Saturday, April 7, 2007

Messianic Judaism

Messianic Judaism Image
Messianic Judaism is a religious movement of individuals "who believe in Jesus as Messiah, but which retain their Jewish identify."

The group follows an Evangelical Christian belief system, including the acceptance of key cardinal Christian beliefs: the Trinity, the virgin conception of Yeshua of Nazareth (a.k.a. Jesus Christ), his sinless life resurrection and ascension, the atonement, etc. They combine Jewish practices, celebration of holy days, etc from the first century CE with the beliefs established by the Pauline Christians and their successors in later centuries. Among their membership are many ethnic/cultural Jews.

A key difference between Messianic Jews and Reform, Conservative, Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox Jews involves their beliefs about the Messiah. This difference is sufficient for Morton Klein, the President of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), to have allegedly declared that a Messianic Jew is a "former Jew." Another difference relates to the conservative Protestant theology of Messianic Judaism.

There are many references in the Hebrew Scriptures to the coming of a Messiah who would inspire Jews in Israel to rise and throw off oppression from occupying military powers. Most Jews believe that the Messiah has yet to come; Messianic Jews believe that Yeshua of Nazareth was the expected Messiah.

Messianic Jews consider themselves to be fully Jewish. They maintain a "Jewish lifestyle of faith....[they] celebrate all of the biblical holidays (i.e. Passover, Succot, etc) as well as many of the customs which are consistent with the Scriptures." 10

Within Messianic Judaism, there exists a wide range of beliefs:
- What might be called an "Evangelical Protestant" wing of Messianic Judaism has accepted Yeshua (Jesus Christ) as the Messiah. They have also adopted the theology of Evangelical Christianity. Some add an additional criteria: the belief "that G-d wants the Jewish people to remain a distinct and obedient nation until the end of time."

Note: Jews frequently use the term "G-d" and "L-rd" to refer to their deity. The regard his full name as so sacred that it must not be written or pronounced.

Messianic Jews retain Jewish symbolism, heritage, culture, seasonal days of celebration and many details of religious observance. They also regard themselves as an integral part of the "Body of Messiah" - what countless conservative Christian denominations refer to as the "Body of Christ" - the followers of Yeshua who have accepted and worship him as Lord and Savior, and as a member of the Christian Trinity.

The doctrinal statement of the Christian Jew Foundation, for example, is indistinguishable from that of other Evangelical faith groups.

Messianic Bureau International's essay "Why you need Messiah" similarly supports Evangelical Christian belief when it states:
- Those who hear and place their trust in Him {Yeshua] as Savior and L-RD are rescued (redeemed) from the curse of sin and death and will live eternally. The full promise will appear when Messiah returns and the resurrection of the dead takes place.
- If you do not know Yeshua as your Messiah and/or Savior, you can receive Him now by confessing your sins to Him, then asking Him to come into your life and make you a new person. Your entry way to G-d's throne will be made clear and you can then learn all that His Word says, because you will have the strength through His presence in you.
- What might be called a "Jewish Christian" wing of Messianic Judaism closely resembles the original Jewish Christian movement. This was the group of reform-minded Jews who were followers of Yeshua. They formed a group in Jerusalem immediately following Yeshua's execution circa 30 CE, under the leadership of James -- Yeshua's brother. They worshiped and offered sacrifices in the Temple; they circumcised their male children; they followed all of the Jewish festivals; they observed Jewish dietary laws. Later, circa 36 CE, Paul introduced Pauline Christianity to the Gentiles.

You also may enjoy this free books:

Pansophic Freemasons - Masonic Symbolism
Frederick Hadland Davis - The Persian Mystics Jami
Anton Szandor Lavey - The Satanic Rituals

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