Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Some Jews on MySpace and the Kingdom of God

This is the seventh argument in a mini-series on why I think the Kingdom of God is not quite here yet.

The first argument was based on the binding of Satan as part of the establishment of the Kingdom, the second was based on the separation of the sheep from the goats, the third had holes in it, and concerned John the Baptist, the fourth draws from the classic Christmas passage in Isaiah, the fifth continues exploring that passage, and the sixth does too.

Today's post is less of an argument, and more of a "so what".

"Jesus was not the messiah" claims an atheist based on some YouTube videos. I ran into this same thing when talking with a number of Jews in a MySpace chat room at 4am one night several years ago while working on a project for school. They were extremely well-versed in the Tanakh and were able to demonstrate to me, from the Hebrew, why Jesus did not fulfill all of the messianic prophecies. I didn't know what to say.

But today, I don't even have to view the videos to know that I agree, even though I am a Christian.

How can I agree with atheists and Jews who believe that Jesus didn't fulfill all of the messianic prophecies of the ancient Hebrew prophets and is therefore not the messiah? Doesn't "Christian" mean "follower of Christ", "Christ-like", or "little Christ"? Isn't "Christ" the Greek form of "messiah"? Didn't Jesus say to the woman at the well who spoke of the promised Christ, "I AM He."?

After President Obama was elected, but before he was inaugurated, he diffused a lot of pressure to bring immediate change by reminding voters that "there is only one POTUS at a time". Even though Obama was the one elected to bring hope and change, he was not the President yet. But when asked whether he was the one everyone was talking about who was going to bring hope, he would have said "I am he.".

I believe that Jesus was the One spoken of by God and the prophets the whole time. And I believe He meets all of the criteria to be the messiah. But I also think I see that He did not perform that role when He came. I think there is a reason for this that future Kingdom posts will get to, but the point is that I think Jesus is not the messiah yet, like Obama after election but prior to inauguration, was not the President yet.

Jesus is the Messiah Elect.

If I'm right, then insisting that Jesus is the messiah can hurt the case of Christ because Jews, and atheists like the one I cited, will be able to show us how our faith is inconsistent with our holy book.

[Disclaimer: I took a look at some of those videos and want you, dear reader, to know I do not agree with most of what they say. They make some arguments I think are misunderstood and I do think Jesus fulfilled a good deal of prophecy and is the messiah to come. As of today however, I continue to maintain that Jesus did not erect the promised Kingdom and so did not act as messiah during His first coming.

I also want to make clear that I believe the work He did accomplish during His first coming was extremely important - more important than the people could have ever realized - and it was a necessary foundation for the Kingdom of God.

His work just isn't finished yet.]


  1. Let me quote you to you.

    1. "Isn't "Christ" the Greek form of "messiah"?"
    2. "insisting that Jesus is the messiah can hurt the case of Christ"

  2. Ouch. Friendly fire hurts. You pretty much nailed me on this one. I guess it isn't consistent to say that Jesus Christ is not the messiah.

    Looks like I have to amend my position slightly. I still maintain that Jesus did not fulfill all of the messianic prophecies.

    So, perhaps it would be more consistent to say that Jesus is the messiah (meaning, He is the person about whom all the prophecies speak), but that He is not finished with His messianic work.

    This still leaves my encouragement to brothers and sisters in Christ to not apply every messianic prophecy to Jesus' first ministry.

  3. Louis,

    I always find your interests and your divergences fascinating. Your synoptic take on reality does justice to those seemingly bent on one concept, or one subject. It is encouraging, to myself especially, to hear someone else asking questions/seeking answers concerning the problematic dilemmas of our time. This of course is in reference to far more than just your interest in politics or philosophy, but in matters of theology and spirituality. I am so very, very encouraged by you, my good friend. Your course of thinking and questioning encourages me to stamp out my cynicism, and trade it in for a much sweeter, more gentle, slow-to-speak skepticism. I feel ready to take on my own questions. Thank you, Louis.


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