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  #1  
Old 2nd June 2005, 12:35 AM
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Is Messianic Judaism heresy?

For awhile now, I've heard about the Messianic Judaism denomination. Apparently, they reject many of the traditions of the Christian church, sometimes including the Trinity. They also teach that people should obey the Torah in order to be saved. Most disturbingly, I've even heard stories of people becoming so engrossed in Messianic Judaism that they simply convert to Orthodox Judaism and reject Jesus altogether. What do you guys think? Is this just a harmless case of Christians dressing up as Jews? Or should we suggest that these people return to traditional Christianity?
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  #2  
Old 2nd June 2005, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by arunma
For awhile now, I've heard about the Messianic Judaism denomination. Apparently, they reject many of the traditions of the Christian church, sometimes including the Trinity. They also teach that people should obey the Torah in order to be saved. Most disturbingly, I've even heard stories of people becoming so engrossed in Messianic Judaism that they simply convert to Orthodox Judaism and reject Jesus altogether. What do you guys think? Is this just a harmless case of Christians dressing up as Jews? Or should we suggest that these people return to traditional Christianity?
My impression of a Messianic Jew was someone who had followed Judaism, and then saw that Jesus WAS the Messiah, and realizes that Jesus is the final sacrifice for all sin. In other words, a Messianic Jew realizes that Jesus is the completion of Judaism. The Jew is better prepared to appreciate the complexities of God's plan of redemption, because the Jew has a more intimate knowledge of the symbology of OT worship system, prophecy to the nation of Israel, and a more intimate knowledge of God's standard (The Law) and his failing to meet that standard. Unfortunately, many times, people of all faiths would rather stand in their own righteousness, than in Jesus'.

Maybe there's more to the term than I thought, but it would seem odd to me to have the term Messianic if they didn't believe in the Messiah. Following the Torah certainly won't procure one's salvation, but it's not a new idea or anything, either. Lots of folks, "Christians" included, have lists of things that must be done to obtain salvation. I find it ironic the wording to encourage them to return to traditional Christianity, because that ("traditional" Christianity) often is the most tradition/works oriented religion available.

Come on, people. I'm sure that there is a lot of knowledge on the subject out there, chime in!!
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Old 2nd June 2005, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by arunma
For awhile now, I've heard about the Messianic Judaism denomination. Apparently, they reject many of the traditions of the Christian church, sometimes including the Trinity. They also teach that people should obey the Torah in order to be saved. Most disturbingly, I've even heard stories of people becoming so engrossed in Messianic Judaism that they simply convert to Orthodox Judaism and reject Jesus altogether. What do you guys think? Is this just a harmless case of Christians dressing up as Jews? Or should we suggest that these people return to traditional Christianity?
I suggest heading over to the Messianic Judaism forum and asking them what they feel about these issues. I think you'll be surprised that the responses don't fit the extreme stereotypes and outright misinformation that you have been fed.
  #4  
Old 2nd June 2005, 08:52 AM
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OK Dragon, I think I'll go over there and ask them sometime.

Originally Posted by Novcncy
My impression of a Messianic Jew was someone who had followed Judaism, and then saw that Jesus WAS the Messiah, and realizes that Jesus is the final sacrifice for all sin. In other words, a Messianic Jew realizes that Jesus is the completion of Judaism.
That's true of some Messianic Jews. Others, however, are Gentiles who wish to worship in Jewish fashion.
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Old 2nd June 2005, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by arunma
That's true of some Messianic Jews. Others, however, are Gentiles who wish to worship in Jewish fashion.
I suppose that's what the Judaizer's were preaching the NT?
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Old 2nd June 2005, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by arunma
For awhile now, I've heard about the Messianic Judaism denomination. Apparently, they reject many of the traditions of the Christian church, sometimes including the Trinity.
I won't speak about the Trinity, but as for the traditions, I can't say that I blame them for the most part as some of our traditions (Christmas and Easter for instance) are pagan holidays "converted" to a Christian meaning.

Originally Posted by arunma
They also teach that people should obey the Torah in order to be saved.
That is misinformation - no MJ I have ever spoken to has asserted this. The OT doesn't even teach this concept - Isaiah 45:22 "turn to me (repent) and be saved". Even the Jews I know don't beleive that being Torah observant saves one's soul.

Originally Posted by arunma
Most disturbingly, I've even heard stories of people becoming so engrossed in Messianic Judaism that they simply convert to Orthodox Judaism and reject Jesus altogether.
Unfortunately I have had a personal experince with this as a friend of mine has done that.

Originally Posted by arunma
What do you guys think? Is this just a harmless case of Christians dressing up as Jews? Or should we suggest that these people return to traditional Christianity?
What is "traditional Christianity"? Since the early church for the most part was a sect of Judaism up until about the year 125 AD, a good arguement could be made that Messianic Judaism is traditional Christianity.

Should we suggest to our Jewish Christian brothers to reject their Holy traditions given to Moses by YHWH and adopt foreign (to them) Gentile practices absolutely not. That said, should we as Gentiles convert to Messianic Judaism (become what is known as a Messianic Gentile), nope - most Jews would agree. Acts 15 makes the distinction between what is expected of a Gentile Christian and what is expected of a Jewish Christian.
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Old 2nd June 2005, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by novcncy
I suppose that's what the Judaizer's were preaching the NT?
You're mistaken - the Judaizers that Paul confronts, were Jews who insisted that to be a Christian one must follow Torah (contrary to Acts 15). A Gentile however, was free to become Torah observant if they freely desired to. The problem was when Jewish Christians taught that Torah observance was a must for a Gentile, rather than an option.
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Old 2nd June 2005, 12:01 PM
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Perhaps there a difference between Messianic Judaism and Messianic Jews?
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Old 2nd June 2005, 12:08 PM
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www.hopefortoday.org

Messianic Jews are simple people of jewish descent who realized that Jesus was Messiah.
They also realize that the covenants God made with the Jews were forever...and some have not yet been fulfilled. Yes they keep the holidays of passover...but with the realization that Jesus was the passover lamb. They keep the festival of lights...in recognition of the oil lamp that burned for 7 days with only enough oil for 1...
They keep the old feasts ... and they also keep the torah...that is the law God gave for His people. They keep the sabbath holy... They don't keep the added laws of the pharisees...but they do keep the original 613 laws prescribed by God by His own hand.

It's not heresy...there's nothing more precious to God than one of His chosen people to come to know His Son as their Messiah.

As for not teaching the trinity...the Old Testament is full of references to the Trinity...so yes...they believe in the triune God
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Old 2nd June 2005, 12:33 PM
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I see definite problems with Messianic Judaism.

The biggest problem I've seen is the slippery slope to self-righteousness. I have been told by them that I would be least in the kingdom of heaven for not believing as they believe.

What horrible thing am I doing that will make me be least in the kingdom of heaven you might ask...teaching that we are not under the law.

So, while keeping the old testament holidays seems like a great idea I believe it is a slippery slope into legalism and self-righteousness. But, then I don't think that the Messianic Jews have cornered the market on legalism and self-righteousness. That is something that we all must fight against. I do believe however any time you try to put yourself back under that law you are making a horrible mistake.

They will say that they are not under the law, but in the next breath tell me that I will be least in the kingdom of heaven if I don't join them under it.

I use to watch Jewish Voice years ago. I remember one of the hosts, I think her name was Chira--not sure. She had commented on how she thought it was fine to keep the old holidays, but she couldn't understand how some of the Messianic Jews became obsessed with keeping them. I understand it--they have a hook--the yeast of the pharisees.


RO 10:5 Moses describes in this way the righteousness that is by the law: "The man who does these things will live by them."

I've actually seen them quote RO 10:5 above as a good thing. To me it is a warning. We don't want to live by anything other than the gospel as the continuation of the above bible verses makes clear:

RO 10:6 But the righteousness that is by faith says: "Do not say in your heart, `Who will ascend into heaven?' " (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 "or `Who will descend into the deep?' " (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: 9 That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. 11 As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame."
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