Thursday, February 23, 2017

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Don't judge the whole by the (small) parts

Some Christians are very skeptical of Messianic Believers because to them we have turned against Yeshua (Jesus) and tried to live “under the Law.” While this view is incorrect on a number of levels, there are some bad theologies and nutty people in the Messianic movement. I have met some Christians who have come across a nutty “Messianic” Believer and concluded that the entire movement is tainted. Or some found a crazy “Messianic” website or blog that teaches contrary to the B’rit Chadashah (New Testament) and then decided Messianic Believers are heretics.

But it just is not a good idea to judge the entire population of Messianic Believers by a theologically sloppy website or by a nutty and deluded person. The ‘inverse’ of Proverbs 18:17 comes to mind here …

For example, a certain “Baptist Church” has been in the news recently because they rejoice when US Military personnel are killed overseas (I won’t mention their name here because this group is absolutely nuts). They picket the funerals of fallen US soldiers with nutty signs because they think defending a country that allows homosexual behavior is evil. That these people have popped a few screws in the head is evident; but should we characterize all Baptists as loony because of their antics? Of course not. Should we characterize all Evangelical Believers as morally bankrupt because of the phony Tim Haggard (former leader of the National Association of Evangelicals engaged in a homosexual affair)? Of course not. Rather, we recognize these people by their fruit (or should I say, lack thereof).

There are, unfortunately, some so-called Messianic believers out there who malign Yeshua/Jesus by their foul fruit. For example, if you look for Messianic Congregations or teaching sites, you might find some of these incorrect theological positions:

  • Yeshua was not divine, but rather a man who kept perfect Torah.
  • Gentiles are reconciled to God by Yeshua, but Jews do not need Yeshua for reconciliation.
  • Churches who meet on Sunday are lost to hell because they are breaking the Sabbath.
  • The meaning of being “born again” is to become a Jew.
  • The keeping of kosher is mandatory to be righteous before God.
  • Gentile believers are really the Israelites (the so-called “Lost Tribes”).

I could go on, but I hope you get the point by now. While I cannot speak for all Messianic Congregations, know that there are some who teach sound doctrine and (try to) live in accordance with that sound doctrine. There will always be some “bad apples” in any group, Christian or otherwise.

So if as a Christian you happen to come across some nutty Messianic information, don’t give up on your Messianic brothers and sisters just yet. As in any Congregation, our job in a Messianic one is to make sure that the theology and practice of these “bad apples” does not infiltrate the sheep and offer a loving chance for repentance.

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