Assembly of God/Gamliel's advice
QUESTION: You said in another answer:
As far as whether Paul or any other preacher was right about Jesus I refer you to the words of Gamaliel (Jewish scholar, tuitor of Paul) recorded in the Bible. He said basically that if what Paul and the Christians were saying was not of God it would just fade away but it hasn't faded away,
Would you then agree that Islam, Mormonism, Judaism, Freemasonry and even AA (all believe in God or some form of greater power) are likewise of God or have you misunderstood his advise?
On spiritual Israel (that post was removed because of the hate rhetoric the 'questioner' propagated), do you likewise claim the curses or just the blessings?
Thanks in advance
ANSWER: Hello Joel
Let me say I don't like argumentative questions because I think you have already formulated an opinion and you really don't want my answer if it differs from your opinion.
Not everything that speaks of God is of God. Gamaliel was well aware of who Christians were and what they were preaching. He could not have been unaware of Jesus. but to suggest that his words apply to someone whose teachings he could have no knowledge of is drawing a long bow and is an interpretional error. Judaism contains the teachings about God from observations over a long period of time and these teachings as imbodied in the Bible are foundational to Christianity however they are not foundational to Islam which is selective about which Jewish scriptures it uses and masonary rejects the Scriptures associated with Jesus. Masonary actually places man above God
So the question becomes if a person believes in God, in what God does he believe? The God described in the Bible and the Christian Scriptures or someone else. Does the Hindu believe in the same God as does the Christian? Obviously their views are completely opposed to the Muslim yet you would have us believe they speak of the same God. No man can fulfil the Law yet you would have us believe that religions that rely on law as in Judaism or Islam are on equal footing with Christianity which seeks relationship with God through jesus attoning sacrifice which the others do not believe in
I think you need to think again
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Thank you for your time and answer. On my first question, I believe you are taking a quote out of context to 'prove' your faith. Christianity was not known at the time of this encounter and Jesus as God did not come into play until well after it. Gamliel is telling the Apostle's fellow Jews that they should not harm the men because others (he quotes two by name) have likewise claimed to be something special (ie messiah) and they died before the messianic prophecies were fulfilled (like Jesus and many others did before and after this episode), so they were not messiah. He basically preached temperance in the situation saying, in other words, "it will work itself out so don't do something you'll regret". The sect of the Nazarenes, as it would have been known at the time, was a movement within Judaism. Gamliel's advice was true, as the sect later became its own religion and indeed faded away from Judaism. He of course could not have known the future history of Christianity at the time. I'm sure mainstream Christianity could say the same of Mormonism or the JW's who both base their faith on the Christian Scriptures but have become their own religions.
I understand that as a fundamentalist evangelical you cannot see the other side of the pancake or even fathom its existence, but you did not answer my second question. I truly wish to learn your take and am not here to play "my god is bigger than your god". Yes, we disagree on Israel and Judaism but that's ok. Life would be boring if we were all of the same cloth.
You speak about your first question I'll examine your questions again
"Would you then agree that Islam, Mormonism, Judaism, Freemasonry and even AA (all believe in God or some form of greater power) are likewise of God or have you misunderstood his advise?"
I think I answered this but to be very specific I don't think that Islam, Mormonism and Freemasonry are speaking about the same god. Mohammed decided there must only be one god out of the pantheon worshipped in Mecca and he chose the moon god, attributing some attributes of Judaism to that God, The Mormons believe that man became god and we all can become gods equal with god, the diety at the centre of freemasonry is Satan
"On spiritual Israel (that post was removed because of the hate rhetoric the 'questioner' propagated), do you likewise claim the curses or just the blessings?"
It is difficult to comment on a post that is no longer available but put it in this perspective all who would seek fulfil the law are subject to the curse of the law, only in Jesus Christ do we have redemption, through him we become spiritual Israel.
I have no argument with Gamaliel's perspective, by all means show tolerance and allow God to be God. Just because a movement might persist for a time doesn't prove it to be of God. Yes the early Christians were a jewish sect and might not have been called Christians but what they believed rapidly took them beyond Judaism even before they realised where they were going. the Jews did not want the believe that Jesus might be something more than man even when miracles were done in his name, but that doesn't invalidate their belief in God