Biblical Equality

john McKee

I just finished a short ebook by J.K. McKee of Outreach Israel Ministries and TNN Online called “Biblical Equality and Today’s Messianic Movement”. It is fantastic and I highly urge you to forgo a $3 coffee to buy this informative document. You will be glad you did. (: This post will explore some of Mr. McKee’s insights and some of my thoughts that he helped tie together.

Mr. McKee focuses on Galatians 3:28:

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Messiah Yeshua.

Notice that there are three categories of people mentioned in this verse. Most people understand that this verse is emphasizing the equality and freedom we have in Messiah. And this is true! However, there is more to the story. We will get to that in a bit.

For now, consider some of our most outspoken disagreements within the whole of Messianic circles. Number one centers on the identity and separation/inclusion of Jews and Gentiles (Greeks). Some Messianic Jewish leaders just released a scathing treatise against those that are for inclusion and equality between these groups back in January 2014. One of their most notable battle cries was IDENTITY markers for Jews, which (they believe) Gentiles should not infringe upon. In their mind, Sabbath, dietary laws, and the moedim (feast days), are their markers. (For a response to this treatise, click here)

They have an unwarranted and unholy fear of Gentiles actually being obedient to the Covenant. In their mind, if there isn’t a line drawn in the sand to separate these racial groups, the Jewish people will cease to exist or be overrun by Gentiles. Thus, they claim that followers of the God of Israel that come from Gentile backgrounds should not seek to keep the Creator’s calendar and Torah, lest they become vile practitioners of supersessionism. What they fail to realize, is that by demanding such, they have placed themselves as the dark overlords and gate keepers of the covenant. You can’t be the light, draw people in, to only turn them away.

Ungodly fear is at the root of this type of thinking. To lose (perceived) control can be a very compelling goad. Their scare tactics have succeeded somewhat and they have managed to persuade some into their hypocrisy. Sadly, if they would only open a genuine dialogue with those that “see” differently, their fears would be alleviated. In over ten years, I haven’t met one single person from a Gentile background that desires to keep the Torah and cling to the God of Israel that has any notions of usurping Judah, overtaking Israel, or replacing Jews in any form or fashion. Instead, I see a people that would pick up a sword any day of the week and defend Judah, Jews, and the Land. This even when their name and faith is continually slandered, rebuked, and denied legitimacy by the former.

Mr. McKee posits a poignant question in his book:

What happens in a religious culture that emphasizes distinctions first, rather than common faith and belief in the Lord Yeshua? What will commonly be manifest in such an environment are rivalry, suspicion, self-superiority, factionalism, and division, to be then followed by resentment and bitterness.[1]

Do we not see these things happening right now in those returning to the Torah and their Jewish roots? Ahh. But there is more to this story. While non-Jewish believers have been crying out for acceptance and equality in the Body, many have forgotten the last third of Galatians… there is neither male nor female.

Restoring women IS the missing key to this equation. Those bent on complementarianism rather than equality or egalitarianism among the sexes are denying the complete restoration and a full return to Edenic values. Mr. McKee puts it this way:

“The LORD God of Israel is not going to honor the request of a Messianic non-Jewish man, to be treated as a welcomed equal in Messianic Judaism, if such a man’s wife might not be treated as an equal, co-leader of the family along with him.”

Mr. McKee observes that the three groups mentioned in Galatians 3:28 are all interconnected. We can’t isolate one group and that be our only focus of restoration, for they actually reflect one another. They are each a picture of the other two. Thus, if we desire to seek true freedom and equality, there are three categories that must be simultaneously considered.

Many of my readers are aware that when I began to diligently seek out the biblical role of women, the Father dropped a bomb in my lap by revealing the issues of modern day slavery. I grasped the connection immediately; and I thought I was seeing the other side of two-sided coin. But, I now realize that what I’m really looking at is more akin to a wicked tripod that supports and gives strength to oppression and domination in all forms. Isn’t it written somewhere that a threefold cord is not quickly broken? (Ecc. 4:12)

dreamstimelarge_22045424

© Christianm

In light of Galatians 3:28, where there are issues of race, there will be issues of slavery and domination. Where there are issues of slavery, there will issues of gender equality and repression. One begets the other. Do you think it is a coincidence that Woman Suffrage, Equal rights, and the abolition of slavery are all intertwined in (recent) United States history? I think Paul saw this link a long time ago.

This is why now more than ever, those returning to the Torah and keeping the Testimony of Yeshua should be breaking the legs of this wicked tripod and uplifting and restoring the marginalized groups back to the original state: Eden.

But how can we accomplish such a feat? Where do we begin? How does a society and a Body entrapped in the dogma of authority, dominance, and control shift gears and do a 180 degree turn?

What many fail to elucidate when examining the issues of race, slavery, and gender equality, is our world’s proclivity toward male oriented authority, dominance, and control. Which are all, by the way, traits that the Creator especially endowed in the masculine side of His Creation. When these characteristics are tempered by the Holy Spirit and the feminine side of Creation, they bring balance and security.

But what happens if these masculine qualities dominate without the opposite, yet complimentary, traits of the feminine? We would expect to see a world entrenched in a power grab for dominance, authority, and control. Is that not the world we live in? On a smaller scale, we see the same thing happening within the Body of Messiah. The scales are tipped too far in the direction of the hard masculine. The Jewish sages, particularly the Chassidic sect, see this unjust scale and foresee a transition coming.

As with the general scheme of the cosmos, so with man and woman and the human consciousness. The history of humankind can be seen this way: A transition from male to female values, from authority to dialogue, from dominance to persuasion, from control to nurture.[2]

Do you hear the heart of this rabbi? He can clearly see the problem… and the solution. Dialogue, persuasion, and nurture are needed for reform. All of these qualities are feminine. But if we continue to deny females to operate in their God given abilities; or worse, deny their legitimacy to minister to the Body altogether we can expect a continual struggle with race, slavery, and gender. What a vicious cycle!

I have great hope that we are on the cusp of real restoration. It has taken us a long, long, time to get to where we are today. There is still much struggle and resistance to change (restoration). But I cannot help but to also recognize another connection to the three groups mentioned in Galatians 3:28.

With the reestablishment of the state of Israel in 1948, came also a theological paradigm shift. Israel and the Jewish people have a God given right to exist and flourish. For many Christians, seeing this took a sincere desire to reexamine the Scriptures. Old traditions, dogma, and pride had to be laid on the altar of Truth.

Do you believe that it is a coincidence that the Civil rights movement quickly came on the heels of this restoration? And with that the beginnings of a return of both believing Jews and Gentiles to the Torah of YHWH? Like it or not, all these happenings are CONNECTED.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there is also always another spirit that likes to work contemporarily with the Truth and offer the naïve a counterfeit. Sometimes core truths are twisted into a tree that no longer resembles the seed from which it sprang in ideologies such as liberal progressivism and secular feminism. Nevertheless, each started with “good intentions”. If only we could step back and look at the bigger picture of what is happening. We have a problem that begins with IDENTITY.

Identity Crisis

Let’s back up for a minute and reexamine Galatians 3:28.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Messiah Yeshua.

Mr. McKee pointed out something else in his paper that hadn’t resonated with me before. Was Paul refuting traditions found both in 1st century Judaism and other surrounding cultures on some pretty ingrained social norms in Galatians 3:28?

There is a morning blessing in the orthodox siddur (prayer book) that seems a little offensive without understanding its true background. The prayers in question are in the shacharit[3].

 “Blessed are you, Hashem, King of the Universe, for not having made me a Gentile.”

“Blessed are you, Hashem, King of the Universe, for not having made me a slave.”

“Blessed are you, Hashem, King of the Universe, for not having made me a woman.”

Before I address the traditional justification for these prayers, I’d first like you to notice that these prayers are not only the exact same “social” classes mentioned by Paul in Gal. 3:28, but they are also in the same order. Is this a coincidence?

I don’t believe Paul’s declaration in Galatians 3:28 coincidently countered these three blessings in the Jewish siddur. As a matter of fact, Judaism wasn’t the only religion or society that held social class views on these subgroups in the first century. The language of the three blessings echoes Greek prayers. In his later years, Plato is reported to have said, “I thank God that I was born Greek and not barbarian, free and not slave, male and not female, but above all that I was born in the age of Socrates.”[4]

Again, is the striking similarity of this proclamation to the Jewish prayer and Paul’s declaration just a coincidence? I think not.

It is human nature to compare ourselves to others. We encounter the good and bad results of this in today’s world just as much as they did in the 1st century. Social psychology has developed a theory called social comparison that attempts to explain this tendency. Social comparison centers on the belief that there is a drive within individuals to gain accurate self-evaluations. The theory explains how individuals evaluate their own opinions and abilities by comparing themselves to others in order to reduce uncertainty in these domains, and learn how to define the self.[5] In other words, we compare and distinguish ourselves from others to determine our own IDENTITY. Pay close attention to that last sentence, for it is at the root of much of our quarreling and division.

The common apologetic for the three “blessings” mentioned above from the Siddur is that these three classes of people – gentile, slave, and woman – are not sociological classes, but mitzvah classes. The apologetic insists that the prayer has nothing to do with the equality of these individuals. Instead, they are meant to be expressions of gratitude for the mitzvot (commandments), and each of the people mentioned in each blessing has more mitzvot than the one preceding.

While this explanation is compelling, it still stands to reason that this section of the Siddur could have been influenced by the Greek culture of the first century. I am not alone in the assumption. Many Jewish scholars conclude the same thing.

I believe Paul was calling the people to recognize that in a redeemed or restored state, we must forgo our old social comparisons. Our identity is not found in comparing ourselves to others, but in the finished work of the Messiah. Our destiny and proper “social” status is not found in modern society, not in the Middle Ages, not in the first century, and not even in the age of the patriarchs. We must seek to return to our first estate and that place is most akin to the Garden of Eden, before the fall. For it is there where we have no Jew or Greek, no slave or freeman, no male or female; we have perfect oneness and unity!

If we could grasp the Hebraic concept of the cyclical nature of time, seasons, and restoration, instead of a progressive linear view of supersessionism , then the social comparison tendency would have to fall to the wayside. While our propensity remains to be a preoccupation with authority and patriarchalism, Yeshua tried to steer us BACK toward the beginning — a place of mutual submission, sacrificial love, and servanthood.

Mat. 20:25-28  But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them.  (26)  “It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant,  (27)  and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave;  (28)  just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

There is to be a mutual equality, respect, and submission between men and women in the Body based upon the gifts that the Spirit gives to each male and female believer (Acts 2:15-21; Gal. 3:28). Likewise, there is to be a mutual equality, respect, and submission within the home between husband and wife (Eph. 5:21-33).

Mr. Mckee persuasively pointed out WHY the Edenic model is not only powerful, but so desperately needed in the Body of Messiah today. His proposition not only resonated with me, but baffled me as to why we have such a hard time seeing this, for it is pure simplicity!

In order to fully realize this, let’s look at the Galatians 3:28 one more time:

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Messiah Yeshua.

Until we jump down from our high horse of social comparison and pick up the lens of the Messiah, we are doomed to repeat the millennia of mistakes of all those that have gone before us. We must exchange our desire for dominance and control with a heart for service, servanthood, and sacrificial love; or we are not fulfilling the law of our King.

Perhaps this is why FLESH was a daily offering. We cannot look out for numero uno (number one) and win the race of the Kingdom. All of God’s children of every race, tribe, and tongue, both genders, are equal and one in the Kingdom of Heaven. What are we waiting for? Why don’t we start living out this principle now?


[1] McKee, John Kimball Biblical Equality and Today’s Messianic Movement, 2014. Kindle file.

[2] http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/AID/2918/ShowFeedback/true

[3] Shacharit = Morning Prayers. The name is derived from the Temple service offerings: http://www.myjewishlearning.com/texts/Liturgy_and_Prayers/Siddur_Prayer_Book/weekdayprayer.shtml

[4] http://www.cliffsnotes.com/literature/e/euthyphro-apology-crito-and-phaedo/plato-biography

See also the classical work: Vitae Philosophorum 1.33

[5] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_comparison_theory

Categories: Messianic Issues, Women | Tags: , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Post navigation

14 thoughts on “Biblical Equality

  1. Aliyah

    Yip it’s high time that the messianic movement starts re-evaluating their stance and prejudice against women – it’s time for restoration! Woohooo!

    Like

  2. Reblogged this on natsab and commented:
    This looks like another book I need to read!! Good, thought provoking article here challenging the paradigms within which we have been raised!

    May our Father guide us to the echad fellowship He desires for His people. All of them!

    Thanks for this!

    Like

  3. Zion

    I came across your website from another and I just wanted to say, you’re a fantastic writer, gifted. Also great points being made and nice review, I need to give more thought to this topic.

    Like

  4. “To lose (perceived) control or dominance can be a very compelling goad. Their scare tactics have succeeded somewhat and they have managed to persuade some into their hypocrisy[…]

    I wish those who “by God” demand “no distinction” between Jews and “the members of the nations”– the wording Paul uses– would factor in a few things first:

    1. Jews are always a tiny minority: Among the world population, in the Church, until recently in Israel, in some forms of Judaism, and definitely in MJ.

    2. Jews, when they haven’t been outright persecuted and/or murdered for being Jews, they have been marginalized and “blended” into non-distinction, everywhere they go.

    3. News flash: what the Gentile world has done to them for the past 1900 years has an effect, and leaves permanent scars. As a result, many Jews have stepped away from their identity as God’s covenant people; it’s too difficult to be Jewish. Others have hunkered down and have become defensive, some are “self-loathing”, and others attempt to only “be a Jew at home, and a regular man on the street” in the attempt to be accepted instead of hated, allowed to live and thrive instead of plundered, expelled from their guest home, or murdered.

    I don’t believe MJ is a place to nurture the gentile and give them yet another opportunity to over run Jews with their fervency and demands to look and act Jewish, or hijack Jewish customs. Rather, I see it as a place FOR JEWS to heal and to reconnect to THEIR identity, to have an opportunity to exit the forced marginalization.

    It ain’t gonna happen in church! Their identity will be tolerated as long as they don’t do anything distinctly Jewish and that it’s understood, being Jewish doesn’t matter! Some in MJ still want their identity not to matter, so that everyone gets to be a Jewish.

    4. JEWS HAVE A DISTINCT ROLE TO PLAY IN REDEMPTION, and it is not the same as our role! Why is this so hard to grasp? Never mind, I know the answer to that, it’s called pride and replacement theology. Gentiles in their midst have a role, but it is to be a servant– a “Ruth’s heart” type of person, looking out for the very real needs of others and not to promote “self.”

    JEWS need to step into THEIR role and beckon Messiah back, and guess what? If every single gentile on the planet suddenly went kosher and donned a tallit, wore a kippah under a shtreimel and had perfectly tied tzitzit flapping in the breeze, laid teffilfin while reciting the entire siddur in front of the wailing wall and simultaneously blew the biggest shofar known to man, it wouldn’t change the fact that it is JEWS who need to be JEWS, and to beckon Messiah.

    “In over ten years, I haven’t met one single person from a Gentile background that desires to keep the Torah and cling to the God of Israel that has any notions of usurping Judah, overtaking Israel, or replacing Jews in any form or fashion.”

    That’s interesting, because I’ve met plenty. I’d say you’re not close enough to actual Jewish people and don’t get to see what the effect of Gentiles trying to take on a Jewish identity does to them. Just ask yourself, who is the most “Jewish” person you know, and I bet you can only think of non-Jews.

    Like

    • Thank you so much for commenting. I would like to address your comments point by point, but I want to start with your last remark. You first quoted me from my post Biblical Equality: “In over ten years, I haven’t met one single person from a Gentile background that desires to keep the Torah and cling to the God of Israel that has any notions of usurping Judah, overtaking Israel, or replacing Jews in any form or fashion.”

      In response, you stated, “That’s interesting, because I’ve met plenty. I’d say you’re not close enough to actual Jewish people and don’t get to see what the effect of Gentiles trying to take on a Jewish identity does to them. Just ask yourself, who is the most “Jewish” person you know, and I bet you can only think of non-Jews.”

      First of all, my husband’s father is Jewish. Thus, that entire side of our family pretty much identifies as Jewish. While few of them are also believers in Yeshua, they are not offended, nor do they scorn our way of life. In fact, they support us and see a spirit of comradery. They don’t feel as if we are “taking” something that belongs to them. There is indeed enough of HaShem to go around; and the fact that our expression of faith is more akin to theirs is a point of unity, not division.

      Secondly, I know and have fellowshipped in several congregations where there are both Jews and Gentiles expressing their faith in the Messiah and also adhering to Torah obedience. The Jews present do not feel disparaged in any way. In fact, they see our desire to be obedient as a good thing. In fact, I loved sitting and listening to their many life stories. They helped the non-Jews to properly love and respect the Jewish people. They urged us to continue learning their vast and varied history. Now, I’m not suggesting that your experience is invalid. But, I must ask you to grant me the same courtesy. Perhaps, we can both learn something.

      Now to your four points.

      When I read the four factors you mentioned, I sighed because I truly believe we desire the very same things — it’s just the process of “how” that is the problem. That was one of the points of my article. There is definitely a godly way in which there can be unity between Jews and those of the nations where Jews are not disparaged, over run, or destroyed that doesn’t involve either party to relinquish their convictions or obedience to the Creator.

      1. To assume that those of the nations that desire to keep the Torah are not aware that Jews are a tiny minority on the planet and especially in the church is hurtful at best. It is impossible to learn Torah without the vast wells of wisdom kept and maintained by the Jews. If a Gentile’s heart is pricked to follow the Jewish Messiah in a deeper way by living the way He did, then that of necessity involves one to learn Jewish history. The pain. The struggles. The incessant push to either “die”, “convert”, or “blend”. I know not one non- Jewish person that desires to obey the Torah that would deny any of this. Moreover, they are consistently calling others to learn about Jewish history so these things are NEVER forgotten —- and hopefully NEVER repeated.

      2. I sort of answered this point in number one, but I will elaborate. The last thing any person of the nations that also desires to keep Torah would want is a repeat of Jewish syncretism with the nations or Jewish persecution. Moreover, the idea of the Jewish people being blended into the oblivion of non-distinction is ridiculous. This would counter the very idea of holiness and a being a peculiar people. We are adamant about teaching our children the past and the Torah so that both problems are alleviated. (Not to mention it quells the propensity toward anti-Semitism — something we vehemently fight against.)
      3. Thanks for the news flash. I know there are innumerable people out there that are completely ignorant to the bloody history between not only Jews and Gentiles, but Jews and Christians. And that ignorance extends to the horrific atrocities that have been dealt by the hand of Christians in the name of Christ. However, as you mentioned, this reality has not been forgotten by the Jewish people. And within my family, I see those that (are Jewish) that would fit each example you mentioned in response to these atrocities. It’s not easy being Jewish even here in America (the land of the free) much less anywhere else on the planet.

      I hope you don’t actually believe that those from the nations that desire to keep Torah are oblivious to this. Our heart breaks for the Jewish people in these matters just as much as it breaks yours. We, too, NEVER want to see this cycle repeat. We, too, cry out for healing! We, too, lift them (and Israel) up in daily prayer. And we, too, often have direct familial connections, dear sweet friends, and other acquaintances that are indeed Jewish.

      Our desire to keep Torah, has not one thing to do with a desire to look Jewish or hijack them in any form or fashion. This is where I think the communication breaks down. This is where the mud is flung back and forth, so that nothing is ever really solved. And I hate it. It is never fruitful. And it is anything but healing. How can we come together and really “see” one another in this? That is my desire. I honestly believe that if we could do a Spock “mind meld” we would realize our ground of commonality far supersedes our differences and would emphasize our shared desire to see the Jewish people flourish, be respected, and supported with genuine love.

      4. Perhaps you missed this as the thrust of my article. SACRIFICAL LOVE, DIALOGUE, and SERVANTHOOD are what is needed for real healing, real peace, and a real “meeting of the minds”. We (whether Jew or Gentile) are nothing if we cannot love, respect, and truly serve one another with a servant heart.

      Replacement Theology??

      I find it so utterly sad that your conclusion for Jewish distinction can only be reconciled by calling those of us from the nations that desire to obey Torah prideful and even worse, practitioners of replacement theology. Sigh… that is so far from my heart that I have hard time even imagining why that finger of accusation could be leveled at me and my brethren.

      You used Ruth as an example of what we should be doing. And see, this is what perplexes me, I agree with you! I guess again, our understanding of what Ruth did and didn’t do is where the cheese slides right off the cracker.
      Ruth was indeed a picture of a (Gentile) servant, but I doubt she used her old Moabite expressions of faith and lifestyle once she joined herself to Naomi and the Jewish people. I can’t imagine her forgoing keeping the Sabbath or festivals just because she was a Moabite. Nor, can I imagine her making bacon sandwiches for lunch. Was she infringing on Jewish identity markers by “joining” the Jews and not only living among them, but living “like” them in lifestyle? I hardly think so.

      What better way to SERVE her Jewish family and community than by respectfully living by the very standards of the God of Israel that they lived by? I just can’t see how living by her old Moabite upbringing would have brought anything other than strife since it is contrary to the Torah and Jewish customs. Isn’t that what Balaam did? He taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children Israel by MIXING the Moabite lifestyle (idols and immorality) with that of Israel? Like it or not, the church has plenty that it has absorbed from paganism rather than the Bible.

      Why does a cry for unity and equality have to be contrary to Jewish identity? In my mind, it doesn’t. How do you know that if more Gentiles followed biblical standards that wouldn’t persuade even more Jews to beckon the Messiah back? Is it possible that they could get caught up in our zeal to follow the God of Israel and thus fulfill their role?

      I believe that Judah does indeed hold the scepter. I believe they are meant to lead and guide the nations that have been grafted into the one vine, Messiah. But, that tree doesn’t produce a mixed fruit. Ruth did not practice a form of Baal worship and YHWH worship. She followed the leading of the Jewish people in faith and practice and no one cried “foul” or accused her of trying to replace the Jewish people. And they certainly didn’t think she was entrenched in some sort of “pride”; no instead, she had the great reward of being the only woman singled out by name in Scripture as an eshet chayil (woman of valor).

      The fruit (deeds) of the wild branches will be the same as the natural, because the Seed and Root is not a GMO or even a hybrid plant. Thus, the wild branches receive the same sweet sap as the natural branches. We even see this pictured in Naomi (a full blooded Israelite) being the nurse to Ruth and Boaz’s child, Obed.

      Messiah’s desire is for us to be one. He never said, may they one, but with very clear identity markers. I believe Him; therefore, I know this is possible without Gentiles “over running” the Jewish race. Desiring to keep YHWH’s Torah and holding to the testimony of Yeshua is anything but a desire to replace the Jewish people. Judah is my elder brother. I will never seek to kill him like a Cain, usurp him like a Korah, and I will also NEVER be a Balaam and put a stumbling block of immorality before others.

      I seek restoration. I’m tired of the name calling and false accusations. I will continue to stand with Israel and the Jewish people. I will continue to educate my children on Jewish history and the vileness of anti-Semitism. I will continue to seek ways to love, respect, and serve the Jewish people. And thankfully, I can do that in the spirit of Ruth by giving up Moab and clinging to the root, my Redeemer. But, leaving Moab and Baal, means I must join Judah, Israel, and YHWH. I cannot keep one foot in and one foot out.

      I suppose the longer I’m attached to the cultivated olive tree, the more pure sap I will receive from the root. And that means, one day (even if it’s in glory), no one will be able to tell me or you apart from the natural branches. Would that be so horrible? How does this diminish the Jewish people or strip them of identity?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi K.,

    Regarding Ruth:

    “Was she infringing on Jewish identity markers by “joining” the Jews and not only living among them, but living “like” them in lifestyle? I hardly think so.

    Of course not, but look at the situation: 1. she was married to a Jew, and 2. she was living among Jews. A non-Jew living among Jews (ger) has certain obligations according to the Torah. Additionally, a Jew wasn’t to allow his non-Jewish wife (there were many) to turn him away from God and towards her idols/gods, rather she was to come into his tent and live accordingly. This is the equivalent of a “convert” then, although she wasn’t Jewish, her children were.

    Like it or not, the church has plenty that it has absorbed from paganism rather than the Bible.

    Of course it has. Did you know that Judaism has too?

    Why does a cry for unity and equality have to be contrary to Jewish identity? In my mind, it doesn’t. How do you know that if more Gentiles followed biblical standards that wouldn’t persuade even more Jews to beckon the Messiah back? Is it possible that they could get caught up in our zeal to follow the God of Israel and thus fulfill their role?

    Yes, I’ve heard this argument. Supposedly Jews will become envious when they see non-Jews taking their role and suddenly be transformed. Perhaps you’re right, I just haven’t seen anything like this happen. In fact, only the opposite, what can I say.

    Your “cry for unity and equality” is problematic for me for this reason: you used harsh, dismissive and fierce language to mock and discount the perspectives and “cries” of Jews who don’t see things your way.

    You said: they have “unwarranted and unholy fear”, they make themselves “dark overlords and gate keepers of the covenant”. You claim they want Gentiles to “cower” away from the calendar and Torah, “lest they become vile practitioners of supersessionalism.” [sic]

    “In their mind, if there isn’t a line drawn in the sand to separate these racial groups, the Jewish people will cease to exist or be overrun by Gentiles.”

    You go on to say they’re afraid of loosing “(perceived) control or dominance”, they use “scare tactics”, and are “hypocrites.” Etc.

    Perhaps this is why I couldn’t decipher any compassion or sacrificial love from you, rather a desire to get your needs met, and so I felt the need to explain my perspective.

    I’m glad you don’t know even one unbalanced gentile who thinks they are now a Jew or who try to out-Jew the Jews. I’m also glad that you somehow know every single Jew in your family and congregation feels okay about Gentiles taking on a Jewish identity markers, I didn’t discount your perspective, all I did was give you mine, which differs from yours significantly.

    As I see it: if we continue to be consumed with adopting another’s identity, gifting, calling, we fail to ponder and live our own. IN MY OPINION, that is the biggest failure of the Church, not the remnants of paganism, because it has caused us to not understand OUR ROLE in the redemption! Instead, we figured, in the name of unity, that all people must approach God as a Gentile. Dead wrong.

    What I mean is that there are millions of dead Jews because we haven’t perceived our role. And, btw, they ARE the “gatekeepers” of the covenant, God made it with them!

    Yes, I’m passionate about this, because non-Jews taking on Jewish identity doesn’t fix anything.

    Like

    • Shalom again,
      You know, I think that when all the water boils out of the pot, we desire the same thing. As a matter of fact, I love your blog! And your right, I did not come off with a lot of compassion in my remarks. They were in a direct reference to this paper put out by the IAMCS: storage.cloversites.com/iamcs/documents/One%20Law%20Two%20Sticks.pdf

      Thus, I will link to that paper directly from my post in an effort to help others. In this lengthy article, the IAMCS points out three things they perceive as Jewish identity markers: Sabbath, Feasts, and dietary laws. They not only demonize our understanding of the Scriptures (in their mind we are in deep error), but they take personal issue with many leaders in the “movement”. I happen to personally know many of those mentioned. And I also know that there wasn’t one effort made from the IAMCS to speak personally with them before attacking them on the World Wide Web. (However, I readily admit that some names/organizations mentioned are in gross error and certainly do not represent the majority — I’m just sad they lump us all together.)

      In the IAMCS paper, there were many gross misunderstandings and accusations leveled that were a far cry from the truth. I happen to know that many of those slandered would have been more than happy to sit and enter into a dialogue that could have possibly brought much needed restoration, or could have at least corrected many false assumptions. BTW, I do understand who the covenant was made with; that’s why I used the phrase “dark overlords”. Only a dark overlord wouldn’t seek out their brother in private before openly scorning their ministry and name publicly. This remark isn’t meant to demonize Jews, but the actions of this particular group and those that perpetuate this line of thinking. And it isn’t lost to me that they, too, do not represent all of MJ.
      Nevertheless, if I were new to the Torah as a Gentile, I would be scared to death of anyone mentioned in this paper. Moreover, I’d probably question my desire to want to be obedient (or as the IAMCS call it – legalism). And that fear would be based on false assumptions, misunderstandings, and in some cases, outright lies. How sad is that?

      In my next post, I will be reblogging a response from two of the leaders mentioned by the IAMCS. I hope you will consider their perspective and all the pain they have endured because of this. Whether you agree with them or not in certain areas of doctrine is not the point. Consider the bullet points they enumerate. All these are false accusations by the IAMCS that could have been easily alleviated by a simple conversation. But alas, it never happened and now offense abounds.
      Your response to my comparison to Ruth got me thinking. I can agree with everything you said, but that still begs the question as to what the proper response to the gospel should be for a Gentile who does not live with Jews. How can she be a model for them, if they cannot model her lifestyle? I guess that’s the same issue with following Yeshua. How “now shall we live” if we are a Gentile? How does a Gentile follow Yeshua, but not “really” do or live as He did? No wonder there is so much confusion.

      Moreover, how does one that is given the “spirit of adoption” not live a lifestyle like the other children in the House? How do you receive the same spiritual sap as a natural branch and not begin to look like them, act like them? These things have nothing to do with our role, calling, and gifting. The elder (natural) brother is and will remain the elder.

      Which brings me to the question of Jewish Identity Markers. The three issues that seem to cause the most controversy (as fingered out by the IAMCS) is Gentiles keeping the Sabbath, Feasts, and a kosher diet. There are numerous commandments, why do these infringe on Jewish identity? Sure, it is faithful Jews who have maintained these throughout the centuries, but that doesn’t diminish the fact that the very biblical models that Gentiles have to follow did as well.

      I, too, am passionate about this, because the church has failed in her role, but that bloody history with many slain Jews was a product of a body of Christ devoid of Torah — not the other way around.

      The historical church was a body that abhorred anything resembling keeping the Sabbath, Feasts, and dietary laws. They saw no legitimacy for the Jewish people or state. History proves that this line of thinking promotes anti-Semitism, supremacy, and hate.

      These things are the anti-thesis to desiring to follow the Messiah with Torah while supporting the Jewish people and State. It is a far cry from replacement theology or pride. Will it “fix” anything? Well, it certainly is NOT a repeat of history.

      BTW, I appreciate your honesty and our dialogue. (:

      Like

  6. Pingback: One Torah, Two Approaches to God? | GRACE in TORAH

  7. K., I too appreciate your dialogue and honesty, it can be hard to come by! 🙂

    It’s good to know we are on the same page, at least in some respects. We all have a pov and your question reminded me that I have no idea how I’d handle the issue if I wasn’t married to a Jew, and have a Jewish family.

    Yet, I see distinction all over the Torah, among the Jews themselves! But I don’t see distinction as bad or harmful, just the opposite, I see it as life-giving. Homogenization is not something I find in God’s Word. Let me rephrase that, I see the distinctions God created (male & female, Jew & gentile) as vital, purposeful, and they always bring mutual blessing and life. E.g., when you married your husband, you didn’t become a man, and he didn’t become a woman. Neither one is sinning by maintaining God-given distinction, rather it would be the opposite. (As an aside, apparently CA can no longer use the distinction “husband” and “wife”, instead the generic “spouse” will replace them, since distinction is perceived as bad)

    I believe the Apostles made it clear in Acts 15 and Paul made it abundantly clear that there is a distinction between Jews and Gentiles and Gentiles aren’t obligated to Torah like Jews are. Anyway, would I still keep Sabbath if my husband passed (god forbid)? Probably…

    I don’t know anyone highlighted in the paper, but I can relate to many of the problems articulated in the article. But as you pointed out I come at this from a different angle and honestly, my searching was fueled by different motives altogether, so I never came across them.

    Like

    • Thanks again for getting back with me. As I read your words, I was reminded why it is so good for those with different POVs to dialogue. Not arguing for arguments sake, not to be “right”, but to try and “see” where the other person is coming from. I sat here and thought, I never placed myself in your shoes either and considered how you arrived at the place your are in. Perhaps, this is the key that will heal some of the breaches between our two POVs? Because your are right, we have approached this from two different angles that are fueled by different motives. Hopefully, it is a start. And one that begins with mutual respect and a desire to recognize, not belittle, those differences.

      Thanks again for sharing. I do believe I have learned something, and that is always good. (:

      Like

  8. Jane Diffenderfer

    Thank you for the great blog post! I am sharing it on Women of Valor. The key to our identity is to be found in Messiah. “Our identity is not found in comparing ourselves to others, but in the finished work of the Messiah.” AMEN! May we all be ONE in HIM.

    Like

  9. Pingback: Biblical Equality – The Dusty Scholar

  10. “You can’t be the light, draw people in, to only turn them away.” I am so glad to have found your blog and this article. Loved that sentence especially, much shalom to you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

redshoooz

Living the Abundant Life

In the Galute

B'ney Yosef

His Perfect Timing

My Incredible Journey with God

searchingfornorway

ancestry, geneology, knitting, history

praythroughhistory

Heal the past. Free the present. Bless the future.

Heaven and Earth

Bringing pieces of heaven to earth

Ladder of Jacob

ascend higher.

Operation Jeremiah 6:16

Ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.

Neviim Tovim/TheHaftarah Circle Gillian Gould Lazarus

Hebrew prophets and other themes from Tanakh

radicalrighteousroots

Biblical foundation resources for the family

Torah Rocker

Writings and studies of Torah

Hardcore Mesorah

Torah and Tefillah for those who aren't faint of heart

BE COURAGEOUS BLOG

NEVER LET GO OF GOD'S HAND

Ancient Footsteps

The end is known from the beginning...

modern day samaritan woman

welcome to all sojourners

Chalom Shalom

Unveiling the Voice of Creation...

ReDo~ReNew

Enjoying New Life in myself, others, and the things I find along the way...

Obadiah's Cave

A place of safety

Blue Jeans and Chocolate

~ My So-Called Glamorous Life

Awakened 2 Torah

It's time to leave Egypt and follow Yahweh!

The Well Trodden Road

following the Way back home

Move Your "..BUT God .."

CLIMBING TO THE HEIGHTS OF GOD'S LOVE

Ohana Home Education

"Ohana means family. Family means no-one gets left behind, or forgotten."

Sewn olivette

Elevating Daily Life

Helena

The Protocol of Truth

Missing Pieces

Discover the missing pieces in your walk with Yeshua / Jesus

Wilderness Report

by Cathy Helms

Wholeness 4 Love

Life is for Living & LOVE is a choice!

natsab

Here I stand.

Rus Alan

Kingdom Minded living with issues related to discipleship, the Holy Spirit, and power.

Tannachton Farm

Faith, Family, Farm

GRACE in TORAH

Leaving Egypt is only the beginning of our journey...

The Lamb's Servant

Discerning Truth from Tradition | Serving YHVH | Getting Back to Torah

Sharing God's Love

My passion is writing to share God's love with everyone who believes in HIm.

Daughters of Torah

Revealing our identity to the nations

SnarkyCrunch

Tree-hugging, Hippy-go-lucky, Dread-head, Jewish Mamma

Sanctuary Gardener

A Yankee grows in the South ~ Homesteading, gardening, & harvest recipes

little tent on the prairie

Restoring life through simple living

Coffee Shop Rabbi

Basic Judaism spoken here.

madebymamaleh

Creating a modern Jewish home one project at a time

%d bloggers like this: