At Easter, the Old Testament is Crucifying the New
April 1, 2018
"The Human Rights advocate Alfred de Zayas rejects the teachings of the Old Testament outright and compares it with what Jesus Christ preached: The command of "love thy neighbour" is put against what drives the adherents of the warlord Jehova. Unfortunately we have to realize that this life-destroying ideology has not left our world by any means. Just the opposite, it has taken possession of the so-called Western World and is planning the next war. We should concern ourselves with this." -- Christian Juergen KleinDisclaimer- I am not a Christian but I do believe in Jesus' teaching that God is Love and Love is the blueprint for human salvation, personally and collectively. I post this as a reminder that Christ tried to turn Judaism into a genuine religion, from a satanic cult, and paid the price. Not all my Christian readers will agree with Alfred de Zayas. (see First Comment by Michael Hoffman below.) De Zayas, a Cuban-born American lawyer, is hard to classify. He seems to be a globalist with some very politcally incorrect views.(abridged by henrymakow.com)Does our ostensibly Christian society understand the message of Jesus Christ, or do we just pay lip service to it? Let us imagine, just for a moment, that we were to take the Sermon on the Mount seriously. Would we still consider ourselves Christians?(Alfred de Zayas, left)Quite frankly, we do not practice Christianity, which is based on love, forgiveness and humility. That's what the New Testament is all about. What we practice is a modified form of the Old Testament, flattering ourselves with the illusion that we are, after all, the "good guys", the chosen people of God, that we shall be saved and that all others are doomed (and probably deserve to be doomed) -- the Muslims, the Bahais, the Hindus, the Buddhists, the agnostics, the atheists. We pay lip service to human brotherhood, but in practice we are predators.Every time we read the Old Testament and accept with self-righteous contentment the idea that our God sent ten plagues to the Egyptians, ordered the Israelites to smite the women and children of Canaan, to kill everything living in Jericho, to slaughter the city of Hai ... every time we read such stories without reflecting on their implications and obvious injustice, we are not behaving as New Testament Christians.Who could possibly see any legitimacy in the claim that the Old Testament granted divine justification to the patriarchs to take the promised Lebensraum by force? (Exodus, Chapters 8 to15, Deuteronomy Chapter VII, verses 1-6, Chapter XX, verses 16-18, and Joshua Chapter VI, verse 21, Chapter VIII, verses 18-29). There is not only xenophobia in these verses, but misanthropy. Who would, in good conscience, repeat the words of Psalm 58 about others with whom we have discord: « These men are born sinners, lying from their earliest words ! They are poisonous as deadly snakes, cobras that close their ears to the most expert of charmers. O God, break off their fangs. Tear out the teeth of these young lions, Lord. Let them disappear like water into thirsty ground. Let them be as snails that dissolve into slime and as those who die at birth, who never see the sun. God will sweep away both old and young. He will destroy them more quickly than a cooking pot can feel the blazing fire of thorns beneath it. The godly shall rejoice in the triumph of the right. They shall walk the bloodstained fields of slaughtered, wicked men."?In the same vein we read Psalm 63: "But those plotting to destroy me shall go down to the depths of hell. They are doomed to die by the sword, to become the food of jackals." Is this not paranoid?Is it not misanthropy, a combination of petulance, solipsism, narcissism and arrogance? With very good reason the first of the seven capital sins (for Catholics) is the sin of arrogance, the source of so many other dysfunctions and abuses. Yet, arrogance does not feature prominently among the sins proscribed in the Ten Commandments. It has been said that a person can observe the ten commandments and still be unjust. The new Alliance in love demands much more than peremptory obedience of the ten commandments.A conscious Christian knows that the world is not black and white, that we are all imperfect, that there is good in the bad and that there is also bad in the good. Every single one of us has good and bad traits. Religion should help us marshal this complexity...Religion is not and cannot be misanthropic. Religion is philanthropic and optimistic, it recognizes that we are all the children of the same Creator. As St. Paul tells us in the Epistle to the Romans, Chapter 8, verses14-15: "Those who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God. Now you have not received a spirit of bondage so as to be again in fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons, by virtue of which we cry "Father"!"In the Old Testament Yaweh is defined as the Lord of Armies, Lord of Sebaoth (from Hebrew s??ba'ôt, pl. of s?aba', army, from s?aba', to wage war). This concept of a warrior God is common to many other religions -- but does it satisfy our sense of religion, our sense of goodness, our sense of morality, our sense of justice for all creatures of the Earth? Is our idea of the glory of God that of a heap of corpses?For some apparently it does. And many evangelical churches project this image of divinity. Somehow it seems that the majority of Christians do not even try to understand the message, much less live according to the Sermon on the Mount, because they think it is an allegory, a metaphor, too tough, because we reject the fundamental premise of the equality of human beings. We want to be the privileged class, the chosen people, even if we would not admit it to ourselves. It is not equality that we want, but privilege! We want the extra Wurst!We know the Beatitudes only in name -- not in practice -- for in essence we still live according to Old Testament rules, considering ourselves the rightfully chosen people and judging all others as heathen and worthy of destruction. We adhere to the myth of the "clash of civilizations" instead of looking for an alliance of civilizations, for a rehabilitation and reconciliation of cultures.When I go to Catholic Mass on Holy Thursday to celebrate the founding of the New Alliance and the con-celebration of the Eucharist feast, when I go with my wife to the reformed Protestant Good Friday service to meditate on the overwhelming symbolism of the crucifixion, when we go to the ecumenical Easter Sunday service, I like to focus on the mystery of our existence.How ineffable the very fact that we exist, that one day we all shall die, and that above all we believe in Life and have faith in the Resurrection.As Rilke said: "Das Leben ist eine Herrlichkeit" (life is splendour).And, again, Hiersein ist herrlich (7. Duino Elegy) -- it is good to be here and now.I like to reflect on the overwhelming mystery that a GOD CREATOR would so love his Creation that he would send his SON to die on the Cross to redeem us.If you emotionally and physically experience faith, if you instinctively feel it, if you believe, you would agree that we can be saved only by GRACE, i.e. by the same transcendental force, by the same incomprehensible generoristy -- that gratuitous act of creation. We ought to endeavour to to the right thing, to be good to our families, to our neighbours, to our colleagues, to be just, but our good works can hardly be enough to deserve eternal salvation. We are only the vessels into which Divinie Grace is poured, like wine is poured into a chalice, and yet, it is the wine that matters, the wine that still states of its grapes (Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Sonnets from the Portuguese, 6).If we practiced Christianity, we would at least make an effort not to hate other people, not to lie to and double-cross our acquaintances and even our friends. Maybe we could even persuade ourselves to love some more of them, in principle, not just our spouses and buddies, but also the people who work with us, our colleagues in the office, our secretaries, even our bosses!We should endeavour to hate only evil, but not the persons who deliberately or by error do evil. Maybe they are thoroughly confused and subjectively think that they are doing the "right" thing. Maybe they, too, think they are Christians and acting honourably. Why not give the golden rule a try? "Therefore all that you wish men to do to you, even so do you also to them" (Matthew VII, 12).Instead of creating an atmosphere of confidence around us, we project a sense of being threatened, the suspicion that we consider our neighbour to be a competitor, a potential enemy instead of a potential friend. Thus we provoke the dislike of our neighbours, committing that first and gravest of the seven capital sins - the sin of arrogance.Christ tried to teach us humility, not arrogance....The New Testament is a "plan of action" for peace and reconciliation, but in AD 312 Roman Emperor Constantine made Christianity his personal religion and in AD 380 Emperor Theodosius declared Christianity to be the only State religion. This transformed the New/Old Testament into a programme of war and conquest, instrumentalizing it into a weapon of mass destruction, an instrument of asserting power -- and keeping it.It is appropriate in Holy Week to be reminded of the core of Christian faith, of the mode d'emploi -- the Beatitudes:"Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be satisfied."Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy."Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God."Blessed are they who suffer persecution for justice' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven"(Matthew, Chapter V, verses 1-10)And I would turn to that passage of the Sermon of the Mount"If thou art offering thy gift at the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother has anything against thee, leave thy gift before the altar and go first to be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer thy gift." Matthew V, 23-24. This is a cardinal principle of the Beatitudes -- charity, forgiveness, reconciliation ahead of ritual. For what is the use of the ritual, if we persist in doing injustice to others?The Sermon on the Mount is the New Law, replacing the Old Law of the Old Testament.Related - God's 12 Biggest Dick Moves in the OT-----First Comment by Michael Hoffman- (Thanks to Michael for this tip)The preceding statement is reflective of the ancient heresy of Marcion; it is reborn in modern habiliments.