Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Responding to James Pyles "Are Messianic Gentiles Korach?" Post

"So if any Gentile were to claim equal rights to the Sinai and New Covenants as members and citizens of Israel, it would be the height of hubris, and indeed, pride and arrogance are things that Korach has been accused of throughout the ages. If any of we Messianic Gentiles made such a demand, we’d be on par with Korach, cut from the same cloth," James Pyles, retrieved from: http://mymorningmeditations.com/2015/06/16/are-messianic-gentiles-korach/
I just have 2 quick points on this.  

First, if it's the sin of Korach to say that Gentile Believers are citizens in Israel then Paul would be guilty for writing Ephesians 2 which literally says Gentiles are politeia (citizens) in Israel (for more on this see LINK 1 and LINK 2).  

Second, if it's the sin of Korach to say that Gentile Believers should be circumcised and keep the Torah of Moses then Isaiah would be guilty because he wrote that the uncircumcised shouldn't enter into Zion (Isaiah 52) but rather all the Gentiles should keep the Torah of Moses (e.g. Shabbat) and hold fast to the covenant in order that the Temple becomes a house of prayer for all people (Isaiah 56).  

That's my take.  Does anyone have any thoughts on this?


  1. I think the whole problem stems from the fact that post-first-temple judaism does not stress the differences between jews and proselytes, and between different classes of proselytes. Notice that I said stress, because the difference is recognized. The lack of stress does lead to most people don't understanding the whole subject.

    So, I agree with Peter in that gentiles believing to be a part of the covenant of Israel and subject to the mitzvot does not make them disciples of Korach. I agree with James that to claim EQUAL RIGHTS to the natural borns could put them on that category, only if they are totally informed, and not at all misguided.

    How's that so? Those who join Israel are never (on this age, I am not discussing the Messianic Kingdom/Millenium or the Olam Habah) to enjoy totally equal rights as the physical decendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They were not counted on the desert, they did not receive land, they did not have to join the army. They were to be blessed with Israel (as per Yitro), and they were enjoyed not to trangress the negative commandments.
    Some of them were never allowed to marry into "ethnic Israel" (Moabites, Amonites), others only after three generations (Edomites, Egyptians). Anyone from the nations who had not circumcised himself and his household could NOT partake from the Pesach offering. Slaves, even though circumcised and part of the covenant had a different standing within the People of Israel.
    Naturally, those of the nations would eventually assimilate with ethnic Israel, seeing that this was permited on almost all cases (except Moab, Amon and seven cannanite nations, also Amalek). The later generations came to believe that intermarriage with proselytes, at least with those from non-canaanite nations, when prohibited was only when those nations were standing as a people, and only applicable to the men of said nations (that’s why Rute could marry into the people). However, we do have Yitro’s offspring still distinguishable on the time of Jeremiah.
    We also still have the nethinim (the converts from the 7 nations, as per rabbinic tradition) with those who come back from Babylon. Actually rabbinic judaism does have a very special treatment to slaves, that differentiates them from other men, but does not exclude from the jewish people.

  2. All this is to show that one can be part of the covenant and still have a different status. Sometimes this is only temporary until completion of entrance (aka circumcision, with regards to Pesach), but other times it depends on the person’s origins. The book of acts also separates between jews and proselytes.
    For a gentile who believes in Messiah I don’t think things are that diferente. It is perfectly possible to have a gentile as a member of the People but with different treatment. It is even more so when the gentiles are not recognized as such by the majority of the jewish people.
    What I mean to say is that maybe it is KOrach-like to demand to marry a jewish person with jewish approval, and to demand to receive an Alliah, or partake in other tradional practices that are not biblically mandated. But to claim to be a part of those called from the nations who enjoy of a status similitar to taht of Yitro, and subject oneself to God’s commandments, that can’t be similar to his rebellion.
    One last thing: in this scenario where non-jews as myself are excluded and frowned uppon by the jewish authorities for believing to be part of Israel and obeying the commandmants, we must recognize that this is not the ideal situation, and that they are wrong, BUT that we can adapt to keep practicing those commandments that are God-given, without, however, demanding and insisting in practices that, although in an ideal world would be a part of this special gentile practice (this convert not converted haha), are an scandal to the jewish people.
    This subjection to the jewish authority (as per Romans 13) would mean that non-jews would have to learn to live in this situation, in a way that does not violate or forsake biblical commandments (contra UMJC position), but that does not act as if fullfledged jews (maybe contra One-Law?).
    This is just an sketch of my position, but I think it does present a good start to the ending of this unnecessary dichotomy between one-law and bilateral ecclesioloy .

  3. This ultimately, boils down to 2 arguments:

    1) Gentiles who trust in Messiah are now in covenant.

    2) Gentiles who trust in Messiah are not in covenant.

    If 1, then messianic gentiles are responsible to the covenant and thus any blessings and curses that apply.

    If 2, then messianic gentiles are not responsible to the covenant, and thus none of the blessings and none of the curses apply.

    Going further and on the negative side.

    1, a messianic gentile is committing a form of rebellion, if they do not observe the commandments.

    2, a messianic gentile is confused and is wasting his life and time. Also, if the messianic gentile is claiming that the blessings of the covenant belong to him, then he is committing an act of rebellion.

    Thus James argument is #2. He does not believe gentiles are in covenant, thus to claim covenant responsibility is rebellion, which is true. What I disagree with is that gentiles are in covenant.

    This argument is always the same, same story, you either believe in Gentile responsibility to the covenant or you don't. Bilateral Ecclesiology believes that gentiles are not in covenant or at least the closest a gentile gets to covenant with God is (Noah), and if you believe this, then any gentile claiming a form of responsibility to the covenant made with Israel, is rebellious, however at the same time, only if a gentile becomes "transracial" (a Jew), its acceptable.

    One Law believes, that messianic gentiles are brought into covenant, given access through the Messiah, using Paul's analogy, as grafted-in, once far, now near, once separate from the people, now part of the people, etc.

    Thus a gentile, who disregards covenant responsibility, from our perspective and interpretation, is a rebellious child.

    So we are at complete opposite interpretations... From James perspective we are all supersessionist korahites and yet from our perspective, messianic gentiles who do not take on covenant responsibility, are rebellious children, wanting the blessings and disregarding the responsibilities. Both in their negative perspectives are terrible places to be, just depends on what side of the fence, you understand the scriptures.

    Same old argument, different period of time, "nothing to see here, move right along." :P

  4. Isaiah:"no longer shall the uncircumcized and unclean come to you...."

    Korah rebellion was a conspiracy between the former firstborn rueben and a new priesthood.

    gog-ma-gog will be the same. The result will be the ground opening up on the area of olives and moriah, swallowing up all(zach14).

    daniel7s beasts are another example of the firstborn of joseph and rueben.
    They are the iron kingdoms feet of daniel2, further delineated by the vision of chap7 and 8.

    Lion/manasseh/britain/anglican church
    bear/rueben(gog)/russia/russian orthodoxy
    body of leopard inclusive of spain/roman cath/ephraim
    4th beast made up of all nations(UN_babel),stick of ephraim in hand of joseph USA

    heads of leopard,USA,Britain,russia and france.France is asher and was one of the four powers because of the prophecy of royalty coming from them .
    The line of the decendant of david who will reign, was to emmigrate to the wilderness (gen49-josephs blessing),more specifically to the USA,) from france and turkey to rome and then to USA".Shoes shall be iron and brass""he shall yield royal dainties"

    circumcision will be a no brainer for all the flesh that comes to worship YHVH"and sabbath after sabbath,new moon after new moon, ALL flesh shall come to worship ME.
    The rest who refuse simply wont make the retributions that are coming.
    Isaih24 for the end of the covenant of mankind(noahs) and the judgement within this time concerning Torah and Jacob and the land of Israel.