This is the sequel to The Inherited Church has Stockholm
There are two overlapping opinions within the Messianic/Hebrew Roots people. There are those that wish to worship God in a more Biblical manner and do not care a wit about Jewish evangelism, and those who’s main passion is to evangelize the Jews, and a whole host of people in-between.
Even if we don’t care about Jewish Evangelism and our main interest is just finding the Hebrew roots to our faith, we still must turn to Jews and Jewish writings to find our way. After all there is no description of how to make tzit-tzit in the Scriptures and many more such details. So we turn to the Jews, and either by ascendent or design we evangelize.
From a Jewish point of view we are just like all the other Christians we have just found a new way to destroy the Jewish people. We are just more subtile in our methods.
At first Christianity was considered a Judean sect. We see in Acts that they went into the Temple, offered sacrifices, and generally participated in all aspects of life in Judea. Then there was the near riot when Paul was in the temple.[Act 21:27-36] After this we do not read of believers going into the temple. This was the first break.
At the time of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD the believers abandoned the city just prior to the arrival of the Roman army. They had remembered Messiah’s warning to leave the city within a generation.[Matt 24] They left the city crossed the Jordan and spent the war in Pella. That was the second break.
After the Temple was destroyed by the Romans, the Jews were scattered and without any rituals to hold them together. Rabbi Akiva created the Rabbinic Judaism that we know today; i.e., Judaism without a temple. Its chief tenet is that Jesus of Nazareth is not the promised Messiah of Israel. This new religion was created to hold the Jewish community together after the destruction of the Temple that had centralized the nation and the faith.
Then came the Bar Kokhba rebellion or The Second Jewish revolt 132 – 135 AD. Bar Kokhba named Simon ben Kosiba surnamed Simon bar Kokhba, “Son of the star,” was the leader of this last resistance against the Romans. At the beginning of this revolt about one-third of Bar Kokhba’s forces were Christian Jews. As the revolt progressed Akiva named Bar Kokhba as the Jewish Messiah. This caused a conflict of conscious among the Jewish Christians who then left the Jewish army because they knew that Bar Kokhba was not the Messiah. And to add insult to injury about half of those that left the revolt, then joined the Romans, so as to put down this false Messiah. The resulting loss to the Romans was blamed on the Christian Jews who left Bar Kokhba. Since then it is considered that those Jews who convert to Christianity are traitors and no longer Jews. That was the third and final break.
We are the enemy. We are those that left the battles. We can argue all we want that they were right to leave the false messiah, it does us no good. The Jews have made up their minds that believers are traitors.
Conversion and Assimilation
There is no doubt that this happens. Whether the Believer intended to “save” the Jew or not. There is certainly are groups of Christians who wish to and do accomplish Jewish evangelism. There are books on how to evangelize Jews, just as there are for many ethnic and religious groups. However there have also been large groups of Jews over the centuries who have just picked up a New Testament and found their Messiah.
The assimilation however is not totally the fault of the church. Yes, there are some Christians who decide that a Jew is really saved only if they will now eat a ham sandwich as proof that they are no longer keeping the Law. As Messianic/Hebrew Roots we hope to offer a place where the Jew can remain culturally a Jew and the Gentile culturally a Gentile.
We all know Jewish believers who’s families have buried empty coffins when they have announced that they believe Yeshua/Jesus is the Messiah. It is the Jews that are the ones who have cut this person off from them. This leaves the Jewish believer with no choice but to assimilate. They can’t attend services, sometimes they are not even welcome at the funerals of their immediate family. When it come time to take a spouse, just like the Old Testament the New Testament admonishes people not to marry outside the faith. So the Jewish Christian is forced to take a Gentile Christian for a spouse. Within just one generation whether they wanted to or not they will assimilate.
Daniel 9 makes it clear that the Messiah must come in the first century. Of all those who claimed this title only Yeshua/Jesus that stands as having completed the course of prophecies. He was born of a virgin. [Gen 3:3:15; Is 7:14] He came from Jesse through David.[Is 11:1, 55:3-5; Matt1:1-16; Luke 3:23-38] He was a willing sacrifice. [Is 42:2-3; John 10:18] Messiah comes out of Egypt. [Hos 11:1; Matt 2:13] He came riding on an ass’ colt. [Zech 9:9; Matt 21:4-5] There are many more.
The Truth is the Truth. We love our Messiah and we want everyone in the whole world to love Him too, whether they be Jews or Gentiles.