The Messianic Contention is Implied?

Like all of God’s commandments, it’s an opportunity to show you love God, and your neighbor” (Israel)

Still doesn’t answer the question – what is moral about circumcision. I proclaim here today ‘circumcision is an amoral action’

The contention with Messianics is that Gentile Christians are to follow all of the Torah – including the rituals (ie: circumcision/kosher) and festivals (ie: Unleavened Bread, Sukkot, Passover, etc). However I find little proof for the idea. I find logic works against such an idea.

We can rightly deduce from precedent, and from the example of Timothy, that he is temporarily limiting Jewish conversion for his Corinthian disciples because of the danger that they would be converting from the wrong reason” (Israel)

Then Paul broke the commandment – because you claim they are celebrating a feast in chapter 5 – but by chapter 7 we know this cannot be so according to the rules you live by – some of them are not circumcised “Has anyone been called in uncircumcision? He is not to be circumcised”. So which is it – they celebrated those feasts/festivals or they didn’t?

You claim Paul thought they were getting circumcised for all the wrong reasons – to secure salvation. This may be so – but then Paul’s answer is to tell people to not be circumcised? If he believes this is what God wants anyways – why doesn’t he just allow the circumcision and explain it to them later? That boggles my mind.

If I knew my faith required me to be circucmcised and people were doing it for the wrong reason – should I not do what is required? Yet Paul, is stopping people! That is such a stupid stance to take when he can as easily say ‘get circumcised to keep with your faith’ and explain it all in his letter to the confusion surrounding the issue. He stops people that are gentiles – regardless.

For me the problem is – where is it Gentiles are explicitly explained how to follow these festivals and rituals? Any quick search of the NT texts will reveal Paul is stopping people from being circumcised – festivals are non extant in the gospels and letters – and Acts says nothing on the issue.

The justification according to Messianics is already in the passages – although not explicitly mentioned – they are implied in the finer details. This is where I disagree.

These letters and gospels are written to Gentiles – yet nothing outlines for them how to enact and celebrate these festivals or rituals. The one’s metioned are a passover meal (not the whole passover celebration) and a baptism. No explanation of the rest has to mean no familiarity with them. Plus nowhere are they commanded to observe these things – and repeat – nowhere.

Should one follow this path on the basis of flimsy evidence?

Noahide Laws, Faith, Torah, and Gentile Christians

The thing about following Torah – the Gentiles according to Christian scriptures – are given the basics of moral law and that’s about it. If anything the summations from Jesus in Matthew would make good starting (or ending) points concerning what Gentiles need to follow concerning Torah.

Matt 7:12 “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (likely based on Hillel)

Matt 22:37-40 “And He said to him, ” ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the great and foremost commandment..” (Even these 2 commandments capture the heart of Judaism in its rituals – like tefillin.)

The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets

I am not sure there is much more outside these book ends for a Gentile convert to consider with Torah – it seems like Jesus, Paul, the Jerusalem Council all seemed to avow such things. The basics from Torah are moral – not ritual. Gentiles are not Jewish so no need for them to go down that road.

Even to this day the Judaic faith would give Gentiles some place for being ‘moral’ and following such things.

“Series of laws, derived from Gen. 9:4-7, which in rabbinic Judaism are binding on all human beings. They prohibit IDOLATRY, BLASPHEMY, MURDER, ADULTERY, robbery, and the eating of flesh cut from a living animal. They also require the creation of courts of justice. According to tradition, gentiles can enter into the afterlife if they observe these commandments” (Noahide laws – My Jewish Learning website)

“A ger toshav, or settler convert, also called a ger ha-sha’ar (or proselyte of the gate, as in Exodus 20:10), was a resident alien given permission to live in land controlled by Jews if he or she did not worship other gods or engage in idolatry of any kind or blaspheme God…The ger toshav did not have to perform work on the Sabbath, but was not required to join in worship or perform specifically Jewish religious commandments. Maimonides called them righteous gentiles. They were clearly not full converts to Judaism.” (Lawrence Epstein – “The Theory and Practice of Welcoming Converts to Judaism”)

Maybe we see something like this happening in the early Gentile communities these people like Peter, Paul, James, and John end up dealing with. So I am not sure we are really all that ‘off’ even in Jewish books. Far as I can tell, I would be considered a ‘righteous gentile’ for the life I lead – which falls in line with the Noahide Laws. I would make the distinction – perhaps to their unliking – I share in faith also – which Abraham had and was considered ‘righteous’ (even prior to circumcision).

But that’s my take – I am okay with the teachings on Torah we have in the NT – our scriptures are based on Judaism – but are not Judaism – but do keep the spirit and intent from the Law (which is not a Gentiles law).

***Written to some Messianics concerning the following of Torah

Gentiles & Messianic Judaism (My Response)

and is the Word of HaShem” (Israel)

You do know this is Greco-Roman in nature – this concept – correct? From John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

Amy Jill Levine on the works of Philo “The Jewish philosopher Philo of A1exandria spoke of the manifestation of God on earth; he called this the “Logos” (Greek for “word”), which is the same term some early Christians applied to Jesus (as in the opening words of the Gospel of John, “In the beginning was the word”).”

For more on this line of reasoning see: http://www.myjewishlearning.com/history_community/Ancient/IntellectualTO/Philo_.htm

Philo…His philosophy, much of it in the Platonic mold, is a blend of the personal God of the Hebrew Bible and the abstract, perfect deity required by Greek metaphysics” (From Text to Tradition: A History of Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism (Ktav) – Lawrence Schiffman)

We do not hold to any belief that I’m aware of that once you simply believe Yeshua is the Messiah that you cease to be a Gentile – since this is not normative in Judaism at all to recognize such as a Gentile” (Israel)

(a) Are you actually Jewish and a convert to Judaism? Or just a Messianic that is a convert of Christianity?

(b) You are asking for Gentiles to be Jewish – this is undeniable. I will break this down a bit more – but for starters – circumcision is a Jewish ritual (cultural and law) – Gentile cultures (including my own) really pay no mind to it as some standard of obedience.

Instead we fully believe, and can rightly document, that once someone decides to submit to the lordship of King Messiah, that they will make full teshuvah, and thus get circumcised, and do a mikvah of conversion since these things are clearly understood from the Torah as necessities to right behavior.” (Israel)

I repeat, if I desire to become a Judaic follower and convert to Judaism then I will follow these things – as they request. But if I want to be a Gentile Christian – then I see absolutely no need for it. Do I really have to make Paul’s case all over again – and the real Jerusalem Council from Acts? I will.

Acts 15:1 “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” (problem statement)

Acts 15:2 “Paul and Barnabas had great dissension and debate with them” (Paul is not on board with the idea)

Acts 15:5 “”It is necessary to circumcise them and to direct them to observe the Law of Moses.” (Circumcision – conversion – and Torah – standard guide – mentioned)

Acts 15:6 “The apostles and the elders came together to look into this matter” (This was not a sure-fire case – it was to be debated amongst the council)

Acts 15:9-11 “He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are.” (Peter’s verdict on the matter – nothing about circumcision or even halakah).

Acts 15:19-20 “Therefore it is my judgment that we do not trouble those who are turning to God from among the Gentiles, but that we write to them that they abstain from things contaminated by idols and from fornication and from what is strangled and from blood.” (James judgment – 4 things – none of which are circumcision and 4 commandments only)

Acts 15:21 “For Moses from ancient generations has in every city those who preach him, since he is read in the synagogues every Sabbath.” (Point – this Jewish tradition will carry on irregardless – no matter if we include the Gentile masses or not)

How can one claim – from Acts 15 – the inclusion of the Gentiles into the Christian faith is through Jewish conversion? Nothing of the sort is so much as mentioned or upheld by Pharisee’s, Peter, or James (and the Holy Spirit for that matter – vs. 28).

Now for Paul.

Romans 4:12-13 “and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also follow in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham which he had while uncircumcised. For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith.” (Paul makes a differentiation between law and faith here – which includes those who were uncircumcised – the Romans he is writing to in this letter).

1 Corinthians 7:18-19 “Was any man called when he was already circumcised? He is not to become uncircumcised. Has anyone been called in uncircumcision? He is not to be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God” (Good summation of Paul’s position on this)

Galatians 2:7-9 “But on the contrary, seeing that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised (for He who effectually worked for Peter in his apostleship to the circumcised effectually worked for me also to the Gentiles), and recognizing the grace that had been given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, so that we might go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.” (Paul re-hashes Acts 15 in this letter – and guess what – nothing wrong with being uncircumcised – and this was quite understood by Paul and the real Jerusalem Council).

Galatians 5:6 “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love” (another good summation of Paul’s opinion of circumcision)

Colossians 2:11 “and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ;” (Apparently circumcision ‘without hands’ – via faith – is also quite adequate)

Titus 1:10 “For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision” (Amazing – but this is a letter from Paul from so long ago – dealing with this same issue I am here today).

Fact is, if a Gentile wants to follow the Messiah – he can – and does not need to be circumcised or follow any rituals for that matter – these decisions were agreed upon by James, Peter, John, Pharisee’s, and Paul. Yet, for some reason, the Messianics of this age have to be correct? I will do more than prove this movement wrong – if we continue down this path – you have little to no scriptural backing for your position Israel.

If you feel the need to lose your culture – embrace Judaism – and follow it’s tenets – then so be it – I do not feel that need – I like my culture (First Nations in Canada/America – or Indian as you might know us). I follow the Messiah and his teachings (which I will give you are based on Torah – including also most of Paul’s works) – but I am not Jewish (sorry) and there is no requirement for me to be (according to the early church fore-runner’s of this faith to Gentiles).

I will come and debate you on your turf also – but I have to admit – you must shame Paul first before your position can hold any true weight.

Messianic Judaism & Legitimacy

I am wondering about this Messianic Judaism stuff – what does it all mean?

“Adherents to Messianic Judaism are described as Messianic Jews, Messianic Believers, or Messianics for short.

Although terms used to identify adherents of Messianic Judaism are frequently disputed, the terms used generally describe someone who holds to the belief that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah, and who lives in obedience to the Scriptures, including the Torah, and Halakha, and who believes such a lifestyle of obedience is the proper expression of faith. Messianic Judaism is a relatively new term, coined as recently as 1895 to help separate the practices of its followers from those of common Christianity as a whole, and in order to more closely align its faith with that of biblical and historical Judaism.

The Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations defines Messianic Judaism as “a movement of Jewish congregations and groups committed to Yeshua the Messiah that embrace the covenantal responsibility of Jewish life and identity rooted in Torah, expressed in tradition, and renewed and applied in the context of the New Covenant.”

Jewish life is life in a concrete, historical community. Thus, Messianic Jewish groups must be fully part of the Jewish people, sharing its history and its covenantal responsibility as a people chosen by God. At the same time, faith in Yeshua also has a crucial communal dimension. This faith unites the Messianic Jewish community and the Christian Church…” (UMJC)

Messianics believe that the first followers of Jesus of Nazareth were called Nazarenes (in Hebrew, Notzrim; נוצרים) or simply “Followers of the Way.”

Messianic Jews practice their faith in a way they consider to be authentically Torah-observant and culturally Jewish.” (Wikipedia – Messianic Judaism)

There are a few things that bother me about this movement:

(a) They claim to follow the Torah and Halakha (613 Mitzvot) – but do they?

(b) Are they aware that Paul and the Jerusalem Council said the opposite on this issue concerning Gentiles being Jewish – concerning the law and culture?

(c) If these people want to be Jewish – why don’t they just convert to Judaism? 

***I am not saying I don’t like this movement – I know very little about this movement – and they do bare some similarities to what I think (in some regards). In some ways this is attractive to me – in some ways it seems disgraceful (even lying) to me.  

What do you think?

Speedy’s Answer to ‘Did Jesus Ever Get Sick?’

Tidbits Taken from Speedy’s Prophecy to Trent ‘Was Jesus Ever Ill?’ Speedy speaks in the name of Jesus in his parts that I offer rebuttal to (article pulled from Gracehead).

Trent, My beloved, you seek Me, and this is very good. Continue in Me, with all zealousness, and in the times to come shall I bring you riches of the kind you have not known, of the kind that shall bring a multitude into My joy. Seek on, and serve Me in all patience and steadfastness of faith, with all long-suffering for those who know not Me and resist My Word…blah blah blah” (Speedy) 

This is the most vague thing I have ever read – and this is supposed to be Jesus speaking directly to Trent? Nothing in this whole paragraph means anything – and it can mean anything you want it to – how groovy is that for Trent? Trent cannot be wrong for reading this and liking it – he’s admonished by Jesus in the letter – plus the letter is so vague I am not sure how Trent could feel he is breaking any of this. Seek – how much? Zeal – how much? Huh? 

A faithful, humble servant is what I require…one who listens to all I teach Him, and then teaches it to another. Only those, who have ears to hear, are given to teach. To the rest, it is not given…Rather, these men of vanities, of which you have spoken, walk among men and the earthly churches, built up by human power, seeking after human praise, elevated and uplifted in their own egos…they shall be brought VERY low…” (Speedy) 

Speedy references himself in the first sentence – now that’s cocky. Secondly, he’s on about the problem with churches – I can dig it – I have some problems with them also – this is his ‘bait’. I’ll be perfectly honest about this stuff of his – its very Joseph Smith in nature – like ‘your own personal Joseph Smith…reach out and touch faith’

 “Trent, My beloved, I have called unto you, and you have harkened. For you have endeavored to become completely virgin, as I have called Timothy, who was virgin according to doctrine, an empty vessel, meet for the Master’s use. And in like manner, are you also becoming, even very quickly now” (Speedy)

Bait was laid out – now it’s time for the hook, line, and sinker. Speedy makes Trent sound like he is getting closer to the truth – by get this – being more dumber (emptying himself from his prior knowledge to nothingness). Apparently Trent is doing a good job – Speedy gives him the old ‘you’re a virgin like me nod’ and is approved. 

You ask of Me questions, of which others think not of, even questions from deep within your conscious” (Speedy) 

Really? ‘Was Jesus ever ill?’ is the question that was asked. I have way deeper questions concerning many things – but was Jesus ever sick is like supremely low on my list of questions to ask a God that speaks back to me. 

By no means did I, Myself, become sick, for the Father allowed nothing to keep Me from My mission in the fulfillment of all that was written. I came as you, in flesh, to live as you, and to be fully tempted as you, yet I did not suffer illness of the body…All those, without sin, live forever and suffer not. And so I was without sin and abide forever, and came to carry the infirmities of those who came to Me in faith, asking that I should heal them. In the same way, I carried their sin, though I had no part in sin Myself. How can one, who is in need of a physician, heal others? Or one, who has sinned, bear and forgive the sins of another? Trent, I was completely clean, so by this, you and all those who seek Me, might also be clean.” (Speedy)

 This is the answer? Remember this is apparently God talking to Trent here – not supposed to be Speedy and his mistaken English (notice bear is supposed to be bare). Ok, here are the problems:

 (a) Jesus came to be fully human – if he never experienced sickness – then how could he have fully experienced what we did? How’s that for a question to ask God!

 (b) “How can one, who is in need of a physician, heal others?” (Speedy) – ask a doctor this and they will keel over laughing to tears…even physicians need doctors. 

I am sorry, if I knew Jesus was going to respond to me with any question I had for him – asking him ‘did you ever get sick?’ wouldn’t even make the radar. 

Speedy if you can hear me, here are a few doozies? If God is Sovereign – why did He let the holocaust happen? How about Rwanda – how did that slip by? Why doesn’t God heal amputee’s or everyone that asks for healing? How does the Trinity work or is it even real? If jesus was 50% man and 50% God – how did this work? Why is when we ask questions like this we are given the old answer ‘it is a mystery’?

Holy Days & Holidays & Ignorance

It looks like every Holiday is going to be a struggle because Jim has read Timothy’s book Holidays -vrs- Holy days. I can listen to Jim and understand his perspective, especially with Halloween” (Buffy)

Every Halloween I have problems with Timothy – the reason i was booted from Gracehead is because I celebrate Halloween – I am not sure this is an argument you are going to win unfortunately.

However, here is my take on this Holidays vs. Holy Days thing:

(a) None of the holidays we partake in are actually ‘evil’ in nature – including Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. In each of them is actually time to spend with family and to meet new people (usually in a spirit of giving and hospitality).

(b) The Holy Days (feasts and festivals) of the Torah do not cancel out holidays recognized by the American and Canadian calendar – and these Holy Days make no mention of cancelling out other culture’s holidays whatsoever (I see none of that in the Torah).

(c) The holidays may originate from some questionable circumstances – as they claim – pagan rituals and what have you – but nothing in those holidays is actually anti-God or anti-human. The originations (if even true) of these events is not what we celebrate on those holidays (undeniable fact) – if anything these holidays have been ‘Christianized’…or made more pleasant with some of the ideas introduced (like Christmas).

(d) How is Halloween really that bad? Kids get dressed up (fun) and hang out with friends (fun) and go door to door (visiting neighbors) and are given candy for free (a huge treat – and very hospitable of you ask me). That version of Halloween really has nothing that is specifically all that bad – at least this was the version of Halloween I remember as a kid. There was no casting of spells and sacrifces to some strange gods – nothing like that was included in my version of halloween.

(e) Jim may have a perspective concerning halloween – but I have heard this ‘crap’ from churches I attended also – concerning holidays and banning them. They tell you 1/2 truths and ‘fear mongering’ to get you persuaded to their side – like ‘God is not happy with you if you celebrate this’. They try to use their faith in a way that promotes fear – when ‘perfect love casts out all fear’. I do not think our faith should revolve around fear – and when it does – I am not sure that is God authoring that intent.

In the end, the people following Speedy are basically trying to be ‘more holy’ than everyone else – namely because they think they ‘know more about truth and God than the rest of us’. It’s basic nonsense. Not saying they may not know more about some of these Holy Days – but they are misguided in their use of them – they use them as standards of judgement against their own families! I don’t like it personally.

God-hood & Faith in God(s)

And that is an egregiously contradictory statement! C’mon, Jason. You would use more brain cells than that to plan a vacation.” (Jim)

I don’t go on very many vacations to be honest – so actually ‘no I wouldn’t’. You version of contradiction is illogical – thought I’d mention that. The claim you say is in contradiction is:

Jesus was sent by God – but is not God

Jesus was sent by his Father – but is not his Father. This is logical. Jesus was sent by his Father – and Jesus is his Father. That not logical. Yet the 2nd one is the claim of Christianity – that Jesus and the Father are one – they are both God (yet one).

I think for a Christian to believe the Messiah is one with God in that the Messiah is God – is a strong removal from the original faith Jesus himself belonged to – so strong a removal to be in opposition to it. It breaks the very first commandment – can’t get any more removed than that.

A few questions” (Quest)

The questions you ask are asked as if the story is 100% true already – I think there is a slant there (in my opinion).

Now the story may very well be true – but it leaves more questions. Is Jesus – because of this birth – the literal son of God? This same thing happens in the Tanakh to Sarah – and her son is not considered the ‘son of God’ (a parallel). Heck, John the Baptist is brought about the same way – a miraculous birth – does this make him a son of God? No.

The only writers to so much as touch on this subject are Matthew and Luke – that’s it. No John, James, Peter, Mark, and Paul. If this is such a strong and important doctrine – how come more than ½ the NT writers never mention it? I would also like to point out that Luke’s ‘Acts’ also does not mention it…one might think this story was an addition later on? I am not sure of that myself – I just know the doctrine means very little and was dropped altogether by Paul.

Jesus was the same in nature as His Father and the same in nature as his mother. That would make Him 100% human and 100% Divine.” (Quest)

Quest, I hate to use some logic, but I must interject here…Jesus was 200% a person? Didn’t Hulk Hogan also give 110% in the ring? LOL. 100% is the most a human can be and I am going to break this down.

If Jesus is born as God and a human man – then Jesus isn’t exactly like us in ‘every way’ – is he? Jesus is ‘more than us’ – he’s God – he’s actually nothing like us. Jesus then dies on our behalf – which is also not true – because God cannot die. So if Jesus died then that is very strange – it reveals he is human – but how is he God? Unless God can die – split Himself into 2 – and willingly sacrifice one piece of His parts for us (died) – so ½ of God can die? It’s just very strange – cause if it’s true – then when we die – ½ of us does not die (we fully die).

To be totally honest with you it’s a real bender. I’m not sure if your just arguing or seeking to understand the concept. Even if you don’t believe it do you follow the concept?” (Quest)

I am looking at the concept and letting it be what it is – and then delving into it and seeing what it all means. I personally cannot believe Jesus is God – it breaks the first commandment – which God demands the Jewish faith do not break. I do not believe this concept – nor that the virgin borth truly matters (real or not). I follow the teachings of Jesus and that’s what I try to do – make those active in my life. I do believe that is what it means to ‘follow Jesus’.