What is going on in Messianic Judaism is this – a reverting to salvation by works, in other words Galatianism. There’s also a form of replacement theology going on in some strange circles (the Two House or “Ephraim-Judah” circles), there’s reconstructionism going on… in short, as I’ve mentioned before, every heresy we’ve seen historically in Christianity as resurfaced in Messianic Judaism.
I think I should point out that most websites for Messianic congregations I’ve seen all emphasize Charismaticism – the gifts of the spirit, etc. I don’t know how that breaks down percentage wise.
Let me point out I’ve discovered an error since I started this, in that I reported Dan Juster was not Torah observant. I’ve read some reports he is. However, I can say that I watched a video of him yesterday and he was not wearing yarmulke.
Dan Juster would argue with me pretty strongly when I say that Torah Observant Messianics are the majority in the movement. in 1996, they were the minority. To my eyes, they are the overwhelming majority. However, in fairness, I would report that Dan denies this claim. He maintains that the Messianic presence on the internet is overwhelmingly what he calls the “Extremists”, but the minority among actual congregations.
There IS a Messianic who is overwhelmingly against the Torah movement, and who does attempt to refute and combat that movement, and his name is Marshall Beeber. He is an advocate of what he calls the Grace oriented movement. I would call it “Christianity” myself.
If its not clear by now, I have an overwhelming suspicion of Messianic Judaism, because a few statistics worry me. The Retention rate of Gentiles and Jews who come into the movement is shockingly low. Or rather, I should say… the number being brought to Orthodox Judaism is pretty high.
Let me put it this way… I’m no fan of any form of “christianity” that thinks you can be saved by infant baptism. When a pastor who teaches in one of these denominations leaves to become a Jewish convert, it’s a shock.
To hear “So and so left Messianic Judaism and converted to Orthodox Judaism” being more common – that’s worrysome.
To hear that Jewish believers in Jesus Christ being led astray and returning to Chassidic or Orthodox Judaism is frightening.
Why is it especially worrysome? Because it proves number one we’ve got a MAJOR problem in Christianity with explaining the true gospel, if people are that led astray. And from what I’m reading these people say in their testimonies is, “I didn’t see a problem when I was in the churches, but once I got in Messianic Judaism, I realized there was a problem, and I had to get out. Hashem was leading me home, so I came home to Judaism.”
Here’s how I read that: I wasn’t brainwashed until I became a Messianic. Once I started becoming Torah Observant, I knew there was hypocrisy in the movement, and I kept becoming more and more observant, and couldn’t figure out why everyone else was talking the talk but not walking the walk… So I finally got fed up and called a Chabad Rabbi and left.”
Or the Gentiles….” I couldn’t figure out why so many other Gentiles were pretending to be Jews, and once I got into the Messianic Movement, I felt such a longing to be Jewish! The Hypocrisy was starting to really bother me… Finally I couldn’t take it and called an Orthodox Rabbi and began pestering him about conversion. After about six months, he finally said yes…”
So, Messianic Judaism almost looks like to my eyes a trap, set to snare the sincere person, and get them to start keeping some minor parts of the law. And once they get in that one part, the rest is like a glittering jewel, just out of their reach… until they find themselves in front of Orthodox Rabbis or Chassidic Rabbis denying Jesus Christ.
Can I be honest? Judaism was exceptionally fun. All this stuff! Neat stuff! I really despised the color scheme they push on you (really? Yellow draydels??? Come ON!!!), but aside from that Judaism was REALLY FUN!!!!
And it was a HUGE CRUSHING BURDEN. To be an observant Jew creates this massive feeling of being trapped. When I walked away from it, I felt SO RELIEVED. I could just be an American now! Because it felt like for so long like I was a refugee from the Old Country, sitting with other Jews who acted like refugees from the Old Country. All this talking in heavy accents, slipping in Yiddish words and Hebrew words in the middle of English sentences. And all those odd customs! I think it was FOREVER before I could trim my toenails over anything but a toilet! That literally took I think two years or more… it was the LAST Jewish superstition I had to let go of!
I could use ONE SET of dishes! I didn’t need two refrigerators anymore!
And I didn’t have that CRUSHING feeling of knowing I couldn’t keep the law perfectly, and hoping God would forgive me, that my good deeds outweighed my sins. And the outright conviction that He wouldn’t.
The Law had taught me PERFECTLY! I had figured it out.
So I ask you… this is the yoke you want to take on yourself??? Nu??? Really???? Do you have any idea of what you’re trying to take on yourself???
It’s fun!!! You’ll love it!!! All the cool chachekeles!!!
The overwhelming feeling of dread of God’s Judgment. You’ll just love that. The nightmares. The feeling of being an impostor, and you hope nobody else knows you’re not as holy as you act. You’re sitting with the Yeshiva Bokhers (Rabbinical Students), and the Rabbi, and the visiting shochet (slaughterer), and you’re talking Torah with them, and you’re hoping none of them know what a sinner you are… and you catch the dull, clouded eye of one of the Yeshiva Bokherim… and you realize you just looked in his soul, and it’s a mirror… “I hope nobody here knows what a fraud I am!!!” And he realizes you just saw who he was, and it’s a moment of utter shame for both of you.
And looking back, I realize, that Shabbos, that the Holy Ghost was speaking to all of us…”listen to me! Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life! Repent and believe, that you may have eternal life!!!”
I PRAY earnestly that I wasn’t the only one who said “Yes”.
So… you wanna keep Torah? here’s an experiment to find out what it’s like. Go find a farm that shears sheep. Dive into a bin full of wool. Let it begin blocking your face. AS you’re about to pass out from suffocation, signal whoever’s waiting to pull you out. AS you lose consciousness from lack of air, you’ll know:
That’s what it’s like to keep the law.
Or have an airplane land on your chest. That crushing weight? That’s the law.
Or being too tired to swim, and the water starts closing over your head…
Ready to REALLY discuss the Law? We’re about to start. keep referring back to this page, so you can see what it was like.