The Best (and Worst) of Twitter

2021 #1

Twitter. There’s a part that’s good. There is a part that is bad; and there is a part that you wouldn’t believe. Twitter, along with other social media platforms can be used for good. But, there are a lot of things you can find on Twitter’s Christian circles that are not that good. Perhaps you have seen comments on social media that are contrary to the Christian worldview. I’d like to take a look at those statements and comments to see if we can give an answer

#1. “Christianity is a fanfic of Judaism.”

What is a “fanfic” or fan fiction? Fan fiction is a story which features characters from a television or movie franchise. Many television and movie series have been the subject of fan fiction, such as Star Trek and Star Wars to name just a few. What would it mean to say that Christianity was a work of fan fiction from the foundation of Judaism? There was no information with the particular meaning of the Twitter comment, but it would be reasonable to say that the newfound faith in Christ was formed in the first century by the disciples of Jesus of Nazareth to compliment the Jewish faith.

Does Christianity stand as an offshoot of Judaism? Jesus Himself said that He came not to abolish the Law that had been given to Moses, but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17). Jesus saw Himself as being the ultimate fulfillment of the sacrificial system. His death on the cross would do what the regular schedule of sacrifices could not do: provide full forgiveness of sin and a relationship with God. As to the requirements of the Law, such as the dietary laws, Jesus made all foods clean (Mark 7:19). This was confirmed later to Peter in his vision of foods declared by God to be clean (Acts 10:9-16). The actions and teachings of Jesus and the apostles show that Christianity was not a tribute to Judaism, but putting something better in its place.

The Jerusalem Council, which was recorded in Acts 15, was not merely a business meeting or theological debate. It was a discussion of the future and what the new faith of Christianity would be. As Christians expanded their witness into non-Jewish areas, Gentiles were converted to the faith. Did those new believers have to adhere to the rules and rituals of Judaism in order to be saved? Some individuals taught that they did. Paul led in the opposite direction. Ultimately, the church sided with Paul, although the “Judaizers” would be a hindrance to Paul’s evangelistic ministry. The council decided not to impose the strictures of Jewish ceremony and ritual, such as circumcision, on Gentile converts. The leaders of the Christian church had, at that moment, closed the door to becoming a cult or an offshoot of Judaism. A few years later, the writer of the letter to the Hebrews called the Jewish law, and the covenant that came with it, to be “obsolete” (Hebrews 8:13).

The Hebrew Scriptures and the religion that came with them was the precursor to the new covenant and worldview that Jesus Christ introduced. We can learn much from what we call the Old Testament, such as how God worked among a specific people with the goal of being a blessing to the world (Genesis 26:4). That blessing came to fulfillment through the person and work of Jesus Christ. Christianity is not a “fanfic” of Judaism. Christianity is the completion of Judaism.

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