Sunday, June 2, 2013

The One-Law Position on Jewish Distinctiveness [UPDATED]





So I received a voicemail today from a reader who had some questions.  I'm paraphrasing:


  • Is it preferred that Jews serve as elders rather than Non-Jews?
  • How does One-Law view the children of a mixed union (a Jewish and Non-Jewish couple)?
  • How does one reconcile the need for Jewish distinctiveness with Paul's statement "...there is neither Jew nor Greek" (Gal. 3:28)?


I'm going to think about these questions for the rest of the day.  In the meantime, feel free to put in your two cents.  All opinions welcome (not just One-Law).

Shalom,

Peter

2 comments:

  1. Well, I don't speak for One-Law but I'll put in my two cents:

    Re: "Is it preferred that Jews serve as elders rather than Non-Jews?"

    In the Apostolic Writings we're given qualifications for elders...and unless I'm missing something I don't see any place where ethnicity is a determinative factor. So I just don't see any evidence that preference should be given to ethnic Jews. But perhaps someone has a different view?

    Re: How does One-Law view the children of a mixed union (a Jewish and Non-Jewish couple?

    I believe that One-Law should respect and incorporate traditional halacha on matters of Jewish identity. But that's just my personal position.

    Re: "How does one reconcile the need for Jewish distinctiveness with Paul's statement "...there is neither Jew nor Greek" (Gal. 3:28)?"

    I'm sure that McKee or Hegg or any other One-Law teacher has explained this better...but I think Paul is merely saying that we're spiritually equal in status. But, of course, practical differences remain. Jews were allowed to go inside the Temple; Non-Jews were not.

    The real question is this: should we try to erase Jewish identity? I hope the answer is obvious that we should do no such thing. What reasons would we have to purposefully erase Jewish identity? There's no conceivable reason. And there's plenty of reasons to preserve it. Here's an analogy (sorry if it is cliche):

    There's an older brother and a younger brother. They both get saved. Should the younger brother just pretend then that they are both of equal age?

    I think that the younger brother would be served by respecting the practical reality that the older brother is older and more experienced, that he has known their father for a longer period of time and is more familiar with his ways. etc.

    ReplyDelete
  2. In the Apostolic Writings we're given qualifications for elders...and unless I'm missing something I don't see any place where ethnicity is a determinative factor. So I just don't see any evidence that preference should be given to ethnic Jews. But perhaps someone has a different view?

    I agree, I think the focus would have been on whether or not they were adequate to be a teacher/leader... But some how in the midst of separating from all things Jewish, Christianity was created, and not what the Apostles had in mind, the leadership whether Jew or Gentile, would have acknowledged the idea of One in Messiah, without destroying the realities of distinctions and upheld a unity of mixed Jew and Gentile congregations, unlike what we see in Christianity and MJ circles today, where distinctions are either completely blurred or so powerful that Ephesians 2 simply cannot be realized.

    ReplyDelete