(The beginning of an excellent article that I highly recommend. Long read… The complete article is here. Well worth the time of any interested researcher as well as those trying to understand the differences between the church, Judaism and most every stripe in the cross-section.)
by Avram Yehoshua
Since 1983, I’ve watched Messianic Judaism grow and considered myself and my congregation a part of it, even though we were never officially a member of either the MJA (Messianic Jewish Alliance), or the UMJC (Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations). To my surprise, the Lord would not let me officially align myself with either group. Over the years I came to see why.
At first, what I thought was poor theology on their part, concerning Torah for both Jew and Gentile, would change when the leaders ‘saw the Light’. But over the years, it’s only gone from bad to worse, and I’ve felt saddened by the infant that had so much potential, only to become a disobedient and rebellious child. It’s time for me to move on. I no longer feel that Messianic Judaism is capable of reversing its theology on Torah. It’s become an institution set on defending its position against the Law at all costs. Because of this hardening, I no longer feel a need to try and correct it, or get excited about what ‘so and so’ says, etc. It can go on the way it wants to, without me. They have resisted the Spirit of the Lord in this vital area.
It wasn’t until I read a letter explaining the vision of the original leaders, that it all came together for me. Rev. Dan Juster, part of the leadership of the Union of Messianic Congregations for many years, in a letter (1) to Boaz Michael of First Fruits of Zion states,
‘the founding fathers of Messianic Judaism intended Messianic Judaism only as an evangelical outreach to unsaved Jews.’
Rev. Juster goes on to say that it was never the intention of those men to walk in Torah, for themselves or for the Gentiles. In the same article, Boaz Michael goes on to relate how, ‘at Messianic Jewish functions’, pork chops were served and ‘none of the assembled leadership even raised an eyebrow.’ I too can attest to the dietary laws being pushed aside at UMJC regional conferences in Glorietta, New Mexico (Dt. 19:15; Mt. 18:16).
Then, after reading a position paper of the UMJC in April 2005 by Rev. Daniel Juster and Rabbi Russ Resnik(2) (the current Executive Director of the UMJC), where they explain the dominant theological position of Messianic Judaism on the Law (One Law Movements), and lay out the agenda and theology of the founding fathers of Messianic Judaism, I was certain that Messianic Judaism was not for me. I had placed my hope on the wrong horse. Continue reading…