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11.23.2004    |    Changed Perceptions
...of Jewish law, that is. As a Christian, my views of observant Judaism were, to say the least, skeptical. The AskMoses website is a delightful antidote to my ignorance.

AskMoses website answers questions with simplicity and yet completeness, and with an obvious love of the Lord. Not that I agree with some of what they write, of course -- such as their misunderstanding of Jesus as Messiah, or of their notion that an observant Jew must be "martyred" rather than be "exposed" to other religions.

The essence of one of the answers, to a question about ritual purity, struck me as particularly beautiful, and just as true for this Baptist as it must be for any believer, Jew or Christian:
"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience—we are spiritual beings having a human experience."
This truth captures in very few words precisely how we, mortal creatures who are sinners, can at the same time be made in God's perfect image.

It also captures the essence of the incarnation of the Trinity in the person of Jesus the Nazarene -- Jesus was a person of the Spirit in ways we are not, but in ways which we might become at the end of time.

From AskMoses:
Studying the philosophies of other religions (even in a secular setting) is absolutely forbidden. In fact, according to halachah one is obligated to be martyred rather than allow him/herself to be exposed to such teachings!
Ouch.

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.