Monday, May 13, 2013
Should a Non-Jew Aspire to be a Pharisee Like Paul?
I'm not even going to try to be politically correct. I'm not interested in censoring what is on my heart. The fact is that "Pharisee" is not a bad word. Paul was quite unashamed to be considered a Pharisee. And what was it that Pharisees were known for? Being zealous for Jewish traditions.
Contrary to popular opinion, Paul didn't stop being zealous for the traditions (Gal. 1). We know this because of Acts 21: there was a FALSE report that Paul was against the Torah AND Tradition. So the elders told Paul go to the Temple and prove that these reports were false. Paul was STILL zealous for the traditions! He was a Hebrew of the Hebrews! (Not some sort of Hellenized Jew)
Furthermore! Paul didn't have a problem with the Judaization of non-Jews (Gal. 2) but rather he specifically had a problem with Peter's hypocrisy. Let me say that again: Paul wasn't against Judaizing. He WAS against the false teaching that non-Jews could only join G-d's people via ritual circumcision because this was a total distortion of the grace message of the gospel.
In fact, Paul commanded the non-Jews to put into practice EVERYTHING that they saw in him:
"Whatever you have seen in me, put it into practice" (Philippians 4:9)
Do I expect a backlash for writing this? Sure. I've given the other side some great ammunition here. And I really don't care. I care about the MAJORITY of the Messianic Movement who are just like me: Jews and non-Jews who are zealous for the Torah and Tradition! Do people like Gene even realize what's going on? I've been contacted all week by a non-Jewish group who is eager to celebrate Shavuot this week! Non-Jews! Praise G-d who is turning hearts to follow His Torah!
Thank you L-rd for Shavu'ot! Thank you for including my brothers, who were not a people, in your People! May you change hearts and strengthen the brotherhood at this time!
Posted by Peter at 8:00 AM