In the twenty-first century, can a movement born out of Christianity
become a kind of Judaism?

Mark Nanos, from his endorsement of Postmissionary Messianic Judaism

by Rabbi Dr. Mark Kinzer

 

In his endorsement of Kinzer’s book, Nanos lays out a question that we who are seeking to build a Messianic Judaism are striving for and that is to build a mature and credible 21st century Judaism out of a movement that was spawned from our evangelical Christian past.

This is what a Messianic Judaism is. It truly is a paradigm shift and a complete change from one religious grounding (Christianity) to a new grounding that being Judaism, Messianic Judaism.

We have seen this transformation beginning with the early Hebrew Christians, coming to embrace their “Hebrewness” in the context of their Christian faith.

This later led to the recognition of Hebrew Christians that they were Messianic Jews that led to the birth  of the modern Messianic Jewish movement that more fully sought to grasp onto a Jewish life and worldview.

We now are seeking to take the next step and see ourselves and our movement as not just a “Hebraic”, “Hebrew Christian” or the “Jewish Church” but a full member of the Jewish world and a Torah responsive Jewish faith community,

a Judaism that honors Yeshua as the Messiah.

This is a journey and something that we are seeking to move toward.

May we do the work that needs to be done!

 

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4 thoughts on “The Paradigm Shift

  1. “We now are seeking to take the next step and see ourselves and our movement as not just a “Hebraic”, “Hebrew Christian” or the “Jewish Church” but a full member of the Jewish world and a Torah responsive Jewish faith community…”

    The MJ movement was started by Jews and for Jewish believers in Yeshua, who have unique experiences and relationships to God, Yeshua, and their fellow Jews, that Gentile Christians simply do not have.

    I would argue that MJ isn’t “yours” to take to the next level. It isn’t for you to make these decisions, because you are not Jewish. How can you possibly see yourself “as a full member of the Jewish world and a Torah responsive Jewish faith community…”?

    Gentiles often use MJ as their means to take on a Jewish identity. I’ve seen it happen in several ways, but the consequences aren’t benign.

    Many Gentiles in the MJ movement cannot grasp that their role is to support the Jews within it and to guard their identity, not take it on, which creates much frustration and causes many Jews to leave.

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    1. “We now are seeking to take the next step and see ourselves and our movement as not just a “Hebraic”, “Hebrew Christian” or the “Jewish Church” but a full member of the Jewish world and a Torah responsive Jewish faith community…”

      The main point here is that I am calling and looking forward to a Messianic Judaism that is a full member of the Jewish world and as a Torah faithful Jewish faith community.

      My role is not to take on Jewish identity but to prophetically call the Messianic Jewish community toward maturity and to meet their unique calling.

      You don’t accept the validity of conversion to Judaism but I am soon to complete my conversion to Judaism under the guidance of the Messianic Jewish Rabbinic Council, which would make me a full member of the Jewish People in the near future and I can speak from within the Jewish People to the Jewish People.

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  2. What reaction, if any, should there be to Catholics who claim that Messianic Judaism is simply dressed up Protestantism? Similarly, I’ve heard complaints from mainstream Reformed Calvinists that Messianic Judaism is simply dressed up Arminianism. Is there any value to responding to these criticisms, or do they simply cover other theological differences?

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    1. I would say that both are misunderstandings and should be dealt with as such. Messianic Judaism is continuing it’s move towards being a mature form of 21st century Judaism.

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