Religious, or Righteous,  and  Coffee
4 Jul 2020

Religious, or Righteous, and Coffee

Post by Barry Nalley

I was sitting and drinking a nice cup of coffee, and started writing, then had another cuppa, as this subject is very challenging for me, and I’ve ended up writing through my weekly shot of scotch…

When my friends ask me what my political affiliation is I simply say I’m Independent, and that’s not a political party! If I’m ‘pressed’ I explain that I will vote for whom I believe isn’t lying about what they will do for “US”, and follow up with “Like has nothing to do with it, either”… I respect a man or woman who keeps their word, and there really is transparency in truth OR lies. Likewise, if someone asks my religion, I say, “I’m Independent”.  If I’m pressed, this is what follows…

“I’ve learned that transparency may not help you go where you want to go

But it will help keep you from going where you’re not supposed to go,

And it will always help you go where you’re supposed to go”

*** Skeete ***

Some time ago, I attended a meeting, at a friends invitation; In this meeting I noted what seemed to be an inherent ”animosity” towards basic Christian religions. In his address the speaker focused a bit on the “Blind” faith of ‘Christians’. He spoke about differences between two major ‘religious’ groups.  The gist of the talk was one religion was good, and the other had.. shortcomings. Judaism vs Christianity… My friend asked what I thought about the presentation…

And… I’m an Independent…

My thought, as to religion, is that “Religion” is really a bit different than what the Good Book encourages, advises, and lays out for us for a better way of living.

For me, the Good Book, (Bible, or Torah) outlines for all of us, a way of living which leads to a good life; that life is based on a set of principles, grounded in Justice for all. G-d see’s every man as having the same value… A murderer, thief, liar, and the upright man ALL have the same value when standing before G-d. He leaves us free to choose our path, each path has either consequences, or rewards; there are only two choices, only…two! We are free to choose, right or wrong, paths of Blessings, Paths of curses, Life, or Death. What choice to make, what path to run on is entirely the choice of the individual. Choose well, choose wisely.

The Bible, the words within it, are a basic outline for a better way of living through G-d’s Outreach, while “Religion” is man’s effort to become acceptable to G-d. Problem is, all the rules that man has come up with only creates what is known as a “religious” man. And, Religiousness, is assuredly not Righteousness”!

Think about this; G-d lays out a set of Ten Words, or Commandants based on 613 Instructions. If we work to follow His instructions, He leads us on a way to Righteousness.

If we read carefully, we will find that G-d is concerned about our ‘walk’ towards a better way; He advises us to be careful to walk not too far to the left or right on the path He has set for us, if we are to live a full life.

The great Religions, whether it be Judaism, Christianity, Catholicism, or others, may have started out with that, but through the years, their leadership, and “clerics” have written out thousands (actually may be Hundreds of thousands for each) of individual Laws for “right” living… G-d’s way is simple, not simplistic, while man’s added rules are a complex, complicated, burdensome, and religious mass.

I want to stress that I’m not a “Biblical” scholar, but I do read, and think, and observe.    With that in mind, I believe the “Good Book” is nothing short of common-sense, practical, advice for healthy living. To me, as a common man, the words within that Book are meant to be straight forward.

It’s not mystical; Some things are puzzling, yes… But that causes me, should cause any who read it, to search for meaning through context, idiomatically, socially, and lifestyle studies, of the way of life when those words were spoken, or written. I have faith that G-d’s word is good; He does indeed always keep His word. He does not lie. He cannot; As Creator and King of the Universe, what He says, IS… He knows us by name, also! We aren’t just a number (I think that is, partially, what “Numbers” is about, as the people were counted by name…).

Counted by name…. There is another passage in the Good Book, (Isaiah), that tells us how Our father in Heaven really feels. “I could not, no!, never forget you!… I have engraved you into the palm of my hand…“, He says *paraphrased to those whom are called ‘His’. In His word we can have faith…

Faith… I had great respect for my dad; he always did what he said he’d do. I could trust him to do it, because I observed, that he did. I had faith in his word. He kept his word with others, not just family.

My faith in dad’s word, was founded on actuality.  He demonstrated Faith is not, and should never be, Blind.  Faith is, in fact, based on knowing and trusting ; I knew he kept his word, and I trusted him based on that constant. My faith was not blind.  I believe blind faith leads us to the ‘Rev Jim Jones’ of this world, and that is a really dead end path to be on!

I don’t believe denigrating any religion leads to good.  I do believe education, encouraging removal of practices that are wrong, and encouraging Bible-based living, is better!   I believe being a part of helping people enjoy a healthy relationship with G-d, based on His Word, is a healthy choice!

It’s difficult to answer and respond, scholastically, to challenges and commentary based on an individuals ‘blind-faith’ and beliefs that have been embedded from childhood. This is true for “Christians” or any belief system.   It’s a part of our schema and very discomforting when we must face well-organized challenges to things we’ve simply ‘grown up’ with, and have accepted without thought…   Many times we simply ‘DO’ based on what we were taught in childhood.  That can be problematic, both for the average believer and the entrenched Christian world educational system.    Challenges are OK, and we really do need to understand why we believe and what our beliefs are based on; that is important.

The problems facing, and either accepting or overcoming, challenges {truthful or otherwise} that cause us to effect changes to an entrenched system of beliefs for a ‘perceived’ G-dly way of life are a direct result of Christian Leadership’s basic, inherited, and continuing, dishonesty.  I say dishonesty because if The Scholastic teaching by our ‘Christian’ Universities is wrong, and not truly a part of what the Apostles taught in those early congregations, then they [Educational Leadership] have the responsibility to correct the teachings.

If the core [Scholastic and otherwise] of Christianity’s Leadership, who have understood for centuries, that the practices they teach, or allow to continue, are cause for separation between G-d’s people, then Leadership simply put is… wrong!

When practices are wrong and based in pagan origins, then Christian Leadership must take action to shed the practices.   If they [Leadership] cannot, or refuse to, correct and remove these practices, then men of Integrity must stand and insistently call for what is right.  There may be a number of ways for correction and resetting general Christianity on a right path – one through education [work to save the next generation], which really IS happening; it is a slow, tough process because its like tearing apart a monolith or stopping a juggernaut [politics and truly blind faith].

We see that some are quitting ‘mainstream’ Christianity, as well as Judaism, to start new congregations [there, also, politics and enmity are cause for lots of pain] – it’s difficult to tell which will be better, but… something has to be done!

My personal belief is that both (Judaism and Christianity) together are healthy. Why?  Well, because both from within, and from outside [messy messianics] are creating something which might help tear down a hedge that exists between siblings of G-d’s people; it’s difficult to tell who needs whom more! When puzzled about something I’ve read in the Good Book, I’ve always felt free to ask a Rabbi, or even search the ‘Talmud’, and interestingly, have found the same satisfaction in seeing same contextual answers, that I might get from, Marvin Wilson, David Bivin, Brad Young, and other respected Biblical scholars.

We are told by David [Psalms 51 and 86] that G-d desires obedience and values it over sacrifice; that tells me personally that correct teaching is paramount. Within Psalms is a repeat of how gracious G-d is and how much he desires us to have a spirit and heart He can work with. Pray that we will always be that way.

Those embedded practices, those that have been ‘borrowed’ from paganism, do not mean Christianity is inherently evil, or ungodly; it means wrong practices are not needed, not healthy for us, and must be stopped! Christianity, at its core, is of Hebraic origin; that cannot be refuted!  Shedding wrong practices will go a long way towards reconciliation between Judaism and Christianity, who at their core, at their roots, are siblings.

If we define “Religion” as man’s effort to reach G-d, then there are two ‘religions’ in the world which were absolutely not meant to be ‘Religions’; Judaism and Christianity [in original form] – Their foundation is identical and both of them were meant to outline the way of living a G-d centered life.

The instructions for this way of living were laid out for the people by G-d, and if one inadvertently, unthinkingly, erred G-d left instructions for what must occur to prevent permanent separation from HIM.

It’s vital [Jew and otherwise] to realize that this system wasn’t complete. It was in-process; it was temporary for at least a couple of reasons. One was that the priests weren’t infallible ; they weren’t perfect! The sacrifice wasn’t permanent; it had to be repeated again and again; and it wasn’t always…acceptable!

G-d didn’t break the rules HE made; He followed them perfectly so His plan for us could be perfectly completed for all of us for all time! He didn’t do away with us. He didn’t do away with His plan. He didn’t do away with His word, he didn’t do away with His promises and He didn’t negate or do away with Torah; He simply made it better for all of us. His Torah is still good, is to be still followed, and the New Covenant doesn’t do away with the ‘Old’; it simply makes it better! For.All.of.Us.     He didn’t change our ability to decide or choose the way we would live. The choice between a Life of Blessings or one of Curses is still there. Our choice…ours… and that should be cause for sober, careful thinking.

The Priesthoods’ duty was to help settle the debt incurred by the individual[s] involved; priestly meant helping with the propitiation and atonement for sin. There are some marvelous examples of a combination of righteousness and peace standing between the people and disaster shown when Moses and Aaron literally placed themselves between the people and the Judgment of G-d, and That picture is made perfect with Yeshua’s sacrifice and resurrection. We don’t focus on the stake, or ‘tree’ of death – that isn’t right! That’s NOT the choice.

We focus instead on understanding what the death of a perfect, innocent, obedient to G-d, man, and what Yeshua’s subsequent resurrection by G-d brought about for us…ALL of us. If we can do that I think we’re on the right track for understanding and right choice.

Christianity and Judaism aren’t meant to be separate; one provided basic-to-detailed instructions for the twelve tribes and the other provides the same basic but not all detailed [the issue is contractual] guidelines for those who became grafted or adopted in.*

Judaism and Christianity, are not supposed to be at ‘odds’ and are certainly not contrary at the core. The true core of Christianity isn’t intended to supplant, replace, or otherwise displace its older sibling. It is intended to make a way for the stranger to come in and become a part of the ‘Kingdom of Heaven.’ At the same time G-d’s plan also brings to perfection the Priesthoods ability.

G-d’s invitation was for ALL, and HE made a contract with those who ‘showed up.’ HE continues to honor that contract, and because HE is faithful and HIS ‘WORD’ is true, the contract is not, and never will be, negated. But also remember HE invited all – so HE continued with provisions. G-d’s people were to become priests to all the world so that all in the world might have the opportunity to be ‘in right standing, without debt, with G-d.

I believe that if we are searching for a ‘right way of living’, meaning our hearts desire is to serve the Living G-d, the G-d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, then first we can try our hardest to simply follow G-d’s instructions; Look at 1 Samuel, verse 22, along with David’s prayer in Psalm 51 verse 17 . See what G-d values. We know what is done for us through His sacrifice, we also can understand that our part is to lay down our will and take up His; we make ourselves available, above our personal selfish desires, to G-d, for Him to work. If He asks us to teach, we work hard, learn, and carefully work, to do it right!

So… what do I believe we do with ‘Christianity’? I believe simply that to be a part in helping us walk a correct, approved-by-G-d, path is what G-d desires. Simple? yes Simplistic? Absolutely not! Every-day- common-sense and practical living is key.

I am certain it won’t always be easy, …    and that’s because of ‘me’, not G-d.


(This is commentary, not a research paper but…. Some References for perusal.…)

Understanding the Difficult words of Jesus – Roy Blizzard and David Bivin

from Jewish School of Synoptic Research: Dr Robert L. Lindsey, Professor David Flusser, Brad H. Young, Halvor Ronning

Our Father Abraham* – Marvin R. Wilson

Some references as follows:

The High priest, Propitiation, atonement, sacrifice, the Mercy seat and Yeshua —>> 1 Tim 2:5, Lev 16:11-15, Rom 3:23-3:26, Ps 51:17, 1 Sam 15:22, Hebrews 5:1, Lev 8, Ezek 44:15-16, John 11:45-53, Heb 7:11

1 Timothy 2:5 (Complete Jewish Bible)  For God is one;[a] and there is but one Mediator between God and humanity, Yeshua the Messiah, himself human,  who gave himself as a ransom on behalf of all…

Yehudim in Moshiach 5:1 Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB) For every Kohen Gadol taken from among Bnei Adam is ordained for men for the avodas kodesh of Hashem, that he may offer both minchot (gifts) and zevakhim (sacrifices) for chatta’im (sins).

Ezekiel 44:15-16 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB) 15 “‘However, the cohanim, who are L’vi’im and descendants of Tzadok, who took care of my sanctuary when the people of Isra’el went astray from me — they are the ones who will approach me and serve me; it is they who will attend me and offer me the fat and the blood,’ says Adonai Elohim. 16 ‘They will enter my sanctuary, approach my table to minister to me and perform my service.

John 11:45-53 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)  45 At this, many of the Judeans who had come to visit Miryam, and had seen what Yeshua had done, trusted in him.    46 But some of them went off to the P’rushim and told them what he had done. 47 So the head cohanim and the P’rushim called a meeting of the Sanhedrin and said, “What are we going to do? — for this man is performing many miracles. 48 If we let him keep going on this way, everyone will trust in him, and the Romans will come and destroy both the Temple and the nation.” 49 But one of them, Kayafa, who was cohen gadol that year, said to them, “You people don’t know anything! 50 You don’t see that it’s better for you if one man dies on behalf of the people, so that the whole nation won’t be destroyed.” 51 Now he didn’t speak this way on his own initiative; rather, since he was cohen gadol that year, he was prophesying that Yeshua was about to die on behalf of the nation, 52 and not for the nation alone, but so that he might gather into one the scattered children of God.  53 From that day on, they made plans to have him put to death.

Hebrews 7:11 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)  11 Therefore, if it had been possible to reach the goal through the system of cohanim derived from Levi (since in connection with it, the people were given the Torah), what need would there have been for another, different kind of cohen, the one spoken of as to be compared with Malki-Tzedek and not to be compared with Aharon? (doesn’t this indicate that Jesus, or Yeshua, his Hebrew name, is of a Higher order of Priesthood?)

Understanding the Difficult words of Jesus – Roy Blizzard and David Bivin

Jewish School of Synoptic Research: Dr Robert L. Lindsey, Professor David Flusser, Brad H. Young, Halvor Ronning

Our Father Abraham – Marvin R. Wilson*


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