Problems with Messianic Judaism on the Fringe

I know today is Thanksgiving and we’re all thinking about turkeys and football and family. But I have just a little suspicion some folks are going to be on their usual computer reading lists today at some point, eager to keep up those blog-reading rituals and keep the ideas and information flowing.

Anyway, if not, maybe you’ll be reading this after Thanksgiving and either one works for me.

My thoughts this morning are on a few troubling stories that I have run across. One is about a group forming online support for the

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7 Responses to Problems with Messianic Judaism on the Fringe

  1. Derek:

    2. (Myth #2) The early Church was Jewish and we need to abandon modern churches to return to a purer form of Jesus-faith which is Jewish in expression. (Truth: The early Church in Jerusalem was Jewish, but Gentile expressions grew up through the mission of Paul and the apostles.)

    I think a lot of people feel betrayed by the actions of the church as it pulled away from the original teachings and practices of Judaism. Once you start investigating the Hebrew roots it is an eye opening experience.

    I was watching a show last night that touched on the importance of the pomegranate. The crown when mashed down forms the Star of David. The seeds represent 613 laws of the Torah. To me that is exciting!

    We start to question why this information is suppressed. Even the holidays of the Bible are ignored.

    When I began going to the JCC I learned about Shavuot. Why does the church not recognize this holiday? Millions are spent to get the 10 Commandments on a courthouse- and yet those persons pushing for it are unaware of Shavuot.

    The answer over and over is “By faith ye are saved.” To me that is not enough!

    There needs to be a healing across the entire spectrum of believers in Yeshua. Should churches be shut down? No. I do not believe there is a universal advocate of closing a church door. I personally enjoy some of the beautiful traditions that come from the Church like Southern Gospel Music. One of my favorite albums is Peace in the Valley sung by Elvis and another by Andy Griffith. I do not want to give that up. It is a nice tradition.

    I believe we should be humble before Messiah and show the world through our actions- why we choose Messianic Judaism and why we are Jews by Choice. I also believe as Messianic Jews we need to get rid of this superiority complex that festers in our community. We do not have all the answers. We need to reach across to all our brethren. We are on the same side. We want to please G-d. We want Messiah to return.

    I would write more but the turkey is getting to me.

    ‘Nuff said.

  2. judahgabriel says:

    I also see some problems with Messianic Judaism, but not the ones you see, Derek.

    Your post, especially advice #2, reads to me as, “If you do not understand Messianic Judaism to be Derek Leman’s Messianic Judaism, please go somewhere else. Go to church for all I care.”

    I will write a blog post in the coming weeks on this.


  3. Judah:


    But, my brother, while you and I have some minor disagreements as to philosophy of MJ, the truth is you are in MJ for the right reasons. You have an abiding love for Israel and a desire to see God’s work among his Chosen remnant. I didn’t say that you have to agree with me about the nature of rabbinic tradition (although it helps). 🙂

    So, for whatever it’s worth, advice #2 is not a message to Judah Gabriel to “get out and don’t let the door hit your tuches on the way out.”


  4. Toma4moshiach:

    You are really agreeing with me. I did not mean in myth #2 that Christendom is without fault. Anything human is faulty. And, yes, the abandonment of Israel in the theology of Christianity is a fault. The reinterpretation of the Bible as a book about the Church is a fault. But what would have been the right course?

    In my mind, and I think you agree, the Church did not have an obligation to be Jewish in practice. The Church had an obligation to imitate God’s love for Israel, interpret scripture accurately, and to form its culture with certain aspects of Biblical culture in mind (my biggest example of this would be Passover, which I believe the Church should be commemorating annually).


  5. judahgabriel says:

    Derek, I want to write so much, but I know you hate long blog comments. I’ll keep this short as I can, just for your sake. 😉

    I’m glad you’ll let me remain in MJ. 😉

    But I believe in or sympathize with many of the myths you mention!

    For example, I do believe Christianity today, especially the Roman Church, is way off from the faith of the apostles. We just had a young Lebanese Catholic man at our Torah study this past shabbat — and all I can say is, wow! Do we come from different worlds!

    I don’t believe there are 2 legitimate, distinct entities called “The Church” and Israel. I think there’s only Israel. Gentiles are grafted in.

    When it comes to church, I am not a church-basher, but I do have real concerns about it — entertainment-as-worship, teachings exclusively from Paul, a negative approach to Torah, to name a few. And yes, I cringe when there are Christmas trees or Easter eggs in a church.

    FWIW, I’m often pro-rabbinic tradition. My younger brother in Israel is probably the most pro-rabbinic believer in Messiah you’ll ever meet! 🙂 So I am against rabbinic tradition only when it’s in contrast to Scripture or when it’s a burden to keeping God’s commandments. (Example: I believe the rabbinic traditions regarding meat-and-dairy are a superfluous burden.)

    Anyways. That’s my spiel. Maybe I’ll write a blog post as a full answer to yours.

    Shalom bro.

  6. Gene Shlomovich says:

    Judah… you wrote:

    “I don

  7. handmaiden4him says:

    Somebody comment on Gene’s post! I’m confused! It’s a good one but hard to understand!
    I like Sid Roth’s comment.The scripture says “In Christ (messiah)
    “Gal.3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
    Gal 3:29 And if you are Christ’s, then are you Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. ”
    After Sid read this scripture, he said, “As I look out over the audience, I see male and female, probably there are some Jewish people mixed in with those that are not Jewish by birth, there’s people from all kinds of backgrounds and so this is not a literal statement.”
    He said this to illustrate the fact that there are those that try to minimize our differences. There is a difference between the Torah observant commonwealth of Israel and the non-Torah observant 21st century church. There is a difference between male and female…and on and on. It’s usually people who want to say that we don’t need to obey God’s laws in the Torah because they equate “law” with yesterday’s newspaper. They say, “We are no longer under the law,” (ie., old news). The fact is we all come from different backgrounds and we are male and female and we are Jewish or we are not, but Yeshua fulfilled the law and accepted us and cleansed us with the outpouring of the Ruach Chodesh, so we are complete in Him. We can learn to be God’s children according to His word and His Spirit. I don’t see any conflict just children learning to get along with each other that have the same daddy.
    Howard Morgan says that there are four reconciliations. The first reconciliation is that of the church to her Jewish roots; the second is the church to the Jewish people; the third is the Jewish people to their Messiah; and the fourth is the Messiah to planet earth. (quoting Dr. Morgan)
    Blessings in Messiah Yeshua!

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