The modern Messianic movement is a first-generation movement: birthed in the 1960s and ’70s. But that first generation of pioneers are ageing, however, and a new generation — our generation of Millennials — must rise up to take up the mantle.
As the Millennial generation takes the torch, we recognize challenges in Messianic movement the Boomers have left to us: fundamentalism, rigidity, majoring on minors, a lack of critical thinking, failing to deal with issues relevant to today’s generation, an inability to plan for the future.
In this episode, John and I discuss these challenges and propose reasonable paths forward to help modern Messianics navigate these difficulties.
In this episode, John and Judah discuss John’s mission statement for Messianic Judaism, a product of John’s coursework in Messianic studies:
Today’s Messianic Jewish community has the widescale conviction that it composes “the end-time move of God.” This is based in the Biblical conviction that it is actively involved in the salvation-historical trajectory of “all Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:26). A massive salvation of Jewish people is to be regarded as “life from the dead” (Romans 11:15). Given the Apostle Paul’s magnanimous burden of the salvation of his kinsfolk—“I would pray that I myself were cursed, banished from Messiah for the sake of my people—my own flesh and blood” (Romans 9:3, TLV)—everything that today’s Messianic movement does, should be with the expressed purpose of trying to enhance the mission of Jewish outreach and evangelism! Today’s Messianic movement was specifically raised up by the Lord to proclaim the good news of Israel’s Messiah to the Jewish community, and emphasize that they do not have to assimilate into a much wider non-Jewish Christianity to properly express faith in Him.
Many non-Jewish Believers, with a sincere and genuine love for the people and Scriptures of Israel, have been legitimately called by the Lord to be active participants and co-laborers in the salvation of Israel, along with Messianic Jewish Believers. Many of these people are to be regarded as modern-day Ruths, whose loyalty to Messianic Judaism is steadfast to the point of dying with their Messianic Jewish brothers and sisters (Ruth 1:16-17). They have a distinct role to play, in provoking non-believing Jewish people to Messiah faith (Romans 11:11). More importantly, as Jewish and non-Jewish people come together in a special and unique unity, in Messiah Yeshua, they should be representing the “one new man/humanity” (Ephesians 2:15)—a testimony and snapshot of the greater redemption to come to the cosmos in the eschaton (Ephesians 1:10).
John and Judah discuss this vision in detail:
Is the Messianic movement really the end-times move of God?
Are there other reasons to serve in the Messianic movement besides eschatology?
How and where the movement has diverged from the original vision of Jewish outreach, both good and bad.
Is the Messianic movement a more authentic Christianity?
Why the Messianic movement views assimilation differently than Christianity. (And how we know God doesn’t want Jews to disappear or lose their Jewishness.)
The Ruth calling: the role of non-Jews in the Messianic movement
We hope this episode will give some clarity around the movement’s purpose and calling, and how you, dear listener, may be called to serve in the Messianic Jewish movement.
John and I tackle difficult issues separating Messianic Judaism and Hebrew Roots.
For the uninitiated, the Messianic movement encompasses both Messianic Judaism and Hebrew Roots.
In Messianic Judaism, the goal is Israel’s salvation by making a space where Jews can follow Yeshua as Messiah without losing their Jewish identity.
In Hebrew Roots, the goal is a return to the Jewish roots of Christianity, removing the extra-Biblical cruft created by the Church over the last 2000 years.
Go to most any Messianic congregation today, and you’re bound to find folks from both camps. These groups need each other, and yet, often there are theological disputes and disagreements that can prevent fellowship.
In this podcast, John and I look at 4 major issues that the Messianic Judaism movement sees with Hebrew Roots, and offer some ways to navigate them:
One-Law Rigidity – dogmatism around the idea that non-Jews must follow the Torah in the same way that Jews do
Two-House identity – which claims many or most non-Jews in the Messianic movement are actually descendants of the lost 10 tribes of Israel
Sacred Name Onlyism – the idea that you must pronounce God’s divine name, יהוה, and must never use circumlocutions like “Lord”, “God”, or even “Adonai” or “Elohim.”
Divergent Calendars – Calendars that differ from the modern Jewish (Hillel II) calendar, resulting in dates of the Feasts differing from mainstream date.
These 4 issues were raised by Rabbi David Schiller of Congregation Etz Chaim in Richardson, Texas, during an interview with John in an earlier podcast.
In this episode, John and I talk about how to navigate these difficult issues — and have fellowship in the presence of disagreement — via a Big Tent kind of Messianic movement. Enjoy!