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Is Messianic Judaism heresy?

Discussion in 'Baptists' started by arunma, Jun 1, 2005.

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  1. arunma

    arunma Flaming Calvinist

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    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?
     
  2. novcncy

    novcncy New Member

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    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!!
     
  3. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon Senior Veteran

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    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. arunma

    arunma Flaming Calvinist

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    OK Dragon, I think I'll go over there and ask them sometime.

    That's true of some Messianic Jews. Others, however, are Gentiles who wish to worship in Jewish fashion.
     
  5. novcncy

    novcncy New Member

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    I suppose that's what the Judaizer's were preaching the NT?
     
  6. Andyman_1970

    Andyman_1970 Trying to walk in His dust...............

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    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.

    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.

    Unfortunately I have had a personal experince with this as a friend of mine has done that.

    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.
     
  7. Andyman_1970

    Andyman_1970 Trying to walk in His dust...............

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    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.
     
  8. McDLT

    McDLT New Member

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    Perhaps there a difference between Messianic Judaism and Messianic Jews?
     
  9. Gwenyfur

    Gwenyfur Legend

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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
     
  10. Terri

    Terri Senior Veteran

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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."
     
  11. Andyman_1970

    Andyman_1970 Trying to walk in His dust...............

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    It's a shame some of the Messianic community presented the way they live to you in that manner.

    One thing to keep in mind, the Torah never was a path to salvation, so one can be under the Gospel of the Messiah Jesus and be Torah observant - understanding that being Torah observant is a way of living prescribed by God - not a path to righteousness or to elevate one's self above others.

    Another thing to keep in mind. A disciple in Jesus day was a person who's whole life revolved around learning what their rabbi knew (in a Christian's case this would be Jesus, remember He was a Jewish rabbi), do what their rabbi did (which is why Peter wants to walk on water), so they can become like their rabbi (Paul speaks of being conformed into the image of Jesus). So with the understanding from Jesus' day of what it meant to be a disciple, I can totally understand why one would want to do what Jesus did, be a Torah observant Jew.

    Now that said, I will never judge my brother or sister who desires to follow Torah (nor do I think anyone else should as well), however if Torah observance leads to "now you must be Torah observant as well in order to be a "real" Christian" - well that's what Paul speaks against in Galatians, imposing it as a "must do" for Gentiles rather than an option.
     
  12. mesue

    mesue Love all, trust a few. Do wrong to none.

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    The whole book of Galatians is about how we are not under the law, but under grace. Here's the perfect verse for that:
    Galatians 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
    (emphasis mine :) )
     
  13. Terri

    Terri Senior Veteran

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    Thanks Mesue! I'm glad you are under grace with me and not under the law!! :hug: Galatians is my favorite book of the Bible. It was my reading Galatians over and over and over, many times even in the same day that got me set free from alot of trying to be good enough to get to heaven. I was doing a very poor job of it. Thank God it is by grace :clap: because if it was by the law we know that no one would make it!
     
  14. arunma

    arunma Flaming Calvinist

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    What's wrong with that? I consider it one of Christianity's greatest strengths that former pagans were able to see types of Christ even in their own traditions. If a Muslim convert to Christianity wanted to pray five times daily to Christ, would you object? To me, it's enough that those European pagans denied the existence of their gods and turned to Yahweh. Furthermore, I think these traditions are valuable. You don't need to be Catholic to appreciate the many fine traditions of the Christian church. In fact, as Baptists we have a unique opportunity to learn from all of the great Christian theologians, without delving into petty arguments over the schisms within the church. To me, it seems that relying on Moses and the Old Testament feasts is a step in the wrong direction. All those things point to Christ, and it is in him we should trust. After all, why would we celebrate Passover, knowing full well that it points to something greater?
     
  15. GreenEyedLady

    GreenEyedLady My little Dinky Doo

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    Aruma,
    I think taking these beliefs as "Messianic" would be incorrect, however, I DO know of some MJ churchs that do have these doctrines or beliefs. I think there are some MJ churchs especially in my area, that are really off when it comes to thier doctrine. But I know of others that are right on target and I can totally see how their worship is very scriptural. I have experienced the self righousness, but I think that smell is in ALOT of churchs these days.

    GEL
     
  16. P_G

    P_G Pastor - ד ע ה - The Lunch Lady

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    Luckily for all of you

    One of the administrators on this very forum happens to in addtion to being Mennonite (Anabaptist) is an ordained minister in a Messiainic ministry

    Oh wait hey thats me!

    Now before we go tossing around the very ugly terms of Heresy and Judiazer which are just going to tend to get this Roeh very upset and angry please allow me to present this to you.

    Messiainics as defined on CF hold to the Nicene Creed just like you do
    if not the creed itself at least the things that it has to say

    So

    1 We are trinitarians please don't mistake us with sects that do not see Y'shua as anything less than fully G-d.

    2 We do not accept salvation through works there is nothing you can do to save yourself.

    3 You are not under the yoke of the law - niether are we that means that you are not under the punishment of the law. However and I think you will agree this does not give you a license to sin does it? I think that when Paul was asked this very question Should we go on sinning that grace might increase? His response was G-D FORBID!

    4 OK so some people convert from being Messiainic to Orthodox Judiasim know what some people convert from being Baptists to Satanists (Zanzor LaVey comes right to mind) So what does that prove? It proves people make bad choices in this life they will answer for them in the next. If you reject Christ you reject him it really doesn't matter how you do it does it?

    5 Holidays I would like to point out that the holidays mentioned in the bible were never removed they are still there. So we celebrate them. However ones that the Christian church brought about were never mentioned in the bible so they are ok?

    6 Ceremonial Laws OK I admit it I don't eat pork nor do I eat shell fish. Now you can tell me that I am going to hell for this I dunno why you would tell me this but you probably will. Mind you that since I stopped eating these things that my cholesterol has gone down drasticly - - Hey you don't suppose YOU DON"T JUST SUPPOSE G-D MIGHT HAVE HAD A CLUE WHEN HE TOLD US NOT TO EAT THAT STUFF DO YOU? Nah how could he know that?

    Oh and the resting on the Sabbath thing what a terrible thing to do! Take a day off from work and just pray you know and sing and stuff spend time with the family maybe take an afternoon nap.

    You know I could go on but what I want to tell you is this we beleive in the same Messiah you do
    We Love Y'shua (by the way thats how his mother would have called his name there is no J sound in Hebrew)

    Please don't call me a heretic
    Please don't call me a Judizer

    That just breaks my heart
    I breaks the heart of Adonai too

    Baruch Adonai Shalom (Blessings and peace in the L-rd)

    Pastor George
    M. Roeh (Messiainic Shepherd or Pastor)
     
  17. arunma

    arunma Flaming Calvinist

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    George, thanks for clarifying. Just one thing. In response to point 4, there is a difference between the Messianic and Baptist examples. Baptists who leave Christ do so because they are disenfranchised with Christianity. But it seems to me that Messianics who "leave" think that they're drawing closer to God by going Orthodox. Is this assumption false?

    Anyway, I'm quite relieved to hear that you believe in the Trinity. Sorry if my ignorance offended you.
     
  18. P_G

    P_G Pastor - ד ע ה - The Lunch Lady

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    No I don't know as that either is a matter of feeling disenfranchised with their faith but more that they think that they have discovered a better way

    But the Bible says this
    "There is a way which seems right to a man but it's path leads to destruction"

    Man is always trying to do it better than G-d
    He tells us that His ways are above our ways

    By the way? Why Celebrate Passover?

    If you EVER EVER get a chance to go to a Messianic Passover Go
    just go. You will walk away with an understanding of the Last Supper and the communion that you can get no other way. There are some images that taken in context reveil much of what Y'shua was saying in the bible. Take the Jewishness out of them and you loose it.

    But just a hint ok? Did you know that the Matzoh that is used durring the Passover is special and unlike any other Matzoh used durring the year?

    The way that it is cooked makes it be Striped and Pierced
    "By his Stripes we were healed"
    "Pierced for our transgressions" (these sound familiar?)
    What did Y'shua say?

    THIS IS MY BODY (A pierced Body a body that had stripes on it)
    Guess when he did this?
    At the end of the meal
    With a piece of Matzoh called the Afikomin
    Which is broken
    And then wraped in a white cloth
    and Burried
    And funny thing
    at the end of the meal it rises again!

    Yeah you might really want to look into this

    PG



     
  19. Athanasian Creed

    Athanasian Creed Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide, Solus Christus !!!

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    Having had the priviledge of working with Jews for Jesus in an administrative role for almost three years here in Toronto and, as a result, learning more of the Jewish roots of the the Christian faith i feel as if i can share some insight into MJ.

    Some Jewish people within J4J placed greater emphasis on their Jewishness then did others. There were none i met who did not believe Messiah Y'shua was Divine and all espoused God as a Triune Being (as the Jewish Scriptures attest) All gave their sons/daughters bar/bat mitzvahs - had their sons circumcised and celebrated the Jewish festivals. All considered themselves Jewish Christians or Hebrew Christians and were proud of their Jewish heritage. As to being Torah observant, some observed the dietary laws (no pork-shellfish, etc.) and some did not, feeling as if they were under the New Covenant and such laws were no longer binding upon them.

    MJ basically consists of Jewish born persons (mother was Jewish) who accept Y'shua as Messiah of Israel/Saviour of the world and Gentiles who desire to live more according to the Torah or just appreciate understanding the Jewish roots of the Christian faith. IMO, most of the inbalance seen sometimes within MJ comes more from the 2nd group who, feeling perhaps dissatisfied within "mainstream" Christianity, seeing it not only lacking but, in some cases, apostate. They tend to put anyone and anything Jewish up on a pedestal. It is this extreme that must be guarded against.

    The Jewish people continue to be God's chosen people (the natural branch) as is the Church universal (the ingrafted branch). Our faith is as a result of the work and faithfulness of the Jewish people whom God did ordain to take the message of the Messiah not only to their own people but us as Gentiles as well and we are indebted to them, they to whom has been committed the very "oracles of God" It is because of them that we have learned of the only true God, the God of Israel and of His Oneness ! :bow:


    Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

    Romans 3:1-2 What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.



    Ray :wave:
     
  20. ZiSunka

    ZiSunka It means 'yellow dog'

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    You must know different Messianic Jews than I know. The ones I know believe in Father, Son and Holy Spirit, they keep practicing Jewish traditions because they like them, not because keeping the traditions will save them, and although there are people who drift back and forth between Messianic and Traditional Judaism, it isn't because they reject Christ, it's because Messianic Judaism is a difficult way of life, neither completely "Christian" nor completely "Jewish." I've never heard of a person who wasn't Jewish, then became Messianic, then orthodox Jew. Who do you know that did that?

    I myself am seriously beginning to question the rites and rituals of traditional western Christianity. I think we get so intrenched in doing things one single way that we start to doubt the validity of other ways. One set of traditions or another, what difference does it really make?
     
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