Messianic Rabbi: What If Tevye Was Wrong?

by | Jul 20, 2022 | Purpose & Identity, Standing With Israel

In the movie Fiddler on the Roof, there is a scene where two men are arguing and Tevye tells two men on different sides of an issue that they are right, then someone challenges Tevye with the following words: “He’s right, and he’s right? They can’t both be right.”

Tevye replies: “You know, you are also right.” It is a funny moment in the movie; however, was Tevye’s answer correct?

I am often amazed by the dogmatic way some Bible believers argue about what they consider a biblical position as if their view of that position is the only possible position. I have painfully watched people end relationships over arguments of interpretation of Scripture.

But before I go on, please note I said interpretation of Scripture. There are those things that are plain text statements in Scripture that we must remain true to because they are foundational to our faith. However, there are many scriptural texts that can only be understood when we understand that, contrary to Tevye’s statement, both views not only can be right, but both views are right.

This is the difference between those who believe a glass must be either half full or half empty, when the truth is the glass is both half full and half empty. Let me provide an example of a biblical concept people argue about when, in truth, both views are correct. Let’s compare the following two statements from the writings of Paul:

“Now we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who are asleep, so that you may not grieve like the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Yeshua died and rose again, so with Him God will also bring those who have fallen asleep in Yeshua. For this we tell you, by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord shall in no way precede those who are asleep” (1 Thess. 4:13-15).

“Therefore we are always confident and know that while we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and at home with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:6-8).

First, we must note that Paul wrote both of these verses and both are speaking of what happens after we die. The Thessalonians verse says after death we sleep, and the Corinthians verse says after death we are at home with the Lord, or said another way, after we die, we go to heaven to be with Yeshua.

These verses, and others like them, have caused great debates and arguments. But, the truth is that Paul’s words in Thessalonians are right and Paul’s words in Corinthians are right. And yes, unlike Tevye’s challenger’s statement that both sides cannot be right, the truth is that both are correct.

To understand how both statements are accurate is to understand that in heaven there is no time. Time was created by G-D for us when He created the world. G-D dwells outside of time, and when we die and leave this world, we will also dwell outside of time.

In other words, when we die, the next thing we will know is that we will be with Yeshua. On a side note: this happens to every saved person all at once. No one is waiting for us in heaven and no one gets to heaven before us. You cannot get somewhere earlier than someone else if time doesn’t exist.

However, on this planet, within time, faithful people died thousands of years ago and, within the confines of time, they sleep waiting for the Resurrection. So, in Thessalonians, Paul was right, and in Corinthians, Paul was right. Two biblical passages can appear to disagree, even when written by the same author.

But, the appearance of disagreement doesn’t mean that disagreement exists or that either verse is incorrect. It simply means that we need to understand what viewpoint is being presented by the writer at the time.

Eric Tokajer is the author of Overcoming Fearlessness, What If Everything You Were Taught About the Ten Commandments Was Wrong?With Me in Paradise, Transient Singularity, OY! How Did I Get Here?: Thirty-One Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before Entering Ministry, #ManWisdom: With Eric Tokajer, Jesus Is to Christianity as Pasta Is to Italians and Galatians in Context.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Messianic Rabbi: He That Has an Eye, Let Him Hear

Messianic Rabbi: He That Has an Eye, Let Him Hear

It is interesting that, as a Messianic rabbi the question I am asked most often by Christians is if I believe that they as Christians have to celebrate, or observe, the biblical Holy Days. They are usually asking about those days listed in Leviticus 23: Shabbat, Yom...

How the Holy Spirit Is Preparing America

How the Holy Spirit Is Preparing America

As the crackdown against Christianity in America grows, it is a cycle believers have seen before. While no one celebrates their religious freedom coming under attack, God has used this persecution to great effect throughout history. Over the centuries, there have been...

Dealing Effectively with the Dynamics of Change

Dealing Effectively with the Dynamics of Change

Change can be challenging. Some people look forward to change and embrace it. Some people dread change and try to avoid it. Since change is inevitable, so here are some of the dynamics surrounding change and the specific strategies to deal with change more...

God’s Holy Interruption Is Coming Soon

God’s Holy Interruption Is Coming Soon

This past weekend I preached at The Roads Church, a charismatic congregation located in the tiny town of Norris City, Illinois. Located amid cornfields, the population is only 1,325, but almost that many people visit the church on weekends. They come from all over...

The Biblical Way to Rise Above Mediocre Expectations

The Biblical Way to Rise Above Mediocre Expectations

We spend a lot of life figuring out if we “measure up,” a phrase someone coined in the mid-1800s. Even in childhood, we begin comparing ourselves with siblings and kids at school, and it never seems to stop. The problem goes back to Cain and Abel, doesn’t it? Most of...

RECENT ARTICLES

A Better Way to Witness to Others for Christ

”Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?” (Rom. 2:4). Looking...
Why Does God Want Us to Speak with Tongues?

Why Does God Want Us to Speak with Tongues?

Why speak with tongues? There are many reasons for speaking in a spiritual language. Primarily, though, the Scriptures require it. The apostle Paul commanded us, saying, “Pray in the Spirit always” (Eph. 6:18). Jude commanded it in verse 20, saying, “Pray in the Holy...

Why God’s Rebuilding is Better Than His Restoration

Why God’s Rebuilding is Better Than His Restoration

Often, I have prayed for the Lord to restore something in my life. Whenever I have gone through a hard season or a broken relationship, my prayers automatically petition the Lord to restore my situation. Whenever there is a loss, and you are going through the grieving...

Why America Must Adopt the Battle Cry of Isaiah

Why America Must Adopt the Battle Cry of Isaiah

A battle cry is used to summon armies to war. A loud, unified shout could intimidate the strongest of enemies. Confidence in battle often tilts the scale toward victory, whereas timidity, fear and cowardliness will surely lead to defeat. In these dreadful times, don’t...

Intentionally Raising a Godly Generation

Intentionally Raising a Godly Generation

Debbie put her faith in Christ at age 11. In fact, her whole family met Jesus at just about the same time. As her parents began growing in their faith, they nurtured growth in their children as well. Family Bible reading, prayer and talking about God’s leading in...

MGM Studios Facebook page

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]