- Fractured Fellowship – James looks back on last week’s controversial post on Messianic gentiles, and responds to comments from Messianic Jews/converts suggesting Messianic gentiles like him should just go back to the church. He does a fine job in his responses, speaking in earnest through his own experiences in the church and reasons for leaving it. Kudos, James! There was so much right with this post. A must-read for Messianics who think gentiles should go back to the church.
The idea of going back to a Sunday keeping church at this point seems uncomfortable to me, not because I am against churches, but because I would no longer fit in. I don't believe the Sabbath was changed from Saturday to Sunday (for Gentiles) and I certainly am not a replacement theologian (even though I've been accused of being just that lately).
The suggestion that "my place" was in a church so that Messianic Judaism can remain totally Jewish didn't seem right. Where's the fellowship between Jew and Gentile in the Messiah? Certainly Paul never intended for there to be religious segregation between Jew and Gentile. What about us all being equal in Yeshua's love?
I have no desire to engage in "replacement theology" or to somehow rob the Jewish people of covenant promises that belong to them and them alone, but Yeshua's coming, death, and resurrection did something that had never been done before. If that's not true and Yeshua came to maintain the status quo between Jews and Gentiles, then why Matthew 28, Romans 11, or Galatians 3?
- Summer Vacation – And on the other side of the aisle, Judeoxian blogger Seth, having embraced bilateral ecclesiology and divine invitation theologies, is headed back to the church:
I think that those Gentiles truly committed to Messianic Judaism should prayerfully consider conversion through the MJRC [Messianic Jewish Rabbinical Council]. If you truly want to take upon the yoke of Torah and tradition, the starting place for this is brit milah [circumcision] and identifying entirely with the Jewish people. Without that, the rest seems superfluous to me.
But…this is not the path I am called to. I would surmise that neither are most Gentiles out there in the Messianic diaspora. Most Gentiles should find fulfillment and community within a local church…
- Yeshua In Context – Derek Leman has written a “concise, clear, and readable Jewish presentation of the life of Yeshua”, a book entitled Yeshua In Context. It will be available in August.
- Documentary film “In the name of Yeshua” in desperate need of donations – Would you consider donating to support this documentary film? It will raise awareness of Messianic Judaism.
You’re helping to mend relations between very strained religious groups and reduce violence between the Jews and Messianic Jews in Israel. This film could be an incredibly powerful tool to educate the people on both sides of the argument and, in turn, create a respectful dialogue between the Messianic and Jewish communities.Donate $25 or more, and you'll be entered to win a piece of hand-crafted Judaica jewelry.
- Yankee Doodle Fundie – With 4th of July celebrations winding down, Sacred Sandwich’s tongue-in-cheek cartoon satirizes the mixing of Protestantism and patriotism in the United States. Love it or leave it, pagan!
- Methodist Church of Britain votes to boycott Israel – Jewish daily blog IsraellyCool reports that the Methodist Church of Britain has voted to boycott Israel.
- Circumcision for all Abraham’s sons – Reflecting on his newborn son’s circumcision, Cliff notes (har har) that circumcision is a sign for all Abraham’s children, not just a sign for converting a person from one religion to another.
- Do Jews Need the Atonement Yeshua Provides? – Messianic Jewish rabbi and scholar Stuart Dauermann examines the Christian missionary call to “repent”, and asks, what is it we’re repenting of?
- Sinner’s Prayer – StuffChristianCultureLikes has an amusing post on the Sinner’s Prayer.
Not to be confused with the Lord's Prayer, the Sinner's Prayer is not found in the Bible. The sinner's prayer is Christian culture's litmus test for salvation. "Have you prayed the Sinner's Prayer?" is the ultimate question for those unsure of their eternal repository. If death is imminent, this is the type of prayer an evangelical would guide you through.
- Jews for Judaism founder interviewed - “We’re the good guys!” [Promise!]
Jewish Book of the Month Club (J-BOM)
- The Empire in Fresh Perspective – With Star Wars themes a-blazin’, Yahnatan Lasko looks at anti-imperialist themes in the New Testament and links it to western culture and June’s book selection, As A Driven Leaf.
- Doubt Seeking Faith – Derek Leman on faith, doubt, and the reality of evil as told through June’s selection:
Scenes of needless, useless, practically random violence fill out Steinberg’s account of the horrors of the Second Jewish revolt. And the executions of the sages are told in scenes not for the timid reader. If you read these and do not experience horror, then you are due for some soul-searching.
We forget that evil is palpable and not a myth. The capacity of human beings for cruelty without reason is real and exists no less today than in antiquity.
- Chaim Potok's The Promise – Yahnatan Lasko has some opening thoughts on July’s book choice.
- 1 Timothy 4:1-5 – Have you read 1 Timothy 4? Christians often point Messianics to this chapter, which suggests all foods are clean:
The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.
-1 Timothy 4:1-5
But Messianic apologist John McKee dissects this chapter and highlights how this verse may have referred to abuses in vegetarianism practiced during this time. Also, McKee addresses Jewish mysticism in modern Messianic Judaism, thoughts on God’s plans for marriage, the later times, and much more.
- The teachings of Art Katz, Legalism, and Islam – Dr. Michael Brown praises the late Jewish believer in Jesus Art Katz, and discusses their differences on what “Jacob’s trouble” means in the Bible, a response to the “homosexuality/shrimp” mocking argument, plus much more.