Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Why the difficulty with messianic Jews and not secular Jews?

Greetings all,

A reader asked me the following questions:

"In respect of  Messianic Jews it seems that  that most (all?)  Jews see them as no longer Jews, is that correct? But why do religious Jews not say the same about  Secular Jews? I have always thought that  being a Jew is passed down through havinf a Jewish mother, so if you can inherit it (unlike Christianity), how do you lose it?"
My answer:

Firstly you are correct that a Jew is Jewish if your mother is Jewish, also if you convert to Judaism you are considered to be Jewish as anyone born Jewish. We follow this because it is part of the Oral Torah which Moses received at the same time as the written Torah of the Bible. I appreciate that Christianity rejects the notion of the Oral Torah, but Jesus (being a good Jew) did not c.f. Matthew 23:1-3 ,Mark 2: 23-27& Matthew 5: 17-20. Also we see that this law was already in practice in other parts of the Bible: in Ezra the Jewish men were told to send their wives and children back to Babylon because they were considered to be non jewish, not Jewish women being told to send back their husbands and children.

Secondly. I also understand secular Jewish atheists who are observant for cultural or family reasons. That's a distinctive feature of Judaism, a nation and a community, fused into a religion which permeates every aspect of oneself and life. We are more than a group of religious believers, but a global family. And to me family and community are key aspects of Judaism. We don't turn our back on family and therefore we shouldn't turn our backs or force them out, that those who struggle with God, with beliefs, but who wish to still be in the tent, however, it is quite clear that messianic Jews don't fit into this category.

Thirdly. A Jew who believes in Jesus as his/her “Lord and Saviour" has become a Christian. Even if not a formal member of a church group that person is a Christian theologically. The halacha (B.T. Sanhedrin 44a) recognizes the biologic link to the Jewish people as inviolate, but also recognizes that as long as one remains an apostate one is not considered to be part of the Jewish community. A willing convert to Christianity, whether formally or informally, forfeits his/her legal and social rights, which express a Jew’s belonging to the Jewish people. A Jew must meet, actively or inactively (e.g. a secular Jew), the fundamental biblical stipulation: “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3, Deuteronomy 5:7). God declares: “I am the first, and I am the last, and beside Me there is no God” (Isaiah 44:6).

I've come to appreciate that one can never fully understand God, I believe a rabbi one said "if I knew him, I would be him"(Judah ha Levi) and as it is written:

"As you do not know the path of the wind, or how life enters the body being formed in the mother's womb, so you cannot understand the works of God, the maker of all things"(Ecclesiastes 11:5).

But follow God and his commandments are nonetheless the thing for a Jew to do. A concluding thought to ponder. Does God prefer the most pious person, who observes the rituals and believes with dogmatic precision, but acts in a shameful fashion or the one who just tries with all of their heart? That to me is the difference between secular Jews and messianic Jews. But for all we are to bring them ALL back to the fold and help them become observant of the Torah. It is incumbent to hear the words of Ezekiel when he lamented "Those who went astray you did not return and the lost you did not seek "(Ezekiel 34:4).


  1. Hi David

    Thanks for this, much to think about!

  2. Jews need to cool it with the paranoid and defensive "anti-semite" card and rise above it. I am not anti-semitic. Jesus likely would have been persecuted and killed no matter where He had been born just like the prophets. This world doesn't recognize them. The Messiah had to come from among the chosen people, who God calls His "first-born." He also had to be sacrificed by His own people in order for God's plan to provide a path to salvation for all humans to be possible.

  3. I am a messianic gentile believer ,evangelized by Yeshua himself,who told me you are to keep my feasts and Sabbaths,I said what are your feasts and Sabbaths? How do I do that? We have to worship him according to his instructions/Torah. These are the last days he is gathering his lambs. Let me say that as a gentile my own family was hardly excited that I turned to Torah,so nobody in either camp likes us LOL! Just tell a Lutheran that Christmas off your calendar,..then duck!!


  4. Jesus Christ was renounced by the Jews, his own people, and they delivered him up to be tortured, spit upon, crown of thorns upon his head, nailed to the tree. Jehovah God abandoned the Jews house and they were no longer his chosen people and Jerusalem was destroyed just as Jesus prophesized in the year 70 C.E. Most Jews today still spit upon the name of Jesus Christ many are atheists. Their true God is money, greed, corruption and power. There are some who have actually become Christians excepting Jesus Christ as their messiah. Through our prayers, we pray that they except Jesus Christ as their messiah as our world becomes more immoral, debased, greedy, corrupt, animalistic, nearing financial collapse and World War III.

  5. Jesus preached the end times were coming soon. That some he knew would live to see it. Jesus was wrong. Dead wrong. And 2000 years after being dead wrong morons still believe in this ridiculous story of a hybrid half man half God that wants to torture people in fire that don't worship him. Some people really need to grow up and get a grasp on REALITY. 

  6. I've not mentioned antisemitism in this article. I'm simply explaining the Jewish position. But I don't get what your response is about.


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