Would it be fair to state that Judaism worships the Father, but not the Son? I am confused about this, can you help? If they only worship the Father, is that acceptable?
UK Apologetics Reply:
Firstly, the question must be asked: Is it even possible to only partly worship God? I really don't think so. Bear in mind 1 John 2:23:
No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also. (1 John 2:23).
The Bible makes it clear that in this age of the New Covenant and of the Church, Jesus has to be worshipped, He cannot be excluded. This is despite the claims of certain false preachers (like John Hagee) who claim that Jews are already okay with God if they accept the old covenant, no further evangelization of them being required, even if they reject Jesus Christ.
Okay, here are five points which I hope will help clarify this matter. By the way, the comments are certainly not anti-semitic but certain things do need to be clearly pointed out.
1. The Talmud Has Largely Replaced the Torah in Judaistic Teaching
Sometimes Christians are surprised to find that modern Judaism puts much more stress on obeying the Talmud (Jewish additional Bible-related writings), than on the Torah itself (the five books of Moses). In fact, Judaism spiritualizes away large sections of the Torah, it might be said that this is very convenient since the Torah does not even allow for modern Judaism, because the Torah is based on a currently existing and God-sanctioned temple! God allowed the temple at Jerusalem to be utterly destroyed in AD70 as an indication that the old covenant had concluded. Rabbis later developed Judaism as a way to get around this problem. Modern Judaism is about national identity and an effort to keep alive certain religious traditions but it has no biblical foundations. Many rabbis admit that Judaism is talmud-based, not Torah-based.
2. What is the Talmud Anyway?
The entire Talmud consists of 63 tractates, and in standard print amounts to over 6,200 pages long. It is written in Hebrew and also partly in Jewish Babylonian Aramaic and contains the teachings and opinions of thousands of rabbis (dating from before the Common Era through the fifth century C.E., that is up to about AD500). It covers a variety of subjects, including Halakha (law), Jewish ethics, philosophy, customs, history, lore and many other topics. The Talmud is the basis for all codes of Jewish law, and is widely quoted in rabbinic literature.
3. The Talmud Blasphemes Jesus
The Talmud blasphemes Jesus in a truly appalling way, some of the comments are so strong that I would not even consider quoting them on this website. This attitude of hatred towards Jesus and towards Christianity is often forgotten today but I don't think it should be, we need to face up to it. Jews, of course, continue to insist that they are the true children of Abraham, even when Scripture plainly states otherwise, leading to the next point.
4. Christians Alone Are Now the Children of Abraham
Let us pick up two or three Scriptures here:
37. I know that you are Abraham's descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word. 38. I am telling you what I have seen in the Father's presence, and you are doing what you have heard from your father." 39. "Abraham is our father," they answered. "If you were Abraham's children," said Jesus, "then you would do what Abraham did. (John 8: 37-39).
The Bible teaches that only true Christians should now be reckoned as the children of Abraham:
28. A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29. No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person's praise is not from other people, but from God. (Romans 2:28-29).
For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh. (Philippians 3:3).
If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:29).
So all the promises of Abraham are fulfilled in Christians, Christianity and the Church. The Israelitish peoples of the Old Testament (commonly called Jews today) now have no further inheritance unless and until they accept Christ; they now stand outside of the covenantal promises. Some will not like me stating this but I must be true to Scripture, my earnest desire for them is that they should repent and accept Christ.
Conclusion: Israel No Longer Properly Worships God
The statement that Israel no longer properly worships God is the only conclusion which one can arrive at when considering all of the facts. Today Israel worships both hedonism (Tel Aviv has been called 'the gay capital of the world'), and a form of religion (both extreme Judaistic orthodoxy and a very liberal form of Judaism). The extreme form of orthodoxy means that adherents of this sort will even refuse to push a lift/elevator button on the Sabbath day because it is considered 'work,' although (I am informed) some of them will hang around near elevators/lifts waiting for somebody else to push a lift button! Other extreme practices also occur, including various chantings, head bowings, the wearing of phylacteries (a small black leather box worn on the head at morning prayers as a reminder to keep the law), and much else. But most of this (though not all) is based more on the Talmud (writings of various rabbis), than on the Torah.
Robin A. Brace. March 25th, 2017.