Of Crockett and Christ

CrockettTwo people who make my job at the Alamo more challenging are John Wayne and Walt Disney.  Their popular movie versions of the battle of the Alamo have influenced three generations, but they are full of myth, legend, and factual error.  That is why Alamo visitors are often disappointed to learn that what they had believed as truth is not truth at all.

This is especially the case concerning that famous Tennessee frontiersman, hunter, and politician, David Crockett.  During his life he made great effort to lift himself above his humble beginnings as a poor backwoods man and break into cultured society.  That is why he preferred to call himself David.  Yet he never could get away from the stereotype of “Davy Crockett” the great hunter.  Today people remember the frontier character who died at the Alamo, not the Congressman from Tennessee who was a champion of the poor.  This was illustrated by a conversation I had recently with a visitor at the Alamo.  After seeing our Crockett exhibits on display, she asked me, “Why do you call him David Crockett?”  I answered, “Because that’s what he called himself.”  Then she asked, “Why do we call him ‘Davy Crockett’?”  I answered, “Because Walt Disney told us to.” Please click here to continue reading

Fox Byte #2: A Commission

"The Garden of Eden" Erastus Salisbury Field
“The Garden of Eden”
Erastus Salisbury Field

To build on the Fox Byte #1, let’s assume that you decide you do believe this Supreme Being made the universe and everything in it.  Now what?  Why did God make all this?  Why did God make you?  We get close to the answer when we realize that God put humans in charge of all the earth (Genesis 1:28-30).  But what does that mean?  Maybe there’s an answer in these words:

“Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.”  (Genesis 2:15)

Oh, so we have a job?  Yes!  God made human beings to set this earth in order and make it productive. Please click here to continue reading

Fox Byte #1: In the Beginning

BFB140113 BeresheetThe very first words in the Bible are, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”  (Genesis 1:1).  If you believe that, then you shouldn’t have any trouble believing the rest of the book.  But do you believe it?  Let’s break it down a bit and see:

−  “In the beginning” means this happened at the very start of something, but we don’t exactly know what yet.

−  “God”.  Now we know who the actor is.  It’s some being identified as “God”.  But what exactly did this God do?

−  “Created”.  Looks like this God made something.  Specifically, God made something out of nothing, because that’s what “created” means.  But what did God create? Please click here to continue reading

Commonwealth and Cooperation: How Jews and Christians Can Work Together, Part III

This is the third in a three part series that addresses the implications of Christian support for Israel.

"A Jewish Wedding" Jozef Israëls
“A Jewish Wedding”
Jozef Israëls

The Commonwealth and the Symbol of Godly Marriage.

In Matthew 7:21-23, Yeshua says that in the Kingdom of Heaven He will declare that those who practice lawlessness, or Torahlessness, must depart from Him.  That is a sobering message, but consider it from another perspective.  God went through every conceivable obstacle to win his people back to Himself, even when we were not willing to acknowledge him.  The clearest picture we have of this is in marriage.  Here is what God said regarding marriage and divorce:

When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some uncleanness in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house, when she has departed from his house, and goes and becomes another man’s wife, if the latter husband detests her and writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house, or if the latter husband dies who took her as his wife, then her former husband who divorced her must not take her back to be his wife after she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before the Lord, and you shall not bring sin on the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance.  (Deuteronomy 24:1-4, NKJV, emphasis added) Please click here to continue reading

Commonwealth and Cooperation: How Jews and Christians Can Work Together Part II

This is the second in a three part series that addresses the implications of Christian support for Israel.

Moses and the Burning Bush Arnold Friberg
Moses and the Burning Bush
Arnold Friberg

Common Ground and Uncomfortable Differences

In defining the Commonwealth of Israel, let me begin be reviewing the things Christians and Jews have in common:

  • We all believe in the One True God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
  • We all believe that God has given His Holy Word to us so that we may know Him and have instructions on how to live.
  • We all believe that God will send his Messiah (Christ as the title appears in Greek) to teach us about himself and show the way to connect with God just as our ancestors Adam and Eve connected with him in the days before our unhindered relationship with God was broken.
  • We all believe that something has separated us from God, or at least prevents us from achieving our full created potential.  Christians call this original sin.  It is hard to generalize the various Jewish positions on this question.  Sin, when it factors into Jewish belief (Orthodox, Reformed, or Conservative), is defined much the same way that Christians define it as disobedience to God, or even as rebellion against God.  The result is the same:  separation from the Creator and inability to achieve his intent for humanity.

Please click here to continue reading