Language is the belief (take it or leave it). In Judaism’s Day of Atonement, confession (God forgive me) isn’t half the job: setting right with a person whom one has aggrieved is as much the point. From Hillel the Elder — possibly, probably — to Jesus and the construction of a new religion seems a short intellectual distance and the relation of the two together to more ancient tradition would seem hard to refute.
The association of glory in righteous suffering and death and the polarized emphasis on sinfulness and holiness seem to me to run counter to Judaism’s practical emphasis on life — on being alive and living graciously in the sight of God — and ethical awareness and practice.
The thought responds to AN Wilson’s “It’s the Gospel Truth – So Take It or Leave It” in Wednesday’s The Telegraph (It’s the Gospel truth – so take it or leave it – Telegraph – 12/25/2013), and as a feel-good for the pious of the Christian community, the term “Jew” or “Jewish” seems not to have a place in it. Instead the “gospel truth” omits reference to the revolutionary thought of Rabbi Hillel the Elder, an elder contemporary — or very near it — of Jesus, also a figure in various historic records, much less mention of the ancient Yom Kippur, the Jewish “Day of Atonement” in which confessional one asks forgiveness of not only God but of any who have been aggrieved by the confessor’s behavior or actions and that on the basis of a just setting to rights, not mere apology.
For some Christian standard bearers, the business of successionary thinking, i.e., that the enterprise of Christianity will fully displace Judaism and, no less than Islamist thinking on this matter, churn the world into itself — a part of the “Christ Process” as one Jesuit noted to me many years ago — has been politely hidden beneath the verbiage. One need not (at this time) advance the point except by eliminating from discussion mention of origins in thought or other possibilities in belief, ethics, faith, and reason.
That’s the gospel truth.
The term “messianic delusion” seems to refer to the presence of grandiose ambitions to control the world (in the name of one’s own chosen glorious mission) to produce a heaven on earth reverberating primarily to one’s own power.
The lethal nature of that worn track in human affairs would seem to repeatedly prove itself wherever unchecked.
Look to the al Qaeda affiliates pouring into Syria today for the proof of it — and be sure not to miss what they do to others (and themselves) beneath their black death-cult banner. By comparison, the Christian Church at its strident best would seem a happier affair by far, and yet it too, so well demonstrated in the European history of anti-Semitism — one in which (in 12th Century Hungary) laws devised to discriminate against Jews were applied equally to Muslims — and the culmination of its “Christ killer” libel in Germany’s blood-and-death descent into the mindless cauldron of war against all accompanied by industrialized mass murder and genocide.
Online Etymology Dictionary – “messiah”.
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