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True2Ourselves Forums   > Community Topics > Theology  > What does it mean-God's chosen people?

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Old 08-26-2009, 08:24 AM
peacebwithu
 
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Default What does it mean-God's chosen people?

I believe this information gives the most correct explanation as to what being God's "chosen people" truly means.


From wikipedia:
Conservative Judaism and its Israeli counterpart Masorti Judaism, views the concept of chosenness in this way:

Few beliefs have been subject to as much misunderstanding as the "Chosen People" doctrine. The Torah and the Prophets clearly stated that this does not imply any innate Jewish superiority. In the words of Amos (3:2) "You alone have I singled out of all the families of the earth - that is why I will call you to account for your iniquities". The Torah tells us that we are to be "a kingdom of priests and a holy nation" with obligations and duties which flowed from our willingness to accept this status. Far from being a license for special privilege, it entailed additional responsibilities not only toward God but to our fellow human beings. As expressed in the blessing at the reading of the Torah, our people have always felt it to be a privilege to be selected for such a purpose. For the modern traditional Jew, the doctrine of the election and the covenant of Israel offers a purpose for Jewish existence which transcends its own self interests. It suggests that because of our special history and unique heritage we are in a position to demonstrate that a people that takes seriously the idea of being covenanted with God can not only thrive in the face of oppression, but can be a source of blessing to its children and its neighbors. It obligates us to build a just and compassionate society throughout the world and especially in the land of Israel where we may teach by example what it means to be a "covenant people, a light unto the nations.[10]

Rabbi Reuven Hammer of Masorti Judaism comments on the excised sentence in the Aleinu prayer mentioned above:

Originally the text read that God has not made us like the nations who "bow down to nothingless and vanity, and pray to an impotent god," ...In the Middle Ages these words were censored, since the church believed they were an insult to Christianity. Omitting them tends to give the impression that the Aleinu teaches that we are both different and better than others. The actual intent is to say that we are thankful that God has enlightened us so that, unlike the pagans, we worship the true God and not idols. There is no inherent superiority in being Jewish, but we do assert the superiority of monotheistic belief over paganism. Although paganism still exists today, we are no longer the only ones to have a belief in one God.[11]

[edit] Reform Judaism

Reform Judaism views the concept of chosenness in this way:

Throughout the ages it has been Israel's mission to witness to the Divine in the face of every form of paganism and materialism. We regard it as our historic task to cooperate with all men in the establishment of the kingdom of God, of universal brotherhood, Justice, truth and peace on earth. This is our Messianic goal.[12]

In 1999 the Reform movement stated:

We affirm that the Jewish people are bound to God by an eternal covenant, as reflected in our varied understandings of Creation, Revelation and Redemption....We are Israel, a people aspiring to holiness, singled out through our ancient covenant and our unique history among the nations to be witnesses to God's presence. We are linked by that covenant and that history to all Jews in every age and place.[13]

Last edited by peacebwithu : 08-26-2009 at 04:16 PM. Reason: to clarify the term "chosen people"
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Old 08-26-2009, 08:42 AM
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Default Re: What does it mean-God's chosen people?

Welcome to the forum Peacebewithyou. I am not thinking well enough now to remark very intelligently, but I see you are from Ga. I work in NE georgia in rabun county, how far away are we from each other? You can pm me if you dont wish to list it on open forum.
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Knowledge and Wisdom are both good and worth finding, but they also have truly bad downsides, just study the life of Solomon to see the truth of this. Love does not puff up. Perfect Love drives out pride. Faith, Hope, and Love are the greatest of all things we can strive for, and the greatest of these are Love. Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart and lean NOT on your own understanding. In all your ways aknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.
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Old 08-26-2009, 09:00 AM
diebamted21
 
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Default Re: What does it mean-God's chosen people?

Permit me to repeat a relevant extract from a previous post.

How about if I ask you to come with me, back to the time beginning with the introduction of the Church of Christ, and ending with the death of the last of the original twelve apostles

Almost all of the ‘players’ were Jews.... one of the most fervently religious of all nations.... steeped in the expectation that a Messiah would re-establish the scattered Kingdom of Israel .... possessing their own unique set of God given written ‘Scriptures’.... all having been intended to serve as a schoolmaster and as a shadow pointer towards Christ who was to be that Messiah, and towards the real Kingdom which, being spiritual and ‘of Heaven’, would be a ‘NEW JERUSALEM’ into which all men of faith (in such as God revealed to them) would be grafted whatever their nationality.

The fervour of the Jew’s resistance against Christ’s revelation of the subtle difference between their expectation and the reality was so vehement that it culminated in their crucifixion of Christ..... and the controversial perpetuation of their rejection kept ‘alive’ the significance of Christ and his gospel for 2000 years (all as intended and planned by God IMHO)

That’s the backcloth to our journey back in time, and the difference between the Jew’s expectation of the restoration of a material Kingdom, and the reality of God’s provision of a spiritual Kingdom, which is the key to what we’re talking about.

Mike
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Old 08-26-2009, 12:05 PM
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Default Re: What does it mean-God's chosen people?

Welcome PBWY. I like the assertion of greater responsibility as opposed to greater license. With man of course this didn't last long. But It is easy to see that God fully intended for the nation of Israel to shine as a beacon to all the nations. Even the placement of the promised land was a part of this plan. They were placed at the crossroads of three continents, Europe, Africa and Asia. There were few ways to travel from one to the other with out passing by the lighthouse of Israel. Travelers were drawn to places of refuge and sometimes stayed for a long time. This would have drawn an enormous number of peoples in close to the light. Of course the arm of flesh failed. But what could have been! The world evangelized with out taking a step outside the country.
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Old 08-27-2009, 07:22 PM
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Default Re: What does it mean-God's chosen people?

----------------------------

Last edited by colin : 08-27-2009 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 08-29-2009, 09:59 AM
peacebwithu
 
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Default Re: What does it mean-God's chosen people?

I appreciate the replies so far. This is my first thread and I am new to the forum so please bear with me if I don't get it quite right.
I posted this because I wanted to share something that I researched years ago. At the time I was a member of a christian group whose views centered on the "chosen people" doctrine. But I was troubled by the fact that being a christian group, that they would be speaking with views and interpretations that showed racism, hate and total disregard for the body of Christ worldwide.
When I disagreed with their views, they proceeded to attack me.
It became evident that they had read books or followed certain men with the same views. I wanted to research this "chosen people" doctrine to see if what they were saying was really what this doctrine meant to the people that they were speaking of so often. And I came across this information on wikipedia.
This information contradicted what they said.
If I may express some things, and I am not here to hurt anyone, because I know we all have strong views on certain things. But I have a serious problem with racism, hate, and supporting that which brings suffering, persecution and even death on those in the body of Christ worldwide.
I might not know much, but I do know that if I am going to put the kingdom first, I need to learn to love. I need to learn peace. I need to be especially concerned for my brothers and sisters worldwide. I need to pray for them.
And what good would it do for me to pray for them if I turn around and support something that is going to hurt them?
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Old 08-29-2009, 11:20 AM
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Default Re: What does it mean-God's chosen people?

It goes back to that "arm of flesh". Human are filled with a great many needs and desires. Most of these are not from the Holy Spirit. Without the Spirit we follow in the way of all flesh, motivated by jealousy, self preservation and greed. These can lead to hatred and strife. The only way to avoid this condition is to submit to the Holy Spirit and allow our hearts and minds to be transformed. Anytime one person or people set themselves up as "the people" of God, to the exclusion of others, it is a work of flesh. Flesh being the same motivational factor as in the animals.
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