Passover vs. Easter

The Battle Between Easter and Passover

Passover and Easter are fast approaching, and I am still immersed in speaking and traveling in support of my book, Being Both. So I am reposting some essays from the archives. This one dates from the spring of 2010. Enjoy!

-Susan Katz Miller
“Passover: Three Generations of Interfaith Family”
On Being Both

The “collision” of Easter and Passover is hitting me particularly hard this year. Last year I “celebrated” both. I put that word in quotes because I had the traditional Passover seder in my home as I do every year, but for the first time in over a decade, I went to the “Resurrection Sunday” (they don’t call it “Easter”) service at the church I currently attend.

I remember that Sunday morning as I was leaving for services. It was too late to do anything about it and since I’d been going to church for months, I didn’t think my wife would mind. But as I was getting up to leave, the hurt I saw in her eyes was almost tangible. It was too late to stop and as I drove away from our house, I realized that this was probably the worst thing I could have done…attend an Easter service while being married to a Jew.

In the history of the Church how many passion plays were immediately followed by a pogrom?

I remember quite some number of years ago attending Shabbat services at our local Conservative/Reform synagogue. Everyone was talking about the Mel Gibson film The Passion of the Christ (2004) which had just been released. All of the Jewish people in the room were absolutely terrified.

In the history of the Church how many passion plays were immediately followed by a pogrom?

I’ve never seen “Passion” and I never will. I realize Evangelical Christians won’t understand my reasoning, but I know the film would just make me angry and I know bringing the DVD into my home would be insulting to my Jewish family.

Passover this year begins the evening of Monday, April 14th and concludes the evening of Tuesday, April 22nd. Easter Sunday is on April 20th. I’ve never really connected to Palm Sunday or Good Friday, so I’m pretty detached from the whole sequence of Easter related events. And yet, especially this year, Easter and Passover seem heavily intertwined.

This coming Sunday, the church service will be quite different from normal. Not only will Pastor be speaking about Passover, but the entire service will be geared around Pesach. No, I don’t mean they will be conducting a seder, but there will be “Passover related” music such as “My Passover Things,” “The Ballad of the Four Sons,” and “Don’t Sit on the Afikomen.” The program does include a couple of more traditional pieces of music such as “Dayeinu” and Hallel,” but when I first saw this in the church bulletin last week, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to attend or not. Also, and this is the heavy punctuation to the event, they will also be conducting a communion service. I don’t begin to know how to wrap my brain around a matzah-communion wafer mashup.

Normally, communion is only offered in the evening service at this church, perhaps as an inducement to get people to attend both morning and evening services. I haven’t taken an actual communion since first coming to faith as a Christian. I’ve always practiced ”Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19, 1 Corinthians 11:24) as part of my Passover observance. Communion, to me, seemed at least redundant if not a skewed path away from this additional meaning Messiah attached to the Pesach meal.

The problem of whether or not to attend became moot when I was asked to help a family move to their new home this coming weekend. This is a friend of my wife’s, a Jewish woman, a single mother with three sons, all with some degree of disability. I’ve helped out this family in small ways before and long-planned to be part of the “grunt labor” when it was time for them to move.

PassoverMy wife is slowly winding things up for our Pesach seder this year. She ordered the matzah for the meal from some place in Vermont that processes the matzah from the growing of the wheat through baking, packaging, and shipping the matzah. For the rest of the week of unleavened bread, we’ll be eating more local fare (although we’ve already opened a box and have started munching).

But while people like Susan Katz Miller can celebrate interfaith families and (apparently) not encounter significant dissonance between Christian and Jewish worlds, there are points in my life experience where I can’t avoid them. One point I faced was last year on Easter, uh…excuse me, Resurrection Sunday, as I was about to walk out the door and looked one more time at the expression on my Jewish wife’s face. I don’t think I can take seeing that hurt and feeling that guilt again.

But there’s another less personal but still important reason.

Imagine this alternate prophetic scenario, which I believe accords far better with the Jewish prophets than the New Testament’s version of the future, where the glorious multinational Church and Jesus are reunited. This is not a version of future events where Jews belatedly accept and worship the messiah they “murdered” two thousand years ago, and finally join the Church, feeling very sorry for not recognizing Jesus all along. The unfolding events looks (sic) decidedly different than what the authors of the gospels, Paul and the author of Revelation would have their readers believe. This is my reading of the Jewish prophets. I took some liberties with filling in the blanks.

-Gene Shlomovich
“The future of Israel, Messiah and the World (the Jewish version)”
Daily Minyan

LevitesGene has made it something of a mission to try to educate Christians, including Hebrew Roots Christians and Messianic Gentiles, of the error of our ways, and how the Bible does not really presuppose “the Church” in any form, but still allows the people of the nations to join with Israel in the worship of the God of Israel. But the people of the nations, including (especially) Christians, are much less Israel-friendly in his scenario.

The real Jewish messiah appears on the scene. He’s not Jesus, but a virtuous and devout Jewish man who is able to unite all Jews. While he knows full well the tradition of Davidic lineage of his family, he does not find it significant when it comes to himself, at least not at this time. After all, many Jews today are able to do the same. Coming from a deeply devout family which nevertheless identified with Jews of all walks of life and participated in the national life of Israel, he is both a scholar and experienced military leader. Humble and wise, he is respected by all sections of the Jewish society. He doesn’t call himself a messiah. In fact, just like his ancient predecessor, Moses, he doesn’t even know that he too one day will help lead Israel – only G-d does. Neither has he been anointed – this is still to come. Still, the nations of the world hate and oppose him and work against him, as they’ve done to every Jewish leader in Israel‘s history. Some already derogatorily speak of this Jewish leader as a false messiah, scorning and ridiculing the fact that he’s so respected by the Jewish people while Jesus has been rejected.

Indeed, he’s nothing what they expected to see in a messiah as Christianity long portrayed him – not the glorious all-powerful heavenly god-man coming back for his beloved Church. It does not take long for this leader of the Jewish nation to branded as the “antichrist”. Preachers preach fiery sermons in their churches against him and against the Jews who fell “under his spell just as Jesus, Paul and John predicted”. No Christian may believe in him or support him in any way, or they risk losing their salvation. Christian tourism to Israel dries up as do other forms of Christian support, with many Christians denominations joining the boycott of the Jewish nation. Jews are ridiculed for their “folly” and the New Testament is held up as having already predicted everything the Jews will do. Muslims, who along with Christians likewise believe that Jesus is the Messiah and that no one else fits the bill, also reject the leadership of the real Jewish Messiah and join with the Western world in their opposition to him and the nation of Israel.

This is the more traditional Jewish viewpoint of the Messiah, the last battle, and the ultimate victory of Israel over her enemies. Gene’s last mention of Jesus will seem particularly difficult for most Christians:

The idols of the nations which do not save (including Jesus) are destroyed, are put away for good and are remembered no more. All false prophets and idol worshipers will be ashamed – they will all realize that they inherited nothing but lies from their forefathers.

sunrise-easter-serviceWhile I consider Gene to be my friend, I am more than conscious of the gulf that lies between us, it’s incredible width, it’s gaping depth, because while I believe (unlike most Christians) in the primacy of Israel and that it will not be replaced by “the Church” as God’s central focus of devotion, love, and the receiver of all the covenant promises, our perception of not only the identity of Messiah, but of his very nature, character, role, and mission as Israel’s King are dramatically different and tremendously at odds.

And as Gene knows quite well, having personally experienced persecution as a Jew in his native Russia, after every passion play, there is a pogrom.

We don’t have pogroms as such in America in the 21st century, but the very act of celebrating Easter is bound to send out some sort of spiritual tremor into the atmosphere that is keenly felt by many Jews. Certainly in interfaith families, it is unavoidable. A collision of Easter and Passover.

My own answer this year will be to not attend Easter or Resurrection Day services. I’m not even sure that Jesus intended to add Easter to the calendar of religious moedim and I’m sure he didn’t intend for Easter to actually replace Passover.

Today, churches all over the U.S. pay some sort of attention to Passover. It’s usually the one festival of Judaism Christians know something about, thanks to the “Last Supper” of Jesus. One of the Jewish Christians at the church I attend will be holding a Passover seder and is inviting anyone in the church who wants to attend. Church and the Passover. It almost seems like an oxymoron.

What will Passover be like in the Messianic Age? My guess is that, from Gene’s point of view, “reformed Christians” will not be attending, at least to eat the Pascal meal, since only men who are circumcised may eat of the sacrifice in the Messiah-built temple. From the Church’s point of view, while some Christians believe there will be a third temple, many more believe that since “Christ is our sacrifice,” the actual sacrificial system will not be reinitiated, and therefore, there will be no Passover sacrifice.

If anyone celebrates Passover, it will be as a memorial of Christ’s Last Supper. Probably the expectation is that since Communion seems to have replaced Passover, that will be the more significant event.

Even from my point of view, one that holds the belief in a third temple, in the return of the sacrifices, and the continued commemoration of all of the moadim, including Passover, I can’t see how I, an uncircumcised male, would be able to eat of the Pascal offering with my Jewish family (assuming they made the pilgrimage to Jerusalem for Pesach) or even sit at the same table with them, lest my presence render the offering tamei (unclean).

i_give_upI know Christians and Hebrew Roots Gentiles will say that I’m rebuilding the dividing wall between Gentiles and Jews, but the Bible is the Bible. I can’t simply ignore certain parts of God’s Word because it’s inconvenient to Christian theology. I must not allow myself to stand in the way of God’s special, chosen people, the Jewish people. I believe there are personal sacrifices all believing Gentiles must make for the sake of Israel.

Only God can heal the nations after the terrible wars against Israel that will occur in the future. Only God can heal the rift between believing Gentiles and the Jewish people. For Gene, that healing comes at the price of our faith in Jesus as the Messiah. From my point of view, it comes at the price of Christian arrogant presumption that they (we) are the center of God’s universe and that the Jews either mean nothing at all, or at least have been reduced to “shield carriers” standing silently in the background of our tragic play.

Only God can heal how distant I feel from Him sometimes, and how distant I can feel from Jewish people, even in my own family, because of my faith.

Only God can heal us…


23 thoughts on “The Battle Between Easter and Passover”

  1. Yes, your struggle is palpable…. as a Reform turned Messianic Jew from and within an interfaith marriage I can fully relate.

  2. We will be holding a later Seder for inter-faith couples ..(following the first Seder for Jewish friends). it is always difficult and no matter how many times we get together with this particular set of friends…we see the continued ‘separation’ over ‘issues’ such as was mentioned in this Meditation. I actually plan to read your Meditation following the Seder to our interfaith friends … it may open up some dialogue. Be blessed on that day!

  3. In that future Pesa’h scenario you pictured, you should certainly refrain from eating the lamb from the sacrifice, but if you have passed through a mikveh of cleansing you should not have to worry about rendering anything tamei by your presence at the table where there should be lots more to eat. This would be the sort of scenario that worried Kefa in Antioch when some visitors from Yakov’s orthodox MJ congregation in Jerusalem showed up. He wasn’t confident that he could convince them that these non-Jews had become purified per HaShem’s instructions and that it was OK to eat kosher meals with them. The notion of purifying non-Jews was still new and unfamiliar at that time. However, by the time of this future event in the messianic era, there should exist some familiarity already with non-Jews coming up to the Temple for festivals like Sukkot, so it shouldn’t be misunderstood if at least some who are properly prepared attend seders.

    I believe I recently submitted a post in one of your topics pointing out that the ceremony of “Communion” was a mistaken invention that failed to recognize that what Rav Shaul was actually saying to the Corinthian assembly was only to shame them into more orderly and synchronized table fellowship behavior, by using the example of Rav Yeshua’s pre-Passover demonstration seder and his comments about his impending martyrdom which enabled the very existence of an assembly and fellowship such as that in Corinth.

    As for any celebrations of the third day of Pesa’h (beginning the first-fruits omer count), whether or not it falls on a Sunday, to commemorate Rav Yeshua’s resurrection, I seriously doubt that bunnies or chocolate eggs will play any part, and I’m certain that there will be absolutely no references to “Ishtar”.

  4. How about chocolate crosses or fish? OK… serious question actually.

    @PL (or James for that matter) – similarly to the concept that there is not anything wrong with Gentiles keeping the Sabbath, Holy Days, or the mitzvah’s pertaining to foreigners, does anyone see a problem with participating in communion as a remembrance, even if it is a once a month event?

    I do not agree that it is a replacement for Passover. I also believe that when Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of me” he was talking about future Passover sedurs, not a “new and improved” communion.

    I am just curious if anyone sees a negative implication to taking communion. Without a MJ assembly out here in the boonies, and still wanted to be connected to an assembly, I do attend a local baptist church, which does communion once a month. There are other MJ believers there and we typically meet for Shabbat dinner, but I digress.


    1. Just because I identified the invention of a new ceremony as a mistake (or based on a mistaken reading) doesn’t mean it necessarily would be wrong to participate in such a ceremony. There are lots of extra-biblical ceremonies that commemorate or celebrate or announce things, that are absolutely harmless and even societally beneficial. There might be some other ceremonies, or ways of performing them, from which it would be wise to abstain because of pagan or idolatrous associations. I won’t attempt to analyze any of them here, but I will suggest that a Jew should refrain from these non-Jewish communion or eucharistic ceremonies for reasons of history and testimony about biblical accuracy.

      I would also skip the chocolate crosses for much the same reasons as I would suggest that sweet chocolate replicas of electric chairs or hangman’s gallows or guillotines are likewise just too incongruous. [:P]

  5. @PL: It would be interesting to share the Pascal meal with Jewish family and friends, and I suspect many Christians would have to put themselves in the right “mind set” to be OK with not being able to share the actual offering. Yes, I recall your comment about “Communion” it’s interesting that something Christianity considers so sacred may be based on a misinterpretation.

    @Terry: You bring up a question I was considering at well. Once we understand that communion isn’t what the Church thinks it is, what are the ramifications of participating in said-ceremony. I guess PL answered that one. If we consider it a tradition that has certain symbolic meaning, then it might be OK. If, however, we believe it is somehow a pagan practice, then it should be avoided. Some Hebrew Roots believers avoid church altogether because they believe it’s “Babylon,” but Toby Janicki coined the word “Paganoia” to describe people who see idolatrous practices in just about everything, so it’s important not to overreact.

  6. @PL – I enjoyed the chocolate humor! I was in the store recently and saw the big display of Christian based candy and could only shake my head. One year ago I would have not noticed at all and have even purchased over the years… Do to judge me now. 😉

    @James, I struggle with not attending at all, though I have considered it many times. I am determined to find a way to coexist in the same assembly with those from a different interpretation, much like the original synagogues did with Nazarites and non-Nazarites for a while anyway. In this case we all believe in Messiah, we just disagree on our roles within the Kingdom and how to worship in current day. It is a regular struggle. So far the pastor and other attenders that know my views have been respectful. The pastor even maintains open dialogue with me, even though his attempts to communicate are almost always to find a “gotcha verse” to turn me around…

  7. Terry, I admire your ability to work out and access the web to comment at the same time. I’d probably sweat all over the thing and ruin it.

    I’ve had many spirited discussions with the head Pastor at the church I attend as well, but in the past few months or so, and especially in the past several weeks, he’s been pretty distant. I think he’s realized he’s not going to change my mind and I’m not going to come around to his way of thinking.

    He also reads my blog, or at least skims it, so I’m sure some of the things I’ve said about “the Church,” even though I’ve tried to be respectful, haven’t been appreciated. A friend of mine predicted this would happen. I didn’t want to believe it, but I guess it’s true.

    1. This morning, waiting in my email inbox, was a 7 page document from this pastor. It is his response to a 2 hours conversation we had about a month ago regarding my position against replacement theology, although he will not admit he agrees with replacement theology, despite his recent sermon that the Passover feast was “superseded” by the Lord’s supper and that “the church” is now the “new Israel.” We had a very good 2 hours conversation in which he would present a verse or two, with the idea that verse would be “proof” of his point. I would then read the whole passage, and put that passage into context of history at the time, often being able to cross to another passage by a similar or different author.

      I was amazed at how much God has allowed me to learn in the last few months because I was recalling passages that I would not have normally thought of. I don’t take much credit for my part of that conversation.

      During the entire 2 hours, I did not attempt to change his mind one time, as an “offensive move” in our discussion. I merely played defense and replied to his questions.

      I’m not sure what I will do yet with this 7 page document. I will surely go through it and consider his points and probably put my response to those points on paper. Whether I will give this pastor my reply is unknown for now.

      “Avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.” (Titus 3:9)

      This comment is pretty far off topic from the original blog post. If you choose not to post it, I would fully understand. The idea of sharing each other’s stories like this could go on indefinitely and there are probably entire forums dedicated to sharing each other’s misery. For now I am elated that I have found like minded people that I can discuss these issues openly, and sometimes not fully agree or understand.

      Now to get back to my own morning meditation before I start my day…

  8. It may be drifting off topic somewhat, but I consider this discussion relevant to the larger mission of this blog, so I’m OK with it.

    I returned to the church nearly a year and a half ago partially in response to the challenge I found in Boaz Michael’s book Tent of David. The idea, if you haven’t read the book, is that “Messianic believers” who are already in the church or willing to return, can carry the message of what I believe the true interpretation of the New Covenant is, and represent this position among more traditional Christians. The book states that we could encourage a more positive view of Israel, the Jewish people, and the centrality of Israel in the New Covenant and Messianic Kingdom.

    I found out much later (and this wasn’t in the book) that this presupposes finding a church Pastor who is willing to be open and who perhaps already realizes that traditional Christian doctrine is based as much or more out of Church tradition than out of sound Biblical exegesis.

    What I, and I suspect many others have discovered, is if you are involved in a church that is cemented into those traditions, no matter what arguments you bring, and no matter how intelligent and well-educated the Pastoral staff is (and the head Pastor of the church I attend is very intelligent, well read, and current in a doctoral program through Master’s College), the “Messianic message” will bounce off of them like bullets bounce off of Superman’s chest.

    My friend with whom I discuss these matters with over coffee every other week warned me that some (many) Christians view people with alternative views such as mine as part of a “sect” or “cult” and disregard them as such. I suspect that having such frequent access to the Pastor was only offered as long as he thought he could change my mind and bring me around to his version of “sound Biblical teaching.” Once he realized that wasn’t going to happen, then I was relegated to being part of a “cult” and thus dismissed. I’ve noticed another Pastor at the church has cooled off to me lately. We’ve exchanged emails and the link to my blog in in the signature of those emails. If he clicked the link, that would explain a lot.

    The dark side to this process of “returning to church” is that it can eventually change from an effort to rebuild the fallen tent of David to simply (or vainly) tilting a windmills.

  9. James, unfortunately this has been my experience. Upon my return to upstate NY from Los Angeles, I was soon marginalized by Christian pastors for my acting out of my faith in Yeshua. Then I found a place where I was, for a time, understood, or at least, tolerated.

    My pastor agreed to run the HaYesod program, we had high attendance for it, to include folks from different churches in the area. Then, there was a push-back from two of the respected Christian “elders” who wrote up a formal document articulating their “problems” with the theology of Messianic Judaism as presented by FFOZ. For about 6-8 weeks the two elders and I responded back and forth via email, each addressing the concerns brought forth. It was good, healthy discussion, but it had an effect on the relationship. When push came to shove, the elder contingent announced its “rejection” of the theology presented in HaYesod and Pastor aligned himself with the elders, who, of course, represented the majority opinion which was also the mainstream Christian possession. I sent copies of the document to both Toby and Boaz, at their request.

    The Torah study folks ended up feeling looked down upon and some went to other churches, one couple drives over an hour to an established Messianic Jewish congregation in Rochester, NY and I;m just kind of in hiatus right now after remaining at the church for a time.

    I see my personal situation and the rejection of Passover as connected. The rejection of Passover/establishment of Easter was, in my opinion, nothing less that catastrophic, the vibrations of it paving the way to the Holocaust while still holding the church hostage, if you will, to a pseudo-biblical existence, far removed from the Judaism that Yeshua taught.

    I have Christian contact and fellowship where I work. We have chapel on Wednesday and that is plenty of mainstream Christian teaching for me. I love my Christian friends but see them increasingly as “friends,” or brothers and sisters who have grown distant over time.

    And yet, I try to show respect to the idea of Resurrection Day to keep the peace. We know that Nisan 17 is the anniversary of Yeshua’s resurrection and yet my Christian friends keep the fictitious, man-made date. It is less than comfortable as the years go by; more than just annoying with each passing year.

    I suppose this is why I increasingly consider my Christian relationships more like friends than family and my Messianic Jewish relationships more like family than friends. But as there are no Messianic Jewish congregations close by, I remain a man without a country.

  10. This will sound harsh as it is written here, but these arguments can be done in a much better way depending on your specific relations with your pastors.

    It goes like this:
    – Does the United Nations declare in which date will Easter fall every year?
    – Does the President of the United States (or any other country where you live) declare in which date will Easter fall every year?
    – Who declares that? The Roman Pope? Should we follow the Roman Pope’s decrees?

    And then, tell them where to find out G-d’s appointed times in the Bible and how to calculate dates using the moon.

  11. This is a tough place for all of us who were raised in the Church and have moved away into the biblical holidays. I don’t have a mixed family in the sense of a Jew and Gentile family, I do however have a wife who was raised Hebrew Roots and me who was raised Baptist, the struggle still exists to some extent.

    I have been on the train of loving the traditional holidays, to hating them because they were Pagan. So much so that I was going to write a book about how keeping these holidays is killing the church by inadvertently placing Satan in the forefront through the holidays.

    When I started researching, I found that about 99% of the pagan connections to the early church, the Church now, and the holidays were terrible, filled with error, and really not feasible, (Oh and most definitely not from Babylon…) Needless to say that changed a whole lot in my views on Christian religious practice, and eventually got me shunned in my Hebrew Roots congregation, because I somehow loved Satan because I wasn’t against the holidays and the church. So now I really feel indifferent to Christian holidays, they weren’t created out of mixed worship. There were problems people had in keeping Passover, namely uncircumcised Gentiles weren’t allowed to be part of it, and the differing calendar caused people not to know when it was.

    I don’t care about Easter, I enjoy Passover, I try to help teach others about the biblical holidays because I enjoy them, and being a part of them is different, and really helps teach a love for Israel that isn’t so easy without them.

    I haven’t gone to an Easter service in about 15 years now, who knows if I will again, what I do know is, It would upset my wife very much if I did. So I’ll just stay away.

  12. Interestingly enough Jim, Toby Janicki at FFOZ coined the term paganoia to describe how some people in Hebrew Roots think *every* tradition of the Church comes from paganism, Babylon, and so on.

    From my perspective, most of what the Church does in terms of religious holidays and so on amounts to tradition. Easter, for example, comes out of a sense of celebration and devotion related to the resurrection event. Celebrating it isn’t really bad, but it is a tradition born out of second century Christian attachment to the resurrection as well as the desire to separate the Gentile Christian Church from Judaism.

    People are very attached to their traditions, both in Christianity and in Judaism, and that’s all fine and well. Like you, I’m not attached to Easter emotionally (or in any other way) and have more of an affinity with Passover, but then, I have a Jewish family so that makes a lot of difference (at least in my case).

    Also, like you (and I said this above) I’m planning to not attend Easter services this year to spare my wife’s feelings.

  13. Being sort of a nerd when it comes to learning, I typically do not accept facts at face value. I’m one of those guys that after hearing some new fact, you’ll see grabbing his smart phone to either look up a fact or jot a note down to look it up later.

    I have found several resources about Christian holidays being tied to pagan rituals. None have ever been concrete, but there are certainly some similarities that can be found. Anyone can make anything truth if you try hard enough…

    The real issue is what James wrote: “the desire to separate the Gentile Christian Church from Judaism.”

    I am fascinated, almost obsessed with trying to understand why. THAT, to me, seems to be the root of it all. Since there weren’t any bloggers 1900 years ago it becomes difficult to research. It doesn’t help that I’m new to the research so I am still learning how to find information and skeptical when discerning new sources.

    Why such a hard push to separate from the biblical traditions given directly from God and create new traditions?

    1. @Terry : Try Reading “Eusebius Pamphilius: Church History, Life of Constantine, Oration in Praise of Constantine” by Eusebius Pamphilius, specially “The Life of Constantine”, Book III, Chapter 18 where you read:

      “At this meeting the question concerning the most holy day of Easter was discussed, and it was resolved by the united judgment of all present, that this feast ought to be kept by all and in every place on one and the same day. For what can be more becoming or honorable to us than that this feast from which we date our hopes of immortality, should be observed unfailingly by all alike, according to one ascertained order and arrangement? And first of all, it appeared an unworthy thing that in the celebration of this most holy feast we should follow the practice of the Jews, who have impiously defiled their hands with enormous sin, and are, therefore, deservedly afflicted with blindness of soul. For we have it in our power, if we abandon their custom, to prolong the due observance of this ordinance to future ages, by a truer order, which we have preserved from the very day of the passion until the present time. Let us then have nothing in common with the detestable Jewish crowd; for we have received from our Saviour a different way.”

      At that time, Constantine, the Roman Emperor, ordered the Council of Nicaea, year 325AD. No Jewish “bishop” was there… all bishops were already non-Christians…

      Now, biblically, why this happened? Read Daniel 7 and pay attention to Daniel 7:25a “He shall speak pompous words against the Most High,
      Shall persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law.”

  14. I was discussing some of these issues with a friend, and we agreed that this sort of paternalism is present in all religious camps – it is unavoidable. My son mentioned that the cognitive dissonance bothers him about these sorts of groups. Perhaps you see it, that when you discuss something that may be true but is at odds with their worldview, their eyes glaze over – they don’t hear you.

    I have been taking online courses in Behavioral Economics and Cognitive Science, and I am seeing this all over the place.

    Would you actually confront pastor and ask him if the only reason he was continuing his discussions/relationship with you was “friendship evangelism,” i.e., he hoped to straighten you out?

  15. No, I actually wouldn’t, and I don’t think the only reason for our conversations were just to convince me of his point of view. I know (his wife told me) that he enjoyed our conversations on a number of topics. It was the concept of the continuation of Torah for the Jewish people that finally got to him. I think we believes we have a friendship and I’d like to believe the same, but this is an issue that comes between us. I’ll let him take the lead as far as what happens next.

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