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May Your Name Be Inscribed in the Book Of Life

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Sunday, 02 October 2005

Today (October 3), specifically at sundown, marks Rosh Hashanah and the start of the Jewish New Year.  The first 10 days of the Jewish New Year are set apart as a time of introspection and repentance; kind of like the New Year's resolutions we might make - except with repentance and without the drunken bash.

The 10 days end with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.  This is a day of Sabbath and fasting and is for the atonement of sins committed by one against G-d.  (I'm using G-d because it somehow seems right to do so when discussing these holidays.)  I read also of an Orthodox tradition that calls for the purchase of a chicken on the day before Yom Kippur, which is then waved over one's head while standing outside in front of one's house before it is killed and fed to the needy.  (I'm sure that's killed, COOKED and fed.)  The source said that the practice is a bit outdated and that nowadays they just wave bags of money over their heads; I'm sure that's more P.C., too.

Once the repentance and atonements are made and accepted by G-d, He then writes your name in the Book of Life and you're safe for another year.

I'm intrigued by Jewish holidays.  Obviously Jesus, being Jewish, would have observed these sacred traditions.  Even the first century Christians, themselves being first Jewish, continued to observe their traditions after Jesus' ascension to heaven.

Why have we abandoned these Jewish traditions in favor of the pagan ones?  Christmas, Easter, for sure Halloween, are all rooted in Pagan celebrations then dressed up as Christian.

I know that Jesus was the atonement for our sins and that faith in him is what "writes" our names in the Book of Life, but, does that preclude the Torah?

I'm wondering why the Torah is not taught in Christian churches.  Jesus himself said that he did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. (Mt. 5:17)  One might interpret Jesus' statement to mean that he has fulfilled the Law so now we are no longer under the Law but, is that right?  Was the Law Jesus referred to G-d's Torah, or the laws of the Pharisees, which included much of their own, man-made stipulations.  If it was G-d'sTorah then why did Jesus remind us that "it is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law?" Lk 16:17, NIV? 

It's clear that the first century Christian Jews observed the Torah.  It was made clear that Gentile converts were not to be "burdened" with the requirements of the law, but it was also implied that the Law would be taught, so that Gentiles, too, would learn to observe its tenets. (Acts 19:19-21.)

Well, as you've probably figured out by now, much troubles me about Christianity today.  I'm not troubled about Christ; Jesus is my Lord and Savior.  Still, my heart is unsettled. 

I go through fits and starts with my beliefs (read doctrine).  It wasn't a great leap to go from Atheist to Agnostic to Deist.  It was not even difficult for me, once I acknowledged G-d, to accept Jesus as the promised Messiah - my Savior.  It's the doctrinal details that get to me.  Am I being convicted by my doubts?  Am I being driven by G-d towards truth?  Or am I being obstreperous and simply kicking against the "authority" of my teachers?

I'm going to take these 10 days to pray specifically for truth regarding the importance of the Torah to all believers.  Will you pray with me?  I believe that where two or more hearts are sincerely seeking answers, there will come one answer from the Most High.


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