This is going to take a while. It may even go partway into June, because there are SO many errors and heresies in Messianism.
Let me start by explaining what it’s meant to be, and we’ll go from there.
/it started in popular times with Jews for Jesus. The entire approach was to get Jews to accept Jesus Christ. Great! All for it. 100%. Total heresies involved in that movement? Zero. Good job!
Then it began to be the setting up of special congregations, just for Misnagid (sorry, Orthodox Jews – old habits) who didn’t feel comfortable in churches. A bit of a warning sign there. My recommendation was going to be, “Education.”
Let’s STOP and explain something. As much as messianics don’t like to admit it, once the separation was made in 70 AD between Judaism and Christianity (the separation was actually on the Jewish side, by the way – don’t believe what you’re being told), the church service among the Christians was essentially what it is today, although of course, the hymns were different, and it did involve the liturgical reading of the Bible.
The Synagogue service is done today in this manner. The men get together, and put on the tallis, the “prayer shawl” (always disliked that description!), and begin reading through the siddur (a prayerbook). It moves to the focal point of the prayer service, the Shemonah Esrei, or “Eighteen blessings”. There are nineteen of them, by the way.
THen the Torah is brought out, and a large chunk of the Torah is read. Basically, the schedule is the reading of the Bible throughout the year, being concentrated on the five books of Moses split into yearly readings, and then the haftorah, selected readings from the prophets. The haftorah selections either have changed in 2,000 years, or are cut down from reading ALL of the prophets!
There’s a few more prayers, and then everyone rushes off to work, except on Shabbos, the sabbath.
Now, the proffered excuse is that people from that tradition are going to find the church alien and strange, so we should have special congregations for them they’d feel comfortable in. We don’t get many Jews in our churches because our loosely structured worship services seem so odd!
Well, it didn’t seem to bother the apostle Paul. Remember. Paul planted churches, helped organize their services, and lo and behold, many Jews back then were accepting the Gospel.
“Okay, so that’s Paul. He’s phenomenal. But other Jews won’t accept it!”
I did! I go to a Baptist church! Do I miss some parts of the synagogue service? Of course! Do I miss Passover and stuff like that? Of course! Do I miss the constant hangovers from being a Chassidic Jew? Not at all!!! Haven’t touched a drop in YEARS!
Here’s my point – the excuse that Jews don’t get converted because churches aren’t synagogues is ridiculous. We don’t get converted because the Bible says there is a veil over our eyes to this day! I struggled a GREAT deal with the Trinity, and with Jesus being God. I struggled with that a LOT! And once I believed, once I cried out to God, “Oh LORD, if this is your will, let me believe!!” and saw my sinful condition and that I hovered over the very mouth of Hell, “OH LORD save me! Don’t let me go to Hell!!” and then like an anguished cry, my spirit cried out with sudden knowledge who could save me, “Lord!! Jesus save me!!!”
And I was born again.
There was NOTHING in all that about, “Oh, Jesus is great! But, those hymns… I don’t know… and no tallis???”
So, stop with the excuses. I’m telling you, and I’d love to hear from other Jews on this issue… the issue of the church service never entered my mind at the moment of salvation.
Did I desire to find something like what I was comfortable with? Nah. I desired to find a church that preached the word of God with no apologies.
So, the problems that we’re going to be discussing are the result of a change of mindset. The mindset was, “These are Jews for Jesus” and “These are Jews that are messianic… Messianic Jews” to…
“messianic Judaism.” It is Judaism, but focused on Jesus.
Then it became, “Judaism, but focused on Yeshua.”
Then it becomes, “Judaism, but there’s a conflict between one of our gods, the Shema, and the concept of the son of God.”
And as the messianic Jew (notice the shift of capitalization that’s gone on, its deliberate show show the focus) struggles, the heresies become cemented. Because messianic Judaism, the Judaism with the thin veneer of Jesus, or the Yeshua, begins to exhibit at that point every possible heresy of Christ denying one can imagine.
As the focus and identification switches from the Messiah to the Judaism, the person begins to ally their thoughts more and more with Rabbinic Judaism… and denial of Christ is almost inevitable.
It goes from being a church that has some Jewish elements, to a synagogue that as some elements of being a church. And as people begin taking upon themselves the burden of Torah observance, things go nuts. They begin reading from a siddur, they begin wearing tallis… then tefillin… then subscribing to Jewish magazines… and the festering root begins worming its way in.
Fasten your seat belts. I’m going to take on an entire movement, and it’s not going to be pretty.