Real Church, Unity

Messianic Judaism – Celebration or Separation Part 2

Celebration or Separation?
Celebration or Separation?

Cult-like Movement

Messianic Judaism is a term coined to distinguish Jewish believers in Jesus as the Messiah. But, despite the joy of Jews believing in Jesus as their Messiah, it is sadly a movement within Christianity with cult-like tendencies. The movement parades itself under the guise of mere cultural Christianity, but it often carries menacing and divisive traits by its adherents. And, basically, by design, it’s a divisive movement.

Soured Celebration

Now, don’t get me wrong, I believe that all cultures should be able to enjoy the Christian faith within their own culture and to the extent that their culture doesn’t conflict with the Gospel. Likewise, Judaism carries a number of cultural-religious ideas and practices that Jewish believers in Christ can also hold onto. In this way, Messianic Judaism should be no different to say Zulu Christianity or American Christianity or Chinese Christianity or any other people’s expression of the Christian faith and culture. However, sadly, Messianic Judaism is often foisted, subtly or forcedly, on Jewish and non-Jewish believers as the ultimate Christianity to which all should aspire. A sort of superior Christianity!

Separate and Superior

Now, you have got to wonder about a group that speaks of themselves in such separate terms to all other Christians. I mean, a Zulu who comes to faith doesn’t go about saying, “I am a Zulu Christian” or use the term “Zulu Christianity”. That would smack of separateness and could lead to having an air of superiority! Yet, this is precisely what “Messianic Jews” do and what Messianic Judaism is.  Also, and especially annoying, is that non-Jewish converts to this form of Christianity participate in doing this.

Redeeming Messianic Judaism

Now, the term Messianic Judaism is useful if used among Jews to distinguish Jewish believers from other Jews, but it should not be used in the church, as it fosters a sense of division. And, where this happens, mischief is at work, because, Christ is not divided!

“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision matters. What matters is faith that is active through love” (Gal. 5:6).

Rob

Go here for Messianic Judaism – Celebration or Separation Part 1

3 thoughts on “Messianic Judaism – Celebration or Separation Part 2”

  1. Hi Rob,

    Thanks for this. I have encountered this very issue in the past and also at this present time. Sincere and well-meaning believers are falling into this trap. It usually leads to a kind of separation as you say, or a sense of superiority and a turning in on themselves. Why o why can we not grasp that Jesus is enough in himself and that the Good News is precisely ‘Jesus plus nothing’? A careful reading of Galatians surely makes this plain. In my understanding anyway.

    Greetings!

    1. Hi Erroll,

      You are precisely right! By adding to Jesus and the gospel we show a lack of perception, often through deception, of Jesus and His sufficiency. In fact, by adding we are actually subtracting!

      At times, like Paul in Galatians, we need to speak the truth firmly to those caught up in these things, and, also as a warning to others. Also, we should always pray for those who are involved in deception, as well as for ourselves, for a clear revelation of Jesus and His sufficiency. In Eph. 1:17,18… Paul prays a fantastic prayer along these lines.

      I am aware that you already know this, however I hope that our mutual encouragement and our conversation may do more than only remind one another, but also help others to respond appropriately too.

      Thanks for sharing,
      Rob

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