I’ve been arrogant, arguing ironically with a facebook friend in the audience of our overlapping circles of fb friends. (You may care to see that irony if you keep reading.) “But he started it,” I rationalize to myself. “And what arrogance.” He wrote:
What sets Christianity apart from all other religions? The Atonement: “When WE WERE ENEMIES, we were RECONCILED to God by the death of His Son”-Romans 5:10.
So I wrote:
Don’t forget Yom Kippur.
Then he wrote some other, sharper things, on the theological divide between Christianity and Judaism. Then I wrote how Jewish Christianity really is (except among arrogant Western Christians); that parenthetical exceptional comment was just my thought bubble (but I think he and our fb friends reading saw it anyway). Then he wrote how Christianity “fulfilled” the “Old Testament” but that “Messianic Jews” can still practice Yom Kippur if they like. Then I shot back the main points and the summary argument of historian Daniel Stökl Ben Ezra (as in his carefully researched essay “‘Christians’ Observing ‘Jewish’ Festivals of Autumn” in Peter J. Tomson’s and Doris Lambers-Petry’s Image of the Judaeo-Christians in Ancient Jewish & Christian Literature, which I linked to at amazon.com as if he didn’t have it but needed to buy it and of course to read it); that parenthetical bit was no thought bubble. When did Jesus-followers stop observing Yom Kippur? was my rhetorical question. (Recently, relatively speaking, is Stökl Ben Ezra’s answer). But when would I stop with my arrogance? was the question I needed asking. He retorted with another point (and a kind gesture, a statement acknowledging my sharp points made, saying “I just wasn’t speaking of those. No harm done though!”).
“No harm done though!” What kind of kindness is that? But the statement kept resonating somewhere in me. And then my best friend, who’s also one of our mutual friends on fb, asked me face to face, “What are you hoping to do with that fb conversation?” “What” indeed?! And like a pin pricking an overstuffed waterballoon, his statement (or was it her question?) made me care that I was arrogant. I could now see how I was. “Forgive me,” I asked him in a private fb email, after deleting my puffed-up comments. And I just got his answer, just now: “yes.” More than that, he asked for mine, and, well, of course, of course. The lines drawn now, the separation, gets blurred (if not in the way, the arrogant self-important way, I was at first pushing for) now: forgiveness again