I recently read this article entitled, "Is Your Church Christian or Christianish?" Now let me be clear I don't know the author of this article. I am sure he is a wonderful person with a heart for the L-rd, but I also see a talking point nature in society that has horribly caused my Christian brethren to go astray. This is apparent as you will see from my words added to the original article (my words as a response in bold font) how things are said but not properly researched or believed. Thus, it is a talking point.Here we go:
Three little letters make a world of difference. Together i, s, and h distinguish Christian from Christianish and mark the difference between right and wrong, life and death, heaven and hell. There is nothing better for your spiritual wellbeing than to be in a Christian church. There is nothing worse for your spiritual wellbeing than to be in a Christianish church. Here are a few marks of each.
(Even better would be a part of a Biblical synagogue *Acts 15:21* considering that is where the New Testament says the Word of G-d is taught and heard)
A Christian church teaches the Bible. It is committed to the inerrancy, sufficiency, clarity, and authority of the Word of God and therefore preaches it week by week with confidence and consistency. A Christianish church teaches about the Bible. It is committed to imparting life lessons and uses the scriptures as a starting point to teach people how to live lives of success and fulfillment.
(Now first of all if the Christian church were "committed to the inerrancy, sufficiency and clarity and the authority of the Word of G-d" then why do they throw 2/3 of it out the window and ignore the words of the Messiah in Matthew 5:17-21, Romans 7:12, Deuteronomy 13:1-11, Romans 3:2, Matthew 23:1-3, John 4:22? Now life lessons are important to the body of Messiah, nothing connects a person more to the Bible and the faith given to us by the Creator than by making it tangible and relatable to the people)
A Christian church admits the deep depravity of human beings. It acknowledges that we are all deeply disordered so that not one of us has even the least righteousness to plead before God. A Christianish church proclaims the inherent goodness of humanity. It acknowledges that we aren’t what we could and should be, but encourages us to believe that with enough effort we can get there.
(We have both a yetzer hara (evil inclination) and a yetzer hatov (Inclination of good) both should be discussed and taught not one being exclusive)
A Christian church makes its core declaration the finished work of Christ. The good news of grace frees us from the impossible task of earning our own salvation and instead simply receives what Christ has already accomplished. A Christianish church has its core declaration the unfinished work of humanity. The bad news of works becomes the brutal and impossible path to impressing God with deeds that will catch his eye and win his favor.
(So.....basically the Christian Church and the Christianish Church are in agreement, they just say it differently? Yet the entire first two chapters of the book of James say that works are the product of faith, the Messiah says "If you love me keep my commandments" (John 14:15), apparently by the Christian and Christianish's Churches standards the Messiah was teaching people to earn their salvation. Us Jews get attacked with this phrase "earning your salvation" all the time yet, here we have another talking point that is based in zero biblical basis....I thought the Christian church relied on the Bible for it's authority. They must have skipped over Philippians 2:12 which states, "Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling". And I would ask the author what he thinks, "it is finished" actually means in John 19:30. When I am accused of "trying to earn my salvation" I say, no, I do what the Bible says because I love G-d and he has blessed me, Romans 10:9 and Romans 4:1-8)
A Christian church proclaims the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ. Believing that our sin has provoked the just wrath of God, it declares in awe that the Son of God willingly took our sin upon himself and absorbed the full fury of the Father’s wrath. A Christianish church proclaims the wrathless love of God and the exemplary life of Jesus Christ, upholding Christ as the ultimate example of what a human being can and should be.
(G-d has 72 attributes through his 72 names in the Bible, neither concept is mutually exclusive, yet we do see mention of a progression of Abraham Isaac and Jacob mentioned in the Bible several times (Matthew 22:32, Exodus 3:6, Matthew 8:11, Exodus 32:13, the list goes on an on). Why Abraham first? Because he represents chesed (loving kindness). That is the foundation of all of faith as noted by the Messiah as well in Matthew 22:37-39)
A Christian church preaches the gospel of justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. It calls people to repent of their sins and turn to Jesus Christ for forgiveness. A Christianish church preaches a gospel of social justice or personal prosperity. It calls people to right social wrongs or to claim financial enrichment, to repent only of insufficient action or insufficient faith.
(Justification....GREAT....now define sin for me...Romans 7:7 says sin is deviating from the law, what then does this guy think sin is?)
A Christian church gathers each week to worship the God of the Bible according to the Bible. Knowing their desperate need for divine wisdom, they read the Bible, preach the Bible, pray the Bible, sing the Bible, and fellowship around the Bible. A Christianish church gathers each week for empowerment or entertainment. Their services are shaped more by pop culture or personal preference than by holy Scripture.
(No argument here)
A Christian church preaches the exclusivity of Jesus Christ. It echoes scripture in saying Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life and that there is no other way to be reconciled to the Father but through him. A Christianish church insists Jesus Christ may be a way but not the way, and proclaims instead that all roads lead ultimately to the same destination.
(Jesus is indeed the way, the truth and the life, and I am glad near the end of the article Scripture was actually used here. But to preach exclusively on Jesus is ripping out 3/4 of the Bible shouldn't the entire Bible be taught as it is what the author says the Christian church does.....so which is it?)
A Christian church proclaims the existence of heaven and hell. It takes hold of the authority of the Bible to plead with people to turn to Christ and be saved from destruction. A Christianish church affirms an afterlife but denies the possibility of eternal punishment for those who have chosen to reject the free offer of the gospel.
(The Christianish church is actually in the right here, because no where does it say "hell" is eternal, infant the word "hell" doesn't appear in the greek nor hebrew nor aramaic, no manuscript, the two words used are Sheol which means death, and the word Gehinnon which was a garbage dump that was used to burn trash. The ideal of "hell" that the church adopted was not from the Bible but instead from Dante's Inferno, which was a comedic play. When Gehinnon is used it is used as a parable, as a teaching not in actual history or theology. In fact Malachi 4:3 takes an approach of an instant death of the evil and wicked, it says we will be walking on their ashes. I thought the Bible was the authority, and not some comedic play centuries later. But hey, it scares the "hell" out of enough people to get them to pay that tithe right? But wasn't that a part of the law....ya know the thing that they say was done away with?).
There is nothing in all the world as precious as a truly Christian church. There is nothing in all the world as dangerous as one that is merely Christianish. Choose your church well.
(I think I will stick to a Biblical assembly instead)
Theological Insights from Rabbi Eved Banah the North American Rebbe of Ani Judaism