Monday, March 18, 2013

The Problem of Supposed Jewishness


Anyone who has been in the Messianic movement long enough has had someone come up to them and say something like the following:

"So I've been doing some research on my family tree and I think I have Jewish ancestry"

I've heard versions of this story literally each time I've visited a Messianic fellowship this year.  So what's going on?  Are there that many Gentiles descended from Jews?  Or is there another, more compelling answer?

I'd like to make the case that many of these people are suffering from the problem of supposed Jewishness.  First, let me explain why it is in fact a problem if a Gentile mistakenly thinks he is Jewish via supposed Jewish ancestry (I'm obviously not talking about the ones who legitimately have Jewish ancestry).

Identification with a group (e.g. Jews) is only helpful when the group accepts you.  Thus, misidentification (e.g. thinking you're a Jew when you're not) can lead to a relational conflict between yourself and the group with which you mistakenly identify.  In short, misidentification leads to rejection, confusion, and unhappiness.

Okay, so why is this problem occurring.  What causes supposed Jewishness?  I would like to suggest that supposed Jewishness occurs when a Gentile awakens to his/her identity as an Israelite and they fail to realize that Israel is composed of both Jew and Gentile.

What prevents them from realizing that New Covenant Israel is composed of both Jew and Gentile?  They either don't have access to that teaching or they are victims of misleading teachings on covenants in the Bible.

So how to we solve this problem?  We simply need to teach our brothers and sisters the reality:  that through Yeshua's blood, Jew and Gentile not only become family but they become joined to the New Covenant that effectively renews the Sinaitic Covenant along with Sinaitic Torah.  They need to understand that the covenantal community is a community of One Law.  This latter point is corroborated by all of the Sages of non-Messianic Judaism and by Scripture itself.

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