This is a follow up about the Christian Evangelists who pose as ‘messianic jews’. The original post was called ‘The Missionary Position’.
This is to address a few queries I have received:
1 Messianics have of course every right to their own beliefs, rituals and practices.
They just don’t have any right to call it ‘judaism’.
Because it isn’t.
2 The Messianic movement is a very specific Christian Evangelical movement.
It does not represent all Christians. Indeed, many Christians have spoken out in condemnation of the Messianics and their lies when they pose as ‘jews’.
Tips For Countering The Lies Messianics Tell About Judaism:
Be warned before you start: Messianics relish the chance to debate Jews!
Their main aim is to convince *you* that yes, you ‘can remain Jewish and worship Jesus’. Now of cousre, this is a lie. But Messianics desperately need to believe it – it is the deceptive premise that underlies their entire ‘religion’.
The majority of Messianic groups get organised training in just *how* to debate genuine Jews. Former members of Messianic congregations often describe how they had to attend seminars and mock discussions in which they learned how to ‘disprove judaism’. Chances are, any Messianic that you meet, either online or in the ‘real world’ will know their bible inside out and upside down. Don’t let them distract you with scripture. Keep calm and keep stating the facts.
Here are some of the most common arguments that Messianics will come up with:
Messianic: “lots of Jews have now found Jesus, and are Jewish Christians”
FACT: A Jew who becomes a Christian = a Christian. Nobody can be both Jewish and Christian: it’s a theological contradiction. The two faiths contradict one another on almost everything.
A Jew who adopts Christianity as their religion is an EX Jew.
They are not ‘a jew for jesus’ any more than a Hindu who becomes a Christianity is a ‘hindu for christ’.
Judaism alone gets to define Jewish identity.
Judaism does not permit dual religious identity.
You are a Jew OR you are a Christian.
Messianic: “Lots of Jews are ethnically or racially Jewish, but Christian by faith.’
Note: This is one of the most common arguments used by Messianics.
FACT:No such thing as being ‘racially’ Jewish. Jews are not a ‘race’.
It was Hitler that tried to persuade the world that Jewish people were a separate race but it was a lie then, and it is a lie now.
You can’t change your race, but you can change your faith; many Gentiles convert to Judaism, thus proving it is not a ‘race’.
Nor is Judaism an ‘ethnicity’. How can it be? Which one ‘ethnicity’ unifies all Jews?
An Indian Jew is not the same ethnicity as a Japanese Jew. A Japanese Jew is not the same ethnicity as a Black Ethiopian Jew.
A Black Ethiopian Jew is not the same ethnicity as a Swedish caucasian Jew.
There are Jews of *all* ethnicities!
And what we share is the Jewish religion. A person cannot be part of both the Jewish and Christian religions.
Messianic: “Messianic ‘jews’ are simply Jews who know the truth about Jesus.”
FACT: 98% of Messianics were *literally* never Jews to start with. Not via birth. Not via faith. Not via theology. Not via worship. Not via heritage.
If they aren’t Jewish according to Judaism’s criteria, then they are not Jewish – period.
Christianity does not get to REdefine Jewish identity.
Judaism and ONLY Judaism gets to define JEWISH identity. Just as Christianity and only Christianity gets to define Christian identity.
Messianic: ‘But Jesus was Jewish – so why don’t Jews worship and accept him?’
FACT: Woody Allen is Jewish as well. Does that mean if *he* claimed to be the maschiach we should believe him?
Let’s say Woody Allen did declare that he was the Jewish messiah. Let’s say a small group of Jews believed him and began worshipping him.
Would they still be practising Judaism?
Answer: no, of course not!
Now apply the same logic to Jesus.
Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon faith, defined himself as a ‘Christian’. Apply the same logic – shouldn’t all Christians worship him….?
Actually, the easiest way to think of this is:
The religion of Jesus = Judaism; he was Jewish
The religion about Jesus = Christianity; Christians worship Jesus
Messianic: ‘Religion is a personal thing. I have every right to define myself as Jewish.’
FACT: You don’t have any ‘right’ to hijack the very word ‘jew’ and then lie about what it represents.
Judaism has defined Jewish identity the same way for thousands of years. You don’t get to REdefine ‘judaism’ to suddenly INclude worshipping Jesus.
I can wake up tomorrow and announce I’m a Native American Indian! Does that make it true? Do I then have the ‘right’ to MISrepresent what Native American Indians stand for, in public forums?No, of course not. And you don’t have any ‘right’ to do it with Judaism!
Words have meanings.
And ‘jew’ means:
– someone born to a Jewish mother who has not since joined another religion
– someone who has converted to Judaism and has not later joined another religion
Messianic: ‘Jesus was Jewish. Therefore if I worship him, I’m Jewish as well.’
FACT: The ‘logic’ here is so flawed it’s almost amusing. Almost.
The facts are crystal clear: if you worship Jesus as ‘christ’ you are a *Christian*.
Let’s say Adam Sandler declared himself the Jewish messiah. If you believed him, would that make you Jewish?
Answer: no, of course not! Jesus is irrelevant to Judaism and always has been. Judaism was a complete and fulfilling faith for thousands of years before Jesus was even a twinkle in Joseph’s eye.
Worshipping any human as ‘god’ is forbidden in Judaism. It is idolatry.
Messianic: ‘The ‘old testament’ refers to Jesus again and again. Jews are just too stubborn to see it!”’
FACT:Given that the OT is a purely Christian text, yes, it probably does point towards Jesus.
The OT was produced by the Church; it is a MIStranslated, REorganised and REinterpreted, Christianised version OF the Jewish Tanakh.
Jews study and read the Tanakh in the original Hebrew. We don’t use any translation. And in the original Hebrew, Jesus is nowhere to be found. If he appears in the OT, it’s because the Church put him there.
* (note: you can find a detailed list of these MIStranslations in the Scripture section of this blog)
“jews for jesus”
Sooner or later someone will ask you about the infamous group ‘jews4jesus’. This is the most aggressive and well known of all the Messianic groups. Let’s be crystal clear:
‘jews4jesus’ is a Christian group. It was founded by Martin Meyer, an ordained Baptist minister.
Baptists don’t get to REdefine Judaism. Nor do Baptists get to start a ‘new jewish sect’ that practises Christianity!
Usually, Martin Meyer goes by the name Martin ‘Rosen’. He apparently feels it sounds more ‘jewish’. And at times, he claims that his parents were Orthodox Jews. This may or may not be true. Either way, it’s utterly irrelevant. Even if he started out a Jew, Martin Meyer exercised his right to leave Judaism, and to convert to Christianity.
Among the members of ‘jews4jesus’ there are a few former Jews. The key word here is of course: former.
If a few Jews convert to Islam – does Islam become somehow ‘jewish’?
No, of course not.
If a group of Jews become Hindus – does Hinduism now equal ‘judaism’?
No, obviously not.
Same applies to Christianity. Just because a few EX Jews are now Christians, this does not make Christianity somehow ‘jewish’.
Be aware: members of ‘jews4jesus’ are slick, quick and very practised at answering Jews who are trying to expose their lies.
One of the group’s favourite claims is:
”The original followers of Jesus were ‘messianic jews’. We’re no different’.
FACT: only a tiny sect of Jews ever followed Jesus. And the minute they affirmed belief in the ‘resurrection’ and in the notion that Jesus was anything BUT a normal mortal man, they were effectively *leaving* Judaism.
And the original followers of Jesus never practised Christianity because it did not exist until long after Jesus died. The rituals and beliefs of ‘jews4jesus’ has little in common with those who were part of the sect headed up by Jesus.
You might also like to point out that even if Jews were the first disciples of Jesus, it’s irrelevant. Consider: The first Australians were Brits. Does that mean that today’s Aussies get to REdefine British identity, customs and laws?