In the story of the golden calf, we learn a very important fact about what HaShem will allow when it comes to worshipping Him. As the story goes, Moses had gone up on the mountain and left his brother Aaron in charge of the people. The people grew restless when they saw that Moses was late in returning. Fearing that he might not return they approached Aaron to complain about the situation. “1 When the people saw that Moses was late in coming down from the mountain, the people gathered against Aaron, and they said to him: “Come on! Make us gods that will go before us, because this man Moses, who brought us up from the land of Egypt we don’t know what has become of him.” So Aaron instructs the people to gather all of their golden earrings and he make the golden calf. Verse 5 is critical to understanding the story. “5 When Aaron saw [this], he built an altar in front of it, and Aaron proclaimed and said: “Tomorrow shall be a festival to the Lord.” Aaron made the altar to worship HaShem. Notice it says “a festival to the Lord”, not to the gods.
When HaShem saw what the people had done He instructs Moses, “7 And the Lord said to Moses: “Go, descend, for your people that you have brought up from the land of Egypt have acted corruptly. 8 They have quickly turned away from the path that I have commanded them; they have made themselves a molten calf! And they have prostrated themselves before it, slaughtered sacrifices to it, and said: ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who have brought you up from the land of Egypt.’ ” 9 And the Lord said to Moses: “I have seen this people and behold! they are a stiff-necked people. 10 Now leave Me alone, and My anger will be kindled against them so that I will annihilate them, and I will make you into a great nation.” It says “annihilate”. He was furious because they had chosen to worship in a way that was forbidden.
People today tend to think they can worship in any way they want. There are numerous different forms of worship today. The worship of a man is no different from the worship of that calf of gold. Exodus 20:3-6, “3 You shall not have the gods of others in My presence. 4 You shall not make for yourself a graven image or any likeness which is in the heavens above, which is on the earth below, or which is in the water beneath the earth. 5 You shall neither prostrate yourself before them nor worship them, for I, the Lord, your God, am a zealous God, Who visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the sons, upon the third and the fourth generation of those who hate Me, 6 and [I] perform loving kindness to thousands [of generations], to those who love Me and to those who keep My commandments.” What does it mean to have the gods of other in my presence? Rashi explains “the gods of others: Heb. אֱלֹהִים אִחֵרִים, which are not gods, but that others have made them for gods over themselves.”
Christians have decided to make for themselves a god and to place it in the presence of HaShem. In spite of all of the other problems Christianity has relating to the G-d of Abraham, this is by far the worst. You see, claiming that Jesus was the messiah is not the problem. Saying he is equal to HaShem is the problem. Worshiping him is the problem. Making images of him and bowing to them is the problem. If you are waiting on a Torah observant Jew to accept any of these things, you are fooling yourself.
So, how did Christianity happen? Weren’t Jesus and his disciples Jewish? How did the early church convince Torah observant Jews to accept Jesus as the son of G-d? The answer is simpler than you might think. They didn’t convince Torah observant Jews. They convinced Hellenistic Jews. The Hellenistic Jews had already adopted Greek culture between the end of the 4th and the beginning of the 3rd centuries BCE. Their culture and beliefs hadn’t been strictly Jewish in nature for centuries. At best, they were a watered down version of Judaism. By definition, they could not have been Torah observant and Hellenistic since the Torah prohibits learning the ways of other nations. Deuteronomy 18 forbids it. The prophet Jeremiah reiterated it in chapter 10, “1 Hearken to the word that the Lord spoke about you, O house of Israel. 2 So says the Lord: of the way of the nations you shall not learn, and from the signs of the heaven be not dismayed, for the nations are dismayed from them. 3 For the statutes of the peoples are vanity, for it is but a stock that one cut from the forest, the handiwork of a carpenter with a small axe.”
If Jews are forbidden to even learn the ways of the other nations, it is much worse to incorporate them into their worship of HaShem. What’s worse than this is the fact that Christianity, which is completely different than Judaism in every way, attempts to incorporate itself into Judaism, not the other way around. While it is true that the early Christians were Jews, those people were mostly gone by the end of the first century. From that point on Christianity was made up of Greeks, Romans, and the rest of the nations. By the fourth century, when the Christian bible was compiled, Christianity had become completely anti-Jewish. The gospels actually portray the Romans as the good guys.
You cannot worship HaShem in a way contrary to what His Torah prescribes. Anytime this has been tried, bad things happened. The incident of the golden calf caused the deaths of three thousand people. Aaron’s sons brought inappropriate fire before HaShem and were consumed by it. Christians, attempting to worship HaShem, in the name of their false deity will ultimately cause the deaths of countless people whom they have deceived. Those who worship a man, whether dead or alive, are guilty of the sin of idolatry.
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