Christian and Jewish
How many times have we heard these phrases used as if the two were perfectly compatible and complimentary, especially when contrasting Us against the Muslim Them. Or the Mormon. In light of Mitt Romney’s Presidential campaign, this article by Richard John Neuhaus is making the rounds in the blogosphere. In it Rev Neuhaus uses some formulation of these stock phrases but, more specifically, writes the following:
Some have suggested that the LDS is a Christian derivative much as Christianity is a Jewish derivative, but that is surely wrong. The claim of Christianity is that its gospel of Jesus Christ is in thorough continuity with the Old Testament and historic Israel, that the Church is the New Israel, which means that it is the fulfillment of the promise that Israel would be "a light to the nations." The Church condemned Marcion’s rejection of the Old Testament, and she never presumed to rewrite or correct the Hebrew Scriptures on the basis of a new revelation. On the contrary, she insisted that the entirety of the old covenant bears witness to the new.
On what planet does Christianity not replace/supersede/obsolete Judaism? Only with eyes squinting nearly shut can you claim that Jesus (threw out the Jewish divorce laws) or Paul (threw out any reasonable interpretation of the Law completely) were only fulfilling the Torah. Ask a Jew if Christianity fulfills the Torah and see what answer you get.
Now, there are plenty of liberal “Christians” out there who view Judaism as an equally valid way of experiencing God. Unfortunately, the Rev Neuhaus’ Catholic Church and your average Evangelical are sending these Episcopalians to the same Hell they have reserved for the Jews. It is disingenuous in the extreme to adopt beliefs that invalidate 80% of what it means to be Jewish and denies them salvation and at the same time complain that Mormonism is too radically different from Christianity to remain a part of it.
The Judeo-Christian alliance works only so long as the Jewish participants don’t get too uppity and point out that their partner is only using them as a loincloth to cover their “anti-Semitism”. Or, were there ever any Jews in the alliance to begin with? Are people who like to drop the J-C bomb desperately trying to cling to the idea that their religion is based on anything more than a failed Galilean insurgent rabbi and a frustrated Cilician hanger-on.