Here at Kiln of the Soul parish, our religion is otherworldly. The proper generic term is Christian Mysticism; get comfortable with that label. And if you know how to talk about it, telling other folks that’s what you are will open doors to some very useful discussions.
This is totally opposite of Judaism. While the author of this article is completely wrong about the roots of the Old Testament, he’s right about Judaism being entirely materialistic. The Jews flat out lie about the Scriptures, and most of the world buys into that lie. Hey, the early church did. Indeed, the Judaizers had a far stronger effect on the early church than most church historians want to admit.
But it doesn’t take a whole lot of digging to discover that the ancient Hebrew culture was quite otherworldly. It’s not hard to work out that folks like Abraham didn’t discuss the afterlife directly because they were convinced it was beyond human language in the first place. They didn’t deny the afterlife; they simply didn’t expect to understand it. And they did understand that whatever the afterlife was, it requires some careful choices while we are here.
The reason the New Testament talks so much more about it is simply another cultural influence, largely Persian (Zoroastrian) but also from the less Hellenized portions of the Greek-speaking world of that time. People of the Ancient Near East did not develop a repertoire of terms for dealing with the afterlife because of reverence for the unknown. That was their attitude. People farther west were more inquisitive about such things. That Jesus had no problem with discussing the afterlife shows there is no moral superiority in that particular area. It’s just a question of what people thought; it was the vernacular of His time.
The big take-away here is that we can see how Judaism gave birth to Zionism, and how Zionism tends to be so much more secular. It’s just the logical extension of a religion that abandoned its otherworldly roots. So we are just fine letting them have this world. When Christ returns it will all be gone and they will face eternity in shame. Meanwhile, our God is sovereign in this world and teaches us not to worry about what He does with it. That’s not our concern; it’s just the background against which we operate for His glory. We reject the lie of political Christianity, and we warn them they have bought into the Judaizers’ scheme. They want it so badly; they can have it. We want peace with a God who lives in Heaven.