Christians, how can I put this delicately? Okay, I can’t. So I’ll just say it. “It’s not all about you.” When the Bible speaks about Israel, it’s not talking about you. The End Times that you seem to get a bit overly excited about, are not all about you. And when the Bible speaks about a Temple, it’s literal, i.e. its about a building, it’s not waxing poetic about a figurative you.
Okay, I’ll be nice now. Because if you are a Christian I really do want you to keep reading. So let me start over with a little story. My sister and her husband just returned from a business trip to China. As their tour guide showed them Tiananmen Square she said, "I heard that there might have been some demonstrations here several years ago. But I've never been able to find out if that is true or not. Is it true?"
That is one of the saddest commentaries on life that I've heard in a long time. Suppression of information. Disinformation. People are kept from truth in so many areas, be it religion, health, governments, the economy, etc. Being a card-carrying Temple fanatic though, my thoughts quickly jumped to one particular subject in which people are sadly, and even pathetically uniformed or misinformed. The subject being Christians' beliefs about the Temple.
For those of you who don’t know, the Christian Bible consists of the Chistian books attached to the Tanach. It’s great on one hand that Christians can so conveniently read the Tanach. What’s not so great though, is a nasty little theological habit Christians have. They write-off whole books of the Tanach in favor of a belief they have based on one or two New Testament scriptures. This is partially how the Holy, awe-inspiring, haven of peace, dwelling place of God, desire of God, command of God became reduced to a temple for the malevolent boogeyman known as the anti-Christ. Christians read the lines in 2 Thessalonians 2:3&4 and snub everything the holy Prophets of Israel had to say about the importance of the Temple, not only in the past, but in the future as well.
So I’ll just stop right here and commence to begging. Please. Please. If you are a Christian who associates God’s Holy Temple as the temple of the anti-Christ, don’t do that. Ever again. Take a break from reading fictional books about the End Times. Take a break from reading theological guesses about the End Times. Instead read Books like Isaiah (especially chapter 2 & chapter 60). Read Ezekiel (especially from chapter 40 to the end of the Book.) Read educational material based on Jewish thought and theology. Come on, I dare you. And read these things without the ignorance or arrogance of “it’s all about me.” It’s not about you. It’s about Israel. Yes, Israel meaning the Jews. Still God’s chosen people; i.e. still the chosen representatives of God, still the Light to the nations.
I’m not interested in challenging all of Christian theology. But I know so many Christians who love and support Israel, yet remain clueless about the Temple. To them the Temple is just another game-piece in events they think must happen in the End Times.
When I read the following quote from the novel The Sweetness of Tears, I thought it was an apt, sad summation of most Christians’ mind-set about the Temple, “When I see your friends on television, going around rubbing their hands with glee at the thought of Armageddon, it makes me cringe. All this talk of End Times! It’s like they’re playing some kind of board game with the Bible. Like the war and death they see happening in the world is just another move forward, roll the dice, and full steam ahead. Yippee! Jesus is coming! And we’re all going to win!”
If you are going to get excited about the so called End Times then get excited about how an original Jewish source, Isaiah, said it would end. The affluence of the West will be turned over to Israel. Kings and leaders from the nations will lick the dust at the feet of the Jews. A Body of Justice will be established in Jerusalem that the entire world will look to for decisions. No more suppression of information or disinformation as the Torah will be taught to all and will be accepted as the supreme Truth. The Jews will live in peace and security in the Land of Israel. People from around the world will come to Jerusalem, to the Holy Temple, each Sabbath and New Moon to worship the God of Israel. And the Jewish leader and figure-head known as the Messiah will partake in the Divine Service and offerings at the rebuilt Holy Temple.
Not exactly the scenerio you are expecting? That’s okay. It will happen whether you believe it or not. But do you know what else could happen? You could let go of man-made traditions and theology and jump on board to God’s way of thinking. You could ask God to show you what to believe about the Temple and perhaps for the first time open your heart and mind to the beauty, the holiness, and the need for the Temple. Come on, I dare you.