Sunday, September 18, 2016

EVERYBODY IS BORN INTO A CULTURE AND THIS USUALLY MEANS THAT THEY ARE BORN ALSO INTO THE RELIGION OF THAT CULTURE. However, This Is Not Always The Case Because Their Parents May Not Believe In The So-called Religion Of That Is Predominant In Their Culture. Many people are in the minority and believe different to what the larger culture believes.

Harry Riches
Harry Riches

Jesus is often said to have been born into the Abrahamic religion of the Jews. He is  acknowledged by Muslims and Christians to have been born of a virgin, but not by Jews.
Jews will acknowledge that Jesus of Nazareth existed, but not His virgin birth as this would mean that He was God.
Muslims acknowledge that Jesus was born of a virgin, but refuse to acknowledge His death and resurrection as the only means by which they can be reconciled to God. To do so, would mean Muslims would have to become Christians.
Genuine Christians acknowledge Jesus as God because they have encountered Him after His resurrection. Every person who is a Christian acknowledges that Jesus paid the price for their sins when He died. They also recognize that Jesus was the Son of God in human form. Furthermore, genuine Christians accept that the Bible is the only written authority that carries the imprimatur of the Holy Spirit.
Religion is generally incorrectly defined along the lines of being a belief in unseen powers that govern the Universe, and because of which a variety of beliefs exist that have been organized into a system of doctrines and practices. These beliefs are taught to children as true and, along with the rest of their culture, are to be accepted as governing behavior for their lives.
The religion of most cultures is more along the lines of a human philosophy that incorporates the devotion to an object or an entity. The religion of Israel was God-given on Mount Sinai after the nation had been rescued from Egypt by crossing through the Red Sea on foot. Nevertheless, it still had cultural aspects and an individual requirement imposed on every person. The requirement beholden of every individual is the one element that singles out true religion from philosophy masquerading as religion: the personal quest for securing individual salvation. This is expressly emphasized within what God gave Moses.
One of the most tragic myths that pervades the globe is that religion is something that people are born into. People are born into cultures. They are never born into religion. Religion is something that a person makes a decision about--because it is about what happens when we die. However, no one makes a decision about being born into a culture.
Culture includes food, clothing, housing, family structure, social structure, social hierarchy, entertainment, sport, behavior, and beliefs. It just so happens that most people recognize that death is inevitable and therefore many cultures have different beliefs about life, its existence, eternity and why people die, apart from being purposely killed, having an accident or dying from illness or malfunctioning organs.
Jesus was born into the Hebrew culture of the Jews. The culture of Jesus' day was mixed. However, Jesus identified with the House of Israel, the seed of Abraham. The reason for this is Jesus was the only person who actually decided into which family He was going to be born. No one else has been able to make this choice.
The Apostle Paul when speaking of humility reveals Jesus decided to be born a human being.
  • Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.(Philippians 2:5-7)
Religion is really the quest for the truth. This is true religion is the quest for the truth. False religion is a distortion of this quest.
When you ask whether Jesus was born into a religion, your question appears to be premised on a common misunderstanding of religion. This is the view that religion is merely a set of rules and regulations that are a reference to practices that supposedly put people in the good books of their idea of a deity.
Not only is religion a quest for the truth when considering it from a human point of view, but the word "religion" has an inherent meaning that is often overlooked and dismissed. The word "religion" comes from the Latin "religare" and signifies "to tie back".
Jesus was born so that men could be tied back (or bound back) to God. Instead of being born to die and seemingly drifting off into non-existence, men and women can be brought back to the Heavenly Father through the death and resurrection of Lord Jesus Christ. To do this, Jesus had to demonstrate that He fulfilled the requirements of righteousness that had been outlined in the Ten Commandments. More than this, Jesus of Nazareth had to be crucified an innocent man, so that His life could be the ransom price for the first man Adam and his descendants.
Technically speaking, Jesus did not have to keep the ceremonial laws and regulations that were imposed upon the people who were brought out of Egypt when they miraculously crossed the Red Sea at present day Nuweiba. Nevertheless, in order to fulfill all righteousness, Jesus would have kept all the requirements of the Law. Although, the only laws that Jesus would have needed to keep to be righteous were those that do not violate human rights and the rights of the Heavenly Father.  These are adequately expressed in the Ten Commandments. These are what define sin. Without the Ten Commandments, the knowledge of sin is unknown, even if its effects are experienced as people unknowingly violate them.
The Son of God made a decision to take on human form and entered the body of the baby to which Mary gave birth while still a virgin. As soon as Mary gave birth, the Son of God entered the baby and the child was named Jesus. At this point, God was was reunited with humanity, but humans still needed to be legally reunited with the Heavenly Father. The God-man, as a child observed the way that had been revealed to Moses for people to draw near to our Heavenly Father. Though this included the sacrificial offerings of animals for sin, these sin offerings were only required for those who sinned. Yet, of themselves, these sacrifices were ineffective. They were instituted as a means of instruction and were never a means of salvation in themselves. Salvation has always required people to trust God to forgive them for their sins because they have forgiven other people for the sins committed against them. Nothing has changed.
However, the Son of God became part of the nation that had been created by God, for the express purpose of providing the means by which the divine plan, to bring redemption to every human being, could be executed and righteous judgment could be made.
Many people would say that Jesus was born into the Jewish religion. But this is not so. The Jewish religion is different to the instructions that were given to Moses, because it focuses on the Talmud and other writings. Both of these are different to what may be termed the religion of Abraham. Abraham worshiped the God that Melchizedek, the King of Salem, worshiped. The wine and the bread are symbolic of the Melchizedek priesthood and what Abraham acknowledged in respect to the Son of God and his salvation. Jesus of Nazareth is the promised seed of Abraham and reintroduced to His disciples the significance of the wine and the bread.
Abraham is said to have obeyed God's voice, kept His charge, commandments, statutes and laws.
One confrontational exchange between Jesus and some Jews  gives us clue as to what religion, if any, Jesus of Nazareth decided to identify with:
  • They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do what Abraham did, but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth which I heard from God; this is not what Abraham did." (John 8:39-40).
Given that religion—that is, true religion—is the quest for the way to be bound back to the truth, so that a person might know eternal life, to suggest that Son of God was born into a religion seems amiss. Jesus declared Himself to be the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6). Jesus, being God, had no need to bind Himself back to the Father. Yet we read that the Son of God emptied Himself of His God-form in order to take on the form of a human, as Jesus of Nazareth. In doing this,  Jesus was born to a woman from the tribe of Judah who adhered to the requirements of her religious expression towards God. However, we see that Jesus did not identify with the Jews but with Abraham, or should we say, Abraham chose to identify with the Son of God. For we read Jesus said to the Jews:
  • Your father Abraham rejoiced that he was to see my day; he saw it and was glad.”
  • The Jews then said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?”
  • Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” (John 8:56-58)
When all said and done, we have to say that Jesus identified as "I AM who I AM, and beside Me there is no other", even though He chose to identify also as the child of Mary and Joseph, who both identified as descending from King David of Israel and Abraham, according to their respective genealogies recorded in Luke and Matthew. It appears that Jesus identified as the seed of Abraham, but seemed to distance Himself from the Jews. In which case, rather than saying that Jesus was born into the religion of the Jews, we would be closer to the truth if we said Jesus was born into the religion of Abraham.

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