Orthodox Jews have been more successful than their Conservative and Reform peers in maintaining their distance from modern humanism, but they have also maintained their distance from the other branches of Judaism. This self-conscious separatism has led to the political and cultural isolation of Orthodox Jews. To the extent that they have been successful, they have had to turn their
23. J. Lr, Talmon, Political Messianism: The Romantic Phase (New York Praeger, 1961).
24. Talmon, 7?ss Origins of Totalitarian Demcra/y (New York: Praeger, 1960).
25. Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, Out of Revolution: Autobiography of Western Man (Norwich, Connecticut Argo Books,  1969), p. 217.
28. Irving Kristol, "Liberalism & American Jews," Commentary (Oct. 1988). Cf. Milton Himmelfarb, "American Jews: Diehard Conservatives," ibid. (April 1969). He means conservative in the sense ofrefiising to change.
backs on the lure of both cultural assimilation and the secular separatism of political Zionism.29
The Orthodox Jew, like the orthodox Christian, has no choice: he must see that his children are educated in schools financed and staffed by those of his own faith. There is no other way to resist the acids of humanism. But if both groups do this, they will learn, step by step, that the Judeo-Christian tradition is a myth. Why? Because they will learn that the legacy of the American civil religion, if pursued consistently, leads ultimately to what Will Herberg suspected that it might: to idolatry. It leads to the worship of man.
The Jew is separated from the general culture by the dietary laws. This is his immunization from the rival covenants: Christ's and paganisms. If he can maintain this separation, he cannot easily marry those of another covenant, nor can he intermingle easily.
The barrier works both ways, however. He cannot exercise dominion in history. This is why he waits until the Messiah comes, to impose His power on earth. It is only by imposing power from above that Orthodox Jews can rule, for they cannot eat with gentiles. They cannot assimilate gentles into Judaism, nor do they want to. On the other hand, they cannot not be assimilated by gentiles, for they cannot share a meal with them. So, the Jew who is faithful to the dietary standards of rabbinical Judaism is isolated. He can interact with gentiles, even be friends with gentiles, but he cannot become part of the gentile world.
Here is the dilemma of Orthodox Judaism. Here is why its only hope is in the appearance in history of the Messiah. Only the Messiah can bring in the kingdom - a uniquely Jewish kingdom. It cannot be brought in by politics, cultural conquest, or economic power. The Jews, in short, are politically circumcised: cutoff from
29. Edward Norden, "Behind 'Who Is a Jew': A Letter from Jerusalem," Commentary (April 1989).
judicial authority to the extent that they adhere to the terms of their covenant. They can have no legitimate hope in political salvation, which is theologically healthy, but they also can have no legitimate hope in cultural dominion. At best, they can pray for and work for a holding action: social peace until the Messiah comes. This circumcises their temporal horizon. They can hope only in a future discontinuity. There is no relationship between political and social action now and the triumph of their covenant in history. For this reason, Orthodox Jews in the United States were initially divided about the importance and meaning of the state of Israel in 1948, and even today they look at that nation as a political phenomenon rather than a kingdom phenomenon. They have thereby adopted the mythology of humanism: the myth of kingdom-less politics.
The essence of the coming of the Messiah is kingdom discontinuity. This reduces the Jew's incentive to transform this world in preparation for the Messiah. What the faithful Jew does in time and on earth will not hasten the appearance of the Messiah. Thus, the earthly manifestation of the kingdom of God is far in the future, or, if there are signs of it in the present, it is temporally truncated by the expectation of the great discontinuity. Expectations are high regarding the Messiah; they are inescapably low regarding the comparative accomplishments ofjudaism before tb>~ Messiah comes.
Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space; And said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men. For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought. After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed. And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God. And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go (Acts 5:34-40).
It is not clear why Gamaliel gave this advice to the Sanhedrin. Later, one synagogue had Stephen stoned to death (Acts 7).
former student, Saul of Tarsus (Acts 22:3), ignored this advice in his subsequent persecutions of the Church (Acts 8). But at least initially, the Sanhedrin took Gamaliel's advice. They beat the apostles and then let them go.
think we can point to one Talmudic doctrine that would, in retrospect, seem to justify Gamaliel's position: for t/w sake of the peace. He saw that there was no use in using persecution against the new Christian Church. If the Church was of God, such persecu tion would backfire. If it was not of God, persecution would be unnecessary. Besides, what good does it do to create martyrs (the Greek word for witnesses)?
I have done my best to honor Orthodox Judaism. When Orthodox Jews tell me that they honor the Talmud, I accept this statement as true. I do not attempt to argue that they really don't accept it as true, that they really and truly take it only metaphorically, that "no rational person could believe such things in today's world." In short, I do not treat them as theological liberals treat me and those like me. If a man says that he believes something, and if he is a member of a group that has repeatedly been persecuted for adhering to certain ideas, then I assume that he is telling me the truth. He really does believe what he says he believes.
What the Orthodox Jews says that he believes is the Talmud. He also says that he believes in the Torah, what I call the Old Testament. I think that the Talmud is unfaithful to the Old Testament. The Orthodox Jew - or any Jew, for that matter - thinks that the New Testament is unfaithful to the Old Testament. What we have here is not a failure to communicate. This is not a debate over semantics. This is a debate over biblical as formidable a disagreement as men can have in life, for its consequences extend to eternity.
Orthodox Jews and orthodox Christians disagree about many things, especially the theological integrity of their respective systems. The Talmud has some graphic things to say about Jesus and His followers. The New Testament has some graphic things to say about the Jews of that day: whited sepulchers, blind guides, gnat-strainers, hypocrites, thieves, and dogs. Paul wrote: "Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision" (Philippians 3:2). The dog in those days was not a domesticated beast or "man's best friend." Dogs roamed in packs and devoured the weak.
What good does it do to cover this up? None. What good does it do to de-emphasize it? A great deal. Why? For the sake of the peace.
Both sides should be aware of the unbridgeable barrier between them. Both sides should also be aware of the equally unbridgeable barrier between them and the Caesars of this world. It has been the Caesars of this world, not the Christians, who have been the great enemy of the Jews. It is the Caesars who have been the great threat to the Christians, not the Jews.
Orthodox Jews and orthodox Christians are the traditional enemies of the Caesars of this world, because the Caesars are tied to time rather than eternity. Their efforts have meaning only in terms of time. But Jews and Christians are tied to eternity, and live or die in terms of this commitment. They are therefore the ultimate traitors to the time-bound systems of this world. This is why persecution always comes, especially after some crisis has called into question the survival of a particular world system. In this sense, both Jews and Christians are "a separate people among us" in the eyes of the humanists. What Rosenstock-Huessy wrote of this world's leaders is equally true in every era: "The ruler who gives his name to an hour of history must be absorbed completely in that hour. He must dive into its waves and be lost in it more than any other man. For it is the ruler's business to mark the epoch, to appear on the stamps or coins of his country. Rulership, because it personifies an epoch, always finds itself in a polarity to the workings of Eternity." 1 What he wrote of the Jews applies equally well to orthodox Christians in history:
The pagan leader is the servant of time. The Jew can never "believe" in time. Since every Jewish leader or prophet thinks of Eternity or of innumerable generations, the star of Judah always shines most brilliantly in times when there are no pagan heroes. When a nation is despoiled of its governing class, when a national failure has brought a darkness without comfort or illumination, the nation is struck by the fact that the Jews are not leaderless in the
1. Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, Out of Revolution: Autobiography of Western Man (Norwich, Connecticut: Argo,  1969), p. 222.
absence of a king or emperor. Anti-Semitism always becomes especially violent in times of a lost war. The Jews must be guilty: this is the word that is quickly passed round. For are they not as ready to shoulder hard times without a complaint as they were to profit in the good? The star of Judah shines bright, and pogroms break out, whenever the Gentiles have just buried their Nebuchadnezzar or their Tiberius with disintegration.2
As this becomes increasingly clear to both orthodox Christians and Orthodox Jews, I think the response of both groups will be to de-emphasize the words of mutual condemnation found in the Talmud and the New Testament. This is not to say that either group will deny the truth of its respective holy book, but it is to say that there is a time to emphasize differences and a time to emphasize similarities. To put it graphically, if you are in a foxhole with someone of a rival covenant, and the enemy's shock troops are coming over the ridge, your immediate concern is not the precision of your partner's theology; it is whether he can shoot straight and whether he can spare a few rounds of ammo.
I can see the enemy coming. Hand me that 30-round clip, Yitzhak, and we'll discuss the fine points of our theology later.
It is fruitless to trace the history of this alleged phenomenon. It never existed. By the time that Jews became a force in history, the humanist worldview predominated in the West. In fact, it was the toleration ofJews by Enlightenment society that allowed them to become a force in modern history. This toleration was narrowly formulated, however. All that the Jews were asked to do in order to reap the blessings of social and political participation was to give up the Talmud, and the vast majority of those who survived World War 11 had done so by 1948.
This is not to say that there were never any common-ground interpretations of the Old Testament between Christians and Jews.
Occasionally there was. Take the case of permanent chattel slavery. (I mentioned this in Chapter 8.) The Talmud first offered the world the theory that the so-called "curse of Ham" was racial: Negroes are supposedly these "sons of Ham."3 This became the universal belief of Christians and Muslims in the Middle Ages.4 This is not an aspect of the alleged Judeo-Christian that anyone is proud of today. When the anti-slavery movement appeared in the late eighteenth century - it was pioneered by the Quakers5 - it was initially resisted by virtually all churches and synagogues. Only after the American Civil War did all Jews and Christians at last publicly accept the viewpoint that slavery had been a great evil. This change in opinion had nothing to do with any alleged Judeo-Christian tradition. It was in fact a denial of that tradition.
The Judeo-Christian tradition is an historical myth. But it need not be a future myth. There still remains the possibility that Orthodox Jews and orthodox Christians can wage effective war against the secular humanists who have invaded the ranks of the faithful, and whose political representatives collect vast sums of money from us in taxes that are then used to finance a worldview that we oppose. The Judeo-Christian tradition can exist, for the sake of the peace.
It must begin with the recovery of respect for Old Testament law. This is what the debate between Christians and Jews has always been about: the proper interpretation of the Old Testament. For the sake of the peace, Orthodox Jews can work with orthodox Christians, and vice versa. The Christians can stop their antinomian attacks on the law. The Jews can stop avoiding the specifics of biblical law by appealing to obscure passages in the
3. Winthrop D. Jordan, White Over Black: American Attitudes Toward the Negro,
1550-1812 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1968), p. 18. See Chapter 8, Note 5. He cites the Babylonian Talmud (Soncino Press edition), tractate Sanhedrin, vol. II, p. 745; Midrash Rabbak (Soncino Press edition), vol. I, p. 293. Reprinted by Bloch Pub. Co., New York.
4. David Brion Davis, Slavery aadHuman Progress (New York Oxford University Press, 1984), p. 87.
Talmud rather than dealing carefully with the actual biblical texts. To prove that such expositions of the text can and have been be done by Jews, I recommend the efforts of U. Gassuto and Samson R. Hirsch. If, however, Christians spend their lives in headlong antinomian flight from the law of God, vainly misquoting Paul — "We're under grace, not law"6 - and Jews run to the Talmud every time they feel the pressure of Exodus 12:49 - "One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you" - then the Judeo-Christian tradition will remain a myth.
Honesty is truly the best policy, for the sake of the peace. We must search out the Pentateuch to discover the God-given, God-required standards of honesty. Honesty produces its appropriate rewards, irrespective of race, color, or creed. There is a cause-and-effect relationship between honesty and success. This is an aspect of God's common-grace order — an order shared by all people. Jesus said: "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust" (Matthew 5:44-45). Deny this in word and deed, and you subject society to never-ending internal conflicts.
Judaism and Christianity use rival principles of biblical interpretation, but there is nevertheless a common-grace order which does lead men in the direction of God's truth, assuming they do not actively resist His testimony. While there can never be a fusing of these two religions, they can live in social peace if their adherents choose to. For the sake of the peace, they can hammer out a cultural cease-fire based on shared judicial standards of the Pentateuch. But if they abandon God's law, for whatever seemingly convenient reason, they will either be continually at each other's throats, or else they will have the humanists' boots on their throats.
6. For a positive antidote to such antinomian thinking, written by a dispensa-tional fundamentalist, see John MacArthur, Jr., The Gospel According to Jesus (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Aeademie, 1988).
If the radical discontinuity between the specifics of the Mosaic law and the post-Temple re-interpretations of it is not healed, then the self-conscious enemies of God will inevitably capture the seats of power. We cannot beat something with nothing. They will inevitably set the agenda. This is why the day that this common work of searching the Old Testament scriptures begins is the day that both religions in principle issue a declaration of war against the liberals in their respective camps and the rulers of this age. Liberalism has been at war with the laws of Moses from the very beginning. Adam and Eve were the world's first liberals. They thought God's law was unnecessarily restrictive on man's capacity for personal development. Eve was the first "higher critic" of the Bible, rejecting the historicity of "Adam document." Adam had told her what God had told him. She therefore re-interpreted God's law, as revealed by Adam. What has gutted both Christianity and Judaism is that the liberals' antinomian cause has been taken up by the orthodox troops within the respective camps. They may oppose God's law in the name of tradition or new revelation, but the end result is the same: the liberals inherit the earth.
The mutual affirmation of the infallibility of the Old Testament is where the Judeo-Christian tradition must begin. Why wouldn't Orthodox Jews find useful Oswald T. Allis' defense of the Pentateuch against the higher critics?' They just do not know about his work because of the gulf between the two camps. Also important is the willingness of orthodox Christians and Orthodox Jews to the continuing validity of the principles of the Old Testament's judicial law structure. The long-term hostility to God's revealed law in both camps has been the basis of the 200-year "Babylonian captivity" of both Christians and Jews under the rule of secular humanists. Wherever and whenever the majority of Jews and Christians publicly reject the revealed law of God, or ignore it in an embarrassed silence, there can be no Judeo-Christian tradition.
7. Oswald T. Allis, The Fine Books of Moses (Phillipsburg, New Jersey: Presbyterian & Reformed, ).
An Alliance, not a Covenant
By the time that Jews entered the mainstream of Western culture, Christians had long since abandoned faith in the continuing validity of the specifics of God's Old Covenant law. Thus, it was the pagans who invented the myth of the JudeO-Christian tradition, as Cohen has argued.8
How can this myth become a reality? There are reasons why there has been great resentment on both sides. If Christians were more familiar with the Talmud, they might take even greater offense at the Jews, especially if both sides fail to understand the enormous threat of the common humanist enemy. Anti-Semites time to time remind Christians of what the Talmud teaches. If this public exposure of Talmudic texts is used only to fan the flames of hatred, then it is an exercise in futility. On the other hand, if this exposure is designed to lay the cards on the table in order to establish the basis of a cease-fire, then it should do no harm. An ad hoc co-operation based on misinformation will not survive the test of time. Our common enemies are too well organized.
An effective ad hoc alliance is not a covenant. There can be no God-authorized covenants among those who do not accept the same God.g But there can be legitimate alliances against a common enemy. "And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate [allied] with Abram" (Genesis 14: 13). What has passed in the past as a JudeO-Christian alliance has in fact been a clever cover for the triumph of political and cultural humanism. What we need is an alliance based on whatever is mutually shared from the Old Testament, and perhaps even parts of the New Testament
8. Arthur A. Cohen, The Myth of the Judeo-Christian. Tradition (New York: Schocken, 1971).
9. Gary North, Healer of the Nations: Biblical Blueprints for International Relations (Ft. Worth, Texas: Dominion Press, 1987), ch. 9.
and the Talmud. 10
Any Judeo-Christian tradition that denies the continuing judicial validity of the civil laws of the Pentateuch is mythical, a deceptive cover for those pursuing a radically different agenda, one unfavorable to both Orthodox Judaism and orthodox Christianity.
Writing of the Jews, Paul announced: "I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but [rather] through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?" (Remans 11:11-12).
What have the Christians done historically to provoke the jealousy of the Jews? Not very much. There are very few Christians today in positions of civil authority, and when they do exercise it, they do so as defenders of the religion of political pluralism, not the religion of Christianity. There are very few Christians in recent centuries who have exercised dominion productively in terms of the gospel of Christ. There are very few Bible-affirming Christians today who have made major contributions to contemporary culture. C. S. Lewis in literature is one name that comes to mind. In the last century, Pasteur and Lister were Christians who made major contributions to this world, but very few Christians today know that these men were Christians. Why not? Because Christians do not write the textbooks used by their own children. Humanists do. Then the bulk of Christian parents dutifully send their children into tax-supported public schools in order to learn "their" history. This has gone on for well over a century.
Orthodox Jews have not done much better. While Jews are dominant in almost every academic and professional field (except,
10. For instance, Aaron Levine argues that the Talmud supports the free enterprise economy. If he is correct - and Meir Tamari is somewhat skeptical - then Christians ean become beneficiaries of the Jews' adherenee to this tradition. See Levine, Free Enterprise and Jewish Law: Aspects ofJewish Business Ethics (New York Ktav, 1980).
oddly enough, politics, and also the military) — science, medicine, law, the arts, popular entertainment, finance - these leaders are very seldom Orthodox Jews. While the world hesitates between the competing economic views put forth by Jews - Karl Marx, Eduard Bernstein, or Paul Samuelson vs. Ludwig von Mises, F. A. Hayek, Murray Rothbard, or Milton Friedman - these are not the views of Orthodox Jews. There are a few Orthodox Jews who are also economists — Israel Kirzner, Aaron Levine, and Meir Tamari - but only Kirzner is academically prominent. Also, his professional writing does not reflect his Talmudic presuppositions. The hermetically sealed world of orthodoxy has not influenced the professional work of those few who have "crossed over" into acade-mia.11 This is equally true of orthodox Christians: they have entered the academic marketplace using humanist paraphernalia.
Do I exaggerate? Name one Orthodox Jewish medical school or one openly Trinitarian medical school. 12 A mark of such a school would be a provision that any faculty member or student who refuses to sign and re-sign an annual anti-abortion statement is immediately fired or expelled. Why? Because of Exodus 21:22-23: "If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life." If this is true of an accident during a fight, how much more for a self-conscious abortion. Try getting such an expulsion clause pasta state accreditation committee of the American Medical Association! The medical schools and the AMA have long-since abandoned the anti-abortion clause in the traditional oath of Hippocrates. We are today the servants of our mortal enemies. We submit to their "toleration" or else forfeit our professional careers. The leeks and onions of Egypt still have
11. Recent exceptions in economics are books - unknown books, professionally speaking — by Levine and Tamari.
12. There is Loma Linda Medical School in California. It is run by Seventh Day Adventists. It is the medical school that Jews and Christians should attend.
a broad market.
If the words of Paul are to be honored, Christians as self-conscious Christians must begin to offer an alternative to the disintegrating culture of our day. If we achieve nothing worth becoming jealous about, we will fail in the task of evangelizing the Jews. And the Church has been given this special task by Paul, for the Jews are still special in God's sight.
Orthodox Jews have long been ambivalent about this political experiment. This was especially true prior to 1948. Norden writes: "Some of the anti-Zionist rabbis split hairs - they intimated that although the new state could never do the messiah's job, it might, if it became truly Jewish, prepare the way for him." But then a non-Kosher fly appeared in the ointment:
Satan appeared in the person of David Ben-Gurion, Zionist hero and Israel's first Prime Minister. Here was a Jew who put all his considerable energy into the forging of a New Jew, one without skullcap or earlocks, a Jew who would use Hebrew in the street, who would eat whatever he liked, who would know much of the Bible by heart but none of the Talmud, who would read Plato in the original and do yoga, who would be a farmer, a cop, a scientist, a soldier in his own nation-state. BG was a hard-nosed kind of visionary. Unlike Martin Buber up at the Hebrew University, he was blessed with a biography and an ideology preempting sentimentality about the black coats. He knew they were not picturesque and heartwarming.'3
These are the words of a decidedly non-Orthodox Jew, but nonetheless an accurate summary of the choice faced by anti-Zionist Jews in 1948. The war launched against Israel by the Arabs is what silenced the Orthodox critics of the state of Israel, as is depicted memorably in the movie, 7" Chosen. Up until that time, Rebbe Saunders' outrage against "Ben-Gurion and his hench
13. Edward Norden, "Behind 'Who Is a Jew': A Letter from Jerusalem," Commentary (April 1989), p. 22.
men" was representative.
What should the Christian's view of the state of Israel be? It should be analogous to the views of those ambivalent rabbis: the State of Israel may prepare the way for the eschatological event of the conversion of the Jews. We cannot say for sure. We cannot rule it out, certainly. But to say more than this is to confuse secular concerns with theology, to adopt a particular foreign policy for the wrong reason.
What Western nations need to do is to pursue foreign policies based on the quest for peace. Foreign policy has very limited tools at its disposal. Its job is not to meddle in the internal affairs of other nations if those nations do not threaten the survival of the country. Between the extremes of war and peace, there is not much that foreign policy can or should do. As in inter-religious relations, the general principle of foreign policy is: for the sake of the peace.
It should not be the goal of any nation to tell the state of Israel how to run its internal affairs, unless that country is persuaded that the Israeli government is threatening its security in some way. At the same time, it should not be any nation's goal to subsidize evil through foreign aid payments. The primary goal of the West should be to stay out of the internal affairs of the nations of the Middle East except where the actions of some nation clearly the peace of the West. For example, had Iraq declared war on Israel in response to the surprise attack by the Israeli Air Force on Iraq's nuclear power facility in 1981, when Iraq was in a war with Iran, it would not have been the responsibility of the U.S. government to send the Marines into Israel to fight Iraqui troops. On the other hand, if the U.S. ship Liberty really was a spy ship relaying information to the U.S. military regarding Israeli war efforts against Egypt during the six-day war in 1967, it was wise for the U.S. government to do exactly what it did do in response to Israel's sinking of that ship: nothing. The Israelis probably suspected that the information would go from Washington to Moscow to Cairo. The American government probably was doing this, and so decided to suppress all information about the incident. Israel then formally apologized.
Most important, Christians need to begin a full-scale program of evangelizing all residents of the state of Israel. There are few efforts in this regard at present. American fundamentalists treat the Jews of Israel as if they were not in need of the gospel as the Arabs of Israel are. Israeli Jews need this message of redemption as much as African natives do, and everyone else does. (Such evangelism should never involve cash payments to converts for "making a decision for Christ. " While I am unaware of any Christian group that has done this, the Israeli government used this alleged practice as a justification for passing the 1977 law which threatens a five-year prison term for Christians or anyone else who pay Jews to convert.) 14
One thing is certain: the state of Israel has been an ally of the United States. The United States has developed a deserved reputation as an ally that cannot be trusted. Mainland China learned this in 1949; 15 Cuba Learned in 1959; 16 South Vietnam learned in 1975;17 Nicaragua learned in 1979.18 When will the foreign policy "experts" of the United States begin to avoid the havoc which their policy of "abandon ship when Communist rebels object sufficiently" has created? In 1978, I reprinted sociologist Peter Berger's New York Times essay, "The 'Boat People': Symbol of U.S. Failure." Berger wrote about the little boats in the China Sea filled with
14. If this law is ever used to prohibit such things as offering tuition vouchers to send a convert's children to a Christian day school, then it will become clear that the law is being misused against the Israeli constitution, which permits freedom of worship,
15. Anthony Kubek, How the Far East Was Lost: American Polity and the Creation of Communist China, 1941-1949(Chicago: Regnery, 1963).
16. Earl E. T. Smith, The Fourth Floor: An Account oft/u Castro Communist Resolution (New York Random House, 1962). Smith was U.S. Ambassador to Cuba in 1959.
17. Hilaire du Berrier, Background to Betrayal: The Tragedy of Vietnam (Los Angeles: Western Islands, 1965). The author saw what was coming a decade before it happened. The author has told me that the paperback version was tempered with by an editor, and that the hardback is more accurate, butl have never located a copy.
18. Anastasio Somoza, Nicaragua Betrayed (Los Angeles: Western Islands, 1980)
refugees from Vietnam. He laid it on the line: "These boats bear a message. It is a simple and ugly message: Here is what happens to those who put their trust in the United States of America."19
For this reason, I am not one to recommend abandoning the state of Israel. We do not need another flotilla of boats with this message stitched into their sails: "Made in the USA."
There is no escape from the ultimate conflict between Christianity and all other religions, including Judaism. There are rival covenants at stake. Paul made it clear regarding the future of all rival covenants and religions: "Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he bath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death" (I Corinthians 15:2426).
All covenants have five features: 1) a source of sovereignty, 2) a hierarchical system of representative law enforcement, 3) a system of laws, 4) a system of bringing sanctions, and 5) a system of ratification over time (covenant renewal) .20 There are only three covenantal institutions: family, church, and state.21 There is no escape from the need to establish law and order in any of these lawful institutions. The question is: Whose law? The question is: Whose order?
What all Christians and Jews need to recognize is that God requires obedience to His law. Christians have for centuries dealt with this problem by denying the continuing validity of God's covenant law-order. This has led them straight into the clutches of the modern pagans, the humanists. After all, you cannot expect
19. Peter Berger, "The 'Boat People': Symbol of U.S. Failure," Journal of Christian Reconstruction, V (Summer 1978), p. 12. Reprinted from the New YorkTimes (Feb. 14, 1978).
20. Ray R. Sutton, That You May Prosper: Dominion By Covenant (Tyler, Texas: Institute for Christian Economics, 1987), chaps. 1-5.
to beat something with nothing. If there is no uniquely Christian body of law, then there is no effective way for Christians either to criticize or to reform the present world order. They have been steadily absorbed culturally by the surrounding pagan humanist culture.
Covenant-breaking Orthodox Jews have dealt with the problem is a different way: to create a separate legal tradition that officially claims continuity with the Old Covenant, but which in fact is a monumental counterfeit. Since the late eighteenth century, more and more Jews have abandoned this counterfeit covenant law-order, as they have become steadily assimilated into the surrounding pagan humanist culture. They have abandoned the creeds of Orthodoxy for other creeds - creeds far closer to humanism, but which still go by the label Judaism. This phenomenon has been called non-Jewish Judaism; it is adhered to by non-Jewish Jews.22
It is my prayer that Christians will become faithful once again to the full-orbed New Covenant, as witnessed by their adherence to His revealed law. I also pray that pagan humanists of all varieties will also affirm the legitimacy of this covenant and abandon their own. But, finally, I pray that the Jews of all varieties may abandon their false covenants — Orthodox Jews the counterfeit Old Covenant of the Talmud; Conservative and Reform Jews the counterfeit covenant of the Rights of Autonomous Man. May the latter cease to mouth such babble as this: "The main division theologically between people today is between those who have adapted to the secular age and those who have rejected it."2J The answer is Jesus Christ,
Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created
22. Isaac Deutscher, The Non-Jewish Jew and other essays (New York Hill & Wang, 1968).
23. "Giving Judaism a Humanist Face," Insight (May 4, 1987). The article features the ministry of Rabbi Sherwin T. Wine.
by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now bath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblamable and unreproveable in his sight (Colossians 1:15-23).
The Messiah has come. Do not pray for His return if you deny that He has come. When He returns again, it will be to enforce the eternal sanctions of His covenant. There will be no escape then. "For there is no respect of persons with God. For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified" (Remans 2:11-13). The law is comprehensive; you are allowed not one mistake. "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all" (James 2:10). But there is hope: "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Remans 6:23). And again: "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life" (Remans 5:8-10).
Covenant: Make One, Break One
This is God's promise of covenantal hope to both Jew and gentile. You can appropriate this promise today. "For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (II Corinthians 6:2). We can restore man's lost covenantal unity. This promise is to all mankind: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians3:28). "Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all" (Colossians 3:11).
All it will take is for you to break the terms of your present covenant. You must become a traitor to your faith, as Rahab did so long ago: "Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by the Lord, since I have shewed you kindness, that ye will also shew kindness unto my father's house, and give me a true token: And that ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death" (Joshua 2:12-13). There is no other way. God takes His covenant seriously. The cost is high, as Jesus Christ declared:
Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: 1 came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it (Matthew 10:34-39).
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