Statement of Faith

I believe it to be worth the time to perhaps instead explain my own faith and my reasoning for coming to practice Messianic Judaism as a believer as opposed to one of the plethora of Eastern and Western denominational flavors of Christianity and to highlight the differences.

First, I am a Gentile. A Goy. Claiming to be Jewish is a BIG THING, and I have no platform to do so. I hold a great deal of love and respect for my Jewish brothers and sisters who have remained Torah observant, and I do not wish to disrespect or take away from their birthright and heritage by claiming to be Jewish myself. Please, do not confuse my discussion of practicing Messianic Judaism as a claim to being a literal son of Abraham.

Second, I believe in the Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ to most of you), but I no longer practice my faith as one would expect a traditional Christian. The modern faith, in my experience, has been divorced from its spiritual core and understanding. Yeshua was born1 and died a Jew2 and spoke of fulfilling and upholding the Torah3 while teaching within Jewish communities. All His talmidim (apostles) were Jews who were commanded first to outreach to the Jewish communities4. Shaul (Paul) was a Jew’s Jew5 and taught a very Torah-centric message6, even to Gentile believers by advocating adherence to the Noachide Laws upon joining the faith7. All spoke of the Law frequently and drew parallels to teachings within Talmudic debate of the period8. If the Bible is to be without contradiction and conflict, then the New Covenant and the Era of Grace is a refinement and extension of Judaism as a practiced faith for all people and not the beginning of a new religion.

Realistically, this deeply impacts my practices and beliefs. Many believers frequently utilize the Torah to condemn and convict people as sinners (especially in regard to several current hot-button topics – despite the command to hate the sin and love the sinner), but will frequently dismiss and ignore the Torah’s value and importance as a tool to outline and define the sin in their own lives, citing freedom through Grace as a defense. As a former Baptist, I grew more and more troubled by this common practice as I discovered that often I had more in common with the very Jews, Atheists and agnostics that others condemned as going to Sheol (Hell) than my own brothers and sisters in the faith with regard to upholding right and wrong, and identifying hypocrisy.

Christians frequently state that we should be like Jesus, to follow His path in our day to day lives. Before we can do that, we must recognize and remember that the Torah defines sin and outlines how we are to live and worship, both Jew and Gentile, within the faith. In order to act as the permanent Yom Kippur sacrifice to cleanse us of our sins, Yeshua had to be sinless to willingly take that blood guilt upon Himself. This means Yeshua clearly had to be perfectly Torah observant in order to be sinless. If we are to walk in His path, then we too must ultimately strive to be Torah observant to the best of our understanding and ability.

If the Torah commands us not to participate in pagan holidays, to worship and rest on the Seventh Day and to abstain from certain practices, and if we’re commanded to walk as our Messiah has and refrain from committing sin, this means that we should be gathering for worship and rest on Saturday and not Sunday, we should recognize and participate in the Feasts of the L-rd with our Jewish brothers and sisters, and we should refrain from participating in certain other modern whitewashed holidays. That’s where you’ll find me: Practicing and striving to uphold the spirit of the Law as a means to grow closer to our L-rd, not out of condemnation or obligation to obey, but of a willingness to do what He desires as a means to grow closer to Him while living under the forgiveness afforded by the Blood of the Lamb. A Messianic Jewish Gentile, and a technical meshugana.

As such, don’t expect me to post or respond from sundown to sundown Saturdays in my time zone… and I’ll encourage you all as readers to do the same, even if you aren’t believers yourself. I won’t stop you from posting if you want to, but it’s a day of rest; you should take it. We’ll still all be here the next day to keep the conversation going, G-d willing.

Additional recommended reading: Not Subject to the Law of G-d?

1 Matthew 1:1-17
2 Matthew 27:11-37
3 Matthew 5:17-48
4 Matthew 10:5-10
5 Phillipians 3:1-9
6 Romans 6:1-8:17; Paul’s Epistles, all inclusive
7 Acts 15:19-30
8 A Rabbi’s Impressions of the Oberammergau Passion Play, by Joseph Krauskopf, [1901] pp. 182-191; Yeshua, the Oral Torah and the Talmud, yashanet.com