Originally Posted by 2bluefish
That's really interesting christianmom - interesting how your Jewish upbringing influences the way you view Chrisitianity and what it means to be "born again". For me it was different. It was so *comfortable* to pray a prayer and be assured that my life has a definate purpose, there is a greater plan for my life, and when I die, I will go on to live with God and my believing family in a beautiful city in the sky. It was so easy to be happy and optimistic when I had this assurance - blessed assurance. This Jewish focus on the here and now is so difficult for me. The here and now is hard; it is a struggle - it's tears; it's pain. I guess my knowledge of Judaism isn't vast enough yet to give me the asssurances I used to have. I feel like I have the rug pulled out from under me. We left Christianity, because we disagree with the pagan influences in the religion, as well as many doctrinal issues (we don't believe Jesus is Hashem). And yet we are just baby Jews and don't have the maturity we felt we had as Christians. But I understand what you mean about "enjoyment of the Lord in my life right now." I'm barely hanging on to that by my fingernails. I don't see any reason why Jews can't enjoy a personal relationship with Hashem, and in fact I know many do. But in a Reform synagogue you really have to keep your eyes peeled for those folks...
I am sorry that you are having a tough time. I guess I can see how it might be comforting to believe that even though life sucks, we will have a wonderful reward after we die. But, to me that is still gambling on an unknown future and does not help anything right now. When I was 18, my mother died of cancer. I decided that life was uncertain, you never knew when you might die, so I should party and have fun while I could. That was not the right answer.
The answer is enjoying the Lord as our peace in all situations.
Some of my favorite Bible verses are:
|Philippians 4:6 In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
7 And the peace of God, which surpasses every man's understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.
I like those verses because they do not say to let your requests be made known to God and He will give you what you ask for, but that He will give you His peace. And that is my experience. Before I was born again and had Christ living in me, I did not know or enjoy the Lord or have any peace from Him. Now I do. Now, I can turn my heart to Him in prayer and no matter what the situation is, I can enjoy Him as my peace.
I am not saying that Jews cannot have a personal relationship with the Lord - just that I did not, nor did I know any who did.
I also disagree with the pagan and other influences in Christianity and don't celebrate Christmas or Easter and I think even the Christian beliefs about life after death are influenced by pagan and Egyptian and other beliefs as well.
As far as Jesus being God - I really cannot explain how God is triune (three/one), I just know from my experience of Him that He is. Before, I was not even sure if God existed or not, but when I prayed to Him as Jesus, He came into me as my life and He now lives in me and I know Him and experience Him and enjoy Him and have Him with me always and that is so wonderful that I don't need to try to understand the "how" part of it.
There is a greater plan for your life, and it is for now, not after you die, and I do pray that you will come to enjoy the Lord as your life and peace.