A Facebook friend of mine who is a former Christian (now following Judaism), posted a thought on the topic of Judaism vs. Christianity. One commenter, advocating Christianity as opposed to Judaism, left the following comment, partially in response to my own comment in the thread (I have removed other users’ names from these remarks to preserve their privacy):
I really feel sorry for you all, you are under such bondage to be following the ways of the Jews. The Jews were God’s chosen people but how will they be saved?? The Old Testament was and is to show that no one is righteous and that All are in need of a Savior. I’m not attacking anyone I am only stating facts. John 3:3 Nicodemus (a Hugh priest) was talking to Jesus and Jesus told him that unless one is born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God. What does it mean to be born again?? As Jesus says in John 3:8 “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit. Rafi, you miss the point, we are all sinners no one sin is worse than another God hates all sin. Will animal sacrifice save you from your sin?? The Lamb of God was sacrificed for all sin.
I can only reiterate that you would seek God with all your heart pray and ask Him to open the Scriptures to you yes even the New Testament. To carry on a conversation with someone with a stubborn heart is pointless but I will pray that Jesus will open your eyes and you will come to his saving grace. If you want to listen to a good teacher, listen to Ravi Zacharias.
My response (name obscured to preserve privacy):
With love deep in my heart, in the words of God’s prophet Isaiah, “Let us reason together” (1:18). Are we under bondage to follow the ways of the Jews? What I think doesn’t matter, nor does what you think. What matters, I believe you will agree, is only what GOD thinks. And He told us. “Thus saith the LORD of hosts: In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold, out of all the languages of the nations, shall even take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying: We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you'” (Zechariah 8:23).
Does the “Old Testament” show that no one is righteous and all are in need of a savior? GOD says differently: “But if the wicked turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all My statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of his transgressions that he hath committed shall be remembered against him; for his righteousness that he hath done he shall live” (Ezekiel 18:21-22).
There is NOTHING in “Old Testament” (i.e. the Hebrew Scriptures) about a human being required to save man from his sins. Rather, the prophets all declared in a single voice that man is responsible for his own righteousness and CAN ACHIEVE IT, and that forgiveness is granted through heartfelt repentance. “And thou shalt return and hearken to the voice of the LORD, and do all His commandments which I command thee this day” (Deuteronomy 30:8). “It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say: ‘Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, and make us to hear it, that we may do it?’ Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say: ‘Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, and make us to hear it, that we may do it?’ But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it” (ibid v. 12-14).
What of animal sacrifices? You are correct. We are not presently able to offer animals for the expiation of sin. What does God have to say on the matter? “Take with you words, and return unto the LORD; say unto Him: ‘Forgive all iniquity, and accept that which is good; so will we render for bullocks the offering of our lips” (Hosea 14:3). That’s right, we pray and repent with a broken heart and contrite spirit, and God promises us forgiveness. No shedding of blood. No “savior” necessary. “For Thou delightest not in sacrifice, else would I give it; Thou hast no pleasure in burnt-offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise” (Psalms 51:18-19). Was King David a liar? Was God lying when he informed David through the prophet Nathan, “The LORD also hath put away thy sin” (II Samuel 12:13), with only the confession of his lips, yet no sacrifice or savior?
You see, T—-, the teachings of the “New Testament” are OPPOSED by the God who speaks to us in the “Old Testament.” These two testaments could not have been spoken by the same God. Since there is only one God (I imagine you would agree), that means that one of these was not from the mind of God, but from the heart of man. As for me, I will remain with God. I hope you will join me here.
(Image from onemilliondads.com)