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Religious Magic
BANNED
 
God does not need protection from offensive things, He is infinitely omnipotent in all dimensions!
 
 
When God prohibits something it is because of the harm that it does to us – for He loves us, beyond measure!
 
So,
when God instructed Israel, during their migration to Canaan under Moses, that they were not to "boil a kid in its mother's milk" He was banning Canaanite religious magic to bring rain. We know this scientifically today from the archaeological discovery of the Urgarit tablets of ancient Canaan, so it is beyond debate (even if it has become entrenched as a religious dietary practice to separate meat and dairy).
Exodus 23:19; 34:26
Deuteronomy 14:21.
 
Unfortunately, medieval Jewish rabbis, during the development of the Jewish Talmud, which also incorporated the Pharisee interpretations of Scripture, did not, and so, in trying to find a meaning for this divine prohibition, interpreted it as a dietary instruction not to mix meat and dairy (a kosher rule). A better knowledge of Genesis, however, would have helped them avoid this error, for it informs us, in Chapter Eighteen verse 8,
that the patriarch Abraham himself personally served meat and dairy together to his special guests
 
 
But God's warning, to not practice religious magic to try and manipulate Him, continues to be violated in other ways today.
 
Sadly – A:  In Modern Judaism –  
In
preparing Israel for life in the land promised to Abraham's descendants, God said –
"these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
"
Meaning, that what God had said to them must be the conditioning factor in all their social, domestic, and personal life; governing their actions ("a sign on your hand"); their thinking ("frontlets between your eyes"); and all their social interaction ("on the doorposts of your house and on your gates").
Deuteronomy 6:6-9
 
Unfortunately, this life governed by God's Word to them was later dummed down to religious magic to manipulate God's blessing/protection upon them by binding phylacteries (containing a piece of Scripture parchment) to their forehead, back of the hand, and house doorpost, as can be seen even today when religious Jews gather at the so-called *Wailing Wall in Jerusalem.
*a wall built by Roman Emperor Hadrian in Jerusalem, from the stone debris of Israel's temple, to be a retaining wall for the temple of Jupiter above it.
 
This sin is not exclusive to Jewish history. It is a tendency in corrupt human nature to try to use religious practice as a 'lottery machine' by pressing the right 'numbers' to get God to perform in our favour.
 
If God banns something, it is not because He needs protection.
It is because He loves us and knows what does us damage in our relationship to Him,
which relationship is key to the purpose of our existence.
Sadly – B:  In Modern Christianity –  
 
At the so-called Last Supper, which was the Passover Feast celebrating the initiating of Israel’s deliverance from their Egyptian bondage that night, the Lord Jesus introduced a memorial-celebration which continues today under the names of Holy Communion, the Lord's Table, Eucharist, and Mass.
 
 
It is certain that, at that time, His disciples did not fully understand its significance, for even the idea that Jesus would be publicly scourged and crucified beside a highway outside Jerusalem was beyond their comprehension.
 
But the Holy Spirit later amplified the significance of this Christ-instructed practice
to help Christianity comprehend the consequence and the implications of His unique sacrifice,
as is later described, for all following generations, in First Corinthians Chapter Eleven.
Christ's
atonement was far more than a substitutionary payment for human sins. It opened the way for His people to become, by the God's gift of His Spirit, who had anointed Jesus at His baptism to make Him the Christ,
the living Body of Christ in this present world
in order to continue the ministry of Christ's gospel until it is completed in the whole world.
Matthew 24:14.
So,
Holy Communion is far more than a 'memorial' of the past.
It is a mutual celebration, by God's people, of their new corporate identity as His spiritual Body
as a consequence of His divine atonement!
 
 
Therefore, they were instructed to break the 'bread' together first (before taking the cup) for it represents their mutually shared identity as His Body today, before drinking the 'cup' in celebration of their New Covenant relationship to God entered into through Christ.
 
This was
to set a moment of correction in relationships among them as one Body, therefore is says "wait for one another" as being more than an issue of timing, but is the vital issue of spiritual unity in personal relationships, a commitment to each other's welfare (spelled as 'love')!
1 Corinthians 11:17-34.
Unfortunately, the distinction in practical meaning between the bread and the cup of Communion has been generally lost in 'Christian' practice.
This
special meaning is emphasised in Holy Scripture in the words –
"Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner* will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the Body eats and drinks judgment on himself.
That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.... So then,
my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for one another
"
This is therefore set as a regular moment of relationship correction within the continuing faith of the disciples of Christ
as His representative Body on this earth!
1 Corinthians
11:27-30, 33.
*concerning
relationships
Therefore,
to turn this into a special religious event to secure individual blessing by having a prayed-over piece of wine-dipped-wafer place on one's tongue by an officiating priest is to loose all meaning of this special Christian-fellowship corrective thanksgiving event.
There is no religious magic in Christianity in any form whatsoever!
Holy Communion
is also far more than
a memorial observance!
to which is has been
debased in many
Protestant churches
 
God's schedule of purpose in our world does not accommodate disobedience, in any form. There is no time provided for disobedience.
It is beyond time allowed for correction, hence the punitive warning: "many of you are weak and ill, and some have died".
 
It is not offending a symbol that is the issue.
It is offending the spiritual nature of the Body of Christ in its unity as one,
in the love of God and in the mission of the Spirit to the gospel mandate of Christ.
 


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