Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Derek has Defined Messianic Judaism (and now my head hurts)

[Here is the post:  CLICK HERE FOR LINK]

Derek has offered a definition of Messianic Judaism...or has he?  I can't really tell what he's saying.  Messianic Judaism is for the family of Jews...oh, wait, no, it also includes Gentiles who support the vision of Messianic Judaism.  Huh?  

I think everyone should discuss this in an uncensored environment (Derek censors all opposing viewpoints on his blog;  here, on the other hand, we welcome all points of view). 

Before the discussion begins...

Here's something to consider:  isn't the whole purpose of covenant to extend kinship (i.e. family-ness) to those who are not kin? (see Frank Cross below for further explanation).  

"Kinship [in Semitic tribal groups] was conceived in terms of one blood flowing through the veins of the kinship group...Kindred were of one flesh, one bone.  'The whole kindred conceives of itself as having a single life.'  On meeting Jacob, Laban says, 'Surely thou art my bone and flesh [basar].'  Tribesmen of Israel meeting David at Hebron introduce their negotiations with him by saying, 'Behold we are thy bone and thy flesh.'...Rooted in the concept of kinship was the obligation to protect one's kindred...The obligation of the kinsman is also to uphold the welfare of his fellow kinsman....
     We have noted that the language of love (ahabah) is kinship language, the bond that holds together those in intimate relationships, the relationships of family and kindred.  Hesed ('loyalty') too, I should argue, originally was a term designating that loyal and loving behavior appropriate to a kinship relationship...Kinsfolk are expected to be loving, just and generous to one another and not to demand strictly equivalent returns of one another.'....
     The kinship bonds that give unity and cohesion to the lineage and family in tribal societies become attenuated as tribal societies become more complex....
     In tribal societies there were legal mechanisms or devices--we might even say legal fictions--by which outsiders, non-kin, might be incorporated into the kinship group.  Those incorporated, an individual or a group, gained fictive kinship and shared the mutual obligations and privileges of real kinsmen....
     In Israel, contrary to many primitive band or tribal societies, the legal compact of marriage introduced the bride into the kinship group or family.  This is the proper understanding of Genesis 2:24:  'Therefore a man will abandon his father and his mother and cleave to his wife, and [the two of them] will become one flesh.'  Flesh refers not to carnal union but to identity of 'flesh,' kinship, 'bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh.' ...
     Adoption of sons or daughters is another means of ingrafting non-kin or distant kin into the lineage.  The practice was widespread in the Near East and in Israel.  Its formulae survive (often in secondary settings):  'I will be to him a father and he will become my son,' or 'my son are thou, today I have begotten thee,' or 'a child is born to us, a son is given to us.'
     Oath and covenant, in which the deity is witness, guarantor, or participant, is also a widespread legal means by which the duties and privileges of kinship may be extended to another individual or group, including aliens.  In describing early Arab tribalism, Robertson Smith writes:
'The commingling of blood [in the oath and covenant ritual] by which two men became brothers or two kins allies, and the [legal] fiction of adoption by which a new tribesman was feigned to be the veritable son of a member of the tribe, are both evidences of the highest value, that the Arabs were incapable of conceiving any absolute social obligations of social unity which was not based on kinship; for a legal fiction is always adopted to reconcile an act with a principle too firmly established to be simply ignored.'
     Kinship and Tribal Federation
     Early Israel must be designated a tribal league or federation....
     ...We may describe the social organization of the league from three standpoints.
     The league was a military organization....
     The league was also a kinship organization, a covenant of families and tribes organized by the creation or identification of a common ancestor and related by segmented genealogies.  Such genealogies are in substantial part constructs, based as much on 'kinship-in-law' as real kinship...The league in ideal form was conceived as twelve tribes, related at once by covenant and kinship.
     The...league was also a religious organization or society..."


  1. You brought up a great point, he points out the definition of Judaism, which is for Jews, then points out how non-jews can be part of Messianic Judaism, and thus he just disqualified Messianic Judaism as a Judaism... quite funny!

    Well, we can never forget that Derek is not a real Jew and that a bogus conversion won't change anything either. So his own definition hurts his cause of defining, "what Messianic Judaism is", fake Jews, who are in leadership positions of defining what Messianic Judaism is, is probably the worst of all. I almost feel bad being defined as a 'Messianic', because of gentiles who take on fake conversions... I was talking with our local Chabad Rabbi, about how there are gentiles going through fake conversions, trying to fit into Judaism, from the camps of Messianic Judaism, he was shocked and I told him it was very disturbing for me as well as a gentile. They do this out of an identity crisis... thankfully there are more who are comfortable being gentiles, than deceptively trying to be a Jew.

  2. The funny thing is that he says:

    "Over time, and with good information and dialogue and relationship, most Messianic Gentiles have become quite comfortable in their own skin..."

    Apparently good information and dialogue and relationship didn't help in his case! He was so uncomfortable being a Gentile that he had to find a way to start calling himself a Jew! : )

    It would be laughable except that the UMJC has crowned him with such titles as "rabbi" "chair of the education committee" "member of the rabbinical council" etc etc. This power makes him extremely dangerous now.

  3. Dangerous to who? don't get yourself so worked out over a joke, will you?

  4. Dan,

    It may be a joke but it's a pretty sick one as I reflect on the people who left Tikvat Israel (a UMJC synagogue) so that they could reject Yeshua and join Temple Ahabah and Beth El and all these others synagogues nearby. And then I think of my non-Messianic Jewish/Israeli friends who refuse to be a part of Messianic Judaism because of this "joke."

  5. Even the UMJC sees Derek's "conversion" as a joke.

  6. Okay, I am a bit confused. So why did they give him all these titles and a seat on their rabbinic counsel, when they claim it is only for Jews? Did he do some serious tuches kiss, of the right tucheses, of course? He is not even an academically qualified person. My understanding is that he has a B.S. degree in music?

    It was better back in the old days, despite the problems back then. We didn't have anyone calling themselves rabbi, gentiles did not call themselves Jewish....

    The thing is, I can't change these people, and I am identified with them whether I choose to or not.