Based on your concluding sentence, your precepts are something like John Calvin, who said that our salvation or perdition is preordained by God, and nothing you can do will ever change your fate. All the good works you do won’t make a bit of difference.
If any part of you is still interested in happiness, then you might want to change or rearrange your basic assumptions. Off the top of my head I can only recommend listening to a Yes song titled “I’m Running.” If nothing else, just read the lyric. Even if you can’t be happy, remember that the future is about our children’s lives.
It was weird the way my mind blended the two Marks into one. Obviously there are big differences between them as well. I think I was being ethnocentric by putting both guys in the category of Jewish people. It is called out group homogeneity, and it happens when two are of a different race. I’m glad I caught myself at it. I wouldn’t want to cause a problem with my responses. I like the people just fine. I can’t imagine how my sister would behave around a Jewish person. I doubt if she ever met one. She is the type to go round spouting to Jewish people how Jesus liberated them from having to follow all those rules. I know one man in my church who considers Jewish people perfidious. I really cringe at that. Occasionally there’s a song about the Pharisees, or the Jews from the time of Christ who never converted. Also cringeworthy. Sadducees were similar. This is a song we teach to the children! So now I have to turn a deaf ear to it or throw out the baby with the bath water if I keep playing music with my new friend. It tempts me to just be secular again. I don’t like being in a tight spot between people. But it’s mostly just the one guy who scorns Jews. I don’t have to listen to him much. I really just have to act on instinct. Music is an activity that usually unites sundry people because music itself has no ideology. The most intelligent bands don’t discriminate according to race and ethnicity, color and creed, and so on. They have one thing in common, and that’s the music. So I think of music as being a bridge between different peoples, creating harmony at once literal and social.