Is Messianic Judaism an expression of separateness or celebration? Has the term Messianic Judaism promoted cultural identity at the expense of identity in Christ? Has the fruit been division or unity? Has the Messiah or has Judaism been the focus?
Messianic Judaism has as its focus the religious and cultural values that belong to a certain people, but because they have made it their primary focus they have created division instead of unity. Those who become Christians in any culture don’t promote their culture as a primary objective. If promoted at all, culture needs to remain secondary to what makes Christianity truly unifying.
Messianic Judaism’s focus is so strong that those who practice it may feel the necessity to be separate from other believers. They form clicks within churches or simply meet separately altogether. Preferably, it would seem, they would like other believers to do things their way, believing it to be a more authentic expression. They major on terms that make them distinct rather than on those that make us one. Undue focus gets given to things that are interesting but not necessarily life-giving.
Proponents of this are not overtly teaching another Gospel, to which Paul would have said, “Who has bewitched you!” However, surely the way that Messianic Judaism is practiced separately is what Paul reprimanded Peter for. In my mind simply having a term Messianic Judaism creates an air of separateness and not celebration. It has by nature a sense of dividing God’s people, the Jewish believers from the others.