Thanks to Roni for inviting me to share some thoughts with you about my faith. I would also like to introduce myself and tell you about the two books that I have written. I came to faith in Jesus the Messiah when I was in my late teens and have been travelling this journey ever since then.
Studying the Bible provides us with a pathway to knowing God. Jesus said, I am the way, the truth and the life.
I spent time ministering among the Marwari Bheel tribes in Pakistan and found them so eager to learn about the Word of God. Listen further to the audio programme about my experience in teaching them in Pakistan.
Even children are keen to ask questions about God. In studying theology we learn more about the Christian faith and discover more about God at the same time.
Details about my book Getting to Know God: An Introduction to Christian Theology.
Getting to Know God: An Introduction to Christian Theology, by Elisheva Mechanic. Resource Publications, Wipf and Stock Publishers. Paperback ISBN: 978-1-6667-0946-9 Hardback ISBN: 978-1-6667-0947-6 Ebook ISBN:978-1-6667-0948-3 Available from Amazon or directly from the Publisher, Wipf and Stock: https://wipfandstock.com
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How did you land up with a name like “Mechanic?” It is of Russian Jewish origin, and in the Russian language Mechanic means a technician or mechanic. My younger brother and I are the two most technically, practically and mechanically minded of our direct family. As far as I can tell all those who bear this surname are of eastern European origin.
When my wife and I visited Auschwitz in September 2021, Poland, in the hall that has the record of over 4,000,000 Jews that perished due to the Nazi genocide there were at least 25 Jewish name called “Mechanik or “Mechanic” or similar spelling.
What needs fixing?
That is an important question to ask. For as some great philosopher said, “The Universe is broken!”
Brokenness can be expressed in many different ways:
While there is scientific and physical evidence of brokenness, I am particularly concerned about the spiritual state of humankind. Everywhere we care to look we not that things are out of order and lay broken to some extent.
According to the Scriptures:
The Hebrew Scriptures and equally the New Testament Scriptures testify to the human condition. It was not always like that, but the more people turned away from God’s design for humankind the worse things got. In the beginning our common ancestors Adam and Eve lived in harmony with their creator and enjoyed fellowship with him. It was not God’s designer intention that humans should be like robots or puppets on a string. He gave us free will and the ability to choose between good and evil. According to Judaism we are given two inclinations––nefesh ha tov and nefesh ha rah. According to St Augustine in his attempt to explain the condition of human nature and the subsequent fall, as “original sin.” In contrast Judaism teaches that babies are born innocent, but as they grow mature they must begin to make moral choices that will lead in them either becoming good or bad people.
How are we to choose to live? According to Judaism to gain God’s favour it is an issue to which of the two inclinations that we yield to––the choice is unto us individually. If we want to be good then we should pay attention to the study of the Torah. In addition one must seek to keep the mitzvoth––commandments, show acts of mercy to our fellow human beings and practice tesuvah––repentance for our wrong doing. According to the Messianic/Christian faith, all of humankind have failed to live righteously and fall short of the glory of God. Salvation or deliverance is only possible through trusting in the ‘finished work of Messiah Yeshua,’ when he died on the Cursed Tree (Cross). All human virtue however good we may be, does not fulfil God’s way of making atonement. We cannot save ourselves!
God’s Part verse Our Part
We are the weaker and He is the stronger and we depend upon him to do his work in the world. In helping to play our part in Tikun Olam––Repairing the World, a partnership needs to be developed, a plan devised and then action begin to be taken.
As we face the New Year let us go forth with courage and hope trusting in God’s unending love.
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Yeshua said, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of people!”
What is a Jewish view of Jesus?
What is a Gentile view of Jesus?
* A Jewish perspective – then and now. * A Gentile perspective – then and now. * Exploring how perceptions are changing for the better.
The question what it means to be members of the One Body – Where there is neither Jew or Greek (Gentile)? Our present reality and future hope!
Yeshua said, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of people!”
“A Very Jewish Jesus!” * Yeshua lived as a Jew and how that should impact upon our faith?
Compassion between then and now – many attempts are made by well meaning people to recreate what the earliest manifestation of belief and faith was like in the first two centuries of the common era – is this an impossible dream or can it be achieved?
* A Jewish perspective – then and now. * A Gentile perspective – then and now.
* Exploring how perceptions are changing for the better. The question what it means to be members of the One Body – Where there is neither Jew or Greek (Gentile)?Our present reality and future hope! What kinds of congregation are we desiring to develop and how do these reflect the one universal body of Messiah Yeshua?Unity with diversity — the significance of difference without division?
What does it mean to become a “fisher of people?” How do we share the Good News of Yeshua in a culturally appropriate way?
Recently Roni and his wife Elisheva visited Cracow, Poland and in the Old Town they met a Catholic lady by the name of Sylvia at the Franciscan Convent – Sylvia is involved in an institute that fosters Catholic––Jewish dialogue and reconciliation.
Roni interviewed Sylvia in which they discussed a number of topics of mutual interest, including the Catholic Charismatic Movement that has lead to a number of “Born Again” Catholics who are helping to bring spiritual renewal within the Catholic Church.
Poland––Suffering and Tears through thorns and thistles
There are a number of Bishops, and Catholic priests that actively are encouraging this renewal. Including many lay people of whom Sylvia is one. WWII deaths caused by the occupying Nazis equally cause immense suffering to Poles as well of Jews. One in ten Polish people were Jewish before the Holocaust.Today only a fraction of that number remains. They also discussed “Victimhood,” who suffered more Jews of Gentiles in Poland? The ultimate goal is that Jews and Catholics may be reconciled.
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