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A Question for Messianic Jews

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  • A Question for Messianic Jews

    I'm wondering why a Christian would self identify as an Messianic Jew rather than a Christian.

    I don't really need a lesson in the etymology (OR entomology) of the term, but it almost seems to imply "I'm better than a Christian" or "special knowledge" or some level of "I'm not like the rest of you".

    My experience in the past with Twebbers who identify as Messianic Jews has been that they "know things" the rest of us do not know, or in some way are superior to the rest of us. They also have seemed to be a bit more combative than "Christians".

    I'm sure there's a much better explanation, and my experience is simply myopic and/or based on anecdotes.

    So, why would somebody identify themselves as "Messianic Jew" rather than "Christian"?

  • #2
    Aw, I'm touched!

    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Paprika View Post
      I'm wondering why a Christian would self identify as an Messianic Jew rather than a Christian.

      I don't really need a lesson in the etymology (OR entomology) of the term, but it almost seems to imply "I'm better than a Christian" or "special knowledge" or some level of "I'm not like the rest of you".

      My experience in the past with Twebbers who identify as Messianic Jews has been that they "know things" the rest of us do not know, or in some way are superior to the rest of us. They also have seemed to be a bit more combative than "Christians".

      I'm sure there's a much better explanation, and my experience is simply myopic and/or based on anecdotes.

      So, why would somebody identify themselves as "Messianic Jew" rather than "Christian"?

      I've had experiences with two different kinds of Messianic Jew.

      One was the Christian who, for whatever reason, got into a form of "replacement theology", and they tended to be a bit uppity like they have figured out something "regular Christians" haven't quite gotten. My eldest daughter's in-laws are like this, and have taken on Jewish names, and dabble in Jewish culture.

      The other kind of Messianic Jew I have experienced is an actual Jew who has converted to Christianity, and sees Christ as the Messiah for whom they have been looking. Both of the Messianic Jews of this type that I know are very much excited about winning people to Christ, and living in the grace and richness of the New Testament.

      Neither of these types of Messianic Jew, in my own experience, are anywhere near as "combative" or arrogant as the Xtians I mentioned in the OP that this one copies.
      "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
        One was the Christian who, for whatever reason, got into a form of "replacement theology", and they tended to be a bit uppity like they have figured out something "regular Christians" haven't quite gotten. My eldest daughter's in-laws are like this, and have taken on Jewish names, and dabble in Jewish culture.
        I have some friends kinda like that (not as bad) they drive me batty.

        Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
        The other kind of Messianic Jew I have experienced is an actual Jew who has converted to Christianity, and sees Christ as the Messiah for whom they have been looking. Both of the Messianic Jews of this type that I know are very much excited about winning people to Christ, and living in the grace and richness of the New Testament.
        I've had the privilege of helping someone like this come to Christ and see Him as their Messiah.
        "If you can ever make any major religion look absolutely ludicrous, chances are you haven't understood it"
        -Ravi Zacharias, The New Age: A foreign bird with a local walk

        Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
        1 Corinthians 16:13

        "...he [Doherty] is no historian and he is not even conversant with the historical discussions of the very matters he wants to pontificate on."
        -Ben Witherington III

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Raphael View Post
          I have some friends kinda like that (not as bad) they drive me batty.
          Yeah, I remember the first time my granddaughter told me her grampa (her daddy's father) was "Jewish", I said, "say WHAT?!?!?!" They "became" Messianic Jews after my daughter married their son, and they began to hate me because I was a Baptist Pastor who "wasn't preaching the truth".

          I've had the privilege of helping someone like this come to Christ and see Him as their Messiah.
          That's a real blessing!

          Lennie Just LOVES to talk about how Christ is the fulfillment of the Old Testament, and he's an absolute joy to be around.
          "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
            Yeah, I remember the first time my granddaughter told me her grampa (her daddy's father) was "Jewish", I said, "say WHAT?!?!?!" They "became" Messianic Jews after my daughter married their son, and they began to hate me because I was a Baptist Pastor who "wasn't preaching the truth".
            Huh? What truth are they meaning? If it isn't the Christ {Messiah}? (John 8:44, 32, 36.)
            . . . the Gospel of Christ, for it is [the] power of God to salvation to every [one] believing, . . . -- Romans 1:16.

            . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . -- 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4.

            Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . -- 1 John 5:1.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by 37818 View Post
              Huh? What truth are they meaning? If it isn't the Christ {Messiah}? (John 8:44, 32, 36.)
              I never bothered to ask because they were nuttier than fruitcakes, but I'm guessing it's the "truth" that God withdrew his "chosen" status from Israel and passed it on to American Christians. A version of "replacement theology".
              "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Paprika View Post
                I'm wondering why a Christian would self identify as an Messianic Jew rather than a Christian.

                I don't really need a lesson in the etymology (OR entomology) of the term, but it almost seems to imply "I'm better than a Christian" or "special knowledge" or some level of "I'm not like the rest of you".

                My experience in the past with Twebbers who identify as Messianic Jews has been that they "know things" the rest of us do not know, or in some way are superior to the rest of us. They also have seemed to be a bit more combative than "Christians".

                I'm sure there's a much better explanation, and my experience is simply myopic and/or based on anecdotes.

                So, why would somebody identify themselves as "Messianic Jew" rather than "Christian"?
                Messianic Jews observe Torah like no pork, Succoth, Yom Kippur, etc. vs. the perception of Gentile Christians who eat pork, celebrate Christmas and Easter, etc. The difference may be something like this:

                1 Corinthians 7:18 Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised (MESSIANIC JEW). Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised (GENTILE CHRISTIAN).

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by JohnnyP View Post
                  1 Corinthians 7:18 Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised (MESSIANIC JEW). Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised (GENTILE CHRISTIAN).
                  Yup, "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love." (Gal. 5:6)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JohnnyP View Post
                    Messianic Jews observe Torah like no pork, Succoth, Yom Kippur, etc. vs. the perception of Gentile Christians who eat pork, celebrate Christmas and Easter, etc. The difference may be something like this:

                    1 Corinthians 7:18 Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised (MESSIANIC JEW). Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised (GENTILE CHRISTIAN).
                    A "difference" is not necessary, because He has broken down the middle wall of partition between us....
                    Source: Ephesians 2

                    11Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 13But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 14For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. 18For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

                    © Copyright Original Source

                    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                      Aw, I'm touched!

                      Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
                      Return evil with good, the good Book says.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Paprika View Post
                        Return evil with good, the good Book says.
                        Aw, shucks, you felt evil was done to you, Pap? This thread has actually been a very nice discussion!
                        "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                          I've had experiences with two different kinds of Messianic Jew.

                          One was the Christian who, for whatever reason, got into a form of "replacement theology", and they tended to be a bit uppity like they have figured out something "regular Christians" haven't quite gotten. My eldest daughter's in-laws are like this, and have taken on Jewish names, and dabble in Jewish culture.

                          The other kind of Messianic Jew I have experienced is an actual Jew who has converted to Christianity, and sees Christ as the Messiah for whom they have been looking. Both of the Messianic Jews of this type that I know are very much excited about winning people to Christ, and living in the grace and richness of the New Testament.

                          Neither of these types of Messianic Jew, in my own experience, are anywhere near as "combative" or arrogant as the Xtians I mentioned in the OP that this one copies.
                          I first became aware of 'the other kind', ie, Jews who accepted Jesus as the Messiah, back in the late 70s, and I loved listening to their music. Some traditional, ie, Gentile, Christians may have seen this as a little controversial in that they did not join one of the traditional churches or fully convert. Other traditional Christians thought maybe this was some kind of eschatological sign of the coming end of the world. I presume this was the original sense of 'messianic Jews'. The government of Israel, so I'm told, and the great majority of Jews, do not consider messianic Jews to be Jews, but followers of 'Pauline Christianity'.

                          Traditional Christians who somehow convert to being Messianic Jews--I'm not sure when this movement or idea began, but I assume it is more recent. I have no idea who they look to as accepting their supposed conversion to Judaism, but I suspect it is just an affectation of proclaimed self-identity and Internet fantasy. But I think it is genuinely good to want to better understand Jesus in his real historical context. Jesus was, and still is, a Jew. And maybe it is also a good thing to rebuke the traditional Christian groups by not wanting to self-identify as Roman Catholic or Southern Baptist or Backwoods Baptist or whatever. But whatever is worthwhile in rebuking the errors of the traditional Christian denominations is probably mixed in with some shallow or delusional affectation that may coincide with the idea that people can easily change their identity.

                          That's just my take, but I'm open to learning more from people who will contribute to this thread, especially any messianic Jews around here who can give a better account of their experience.
                          βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
                          ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

                          אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                            Aw, shucks, you felt evil was done to you, Pap?
                            All is forgiven, CP.

                            This thread has actually been a very nice discussion!
                            I agree, it's better than your rock band-deviating thread

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by robrecht View Post
                              I first became aware of 'the other kind', ie, Jews who accepted Jesus as the Messiah, back in the late 70s, and I loved listening to their music. Some traditional, ie, Gentile, Christians may have seen this as a little controversial in that they did not join one of the traditional churches or fully convert. Other traditional Christians thought maybe this was some kind of eschatological sign of the coming end of the world. I presume this was the original sense of 'messianic Jews'. The government of Israel, so I'm told, and the great majority of Jews, do not consider messianic Jews to be Jews, but followers of 'Pauline Christianity'.
                              We used to have "Jews for Jesus" come to our Church, and I remember one year they performed their own version of Fiddler on the Roof. And, yeah, I LOVED their music!

                              Traditional Christians who somehow convert to being Messianic Jews--I'm not sure when this movement or idea began, but I assume it is more recent. I have no idea who they look to as accepting their supposed conversion to Judaism, but I suspect it is just an affectation of proclaimed self-identity and Internet fantasy. But I think it is genuinely good to want to better understand Jesus in his real historical context. Jesus was, and still is, a Jew. And maybe it is also a good thing to rebuke the traditional Christian groups by not wanting to self-identify as Roman Catholic or Southern Baptist or Backwoods Baptist or whatever. But whatever is worthwhile in rebuking the errors of the traditional Christian denominations is probably mixed in with some shallow or delusional affectation that may coincide with the idea that people can easily change their identity.
                              I think it's good for Christians to understand more about their Jewish history, so many years ago, I visited our local Rabbi and asked if my Church could worship at his Synagogue some time. He, at first, was dubious, but called me back later in the week suggesting we have lunch and discuss "ground rules".

                              It ended up being a FASCINATING visit, as he conducted his service with periodic pauses to explain to us Gentiles what was going on, and why. He was incredibly gracious.

                              That's just my take, but I'm open to learning more from people who will contribute to this thread, especially any messianic Jews around here who can give a better account of their experience.
                              My closest Messianic Jew friend (who was a Jew who accepted Christ as Savior) notes the confusion between the "Jews who accepted Christ" and the "Christians who (to whatever degree) become "Jewish" so he calls himself a "Completed Jew".
                              "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                              Comment

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