What is a perfected or completed Jew?I think that the question somewhat betrays an inner belief that somehow Christians embrace Judaism as a legitimate alternate approach to God or that Christianity is just an extension of Judaism.. I think that some Messianic congregations arise around the idea that Christianity is a mere extension of Judaism. This idea often leads to a misunderstanding of grace and a return to the law and traditions of the Old Testament. Am I in trouble yet?
In the 9th chapter of Romans the apostle Paul makes a few astute observations about his Jewish roots and Abraham. He begins by expressing his deep grief over his Israeli brothers' and sisters' rejection of Jesus saying that he would.. if he could.. separate himself from Christ if it meant that they would come to know Christ. He then goes on to say:
But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel; nor are they all children because they are Abraham's descendants, but: "THROUGH ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS WILL BE NAMED." That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.So, I think that the idea of a perfected or completed Jew can lead to some strange ideas about what Jesus came to do. Those who follow Jesus are not perfected children of Abraham.. we are children of the promise made to Abraham regardless of our ancestry. Here is the promise as Paul tells it in another of his letters:
Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU." So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer. For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, "CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT ABIDE BY ALL THINGS WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, TO PERFORM THEM." Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, "THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH." However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, "HE WHO PRACTICES THEM SHALL LIVE BY THEM." Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us--for it is written, "CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE"-- in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (Galatians 3:7-14)I brought all of this up to bring a bit of clarity to Ann Coulter's remarks. I think that she would have done better to stay away from this 'perfected Jew' language. What do you think? And please keep your comments focused on the topic instead of on Ann Coulter ... this blog is rated PG-13. :)