Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Sharing One-Law: Three Important Things to Know

Would you like to be more effective as a One-Law Messianic Jew or Non-Jew in sharing your beliefs with others?

Here's three skills that you must develop if you want to be more effective:

(1) Profiling Your Audience:  Are they anti-Judaic?  Pro-Judaic?  Pro-Israel?  Anti-Israel?  Torah-positive?  Torah-negative?  Are they One-Law Inclusionists?  That is, do they believe that non-Jews are members of Israel, compelled by the Ruach to learn and keep applicable commandments? Are they Two-Law Exclusionists?  That is, do they believe that non-Jews are excluded from the People of Israel and only instructed to keep a second-class version of the Commandments?

Above all, understand that, by and large, the system of Christianities is anti-Judaic and thus will always reject the message of One Law--as a system.  That said, there will be exceptions on the individual and congregational level.

(2) Calibrating to Your Audience:   Don't explain One-Law to someone who is not ready.  If it's a Christian, you might want to stay under the radar as much as possible unless they are very pro-Israel and acquainted with Jewish observances.

Example 1:  I met up with a Christian friend recently who is very pro-Israel.  He's a genius, legal background, oversaw Airforce J.A.G. core as a GS-15.  So this was an individual with whom I felt comfortable sharing the One-Law message.

Example 2:  I spoke recently with a Christian who runs a Messianic-styled fellowship at a church.  I profiled him, found that he used to work with Jews for Jesus, that his mission is to host Messianic-styled services with the ultimate purpose of attracting Jews to Christianity.  He was not anti-Judaic (in some ways) yet he was very Torah-negative.  As a Dispensationalist he believed very strongly that the Law has been abolished.  Against my better judgment I did engage him a little bit regarding the Torah-positive prophecies.  But I kept things brief and very respectful, knowing that his background would ultimately prohibit him from accepting the One-Law message.

(3) Presenting to Your Audience:  Here's a few things that can be included (depending on your audience):


  • Establish credibility
  • Talk about your experiences with Messianic Judaism
  • Explain, if necessary, the history of the modern Messianic movement and how there are currently two camps within Messianic Judaism, One-Law and Two-Law, that One-Law teaches that the Covenant and Commandments are inclusive of non-Jews, that Two-Law teaches that non-Jews are excluded from the Covenant and relegated to a second-class version of the Commandments.
  • Explain the history of Christianity, how it is historically supersessionist and inherently (perhaps inextricably) anti-Judaic.  Explain why this is harmful.  Explain why One-Law is beneficial.
  • Explain key terms (e.g. Israel, Israel of G-d, Jew, Initiatory Circumcision, Ratificatory Circumcision, etc)
  • State the positions of Christians and Messianics with regard to the Covenant and Commandments, briefly summarizing your opponents case.
  • Make the case for One-Law:  (1) make the claim that non-Jews are included in Israel and be able to state Scriptural evidence; (2) make the claim that the Ruach compels non-Jewish (and Jewish) Believers to learn about and eventually keep the applicable Commandments, citing to Scriptural evidence.
  • Refute the opponent's position.
  • Summarize your best points.
  • Restate the benefits of your position, appeal to your audience's emotions (pathos), and make a call to action.











17 comments:

  1. If you don't mind, I would add the element of Jewish outreach in our goal of sharing One Law, an ultimate conclusion, that being encased in Gentiles provoking Jews to jealousy, as seen in Deut 32:21, Romans 10, and Romans 11. The vision is larger than gentiles in the Messiah living a Torah obedient life, reaping the blessings of the covenants, it is also, ultimately the goal to provoke the Jews to jealousy, as Paul says in Romans 11:14: if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them.

    So our vision is step one, restore the Torah back to the disciples of Yeshua, then comes the hopeful fulfillment of provocation, as was prophesied in Deuteronomy and part of Paul's mission. Something we have not witnessed in history.

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    1. Basically, gentiles have a responsibility to the Jewish people, we have a calling of provocation, when are we going to start fulfilling our calling?

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  2. What is it, Peter? Are we going to war or something? Are we now teaching tactics instead of Torah and theology? Most of the people in the OL movement do not understand it beyond being happy to wear Jewish garb...Education is the key....

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    1. Dan,

      (1)

      In-reach is great if you have anyone within reach who is Messianic. Most of us don't. Most of us are around Christians who scoff at the things we say. We have no brothers to encourage us (yes, online, but not in person). We receive only constant discouragement all day long.


      (2)

      Satan is constantly at war; he does not sleep. He's convincing the world to go against Israel. So we all need to be wakeful and vigilant! The days are approaching when Israel will have no allies whatsoever except for a handful of individuals spread thin across the globe.





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  3. I would see many more camps in MessyWorld than the ones you listed. While I agree that we should not seek to share certain things when a person isn't ready, we also don't need to gather disciples to follow us, rather than Yeshua, in order to justify our following his voice in the way we hear it. We don't have it all together either.

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  4. I feel that it is also important to demonstrate "hod", "majesty"; a stately dignity, seriousness and excellence of spirit that is balanced by humble empathy. We draw people to the virtues of the Messiah when we exemplify them ourselves. When we constantly focus on the differences between us and fail to ALSO build bridges on our points of commonality, we turn people away by an excessively negative outlook. Who wants to be us if we're constantly bickering? Thus the admonition to not pay attention to silly myths, endless genealogies (are you Jewish or Gentile?) that promote empty speculations. Instead we are to instruct in love from a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith. Some have deviated from this and have turned aside to constant, fruitless discussion out of an excessive desire to be teachers of Torah (1 Timothy 1:3-7). "Fruitless", in our case, should be defined as "how many people have been turned TO our point of view by our tactics"? If there are blessed few, then maybe it's time to reconsider our tactics. After all, we will be held accountable for the return on the Master's investment in us.

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    1. Cajun,

      Just so you know, if you ever think this blog is counter-productive, if it hasn't helped you at all, then I'll stop blogging immediately. If you think I'm a "bickerer" or that I engage in "fruitless discussion" then say the word and I'll delete this blog from the internet. I mean that. I have the highest respect for you.

      [I would do the same if Dan requested me to stop blogging. Or Hegg (or anyone at Torah Resource). Or McKee. All you guys carry the kill-switch for this blog. I'm serious.]

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    2. I think it is very productive, there will always be negative tones that come with anything, especially when it comes to what everyone deems "defending the truth", but our main focus should be on a vision that ultimately causes God's kingdom to grow, that being such as we said earlier, what is the ultimate purpose of One Law, simply to return Jews and Gentiles to the Torah(obedience to God), or to ultimately bring about the vision of the Jewish people coming to Yeshua. I believe this is the end goal of One Law anyways, a people who will truly keep God's commandments and in turn cause a provocation which will result in a fulfillment.

      So our focus should not always be trying to defend One Law theology, however being a 'more or less' Apologetic blog, that is going to be the major topics... so I understand that as well. Because these are issues people want answers too, in my community, we do not talk about most things found on this blog, it is a given, we focus on mission work and outreach... But we have to remember that people are seeking answers to these questions, they want to know where they stand, this is why there are so many arguments, the arguments are real and they need to be addressed, not pushed to the side...

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    3. I believe the blog has great potential but that it is bleeding that potentiality as the focus becomes ever more focused on the “us vs. them” dichotomy. As a lifelong warrior I’ve learned to not allow my opponent to dictate my strategy or define me.
      So what if others are wrong? Don’t the Scriptures teach us to rebuke fools once or twice then have nothing more to do with them? Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor, only fools insist on quarreling (Proverbs 20:3). We need to carefully consider the possible consequences and benefits (Proverbs 14:8, 16). Are we likely to change the “Two Law” people’s minds (Proverbs 18:2; 29:9)? If not, then what are the benefits (Proverbs 14:7)? Every argument against their view has been made over and over again. Set it out clearly and in an orderly fashion once and then move on. If someone was investigating Messianism and came across this site, would the recent conversations draw them in?
      Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely believe in apologetics (I’m teaching a class presently on the subject) and I have no problem with naming and exposing heretics and false teachers – ONCE OR TWICE (Titus 3:9-11). Then I let them be and allow the natural consequences arrive at Hashem’s leisure (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5).
      Why not focus instead on how our theology looks in practical life? Why not demonstrate the superiority of this view through superior living? My advice is to focus on how a sound marriage is to be built; how to overcome lashon hara; how to achieve kavanah or hitbodedut. Rather than be overly focused on opponents with false views, how much better to be focused on the Messiah and showing others how to better imitate Him.

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    4. Cajun,

      Just give me heads up then whenever a post strikes you as quarrelsome and I'll delete it. I try to imitate Yeshua. But I do so as an imperfect man.

      I'll delete whatever you wish and you don't even have to give a reason if you don't want to. Just say, "you might ought to delete this post" and I'll take care of the rest.

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    5. Zion,

      I feel the same way. I'm looking to put out as much helpful info as possible and start a few discussions. It's not gonna be perfect. But that's what feedback is for. I'll delete anything that you guys think is inappropriate.

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    6. If I was a visitor watching the dialog between Dan Benzvi and Anonymous I would be totally turned off of this blog and perhaps One Law Messianism.

      The conversation went completely and needlessly snarky. However, that's often what happens when the overall atmosphere becomes charged with constant criticism and looking at the negative. It happens in my own life if I get too burdened by my people's problems or if I start getting frustrated with ongoing issues. It gets like a missing tooth that you can't keep your tongue from poking at. A critical spirit becomes a habit that's difficult to break. That's why I try to preach two positive sermons for every hard or critical one I preach. It helps keep my and my people's minds from slipping into that mindset.

      If I may make a suggestion about this blog? My advice would be to take a certain period of time...say 4 months...and devote that time to developing the positive aspects of your theological views. Develop your basic soteriology, hamartiology, etc. Offer practical advice on how to start and grow a messianic congregation; on leadership; problem solving and handling crises etc. Help develop messianic leaders. After 4 months - see what the Spirit tells you.

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    7. Cajun,

      Thank you for your advice. I think you make a lot of great points. The way I typically blog is this:

      (1) discussing current events in the movement, anything that people should know about;

      (2) presenting information about the Holy Days as they come along;

      (3) presenting discussion topics usually in the form of excerpts from advanced books on the subject;

      (4) sharing my life, talking about my experiences as a Messianic who visits non-Messianic synagogues and visits Christian churches, etc;

      (5) equipping One Law Messianics with a strong Scriptural foundation for One Law;

      (6) providing a defense of our most foundational Theological views (especially Christology);

      (7) defending our position against specific assaults from anti-One-Law ministries;

      (8) sharing anything I learn with regard to practical matters (e.g. relationships, community formation, etc).

      Another big part of this blog is the value of free speech. Now, some people look only at the negative, singling out a conversation they don't like. But I try to point out the positive---many productive dialogues have arisen on this blog, people learning from engagement with different points of view.

      So I would encourage you to not focus only on the negatives. Don't just look at instances where several commenters take jabs at each other. Look at the conversations where men are talking about Torah together and learning together--this blog is loaded with such conversation where we make breakthroughs! I've learned enough from THESE types of conversations to fill a book! : )

      I get emails from people all over the world who have benefited from this blog, learning things, being encouraged by it. The fruit is there and it's global.

      There's people in India, Australia, Germany, etc, etc, who felt discouraged by false teachers from the UMJC, at the point of killing themselves (as indeed I was until I saw Dan Benzvi engage David Rudolph on some obscure site ages ago--I'll always love him for that). And when these people hear someone stick up for them, using Scripture to do it, it strengthens them.

      If there was no fruit from this blog then why do you visit it from week to week? Why do you incorporate these teachings (e.g. the Yom Kippur post) into your own local teachings?

      In some ways this blog is a snapshot of the broader Messianic movement. At times it's messy. But ultimately there has been some good to come out of it and G-d is still there despite all the mess. He's there because the format here is humble---anyone can chime in, offer corrections. I refer readers to go to various sites that offer different perspectives (including your own site). I even encourage people to visit the "other guys" sites, to not just listen to me since I don't know it all or have it all together. I'm just a simple guy: I love my wife and daughter, I love my brothers and sisters at church and synagogue, I love Israel, I love Torah, I love Yeshua. And I'm not perfect but at least I have that love and show it. It's because of that love that I desire to speak out against those who try to hurt my family.

      That said, I don't need this blog. If any brother tells me to delete it then I'll do it. It makes no difference to me. I only want to see Yeshua glorified in the Assembly of Believers.




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    8. I believe I have clearly stated that I appreciate this blog and the opportunities it offers to expand the Kingdom and better understand its culture.
      I feel that at a certain point an issue should be considered "asked and answered". We all, myself included (which is why I make myself answerable to a board of elders), must be wary of developing a "hobbyhorse", a pet issue to constantly promote or a pet enemy to constantly flog to show how superior we are to them. After all when we compare ourselves to other humans we demonstrate our lack of understanding (2 Corinthians 10:12).
      I also believe we should allow the Scriptures to offer a true measure of balance. In my attempt to teach the whole Word of God, I not only look at the topics and the books, but also at the treatment of a topic. If the Bible talks A LOT about an issue I talk a lot about it. Where the Bible is vague I remain vague. Where it is dogmatic, I am dogmatic. If the authors rarely spoke a certain way or used a certain technique I try to follow their example. My challenge is: compare how much of the text deals with the superiority of Hashem's mitzvoth and the Messiah and how little there were attacks on the heretical or the ignorant. Are we using the same proportions?

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    9. I would again like to issue a challenge that over the next six months those are willing to take the challenge never mention "Two Law" or "Two House" or their leaders or philosophy. Instead we diligently work at contributing to the necessary theological and ethical work of constructing a solid foundation in Messianism for those that will come behind us.
      I would gladly contribute regularly to the cause for a) I believe that we are on to something that is vital and extraordinary; b) I know that the need is great; c) I think that it would greatly benefit this particular space that has been dedicated to Hashem's glory.

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