Non-Jewish info useful, but use mental faculties

I love radio — I have since I was a pre-TV-era child. And I still treasure this wise remark of a 12-year-old boy, so many years ago: “I like radio better than television, because radio has better pictures!”
We can never discount the mind’s ability to make pictures even better than the ones we saw on movie screens during kids’ matinees decades back.
So ever since I bought the old car I’m still driving now, I’ve had my standard dashboard presets. FM: KERA and WRR for brain stimulation and classical music; AM: KRLD and KAAM provide news and the pop songs of the ’40s, ’50s, and not much beyond.
However, I had a recent rude awakening, fueled by current chaos in our country’s government. I drive a lot, and the news being what it is — almost always a surprise! — I’ve stayed with KRLD virtually all the time. But the other day, I tuned to KAAM for some respite, and found an even bigger surprise: No longer a music station, it has become Christian radio! Completely!
I confess total fascination, despite the warning I received a long time ago from an Orthodox well-wisher who disapproved of my ongoing efforts to meet with and learn from evangelicals: “Why are you wasting your time and messing up your mind with that stuff?” I’m still on the mailing list of some “Messianic Jews,” who — annoying as they are — continue to educate me. But now, at the touch of a button, I can find my own education on what’s current with right-wing Christians.
Most of what I hear isn’t new. Some of it isn’t “pretty,” by which I mean that I find it lacking in understanding of basic Judaism while giving lip-service to, but underrating, the debt its faith profession owes to ours. I do hear mention of the fact that Jesus was a teacher of Jews. But the parallel fact that not all Jews of his time followed those teachings, leads inevitably to hellfire and damnation as predicted in the New Testament’s final book, Revelation. (Please note: this is a singular noun, not a plural one. Ponder that for a moment…)
However, in listening to KAAM more than KRLD as I “vacation” from daily politics, I’ve already had two major lightbulbs pop up over my head. The first: I heard an evangelical minister state, quite definitely, that he does not approve of, nor believe in, Messianic Judaism and organizations like Jews for Jesus! Yes! Really! Christians are supposed to evangelize, but not muddy the religious waters with half-beliefs. His bible says one cannot serve both God and Mammon, which he defined as money when it becomes a false object of worship. Ours specifies the non-worship of any but the One God, so no one should be trying to engineer some kind of hybrid faith that is true to neither Christianity nor Judaism. Hooray for him!
The second is fascinating, but a bit strange: Another minister believes that we — the Jews of our current generation — will soon be rebuilding the Third Temple in Jerusalem! Yes! In our own time! He says a group of us (he doesn’t divulge who’s in it) has already put together the Biblical plans with a stockpile of all the original holy accoutrements, and everything is now in readiness for construction! He’s enthusiastic; after all, the alt-right Christians need us to fulfill their New Testament prophecies. And this man sounds to me like a would-be prophet himself.
So there’s my new “music!” I’ll continue to follow KRLD for news, but occasionally I’ll switch over to KAAM to hear Christian financial advisors, a variety of question-and-answer shows, some Biblical quotes,  some prayers, even some hymns.
Despite the earlier advice I received, I’ll keep on listening. For better or worse, I can learn a lot about today’s America, yet always remain secure enough in my faith (OUR faith!) not to be tempted to pervert, redefine, diminish and certainly not forsake it…

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