Christians....what if someone came to you?
This is directed towards any variety of christian really, (and yes, this includes catholics, mormons and jehovas witnesses)
What would you say if someone came up to you and said that they were part of a group that was a "perfected" variety of your kind of christianity (lutheran, baptist, catholic, ect, whichever applies to you) and that they were Jewish and believed in the same things you did, except that they did not believe that Jesus was the Son of God, or the Messiah or a prophet or anything remotely like that. that in fact, they did not believe he ever even actually existed.
how would you react? remember that in this hypothetical, they are going around teaching that it is acceptable to be as you believe, but minus giving Jesus any signifigance or recognition?
edit: clearly I mean that they said they were christian, and believed the same as you, not Jewish.
Steve. ... what? nonsensical answer.
Wonderwall and Hasse, please understand that this is my point. those who call themselves "Messianic Jews" are PRECISELY equivalent to a person who says they are christian, yet does not consider Jesus to have been signifigant or exist. they claim to be Jewish yet their beliefs are in absolute irreconcilable contradiction with the core beliefs of Judaism.
and Hasse, also, I'm pretty darn sure that "Jew" comes from Judaism, which comes from the tribe of Judah.
Pilgrim, thats my point! its much less clear to most people with this exactly equivalent scenario for Judaism, as most do not UNDERSTAND Judaism sufficiently. Just as one cannot be Christian without Jesus, one cannot be Jewish WITH belief in Jesus.
- ✡mama pajama✡Lv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
When the shoe is on the other foot, do they recognize it?
Good question. Here now is an essay I wrote and often post on this issue.
I AM A JEWISH BELIEVER IN MONOTHEISTIC JUDAISM
Sound redundant? Of course it does. Judaism's primary tenet is belief there is only one eternal God of all creation. Judaism brought monotheistic belief to the world.
Hear O' Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is ONE
There is absolutely no need to designate any particular branch of Judaism as monotheistic. It is every bit as illogical and redundant to have a phrase naming a separate branch of the Jewish religion as "Messianic Judaism".
The very notion of a Davidic Messiah of Israel, Judaism presented to the world and its still very much a part of Judaism. The religion of Judaism is messianic. It is one of the principles of the faith of Judaism to have belief that God will make good the promise of an anointed human King of Israel who will deliver Israel and all who are persecuted and oppressed and usher in an age when all peoples shall know and worship God. The events of the Messianic age prophesied quite obviously would require no sales pitch to convince anyone on the planet if they had transpired.
So, when you ask a person of the Jewish faith, " Are you a messianic believer?" You may get a mixed reaction before you get an answer. The straightforward, logical, and truthful answer from anyone whose faith is found in the religion of Judaism would be to answer in the affirmative. Belief that God will do as promised to bring the Davidic messiah is one of the 13 principles of Judaism. If you know what Judaism is about, a single simple yes would suffice, yet, because there is a fast growing number of Christians who willfully misrepresent Christian dogma as a part of a sect of Judaism, an answer in the affirmative usually requires clarification. My hope is that here I can help at least one person understand why they may get an exasperated look or a frustrated response from a Jew if they ask a Jewish believer, " Are you a Messianic Jew? Are you a Jewish believer?" Perhaps this may in some small way help slow the growth of misinformation, misunderstanding and and misrepresentation, and a better understanding may develop and allow for actual dialog.
As I have done many times, I offer a wonderful web page from my friend Rabbi Stuart Federow has presented on the internet to help demystify for our Christian brethren just what it is Jews believe that is so different from Christianity. Whether you are curious or confused about Orthodox, Conservative, Reconstructionist, or Reform Judaism, this web page found at http://www.whatjewsbelieve.org will help you to understand the basic beliefs from a purely Scriptural perspective, while acknowledging and addressing the target audiences Christian perspective in relation to it. Hint: The major irreconcilable difference isn’t over the messiah.
I repeat, there is absolutely no reason to distinguish one sect of Judaism as " Messianic Judaism". If you follow the Christian doctrine found in the New Testament no matter how you Hebraicise the terms or Jesus name, you're not following the Jewish faith. You misrepresent yourself and in so doing, you are committing a sin according to Torah. If you call yourself a "Messianic Rabbi" and you are leading worshippers in prayers to or through Jesus or in his name you are misrepresenting yourself to others. You are no Rabbi. The Jewish concept of messiah is very different than the Christian as you can learn in detail at the web site listed above.
I rarely claim to speak for anyone other than myself, however, as a Jew, and on this issue, I believe I can speak for all Jews in my request. Please, be honest with yourself, your fellow man, and God if you follow the religion of the New Testament by any name, do not call it Judaism.
I wonder if the evangelic Hebrew Christian realizes what harsh feelings they are stirring up within their own children in teaching them a false identity and teaching that Jews who do not “accept Yeshuah” hate them for their beliefs. Sometimes it appears that is, in fact, their goal, to create animosity to Judaism. This teaches those children to mistrust Jews and believe that the very people they identify with in name, reject them as their own out of hate! These young people then go on to ally themselves with evangelic Christians ( because their beliefs are identical ) while cloaking their dogma in Jewish custom and practice that is often more outwardly Jewish “looking” than that of modern Orthodox Jews! They also assign meaning to deeply reverent Jewish customs or prayers, which were never intended and usually offensive or contradictory to the aspect of faith the custom is intended to honor. The customs and rituals of Jewish people around the world developed to honor the laws of Torah and teach each generation about the faith of Judaism. To see these customs and rituals used to honor a replacement theology is extremely disturbing to the believing Jew for whom these things have deep spiritual significance. The feeling of a Jew watching a Christian use the Passover to represent Jesus as a deity, or represent the blood of the Passover lamb as a sin sacrifice and try to change every deeply significant aspect of the service and remove the meaning to replace it with another is incredibly painful. to the faithful Jew. The Passover is deeply important as a part of our spiritual identity as Jews and of our connection to God. . How can a people who claim to love Torah or who claim to love Jews do such a thing?
Would a Christian wish to see their customs and rituals they perform to honor their faith in Jesus being used to justify a belief in Vishnu or Allah or any other deity that Christianity does not believe to be a deity? Why do Christians expect Jews to EMBRACE their doing so to Judaism or most often demand that we tolerate them? Why is a Jew speaking out against such a hijacking called intolerant? What kind of logic allows accusations of hate to be hurled unchallenged to Jews when we cry out for others to stop trying to hijack Judaism? Tolerance does not require that one must accept misrepresentation and ignore it.
They also speak of the Jewish faith as being narrow and blinded to God. Christians and the Christian religion should not define for the Jewish people the dogma of Judaism. This is what I see happening today. I see Christians teaching other Christians what is and isn’t REAL Judaism and the Christians ignoring the Jewish voice of what Judaism is. I see a widespread practice has emerged whereby Christians presenting themselves as Jews go to churches and teach their fellow Christians that Jews are taught to hate Jesus and Jews who come to embrace him. That is the most dangerous lie of all being spread today.
Judaism does not teach this. I know of no Jewish synagogue, rabbi or Jewish parent who teaches our children to hate Christians or Jews who convert to Christianity. It pains us to see one convert away from Judaism, but we do not hate them as a people. I cannot deny that there are individual Jews who hate or those who may hate a Jew who converts and then pursues a path to mislead Jews. Thankfully, not all Jewish converts to Christianity engage in that deception. Unfortunately, bigotry can be taught by any human if your baser inclinations are not controlled.. Some Jews, who have felt abuse and hate, react likewise. That too, is human nature. It is not the best part of our nature but no group is immune. Jews are known for being hardest on our own that turn to bigotry. Torah teaches that we can master these inclinations.
I find myself often feeling hate when I see someone teach a child to hate.. I am human. I work on that and do my best not to let my gut reaction to such abuse lead me into irrational behavior in response. Instead, I resort to writing things such as this.
Teaching children lies lead to fear and hate of others.. When I hear an adult tell another adult or a child tell a Jewish child, “You are the kind of “unbelieving” Jew who hates me because I believe in Yeshua“, .the level of frustration I feel is off the chart. That is a lie without a shred of truth! But it is a lie that cannot easily be refuted. No matter what the Jew who was told this responds with, they will not be believed or trusted because the speaker holds so many misconceptions about Judaism! I can understand sometimes the denial by Jews in not dealing with this because this task can feel overwhelming at such a moment. What CAN we do other than try to educate? But who will listen? Are their voices already louder and more accepted as being “Jewish” among non-Jews?
A Jew who embraces the Jewish faith and refuses to abandon it for acceptance of the New Testament dogma is not an “unbelieving“ but a “believing Jew“. Jews simply hate our religion being DERAILED. Jews the world over loathe seeing every aspect of Jewish life HIJACKED and completely misrepresented to support beliefs that are completely contradictory to the faith of Israel. I hate watching children be taught lies! I cannot hate those children who grow up thinking they are Jewish. I am greatly saddened, often to the point of tears because they are being taught that believing Jews hate them! That means they have NO CLUE what Judaism’s CORE ESSENCE of TORAH teaches us about being Jews!
To Israel, the chosen part means the Jew chooses to be a light unto the nations in our path of life in Tikkun Olam. (Repair of the world, fixing what is wrong and working alongside all peoples in our walk with God and the ongoing creation of life in the world we are blessed with) Evangelizing, selling, or coercion is not necessary if your life reflects a walk with God, NO MATTER WHAT religion you embrace... It makes no difference if you are a Jew or not..Jews believe that ANYONE CAN WALK with GOD in righteousness!
There are righteous among all peoples and every human, Jew or Gentile, atheist, theist, agnostic etc, has worth. However, you cannot be of the Jewish faith if you do not accept the TERMS OF THE COVENANT OF TORAH. The differences in the sects of Judaism have to do more with observances and customs of how to honor this covenant, not over the nature of God or the covenant itself. The prophetic belief is that in the messianic age one day all will come to know God. “Faith” will essentially be unnecessary because “knowing” and understanding will replace that. This has not happened and you are free to believe it will not ever happen. I cannot help but hope with faith that it will one day happen because right now religiosity, bigotry and greed are tearing apart the human species and the balance of life on earth itself..
As Jews, I call out to every Jewish parent to teach our Jewish children what Judaism is so they are not fooled by the missionary who appeals to their desire to belong to a larger group. It is a natural desire to want to share in belief with all around you and to feel connection in that manner. Once a child is an adult, they can choose to remain in the path of Judaism or not, however they will know the difference between coercion based on deceit or embracing a belief because their heart and mind lead them to do so. If one feels a genuine love for Jewish identity and things Jewish and Israel, they would NOT try so very hard to remove from the Jewish nation/family/religion the very thing that has kept our existence intact. It is not the food or symbols, it is the faith and the covenant itself. The covenant is not about RACE. There is no Jewish “race”. There is no “Gentile” race in any modern sense of the word race. The word gentile refers to non Jewish people, used for the Hebrew word for nations, goyim.
It is a lie when the evangelic Hebrew Christian teaches of adoption of Hebrew Christian dogma, “a Jew stays Jewish and a Gentile becomes grafted into the commonwealth of Israel. Gentiles don't become Jews. Jews don't become Gentiles. Both races simply become a Torah-driven people, while maintaining their separate physical identities.” Uri Marcus, who teaches this, and others who say this, lie in their attempt to evangelize to the Jews and to convince Christians that this method of evangelic attempt is justified. Ruth, a GENTILE became a Jew by adopting the faith. That is right IN the Tanakh. Ruth, a Moabite, a person who was of a nation cursed for eternity in Torah, became a Jew. Gentiles can become fully Jewish according to Jewish law. It was true then and it is true now. If you want to be a Jew, you can. However, it is and has never been necessary to become a Jew to know God or be blessed by God. If you want to call yourself a Jew and be honest about it, the way you do that is through adoption of the Jewish faith.
The fact is that the majority of these people claiming to be Messianic Jews were never of the Jewish faith to begin with. The largest number are converts from other evangelic Protestant Christian denominations who wished to feel a connection to the Jewish people, the land of Israel itself and their adaptation of the Hebrew Bible they know as the Old Testament. There are more Christians claiming to be Jews in some communities of the United States now than there are Jewish people. The surrounding larger non-Jewish community and their children come to see the outward Jewish appearance of those people and base their belief of what is and is not Jewish on those Christians posing as Jews. This should be disturbing to any Jew.
A Christian convert to Judaism is not a Christian without Jesus, an Islamic convert to Buddhism isn't a Muslim for Buddha, a Baptist convert to Catholocism isn't a Baptist for the Pope and a Jewish convert to Christianity is not a Jew for Jesus.
mama_pajama_1 © 2006
- 1 decade ago
A Jewish Christian is impossible. So is a Christian Jew. Christianity and Judaism are two different religions. If you believe that Jesus is the Messiah, you are a Christian, even if your parents and ancestors were Jewish. Judaism is a religion, not a genetic or racial fact.
- DanielLv 51 decade ago
I've often asked this question myself, like, whenever I see someone pull an Ann Coulter.
Christians should be proud to be Christians, not proud to be Jews, which they aren't. Any time someone brings any of that nonsense to me, I'll just share with them how happy I am to be a "Completed Christian".
Damnit, all religious Jews are "Messianic" - just because we recognize that Jesus ISN'T the Messiah because he didn't fulfill any of the criteria doesn't mean we're not still waiting for the Messiah. Orthodox Jews are the REAL Messianics. A Messianic Jew is just a Goy in Jew's clothing. ;)
And remember kids - be proud of your identity, and you won't feel the need to steal someone else's!
- happy pilgrimLv 61 decade ago
Friend, your hypothetical is a wee bit confusing. How can someone be Christian and not believe that Jesus even existed? Christian= followers of Christ.
But, on second thought, that is true with a lot of so-called Christians today! They profess to be Christians but do they really believe Jesus rose from the dead? Do they really believe He is alive today? Do they really believe He is coming back?
I am glad He did... and is.... and will !
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- 1 decade ago
As for how I would react to the person, I would be courteous and pleasant but it wouldn't change my thinking or beliefs one bit. It's impossible for there to be any kind of "perfected" Christianity and deny Christ as the centerpiece. Thats like buying a Cadillac, removing the engine, then telling your friends you own a Caddy. You may own a Cadillac but without the engine you aren't going any place. Christ is the engine of Christianity regardless of denomination and without him, it doesn't run.
- Mizz SJGLv 71 decade ago
I think all religions get caught up in semantics instead of realizing that all religions are different versions of the TRUTH...the only thing we know is that we do not know...When you read the Olmec, the Sumerian texts, the ancient stories of the world's population all revolve around the Stars and Sun and the fables that ensue to explain the GOD of ALL.
EDIT: Prove me wrong...try, I dare you to prove that you KNOW THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH.Source(s): Non-denominational believer of the ONE...whatever we name IT, it is not to be named.
- 1 decade ago
How about me? I was born into a Buddhist family, later converted to Christianity and my mother's mother's mother was a ethnic Jew.
To me, There are many roads to Rome.
- hasse_johnLv 71 decade ago
If they do not give proper recognition to the Savior, in what way could they be called "Christian"? The common plank of our faith is that the Almighty became flesh, and dwelt among us, and died for our sins. The "Jews" say it can't happen. YHVH can't become flesh. "JEW" is from "Yahudim" which means "worshiper of YHVH" and yet they won't use that name, understanding it to be too special to be used. (Even though it is in Scripture 6800 times, and many times He says "call on my Name") See Rev 2:9 and Rev 3:9.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
I LOVE this post.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
It just doesn't matter, you are all free. You will find your pathto Him eventually.
- WonderwallLv 41 decade ago
they cannot be Christian,he who denies Christ came in the flesh is antichrist