Monday, December 30, 2013
My Thoughts on the Conversion Issue
Some musings from today...
Conversion in a Messianic context theoretically involves the following three things:
(1) Joining a religious group;
(2) Being initiated into a covenant;
(3) Receiving the right/duty to keep the Torah of Moses.
In theory, one would convert in order to do the three things listed above.
One of the central tenets of Inclusionist (i.e. One Law) Messianic Judaism, is that the Apostolic Writings teach that non-Jews join Israel when they come to believe in Yeshua. In other words, we believe that faith (not circumcision) initiates someone into Israel, the covenants, and the Torah.
But, unless I'm mistaken (which I readily concede is a possibility) there is no precedent for a non-Jew joining a specific tribe (e.g. Judah) within Israel. You can only join a specific tribe if your father belongs to that tribe. For example, the only thing that can make you a Levite is having a father who belongs to the tribe of Levi--and if he doesn't belong to that tribe then there's no way you can join that tribe.
The only thing a non-Jew can hope for is to join Israel--not a specific tribe within Israel.
So, speaking as a proponent of One-Law, it seems to me that for a Messianic non-Jew to undergo some sort of conversion (e.g. MJRC-style) is misguided. A Messianic non-Jew is already a member of Israel via Yeshua's blood, already initiated into the covenants, already obligated to keep the Law.
For all the reasons stated above, I see no reason why any Messianic should "convert" within Messianic Judaism. But if anyone disagrees then I encourage you to share your position with us.
Posted by Peter at 10:45 AM