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The Early Church Fathers, Anti-Semitism & Anti-Judaism, the Messianic Jewish Movement, and the Recovery of Truth

jsperling's picture

Permit me to introduce myself. My name is Jimmy Sperling. I am a Messianic Jew residing in Sacramento, CA and attend a Messianic synagogue (Beth Yeshua Messianic Congregation). That means that I am a inheritor of two faith traditions. It also means that I hope to bring some rediscovered and recovered truth and light to speak truth about the intertwined history of Israel and the Ekklesia.

Only when we can tell the truth as both persecuted and persecutors will we find common ground.

Let me face one of the issues head-on. Do you want Jews in the Kingdom of God, or are your more interested in becoming a gentile Borg? (YOU WILL BE ASSIMILATED. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE.) Are you refusing to take the admonitions of Scripture to heart? It seems to me that the reason that the Brit Hadasha does not mention "Gentilizers" is that it would never occur to Rabbi Shaul even in his worst nightmares that gentiles who named the name of Yeshua would ever insist on turning his teachings on their head and requiring Jews who believe in Yeshua to renounce their culture and identity in order to believe.

jsperling's picture

Christian Anti-Semitism

Excuse me, but you are totally conflating two entirely different things. Let me lay out my position as contained in the book, "Return of the Remnant--The Rebirth of Messianic Judaism"

PRESUPPOSITIONS:

1. The Holy Scriptures, consisting of the Old and Renewed Covenants, are the very word of God, are whitout error in whatever they seek to teach and are only infallible rule of faith and practice (1 Kefa 1:21, 2 Timothy 3:16).

2. Yeshua (Jesus) of Natzeret is the Messiah promised to Israel, the one who fulfilled the prophecies pertaining to the first coming of the Messiah (Isaiah 53,; Psalm 22; Micah 5:1; Isaiah 7:14; 9:5-6; Daniel 9:24-27; Zechariah 12:10; Deuteronomy 18:18).

3. The Gospel of Yeshua the Messiah was, is and will be to the Jewish people first and also to the Gentiles (Romans 1:16). God has NEVER turned away Jewish people who would turn to him through Yeshua. It is the DUTY of believers in the Messiah to bring the good news of Yeshua's atoning sacrifice to the Jewish people as well as to the rest of the world.

4. There is no other way of salvation other than through the atoning sacrifice of Yeshua. This is true for both Jewish people and Gentiles (Acts 4:12).

5. God has raised up the Messianic Jewish movement to be a witness to the Jewish people, the world in general, and to be part of His great plan of world redemption.

MESSIANIC TERMINOLOGY & DEFINITIONS

Messianic terminology is used to express the biblical faith in the Messiah because this was the culture and expression of the New Covenant faith in its earliest stages. Messianic believers wish to express their faith in the Messiah in a manner consistent with Jewish heritage and culture. This is because belief in the Messiah is consistent with being Jewish. He is the fulfillment of God’s promises to Israel. Messianic terminology imparts faith in Messiah to children, friends and family in a manner consistent with Jewish Heritage. It communicated biblical truth without the excess baggage of historical anti-Semitism
The following list of terms are written and explaned to assist those who are not familiar with Messianic terminology:

YESHUA: This is the name of the Messiah. Yeshua is a Hebrew word which had the root meaning salvation, as it is written ”You shall call His name Yeshua [salvation], because He shall save His people from their sins.” Transliterated into Greek as Iesous, it was derived into English as Jesus. Messianic Jews use Yeshua instead of Jesus because Yeshua is the name He was call when He walked the earth. Jewish people have been persecuted over the centuries in the name “Jesus”. Consequently, that name communicates hatred and anti-Semitism. The name Yeshua communicates Messiah as a Jewish option for Jewish people, as well as for non-Jews.

MESSIAH: This term is used instead of Christ. Messiah is derived from the Hebrew word mashiah meaning anointed one. Christ is derived from the Greek workd Christos, meaning anointed one. Using the Hebrew term rather that greek emphasized that the Messiah is for Jewish people and not exclusively for Gentiles, A second reason for using this term is, as with the name Yeshua, many thousands and perhaps millions of Jewish people have been persecuted and killed in the name of Christ. Christ carries a non-Jewish and anti-Jewish connotation to Jewish people.

BELIEVER: This term is used instead of the term Christian. To Jewish people, Christians are the people who have hated and persecuted Jews for two millennia. The word Christian is used only three times in the Brit Hadashah (Acts 11:26; 26:28; 1 Kefa 4:16). An earlier term to denote Yeshua’s followers is believers. It is used generically of those in Messianic circles, as well as those who are in traditional churches who truly believe in Yeshua and seek to follow Him. By fusing the term believer, the focus is on a person’s commitment to follow the Lord and not on the excess baggage of those who called themselves Christian but did not walk as He walked.

MESSIANIC: the term refers to believers involved in Messianic congregations, Jewish or Gentile. Messianic Jews are those in Messianic congregations who are of Jewish descent. Messianic refers to that expression of the biblical faith which expresses itself in a Jewish manner.

CONGREGATION: Messianic congregations are not called churches. Churches are associated with anti-Semitism by Jewish people. In the past, and in some places today, anti-Semitism has come from those who profess to be believers, both from clergy and laity. Ecclesia refers to people not buildings. The term congregation does just that. A synonom in the Renewed Covenant for ecclesia is sunagogue as it is used in Yakov 2:1-6. there it refers to a meeting of Messianic believers. For this reason, the term congregation, of synagogue, is appropriate to describe Messianic congregations.

COVENANT: This is a reference to testament, meaning agreement or contract. Instead of referring to Old Testament and New Testament, Messianic believers refer to them as Older Covenant or Tenakh (its Hebrew name) and New Covenant or Brit Chadasha (Hebres for Renewed Covenant)

TRADITION: Jewish cultural and religious practices, whether in their original forms of adapted to reflect Messianic beliefs.

LITURGY: Jewish liturgical elements in both Hebrew and/or English which may be part of a Messianic worship service.

Because the do not reflect our cultural expression and reflect historic anti-Semitic images, Messianic Jews do not used the following terms:

CHRISTIAN: This term was first used of NON-JEWISH believers in Antioch as recorded in the book of Acts although only used three times in the New Testament, it became the commonly used word to refer to Gentile believers. After the disappearance of ancient Messianic Judaism, it became the primary term used for members of believing congregations. Over the centuries, the term became associated with those who hate Jewish people and reject everything Jewish. Since the term was never directly used of Jewish believers in the scriptures, and carries a negative historical reminder of anti-Semitism, the term Messianic is used. This identifies Jewish believers as followers of the Messiah, not part of the historical Christian church (see Believer)

CONVERSION: Messianic Jews NEVER use this term. To Jewish people conversion means turning away from being Jewish and becoming a Christian (see above). Biblically, conversion (Tshuvah) refers to repentance (i.e., turning to God). In Messianic circles, a person is spoken of as having become a believer, or becoming Messianic.

BAPTISM: Messianic Jews do not use this term either. Baptism mans immersion and the Jewish term for this is t’vilah. Baptism is associated with the forced conversions perpetrated against Jewish people by anti-Semites. They did these horrible names in the Name of Jesus. Baptism is considered a symbol of joining a Christian, i.e. non-Jewish, church. Messianic Jews refer to t’vilah, the immersion of believers, which had its origin in ancient Jewish practices. T’vilah means “purity”. The place where t’vilah takes place is the mikvah, meaning “a gathering of waters”. The act of t’vilah does not link Messianic Jews with any acts of anti-Semitism. The purpose of t’vilah is to emphasize the true Jewish roots of the faith and to separate from the people who profaned the Name of the Messiah by their deeds, contrary to His teaching.

CROSS: Messianic Jews do not use the symbol of the cross, to Jewish people it is a symbol of persecution in Jesus’ Name. Instead, they focus on its real meaning. They refer to the place where the Messiah was sacrificed as the altar or execution-stake.

DATES: Dates are cited with the initials C.E for “Common Era” or B.C.E. for “Before the Common Era.” Jewish people use these initials instead of the Latin B.C and A.D.

In summary, let me say that you seem to totally misunderstand your own faith. "Christianity" is transcultural Judaism.

Are your justifying attempting to obliterate our heritage and culture from the SCRIPTURES!!!???

DO YOU REQUIRE LATINO CHRISTIANS TO GIVE UP FRIJOLES OR TORTILLAS???

YET YOU CONDEMN A CULTURE BASED TOTALLY ON THE SCRIPTURES BECAUSED WE WILL NOT ASSIMILATE. I HAVE NOT BETRAYED OR ABANDONED MY PEOPLE, AND, IN THAT SENSE, I AM NOT A CHRISTIAN!!

Schiffman, Dr. Michael: Return of the Remnant: The Rebirth of Messianic Judaism

Friedman, David. They Loved the Torah: What Yeshua's First Followers REALLY thought about the Law.




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