Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Boaz Michael: A Misuse of Rhetoric

[UPDATE:  I've changed the title of this post in order to be gentler toward Boaz]

Boaz wrote recently:

"Instead of attacking Christianity, Messianic Gentiles would do well to focus on what is good about Christianity. This is necessary for several reasons, not least of which is the fact that Messianic Gentiles, as stated above, are Christians. Just as important, though, is the impact this positive attitude will have on any effort to bring Christians to recognize the Jewish roots of their faith," (attributed to Boaz Michael from an early manuscript of the forthcoming book "Tent of David", pgs 50-51).

I'd like to talk a little about deception and persuasion and then come back to this statement by Boaz Michael.




The Theory of Persuasion


Why should someone want to do anything?  What motivates us?  Simply put:  either the avoidance of pain or the promise of pleasure.  This is the primary principle of motivation.  And it's included in every persuasive argument.

Generally, this means that people will want to do what is praiseworthy and avoid that which is blameworthy.  So a skilled communicator will use this principle in order to guide his audience to a certain course of action.

The Modes of Persuasion


People act based on emotions.  So a skillful communicator will understand how to stimulate those emotions which will motivate the audience to act.  Generally, the communicator will start with the most negative emotions when discussing the problem and end with the positive emotions when discussing the solution.  In this manner, the communicator get his audience to associate the proposed problem with blameworthiness and to associate the proposed solution with praiseworthiness.

Not only will a skilled communicator understand how to stimulate those emotions most conducive to his argument, but he will understand the particular emotional make-up of his audience.  He'll consider the particularities of age, gender, and even religion.  Why?  Because these factors influence one's perception of what is blameworthy and praiseworthy.

The Ethics of Persuasion


An argument is the means to a end, the end being a proposed course of action.  Therefore, an ethical communicator will ensure that the means (i.e. arguments) are true and that the end (i.e. proposed course of action) furthers Biblical truth.  But, sometimes, a misguided communicator will employ false logic in order to motivate people to take a course of action which conflicts with the greater good.  Such people, while not having the intent to deceive, are nevertheless guilty of being deceptive.  Deception has been defined as "to cause to believe what is false."  Therefore, one can be deceptive even while intending to promote one's idea of truth and good.

Boaz Michael's Quote as Illustration of Unintentional Deception

Once again, here's the quote:

"Instead of attacking Christianity, Messianic Gentiles would do well to focus on what is good about Christianity. This is necessary for several reasons, not least of which is the fact that Messianic Gentiles, as stated above, are Christians. Just as important, though, is the impact this positive attitude will have on any effort to bring Christians to recognize the Jewish roots of their faith," (attributed to Boaz Michael from an early manuscript of the forthcoming book "Tent of David", pgs 50-51).

What is he saying is blameworthy?  Attacking Christianity.  He's saying that gentiles who refuse to identify with Christianity are guilty of attacking Christianity.  

What is he saying is praiseworthy?  Getting Christians to understand the Jewish roots of their faith.  He's saying that the only way for gentiles to help Christianity is to self-identify as Christians and accept the truth of a racially segregated Body with institutions for gentiles (Christian churches) and separate institutions for Jews (Messianic synagogues).  

What course of action is he trying to motivate?  He's trying to get gentiles to separate from Jews, to have their own community known as the Christian community so that the Jews may have their own community known as the Messianic Jewish community.

Is his argument deceptive (i.e. does it cause the audience to believe something false)?  Yes.  He promotes the falsehood that one is a Christian based on race, not belief.  Therefore, he argues, even if you disagree with tenets of Christianity, if you are a gentile you are a Christian whether you like it or not.  All of this is false.  

Is his proposed course of action in accord with Biblical truth?  No.  He says that the Body should be divided along racial lines, with separate institutions for gentiles (Christianity) and for Jews (Messianic Judaism).  But the Bible says otherwise.  The Bible promotes full inclusion of gentiles into Messianic Judaism.  The evidence for this is both Theological and historical.  Gentiles are to identify as citizens of Israel with full rights/duties to follow a lifestyle in accordance with Messianic halacha.

84 comments:

  1. You've got a couple of problems here, Peter (actually, more than a couple).

    First of all, you're taking a single paragraph that I quoted out of an entire book (which you don't have access to and haven't read) to draw conclusions about Boaz Michael and his intent. That would be like me taking one paragraph from somewhere in the whole Bible and developing an entire theology around it, knowing nothing at all about what the rest of the Bible says (not that people haven't done that before, but it's still wrong).

    Also, I wrote a four-part series on a related topic and the Boaz Michael quote was only a tiny portion of that series, included only to illustrate a single point...and yet you chose to criticize Boaz based on an almost insignificant amount of a much larger body of content? It would seem to make more sense to attack me directly, since you have much more material to draw from, than to "go after" Boaz Michael once again (I realize he's a much bigger "target," however).

    Bottom line is that you can't fairly criticize anyone based on a single paragraph taken out of context.

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    1. And you imply what,James? That Boaz does not have a track record of deception?

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    2. James,

      (1) I'm familiar with his body of work;

      (2) It is possible to understand a great deal about someone by the things they say--even if they exercise brevity. For example, if someone attaches a sign to a public pool that says "Whites Only!" then I know a lot about them. Granted, they've only said two words but they were very telling words. However, in the case of Boaz, I've read quite a lot more than two words that he's written. I probably know some of his writings better than he knows them himself. So don't think I'm extrapolating about him on the basis of a single paragraph.

      (3) it's very telling that you're only criticizing my methods and not my conclusions. I can only assume this means that you felt my conclusions regarding Boaz's positions were spot on.

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  2. A. "Whites Only" is a stand alone statement and not part of a book so your comparison doesn't hold up.

    B. If your methods have problems, it stands to reason your conclusions cannot be considered valid.

    Sorry, but that's the way I see it. You never did tell me how you believe FFOZ injured you so greatly. You alluded to this in the comments on one of my blog posts and it must be relevant to your current attitude toward FFOZ. Can you be objective in evaluating this paragraph taken from an early manuscript of an unpublished book written by Boaz?

    Look, I think you want to be fair and it's obvious from your writings that you are trying to arrive at the truth of God and how that truth applies to you and others, but especially as we approach the High Holy Days, now would be a good time to assess your emotions and motives, at least with God. I'm not saying all of this to be a pain in the neck but because any such hurts you bear require healing. Today is a good day to start healing, Peter.

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    1. Yes, Peter, I too would like to find out how did UMJC and FFOZ personally hurt you and your family. I mean these seem to be some serious allegations of misconduct on their apart against your person and your family. Or, are you just talking about something "theological" you disagree with that they wrote in some publication, not against you per se, but rather directed at a general audience and that has somehow offended you, one of the thousands of their readers?

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    2. James,

      Re: "If your methods have problems, it stands to reason your conclusions cannot be considered valid."

      No, it doesn't. A physicist might have a gruff demeanor but that doesn't mean his equations are wrong. Proving that he is rude doesn't necessarily disprove his equations.

      Take statistics as another example. A statistician could take a sample from a pool of fifty people and draw the conclusion that men are more aggressive than women. You could criticize his methodology and say he should've used a broader sample but this wouldn't have anything to do with the accuracy of his conclusion. His conclusion could be totally accurate even if his methods were wrong.

      In the same way, you've criticized my methodology but have not said anything about my conclusion. Why is that? Because you know very well that Boaz's views are well known and that I have stated them accurately. You just don't want to face the divisiveness contained in Boaz's teachings.

      Similarly, you are making ad hominem attacks, trying to paint me as a biased (as is Gene). But even if I am biased, this has nothing to do with the accuracy of my conclusions. One could say that a mother who witnesses an attacker kill her husband is biased against the attacker. Nevertheless, the testimony of that mother could very well be accurate.

      Why don't you and Gene try attacking my conclusions for a change.

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    3. I'm Messianic and I think Boaz Michael's book, Tent of David, is EXCELLENT. Why are people trying to pick it apart? It appears to me that Satan has hold of those trying to attack this good book and his good work!

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  3. No, it doesn't. A physicist might have a gruff demeanor but that doesn't mean his equations are wrong. Proving that he is rude doesn't necessarily disprove his equations.

    Take statistics as another example. A statistician could take a sample from a pool of fifty people and draw the conclusion that men are more aggressive than women. You could criticize his methodology and say he should've used a broader sample but this wouldn't have anything to do with the accuracy of his conclusion. His conclusion could be totally accurate even if his methods were wrong.

    Well, no. In any "hard science" there are methods to determine if a researcher has taken an adequate data sample in order to determine if the results are going to be statistically significant. This was part of my Master's degree back in the day, so I have some idea how it all works. One paragraph out of a 200-300+ page book in my opinion, is an inadequate sample. If the sample is inadequate, by definition, the result is unreliable. You can argue your point until the second coming of the Messiah, but any scientific researcher worth his or her salt will agree with me. Certainly any book reviewer (and I've reviewed hundreds of books over the years) would agree.

    Your comment about "gruff demeanor" isn't relevant since as you noted later in your comment, I was talking about your methods, not your emotional state or character traits.

    Everyone has biases Peter, and since you've already admitted that FFOZ hurt you and your family (though you never said how), then believing you to be completely neutral in assessing their material isn't a reasonable expectation. That's not a put down. It's human nature.

    You have no conclusions to attack because, as I said above, your conclusions are exceptionally unlikely to have any validity based on the very minor amount of data from which you have to work. Continually trying to draw us back to your "conclusions" is a red herring.

    Again, I'm sorry if all this causes you emotional upset but A.) you brought it up, and B.) you seem to do better in your presentation on your blog when you are pursuing matters of law and mechanics of legal interpretation. Once "personalities" enter into it, you seem to struggle more.

    We can take this into an email conversation if you'd prefer since this transaction seems to be entering a more personal realm. Your choice.

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    1. James,

      First, you needn't worry about offending me. I assure you that you are not offending me. However, your concern is appreciated.

      Second, you are saying that you've destabilized my conclusions based upon (1) pointing out a perceived flaw in my methodology and (2) pointing out a bias. Let's discuss each of these points in turn.

      Your assertion is as follows: to disprove the method is to disprove the conclusion. For this to be logical, the method and the conclusion would have to be identical. Here's the flaw in your reasoning: there is indeed a distinction between a method and a conclusion. A conclusion is a distinct proposition. And there are innumerable instances of improper methods which have led to accurate conclusions. Regardless, this attack is irrelevant given that I've stated nothing other than Boaz's well-known opinions. It's a moot point.

      Next, you say that I'm biased. And you conclude that someone with a bias cannot be trusted. However, you've also noted that everyone has biases. Therefore, to use your logic, no one can be trusted. This is just silly.

      One more word about biases. Everyone is susceptible to the charge of bias. You could say that the writers of the New Testament were biased in favor of Yeshua. And you'd be correct. But it's irrelevant. All that matters is testing the truthfulness of the testimony and the conclusions presented.

      So, again, I'd ask you to test my conclusions. I think you'll find that, as everyone knows, I've correctly identified Boaz's belief system. It's well known and not disputed. He has not tried to hide his beliefs. Now, as to the nature of the errors in his system of beliefs, this is something we should all debate. But, instead, you've focused on me. Why is that? Because you know that Boaz's views/teachings are divisive. That's not my fault. That's his fault for teaching divisive doctrines. I'm just doing my duty in refuting the false doctrines he's promoting. And you know me by now, James, that I'm a man of conscience and reason. I'm not mean-spirited. Therefore, you would do well to listen to what I have to say. My intent is to bring unity to the Body. Part of that mission includes confuting divisive teachings. It's not my favorite part of the mission but it is my duty.



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    2. "I think you'll find that, as everyone knows, I've correctly identified Boaz's belief system."

      Peter, I wonder sometimes....do you actually believe the things you type?

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    3. Gene,

      Yes. He has stated that he thinks gentiles should go to church and Jews to Messianic synagogue. This is common knowledge.

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    4. But do you know his heart?? Isn't it possible that he might feel that way as a STARTING POINT for both to come together in Messiah Yeshua?!

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  4. "He's trying to get gentiles to separate from Jews"

    What is so ironic is that the One Law/Two-House movement does a much better job at that than Boaz/FFOZ could ever hope to do. At the same time, there's far more respect, understanding and cooperation between Messianic Jews, Messianic Gentiles and Christians aligned with the FFOZ and the mainstream Messianic Jewish circles. Oh, the irony of OL/TH trying to race-bait and cry exclusion!

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    1. The irony in all this is, having read the entire manuscript and then having discussed it with Boaz, I *know* that his message is one of unity between "Messianics" and Christian Gentiles, not separation and estrangement; it's about mission, not segregation or separation.

      That's also the entire point of my four-part, nearly 7,000 word series on the topic. I published the material over four days, but wrote it in one long stream in a single day. I feel strongly about unification among the entire body of believers, but in order to do that, we have to stop sniping at one another and seeing where we have common connections. That especially includes with the traditional Church.

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    2. James,

      See my comment above. I believe I've addressed all of your concerns. But if there's anything that I've left out then please let me know.

      Shalom,

      Peter

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    3. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm late for Wednesday night church. : )

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    4. James, THANK you for that! That is exactly what I got from his book! And to think otherwise is allowing Satan to come into the body of believers and separate!

      Blessings and shalom to you!

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    5. You're welcome anonymous (even though I wrote my comment over a year ago). At some point fairly soon, I'm going to write an updated review of "Tent of David" chronicling my year long "adventure" in church.

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  5. Thanks for making this deception public Peter! Ignore all the other "N.-T.A.C.S"... http://www.hark.com/clips/zstsmzqznb-no-talent-ass-clown

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    1. Anonymous,

      I understand if you've been hurt by FFOZ but try to be gentle. I'm also learning how to do this. It's difficult sometimes but we have to consider that Boaz is (1) a child of G-d and (2) our brother.

      We can speak out though about his teachings which are contra-Scriptural and divisive. But we have to set the example. One Law is about covenant and covenant is about chesed.



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    2. There has been no deception!

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    3. Anonymous,

      You know, I heard a pastor on the radio the other day. I believe it was the weekend edition of Turning Point and the pastor's name was Dr. David Jeremiah (if memory serves). At one point he said the following (paraphrased):

      "The New Covenant was made only with Israel, not Gentiles. This is why the Jews are called the People of the Covenant. Gentiles do not belong to the covenants."

      And:

      "Gentiles are members of the New Covenant."

      That's quite a contradiction.

      And it must follow then that his message was deceptive since a contradiction cannot be truthful. So, we would be right to say that Dr. David Jeremiah has become deceptive as one who spreads deception.

      It's the same with Boaz.

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    4. Since this thread was surfaced again, i took the time to read all the comments, and in the middle of my reading I was thinking about when Yeshua said: "they will know you by your fruit."

      Now, after 4 years after FFOZ's changed their mind, and 1 year after this discussion thread, let me ask you, what fruit we see as a result of FFOZ changing their mind? Where are the lines of Church pastors banging on their door for the "new, inovative" material? There are none. The fruits we see are here, on this blog, a bitter division between brothers, nothing else.

      I pray for Boaz to see the errors of his ways and come back home, where he once really made inroads...

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  6. A. I'm glad you're not offended.

    B. If, for (extreme) example, you use a Quija board (don't take this literally..I'm trying to make a point) to divine who will win the next 25 World Series, then yes, your methodology invalidates your conclusions.

    If you are drawing sweeping conclusions on Boaz's beliefs based only on the brief quote from an unpublished book, then yes, your sample size is too small and without a sufficient sample size, your conclusions are unreliable. Really Peter, it's basic to scientific research. Maybe law has different standards. If you are including everything you've read that's been published by FFOZ and written by Boaz, then maybe you have a better information base upon which to construct your conclusions, but then again, emotional bias my be coloring your vision.

    Yes, you are biased and all humans have biases. You believe Boaz and FFOZ hurt you and you have expressed a negative emotional response toward Boaz and his organization in the past. Do I believe that you can assess any of his words with complete objectivity? Heck, no. I probably can't either with complete objectivity,but for different reasons. I like the guy. I can be reasonably objective in reading his material and give him some "constructive suggestions" on occasion, but someone who has no emotional response to him or FFOZ at all could do a better job at being objective than either of us.

    In any event, your emotional outlook relative to Boaz and FFOZ taints whatever conclusions you come to, so no, I don't trust them.

    Also, knowing Boaz (probably) better than you do, I have greater insight into his character, so I have access to a source of information about his motivations that you most likely lack. You can point me back to your conclusions, which apparently include the belief that Boaz wants to strictly isolate Gentile Christians from Messianic Jews, all day long, but it doesn't mean I have to accept them and I've already explained all this (in abundance) to you.

    Your final statement is:

    The Bible promotes full inclusion of gentiles into Messianic Judaism. The evidence for this is both Theological and historical. Gentiles are to identify as citizens of Israel with full rights/duties to follow a lifestyle in accordance with Messianic halacha, which is really a much larger issue than one individual and one organization. If anything, I made suggestions on "where we belong" just today which you either have ignored or which just don't bother you, even though I suggested that some non-Jews should stay in churches.

    Part 1 of 2

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    1. James,

      Re: "If, for (extreme) example, you use a Quija board (don't take this literally..I'm trying to make a point) to divine who will win the next 25 World Series, then yes, your methodology invalidates your conclusions."

      No, James. If I conclude (albeit through improper methodology) that the Yankees will win the next 25 World Series then I could be correct. The only way to know is to test the conclusion. The conclusion is separate from the method. So if you wanted to disprove the conclusion that the Yanks will win the next 25 World Series then you'll have to cite to evidence--evidence that it didn't happen. In other words, you'll have to address the conclusion DIRECTLY.

      Dude, I'm not an idiot. Trust me, I understand what you're saying. I know about statistics but if I say HOW I know then it'll sound like bragging. But I understand the importance of broad samples. I'm not talking about that. You're missing my point.

      You know, it wouldn't be a bad idea for Boaz to come on here and discuss with me. I'll be nice. I respond well to logic and Scripture. You know him so put the invite out there. Hey, if he wants to state some ground rules for the discussion that would be fine with me. And the discussion could even take place on a separate site.

      But I understand that from his point of view I sound like an unreasonable shmuck. I do try to be fair with him though. I try to separate the teaching from the teacher. Like today when Derek suggested that I change the title to this post, I went ahead and changed it. I know that Boaz doesn't INTEND to be divisive. But I believe WITH ALL OF MY HEART that his teaching IS divisive and contra-Scriptural.

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    2. Pardon me; I know that a passerby who meddles in a quarrel that’s not his is like one who grabs a dog by the ears (Proverbs 26:17). Yet may I make two very brief remarks?
      First, we do not need to read ALL of Mr. Boaz’ material to draw a general conclusion as to their merit. If the Bible says “don’t pray to the dead” and the Catholic church says “pray to dead saints”; if the Bible says “there is only one Mediator and that’s Jesus” and the Catholic Church says “except Mary”; if the Bible says “salvation is by grace through faith and not of works” and the Catholic Church says “except for the works we tell you”; if the Bible says “elders are to be married” and the Catholic Church says “priests are to be celibate; we don’t have to carefully read through all their works to determine they are a false religion.
      Second, respectfully, Mr. Boaz’ motives are irrelevant to this conversation. A person who sins unintentionally, sins nevertheless (Leviticus 5:17-19). Jame’s point there is fallacious, specifically the fallacy of argumentum ad passiones. If Mr. Boaz’ conclusions are wrong, then his motives for coming to those wrong conclusions are irrelevant in a discussion on the merits of his conclusions.

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  7. Part 2 of 2

    You said, Yes. He has stated that he thinks gentiles should go to church and Jews to Messianic synagogue. This is common knowledge.

    First of all, that's not particularly true. Heck, I've worshipped with the guy last spring at a Messianic congregation in Wisconsin. It was a wholly Jewish experience but the majority of people there were not Jews. The food was kosher, the kitchen was kosher, the men davened Shacharit in the morning, the Candor was Jewish, there was a kosher Torah scroll, and the majority of people who were called up for aliyah were not Jewish.

    What can I say? There was a heck of a lot of inclusion, unity, and fellowship going on between Christians and Jews during Shavuot at that place and it was an official FFOZ function.

    Doesn't sound like Boaz was shooing all of us Gentiles out into churches so the Jews could take over the shul. In fact, I'm seriously considering attending next year and I hope Gene will come to (we've yet to meet each other face to face). I wouldn't mind a little "bilateral," "side-by-side" worship of the God of Israel with my Jewish brother in the Messiah.

    All that said, I don't really like trying to "defend" someone by proxy. You want me to defend Boaz because you know he won't directly engage you. I'm the closest you'll come to ever debating him and believe me, I'm a poor substitute. If you didn't have an emotional need to criticize him or his works, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

    There are plenty of people I disagree with in terms of theological opinions but I have no need to engage them, so I never write about them.

    Enjoy services, Peter.

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    1. I replied after the first part--see just above. And, thanks, I did enjoy tonight.

      Shalom,

      Peter

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  8. I agree Peter, I come to the same conclusions.

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    1. Yeah, they'll come around eventually. This is all laid out in Scripture and we really are logical people despite what they say about us.

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  9. Yes, Boaz is a A**. He has no talent.

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    1. I know you haven't had time to respond to my first response so I'll just copy it here:

      Anonymous,

      I understand if you've been hurt by FFOZ but try to be gentle. I'm also learning how to do this. It's difficult sometimes but we have to consider that Boaz is (1) a child of G-d and (2) our brother.

      We can speak out though about his teachings which are contra-Scriptural and divisive. But we have to set the example. One Law is about covenant and covenant is about chesed.

      Peace,

      Peter

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    2. Also, Anonymous, Boaz is smart and we could use him if he goes back to One Law. So keep that in mind. We don't want to go out of our way to offend him.

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  10. Anonymous, you're A coward.

    Peter, you have exposed yourself as someone who has read little if anything of the work of Boaz or FFOZ over the past 4 years. Your logic is tortured and twisted. How do you square what you say with the fact that FFOZhas its conferences at a synagogue run by Gentiles with mostly Gentile members?

    I don't think I know any man of greater integrity than Boaz Michael. You would do well to emulate him.

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    1. Mike,

      Thanks for your comment. Actually I'm familiar with Boaz and his teachings. Were you aware of what he said at the UMJC 2012 conference?

      http://dailyminyan.com/2012/07/26/excerpts-from-umjc-2012-conference-lecture-by-boaz-michael-ffoz/

      If you weren't there or haven't read the transcript then utilize that link. Then you'll have a better idea of where Boaz stands.

      Thanks again for visiting and commenting.

      Shalom,

      Peter

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  11. Peter, we could bang heads all night long (which I don't intend to do) and still get nowhere because the basic foundation upon which we base our understanding of God, the Messiah, and who we are, is not the same. I know you're not stupid, but I'm sure you've encountered people who are intelligent and yet still human enough to be influenced by a cherished opinion and an emotional bias. Again, that's not a pejorative, that's just being human.

    I took the opportunity to visit the link you provided to Gene's blog and read both of the excerpts of Boaz's presentation. I realized that I probably have said most of that at one point or another, through probably approaching it from a different direction.

    Anyway, another blog comment session that's hit a dead end. I did get something positive out of Zion's contribution on one of my blog posts today and the result will be tomorrow's "morning meditation." I've decided to pursue the elusive "Jesus Covenant." What exactly does attach Gentile disciples of the Messiah like you and me to the God of Israel? I'm hoping to find out.

    Good night.

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    1. James,

      See my response to Mike Miller below. It applies to you as well.

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  12. Peter, yes, I read that talk. I wish I had been there for it so I could have heard the whole thing. What I read was very impressive.

    I believe however that it's sad that you have to turn this into a debate about a person. But I guess that's what happens when there's no solid argument otherwise.

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    1. Really? You read it did you? Did you read that bit where Boaz says that the RABBIS AND SAGES OF THE TALMUD--THE ONES WHO DENY YESHUA--HAVE THE AUTHORITY OF MOSES? Moses, by the way, was G-d's spokesperson on earth and Yeshua is G-d's Son. So you might want to rethink that position. Did you read that part where Boaz says that anyone who goes against this Divinely-authorized authority of the Rabbis and Sages is THE SAME AS KORACH AND HIS FOLLOWERS???? Again, you might want to rethink your position.

      The Rabbis and Sages did not hold the office of EVED ADONAI that Moses held. That you seem to think they did is preposterous. That you would defend Boaz for this belief rather than rebuking him publicly is preposterous.



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    2. "RABBIS AND SAGES OF THE TALMUD--THE ONES WHO DENY YESHUA--HAVE THE AUTHORITY OF MOSES?"

      Peter, G-d did not leave His Jewish people and He also didn't leave His Jewish people without leadership. You seem to think that He did, but that's a deeply mistaken view. Yeshua recognized and upheld the G-d-given authority of the Jewish leaders, even if he disagreed with some of the things they did. He told his Jewish disciples to live their lives in obedience to the leaders of their people (Matthew 23:2), even if some of those leaders were hypocritical in their own behavior. That's just common sense. As A. Paul wrote in Romans 13:1:

      "Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which G-d has established. The authorities that exist have been established by G-d."

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    3. The Jewish people consider rabbis and sages as their spiritual authorities. In Romans 13:2 we read:

      "Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what G-d has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves."

      You may say... but, but, but.. the Jews had rejected their Messiah, why should their leaders matter or have any say in anything anymore??? Well, multiply this attitude across the whole of Israel, and you'll get your classic Supersessionism.

      Also, what you are saying, Peter - think about this - is because the particular Jewish leadership in the time of Yeshua rejected him, NO FUTURE JEWISH LEADERSHIP can have authority, not even those who had nothing to do with what happened to Yeshua.

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    4. Gene,

      You could make a lot of scarecrows with all those straw-men.

      Just because I don't attribute Supreme Judicial, Legislative, AND Halachic authority to the Rabbis and Sages (Talmud) doesn't imply that I think the Jewish people were left without leadership or that I'm a supersessionist (wow, you're really busting out all the tricks today). These levels of authority were given to the Levitical Supreme Court sitting in Jerusalem and to the Sanhedrin sitting in Jerusalem and are now bestowed upon local, Diaspora communities formed through covenant and operating within the bounds of Written Torah.

      Try those assertions on someone who doesn't know their Torah and who will be gullible enough to fall for it. But not me. Yeshua referred to Moses' Seat which is a reference to the Sanhedrin, a body which the Written Torah placed LIMITS on. One of the implications from this is that the authors of the Talmud CANNOT GOVERN THE EDAH because they DO NOT MEET THE CRITERIA FOR THE SANHEDRIN.

      So the Written Torah overrides anyone in Judaism--those on the fringe--who would attempt grant limitless, edah-wide authority to the Rabbis and Sages of the Talmud. But the de facto authority in Judaism, despite your protests, is the local authorities. This is also the way it was during the First Exile. The governing authority was the local community since the federal, Edah-wide authority was non-existent.

      What sickens me the most about your using Romans 13 to grant carte blanche Federal authority to the Talmud is that this assertion is without precedent. You won't find a single Orthodox Jew on the planet who would use the same argument that you just did. You're just making this up as you go in order to defend Boaz.

      Is Boaz worth the risk of inventing legal precedent out of thin air? Is he worth the risk of abandoning the limits of federal authority delineated in the Written Torah?

      I don't get mad at anyone else on this blog Gene. But you--you should know better. Are you going to admit your error, sir?

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    5. Could not have said it better.

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    6. Could not have said it better, was referring to Peter, just to be clear, :D.

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    7. BTW, you might already now this Peter, but this issue in and of itself, "who has the authority", is the root of the issue when it comes to BE and DIT groups, if you can deal with this, many of their arguments do not hold any weight. And the second root of the issue stems from their Anachronistic interpretations... Those are the issues to be dealt with, as well.

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    8. Amen, brother! That's where we need to focus. That is the Achilles heal of....what's the word for opposite of One Law? : )

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  13. "You won't find a single Orthodox Jew on the planet who would use the same argument that you just did. "

    Peter, you are right - I'd have a hard time finding an Orthodox Jew who would cite Romans 13 to support Sages' authority. What I would not have a hard time doing is finding an Orthodox Jew who would acknowledge the authority of Sages or their inheritance of the Mosaic authority.

    "Is Boaz worth the risk of inventing legal precedent out of thin air?"

    Is this one of those "have you stopped beating your wife" questions?

    "I don't get mad at anyone else on this blog Gene. But you--you should know better. Are you going to admit your error, sir?"

    I am far from perfect, Peter, but I am not the one making errors in this case - you are, my friend. You do that by trying to strip the Jewish people of their G-d given right to interpret the Torah, which is their inheritance. Amazingly, you seem to think that the few decades old "One Law" Movement has somehow inherited that right!

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  14. Peter, G-d did not leave His Jewish people and He also didn't leave His Jewish people without leadership. You seem to think that He did, but that's a deeply mistaken view. Yeshua recognized and upheld the G-d-given authority of the Jewish leaders, even if he disagreed with some of the things they did. He told his Jewish disciples to live their lives in obedience to the leaders of their people (Matthew 23:2), even if some of those leaders were hypocritical in their own behavior.

    That's a fabulous thought. If Jesus was accepting of the authority of the normative Judaism of the late Second Temple period, even if he didn't agree with all their decisions, how will he respond to the authority of normative Judaism when he returns? That would make an incredible blog posts (probably one I'm not qualified to write **hint, hint, Gene**).

    The problem with being "Torah obedient" today is that you can't directly access the Torah without invoking some form of halachah. If you use a traditional siddur, wear a tallit gadol, pray facing toward Jerusalem, light Shabbos candles, bow repeatedly when you daven, eat meat that was slaughtered in a kosher manner, and many other Jewish religious practices, you've encountered and are responding to the Talmud. It's unavoidable. There *is* not religious Jewish practice on earth today that isn't Talmudic (with the possible exception of the Karaite).

    Everybody has tradition, including Christians, and everyone considers their tradition to have authority. Peter, you have written rather lengthy blog posts addressing sections of Talmud, so you apparently have an interest.

    I find it interesting that one of the ways that the church attempted to "punish" the Jewish people during the various pogroms was not only to burn their synagogues but to burn all the copies of the Talmud. It's OK if we non-Jews don't recognize the authority of the Talmud since it wasn't written for us and the vast, vast majority of its material doesn't apply to us. However, it's kind of crazy to deny that it has authority over religious Judaism since without the Talmud, there is no religious Judaism.

    Peter, this isn't about personalities anymore. That conversation is done. This is about the same old argument that keeps happening on all of our blogs: do Jews have the right to define their own identity and adhere to their own standards and do they have the right to be unique among the peoples of the earth?

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    1. James,

      You'll have to forgive me, I'm familiar with the verse where Yeshua says to submit to the Sanhedrin but I'm NOT familiar with the verse to which you refer that grants authority to something called "normative" Judaism.

      James, it's a historical fact that first century Judaism was pluriform and knew nothing of a so-called "normative" Judaism. This is absurd. Judaism is halachically pluriform--always has been.

      Re: "There *is* not religious Jewish practice on earth today that isn't Talmudic"

      To say that the Rabbinic interpretation of Oral Torah is the ONLY way is to say that Yeshua's interpretation of Oral Torah has been OVERRULED by the Rabbis and Sages.

      This is an error, sir. You need to pray about this and reconsider what you've just said. There's NO WAY ON EARTH OR HEAVEN that the Rabbis can overrule Yeshua's interpretation of the Oral Torah.

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    2. "James, it's a historical fact that first century Judaism was pluriform and knew nothing of a so-called "normative" Judaism."

      Flavius Josephus wrote the following on the authority that Pharisees had among the people when it came to doctrines, rituals and worship (see words in bold): 'Now, for the Pharisees, they live meanly, and despise delicacies in diet; and they follow the conduct of reason; and what that prescribes to them as good for them they do; and they think they ought earnestly to strive to observe reason's dictates for practice. They also pay a respect to such as are in years; nor are they so bold as to contradict them in any thing which they have introduced; and when they determine that all things are done by fate, they do not take away the freedom from men of acting as they think fit; since their notion is, that it hath pleased God to make a temperament, whereby what he wills is done, but so that the will of man can act virtuously or viciously. They also believe that souls have an immortal rigor in them, and that under the earth there will be rewards or punishments, according as they have lived virtuously or viciously in this life; and the latter are to be detained in an everlasting prison, but that the former shall have power to revive and live again; on account of which doctrines they are able greatly to persuade the body of the people; and whatsoever they do about Divine worship, prayers, and sacrifices, they perform them according to their direction; insomuch that the cities give great attestations to them on account of their entire virtuous conduct, both in the actions of their lives and their discourses also.' (Flavius Josephus. Antiquities of the Jews. Book XVIII, chapter 1.3"

      "here's NO WAY ON EARTH OR HEAVEN that the Rabbis can overrule Yeshua's interpretation of the Oral Torah."

      Which of Yeshua's "oral interpretations" are being overruled by rabbis?

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    3. Gene,

      (1) "The most outstanding difference between the pre- and post- 70 periods is the pluralism of the halakhic environment, with respect to both doctrine and practice, which characterized the pre-70 period," Pluralistic Halakhah by Paul Heger;

      (2) "The Pharisees, in order to reduce the hardship involved in the prohibition of transfer of goods, have enacted 'the application of Erub' (a formal merging of estates is created by placing a quantity of food a) 2000 cubits from the town boundary, so as to extend the Sabbath limit by that distance, b) in a room or in a court-yard to enable all the residents to carry to and fro in the court-yard on the Sabbath)--an enactment circumventing the rigourous Sabbath law." pg. 76 The Pharisees and the Teacher of Nazareth by Asher Finkel

      "And he [Yeshua] said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition," Mark 7:9.

      Do you need me to continue? I could do this all day long.

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    4. Peter, I'll take the eyewitness Mr. Josephus over Heger and Finkel any day.

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    5. That Josephus quote does nothing. It says that people respected the Pharisees. What does that prove? Oh, I see, you think this proves that the Pharisees were the true authority all along and not the Sanhedrin. That's absurd and not worth responding to.

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    6. ""And he [Yeshua] said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition," Mark 7:9."

      And your point? Did A. Paul the Pharisee who claimed to violate NO TRADITIONS OF THE FATHERS (Acts 28:17) also reject the commandments of G-d? Or, perhaps Yeshua was speaking of specific individuals here not of the whole group?

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  15. You do that by trying to strip the Jewish people of their G-d given right to interpret the Torah, which is their inheritance. Amazingly, you seem to think that the few decades old "One Law" Movement has somehow inherited that right!

    This is false, no one is trying to strip Jewish people of their right to govern their own congregations. Instead we are pointing out the the fact that the Torah specifies who has the authority to govern the body or the religion as a whole, and no one has that right today, and thus Boaz claims are false... You are either ignorant of this fact or purposely creating this distortion.

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    1. "Torah specifies who has the authority to govern the body or the religion as a whole, and no one has that right today"

      Do you purport to know who has the authority in Judaism, Zion? Stick to the One Law religion that you represent - why meddle in something that does not concern you directly? Is it because you, like Peter here, believe that the One Law Movement has replaced Judaism as the new arbiter of the Jewish Halacha and seek to start culling the "original Oral Torah" from it?

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    2. "Supersessionoia."

      People should indeed be concerned about Superessionism because it has been proven to be so destructive. All Christians and Jews should have "Supersessionoia".

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    3. Do you purport to know who has the authority in Judaism, Zion?

      I am arguing for scripture, regardless of religion(whether Christianity or Judaism). Boaz's claims go towards gentiles and jews such as those in One Law who do not accept Oral tradition as authoritative, and are likened to Korach... he is stating that the body is governed by Oral tradition when it comes to Torah observance... This is where improper authority is being applied. Even my local reform synagogue will tell you that they do not accept the Oral tradition as authoritative, and they make up more of Judaism than orthodox. It does not matter if they accept some of the Oral tradition, as a whole they do not accept it per their congregation. But we are speaking towards a body of people as a whole, not simply your small congregation.

      Stick to the One Law religion that you represent - why meddle in something that does not concern you directly?

      We as believers in the Messiah are one Body, we are not multiple different religions, anything that effects the body should effect us all. But it is telling to see you do not consider us as part of the same family.

      Is it because you, like Peter here, believe that the One Law Movement has replaced Judaism as the new arbiter of the Jewish Halacha and seek to start culling the "original Oral Torah" from it?

      No, instead I believe like Peter, that since there is no overhead (ruling body) as described in the Torah, that no single rule of any group or congregation or local community can call the shots for the whole body, such as the Oral traditions.

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  16. "why meddle in something that does not concern you directly? "

    Why don'y you tell it to Boaz the goy?

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    1. "Why don'y you tell it to Boaz the goy?"

      The "goy", eh? It's amazing that Gentile believers in Hebrew Roots circles put up with your "anti-gentilism", Dan. I suppose the old adage of "the enemy of my enemies is my friend" is true. And then people wonder why many OL non-Jews have such a low view of their Gentile identity and insist on being called "former Gentiles"?

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    2. So, are you still going to tell it to Boaz the goy, or not?

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    3. The "goy", eh? It's amazing that Gentile believers in Hebrew Roots circles put up with your "anti-gentilism", Dan. I suppose the old adage of "the enemy of my enemies is my friend" is true. And then people wonder why many OL non-Jews have such a low view of their Gentile identity and insist on being called "former Gentiles"?

      I am fine with being a gentile or a goy, makes no difference to me, I am actually proud of being a gentile, Dan sees gentiles as equal members, this cannot be said of your groups where gentiles like Boaz and Derek, feel the need to no longer be who God created them as, and become fake Jews... That is called an identity crisis, that needs to be addressed in BE and DIT groups, I need to write a book on it.

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  17. Peter, I hope you don't mind me posting a comment that I posted on James latest blog post, I just wanted it to be shared and he seems to have deleted it or ignored it.

    I am not trying to poke at you James, but you have said before that you were part of One Law for what 10 years? But at the same time I think it is safe to say now, that you never actually understood One Law and still do not, by your own admission of not understanding the covenants.
    I read what you wrote and it is good you are considering this, as it is the beginning to understanding your place in God’s covenants, especially as a gentile.

    Tim Hegg, who is a scholar and writes extensively on much of this, has a lot to offer. If you want a good assessment check out some of his articles at Torah Resource Then go to Articles in English. Tim Hegg also did an Asessement of Divine Invitation, which you can also read, it addresses many of these issues, and you can see it from a One Law perspective…

    Best of luck!


    For those who follow these blog post, I wanted to share this for those who want more information, seriously consider Tim Hegg's articles and writings, consider that most of the people who are making these arguments do not even know the argument, and consider it from a much more accurate view.

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    1. Zion, when did you publish the reference to Tim Hegg on my blog. It if was just now, I haven't seen it.

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    2. I did this morning, it confirmed that it sent, but I guess there was a glitch?

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    3. Sorry, Zion. I've seen other comments but nothing from you. Please resend. Thanks.

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  18. Gene said, Do you purport to know who has the authority in Judaism, Zion?

    Zion said, I am arguing for scripture, regardless of religion (whether Christianity or Judaism).

    Certainly, we can't set aside the authority of scripture and I don't think that's being suggested by anyone. But as I've said many times before (just today, as a matter of fact), we don't have raw, unfiltered access to scripture, even if we can read the oldest existing texts in their original languages. If we did, then we'd probably have one Jewish/Christian religion period. But human beings don't work that way for many reasons.

    We can't access what the Bible is telling us without interpreting it and different groups of human beings interpret the Bible in different, sometimes wildly different ways. This is why there are multiple versions of both Christianity and Judaism, because different religious authorities and scholars (and sometimes just plain folks) interpret the Bible using different lenses, perspectives, traditions, and biases.

    It's an illusion to say that there is no human authority that we refer to in our religious lives. Most churches have a Pastoral staff and Board of Directors that function as authorities over the church. So do most synagogues. Many Christian denominations have a "mother church" of some sort that sets the standard for theology and doctrine for all the churches they oversee. The Chabad has a structure whereby they send Rabbis to many nations with a standard mission and message.

    Each religious community acknowledges some human authority and some set of documentation that defines their beliefs and their practice. In religious Judaism, the authority for halachah is set generally by the Talmud, although this is much more complex a process than I have space to describe here.

    Imagine that instead of the Jewish authority being interrupted with the destruction of the Second Temple (or whenever you think that Jewish authority ceased to exist, Zion), it evolved. Christianity has certainly evolved considerably in the nearly 2,000 years since it was passed into the realm of Gentile administration and control. Why couldn't Judaism also evolve? Remember, the Temple, priesthood, and Sanhedrin were all swept away when the Romans destroyed the Temple in 70 CE. The Jews as a people could have become extinct as a result but instead, the system of Jewish religious authority developed to accommodate these tremendous losses and by the grace of God, the Jewish people have survived and even thrived.

    I mentioned earlier that a common Gentile tactic to disrupt and even to destroy Jewish communities and Judaism, (thank God, they didn't succeed) was to burn all the copies of the Talmudic writings. The Talmud is the blueprint for social and religious life in Judaism, interpreting the Torah relative to exile in the diaspora and even anticipating life in Israel upon the return of the Messiah and the restoration of the Temple.

    All of you out there reading this who aren't Jewish, don't sweat it. The Talmud isn't for you. No one is telling you to come under its authority. I mean, it's not like you are supposed to live a Jewish lifestyle or something (oh wait!).

    But for religious Jews, the Talmud has sustained them as a people for twenty centuries under all sorts of harsh and impossible circumstances. Sure, the halachah for the Ashkenaz is different than for the Sefards, and there are other adaptations to Talmud as well, but the essense of what it is to be a religious Jew, even to this day, is the Talmud. Frankly, there are very few people in this conversation, including me, who are qualified to speak of this or even to understand it. Gene is probably the only Jew here to lives out a wholly Jewish life according to the halachah of his people and in accordance with thousands of years of tradition.

    Who are you and me that we should say, "you're doing it wrong?"

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    1. "Gene is probably the only Jew here to lives out a wholly Jewish life according to the halachah of his people and in accordance with thousands of years of tradition."

      That would be nice if I was that good in my observance as you think I am, James:)

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    2. Gene, compared to the rest of us, I can only believe that you've got the inside track. The details of your observance are between you and God.

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    3. You need to go back and read again, there was never an argument against authority in general, it is more specific, the argument was against a central ruling authority(authority for a body of people as a whole) and that being the Talmud concerning Torah observant life. Gene and his congregation can do whatever they want, any local congregation and community can do that, but that is not the argument.

      Boaz likened Gentiles and Jews who are part of One Law, to those of Korah for not accepting Oral tradition as authoritative in Torah observance, this makes it my issue and a lot of others as well, he is stating that Messianic Gentiles and obviously Jews are to be governed by Oral tradition instead of our local communities and local leaders, and if we don't, the Jew and Gentiles are stripping Jews of their God given authority(Jews stripping Jews as well, sounds plausible, Dan stop it!, lol). The only established central rule of authority that can apply today to the overall covenant members, is that which is simply defined in the Torah, the objectionable matters and confusing matters cannot be ruled on the body as a whole, without the proper established central ruling body in Israel as the Torah teaches, thus we are left with only community based authority, like we see in Judaism today and Christianity alike.

      The rest of the arguments about Gentiles think they know better than Jews or Gentiles think they can throw away Judaism, is a the logical fallacy of appealing to emotions.

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    4. "Boaz likened Gentiles and Jews who are part of One Law, to those of Korah for not accepting Oral tradition as authoritative in Torah observance"

      Zion, that's a total mischaracterization of what Boaz said and I've seen this repeated by Peter and you (perhaps you read Peter's comment on the transcripts of Boaz speech that I put up and that's how this got embedded in your brain.) The Korah analogy was made to draw attention to the phenomenon that certain Hebrew Roots / One Law Gentiles are not content in being Gentiles, but want to have the Torah responsibilities of Jews as well. They want to be Israelites, just like Korah wanted to be a Kohen! That's the crux of the Korah analogy - this has nothing to do with "Oral Torah", which is a wholly different topic that Boaz went into.

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    5. Gene, this is what Boaz said:

      One Law replaced the Jewish rabbis and sages with self-appointed Gentiles who believe that they are divinely sanctioned to interpret Torah outside of the Jewish context. Whatever conclusion they come to are given a greater weight than those of the Jewish halachic authorities. That can be compared to the rebellion of Korah in the wilderness.

      But the whole argument is approached with an assumption. Gentiles in One Law not content with being Gentile, is false, take me for example, :D. He bases this also on another assumption, that the only people who are responsible for keeping Torah are those who are Jewish and those who "become Jews", there is no such thing as gentiles as full covenant members in his book... It is people like Boaz who is not content with being a Gentile, that he is now a fake Jew. That is not being content. By the way, I read the manuscript straight from your blog.

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  19. Zion said, The only established central rule of authority that can apply today to the overall covenant members, is that which is simply defined in the Torah, the objectionable matters and confusing matters cannot be ruled on the body as a whole, without the proper established central ruling body in Israel as the Torah teaches, thus we are left with only community based authority, like we see in Judaism today and Christianity alike.

    OK, I think I see the problem here. Boaz, if I'm not mistaken, was addressing authentic Jewish observance within the content of Messianic Judaism. If you, I, or anyone else, claims to be operating within the context of a Judaism, there is a serious problem with rejecting the Talmud which, as I said before, is the defining document for practicing Judaism. If you reject the Talmud or substantially alter it to conform better with the expectations of your community, you are exiting Judaism as a religious practice.

    You could say that this is what the Christian church did early on in "Gentilizing" the teachings of Jesus, and perhaps this is what One Law is doing and should do. In seeking to reconnect to the "original church" so to speak, One Law must jump backward in time, leaping completely over 2,000 years of Jewish history. I'm not sure such a jump will be successful since we know so little about how Gentiles behaved and worshiped during the time of Paul, but there's nothing stopping you from trying.

    But, you will not be a "Judaism" in any sense of the term. As long as you don't call yourself a Judaism, then I don't think there's a problem. In that case, One Law becomes a religious tradition loosely based on elements of Christianity and Judaism but not able to claim Judaism on one side, and generally rejecting the label of Christianity on the other (although maintaining the core elements of the faith, such as belief in Jesus as the Son of God, born of a virgin, and so on).

    If you're not practicing Judaism, please dispense with the Talmud as you will. If you're claiming to practice a Judaism but reject what has been the heart of Judaism for nearly 2,000 years, then you're not doing what you think you are doing. You can't claim to practice a "Jewish" religious form and at the same time, reject "Judaism" and all that defines it, especially if the people making up the "rules" are not Jewish.

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  20. OK, I think I see the problem here. Boaz, if I'm not mistaken, was addressing authentic Jewish observance within the content of Messianic Judaism. If you, I, or anyone else, claims to be operating within the context of a Judaism, there is a serious problem with rejecting the Talmud which, as I said before, is the defining document for practicing Judaism. If you reject the Talmud or substantially alter it to conform better with the expectations of your community, you are exiting Judaism as a religious practice.

    Reform and Conservative reject the Talmud on many levels, so I guess by your conclusion they cannot claim any form of Judaism either? You might want to be more clear here.

    If you say someone cannot claim Christianity because of not lining up with the 'majority' or Judaism not lining up with Orthodox, is a bit arrogant and naive.

    Lets finish the conclusion though, since for 2000 years authentic Judaism has rejected Yeshua as the Messiah, then Messianic Judaism cannot be a Judaism in "any sense of the term". Your definitions are hypocritical and lacking.

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  21. Zion, the Talmud is a vast and enormously complex collection of information (I'm sure you know all this but maybe not everyone reading these comments do) and it is applied differently by different sects of Judaism. Certainly, there are different applications between Askenaz and Sefard Jews (what each group considers "leaven" during Passover, for example) as well as, how Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform Judaism sees and applies Talmud. I know for a fact that my local Reform shul has a Ritual Committee that establishes standards for the various mitzvot, but this would be at odds with how Orthodox Judaism more conservatively approaches Talmud.

    But just because normative Judaism in all of its flavors addresses Talmud in different ways, this neither invalidates Talmud as a whole nor allows Gentile (One Law) Christianity to alter or eliminate Talmud and still call itself a "Judaism."

    Yes, Judaism has rejected Jesus as Messiah for nearly 2,000 years (there was a resurgence of "Gentile Christians" in the 19th century and there may have been Jews who were "Messianic" until sometime in the 3rd century so it hasn't been quite 20 centuries), but that doesn't mean Judaism surrendered its right to define itself and that we Gentiles have taken over.

    If you're suggesting the Messianic Judaism cannot be a Judaism on that basis, then One Law has no claim on calling itself a "Judaism" either. I guess, based on that, we're all "Christians" and we might as well get used to it. Personally, I have no problem with that label.

    On the other hand, I really do think that, in its ideal, Messianic Judaism is a form of Judaism or it's growing in that direction. The vast, vast majority of Talmud doesn't address the identity of the Messiah, so applying the vast majority of Talmud to the halachic Jews who are Messianic shouldn't be much of a concern. As you mentioned, different sects of Judaism apply the Talmud differently so why can't Messianic Judaism apply Talmud to be consistent with faith in Yeshua as Moshiach. Certainly the Chabad has no problems believing the Rebbe (Rabbi M. M. Schneerson) is the Messiah and will be resurrected and yet they still apply Talmud to their community.

    Zion, you seem to like to call people hypocrites when you disagree with them. I don't think you're a hypocrite, I just disagree with you. Is name calling really necessary?

    Oh, did you ever resubmit that comment on my blog? I haven't seen it yet.

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  22. If you're suggesting the Messianic Judaism cannot be a Judaism on that basis, then One Law has no claim on calling itself a "Judaism" either. I guess, based on that, we're all "Christians" and we might as well get used to it. Personally, I have no problem with that label.

    That was my point, by your very definition, not one of us has a claim on Judaism, but also by your very definition, none of us have a claim on Christianity either. Thus I am not calling you a hypocrite as a person, because we are all hypocrites in some way or another, I am calling what you are claiming to be hypocritical, it is contradicting in terms. No matter the group of MJ, HR, OL, etc, we all have one thing in common, and that is that we buck the grain of both of these religions and at the same time embrace them, that both have a hard time recognizing and accepting many of our teachings and doctrines... One being the Messiah, One being Torah Observance, One being Supersessionism, One being restoration, etc... these do not line up or carry very well considering the last 2000 years with either group, and so we are all borrowing from both sides of the table and embracing them at the same time, it is going to bring a conflict in definitions no matter what. I choose to associate with both, as I find my faith and practice in both of these religions, it does not mean I agree 100% with both sides, but we are all still a family.

    I will retry to submit my opinion on your blog, thanks.

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  23. That was my point, by your very definition, not one of us has a claim on Judaism, but also by your very definition, none of us have a claim on Christianity either.

    I must have missed that in my definition. Are you referring to this?

    If you're suggesting the Messianic Judaism cannot be a Judaism on that basis, then One Law has no claim on calling itself a "Judaism" either. I guess, based on that, we're all "Christians" and we might as well get used to it.

    As I'm sure you read, I went on to say that Judaism can indeed refer to itself as Judaism (including Messianic Judaism in my opinion). Christianity at its core is the worship of the Jewish Messiah which is largely thought of as a non-Jewish religion these days.

    No religious form is static. We call the Bible unchangable and immutable, but our interpretation changes over time. Bible scholars, both Jewish and Christian, continue to do research and publish their results. Historians and archaeologists also continue to do work and make discoveries that have an impact on our faith. To say that Christianity and Judaism in the early 21st century is wholly disconnected from its founders and forefathers just because it has developed over time means that no one could have any "authentic" religion unless they could prove that it was an unaltered version of the original.

    Frankly, that's kind of nuts. Do you honestly believe that the Judaism(s) of the Second Temple period were identical to how Torah was practiced in the days of Moses, Joshua, David, or Solomon? Probably not. Does that make late Second Temple Judaism invalid because it didn't operate exactly the way it did when Moses led the Children of Israel through the wilderness? I hardly think so.

    Our Christianity today isn't the same as it was when Paul was walking and talking and breathing on this earth. That doesn't mean our faith is invalid or the label "Christian" has no meaning. Certainly things could be better and I believe things are getting better. I just got done publishing a four-part series where I made some conclusions about how we can get better as disciples of the Master.

    I don't have a problem calling myself a Christian. I don't have a problem having faith in Christ and acting out that faith in my day-to-day life. I am who God created me to be and while I am a flawed and imperfect human being, in my own way and with my own gifts, I walk the path God set before me. Like Judaism and Christianity, I too am evolving as I progress through my journey. Like Christianity and Judaism, I rely, not on becoming perfect in some final form under my own steam, but on the return of the Messiah, who will perfect us all as our King.

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  24. "(including Messianic Judaism in my opinion). "

    Maybe we should start calling it "Messianic not Judaism?" Since 90% of its participants are not Jews?

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  25. "(including Messianic Judaism in my opinion). "

    Maybe we should start calling it "Messianic not Judaism?" Since 90% of its participants are not Jews?

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  26. I have a problem being called a Christian. A couple of reasons being that I don't want to be associated or linked to a murderous, evil man who killed millions! Why knowing he did this (as well as other reasons) in the name of "Christianity" secondly Jesus himself didn't call himself a Christian but the Way, Thruth and Life, so I choose to call myself follower of these. Having understood that Christians follow, or borrowed pagan practices like Easter, Christmas as nice as they are they have nothing to do with the Messiah. I don't think at all I have a problem with my identity of being a gentile whatsoever but having come to the above knowledge why would I choose to represent them? I say no for me and my family," we will serve the Lord". I may still believe many Christians doctrines but slowly and surely the Holy Spirit is cleansing me from man made traditions as in the case of Christianity practices and unbiblical beliefs I once practiced and pagan to boot! I know very little compared to you my brothers regarding this OL, TL, TH, etc etc, but what I do know is that I will no longer be called a Christian but for the sake of the younger ones I will gently state my reasons if asked, some may
    be offended but there at times truth offends and carrying the responsibility and
    knowledge I will be judged for what I know and understand and knowing my G-d is a
    Holy G-d, yes I choose to not be associated. I'm a little off track with the topic and somewhat late but felt it important my say on this to be heard. My heart is so much for the Jewish people but there are obstacles that only G-d can remove on either side, it's simple for me but I have no choice for my understanding is basic on this very important matters. Aurora

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  27. *these . Writing from my iPhone so couldn't go over some Grammatical errors. Thanks for reading. Aurora

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    1. Aurora,

      I completely agree with your reasoning on why you don't want to identify as Christian. I also like that you say "but for the sake of the younger ones I will gently state my reasons if asked..."

      We should see the Christians as members of our own family who are in need of hearing the truth. We should indeed be gentle with them.

      On a side note, the Baptist church in our city is hosting a Hannukah party! Isn't that something? I really think G-d is at work with the Christians. It's amazing to see!

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