The UMJC Position Paper on Conversion – An analysis

Editor’s note:
This blog post was posted at 10:24pm on Saturday (nearly 4 hours after Shabbat).
For those concerned about this possibly being posted on Shabbat, it was not.

An analysis of:
The UMJC Conversion Position Paper – The Majority Position

(Originally posted in multiple posts from 01/03/05 to 01/10/05)

At the September 1983 UMJC conference, a show of hands indicated that roughly 90% of the congregational leaders represented favored the Majority Position in opposition to the conversion of Gentiles to Messianic Judaism and the remaining 10%, the Minority Position that supported the conversion of Gentiles to Messianic Judaism.

You may say this paper is nearly 24 years old, why are you commenting on it, hasn’t things changed in these years? Well this is still the official statement of the Union that is reference to in the FAQ section on the UMJC website, therefore it is still relevant. Hopefully like the author of this statement, who now supports conversion of non-Jews, other leaders and the Union will move forward in this important step to fully embracing our role as a Judaism, an authentic Messianic Judaism.

The UMJC statement points are in bold, my commentary in plain text below.

MAJORITY POSITION

1. Despite inferential, contrary arguments, a clear biblical emphasis plus serious practical problems should prevent the UMJC from promoting any such conversions.

This appears to be more of a preamble to the statement’s further points that the statement will elucidate in the other points.

So then I will lay out a guiding view on my part to the issue. Based on the apocalyptic worldview of the early Messianic Jews, who believed the end of the age was quickly approaching and the return of the Messiah would be in their lifetime, we are left without clear guidance from the Brit Chadasha for our issue of conversion of non-Jews in Messianic synagogues outside of two issues:

1. The required conversion of non-Jews to Judaism before becoming followers of Yeshua, which was addressed in Acts 15

2. Conversion to Judaism to become a “super believer” as appears to be the problem addressed in Galatians

The conversion of a committed non-Jew to Messianic Judaism out of their desire to fully connect with Am Israel is not an issue addressed in the Brit Chadasha and with the apocalyptic vision of the early Messianic Jews this issue was not of importance to them with the soon end of the age.

2. Regarding conversions to Reform, Conservative or Orthodox Judaism, this can hardly be an option for any follower of Yeshua because these forms, despite their many differences, share an active disbelief in our Messiah. Close identification with, much less conversion to, any of these groups would be unbiblical.

The option of seeking out a conversion to other forms of Judaism is not a viable option for Yeshua believing non-Jews being that an essential part of the conversion process is the rejection of all previous religious beliefs, which would include the rejection of faith in Yeshua. This would be a huge problem and an option that no follower of Yeshua could do. So then the option of a conversion to Reform, Conservative or Orthodox Judaism is not an option.

Though this is a valid point against conversion to other Judaisms it doesn’t deal with the issue of conversion of non-Jews to Messianic Judaism.

In my opinion the only option that there can be for the committed non-Jews is for there to be a conversion process within Messianic Judaism.

3. Several reasons may be offered against adopting a rite of passage for willing Gentile believers into Messianic Judaism.

a. In I Corinthians 7:18 Rav Shaul specially addressed the issue of conversion, directing all believers to be content in the state in which they were called. Gentiles should not convert to Judaism. Likewise, Messianic Jews should not consider it an option to forsake their divine calling as Jews.

The third point is broken into 5 parts (a-e) and will be dealt with separately. 3a is the first point dealing with a Biblical passage.

In I Corinthians 7, where Paul deals with not “changing status”, which is typified by the phrase “in the state in which you were called” is his instructions to the believers in Corinth that in the light of the soon return of the Messiah, grounded in his apocalyptic worldview, that rather than changing from being a Jew to being a Gentile or from a Gentile becoming a Jew that his readers should just believe in Yeshua and be ready for the soon end of the age and the return of Yeshua.

What is lost on the above point from the Majority Position is that in the same passage Paul also includes instructions for those unmarried to not marry (7:8-9), those married not to divorce (7:10-11) and slaves to not seek their freedom (7:21-22), if these were the state in which the person became a believer. This brings up the following issues:

  • I was 6 years old and therefore single when I put my trust in Yeshua, should I not get married?
  • Was it wrong for slaves to seek freedom during the Civil War, if they became believers while in slavery?
  • Is divorce always prohibited if the parties became believers during the marriage?

I will imagine that the above questions would all receive a “no” answer. Then how can we take this passage as a Biblical mandate only for the conversion of non-Jews to Messianic Judaism?

I applaud and fully support the closing sentence:

Messianic Jews should not consider it an option to forsake their divine calling as Jews.

This is a vitally important issue but I Corinthians 7 should be understood as a passage that is rooted in the early Messianic Jews apocalyptic vision and should be understood as guidance to a community in preparation for the end of the age.

Paul and the other early Messianic Jews didn’t foresee the now 2000 year spread of time since the resurrection of Yeshua and sadly we are left without their direct guidance on how to deal with issues of note, specifically for our discussion on the issue of non-Jews converting to Messianic Judaism.

b. There is no example in the B’rit Hadasha of a Gentile believer becoming a Jew. Rav Shaul’s circumcision of Timothy (Acts 16:1-3) was a pragmatic measure primarily motivated by the Apostle’s desire to have Timothy accompany him into the synagogues of Asia Minor. More important, Timothy was already half-Jewish by his mother and according to II Timothy 3:15, was raised according to the Jewish Scriptures. Thus, his circumcision cannot provide an adequate example for any such practice involving Gentiles today.

The fact that there are not examples of Gentile believers becoming Jews can be understood as that within the context of the Brit Chadasha their still was a sense of two communities of believers the “congregation of the circumcised” and the “congregation of the uncircumcised”. This two-congregation approach can be seen in the ruling in Acts 15 that set forth the standards for the Gentile believers to live by and as Jews the Jewish believers had the Torah to live by. So then the issue of non-Jews in the Messianic Jewish congregations was really not an issue of their day. Paulwas reaching the Gentile believers and they were founding Gentile congregations.

Now to the issue of Timothy, in Second Temple Judaism the identifying sign of being a Jew for men was circumcision, basically Jewish status for men was dependent on whether or not they had a foreskin or not. So then Timothy even though a son of a Jewish mother and being raised according to the Scriptures may have made him a good follower of the G-d of Israel but until his circumcision he was not a Jew. Though in modern times there is more lax definition of who is a Jew, in the context of life in the Brit Chadasha whether one was circumcised or not was the key to Jewish identity. This can be seen in the Jerusalem community being referred as the ones reaching out to the “circumcised” and Paul’s mission to the “uncircumcised”.

Paul’s circumcision of Timothy was a conversion of a person of non-Jewish status, much like the conversions as an adult in Orthodox or Conservative Judaism for someone born of a Jewish father and non-Jewish mother; this was a matter of Timothy making a choice to embrace Judaism. It was also a practical matter for their outreach work in the Jewish communities so that Timothy’s Jewish identity would be clear.

So then the fact that there is a lack of examples in the Brit Chadasha of Gentiles converting to Messianic Judaism is primarily based in the fact that their were two congregations one of Jews and one of non-Jews and therefore this was not an issue as today when Messianic synagogues are mixed communities of Jews and non-Jews. Timothy was not a Jew until his circumcision according to the understanding of Judaism at the time and therefore he can be seen as a convert to Messianic Judaism. Timothy is a good example for us for those among us in our congregations who are of questionable Jewish heritage and via conversion can clear up ambiguities in their Jewish status or for those who are seeking to reclaim the “faith of their fathers”.

We can establish a credible Messianic Jewish conversion process and we must if we are truly going to build a mature Messianic Judaism for the future.

3c. Gentile believers who feel a strong identity with the Jewish people may join Messianic synagogues, participate in congregational life, and thus express a high degree of identification without actually becoming Jews. Conversion becomes unnecessary.

Though this is true that Gentile believers can express a high degree of identification with Jewish people via their involvement with the life of a Messianic synagogue, yet without a conversion process there is a roadblock to the ultimate identification with the Jewish people by joining the people of Israel like Ruth and others before have cast their lot with Am Israel.

This roadblock that bars the committed non-Jew from joining Israel is problematic for the non-Jew that seeks deeper involvement in the life of the Jewish people, whether that be in fully being a member of the Jewish people, being that their only viable connection is their attendance at a Messianic synagogue.

Like Timothy their is the issue of being able to function in ministry within the synagogue, being that the role of rabbi is exclusively a job to be held by a Jew, therefore without a conversion process this area of service is barred to the non-Jews in our midst who have this calling, yet cannot pursue this as a non-Jew. So then as we are now without a conversion process we are potentially keeping future rabbis from serving our synagogues being they cannot serve in the rabbinic role without being a Jew.

So then there are cases where conversion is necessary for the few committed non-Jews in our midst that would seek a strenuous and thoughtful conversion process. This is a step that we need to take in our move toward being Messianic Judaism.

d. A conversion to Messianic Judaism would not be recognized in Israel or among a majority of Jews in the Diaspora.

This point can be addressed in several ways, I will list three

1. Orthodox Judaism does not accept conversions as valid that were performed by Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist and Humanistic rabbis, yet all four movements continue to perform conversions.

Being that all Jews consider only conversions that are performed by an Orthodox rabbi as valid across the spectrum has not stopped the non-Orthodox movements to develop conversion programs. They perform their conversion rituals and recognize the conversions of other groups as valid. So then universal acceptance of conversion is not a bar to other Jewish groups, why should it be a bar to us?

2. Whether or not Israel recognizes our converts is not relevant, the fact that Israel has barred Jewish believers from citizenship hasn’t stopped Jewish believers from seeking to live in Israel.

We cannot decide our community standards and life to fit into the laws of Israel. Being that Messianic Jews have been barred from citizenship hasn’t stopped messianic Jews from seeking to immigrate to Israel.

3. A majority of Jews in the Diaspora do not recognize Messianic Jews as Jews.

Most Jews, I would say well over 90% would not consider Messianic Jews as Jews and Messianic Judaism as a valid expression of Jewish faith, does this stop us from being Messianic? The fact that our status as outsiders from the Jewish people has not hurt our claim to being who we are then why are we concerned with recognition of our conversions as valid? We need to do first and hope that the larger Jewish community will eventually recognize that we have truly committed non-Jews that are making a commitment to live with the Jewish people and dwell in Jewish space. As we have seen some inroads from the Jewish world to accept us as Jews who follow Yeshua, we hopefully can get recognition of these people that we are allowing to enter Am Israel.

So then we are already outside the Jewish people in the opinion of a majority of the Jewish community, yet we continue on as Messianic Jews, the question of the acceptance of Messianic conversions by the larger Jewish world should be less important than doing what is right for our community and the furtherance of Messianic Judaism.

e. Such a practice could easily result in “two-class” mentality among Gentiles in Messianic synagogues – the inner circle of converted Gentiles and the larger group of the “less committed.”

The above point seems to be trying to create a problem that in all reality would not exist with proper teaching and congregational leadership. If there is a Messianic Jewish conversion process and a non-Jew were to go through this conversion process then the non-Jew would become a Jew and therefore there is no “two class” problem, we are back to where we are now and that is Jews (both by birth or conversion) and the non-Jews. It appears that we are dealing in various ways with the Jew/non-Jew issue in our synagogues and a Messianic Jewish conversion process would not create a new issue.

This can only be an issue if there is a lack of rabbinic leadership and guidance of the synagogues and therefore any problems are the fault of lack of leadership by the synagogal leadership and not the fault of a well thought Messianic Jewish conversion process.

Even a non-obligatory conversion of Gentiles would be viewed as heretical by many in the churches. Messianic Jews can ill afford risking possible rejection by the majority of the believing community, as would likely happen once such a practice became widely known.

The concluding paragraph brings to completion the Majority Position with what may be the biggest hurdle to a Messianic Jewish conversion process and that being concern over the opinion by Christians that we are engaged in a heretical activity. Being that the preliminary points have been demonstrated to be outdated and without firm grounding this is the last leg for the argument to stand on.

We must ask ourselves why are we giving the Church a say in the development of our movement?

We are willing to go outside the norms of Christian life by embracing a Torah lifestyle, including:

  • Shabbat observance
  • Kosher dietary standards
  • Jewish holyday observance.

Why are we not willing to truly embrace our unique and separate identity as the Yeshua believing community among the Jewish people and truly be a Messianic JUDAISM? I can understand our willingness to be under the authority of the Church in our days as Hebrew Christianity, when by our own naming we identified ourselves as Christians of Jewish heritage, but for a Messianic Judaism to be an identity with meaning we have to do what we need to do to build our Judaism identity and despite the conflicts that this may raise with the Church and even alienating many of our supporters in the Church is the price that we must pay.

Is it right for us to build a Messianic Judaism?

If so then the allowing of those committed non-Jews in our midst to fully connect with the Jewish people is something that we must do. A Judaism is defined by Jews living within Jewish space and therefore the allowing of those non-Jews who are called to cast their lot with the Jewish people to fully join with the Jewish people is part and parcel of what being a Judaism means.

This is in no way a slight to those non-Jews in our midst that are a vibrant and valuable part of Messianic Jewish life, yet they do not seek this deeper level of identification and connection. With proper guidance and clear standards the number of non-Jews seeking a Messianic Jewish conversion process will be small and many of the potential candidates that I know have been involved in Messianic Jewish life for over 15 years.

We have to ask ourselves do we want to build a Messianic Judaism and if this is so for us to be a Judaism we must make a way open for the committed non-Jews to fully connect with the Jewish people and this can only be done through a thoughtful and carefully developed Messianic Jewish conversion process under the leadership of respected Messianic rabbis and leaders.

So then let us step the nearly 24 years into the future from our Hebrew Christian past and embrace our Messianic Judaism future and make a way for those non-Jews amongst us to follow in the footsteps of Ruth and cast their lot with Am Israel.

17 thoughts on “The UMJC Position Paper on Conversion – An analysis

  1. menachem,

    Another point of clarification I am not a member of or spokesman for the Halachic Council. I am in agreement with their work and advocate their creation of a conversion process for committed non-Jews involved in Messianic Judaism.

    my point of the only bar is theological is that the official position of the UMJC (detailed in the main post) and MJAA (the two largest MJ organizations) is opposed to conversion, possible future change in the Union, a closed issue in the MJAA.

    Therefore to accept the HC’s conversion process would be a move away from the stance of the two largest umbrella groups. This calls for leaders willing to embrace this step toward a full embracing of ourselves as a Judaism.

    The dysfunctionality you speak of is more a matter of growing pains, being that it could be said that the move toward embracing Judaism as the core identity in the Union began with the affirmation of the 2002 Defining Messianic Judaism statement. The Conservative movement has had almost 100 years to build institutions and standards that are now just being created and planned for in the Messianic Judaism world.

    It is a work in process.

    If I am one day a rabbi and am approached by a sincere, committed non-Jew that has a calling like Ruth to join fully with the Jewish people and to embrace Torah and Judaism, I would be happy to direct them to the HC or it’s successor.

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  2. For clarification there is no geographical or congregational restriction< <<<

    Of course there are! You say it right here:

    the only bar is theological on the part of those congregations that reject the paradigm shiftthat a conversion process entails, < <<<<

    The problem here is political and structural not theological. For congregations read “rabbis” or congregational leadership or “apostlolic stream” or what have you. You and the HC are with all due respect dancing around the issue and accepting this very dysfunctional structure that appears normative in MJ in general and the UMJC in particular and nowhere else in Judaism.

    You cannot have a conversion process that exists only within a congregation! Is there a force field around the HC congregations?

    If someone lives in North Dakota and wants to convert to Judaism by conservative standards and is willing to make the trip then they can do so without needing to affiliate with any particular congregation as far as I am aware.

    What happens if someone in Rev Yosters congregation decides to take on the Halachic responsibilities you describe and comes to Rav Yochanan and says:

    “Make me a Jew”

    What will you do ?

    “Just a Jew”

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  3. menachem you commented:

    accepted by a small group of synagogues within the UMJC< <<<<

    This is a pretty important point isnt it? Who ever heard of Jews restricting themselves congregationally and geographcially like this?

    ***************

    For clarification there is no geographical or congregational restrictions, the only bar is theological on the part of those congregations that reject the paradigm shift that a conversion process entails, as I have written before it is a true embracing of an identity as a Judaism and not a Jewishly contexted form of Evangelical Christianity.

    Hopefully more synagogues will embrace the paradigm change and seek to support this important step in the maturation of Messianic Judaism.

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  4. accepted by a small group of synagogues within the UMJC< <<<<

    This is a pretty important point isnt it? Who ever heard of Jews restricting themselves congregationally and geographcially like this?

    “I am sorry sir. But you live in Oshkosh Wisconsin. We dont have any of our congregations within 100 miles of there. We have agreed that all potential converts must live within that distance in order to qualify.

    But you really want to be Jewish? Lessee:

    Hmmm.Here’s the map. There’s a congregation near you. That’s Rev Yosters territory. You will have to be converted by his people.But if you come to our Shul to visit we wont honor you with an Aliyah”.

    See what I mean? Its pretty absurd.

    “just a Jew”

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  5. menachem you said:

    I love and support the folks I met from the Halakhic Council. However everyone I have spoken to has been very quick to point out that they are not analagous to the other groups in this list and therefore this analogy is not valid.

    I agree with you that there is not an analogous connection being that conversions in mainstream Judaism are for the most part accepted throughout the Jewish world, especially Orthodox, whereas the conversions performed by the Halakhic Council are currently accepted by a small group of synagogues within the UMJC.

    My point was for me to consider someone Jewish by conversion that I would accept as valid would be by Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist or the North American Halakhic Council.

    Must run off to work will answer your other comments tonight!

    Shalom my friend. Thanks for helping to hone my thinking on this important issue.

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  6. Sean

    Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist or the North American Halakhic Council < <<<

    I love and support the folks I met from the Halakhic Council. However everyone I have spoken to has been very quick to point out that they are not analagous to the other groups in this list and therefore this analogy is not valid.

    I sincerely wish it were otherwise. When this situation changes perehaps my objection to “messianic conversion” will as well.

    Menachem

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  7. To “born Jew”

    Hi “born”: Good to see the dialogue picking up on essential issues. I care less about the “ephraimites” than the Jews in this movement. (It sometimes appears to me that we sound like the Mormons)

    You ask an important question that as Sean points out has been taken up by portions of the Jewish community at large. That is what to do about the number of Jews who have intermarried and their children.

    As Sean points out, this usually depends upon whether the children of Jewish fathers were brought up in Jewish homes. Would you agree to this stipulation? How would you define “Jewish home”?

    I can conceive that the hypothetical Rev Yoster of my example could claim that he was brought up in a “biblically Jewish home”. That wouldn’t pass muster even in Reform Judaism but it might get the camels nose under the tent in MJ. This of course would bring in Peg under your standard and also Josh since Rev Yoster obviously believes his home to be impeccably Jewish. Now we have metastatic conversion of bibilcal Jews who arent Jewish at all.
    Precisely my concern as I pointed out to Sean.

    It’s not a small matter.

    “Just a Jew”

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  8. Rav Yochanan

    Hope this helps…

    I am afraid not. It does help me see that you have guts. We cant get the older generation to say publically that these folks arent rabbis and you deny them aliyah!

    I will go into detail later. I think that “born Jewish” is moving in the right direction although my question is the reciprocal. I am glad we are finally having a conversation here. ( I like his moniker. I think I will change mine to “Just a Jew” )

    Let me move things a bit further along by moving your career along the hypothetical track.

    Your learning has won you enough respect that you now have been asked to officiate at a UMJC conference. There is a “Torah service” Rev Yoster and Josh (now ordained as a result of graduating with honors from MJTI) and Don Pardo all are presented to you by Russ Resnik for the honor of reading from the Torah. You are asked for the sake of “unity” not to embarrass them publically. In addition there are representatives from major public Charismatic ministries that have come to film Rev Yoster and Don Pardo readining and to have Josh readinig while Rev Yoster looks on proudly. There would be major loss of face if they do not have the chance to participate in this mitzvah.

    What is your ruling now?

    BTW I see the problem as the nature of the Halachic council. That is where I am going with this.

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  9. Hello! I have a few questions for you Yochanan, and others are welcome to share their ideas and opinions as well. Will a person converted to Judaism via the Halakhic Council be concidered Jewish in other UMJC congregations and/or by mainstream Messianic Jews in America? Who is elligeble for conversion? If there still is much opposition to this, how about only accepting those who already are married into our people or who have a Jewish father as conversion candidates?

    Like

  10. menachem,

    To your most recent comment.

    If Josh Yoster or anyone is concerned with me and others over our respect for Rabbinic tradition, which I and others see as G-d’s vehicle for preserving the Jewish people and Judaism today, he has the problem and really wouldn’t enjoy being with me, the young scholars group or at my shul.

    Something that has not been made clear, what I am a proponent of and what is the work of the Halakhic Council is conversions to JUDAISM through the guidance of Messianic rabbis. The convert is converting to Judaism and to join the Jewish people, not to Messianic Judaism or Biblical Judaism, much in the same way if one goes to the University of Judaism (Conservative) for their conversion classes the person is converting to Judaism, not Conservative Judaism.

    If someone is converted to Messianic Judaism or “Biblical Judaism” they are not partaking in one I advocate or what those in the Halakhic Council are pursuing.

    If someone claims to be a Jew and they are not the child of a Jewish mother or father (I am less comfortable with paternal descent yet I am willing to accept for one raised as a Jew – one of my few opinions in line with Reform Judaism) or someone converted to Judaism via Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist or the North American Halakhic Council then I would say that they are not a Jew and therefore would not be given an aliyah.

    This answers your previous question over Rev. Yoster’s claim to being Jewish on the basis of his paternal grandfather, if your grandfather was Jewish (especially paternal) and your father was not then you are not Jewish. Therefore I think that it is wrong for Rev. Yoster to claim an identity lost in his family, it is like someone making a claim to being Jewish because you see in your family tree an Uncle Moses two or three generations back. If the Jewish line ended for Rev. Yoster with his grandfather then Rev. Yoster will need to seek a formal conversion to JUDAISM, to be a Jew.

    I think you misjudge the seriousness of the process developed for conversion by the Halachic Council, I feel confident that all the allegorical people that you mentioned would be turned away by the Halachic Council, if they didn’t leave voluntarily when they see how “rabbinic” a life they are called to live out if they were to seek the conversion process.

    Hope this helps…

    Like

  11. Before you answer let me pose the following scenario:

    Josh Yoster becomes good friends with some of you through MJTI. He engages in many lively debates with you but he goes away shaking his head at how you “drinking the old rabbinic wine”

    However he is inspired by his dad to undergo “conversion to MJ” since he is “biblically Jewish” and goes along to keep the peace. Mom also converts.

    Now Rev Yoster Josh Peg Don Pardo and several others have “converted” to “biblical Judaism”.

    So far so good.

    One day you hear they are coming to visit your shul.

    You are no longer a “young scholar” but now a “Messianic Rav”

    Do you allow them to have an Allyiah? What will be your ruling?

    Like

  12. Hi Sean

    It was great meeting you. I am not offended that the issues werent addressed by you and others. It does tell me that this movement isnt for me. I hope you can understand that. My concern is a Jewish one and has to do with the integrity of what it means to be part of the Jewish people. I know that many of you folks including Hasheyvenu and the New England group are very respectful and serious but there are really very few boundries and once this catches on in the movement others will want to follow suit to ensure their Jewish “bone fides”.

    And what is going to stop them? After all Hasheyvenu is the first to say that there is no “Hasheyvenyeu”. There is just “MJ”. Therefore whatever criteria you or New England or whatever organization puts together for “conversion” is not going to be honored by the rest of MJ.

    Perhaps parody and analogy will help:

    I have spoken before of the good Reverend Don Yoster the mythical Methodist minister with the Jewish paternal grandfather who decided that he was “biblically jewish” and now heads a sizable “apostolic network” of “Jews ‘n Gentiles”.

    He is strongly influenced by and “in union with” his good friend “Don Pardo” who went to seminary with him, who built a large church in Alabama with him and who now “loves the Jewish people and wants to minister to them in apostolic ministy”.

    Rev Pardo considers himself “Jewish at heart” and especially equipped to minister “biblical judaism” because he was brought up “without rabbinic superstition” for which he has great compassion for Jewish people and for which he feels they need gentle but firm church dicipline to bring them out of.

    Don’s wife Peg is a midwestern woman of good Christian virtue who loves the Jewish people with all her heart. Her electrifying prophetic ministry make her an invaluable asset to the team. They have a son Josh who graduated with a marketing degree from Liberty University and now is studying in the ordination track at MJTI.

    It has acome to Rev Yosters attention that sometime the Jews who attend services within his network complain that Don Pardo and others “arent really Jewish”.
    His “apostolic team” suggested that his network follow the model that you suggested. After all the precedent was set. Conversion to MJ. Period.

    Remember that you all belong to the same UMJC tent. Who is to say that others cant define conversion for who and how they want?

    Until you define Judaism you shouldnt allow conversion.

    Thats my opinion.

    Like

  13. Menachem,

    Thanks for commenting, it was also nice to meet you in person a few weeks ago.

    You have asked alot in the past, what specifically would you want me to address of your many concerns? I apologize for not responding sooner.

    The concerns stated in the opinion paper are for the most part Christian concerns being that this paper was written in 1983, a time where the UMJC was having to defend Saturday services and wearing kipas.

    I look forward to answering your concerns.

    Like

  14. Sean

    Could you please address the concerns I have raised before about this issue? I have not seen yourself nor for that matter Stuart nor Carl nor Mark nor anyone else deal with them.
    I believe I can defend the proposition that these other issues are less significant by comparision and may be of more import to Christians than to Jews.

    Menachem

    Like

  15. anonymous,

    thanks for visiting and commenting.

    i apoplogize for the confusion that i caused for you and undoubtedly others over posting on Saturday.

    if you would have noted the timestamp below the post i posted it about 10:15pm on Saturday (almost 4 hours after Havdalah), which would have made the post on Yom Rishon and after Shabbat.

    thank you for your comment. i rarely if ever post on Friday or Saturday, I usually have my computer off from Friday night to Sunday morning and therefore avoid mistakenly posting on Shabbat.

    shalom,
    yochanan

    Like

  16. This is a very good article, but my brother: Why did you publish this on Shabbat? That is non of my business, it’s between you and G-d. But I’m asking this question as an invitation for you to ask your self: If I’m Jewish, if I truly believe in the Torah way of life for our Jewish people (Am Israel), then _why_ do you publish articles in support of the Torah values on Shabbat? I hope this doesn’t hurt your feelings, but the Torah does prohobit our Jewish people from ALL kinds of work – including the making of a fire on our holy Shabbat day. Isn’t electricity using fire? That’s how I was raised, that is our precious cultural heritage, that is the true Shabbat peace and joy. And Shabbat observance, along with countless other mitzvot, form the very purpose of being Jewish, by birth or by legitimate conversion. But I guess it’s a mitzvah to mind our own business and not to judge other people, so please forgive me if this hurt your feelings, annoyed or insultet you. I mean no harm. G-d bless you, and keep walking close to YESHUA, it’s all about HIM! Yeshua, Yeshua, Yeshua! How we love Him, and how much we therefor should love one another, Jews and gentiles ONE in the Moshiach!

    Like

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