Any other Messianic Jews Here?

First of all, Chag Sameach! Happy Passover!

When I used to post here, I was decidedly protestant and my boyfriend was armenian apostolic. We’ve been on a spiritual journey over the past year as we have started to attend a messianic jewish congregation. We have shifted away from the traditional ‘christian’ holidays and started celebrating jewish high holy days.

I just wanted to see if there any other messianic jews or ‘hebrew roots christians’ here?

I’m not a Messianic Jew, but a Susse Pesach to you and yours!

When I was on my spritual journey I seriously considered judaism. I love the high holidays of yom kippur and rosh hashanah. I also experienced the feast of tabernacles and purim holidays. I dod not get to celebrate a passover seder or hannukah. I wish that christians still honored rosh hashanah and yom kippur. I think our day of stonement would be good friday.
Good luck on your journey. I am happy Jesus became the Paschal Lamb who died for my sins.

So you celebrate the traditional Jewish holidays but not the Christian ones?

We just don’t like the pagan, man-made, and commercial aspects of holidays like Christmas or Easter and we think there is beauty behind celebrating the same feasts that Y’Shua (that’s ‘Jesus’ in hebrew) himself celebrated. We still celebrate his life, death and resurrection, but just in a different way. Instead of Christmas, there is Sukkot which is followed by Hanukkah. And instead of Easter, we celebrate Pesach (Passover).

If I had a choice between choosing Passover and Easter, I would choose Passover in a heartbeat. It has so much spiritual significance. And for the first two centuries of the existence of the christian faith, christians actually celebrated their own form of passover. They didn’t start celebrating ‘easter sunday’ until after constantine. We prefer to think of ourselves as doing things in a kind of old-fashioned way. After all, the basics of passover haven’t changed for about 3500 years.

Also, we’re not ‘tea-totalers’…xD (due to a command to drink wine during certain festivals). Nor do we sit and stay silent in our pews. Our services are very ‘active’ in comparison to most Christian churches. We dance a lot, during service. And our order of worship is unique to us as well. My congregation uses the following order most nights:

  1. Shofar blows, everyone finds their seat and stands by it.
  2. Woman of the congregation stands, lights the candle, and proceeds with the traditional blessings.
  3. Regular announcements.
  4. Worship.
    5.Liturgy (the singing of the shema prayers, the ma’tovu, Oseh Shalom and other parts of the liturgy)
  5. Offering song.
  6. Message, sometimes given after more prayer and worship.
  7. Close with prayer and/or aaronic blessing.

Weddings are also beautiful, and we also practice bar and bat mitzahs too. Instead of Halloween, we celebrate Purim in March. Oh, you should have seen some of the costumes. Of course for celebrations with the congregation we are not allowed to do anything related to anything detestable (no vampires, demons, spirits, false gods/goddesses, or anything inappropriate such as a nazi costume) but there was quite a variety of costumes…xD

I was always fascinated by Judaism, back in my upbringing I always had Jewish neighbors in the south suburbs of Chicago. I was raised Lutheran, and always wanted the deep tradition of the Jews without renouncing the truth of the Messiah already coming to earth. Fast forward thirty years…I joined the Church…the closest thing to Judaism is Catholicism I’ve discovered. It’s roots are definitely Jewish. I do light a menorah (along with my Advent wreath) during Hanukkah as reminder of Jesus’ Jewish heritage, and the idea that the concept of Hanukkah is really about religious freedom because in so many places there is no such freedom. I also remember when the Eucharist is celebrated, it’s roots are from the Passover meal. Catholicism has brought a great joy to my life.

I can see where you are kind of going here, however there are many practices within the catholic church that I disagree with. First off, purgatory. Secondly, prayer to saints. And then their views on communion, followed by their celebration of christmas and easter. My mother grew up in the Catholic church and the threat of purgatory tormented her.

As well as believing Jesus to be the Messiah and G-d, are you Trinitarian: that is, do you believe the Holy Spirit is the Third Person of G-d?

Yes, I do. The Ruach HaKodesh, as we call him, is a profound aspect of our faith. And we all learn early on that blaspheming Him will lead to death and destruction.

EDIT: I also want to say that while I am trinitarian, there are some non-trinitarian messianic jews out there, such as the folks who have created the Refiner’s Fire website. I love using their learning resources for other things but that is one point I disagree with them on.

I find that a little strange. I think all of us who identify ourselves as Christians on this forum oppose the commercialization of Christmas and Easter and favor a religious day of contemplation, which is why we should generally attend our own church’s service on those important days. However, to entirely reject celebrating them in favor of the specifically Jewish holidays seems a little questionable to me. You accept Christ but you don’t find value in celebrating the incarnation and the resurrection? Do you have a ritual or special service that commemorates it? Do you celebrate Holy Communion?

Also, we’re not ‘tea-totalers’…xD (due to a command to drink wine during certain festivals). Nor do we sit and stay silent in our pews. Our services are very ‘active’ in comparison to most Christian churches. We dance a lot, during service. And our order of worship is unique to us as well. My congregation uses the following order most nights:

  1. Shofar blows, everyone finds their seat and stands by it.
  2. Woman of the congregation stands, lights the candle, and proceeds with the traditional blessings.
  3. Regular announcements.
  4. Worship.
    5.Liturgy (the singing of the shema prayers, the ma’tovu, Oseh Shalom and other parts of the liturgy)
  5. Offering song.
  6. Message, sometimes given after more prayer and worship.
  7. Close with prayer and/or aaronic blessing.
    \

I must say I don’t really know what a “tea-totaler is.”
It sounds like an interesting mix of traditional liturgical worship and modern Evangelical-style service.

I can see where you are kind of going here, however there are many practices within the catholic church that I disagree with. First off, purgatory. Secondly, prayer to saints. And then their views on communion, followed by their celebration of christmas and easter. My mother grew up in the Catholic church and the threat of purgatory tormented her.

You have of course a right to disagree with the Catholic Church’s teaching on Purgatory and the Communion of the Saints, but I’m not really comfortable with a group that professes to accept Christ refusing to celebrate and recognize Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection. That is entirely irrelevant to the belief in Purgatory.

Do you consider Christians your brothers? From what I’ve studied (which admittedly isn’t a huge much on this subject), most Messianic Jews prefer to identify as Jews and distance themselves from their Christ-believing brothers, even though many Jews don’t tend to accept Messianic Judaism as authentic Judaism.

At any rate, welcome to the forum. I hope you enjoy your time here. Lots of great people here.

Are you aware that Judaism also believes in the cleansing and atonement of Purgatory?

We do have our own ways of celebrating his incarnation, death, and resurrection. Our passover services are usually amended to remember those things. Passover for us differs from the passover that other jews celebrate for that reason. And we take Communion, but in it’s original form. Communion for us occurs when we drink from the third cup (the cup of redemption) during the passover seder. A ‘tea-totaler’ is a polite and funny term for someone who abstains from alcohol. We say ‘we’re not tea-totalers’ because we traditionally consume 4 glasses of wine every passover. There are some good videos on youtube that explain messianic passover seders. I will find and post one if you wish.

We consider Christians our brothers and sisters because they were grafted into our tree of life. It is the Jews that are to go to the world with the good news about Y’shua, and the righteous gentiles are supposed to provoke the other ‘lapsed jews’ that haven’t accepted Y’shua into jealousy and inspire them to be more faithful. Our congregation includes Jews, gentiles, african-americans, asians, native americans, indians, hispanic people, white people, etc.

When I was on my spritual journey I seriously considered judaism. I love the high holidays of yom kippur and rosh hashanah. I also experienced the feast of tabernacles and purim holidays. I dod not get to celebrate a passover seder or hannukah. I wish that christians still honored rosh hashanah and yom kippur. I think our day of stonement would be good friday.
Good luck on your journey. I am happy Jesus became the Paschal Lamb who died for my sins.

My post is the beginning of the 2nd paragraph.

Interesting. But REAL Jewish people do not take up a collection. In fact they can’t because it is forbidden to carry money on Shabbos. This sounds much more than Fundamentalist Christian worship than anything I have ever participated in in a Shul. What are you calling ‘worship’, the whole thing sounds like worship to me. :confused:

I find it interesting that you consider Easter pagan. Have you done the research into this? Do you know what Easter is called everywhere else in the world except Germany and England? It is called Pascha, which obviously derives from the Hebrew Passover and we see the practice firmly established in the second century. If you read a book titled “On pascha” by Saint Melito of Sardis who was a jew I might add, what he does in his explanation of the exodus is to turn the focus from the old and useless passover (In which the jews would sacrifice a lamb) to the new passover in Jesus Christ. And Melito was a Jew, yet he did not merely practice the same old traditions, he with the other Christians set everything on Christ and hence the worship of the old pascha was transformed into the new. Easter is not pagan, but rather a natural apostolic outgrowth which I believe started with the apostles. I find it impossible to imagine the apostles worship didn’t change at all, that they did not reflect on their practice of pascha and feel the need to bring Christ into the center of it instead of merely the old exodus celebration.

Also, sunday worship existed before constantine.

Consider this early Christian epistle, although not from Barnabas it does represent the early church.

Barnabas 15:9
Wherefore also we keep the eighth day for rejoicing, in the which also Jesus rose from the dead, and having been manifested ascended into the heavens.

There is also what Ignatius says.

Be not seduced by strange doctrines nor by antiquated fables, which are profitless. For if even unto this day we live after the manner of Judaism, we avow that we have not received grace … If then those who had walked in ancient practices attained unto newness of hope, no longer observing Sabbaths but fashioning their lives after the Lord’s day, on which our life also arose through Him and through His death which some men deny … how shall we be able to live apart from Him? … It is monstrous to talk of Jesus Christ and to practise Judaism. For Christianity did not believe in Judaism, but Judaism in Christianity — Ignatius to the Magnesians 8:1, 9:1-2, 10:3, Lightfoot translation.

I think were messianicism errs is that its worship has not been transformed by Christ, it keeps all the old things without rein orientating them towards their fulfillment which the Christian feasts and fasts appropriately do. None of us are bound to keep the Sabbath, to be circumcised or keep the old law as the apostle Paul told us very clearly. We are free in Christ Jesus.

Good points, except that the so-called “old” Law is not to be regarded as a burden, contrary to what St. Paul the Apostle called it. Judaism believes that the Law sanctifies us and is, as Psalms states, “sweet as honey.” As Charlton Heston (Moses) declares in The Ten Commandments, “there is no freedom without the Law.” As in government, spiritual freedom always entails behavioral responsibility if not a change in heart. Besides, Christians do follow the moral law of old, just as Jesus did. It is only the ritualistic aspects of the Law that they eschew in favor of Christian rituals. With regard to this, I have a question, namely, did Jesus explicitly tell Jews NOT to follow the rituals of the Law or did He instruct Paul to tell the Gentiles not to follow these features of the Law so that they would not have to convert to Judaism first?

Looking forward to reading IP’s response.

I don’t think Jesus’s intent was to replace one set of rituals with another (I’m not sure this is what you implied by your question?). Matthew 5:17 suggests rather clearly, at least to me, that His purpose was not to abolish any Law, explicitly, but rather to re-focus it toward its original purpose: to “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind… And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Jesus’s tirade in the Temple also seems to strengthen the idea that ritualistic portions of the Law need no longer be strictly observed - ritual for ritual’s sake is not just useless, it’s damaging. But ritual that enriches Faith and receives Grace is worth observing (I think it’s clear that Jesus instituted what we catholics consider Sacraments). Paul merely explains this in Gentile-speak (because Peter was having a bit of trouble :D).

I agree with this. As I have pointed out previously, before Jesus, Rabbi Hillel the Elder stated the same thing, that the whole Law basically consists of two commandments, namely the love of G-d and the love of one’s neighbor, and that all the rest is commentary. Rabbi Jesus followed the Hillel school of thought. And I agree that mechanically ritualistic behavior without passion and conviction is less valued. I say “less” valued rather than valueless because Judaism also holds that even if one does not practice the rituals of the Law with heart and mind, it is still better than not practicing them at all, since behavior has the capacity to change one internally. As you say, rituals that enrich faith are worth following. However, there are also certain commandments that reason alone cannot explain without prior faith. According to (Orthodox) Judaism, it is believed we cannot lay claim to knowledge concerning which rituals are more important than others, and thus we must attempt to follow as many as we can, just as we were commanded to do. Of course, we often fall short and must remedy the situation by means of prayer and acts of loving-kindness toward others. It is the act of perseverance, together with gradual improvement, which counts the most, drawing us closer to G-d’s will.

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