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Messianic Judaism?

Discussion in 'Messianic Judaism' started by DRobert, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. mishkan

    mishkan There's room for YOU in the Mishkan! Supporter

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    Since the early histories of those who followed Yeshua did not use this term, most think of defining MJ in terms of the mid-20th century and forward. Is that what you had in mind?

    Just FYI, I agree with most of what Qnts wrote, but disagree that Gentiles have no relationship to the Torah. Just as Israel was called to be Torah observant at Sinai, it is my view that the grafting in process makes us part of that Torah observant community.

    It is always good to pursue this sort of study. There are a lot of voices out there, claiming to have a monopoly on "The Truth".

    I will be happy to share the fruit of my own studies and experiences. I have been an elder at a Messianic congregation since 1985, up until 2007 when I left as a result of disagreements with the rabbi. Now, I am a teacher at a different shul in the Baltimore area, as well as teaching online for a Messianic organization called, the "Coalition of Torah Observant Messianic Congregations" (CTOMC).

    I know of none who accept either transubstantiation or its cousin, consubstantiation. All agree that the language used to justify this teaching is metaphorical, applying the symbolism of the Passover seder to the work of the Messianic King.

    Most Messianics received their early training as believers in Protestant churches, and don't even know what this doctrine means.

    My own view is that the Messianic community is a sectarian subset of the nation of Israel. Thus, to me, the term can only be an expression of solidarity with the Jewish people. I do not believe God has a chosen community that exists outside of Israel.

    The Eucharist ceremony derives from a misunderstanding of Yeshua's final "supper", which was a Passover ceremony. Messianics tend to follow one of two paths in this regard. They either ignore the later development of the Christian "communion ceremony" and simply follow the annual Passover (my own view); or else they follow the Protestant practice of a performing the remembrance at a randomly selected periodic time--weekly, monthly, semi-annual, etc.

    This takes us into the interpretation of the council decision in Acts 15. Fundamental to understanding that passage is the question of whether the decree was meant to be an end point ("this is all a Gentile ever need do... ever") or a beginning point ("a Gentile must do at least these things until he has been with us long enough to learn more"). Christian teachers tend to take the first view. I take the latter view.

    I know of no Messianic congregation that practices, or advocates for, infant baptism of any sort. Remember that MJ is fundamentally "a Judaism". Our rite for integrating children into the covenant community is circumcision on the 8th day, as given by God.

    We don't really even discuss all the forms of getting wet. The rabbinic discussion doesn't really even consider sprinkling, dipping, pouring, etc. That is exclusively a Gentile Christian discussion. The ancient Jewish practice of the mikveh is quite clear--in order to perform a ritual washing ceremony, regardless of the purpose, there must be approximately 150 gallons of water in a container large enough to hold an average sized man.

    Again, this is a Church issue. Judaism emphasizes the practice, rather than the doctrine. And the community practice has come to us through a continuous implementation of the Torah.

    The traditional Jewish position would be something like, "We believe the rabbis have taught accurately what was given by God in the Scriptures". The Torah is at the root of all revelation. The role of the Prophets is to call the people back to the Torah. The Writings tend to reflect the mentality of life within a Torah observant community.

    Messianics tend to lean in the direction of the Protestant churches, adopting a "sola scriptura" perspective for the most part. But I credit that to the fact that nearly all Messianics come through a church before engaging the Messianic Jewish community. I encourage people to study the Jewish sages, so we at least have a baseline for community discussion, whether we agree with them, or not.

    This isn't set out as one of your questions, but I definitely agree with the sentiment. It is a loss to the churches.

    Heavens! No apologies necessary. We don't learn if we don't ask questions!
     
  2. ContraMundum

    ContraMundum Messianic Jewish Christian Supporter

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    From what I know of Messianics, most would not accept this. Messianic sacramental theology is essentially that of the Baptist church.

    Most Messianics wouldn't have a clue what that means. As I understand the movement, deeper theological matters such as this, election, pneumatology, ecclesiology, polity and justification are completely undeveloped and viturally ignored.

    The Messianic congregations I have attended do. Most on this forum tend to reject it based on a confusion between it and the Pesach Seder. The congregations I have visited have more clarity on this.

    Obviously, yes.

    As per question 1- baptist sacramental theology.

    As per q 2.

    I am not. Pesach is a ritual to remember an event in Jewish history, so I have no idea why Gentiles would want to be part of that. Still, they are welcome at my table.

    One should remember that the Messianic movement generally does not attract practiciing Jewish people. It witnesses to Jewish people with mixed success, but most Jews I know who come from a religious background and become followers of Jesus join liturgical churches with an ancient heritage and so forth (they tend to see a closer and less theoretical link with genuine Judaism). The exception seems to be in Israel, but there you have Messianic congregations that are organicially Jewish (eg. founded and populated by Jews). Their theology tends to be very Pentecostal in my experience but many do still keep proper Jewish Holy Days etc.

    One would think that Jewish people would have an affinity with the Messianics. But in my experience, I have not seen that. Rather the opposite. Most Jews I know respect mainstream Christianity (esp EO'y etc) far more than organizations like FFoZ. Just a month ago I attended a talk (shiur) from an Orthodox Rabbi who completely tore apart the Messianics but showed immense respect to the local Christian churches for their work and history etc. I left really down hearted, actually.
     
  3. Qnts2

    Qnts2 Well-Known Member

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    Just my own comment on this. 'Communion of the Saints' is probably a term used in 'High churches' and does not exist in other Protestant churches or Messianic Judaism. I'm not sure what it is. I am least familiar with High church doctrines (Lutheran, Episcopalian, Roman Catholic, Orthodox etc).

    As far as the other theological matters, since Messianic Judaism is not a denomination, there is no reason to develop certain theological stances. Messianic Judaism is a movement, not a denomination. As a movement, the central doctrines are those concerning soteriology (doctrines of salvation), since the movement is evangelistic. The other common doctrines are those reflecting the Jewish roots and culturally Jewish view.

    As far as election vs free will, you will find Messianic Jews who believe either one. It is not a salvific issue meaning, one does not have to believe in Election to be saved, and/or one does not have to believe in Free will to be saved. Therefore, it is a non-essential. In the light of the over all importance of sharing the gospel with the Jewish community, we can unite on the gospel and ignore the differing non-essential views, with those exceptions being views which are counter to the Jewish roots of the faith.
     
  4. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    Unless you've already done so, I'd highly suggest (if truly serious) going to the sticky section of the Messianic Jewish section entitled Useful books / journals and web-sites that relate to the Messianic MovementThere are many excellent resources others have shared which may prove beneficial to most (if not all ) of the questions you've brought up - in addition to that which was shared earlier if you have not already investigated. Another thread one can investigate is entitled Messianic History

    Depends on which strain/variation of Messianic one encounters - as the movement is not necessarily a denomination and yet it is denomination-esque in that the differing parties within it can be varied. Although there are others who do not hold to it, there are others who do favor it and don't see it as an issue since the entire concept/dynamic of communion is really a mystery anyhow and cannot be quantified in human terms on this earth anymore than the Holy Spirit's working through His people can.

    Although many claim to not hold to either Transubstantiation or consubstantiation, there is an acceptance of the concept of Real Prescence that is universal - the ideology of the prescence of Christ truly being there whenever communion occurs and we fellowship with Him.

    There are some good threads that give good information on the issue - such as in threads like #1, #11, #81, #427, Was the Lord's supper Passover? and What is your personal view on Communion/Eucharist/L-rd's Supper?
    Same as said before - as many are open to it (especially those who are connected to both Messianic and Hebrew Catholic circles, #7 and#11 ) in the sense of believing that all the saints who've passed on are present with the Lord/lifting us up in the heavenlies. Others, of course, have chosen to have an aversion to anything connected to it due to a lot of false ideologies that try to pit anything in Christian antiquity against Jewish thought - even though other Jews have noted where Christianity evolved out of Judaism...and with the communion of saints ideology, it was actually something very rooted in what occurred in the Maccabees account - in addition to the concept of how the spirits of the departed are not merely sleeping (or absent) - but everpresent....more shared here and here in #232 / #233 .



    For more:
    For Jews coming from a background of liturgy/mysticism, it is natural for them to see no issue with things concenring Eucharist.

    There are many Messianics who celebrate Eucharist, although they may differ in their understanding of it than others who do so. Passover can vary, although most note where Christ is the Passover Lamb and the focus...as with all OT types pointing to Him and all things done in remembrance of him. The Lord's Feast (per I Corinthians 11 ) - which was deemed as SEPERATE from Passover in the early Jewish communities - is something many choose to do either weekly, monthly or every other month. Many don't have a set schedule - but they do take seriously what Paul noted when it comes to not sinning against the Body of the Lord by mistreating others and acting as if the event is merely an exercise in symbols instead of a truly HOLY event amongst believers. In early Jewish culture, there have been debates on the frequency of how much the event should be done
    If going by Acts 15 and what the council noted, what's fundamental is noting where one is properly categorized. Many Jewish believers for centuries since the days of the apostles have noted where the council was meant to be finality - and it was treated as such in honor of what Yeshua was about. In recent decades, there have been many attempts at questioning that in the name of claiming that the event was not meant to be permanent (or that more was eventually required of Gentiles beyond what was noted there). Although it is often claimed that Jewish believers felt one way and Christians another, the early Jewish body of Messiah had no such ideology/seperation (as being a believer/Christian was seen in connection with being Jewish) and they addressed other groups (such as the Ebionites and others...more discussed in #143 #167 and #207 ), who sought to make the Gentiles be under more what the Lord demanded and what other Jewish scholars/teachers had long noted for centuries before. ...and it is still the case that others advocating for more have repeatedly been on the fringes of Jewish ideology [/quote]
    Immersion is not something that is neccessarily seen to be for infants. Baptism is a commandment for believers via Christ and the actions of what the early church practiced. For Jewish chlidren, circumcision is a means of being set apart for the Lord - although one can also dedicate their child to the Lord just as children were in the OT ...and as it concerns children, if baptized, it is still something where one must make their own personal choice later. Going from Acts 16 where Paul had the entire family of the Roman soldier baptized upon seeing CHrist, there have been discussions on how children can be baptized in the sense of dedication and yet still need to be told of choosing Messiah.

    [/quote]
    From a Jewish perspective, action/practice are meant to be simultaneous with doctrine - and as seen through the lens of the Tanak. If there were anyhing extra-scriptural, it'd be what occurred with Oral law/Rabbinical custom....and again, many Messianics/Messianic fellowships vary. Scripture was not meant nor invented in a vaccum and there have been debates on the cannon that is to be utilized...and even then, it is not the case that all Messianics deem rabbinical sources to be the ONLY source of extra-scriptural interpretation.
    Many do, just as many do not. On the same token, there are many Messianics who've noted that it was never something that was a "must" for Gentiles to do in order to understand Messiah - and truthfullly, at times it can be a distraction. There are many, for example, that are very focused on being Gentiles celebrating Jewish customs and yet those things are used as distractions from addressing personal issues in their own lives - be it things like lying, sexual immorality (i.e. pornagraphy, sleeping around before marriage, etc.), reckless anger toward brothers and many other things.....and many times, it can be the case that learning on Jewish customs can be detrimental when other elephants in the room are not addressed/dealt with first.[/font]
    Not a problem
     
  5. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    Being involved in the Messianic Jewish movement for some time now and being a leader within my own fellowship as well, it has been amazing to see how much diversity is present. From the MJAA to the UMJC to the IMJA and many others.

    When it comes to the Messianic Jewish movement, one of the main concerns others often seen is how many feel that the actual concept of being a Messianic Jew didn't necessarily begin 30 to 40yrs ago. For although the basis was laid for the groundwork of the Modern Messianic Movement, there were others who felt that its inception was not necessarily the beginnings of Jews coming to the Messiah. Additionally, many feel that there were always other groups within the world of Christendom that were very supportative toward others practicing their Jewishness...and reaching others in Jewish communities that felt cut off.

    It was often thought that only the Messianic Jewish Alliance (MJAA ) was capable of providing Jewish space, to be part of the Jewish community...and in some ways, one can consider them to be a pioneer coming from Hebrew Christian Alliance to MJAA. What modern Messianic Judaism did was freeze the elements of Hebrew Christianity and went into a direction that Hebrew Christianity hasn't..... and when I say "freeze", the term "freeze" is said in the sense of "framing" (like framinng a picture or looking at a powerpoint and freezing a slide of a person/place and taking time to explain it as you also discuss how you may wish to be different than they in your overall presentation)...and in that sense, MJAA in many ways framed what occurred with Hebrew Christianity and decided to go in a differing direction with where its predecessors went since they felt that something else was needed, even though Hebrew Christianity continued on its path to be effective/make grounds where they saw it was necessary.

    Like Two differing strains/breeds of the same species on differing evolutionary tracks/branches, they may've diverged......and yet, on many things, they still overlap. One may say that their goal is to reach a community in a distinct way, even if/when the other side may've been doing that already or in a way parallel to what the other was doing. One may say that they're different than another, even though there are times when development of the movement ends up giving room to new variations within a camp that're similar to what occurs in the other..

    However, with MJAA, there later came fringe groups that wanted to move in different directions as well...and though many in the MJAA do not associate with or acknowledge those groups, the ties seem to remain present in differing ways. It seems like One law groups and other fringe groups either came from the pioneering groups or were a complete start up. And the camp has been very diverse ever since. MJAA was never the only version of Messianic Judaism within the modern movement---as there were other alliances/groups...and within that, there were sub-groups as well, some good and others bad and some on the fringes. It was never the case, for example, that the MJAA has not had to deal with schisms within their camp..as it is a mixed bag.

    There are groups associated with MJAA that were/are One Law to a certain extent, and that have been there for a while, just as there are also groups opposed to it, all under the same banner. And there are groups of Messianic Jews who felt that Two House theory was proper...but because the MJAA had a strong stance against it, splits occurred and things diverged even further. Some camps didn't come out against it, but they did alter their views a bit. Some are for "Bilateral Ecclesiology" or "Divine Invitation" (as is the organization of "First Fruits of Zion"), whereas others are not.

    Others may disagree...but I'd argue that its best to see Modern Messianic Judaism as a denominational-esq movement....for the amount of fighting that often happens amongst Messianics is very similar to what occurs when differing denominations have civil wars within Christendom. As long as there are variations within the Modern Messianic Judaism movement, it'll always be difficult to nail down fully. In many ways, the dynamics of how the Modern Messianic Judaism movement acts is similar to many other movements/their variations---be it the Emergent/Emerging camps or the Charismatic camp and all of its branches. Sometimes, asking what Messianic Judaism looks like is akin to trying to write about the shape of ocean waves. There are a lot of them, they are changing, and they are not all the same...and therefore, one would have to realize there's a degree of complexity when trying to write and analyze a large movement with so many variations within it and do it to the satisfaction of all.

    There will always be growth/new development---and yes, it can be frustrating when it seems that one cannot get to the point of having all things in a system outlined under a specific label or formula. Thankfully, however, it doesn't all have to be seen as a negative...for never in the church has there ever been monolithic thought. Moreover, movements can evolve....and good can be found even in the differing camps splintering off to do their own thing...for even as it concerns what's labeled as "fringe" groups, many of those considered to be in line with negative "frimge" groups were ones I found to be quite Biblical...and it turns out the label "fringe" was thrown against them so that others would think of them in the same way that they do about those "fringe" groups that actually do damage. The labeling dynamic is always amazing since it seems that anyone different from the norm is often considered to be "fringe"---and yet, as the old saying goes, "For so long we've operated at a sub-normal level of living that when we're presented with what's normal, we consider that abnormal." Many never stop to consider if what is considered to be "orthodox" at some point may not have been so in all eras

    For some good resources on the history aspect, one can see one source here that was very in-depth..and for others:


    Some of the resources included the actual pamphlets they used in the meetings during the 1920-30s era. Also, for more reference, one can go here or here:

    There have been some excellent discussions on the subject/variations within MJism and Christianity, as seen here . Additionally, as it relates to the issue of who qualifies for being a "Jew" or not, Dr. Michael Brown actually wrote something very solid on the issue in his article entitled “Who Is a Jew?” Questions of Ethnicity, Religion, and Identity"--to which he did an excellent job in seeking to deal with the issue. Additionally, For some good works on the issue, Arnold Frunctenbaum's works on Hebrew Christianity, including his very amazing book which covered alot of ground, are very beneficial in clarifying issues (IMHO). As my Messianic Fellowship has had him come speak at our conferences, we're very close in association with him. Will now have to add the book to the list of ministry resources utilized in addition to the ones I have already (here, here, here, etc)...:)
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2012
  6. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    It seems that in other places those issues are dealt with at length rather than ignored and I'm thankful for the Messianic fellowships that do so. Some do not place as much emphasis on that, sadly, because the ideology is that being Jewish is simply about knowing rabbinical culture/ideology, celebrating the Festivals and discussing Torah all day - and thus, despite the sheer extent of activities that the early Jewish Christians/believers involved themselves in and the ways that they worked within systems they were in rather than trying to make all things "Jewish" (since they weren't concerned with that), people end up feeling disconnected....and a bit bothered thinking they're in a display show rather than developing in all areas.





    I think the reasons why many have issue with a lot of Messianics is because of what often happens when people in the movement (largely Gentiles) in their zeal to reach Jewish people end up trying to become more Jewish than Jews...and claiming things done in the name of Judaism/living out the TOrah that had absolutely NOTHING to do with ancient Hebrew culture, Jewish history or even Judaism itself. Much of it simply being on the level of Hebrew Roots foolishness.....and when it comes to attacking other Gentiles or Jews as not being Jewish enough for accepting their understanding, other Jews get REALLY ticked off.

    I've seen the same thing you've noted when it comes to Messianic fellowships in Israel largely being Pentecostal - and the same with others here in the U.S - and they have no problem working with other Pentecostal fellowships that are Gentile based since the focus isn't an "US (Jews) vs Everyone else!!" or a mindset that says one cannot learn something from Gentiles. Many Jews came to faith due to the power of the Holy SPirit. Asher Intrater, who does work with what's called the "Israel Mandate" organization (made for the specific purpose of mobilizing intercessors in the church worldwide to help establish houses of prayer for Israel/Jewish outreach) has noted this often alongside other Messianic leaders like Dr.Michael Brown when it came to seeing the ways that Jews are coming to Messiah and seeing themselves being completed

    Acts: Then and Now #8: The First and the Last

    I love the ways that Asher has been seeing many Jews come to Messiah and seeing Gentiles come to the Lord in power of the Holy Spirit....all of it in fulfillment of the scriptures. There was one video of him in ASIA that was truly amazing when discussing the role the Holy Spirit had for Asian believers and how the Messianic Jewish world was truly impacted by what the Lord was doing in Gentile believers, be it those choosing to live a Judaic lifestyle or those who remain as they are and simply preach the Power of the Holy SPirit to transform


    In his view, as he has shared before on Joel 2:
    Acts 2:17 - "In the end times I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh."


    This has not happened yet. It really will happen. It will happen soon.


    When does this happen? - In the end times.

    What will happen? - God will pour out His Spirit.

    Who will it happen to? - All flesh (all nations).


    Any individual or congregation can receive the Holy Spirit at anytime. Yet this prophecy will be multiplied, particularly among the younger generation (Acts 2:17-18). It will happen during the events concerning the end times and the tribulation (Acts 2:19-20). It will usher in the Second Coming of Yeshua, the great and terrible day of the Lord (Acts 2:20). It will be accompanied by a massive sweep of evangelism (Acts 2:21).

    This is the same kind of revival that the disciples experienced in Acts 2. Yet it is yet to come. It will involve all nations. It happens right before the Second Coming instead of right after the First Coming. It will be accompanied by fire - not just the fire of revival, but also of judgment. The fire of the First Pentecost (Shavuot) launched the gospel and the Church around the world from Israel. The Second Pentecost will bring Yeshua back to Israel and establish the kingdom of God on earth.

    Before the outpouring in the first century, the early Messianic believers prayed together in unity all night in anticipation of Shavuot (Acts 1:14; Acts 2:1). In the twenty-first century, it is upon us, the International Body and Israeli Messianic community, to pray together in unity all night, in anticipation of this great end times' outpouring. As we do the same preparations they did, we will look forward in faith to the same kinds of results; and greater.

    Simon Peter's prophecy was quoting from Joel. Joel went on to mention that the catalyst for the prayer leading to the world-wide revival would be the renewed Messianic Jewish remnant in Israel (Joel 3:1). It will happen parallel to the time that the nations are gathering against the people of Israel and the land of Israel (Joel 3:2). All the conditions are coming into place now as they have never been in history.



    Asher has a very big passion for aiding others in seeing various aspects of the MJish movement that have either helped...or hindered it..from growing to its full potential. Concerning discussing the errors (as well as the strengths ) in Messianic Judaism and what the Law was meant for, Asher Intrater had an excellent sermon I was able to listen to, entitled "You Are My Beloved Son"...focusing on what it means to be approved by the Lord and how many within Messianic Judaism did not have true love for the Gentiles. The work he has done with "Revive Israel Ministries"--which is an apostolic ministry team dedicated to revival in Israel, with their work in recent years including street evangelism in Tel Aviv with Simcha Davidov, assisting at Tiferet Yeshua Congregation in Tel Aviv with Ari Sorkoram, working with the Netanel House outreach in Jerusalem with Rachel Netanel, teaching discipleship classes in Hebrew, serving in the Messianic Jewish Alliance of Israel, and preaching in congregations and conferences throughout Israel.....and has truly been something I think is right on time.

    Having been raised in a "conservative" Jewish home in the United States, Asher came to faith in Yeshua (Jesus) by a series of supernatural experiences while traveling in Central America in 1977-78---and has been living radical for the Lord ever since. It's always wild when considering the ways the Lord has been faithful to bring Jewish individuals to the Messiah. To see where he shared some of his testimony, Dr.Michael Brown intereviewed the man here.

    A lot of the talk on making belief in Christ "seperate from Christianity" is really hype that most Jews DO NOT accept and I've seen that often when witnessing the same as you with non-believing Jews noting their acceptance of Christianity and respect - and Jews coming to faith in Christ noting how they see nothing "un-Jewish" about Christians whom they fellowship with, as the most Jewish thing one can do is trust in the Messiah/live as He did.

    Many Jews go to liturgical backgrounds for the reasons you noted - especially as it concerns the Temple aspect close to what early Judaism did - and others have other reasons as well. It is interesting to see when they get bothered by a lot of the stances other Messianics may claim they hold to. As shared in #15 #21 #29, a lot of the anti-liturgical and anti-Catholicism can be a lay-over from radical Protestantism that has managed to find its way into the thinking of some who have journeyed into the Messianic Movement. Many leaders in the Messianic movement who grew up Jewish have NEVER been anti-Sunday, anti-Church, anti-Catholic, anti-communion or iconoclastic and not generally grumpy about Christians and their historic faith. They accept the fact that God has been working among the Church since the start.
     
  7. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    Curious as to the reasons why the Orthodox Rabbi felt the ways that he did.
     
  8. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    :clap:
     
  9. ContraMundum

    ContraMundum Messianic Jewish Christian Supporter

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    The earliest of the Christian Creeds contains the term Communion of Saints. The ancients considered it a vital and essential part of scriptural witness. It is not a "high church" term, but perhaps those churches who take their roots to antiquity seriously refer to it more than others.

    I don't think anyone should undertake a mission, or teaching, or anything to do with religion in any shape or form without serious development of doctrine.

    Actually, and I mean no offence here, but the underlined bit I would have a problem with. While election is not a thing one must comprehend to be saved, an improper understanding of it will eventually negatively influence one's doctrine of salvation- and if you don't have that right, you don't have anything worth sharing.

    Theology is intended to be a symphony, a harmonious and perfectly tuned set of instruments all in unison each part contributing to the whole. This is why I encourage the Messianic movement to work harder at its theology. As it stands, the lack of theological development and authority is really hurting it.
     
  10. visionary

    visionary Your God is my God... Ruth said, so say I. Supporter

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    Time is of the essence, and it is not the time to have your feet cemented in a position that can not move. The last time the Abomination of Desolation showed up, only those who were theologically ready to flee were able. Those who kept the old guard, lost life. So it is with this movement, God is calling people out, out of traditional understanding, traditional theology, and to prepare for what is coming.

    If Aaron was not ready to leave Egypt, then what his brother was telling him would not have gained support. Aaron would had to believe that the 400 year time was soon coming to a close, he would also have to believe that they would be leaving the slavery system of Egypt, although he had no clue as to how it would be possible. So when Moses showed up with the answer, he was willing to listen, pray, and ultimately follow his brother in presenting this message to the rest of Israel.

    John the Baptist would not have had the success that he did if it were not for the people readying themselves for a Messiah to come to save them. John at least knew the Yeshua was the Lamb of God who will take away the sins, which was a different theology than that of a lot of people in that generation who were hoping to get out from under Roman rule. John preached what he knew and prepared a people for Yeshua's ministry. This transition from thinking one way about the Messiah to another was the greatest fracturing of Judaism theology. It ultimately separated the body of organizational Judaism from the movement of God in His people.

    So it is today, there is prophetic movement in this generation found in the world's political, financial, environmental, religious, astronomy, military, and nations that give us new sensor readings as to the signs of our times. ... and many are praying and studying scriptures to try and understand it all. God is moving His people to prepare for what is to come. We are to watch, pray, and have oil in our lamps, for we know not when the bridegroom will come calling and we want to be ready. We want to be able to "see" the "abomination of desolation" so that we know when to flee. We want to be do the Lord's bidding and call people out of Babylon, have no part of her, not take her mark, nor the mark of the beast, but the seal of Him who is able to save us all. We do not want to worship the snake on the stick, nor make a image of the wrong god at the foot of Sinai, or .. and the list goes on... As we study, we are convicted, we share, as we share, it is tested against scripture to see if it is so. We will not lock ourelves down and cement ourselves in.

    As scripture is researched in its original language and meaning, "new" understanding comes out which changes the way we see and grow in Him. We are being transformed into HIS likeness, in more ways than even we know. As Paul said, the Jews were given "living " oracles to keep. Having "new" eyes to look again at the oracles the Jews have studied, has shed much light on many scriptural statements that have been misinterpretated by not using its proper Jewish context. It is in God's hands what HE will reveal to us. We are moving forward as the light shines on our path. It is getting narrower, and off the beaten path that many have travelled the last 2000 years.

    IT matters not, that we have come full circle and are back at Jerusalem, back at the promised land gates, back to Mount Sinai after travelling though the wilderness of sin, wrestling with God in the night until He blesses us with His Presence, and we have a lot of dross to shed to be ready to live forever in His Presence, as His World is not of this world we live in.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2012
  11. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    The term is an interesting one...and if one isn't aware of how life is within liturgical circles and the variances of the concept, they may end up thinking it's all about talking to ghosts or looking to others before Christ (as are common accusations). ..and of course, the most common one being "Well, all the dead are asleep!!!" which is far from Biblical.

    In discussing the issue with many of my brothers in the Eastern Orthodox Church, it has always been interesting to see some of their perspectives on the issue--as well as of those in liturgical circles such as Catholic..and some others. For those who are Hebrew Catholics ( as discussed here in #15 #4 /#33 ) and who feel Jewish culture is well reflected in the concept, that's something to consider as well (IMHO). Outside of that, it is already an historical fact that the early Christian practice of prayer for the dead was not an odd thing to do. …with many of the early Church fathers in the 1st through 3rd centuries speaking often on the subject. …whether it be with Augustine, Gregory of Nyssa, Tertullian or many others.

    For in the view of Eastern Thought, those who’ve gone ahead of us are not merely elsewhere in the “Great Beyond”–but very much aware of what is happening down below. Kind of like what happens for many when Grandma died and loved ones–whether those who were believers inspired by her example to continue walking godly or those who were not saved and yet were won to the Lord by her actions/chose to dedicate their lives to Christ— were wondering of the woman who kept the family together in Christ think “I know that Grandma is looking down upon me right now…and I hope she’s proud”. It’s the reality that the saints are with us in spiritual connection:
    Hebrews 12:1
    [ God Disciplines His Sons ] Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
    Hebrews 12:1-3

    By no means am I saying, by the way, that it’s appropiate for others to act as if they can have conversations with Grandma as with what often happens when a family member dies and they say that they’re still in the house and every morning they wake up they still hear that the tea pot’s whistling every morning before church just like it was when she was alive/making tea for everyone (lol lol ). But For anyone who has studied the book of Hebrews fully, the deceased individuals of Hebrews 11 is something I keep in mind when it comes to identifying who the “witnesses” are that’re looking on toward us. Personally, what comes to my mind is not only the thought of others whose past lives of faith encourage myself to do the same and have given godly examples to follow/give motivation…..but it is also the thought of actually having a crowd up in Heaven made of heavenly saints cheering me on actively that captivates my mind.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2012
  12. Qnts2

    Qnts2 Well-Known Member

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    Ok, I looked up Communion of the Saints and it is predominantly a Roman Catholic and Orthodox doctrine. At least most of the internet sites talking about this are RCC and Orthodox. The Communion of the Saints refers to those who are living, those in purgatory, and those in heaven. This communion allows for cross communication and effecting each other as Saints and includes the doctrines concerning the intercession of saints in heaven aiding and effecting living saints on the earth and in purgatory.

    Lutherans apparently have different beliefs concerning communion of the saints contained in the 'small catechism'. There is also some mention of this in Anglican related churches.

    As long as believers agree on how one must be saved, we are in unity. All other doctrines, while definitely effect our continuing beliefs and walk, do not effect salvation. Lutherans have a different view of election then Calvinists and Arminians, but people from all these views can be saved, despite the differences. There is nothing in these varying views of the doctrines of election which is contrary to the basics of how one must be saved. The Calvinistic doctrines of election explain the 'behind the scenes' idea of what caused salvation but not the actual beliefs needed to be among the elect. In otherwords, once a person is saved by faith and not works, we may know them as elect. So, the shared gospel of salvation is the same for Calvinist, and Arminian, and LCMS Lutheran (I have talked to Steve Cohen from Apple of His Eye).
     
  13. visionary

    visionary Your God is my God... Ruth said, so say I. Supporter

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    God warns us against communing with the dead.
     
  14. mishkan

    mishkan There's room for YOU in the Mishkan! Supporter

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    I believe there is a clear reason why the Orthodox are happier with Christianity/Christians than with MJ's (regardless whether Jewish or Gentile)--Christians can be ignored, for they represent a completely different faith community, while Messianic Judaism strikes close to home.

    We all want to be loved and appreciated, to have everyone tell us how wonderful we are. But the fact is that coming to accept Yeshua from within any form of Judaism involves a drastic paradigm shift. And such paradigm shifts usually manifest themselves as anger before they resolve into acceptance.

    It is a well-known principle of communication that resistance to an idea is preferable to being ignored. When an idea is ignored, it will never gain traction. Where there is resistance, that means the idea is being entertained and engaged--it may actually win out through discussion and argumentation.

    While we should do everything we can to avoid causing offense, we need to be more concerned about presenting a consistent message for the Messiah in a Jewish contextual setting.
     
  15. Temptinfates

    Temptinfates Newbie

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    very good, Vis.

    Temptinfates

    Did you remove the post? I thought it was a good read.
     
  16. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    Not really any basis for the false dichotomny since early Jewish believers never held to much of what's claimed in Messianic Judaism in certain parts today - and plenty of Jews throughout the ages have repeatedly noted that being a Jewish believer in Christ/CHristian are not different and have had issue with others for serving Christ as their main beef (as they've often pointed out where Jewish believers are Jewish except for their belief in Yeshua as God/Messiah). Anyone claiming Christ is easily ignored (as evidenced by the vast amount of times Messianic Jews and Christians have equally been ignored by Orthodox Jews at various points) - and I think the reason you offered is far from "clear"..and in many places, sadly, Messianic Judaism in many respects is far from Judaism or anything Hebrew and it is rightly pointed out by other non-believing Jews in Jewish culture from multiple venues....although in Israel, Messianic Judaism (with Jews making up the predominat basis of congregations) experiences the same struggles as other Christians who are persecuted for their faith in Christ - and both sides work together in dealing with that. They both, however, universally condem/point out the error at trying to make it the case that Messianic Judaism is divorced from Christianity rather than an offshoot of that (Jewish Christianity being what all other things came out of - and Jewish Christiantiy, as in the early church, coming out of Judaism)....and it's why it is often a trip to see the responses toward many of the extremes in the U.S who claim to speak for what it means to be a Jewish believer or Judaism.

    WHen something's on the fringe claiming to be the "norm", it'll always lead to others having issue.


    Pretty much one of the reasons others often avoid/ignore believers in Christ - especially Messianic Jews/Jewish believers, be it in Israel (where they're often persecuted) or here in the U.S - when it comes to their faith in Christ and the need for a Savior. Many Orthodox Jews who came to trust in the Lord have noted that repeatedly as one of the reasons they struggled with finding the Lord - although many, as said before, accurately pointed out that many of the attempts to make a "Jewish fellowship" for them by Messianics were offensive since it was radically divorced from anything really Jewish in their experience - with Gentiles assuming that frustration toward them on the issue had to do with not wanting Judaism when the truth of the matter was that they didn't want that which was make-believe or fake.

    Asher Intrater (of "Revive Israel" ministries) has noted that often---seen here, here, here. Dr.Michael Brown also had some really amazing stories on his site, as seen here concerning hearing stories of Jews from America, Israel and around the world, how they encountered Messiah, the trials they faced (from other Jews in the community who didn't like their decisions), and the miracles they experienced. He also shared on his website his own experiences---and things that helped him in his own understanding when it came to his Jewish heritage and things he'd say in objection to Yeshua.

    Other Jews who've made a significant impression on those who don't believe in Yeshua are folks like the author of "Tortured for Christ", Rev. Richard Wurmbrand (who is known in differing Messianic Jewish circles due to how he spoke in them often as an international Messianic Jewish leader in the body, more here and here). Richard's book on his experiences of being tortured during the Communist regime, as it was his focus on who Christ really was across all lines that helped him in his work for spreading the Gospel, have been a great challenge for folks in Judaism who tended to demonize all believers/say that they were not truly Jewish. From the USA he organised and controlled an underground missionary network covering all the Communist countries and later spreading to the Arab world, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Through his organisation he even reached the most remote islands in the Pacific Ocean.

    Although he was deeply concerned about the salvation of all mankind, he worked with a special zeal to introduce Jews all over the world to the gospel of Jesus Christ....and it was a focus that included working with others from a myriad of backgrounds to proclaim Messiah. Anytime believers suffer for the faith, that is a MJish issue since that is a part of what Christ took seriously---regardless of where they were. It's why RIchard, as Jewish believer, founded the international organization Voice of the Martyrs, which continues to aid Christians around the world who are persecuted for their faith.




    Unity in the faith and focusing on Yeshua in hard times when working with other believers has always been a part of the heart of the Lord
    Indeed - and thus, for those Jewish believers in Christ pointing to the Messiah and how he lived/interacted with Gentiles, thank goodness for the work they do and the ways they seek to address the difference between claiming something as Jewish and actually living it out.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2012
  17. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    The difference between obligation and voluntary celebration.
     
  18. LittleLambofJesus

    LittleLambofJesus PESKY DEVIL! GIT! l SAID GIT! Supporter

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    Like the ones concerning circumcision and eating or not eating certain meats, such as pork products or keeping the Fri-Sat Sabbath? :groupray:


    .
     
  19. visionary

    visionary Your God is my God... Ruth said, so say I. Supporter

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    Yep, people voluntarily want to be obedient to God... no obligation....:clap:
     
  20. ContraMundum

    ContraMundum Messianic Jewish Christian Supporter

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    You have summarized only the RC idea here.

    The term comes from the earliest Christian Creed and is essential to understanding the theology of unity in the Body Of Messiah. Hence, the less the doctrine is emphaized, the more the breakdown of unity is seen. This is why there is nothing but continuous breakup of churches amongst Protestantism- a disregard for the Biblical doctrine of the Communion of Saints.

    I agree. But at some point, when one believes that one is saved by his or her own efforts (a boundary patrolled often here) there no longer is agreement on salvation. This is where the doctrine of election comes into its own- it defines the how of salvation.
     
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