianity.
I see Scripture though the eyes of Jesus and the grace He gives freely. And my mind is exploding with verse after verse in the Bible; each book I read speaking loudly and clearly as I see God’s unchanging nature and marvelous plan. To see the Bible interpret itself is astounding! I pray that God may grant me the words to articulate this message clearly.
Today I claim that the haze that has settled onto Christianity is caused by what I call Judaism 2.0. Why are Christians divided and increasingly despondent? Why are a rather large number of Christians drudging along, barely keeping their faith when Jesus promised “effervescent new wine”!? Why are numerous churches having to close their doors? Why has the historical church nearly lost whole generations of people?
Today I claim that such events are happening because we have over 30,000 versions of Judaism 2.0. I claim that Christianity is not (and never was intended to be) an upgrade to Judaism. Jesus brought new life wants to dwell among us inside the minds and hearts of new creations! You can’t just take your Judaism 1.0 app and download Judaism 2.0. It doesn’t work. You need to uninstall Judaism and do a clean install of Jesus.
In further posts I will articulate my claim in more detail. The question that God has challenged me with lately is this: Do I want to be a better Jew or a disciple of Jesus?