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Ex-Hebrew Roots/Cult Members

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  • Ex-Hebrew Roots/Cult Members

    I came across a wonderful site - Joyfully Growing in Grace - that targets the Hebrew Roots Movement, which by all appearances is a cult. I was particularly overjoyed to read the testimonial section of now ex-members who were once blinded by the false doctrines, yet have now come into the light and fullness of the New Covenant by embracing the gospel of salvation and sanctification by faith in Christ alone. I particularly enjoyed reading 8thday4life's testimony. May you be blessed by it:

    https://joyfullygrowingingrace.wordp...fes-testimony/

  • #2
    Oh and for those who wish to comment, I ask that you please read the testimonial(s) before commenting and keep your comments confined to the content within the testimonial(s), as this is not intended to be a thoroughgoing debate thread.

    Thank-ya.

    Comment


    • #3
      It saddens me to see people moving away from the truth, but I was also dismayed by what some of them experienced in HR, so I'm glad that they are out of that. However, I've said it before that the solution to bad Christianity is not no Christianity, but good Christianity, so I'll say the same thing about Messianic Judaism. I'll recommend listening to some of the audio teachings we've posted online:

      https://www.rabbiyeshua.com/kehilat-...udio-teachings

      There's particularly good teachings on Romans and we've also start posting our teachings on Galatians. Scrawly, I watched an hour long video you posted the other day, so the least you can do is listen to a teaching or two, it might surprise you.
      "Faith is nothing less than the will to keep one's mind fixed precisely on what reason has discovered to it." - Edward Feser

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Soyeong View Post
        It saddens me to see people moving away from the truth, but I was also dismayed by what some of them experienced in HR, so I'm glad that they are out of that. However, I've said it before that the solution to bad Christianity is not no Christianity, but good Christianity, so I'll say the same thing about Messianic Judaism. I'll recommend listening to some of the audio teachings we've posted online:

        https://www.rabbiyeshua.com/kehilat-...udio-teachings

        There's particularly good teachings on Romans and we've also start posting our teachings on Galatians. Scrawly, I watched an hour long video you posted the other day, so the least you can do is listen to a teaching or two, it might surprise you.
        Sure but it won't be for a bit as I don't have the internet at home. Though I am familiar with the "movement" you are in. Your beliefs are not new to me. I disagree with them and I think they are antithetical to the gospel, and Dr. Michael Brown - Messianic Jewish scholar - agrees with me here. Anyhow I will give the teachings a listen, though can you tell me what qualifications the teacher has, who is leading those lessons?

        Now back to the topic at hand - what were you dismayed at in the testimony you read?

        Comment


        • #5
          To start with it sounded like the group she joined was having legalistic arguments. They were being inconsistent with their beliefs and working on the Sabbath while making sure to eat kosher. They seeking to improve the Jewish traditions and to be a better Jew than the Jews. They were adapting modern Jewish traditions and making up the rest. They elevated Israel and the Jews to the point of dangerous obsession. They were relying on rabbinic thought over the word of God and were basing their teachings off rabbinic thought. Mind you, I think is sometimes good to look at rabbinic thought to help provide a proper context, and there are some good teachings, but it shouldn't be used as the platform. They said anything written by a Gentile wasn't worth reading. They made the sole Jewish person teacher when he was not equipped to do so and doubted Jesus was the Messiah. They took the focus off of Jesus. Their leader displayed vicious and underhanded behavior toward another member. They thought that they were making a concession by not stoning people. They were concerned about which lost tribe they belonged to. They thought they would come under the Old Covenant curses for not obeying the law. They got involved with gamatria. They were being speculative without a solid foundation in Scripture. They were majoring on the minors. They were overindulging with drinking.

          The list goes on, but that should be sufficient. They were plagued with many problems that I've been fortunate enough not to face in my congregation. We're all on the same page for the most part and I've felt no tension whatsoever. Our rabbi, Stan Farr, is a very good teacher, who has a solid grasp on both the Old and New Testaments, and always keeps the focus on Messiah. In fact, he did 115 approximately half-hour lessons about finding the Messiah in the Torah. My previous pastor stuck mostly to the NT, but there is so much depth in the OT that is a shadow of the Messiah if only we have eyes to see and ears to hear. Of course I don't agree with him about everything, but he brings a very valuable perspective that's missing from most of modern Christianity. Thank you for being willing to listen to a few lessons.
          Last edited by Soyeong; 04-16-2015, 03:06 AM.
          "Faith is nothing less than the will to keep one's mind fixed precisely on what reason has discovered to it." - Edward Feser

          Comment


          • #6
            Hey Soyeong, are you aware of any Messianic congregations that teach voluntary participation in the more ceremonial/legalistic aspects for Gentiles, or, is that pretty much part and parcel of the movement? I think the Messianic movement is pretty fascinating, especially from a early church perspective, and I'm so happy for those Jews who have converted to Christianity, but some of the things that Scrawly has brought to light, and even some of the posts you've made here have gotten me scratching my head a bit and made me a bit cautious.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Soyeong View Post
              To start with it sounded like the group she joined was having legalistic arguments. They were being inconsistent with their beliefs and working on the Sabbath while making sure to eat kosher. They seeking to improve the Jewish traditions and to be a better Jew than the Jews. They were adapting modern Jewish traditions and making up the rest. They elevated Israel and the Jews to the point of dangerous obsession. They were relying on rabbinic thought over the word of God and were basing their teachings off rabbinic thought. Mind you, I think is sometimes good to look at rabbinic thought to help provide a proper context, and there are some good teachings, but it shouldn't be used as the platform. They said anything written by a Gentile wasn't worth reading. They made the sole Jewish person teacher when he was not equipped to do so and doubted Jesus was the Messiah. They took the focus off of Jesus. Their leader displayed vicious and underhanded behavior toward another member. They thought that they were making a concession by not stoning people. They were concerned about which lost tribe they belonged to. They thought they would come under the Old Covenant curses for not obeying the law. They got involved with gamatria. They were being speculative without a solid foundation in Scripture. They were majoring on the minors. They were overindulging with drinking.
              I think, Soyeong, that you're not accurately representing the author's experience here, amalgamating the worst features of each (HRM) group she was with, and ignoring that she was involved in several different groups. The common thread of nearly every group she was in (SDA, WWCOG, HRM) was a focus on the law. It just seems to me that Messianic Judaism has a tendency to be Judaism with Jesus tacked on, which places an inordinate amount of focus on the Old Covenant rather than the New.
              Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

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              I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Adrift View Post
                Hey Soyeong, are you aware of any Messianic congregations that teach voluntary participation in the more ceremonial/legalistic aspects for Gentiles, or, is that pretty much part and parcel of the movement? I think the Messianic movement is pretty fascinating, especially from a early church perspective, and I'm so happy for those Jews who have converted to Christianity, but some of the things that Scrawly has brought to light, and even some of the posts you've made here have gotten me scratching my head a bit and made me a bit cautious.
                Such as in Isaiah 1:13-17 and Mark 7:6-9, God has always disdained an outward show of obedience when our hearts are far from Him. The law was given to Moses and the Israelites, among other reasons, so that they would know how to practice righteous by faith in order to build a relationship between God and His people. So legalism is not about following the law by faith, but about following the law in an attempt to become justified through your own efforts, where God would legally owe you your justification. It perverts the law into a sterile business transaction and misses that point that it's all about being in a right relationship with God.

                So, no, I wouldn't say that Gentiles are to participate in the legalistic aspects, but some Messianic Jews do disagree over the issue of whether Gentiles should follow the law, though my congregation is all on the same page. In Ephesians 10:8-10, 1 John 3:4-10, John 15:1-8, and others it says that those who abide in Messiah do good works, practice righteousness, and bear much fruit, do what is right, live by faith, and are dead to sin, which are different ways of expressing the same concept. The law gives us knowledge of sin (Romans 3:20) and instructs us about what sin is (Romans 7:7), so if Christians are to avoid sin and becomes slaves of obedience leading to righteous and slaves of righteousness leading to sanctification (Romans 6:15-19), then we should pay attention to where God instructs in His law about sin and how to practice righteousness. We don't practice righteousness in order to be declared righteous, but rather because that is what those whom God declared righteous are called to do. We can't do this through our own effort, but only by faith and through the leading of the Spirit to sanctify us to be more like Christ in how he thought and in how he practiced righteousness.

                The Bad News is that we have sinned and fallen from righteousness and that the penalty is death. The Good News is that Christ has redeemed us from our penalty by his blood, set us free from our sin nature's mastery over us, justified us, sanctifies us, and make us righteous again. And being made righteous is being made into someone who practices righteousness. Christ did not redeem us from a set of holy, righteous, and good laws (Romans 7:12) that instruct us how to be holy, righteous, and good, so but so that we would be free to become slaves of doing what is holy, righteous, and good by faith and through the leading of His Spirit.

                If there is anything that Scrawly has brought to light or that I've said that makes you scratch your head, then feel free to ask about it or PM me. It took me about 2-3 years before I came to the decision to join Messianic Judaism, so I would also advise caution. There are certainly some Christians who have joined Messianic Judaism who have gone off the deep end and I scratch my head at what some of them teach too. But Scrawly thinks I've gone off the deep end myself, and maybe I have, but so much of what my rabbi has been saying has the ring of truth, and I've gained a much better understanding of the Bible in the past 3 years than in the previous 30. I would encourage you to listen to what he says about Galatians and Romans and if you don't agree with everything he says, at least gain a valuable perspective. I don't agree with everything he says myself.
                "Faith is nothing less than the will to keep one's mind fixed precisely on what reason has discovered to it." - Edward Feser

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Soyeong View Post
                  Such as in Isaiah 1:13-17 and Mark 7:6-9, God has always disdained an outward show of obedience when our hearts are far from Him. The law was given to Moses and the Israelites, among other reasons, so that they would know how to practice righteous by faith in order to build a relationship between God and His people. So legalism is not about following the law by faith, but about following the law in an attempt to become justified through your own efforts, where God would legally owe you your justification. It perverts the law into a sterile business transaction and misses that point that it's all about being in a right relationship with God.

                  So, no, I wouldn't say that Gentiles are to participate in the legalistic aspects, but some Messianic Jews do disagree over the issue of whether Gentiles should follow the law, though my congregation is all on the same page.
                  Is the Messianic community united in any way, like a coalition of churches? Are those who disagree over the issue of whether Gentles should follow the law labeled something special? If I was interested, how would I find a non-legalistic congregation in my area?

                  If there is anything that Scrawly has brought to light or that I've said that makes you scratch your head, then feel free to ask about it or PM me.
                  Thanks.

                  Have you seen the documentary The Chosen People about a Messianic congregation in Toronto and the hassle they endure by fellow Jews? Pretty interesting. Here's the trailer.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
                    I think, Soyeong, that you're not accurately representing the author's experience here, amalgamating the worst features of each (HRM) group she was with, and ignoring that she was involved in several different groups. The common thread of nearly every group she was in (SDA, WWCOG, HRM) was a focus on the law. It just seems to me that Messianic Judaism has a tendency to be Judaism with Jesus tacked on, which places an inordinate amount of focus on the Old Covenant rather than the New.
                    Scrawly asked me what I was dismayed about, so I was just listing those things, though I probably should have quoted his question to make that clearer.

                    I think that for the first approximately 7 years after Jesus' ascension, all Christians were Torah-observant Messianic Jews up until Peter's vision in Acts 10. In Acts 21, there were rumors that Paul was teaching Jews to forsake Moses, but he took steps to prove them wrong, so if they were all Jews who were not being taught against Torah observance, then that's what they were continuing to do. Messianic Judaism was originally seen as a sect of Judaism with some non-believing Jews complaining that it was impossible to tell them apart, so I'd say it is appropriately named and that it is correctly understood as Judaism that always keeps its focus on their Messiah. Going back to the Old Covenant or having Jesus only tacked on is a perversion and why I was glad that some of the people got out of it. But as I said before, the solution to bad Messianic Judaism is not no Messianic Judaism, but is good Messianic Judaism.

                    Jesus didn't come to start a new religion, but rather he was born a Jew, became a Jewish rabbi, had Jewish disciples, and is the Jewish Messiah in fulfillment of Jewish prophecy. Hypothetically is the Muslim Mahdi were to come, do you think he would start a new religion, or do you think he would come in the fulfillment of Islam? Similarly, Jesus came in the fulfillment of Judaism, so Christianity is the fullest form of Judaism or Judaism fully understood, which allows Gentiles to join without having to become Jews.

                    Over the centuries some of the Church Fathers have been anti-Semitic and have sanitized the Jewishness from Christianity, but I think that is tragic both in that many Christians have lost an understanding of the Jewish cultural context of the Bible and in that many Jews have not recognized a sanitized Jesus as their Messiah. If you listen to the testimonies of Jews who were finally convinced to read the NT, they frequently express their amazement at how Jewish it is and that they hadn't realized that Jesus was Jewish. One of the things they are taught is that Jesus did away with the law, which disqualifies him as the Messiah in violation of Deuteronomy 13, and I think they have a point.
                    "Faith is nothing less than the will to keep one's mind fixed precisely on what reason has discovered to it." - Edward Feser

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Adrift View Post
                      Is the Messianic community united in any way, like a coalition of churches? Are those who disagree over the issue of whether Gentles should follow the law labeled something special? If I was interested, how would I find a non-legalistic congregation in my area?



                      Thanks.

                      Have you seen the documentary The Chosen People about a Messianic congregation in Toronto and the hassle they endure by fellow Jews? Pretty interesting. Here's the trailer.

                      I continue to find it interesting how many Jews of the more liberal traditions are totally chill with secular Jews but will get fired up about a Jew who decides to believe Jesus is the Messiah.

                      "Fire is catching. If we burn, you burn with us!"
                      "I'm not going anywhere. I'm going to stay here and cause all kinds of trouble."
                      Katniss Everdeen


                      Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by thewriteranon View Post
                        I continue to find it interesting how many Jews of the more liberal traditions are totally chill with secular Jews but will get fired up about a Jew who decides to believe Jesus is the Messiah.
                        Yep. Its pretty crazy.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Soyeong View Post
                          To start with it sounded like the group she joined was having legalistic arguments. They were being inconsistent with their beliefs and working on the Sabbath while making sure to eat kosher. They seeking to improve the Jewish traditions and to be a better Jew than the Jews. They were adapting modern Jewish traditions and making up the rest. They elevated Israel and the Jews to the point of dangerous obsession. They were relying on rabbinic thought over the word of God and were basing their teachings off rabbinic thought. Mind you, I think is sometimes good to look at rabbinic thought to help provide a proper context, and there are some good teachings, but it shouldn't be used as the platform. They said anything written by a Gentile wasn't worth reading. They made the sole Jewish person teacher when he was not equipped to do so and doubted Jesus was the Messiah. They took the focus off of Jesus. Their leader displayed vicious and underhanded behavior toward another member. They thought that they were making a concession by not stoning people. They were concerned about which lost tribe they belonged to. They thought they would come under the Old Covenant curses for not obeying the law. They got involved with gamatria. They were being speculative without a solid foundation in Scripture. They were majoring on the minors. They were overindulging with drinking.
                          I agree, all those things were quite disturbing. The following really stood out as penetrating to me:

                          -We longed for a truly biblical lifestyle free from pagan influences. I began to feel that if I could study the Bible from a Jewish perspective, I could understand Jesus so much better.While this can be a helpful pursuit in some ways, the problem was not in my desire for more knowledge, but my persistent discontent with the Christianity. I had come from a culture saturated in an attitude of superiority. I can now see how I carried that over, and needed to find some way to maintain my superior spiritual opinion of my beliefs. I could not consent to being a simple Christian.


                          -At a women’s fellowship sleep over, one woman testified that she loved this movement because in church all they talked about was Jesus.


                          -I wanted so badly to belong to God’s people, the chosen nation. Just being in Christ wasn’t good enough in itself and did not seem to be enough justification for our lifestyle. Now we had a “covenant”, and I don’t mean the new one


                          -Taking the perspective that we were a covenant people with promised blessings for our obedience, the Torah became even more vital for study and a source of instruction for our daily lives. We had begun with the attitude we were choosing an alternate expression of our faith in Jesus – not the only right one, just a different one. Now, a gradual slide took place that transferred our choices from optional to obligatory obedience. Never admitting this saved us in any way, and stressing over and over to friends and family that we believed Jesus was the Son of God who died for us, we then maintained that God’s law never changed and we desired to keep it out of our love for Him. We couldn’t understand why anyone would malign someone’s desire to simply obey God. We certainly criticized Christians (in private) for NOT obeying God’s commands. While we repeatedly claimed our obedience was motivated only by our love for God and His ways over man’s ways, we were blind to other strong, less admirable motivations. Only after we were delivered did we realize the fault in ourselves that drew us to a deviant belief system, over and over.


                          -The covenant confusion was a natural step for me coming out of the Seventh-day Adventist teaching. We had always been taught that the New Covenant was the same as the old one, just with a change of address. Instead of being written on stone, God transferred it to the hearts of believers through the Holy Spirit. But when we looked at the law, we realized the ten commandments could not be axed from the rest of the covenant. A contract is a contract. You don’t get to pick and choose which parts you agree with and which parts don’t apply to you.
                          Although this is true, we were still under a delusion that we were actually keeping it. We faulted SDA’s for an illogical pick of the dietary laws while also saying only the “moral” law (the big ten) was now in effect. Yet we, who obliged ourselves to the whole law, also had to make concessions. We couldn’t stone people, take or free slaves, legally marry more than one person, pay our tithe in agricultural products, or get our family inheritance of land back every 50 years, even if we could actually figure out which lost tribe we belonged to. Our astute reasoning followed that 1: some commands were fulfilled in Christ such as sacrificing animals 2: some were not possible to obey unless you live in the land of Israel and have a standing temple 3: some were civil laws that required a theocratic government, and finally, 4: Everything you could figure out how to apply to your life, you would be blessed for observing.
                          The converse was also then true, although seldom mentioned, the dreaded curse that goes on for several chapters in Deuteronomy for those who choose to ignore God’s commands. Outright refusal to obey or observe something that was within your power to perform was seen as an open door for the destroyer to enter your gates and take his due. But you could still be saved, because of Jesus. You just wouldn’t be blessed. Some would even go so far to say that you would be lost. Everything was reduced to outward actions and physical elements, attempting to connect with God and “draw near” as the Israelites in the wilderness desired the Shekinah Presence in their portable tabernacle. How does one fall from having the Reality to walking in a shadow of uncertainty? When I saw the stark contrast between the two, my foundations were shaken to the core. I doubted I ever believed at all.


                          -Seeking true spiritual encouragement, I turned to reading books about missionaries and martyrs, and I began to hear disturbing questions in my mind. Why didn’t they have “the truth” when they were so obviously led by God, and if we did, why didn’t I know any HRM groups with any fruit resembling theirs? Those question would eventually demand an answer.


                          -This was not at all a description of my life. Jesus had a focus in his teachings that we did not have. We were straining out many gnats, but in the process, the camels were causing a great deal of spiritual indigestion. If you were to study the life cycle of group dynamics, I’m sure we would have fit some classic pattern with a fancy name, but it wasn’t the pattern of the Church shown in scripture, directed by the power of the Holy Spirit. The amazing stories I had read of missionaries and others doing great things for God kept running through my mind. Our attitude and focus would have never allowed us to experience God in this way, and that began to bother me more and more.


                          -We also lacked any desire to outreach.


                          -At first I reasoned to myself the vivid contrast between our fruit and those of active Christians was caused by our lack of diligence, not our teaching. We had the truth! I prayed harder, for awhile. But even that eventually ceased as I became nearly spiritually paralyzed from despair. One day I realized that we had become true Israelites, but not in a good way. Just as they had stood at the mountain and begged Moses to speak to them rather than hear the voice of God for themselves, so we also had chosen to look to Moses and substituted his voice for the superior voice from Mt. Zion, the voice of Christ through the Holy Spirit. We didn’t want that kind of challenge, or the responsibility that came with it. We wanted to stay a safe distance away where we could formulate theological definitions and keep our religion in a box. I was disgusted with the movement, and with myself.


                          -The New Testament got very little attention at all, unless it was to bolster some point in the Torah we wanted to prove.


                          -My view of Galatians in the HRM was essentially the same as it had been in the Adventist church. We just added more law, but we still maintained that obedience to God could not be argued against, so he couldn’t be talking to us. We were right about obedience, but wrong about the nature of our obligations. We had the same veil over our hearts and minds, blind to the reality of a NEW covenant.


                          -While the whole time claiming to believe in the work of Jesus on our behalf - We were in actuality attempting to live under two covenants at the same time, while Romans, Galatians, and Hebrews all explain is a spiritual impossibility.


                          -I don’t think our ignorance made the work of Christ void in our lives, but it certainly prevented fruit from growing because we were not abiding in Christ, but in Moses. We took assurance and comfort in our obedience, not in our Savior alone


                          -Even in the years between Adventism and the HRM, we never experienced true freedom. When we worked on the Sabbath, or broke down and participated in Christmas with family, a subtle uneasiness always shadowed our every move. We knew God didn’t say we had to perform to be saved, but we still believed we were being disobedient children, and missing his blessing and approval. This time, it was all gone, nearly in an instant. We had never seen the true nature of the New Covenant before – but it began to emerge as we continued to study through the scriptures. We couldn’t believe we had never seen it. Waves of joy, then grief, relief, embarrassment, expectation, so many emotions all tangled together, waited to be processed.


                          In the weeks that followed, we eagerly discussed where we should worship. We knew what we didn’t want; legalism, blind emotionalism, liberalism that compromised the Word, or a church that existed as the town social club. We wanted to focus our energy toward Christ, serving His Body, and nothing else. For the first time in our lives we had the sensation of belonging to Christ in a way we never had before. We saw with our spiritual eyes the reality of the Church as HIS body, just as the scriptures say. We realized that our outright rejection and derision of the Church had been at attack on Christ Himself and was an antichrist characteristic, not of the Holy Spirit. This, among many other convicting truths, led us through a season of repentance and grief over how we had unintentionally denied Him. I went through a deep valley of doubt for a time, wondering how God could love us, use us, or accept us. But He did reassure me in those days of His forgiveness and the fact of our deliverance alone kept reminding me that this new life was completely from Him, and therefore, must have a purpose. But still, the scary prospect, to find a place in mainstream evangelical Christianity. We didn’t know where to start.


                          And wise words from our dear sister: You cannot bring a Jewish person to his Messiah if you are concerned about offense. Jesus is the rock of offense

                          The list goes on, but that should be sufficient. They were plagued with many problems that I've been fortunate enough not to face in my congregation. We're all on the same page for the most part and I've felt no tension whatsoever. Our rabbi, Stan Farr, is a very good teacher, who has a solid grasp on both the Old and New Testaments, and always keeps the focus on Messiah. In fact, he did 115 approximately half-hour lessons about finding the Messiah in the Torah. My previous pastor stuck mostly to the NT, but there is so much depth in the OT that is a shadow of the Messiah if only we have eyes to see and ears to hear. Of course I don't agree with him about everything, but he brings a very valuable perspective that's missing from most of modern Christianity. Thank you for being willing to listen to a few lessons.
                          That's all well and good, but my question was the following: What academic theological qualifications does your teacher Mr. Farr possess?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Soyeong View Post
                            Scrawly asked me what I was dismayed about, so I was just listing those things, though I probably should have quoted his question to make that clearer.

                            I think that for the first approximately 7 years after Jesus' ascension, all Christians were Torah-observant Messianic Jews up until Peter's vision in Acts 10. In Acts 21, there were rumors that Paul was teaching Jews to forsake Moses, but he took steps to prove them wrong, so if they were all Jews who were not being taught against Torah observance, then that's what they were continuing to do. Messianic Judaism was originally seen as a sect of Judaism with some non-believing Jews complaining that it was impossible to tell them apart, so I'd say it is appropriately named and that it is correctly understood as Judaism that always keeps its focus on their Messiah. Going back to the Old Covenant or having Jesus only tacked on is a perversion and why I was glad that some of the people got out of it. But as I said before, the solution to bad Messianic Judaism is not no Messianic Judaism, but is good Messianic Judaism.

                            Jesus didn't come to start a new religion, but rather he was born a Jew, became a Jewish rabbi, had Jewish disciples, and is the Jewish Messiah in fulfillment of Jewish prophecy. Hypothetically is the Muslim Mahdi were to come, do you think he would start a new religion, or do you think he would come in the fulfillment of Islam? Similarly, Jesus came in the fulfillment of Judaism, so Christianity is the fullest form of Judaism or Judaism fully understood, which allows Gentiles to join without having to become Jews.

                            Over the centuries some of the Church Fathers have been anti-Semitic and have sanitized the Jewishness from Christianity, but I think that is tragic both in that many Christians have lost an understanding of the Jewish cultural context of the Bible and in that many Jews have not recognized a sanitized Jesus as their Messiah. If you listen to the testimonies of Jews who were finally convinced to read the NT, they frequently express their amazement at how Jewish it is and that they hadn't realized that Jesus was Jewish. One of the things they are taught is that Jesus did away with the law, which disqualifies him as the Messiah in violation of Deuteronomy 13, and I think they have a point.
                            "Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come." (2Cor. 517)

                            The above reality is what many HRM and "Messianic" movements are unable to grasp. They stop short of the fullness of the New Covenant and fail to see the spiritual reality of the one new man/third humanity (Eph. 2:15) and new creation (Gal. 6:15) - where there is no Jew nor Gentile. In short, they do not understand what it means to be "in Christ".

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Soyeong View Post
                              Scrawly asked me what I was dismayed about, so I was just listing those things, though I probably should have quoted his question to make that clearer.
                              I took issue because you were describing the "group she joined" thusly.
                              I think that for the first approximately 7 years after Jesus' ascension, all Christians were Torah-observant Messianic Jews up until Peter's vision in Acts 10.
                              It's possible that the first Christians all kept the law as Jesus did (which is to say, they observed the laws of the Torah, not all the traditions accreted around it to "protect" it). The prohibition of eating meat and dairy products together, for example, completely misses the point of Torah law upon which it is based.
                              In Acts 21, there were rumors that Paul was teaching Jews to forsake Moses, but he took steps to prove them wrong, so if they were all Jews who were not being taught against Torah observance, then that's what they were continuing to do.
                              That depends on what exactly is meant by "Torah observance." The Jewish leaders of Jesus' day claimed HE wasn't being Torah observant.
                              Messianic Judaism was originally seen as a sect of Judaism with some non-believing Jews complaining that it was impossible to tell them apart, so I'd say it is appropriately named and that it is correctly understood as Judaism that always keeps its focus on their Messiah.
                              I don't recall seeing that complaint, though Judaism was hardly monolithic at the time. Who was complaining? The Pharisees? Saducees? Essenes?
                              Going back to the Old Covenant or having Jesus only tacked on is a perversion and why I was glad that some of the people got out of it. But as I said before, the solution to bad Messianic Judaism is not no Messianic Judaism, but is good Messianic Judaism.
                              Is there good Messianic Judaism? The label, it seems to me, displays a reluctance to identify oneself with Christians in favor of emphasizing one's Jewishness (a stance of which Paul certainly would disapprove).
                              Jesus didn't come to start a new religion, but rather he was born a Jew, became a Jewish rabbi, had Jewish disciples, and is the Jewish Messiah in fulfillment of Jewish prophecy. Hypothetically is the Muslim Mahdi were to come, do you think he would start a new religion, or do you think he would come in the fulfillment of Islam?
                              IIRC Bah'a'ullah claimed to be the Muslim Mahdi.
                              Similarly, Jesus came in the fulfillment of Judaism, so Christianity is the fullest form of Judaism or Judaism fully understood, which allows Gentiles to join without having to become Jews.
                              Jesus came in fulfillment of the Jewish Tanakh, but, properly understood, Christianity transcends Judaism to encompass humanity. It is the "faithful remnant" of the prophets with the inclusion of the Gentiles which those same prophets predict.
                              Over the centuries some of the Church Fathers have been anti-Semitic and have sanitized the Jewishness from Christianity, but I think that is tragic both in that many Christians have lost an understanding of the Jewish cultural context of the Bible and in that many Jews have not recognized a sanitized Jesus as their Messiah.
                              Those who attempted to follow both the old and new covenants in the time of the Church Fathers tended to have rather unorthodox theology. And the liturgy of the Orthodox Church is still based on the synagogue service from which it developed.
                              If you listen to the testimonies of Jews who were finally convinced to read the NT, they frequently express their amazement at how Jewish it is and that they hadn't realized that Jesus was Jewish. One of the things they are taught is that Jesus did away with the law, which disqualifies him as the Messiah in violation of Deuteronomy 13, and I think they have a point.
                              If the point is that Jews tend to misrepresent Christianity, they do.
                              Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

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