Import jQuery

Some things we agree on

We’ve all seen the disagreements Messianics have on various issues – Torah, gentiles, Israel, you name it.

The theology battle has been played out and rehashed a thousand times over, as we regularly say nasty things about each other through blogs, comments, and forum posts. (Hooray for the anonymity granted by the internet! It transforms otherwise decent people into vicious peanut galleries.)

Disagreements aside, there are some things we can agree on. There are some fundamentals we don’t actually fight about on the internet. (Surprising, yeah?)

Whether an unaffiliated Messianic Jew like Gene Shlomovich, a Bilateral Ecclesiologist like Derek Leman, a One Law guy like Dan Benzvi, a Jewish Christian like Joe Weissman, a Two House guy like John McKee, or maybe a Jew for Jesus, a Messianic gentile, or just plain independent Messianic without formal association, there are some things we crazy Messianics do find common ground on – oh yes! –  praise God.

We agree that…

  • Yeshua is Israel’s Messiah.

  • The Torah is a basic moral guide for all of God’s people, and lays the foundation for all of Scripture.

  • The Torah has different rules for different people. Women, farmers, Levites, foreigners, for example, all have different commandments applying to them.

  • The Torah was given to Israel.

  • When Messiah comes, gentiles will take on more Torah, including commandments traditionally reserved for Jews. Keeping the Feasts, shabbat, and even serving as Levites in the Temple, for example.

  • The Jewish people have an irrevocable calling and purpose in God’s great plan, and that purpose is distinct from that of the nations.

  • Gentiles in Messiah are part of the commonwealth of Israel.

  • Gentiles do not need to become Jews to be saved or accepted in God’s sight.

  • Jews do not need to become gentiles to be saved or accepted in God’s sight.

  • A person is not saved through keeping the Torah alone.

  • The Messianic movement is one in which God is restoring the people of Israel.

  • The Tenakh and the Brit Chadasha (“New Testament”) are writings by men inspired by God’s spirit. They are basic, trustworthy guides to living a Godly life.

Those are pretty important issues, folks, and correct me if I’m wrong, but the various factions within the broad Messianic movement actually find common ground on these cruces.

Do we Messianics actually agree on these things, fine and diverse Kineti blog readers?


  1. @ Efrayim (assuming you were being tongue-in-cheek) LOL

    @ Judah, I don't know that MJ/BE would agree with point five since I seem to remember someone saying Jewish distinctiveness would be maintained in Messianic days and beyond.

    You might have to narrow your focus even a bit more to get to a point where everyone you mentioned will agree. ;-)

  2. Hey Judah~
    Yes, we can agree on these fundamentals. At least I think we can... :|

    (Begin rant here:)
    I have a confession to make.
    Honestly, my exposure to the messianic 'blogosphere' was limited to just reading the author's blog posts...until this past weekend, when I ventured into the unfamiliar world of THE COMMENT ZONE. Specifically, comments from a post on JudeoXian's blog on lonely messianics finding fellowship in--gasp!--the church. Let's just say that I am still shaking it off.
    What some of you truth-seekers have to understand, is that you are machine-gunning a LOT of information out into the world for any and all to see. And a lot of it isn't pretty--it's dirty laundry kinds of stuff. Whether one is prepared mentally and spiritually to grapple with the issues or not, they are exposed to it. Yes, it is a one tooth-picked my eyes open and forced me to look at the screen of my laptop while the comments were scrolled through and read-aloud to me. But just as an adult can't scrub from their mind certain pornographic images taken in as a young pre-teen, so are certain unkindnesses and charges against God's people--be they broad and nonspecific or laser focused in on an individual/organization--are forever to be lodged in the consciousness of a blog reader. Now, just so you know, I am waaay familiar with the idea of midrash...and with the idea of open discourse on things. I've been on this road for quite awhile, and I have LOTS to learn. Visiting messianic blogs help me in that journey. I am also not one who wishes to live under any kind of illusion, but I guess I did not need to know that the messianic movement was so fractured & peppered with individuals who can talk such trash about other brothers and sisters in the body of Messiah. No, nobody came out and said, "you suck" (pardon me). But the spirit of some of the discourse--both on Seth's blog and others that I looked into--was disturbing. And some of the "charges" against the various parts of the movement (One Law, DI, bilateral whatchamacallit? I'm sure I'm missing some...) and charges against its people was an extremely discouraging and disillusioning experience for me.

    So what to do? Probably nothing, unfortunately. I'm sure that lots of very smart and well-reasoned responses will make this stay-at-home mom's complaint look silly and/or petty. I just felt I had to speak up and say that reading the way some of you speak to each other and about each other in such a public forum is not characteristic of who I want to be associated with. Not that I don't want to "hang out" with y'all...I just would be embarrassed if some of my 'old friends' from church were to read the comments of my 'new friends' in the messianic world. I think they'd be worried about me.
    (Rant ends here)

    Love to you and yours, Judah~

  3. @Allison,

    I know. Dirty laundry, all the way.

    Regarding Seth's blog, you probably read my comment, where I suggested that Seth embracing Bilateral Ecclesiology was fruit of his joining a church, and that this (gentiles leaving Messianic congregations for the church) was bad fruit.

    I'm sure there are additional comments there tearing me a new one. I'd rather not even look.

    The question is, what do you do when you encounter harmful theology? Oppose it? That's what we usually do, and it usually gets ugly. Can't say I'm proud of some of that.

  4. @Efrayim,

    What in particular do you think we don't agree on?

    @James, I didn't suggest Jewish distinctiveness will be erased, but rather, that gentiles will take on more Torah, including commandments traditionally reserved for Jews. I'm betting Derek Leman will concur. But let's see, maybe Gene will poop on this.

  5. Judah:

    You nailed it. And FWIW, I agree with #5.

    We have far more in common than we have to separate us. I'm trying to find ways to argue for the practical realization of bilateral ecclesiology (co-community in Messiah) without appearing to insult people.

    I know I am probably failing and that I still offend and insult. But I am trying.

    Derek Leman

  6. You're right Judah, best you not even's all a blur of unpleasantness right now over there. :P

    What do we do when we encounter harmful theology? I don't know anymore. I just don't know.

    I used to be a fighter. I felt that "if somebody didn't set them straight, who will?". Then God got ahold of this fundamentalist non-denominational gal, and did something counter to all my "theology" that I learned at Wheaton College...and then He did the same thing to my husband, the Moody Bible grad. Hmmm. Stalwart Calvinist gone Torah submissive--weird, huh?

    Supernaturally weird.

    So I know that He comes in whether someone is on the scene preaching "good" theology or not. But then, I just don't know for sure that there is a RULE to be made from that truth.

    So I guess I can apply my fallback position here--when you're not sure about how to respond, err on the side of chesed and love. May that be what we are mocked and criticized because of, eh?

  7. Allison,

    Good comment. The thing that worries me is, every time I resolve to treat people with more chesed, as you suggest, a few weeks later I read some infuriating thing, and whammo, I'm back to fighting on the internet.

    I'll keep trying, though. :-)

  8. Yes, we do have much in common. We don't argue about those things - there's not need. But this is not really surprising - many, if not most of the "independent messianic" Gentiles were once part of Messianic Jewish congregations. They learned from the Jewish leaders, they learned along side Messianic Jews. They read the same books, attended same conferences, etc.

    However, along the line, something happened - many felt that they were deprived as Gentiles in Messianic Jewish Movement. Some perceived they were discriminated against - spiritually. I say spiritually, because in MOST (but not all) MJ places Gentiles are a majority, occupy leadership positions, and get to do EVERYTHING that the Jewish minority gets to do, no exceptions (including aliyahs and bar-mitvahs). However, some Gentiles wanted a bit more - they wanted to BE "Israelites".

    So, along the way was invented a theology (or a set of theologies) that pushed Gentiles into obligatory Torah observance and endowed them with Israelite identity (spiritual and, in TH theology case, physical). Finally and perhaps too late, the MJ leadership woke up (for the most part) to the dangers and divisions these new theologies have caused to their movement, and its damaging impact on movement focus and even its relationship with Christianity.

    It's THAT reason that makes many (but not ALL) of the Gentile "messianic" offshoots incompatible, and even in opposition to Messianic Judaism of the Jews.

    Some (including some the movers and shakers) have realized their error, repented and turned back - and that's encouraging and gives us hope for future reconciliation between different parts of the Body we all share and promote love and acceptance of each other - including the folks that hang out on this blog:)

  9. "You nailed it. And FWIW, I agree with #5."

    Judah, the list is good and I agree with most things on it - but no, I don't agree with #5 (Gentiles becoming Kohains and Levites).

  10. Heh, well, I could hope at least.

    I disagree that all the problems are on the side you're opposing. But let's not turn this into a debate about who's right.

    Regarding #5, Gene, the thrust of that is, gentiles will take on more Torah than they do now, including the Feasts. Can we agree on that, at least?

  11. "I disagree that all the problems are on the side you're opposing. But let's not turn this into a debate about who's right."

    I agree with you on that - the Messianic Jewish side should share the blame for the mess, especially the leadership. After all, the leadership is the one that sets the agenda. However, as Derek said on his own blog today, they instead settled for popularity and money - the worst possible things to compromise for.

    "Regarding #5, Gene, the thrust of that is, gentiles will take on more Torah than they do now, including the Feasts. Can we agree on that, at least?"

    The nations will HAVE to go up and observe the Feast of Tabernacles (specifically), to worship the King in Jerusalem - that much we can say for certain. I suspect this is because one builds sukkahs on Sukkot and Gentiles who are worshiping the King in Israel will need to be sheltered in the tabernacles (since they are away from home and there will be a gazillion of them in Jerusalem during the holiday). Not too sure about anything else though as being REQUIRED for them - it's all a conjecture at this point.

  12. Alright, I'll gladly take that half-agreement then. :-)

  13. I must say though, I'm disheartened that not a single person let out as much as a chuckle at the "vicious peanut gallery" link! Shame on you not-so-fine blog readers. Shame!

  14. @Allison

    You seem like you got your head on pretty straight. In light of what you posted, I want to help you out if I can.

    I think the problem most people encounter while arguing is that they take it wrongly every time, and people generally can't separate between the person and the thing they're arguing with.

    People are way too offend-able.
    People equate raising voices and arguments with some sort of hatred, because, unfortunately, that's what a lot of people make it into in western society.

    The reason westerners fall into this problem is because of the lie of political correctness and deceitful outward politeness. People are duped into a setting of fake politeness where it is the norm to hide your feelings while showing a smiley face.
    Thus, bitterness and bad feeling builds up inside someone and when they finally get around to arguing about something, it is based on these.

    Cut out the false outward stuff and be real, and this will change a person's ability to argue correctly.

    Here's an example. I don't believe a single person here is evil. Instead, I think everyone is sincere and sincerely trying to follow the Creator.
    However, since I am not Messianic and my beliefs or lack of certain beliefs are heretical to some or many Messianics, it is no secret that they may think I am a "heretic" or simply completely lost. Indeed, I think the same about certain Christian/Messianic doctrines, like that of the man-go; which is derived directly from Roman paganism and defies several verses in the Tanakh.

    But none of this is personal, its merely regarding doctrine.

    Judah is my literal, physical brother. Do I think he's damned to hell for believing in some Christian/Messianic doctrines that conflict with what I see clearly in the Tanakh? Heck no!
    He's a great guy, a true seeker of truth, lover of God, who has been blessed and will be blessed by the Creator. I am proud of having a brother this cool and popular on the internet, haha.

    I know that, as we say in one of the brakhoth of the Shema` "בידך נפש החיים ונפש המתים", meaning "in Your hand is the soul of the living and the soul of the dead". Anyone who sincerely seeks the Creator will not be ashamed.

    Because people are merely in a process of coming to more truth, I included, doesn't mean we are damned for believing or doing certain things wrong right now. The Creator is Hhanun weRahhum, "the Merciful and the Compassionate".

    But anyway, I could shpiel on and on, but perhaps this short bit will help you more:

  15. Judah,

    Well I'm sure that we would agree if we could sit down together and discuss your bullet points. Perhaps a few of them might need to be expanded so as not to create any confusion or seem contradictory.

    Your first point is fine, Yeshua is the Messiah of Israel. But is He not also the Messiah of the nations?

    If He is also the Messiah for the nations, then point 11, the purpose of the "Messianic movement", would be to what...?, restore Israel, OK, but is He restoring the nations as well, or do they not get restored but simply added to the restored Israel? What is He doing with all those from the nations?

    If the nations are added to the restored Israel, are they not Israelites as well by faith? Avraham was neither an Israelite nor a Jew and yet he becomes the father of all who believe. Ya'akov was a son of Avraham as well. But he was not a Jew either. They hadn't been invented yet. The patriarchs were men of the nations and yet few would argue that they are not a part of Israel in every sense of meaning we can find for Israel.

    And if the Torah was given to Israel, then what does the Torah have to do with the nations since the people of the nations remain so and do not become Israelites, but rather some type of an appendage to Israel?

    If someone from the nations chooses to follow Torah in some form or fashion, no problem, right? But if that person who chooses to follow Torah believes that they are an Israelite, watch out! Our tentative agreements disappear in a hurry.

    But to try and have some semblance of unity in our faith we must keep the distinction of purpose and people firmly in place. Or so it seems to be.

    And with that I cannot agree. And not because we all don't have something different to do in our walk with Messiah. But because our unity, our agreement, is not and cannot be based on, or inclusive of our differences in the flesh. Yes we are all unique in some way, but to develop that uniqueness and maintain it only leads to puddles of people who have similar differences.

    Am I just being difficult? Many will think so. That's OK. I do believe we will find our common ground soon enough. And I appreciate you taking the time to look for it here in this public setting.


  16. @Derek, Color me stunned. Thought that, like Gene, you wouldn't agree with number five.

    @Judah, I appreciate what you're trying to do here. Even through a number of the participants in these comments traditionally have differences in their viewpoints, we do need to establish and maintain a dialogue and continue to reach out to each other beyond the "I'm right and you're wrong", "He said, she said" kind of comments. We also have a responsibility to reach out to the larger believing community (i.e. the church) to establish and maintain a dialogue with them, for after all, at the core, we all believe in the same Messiah/Christ and the same God.

    I had a conversation this morning with a person (I didn't get permission to mention his name, so I'll just say that Judah recently put us together in terms of email addresses) who gave me some things to think about. He also shared his personal insights about Mark Kinzer (since they know each other) I wouldn't have necessarily gotten from comments in the blogosphere.

    This continues to contribute to my understanding of who I am in Yeshua and in the community of faith (Jews and Gentiles alike). I still have more of the road to travel, but one thing I'm sure of, is that we need to keep lines of communication open rather than shutting them down.

  17. Efrayim,

    Notice I did not say Messiah or Torah was exclusive to Israel.

    Since my list is what we find common ground on, I knew we found common ground that Yeshua is Israel's Messiah, and that Torah was given to Israel. You and I believe Torah and Messiah are applicable to the nations as well. That's an important distinction, but is irrelevant to the fact that they were given to Israel.

    I'm not asking everyone to sing Kumbaya. I'm just saying, hey, there are some crucial things we Messianics don't actually fight about! And ain't that something? :-)

  18. The thing is, Kinzer is quite openly ecumenical towards Christians who keep various traditions, and to Messianic Jews of all shades of traditional observance.

    If he's ecumenical within Judaism and Christianity, then it logically follows that he's ecumenical within the Messianic movement too - even to the One-Law crowd.

    I'm becoming increasingly convicnced that Mark Kinzer is also tolerant towards Torah-observant Gentiles, but his special emphasis and ministry towards Gentiles is combatting supercessionism - as James' blog posts are helping me to see.

    Okay, one-law may not be his cup of tea, but he wouldn't break table fellowship over this issue surely.

  19. James,

    Glad to hear your discussion with him went well.

  20. "Okay, one-law may not be his cup of tea, but he wouldn't break table fellowship over this issue surely."

    I would gladly go out to [kosher] lunch with anyone here:)

  21. If we're all in table fellowship and still arguing, then maybe we're getting the emphasis wrong. Perhaps we're not fighting over anything really.

    I think our entrenched positions are - to some degree - reactions against supercessionism, which has the effect of making Jews and sabbatarians feel theologically targeted.

    The reality that Jesus is Lord is born out in different ways in our lives. We can't judge how that reality bears out in the lives of others, I don't think.

  22. We can only affect how our OWN communities live. One-Law and Two-House teachings affect Messianic Jewish communities (even though most of their adherents are actually outside of them), and therefore cannot be simply ignored or wished away because I and many other MJs think these theologies/ideologies are a destabilizing force within Messianic Judaism (just one of many) and because of that, they need to be confronted, with education and of course, love.

    Ultimately, and I agree with James on this - the leadership within Messianic Jewish Judaism should come up with a clearer directives of what the role of Gentiles within MJ communities can or should be, while preserving the purpose and Jewishness of our communities. We need to work to remove much of ambiguity and lack of halachic standards that pervades much of Messianic Jewish Movement.

  23. @Jewzilla~

    Thank you for your words--you have given me much to chew on intellectually.

    I do think our politically correct culture and the existence of "deceitful outward politeness" can run counter to helpful, mind-changing, world-changing discourse. My main problem (aside from wanting to see people express HEARTFELT "outward politeness" even if they disagree vehemently with a person), is simply the forum that it is being shared on. It is so OPEN, and anyone--regardless of their place in life--can venture in and take a look...much to some people's detriment, I fear.

    So it's about the forum that these conversations take leaves much misunderstood/assumed and/or unsaid by those involved in the discussions and those just hanging in the shadows 'listening'. THAT, my friend, is not going to change, unfortunately.

    I'm sure I may be accused of being some sort of Luddite...and to some degree that's fair. :)

    Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks and to put a finer point on some stuff. Oh, and to agree that Judah is a great guy. ;)

    Have a blessed day~

  24. @Gene, We agree on something??? Shock! (just kidding) :D Humor aside, it would be very helpful to have some clearer guidelines and definitions in place. There's no guarantees that everyone would agree with them, but at least we could avoid misunderstandings.

    @Allison, I notice in your Blogger profile that you actually manage four blogs (and I thought *I* was "talky"). Is there one particular blog where you discuss matters of faith?

  25. The obvious difficulty being: on the internet, table fellowship is impossible.

    God-willing, I might be in the States next summer, and it would be great to meet up with some of you guys and eat together!

  26. @James-- :0) Me? Talky? This is the first time I've been brave enough to come out of the shadows and engage on any blog besides my own. Ever. It's not been too scary an experience...and in fact, I feel that all you messianic and theological brainiacs have been very kind. :)

    My own blog is just a journal of all sorts of happenings--only some of which deal with matters of faith. I did give in and finally helped my girls and a friend start a place to post some stuff...that's why there are so many listed on my profile.

    It proves I'm not a total luddite, I suppose. As Neil Postman in his work "Technopoly" would support, I have asked the question "what problem does this [handy technology of internet blogging] solve?". It's a big topic (way off topic of where we are now), and an excellent read...but Judah and other technophiles may excommunicate me if they read it. That would be bad. ;)

  27. @Joe, that's awesome, man. If you're in Minnesota, in the northern United States, let's meet up.

  28. @Dan,

    Said it earlier, worth repeating: I'm not trying to get everyone to sing the same song. Just pointing out that there are, in fact, some things we don't fight about, and that's probably a good thing.

  29. Ace, will try to make it over there :)

  30. @Allison, I meant "talky" in that you maintain four separate blogs. ;-) Glad you came to the party.

    @Joe, If you ever make it to Southwestern Idaho, we can break bread together.

    @Judah, Minnesota summons visions of hot, humid, and mosquitoes. Tell me I'm wrong. :)

  31. Hey guys, I am in Las Vegas, I know you all want to come to sin city. I will be waiting....

  32. We should definitely all have a huge party somewhere.

  33. @James, hot? LOL. Maybe for 2 months of the year, it gets 80-90 degrees. The rest of the year, it's FREAKIN' COLD. Oh, and the mosquitos are terrible, yeah. :-)

  34. @Dan, hahah, there we go, party at Dan's place in Vegas.

  35. This has been amusing, because many labeling themselves as "Messianic" in some way or another cannot even agree on the color of an orange.

    (And even if they do agree on the color, do they pronounce the word correctly?)

  36. Anon, I don't even spell the word "colour" the same as anyone else on this thread!

  37. @Dan Oh Wow! I grew up in Las Vegas. Lived there from 1964 to 1976. Moved away and only went back to visit when my parents still lived there. After they retired to Utah, it never occurred to be to go back to "sin city" (though I have some fond memories of the place). Say "hi" to the Valley of Fire for me. :)

  38. @Allison,

    Shalom fellow horse lover! I will be interested to read your blog, as I have a couple of Haflingers myself and have always loved horses.

    Welcome to the fray! You may not have liked my comments at Seth's, but I give Seth much credit for dialoguing with me. Others who disagree with me will not even publish my comments.

    Believe it or not, we all have affection and respect one for another, though it may not always come across. Many of us have known each other for several years through blogs and forums. We used to have forums to discuss things more privately, but those have been shut down or become exclusionary. So we wander around the blogosphere, speaking whatever is on our hearts and minds, trying to better understand one another and reach some consensus eventually. We may be strongly opinionated, but it is all in good fun for the most part. Maybe we love to argue. Maybe we feel we are earnestly contending for the faith once delivered. Maybe we are trying to sort things out. Iron sharpeneth iron....

    Blog dialogue is not for the faint of heart or the thin-skinned. I have had to put on some callouses to bear up to it...........but come on in, the water is fine! We are not as mean as we sound sometimes. : )

  39. I can feel the love in the room right now... (laughing).

    @Allison, my wife's take on reading the comments on Seth's blog was very similar to yours. I tried to add to the ugliness, but apparently my brand of ugliness was uglier still, and my comments were not posted < grin >.

    @Nice job Judah, but this is a blog, we can't have all the comments warm and fuzzy can we?

    Richard Rubenstein's "When Jesus Became G-d" is a classic when it comes to the evil that goes on when people try to define "beliefs." Because of his background in conflict resolution, his treatment of the dispute between Athanasius and Arius is particularly interesting to me. The nuances of the two positions morphed into at least 4 positions over a generation. Once the fragmentation was complete, (and the parties were tired of murdering each other), they found common ground in carefully chosen words that made absolutely no real difference. In my view, both sides were particularly wrong because they were wrong in deeds.

    Our perceptions will never mesh. Agreement on theological points is only possible at the surface level, because our words don't always mean the same things. Loyalty to a creed is a purely man-made invention. It is neither biblical, nor is it helpful.

    The question is, can we ditch the theological boxes and focus on good deeds?

  40. I'd like to say "yes" Rick, but human nature says otherwise. Also, to a degree, we will never be free of our various theologies because theology is the interface or "GUI" with which we interact with the Bible. It's how we operationalize our responsibilities and our responses to God in a behavioral fashion. If we just had one theology, I suppose it wouldn't be a problem, but human beings often, even with the best of intentions, recreate our response to God in our own image.

    As optimistic as I'd like to be about the larger body of faith in the world, we will never be truly united until the Messiah returns. He really needs to straighten us all out.

  41. Judah,

    Sorry I'm late to the party (I'm on vacation). I'd just like to say I think this list is very helpful, and I affirm all the points. Thanks for posting it!


  42. @James, I wasn't disagreeing that theological constructs are part of our way of processing information - simply that the "idea" is not where we should be seeking absolute agreement. Rather, loyalty to HaShem (evident through deeds) is where we should find unity.

    Imagine the 12 Tribes in the Wilderness. They did not need to agree about the ontology of HaShem, or whether the korbanot were subtituionary or temporally efficacious. They simply needed to act upon the revelation of HaShem by obeying His instructions. They thus showed their loyalty to the King of the Universe.

    I think it is human nature to want to control the thoughts of others. Those coming from a Christian background seem to be most dependent upon theological agreement. It may originate the creed-based community agreement that is either written, or simply quietly agreed to.

    I want to resist my own tendency toward being a thought cop. Rather, I want to be a fruit inspector. As a fruit inspector, I can learn from, and agree with, a wide range of theologies. I find "unity in loyalty to HaShem" with Chabad, some Christian denominations, Orthodox and Conservative Judaism, and even (shock) MJ/BE. < grin >

  43. Well Said Judah. There are many things that we can agreee on.

    C.F. Remember me?

  44. I really like what Rick said! Lots to ponder there as far as relating to those who disagree with us and may not subscribe exactly to our "statement of faith". Should we be "thought cops" or "fruit inspectors"?

    Someone recently told me that if I were to visit a Conservative synagogue, people would not ask me what I believe until they got to know me quite well. He said Jewish people are not like Christians in that regard. They care more about what you do than what you believe. True?

  45. Rick, "good deeds" or "fruit" is really the thing I think all our different groups have in common, assuming we're all really obeying what Yeshua taught. If we're visiting the sick, feeding the hungry, supporting the poor, nurturing the widow and orphan, then we are all more alike than unalike.

    Nevertheless, we use these forums to check each other's oil levels with various dipsticks, seeing if we measure up, so to speak. While there are lines that, if we cross them theologically, we are not part of the body of Messiah, I'm starting to believe there's a range of acceptable behaviors, particularly for Gentile believers, that validly exist within that body. If we accept that our brothers and sisters in the Sunday church are within Messiah's body, it's very likely that most of us are there with them.

  46. @James: Yes, one would think that we all have "good deeds" in common, and yet on another blog there were some disturbing comments about the lack of "deeds" on the part of the "One Law" camp. The comment was then repeated by another poster.

    Deeds are the measurement of our fidelity to the King of the Universe. When one side accuses others of lacking deeds, they are questioning our loyalty to Messiah. In my mind, that is far more serious than "doctrinal disagreement."

  47. That's also an assumption of MJ that all OL congregations everywhere are insular, theologically "incestuous", and are all about circling their wagons. While that may be true of some, or even most OL congregations, unless you contacted each and every one of them, and saw what they were doing, how would you know? For instance: Feeding the Poor.

    You don't have to have a multi-million dollar organization to obey the teachings of Messiah and to live out the will of God.

  48. @James, thanks for the link. Is that the congregation that you are a part of?

  49. @Rick, Yes. We aren't large and we don't have a lot of money. I wanted to reach out beyond our walls to the rest of the community and involve everyone in the congregation. It seemed that even if each person brought one canned good a week, it wouldn't put an undo burden on the person but it would make a difference, even a small one, in the world.

  50. @James: well that sure looks like "loving deeds" (certainly like "pure and undefiled religion."

    Maybe I misunderstood the two or three on the other blog who were compelled to pile on "One Law" lacking in "loving deeds" - maybe they meant people who call themselves "One Law" are lacking in deeds. In that case, since there is no such narrow box, maybe they are correct < grin >.

  51. This is the danger in generalizing and stereotyping. If some people don't like me or don't agree with how I express my worship and faith, I can understand. All I ask is that you judge me for who I am, not who you imagine me to be.


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