A Broken Promise

After Motzei Shabbat, my closest friend joined us for the evening as we prepared Chanukkah themed prizes for our party coming up Tuesday night. As we talked, he finally got around to saying, “I’m really ticked at you for doing this,” referring to my belief that Jesus is a false messiah. When I asked him why he said that several years ago I had promised him that I would never do this and that he was worried this was the first step in my becoming an atheist. I told him that the atheist fear was a common worry among Christians when their friends realize the truth about Jesus. I pointed out that the New Testament can not stand alone without the Tanakh but the Tanakh stands alone just fine without the New Testament. I explained that identifying Jesus as a false messiah was in no wise taking a step back from G-d. Rather, I was deepening my faith in Hashem and distancing myself from idolatry.

As for the alleged promise I made him, what can I say? I refuse to be held responsible for a belief based on information that I didn’t know back then that I do have now which causes me to see Jesus in a true light which is making me renege on an impossible promise to keep. If I did promise him that I would never stop believing in Jesus I regret doing so and will be more careful in the future about making promises.

But really…I was disappointed he didn’t have a little more force to his discussion with me. He didn’t try to debate. He didn’t dig. No threats to shun me. He was the easiest to tell this news to. The hardest will be coming up in a few weeks. Please stay tuned.

Christian Atheist (Peter Lumsden, d. 2007)
  1. Ben said:

    “The hardest will be coming up in a few weeks.”

    I have long believed that Hashem sends people trials and tribulations based on their ability to meet the test. Consider yourself privileged to have been selected to stand up to the muddled masses who resist the idea of the One G-d.

    • Thank you for that Ben. May it be so!

  2. Ploni said:

    Why are you disappointed that he didn’t have “more force to his discussion with me”, or that he had “no threats to shun me”?

    • The opposite of love is not hate…it is indifference.

  3. The halakhah is that a vow taken on mistaken information is not a vow and does not require hatarat nedarim. I, too, made such “promises” and then had to later admit the truth. My firends also felt betrayed by my turn around.

    Sometimes, I think that when people have lurking doubts and latent conclusions about Jesus being a false messiah deep down, they try to fortify their position in the world by making promises. The only thing they are trying to do is to regain stability when they feel shaken within. Besides, a person can no more be held to a “vow” to worship idols or to steal that they could to believe Jesus is the messiah.

    Keep up the good work. With patience and perseverance you will see this through.


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