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Scrawly
04-15-2015, 06:48 PM
I came across a wonderful site - Joyfully Growing in Grace - that targets the Hebrew Roots Movement, which by all appearances is a cult. I was particularly overjoyed to read the testimonial section of now ex-members who were once blinded by the false doctrines, yet have now come into the light and fullness of the New Covenant by embracing the gospel of salvation and sanctification by faith in Christ alone. I particularly enjoyed reading 8thday4life's testimony. May you be blessed by it:

https://joyfullygrowingingrace.wordpress.com/testimonies/8thdayforlifes-testimony/

Scrawly
04-15-2015, 07:27 PM
Oh and for those who wish to comment, I ask that you please read the testimonial(s) before commenting and keep your comments confined to the content within the testimonial(s), as this is not intended to be a thoroughgoing debate thread.

Thank-ya.

Soyeong
04-15-2015, 08:18 PM
It saddens me to see people moving away from the truth, but I was also dismayed by what some of them experienced in HR, so I'm glad that they are out of that. However, I've said it before that the solution to bad Christianity is not no Christianity, but good Christianity, so I'll say the same thing about Messianic Judaism. I'll recommend listening to some of the audio teachings we've posted online:

https://www.rabbiyeshua.com/kehilat-store/audio-teachings

There's particularly good teachings on Romans and we've also start posting our teachings on Galatians. Scrawly, I watched an hour long video you posted the other day, so the least you can do is listen to a teaching or two, it might surprise you.

Scrawly
04-15-2015, 08:37 PM
It saddens me to see people moving away from the truth, but I was also dismayed by what some of them experienced in HR, so I'm glad that they are out of that. However, I've said it before that the solution to bad Christianity is not no Christianity, but good Christianity, so I'll say the same thing about Messianic Judaism. I'll recommend listening to some of the audio teachings we've posted online:

https://www.rabbiyeshua.com/kehilat-store/audio-teachings

There's particularly good teachings on Romans and we've also start posting our teachings on Galatians. Scrawly, I watched an hour long video you posted the other day, so the least you can do is listen to a teaching or two, it might surprise you.

Sure but it won't be for a bit as I don't have the internet at home. Though I am familiar with the "movement" you are in. Your beliefs are not new to me. I disagree with them and I think they are antithetical to the gospel, and Dr. Michael Brown - Messianic Jewish scholar - agrees with me here. Anyhow I will give the teachings a listen, though can you tell me what qualifications the teacher has, who is leading those lessons?

Now back to the topic at hand - what were you dismayed at in the testimony you read?

Soyeong
04-16-2015, 12:03 AM
To start with it sounded like the group she joined was having legalistic arguments. They were being inconsistent with their beliefs and working on the Sabbath while making sure to eat kosher. They seeking to improve the Jewish traditions and to be a better Jew than the Jews. They were adapting modern Jewish traditions and making up the rest. They elevated Israel and the Jews to the point of dangerous obsession. They were relying on rabbinic thought over the word of God and were basing their teachings off rabbinic thought. Mind you, I think is sometimes good to look at rabbinic thought to help provide a proper context, and there are some good teachings, but it shouldn't be used as the platform. They said anything written by a Gentile wasn't worth reading. They made the sole Jewish person teacher when he was not equipped to do so and doubted Jesus was the Messiah. They took the focus off of Jesus. Their leader displayed vicious and underhanded behavior toward another member. They thought that they were making a concession by not stoning people. They were concerned about which lost tribe they belonged to. They thought they would come under the Old Covenant curses for not obeying the law. They got involved with gamatria. They were being speculative without a solid foundation in Scripture. They were majoring on the minors. They were overindulging with drinking.

The list goes on, but that should be sufficient. They were plagued with many problems that I've been fortunate enough not to face in my congregation. We're all on the same page for the most part and I've felt no tension whatsoever. Our rabbi, Stan Farr, is a very good teacher, who has a solid grasp on both the Old and New Testaments, and always keeps the focus on Messiah. In fact, he did 115 approximately half-hour lessons about finding the Messiah in the Torah. My previous pastor stuck mostly to the NT, but there is so much depth in the OT that is a shadow of the Messiah if only we have eyes to see and ears to hear. Of course I don't agree with him about everything, but he brings a very valuable perspective that's missing from most of modern Christianity. Thank you for being willing to listen to a few lessons.

Adrift
04-16-2015, 06:11 AM
Hey Soyeong, are you aware of any Messianic congregations that teach voluntary participation in the more ceremonial/legalistic aspects for Gentiles, or, is that pretty much part and parcel of the movement? I think the Messianic movement is pretty fascinating, especially from a early church perspective, and I'm so happy for those Jews who have converted to Christianity, but some of the things that Scrawly has brought to light, and even some of the posts you've made here have gotten me scratching my head a bit and made me a bit cautious.

One Bad Pig
04-16-2015, 10:16 AM
To start with it sounded like the group she joined was having legalistic arguments. They were being inconsistent with their beliefs and working on the Sabbath while making sure to eat kosher. They seeking to improve the Jewish traditions and to be a better Jew than the Jews. They were adapting modern Jewish traditions and making up the rest. They elevated Israel and the Jews to the point of dangerous obsession. They were relying on rabbinic thought over the word of God and were basing their teachings off rabbinic thought. Mind you, I think is sometimes good to look at rabbinic thought to help provide a proper context, and there are some good teachings, but it shouldn't be used as the platform. They said anything written by a Gentile wasn't worth reading. They made the sole Jewish person teacher when he was not equipped to do so and doubted Jesus was the Messiah. They took the focus off of Jesus. Their leader displayed vicious and underhanded behavior toward another member. They thought that they were making a concession by not stoning people. They were concerned about which lost tribe they belonged to. They thought they would come under the Old Covenant curses for not obeying the law. They got involved with gamatria. They were being speculative without a solid foundation in Scripture. They were majoring on the minors. They were overindulging with drinking.

I think, Soyeong, that you're not accurately representing the author's experience here, amalgamating the worst features of each (HRM) group she was with, and ignoring that she was involved in several different groups. The common thread of nearly every group she was in (SDA, WWCOG, HRM) was a focus on the law. It just seems to me that Messianic Judaism has a tendency to be Judaism with Jesus tacked on, which places an inordinate amount of focus on the Old Covenant rather than the New.

Soyeong
04-16-2015, 10:51 AM
Hey Soyeong, are you aware of any Messianic congregations that teach voluntary participation in the more ceremonial/legalistic aspects for Gentiles, or, is that pretty much part and parcel of the movement? I think the Messianic movement is pretty fascinating, especially from a early church perspective, and I'm so happy for those Jews who have converted to Christianity, but some of the things that Scrawly has brought to light, and even some of the posts you've made here have gotten me scratching my head a bit and made me a bit cautious.

Such as in Isaiah 1:13-17 and Mark 7:6-9, God has always disdained an outward show of obedience when our hearts are far from Him. The law was given to Moses and the Israelites, among other reasons, so that they would know how to practice righteous by faith in order to build a relationship between God and His people. So legalism is not about following the law by faith, but about following the law in an attempt to become justified through your own efforts, where God would legally owe you your justification. It perverts the law into a sterile business transaction and misses that point that it's all about being in a right relationship with God.

So, no, I wouldn't say that Gentiles are to participate in the legalistic aspects, but some Messianic Jews do disagree over the issue of whether Gentiles should follow the law, though my congregation is all on the same page. In Ephesians 10:8-10, 1 John 3:4-10, John 15:1-8, and others it says that those who abide in Messiah do good works, practice righteousness, and bear much fruit, do what is right, live by faith, and are dead to sin, which are different ways of expressing the same concept. The law gives us knowledge of sin (Romans 3:20) and instructs us about what sin is (Romans 7:7), so if Christians are to avoid sin and becomes slaves of obedience leading to righteous and slaves of righteousness leading to sanctification (Romans 6:15-19), then we should pay attention to where God instructs in His law about sin and how to practice righteousness. We don't practice righteousness in order to be declared righteous, but rather because that is what those whom God declared righteous are called to do. We can't do this through our own effort, but only by faith and through the leading of the Spirit to sanctify us to be more like Christ in how he thought and in how he practiced righteousness.

The Bad News is that we have sinned and fallen from righteousness and that the penalty is death. The Good News is that Christ has redeemed us from our penalty by his blood, set us free from our sin nature's mastery over us, justified us, sanctifies us, and make us righteous again. And being made righteous is being made into someone who practices righteousness. Christ did not redeem us from a set of holy, righteous, and good laws (Romans 7:12) that instruct us how to be holy, righteous, and good, so but so that we would be free to become slaves of doing what is holy, righteous, and good by faith and through the leading of His Spirit.

If there is anything that Scrawly has brought to light or that I've said that makes you scratch your head, then feel free to ask about it or PM me. It took me about 2-3 years before I came to the decision to join Messianic Judaism, so I would also advise caution. There are certainly some Christians who have joined Messianic Judaism who have gone off the deep end and I scratch my head at what some of them teach too. But Scrawly thinks I've gone off the deep end myself, and maybe I have, but so much of what my rabbi has been saying has the ring of truth, and I've gained a much better understanding of the Bible in the past 3 years than in the previous 30. I would encourage you to listen to what he says about Galatians and Romans and if you don't agree with everything he says, at least gain a valuable perspective. I don't agree with everything he says myself.

Adrift
04-16-2015, 11:20 AM
Such as in Isaiah 1:13-17 and Mark 7:6-9, God has always disdained an outward show of obedience when our hearts are far from Him. The law was given to Moses and the Israelites, among other reasons, so that they would know how to practice righteous by faith in order to build a relationship between God and His people. So legalism is not about following the law by faith, but about following the law in an attempt to become justified through your own efforts, where God would legally owe you your justification. It perverts the law into a sterile business transaction and misses that point that it's all about being in a right relationship with God.

So, no, I wouldn't say that Gentiles are to participate in the legalistic aspects, but some Messianic Jews do disagree over the issue of whether Gentiles should follow the law, though my congregation is all on the same page.

Is the Messianic community united in any way, like a coalition of churches? Are those who disagree over the issue of whether Gentles should follow the law labeled something special? If I was interested, how would I find a non-legalistic congregation in my area?


If there is anything that Scrawly has brought to light or that I've said that makes you scratch your head, then feel free to ask about it or PM me.

Thanks.

Have you seen the documentary The Chosen People about a Messianic congregation in Toronto and the hassle they endure by fellow Jews? Pretty interesting. Here's the trailer.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxb9Qcw9SAA

Soyeong
04-16-2015, 12:18 PM
I think, Soyeong, that you're not accurately representing the author's experience here, amalgamating the worst features of each (HRM) group she was with, and ignoring that she was involved in several different groups. The common thread of nearly every group she was in (SDA, WWCOG, HRM) was a focus on the law. It just seems to me that Messianic Judaism has a tendency to be Judaism with Jesus tacked on, which places an inordinate amount of focus on the Old Covenant rather than the New.

Scrawly asked me what I was dismayed about, so I was just listing those things, though I probably should have quoted his question to make that clearer.

I think that for the first approximately 7 years after Jesus' ascension, all Christians were Torah-observant Messianic Jews up until Peter's vision in Acts 10. In Acts 21, there were rumors that Paul was teaching Jews to forsake Moses, but he took steps to prove them wrong, so if they were all Jews who were not being taught against Torah observance, then that's what they were continuing to do. Messianic Judaism was originally seen as a sect of Judaism with some non-believing Jews complaining that it was impossible to tell them apart, so I'd say it is appropriately named and that it is correctly understood as Judaism that always keeps its focus on their Messiah. Going back to the Old Covenant or having Jesus only tacked on is a perversion and why I was glad that some of the people got out of it. But as I said before, the solution to bad Messianic Judaism is not no Messianic Judaism, but is good Messianic Judaism.

Jesus didn't come to start a new religion, but rather he was born a Jew, became a Jewish rabbi, had Jewish disciples, and is the Jewish Messiah in fulfillment of Jewish prophecy. Hypothetically is the Muslim Mahdi were to come, do you think he would start a new religion, or do you think he would come in the fulfillment of Islam? Similarly, Jesus came in the fulfillment of Judaism, so Christianity is the fullest form of Judaism or Judaism fully understood, which allows Gentiles to join without having to become Jews.

Over the centuries some of the Church Fathers have been anti-Semitic and have sanitized the Jewishness from Christianity, but I think that is tragic both in that many Christians have lost an understanding of the Jewish cultural context of the Bible and in that many Jews have not recognized a sanitized Jesus as their Messiah. If you listen to the testimonies of Jews who were finally convinced to read the NT, they frequently express their amazement at how Jewish it is and that they hadn't realized that Jesus was Jewish. One of the things they are taught is that Jesus did away with the law, which disqualifies him as the Messiah in violation of Deuteronomy 13, and I think they have a point.

thewriteranon
04-16-2015, 01:27 PM
Is the Messianic community united in any way, like a coalition of churches? Are those who disagree over the issue of whether Gentles should follow the law labeled something special? If I was interested, how would I find a non-legalistic congregation in my area?



Thanks.

Have you seen the documentary The Chosen People about a Messianic congregation in Toronto and the hassle they endure by fellow Jews? Pretty interesting. Here's the trailer.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxb9Qcw9SAA

I continue to find it interesting how many Jews of the more liberal traditions are totally chill with secular Jews but will get fired up about a Jew who decides to believe Jesus is the Messiah.

Adrift
04-16-2015, 01:39 PM
I continue to find it interesting how many Jews of the more liberal traditions are totally chill with secular Jews but will get fired up about a Jew who decides to believe Jesus is the Messiah.

Yep. Its pretty crazy.

Scrawly
04-16-2015, 01:52 PM
To start with it sounded like the group she joined was having legalistic arguments. They were being inconsistent with their beliefs and working on the Sabbath while making sure to eat kosher. They seeking to improve the Jewish traditions and to be a better Jew than the Jews. They were adapting modern Jewish traditions and making up the rest. They elevated Israel and the Jews to the point of dangerous obsession. They were relying on rabbinic thought over the word of God and were basing their teachings off rabbinic thought. Mind you, I think is sometimes good to look at rabbinic thought to help provide a proper context, and there are some good teachings, but it shouldn't be used as the platform. They said anything written by a Gentile wasn't worth reading. They made the sole Jewish person teacher when he was not equipped to do so and doubted Jesus was the Messiah. They took the focus off of Jesus. Their leader displayed vicious and underhanded behavior toward another member. They thought that they were making a concession by not stoning people. They were concerned about which lost tribe they belonged to. They thought they would come under the Old Covenant curses for not obeying the law. They got involved with gamatria. They were being speculative without a solid foundation in Scripture. They were majoring on the minors. They were overindulging with drinking.

I agree, all those things were quite disturbing. The following really stood out as penetrating to me:

-We longed for a truly biblical lifestyle free from pagan influences. I began to feel that if I could study the Bible from a Jewish perspective, I could understand Jesus so much better.While this can be a helpful pursuit in some ways, the problem was not in my desire for more knowledge, but my persistent discontent with the Christianity. I had come from a culture saturated in an attitude of superiority. I can now see how I carried that over, and needed to find some way to maintain my superior spiritual opinion of my beliefs. I could not consent to being a simple Christian.


-At a women’s fellowship sleep over, one woman testified that she loved this movement because in church all they talked about was Jesus.


-I wanted so badly to belong to God’s people, the chosen nation. Just being in Christ wasn’t good enough in itself and did not seem to be enough justification for our lifestyle. Now we had a “covenant”, and I don’t mean the new one


-Taking the perspective that we were a covenant people with promised blessings for our obedience, the Torah became even more vital for study and a source of instruction for our daily lives. We had begun with the attitude we were choosing an alternate expression of our faith in Jesus – not the only right one, just a different one. Now, a gradual slide took place that transferred our choices from optional to obligatory obedience. Never admitting this saved us in any way, and stressing over and over to friends and family that we believed Jesus was the Son of God who died for us, we then maintained that God’s law never changed and we desired to keep it out of our love for Him. We couldn’t understand why anyone would malign someone’s desire to simply obey God. We certainly criticized Christians (in private) for NOT obeying God’s commands. While we repeatedly claimed our obedience was motivated only by our love for God and His ways over man’s ways, we were blind to other strong, less admirable motivations. Only after we were delivered did we realize the fault in ourselves that drew us to a deviant belief system, over and over.


-The covenant confusion was a natural step for me coming out of the Seventh-day Adventist teaching. We had always been taught that the New Covenant was the same as the old one, just with a change of address. Instead of being written on stone, God transferred it to the hearts of believers through the Holy Spirit. But when we looked at the law, we realized the ten commandments could not be axed from the rest of the covenant. A contract is a contract. You don’t get to pick and choose which parts you agree with and which parts don’t apply to you.
Although this is true, we were still under a delusion that we were actually keeping it. We faulted SDA’s for an illogical pick of the dietary laws while also saying only the “moral” law (the big ten) was now in effect. Yet we, who obliged ourselves to the whole law, also had to make concessions. We couldn’t stone people, take or free slaves, legally marry more than one person, pay our tithe in agricultural products, or get our family inheritance of land back every 50 years, even if we could actually figure out which lost tribe we belonged to. Our astute reasoning followed that 1: some commands were fulfilled in Christ such as sacrificing animals 2: some were not possible to obey unless you live in the land of Israel and have a standing temple 3: some were civil laws that required a theocratic government, and finally, 4: Everything you could figure out how to apply to your life, you would be blessed for observing.
The converse was also then true, although seldom mentioned, the dreaded curse that goes on for several chapters in Deuteronomy for those who choose to ignore God’s commands. Outright refusal to obey or observe something that was within your power to perform was seen as an open door for the destroyer to enter your gates and take his due. But you could still be saved, because of Jesus. You just wouldn’t be blessed. Some would even go so far to say that you would be lost. Everything was reduced to outward actions and physical elements, attempting to connect with God and “draw near” as the Israelites in the wilderness desired the Shekinah Presence in their portable tabernacle. How does one fall from having the Reality to walking in a shadow of uncertainty? When I saw the stark contrast between the two, my foundations were shaken to the core. I doubted I ever believed at all.


-Seeking true spiritual encouragement, I turned to reading books about missionaries and martyrs, and I began to hear disturbing questions in my mind. Why didn’t they have “the truth” when they were so obviously led by God, and if we did, why didn’t I know any HRM groups with any fruit resembling theirs? Those question would eventually demand an answer.


-This was not at all a description of my life. Jesus had a focus in his teachings that we did not have. We were straining out many gnats, but in the process, the camels were causing a great deal of spiritual indigestion. If you were to study the life cycle of group dynamics, I’m sure we would have fit some classic pattern with a fancy name, but it wasn’t the pattern of the Church shown in scripture, directed by the power of the Holy Spirit. The amazing stories I had read of missionaries and others doing great things for God kept running through my mind. Our attitude and focus would have never allowed us to experience God in this way, and that began to bother me more and more.


-We also lacked any desire to outreach.


-At first I reasoned to myself the vivid contrast between our fruit and those of active Christians was caused by our lack of diligence, not our teaching. We had the truth! I prayed harder, for awhile. But even that eventually ceased as I became nearly spiritually paralyzed from despair. One day I realized that we had become true Israelites, but not in a good way. Just as they had stood at the mountain and begged Moses to speak to them rather than hear the voice of God for themselves, so we also had chosen to look to Moses and substituted his voice for the superior voice from Mt. Zion, the voice of Christ through the Holy Spirit. We didn’t want that kind of challenge, or the responsibility that came with it. We wanted to stay a safe distance away where we could formulate theological definitions and keep our religion in a box. I was disgusted with the movement, and with myself.


-The New Testament got very little attention at all, unless it was to bolster some point in the Torah we wanted to prove.


-My view of Galatians in the HRM was essentially the same as it had been in the Adventist church. We just added more law, but we still maintained that obedience to God could not be argued against, so he couldn’t be talking to us. We were right about obedience, but wrong about the nature of our obligations. We had the same veil over our hearts and minds, blind to the reality of a NEW covenant.


-While the whole time claiming to believe in the work of Jesus on our behalf - We were in actuality attempting to live under two covenants at the same time, while Romans, Galatians, and Hebrews all explain is a spiritual impossibility.


-I don’t think our ignorance made the work of Christ void in our lives, but it certainly prevented fruit from growing because we were not abiding in Christ, but in Moses. We took assurance and comfort in our obedience, not in our Savior alone


-Even in the years between Adventism and the HRM, we never experienced true freedom. When we worked on the Sabbath, or broke down and participated in Christmas with family, a subtle uneasiness always shadowed our every move. We knew God didn’t say we had to perform to be saved, but we still believed we were being disobedient children, and missing his blessing and approval. This time, it was all gone, nearly in an instant. We had never seen the true nature of the New Covenant before – but it began to emerge as we continued to study through the scriptures. We couldn’t believe we had never seen it. Waves of joy, then grief, relief, embarrassment, expectation, so many emotions all tangled together, waited to be processed.


In the weeks that followed, we eagerly discussed where we should worship. We knew what we didn’t want; legalism, blind emotionalism, liberalism that compromised the Word, or a church that existed as the town social club. We wanted to focus our energy toward Christ, serving His Body, and nothing else. For the first time in our lives we had the sensation of belonging to Christ in a way we never had before. We saw with our spiritual eyes the reality of the Church as HIS body, just as the scriptures say. We realized that our outright rejection and derision of the Church had been at attack on Christ Himself and was an antichrist characteristic, not of the Holy Spirit. This, among many other convicting truths, led us through a season of repentance and grief over how we had unintentionally denied Him. I went through a deep valley of doubt for a time, wondering how God could love us, use us, or accept us. But He did reassure me in those days of His forgiveness and the fact of our deliverance alone kept reminding me that this new life was completely from Him, and therefore, must have a purpose. But still, the scary prospect, to find a place in mainstream evangelical Christianity. We didn’t know where to start.


And wise words from our dear sister: You cannot bring a Jewish person to his Messiah if you are concerned about offense. Jesus is the rock of offense


The list goes on, but that should be sufficient. They were plagued with many problems that I've been fortunate enough not to face in my congregation. We're all on the same page for the most part and I've felt no tension whatsoever. Our rabbi, Stan Farr, is a very good teacher, who has a solid grasp on both the Old and New Testaments, and always keeps the focus on Messiah. In fact, he did 115 approximately half-hour lessons about finding the Messiah in the Torah. My previous pastor stuck mostly to the NT, but there is so much depth in the OT that is a shadow of the Messiah if only we have eyes to see and ears to hear. Of course I don't agree with him about everything, but he brings a very valuable perspective that's missing from most of modern Christianity. Thank you for being willing to listen to a few lessons.

That's all well and good, but my question was the following: What academic theological qualifications does your teacher Mr. Farr possess?

Scrawly
04-16-2015, 02:02 PM
Scrawly asked me what I was dismayed about, so I was just listing those things, though I probably should have quoted his question to make that clearer.

I think that for the first approximately 7 years after Jesus' ascension, all Christians were Torah-observant Messianic Jews up until Peter's vision in Acts 10. In Acts 21, there were rumors that Paul was teaching Jews to forsake Moses, but he took steps to prove them wrong, so if they were all Jews who were not being taught against Torah observance, then that's what they were continuing to do. Messianic Judaism was originally seen as a sect of Judaism with some non-believing Jews complaining that it was impossible to tell them apart, so I'd say it is appropriately named and that it is correctly understood as Judaism that always keeps its focus on their Messiah. Going back to the Old Covenant or having Jesus only tacked on is a perversion and why I was glad that some of the people got out of it. But as I said before, the solution to bad Messianic Judaism is not no Messianic Judaism, but is good Messianic Judaism.

Jesus didn't come to start a new religion, but rather he was born a Jew, became a Jewish rabbi, had Jewish disciples, and is the Jewish Messiah in fulfillment of Jewish prophecy. Hypothetically is the Muslim Mahdi were to come, do you think he would start a new religion, or do you think he would come in the fulfillment of Islam? Similarly, Jesus came in the fulfillment of Judaism, so Christianity is the fullest form of Judaism or Judaism fully understood, which allows Gentiles to join without having to become Jews.

Over the centuries some of the Church Fathers have been anti-Semitic and have sanitized the Jewishness from Christianity, but I think that is tragic both in that many Christians have lost an understanding of the Jewish cultural context of the Bible and in that many Jews have not recognized a sanitized Jesus as their Messiah. If you listen to the testimonies of Jews who were finally convinced to read the NT, they frequently express their amazement at how Jewish it is and that they hadn't realized that Jesus was Jewish. One of the things they are taught is that Jesus did away with the law, which disqualifies him as the Messiah in violation of Deuteronomy 13, and I think they have a point.

"Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come." (2Cor. 517)

The above reality is what many HRM and "Messianic" movements are unable to grasp. They stop short of the fullness of the New Covenant and fail to see the spiritual reality of the one new man/third humanity (Eph. 2:15) and new creation (Gal. 6:15) - where there is no Jew nor Gentile. In short, they do not understand what it means to be "in Christ".

One Bad Pig
04-16-2015, 02:30 PM
Scrawly asked me what I was dismayed about, so I was just listing those things, though I probably should have quoted his question to make that clearer.
I took issue because you were describing the "group she joined" thusly.


I think that for the first approximately 7 years after Jesus' ascension, all Christians were Torah-observant Messianic Jews up until Peter's vision in Acts 10.
It's possible that the first Christians all kept the law as Jesus did (which is to say, they observed the laws of the Torah, not all the traditions accreted around it to "protect" it). The prohibition of eating meat and dairy products together, for example, completely misses the point of Torah law upon which it is based.

In Acts 21, there were rumors that Paul was teaching Jews to forsake Moses, but he took steps to prove them wrong, so if they were all Jews who were not being taught against Torah observance, then that's what they were continuing to do.
That depends on what exactly is meant by "Torah observance." The Jewish leaders of Jesus' day claimed HE wasn't being Torah observant.

Messianic Judaism was originally seen as a sect of Judaism with some non-believing Jews complaining that it was impossible to tell them apart, so I'd say it is appropriately named and that it is correctly understood as Judaism that always keeps its focus on their Messiah.
I don't recall seeing that complaint, though Judaism was hardly monolithic at the time. Who was complaining? The Pharisees? Saducees? Essenes?

Going back to the Old Covenant or having Jesus only tacked on is a perversion and why I was glad that some of the people got out of it. But as I said before, the solution to bad Messianic Judaism is not no Messianic Judaism, but is good Messianic Judaism.
Is there good Messianic Judaism? The label, it seems to me, displays a reluctance to identify oneself with Christians in favor of emphasizing one's Jewishness (a stance of which Paul certainly would disapprove).

Jesus didn't come to start a new religion, but rather he was born a Jew, became a Jewish rabbi, had Jewish disciples, and is the Jewish Messiah in fulfillment of Jewish prophecy. Hypothetically is the Muslim Mahdi were to come, do you think he would start a new religion, or do you think he would come in the fulfillment of Islam?
IIRC Bah'a'ullah claimed to be the Muslim Mahdi.

Similarly, Jesus came in the fulfillment of Judaism, so Christianity is the fullest form of Judaism or Judaism fully understood, which allows Gentiles to join without having to become Jews.
Jesus came in fulfillment of the Jewish Tanakh, but, properly understood, Christianity transcends Judaism to encompass humanity. It is the "faithful remnant" of the prophets with the inclusion of the Gentiles which those same prophets predict.

Over the centuries some of the Church Fathers have been anti-Semitic and have sanitized the Jewishness from Christianity, but I think that is tragic both in that many Christians have lost an understanding of the Jewish cultural context of the Bible and in that many Jews have not recognized a sanitized Jesus as their Messiah.
Those who attempted to follow both the old and new covenants in the time of the Church Fathers tended to have rather unorthodox theology. And the liturgy of the Orthodox Church is still based on the synagogue service from which it developed.


If you listen to the testimonies of Jews who were finally convinced to read the NT, they frequently express their amazement at how Jewish it is and that they hadn't realized that Jesus was Jewish. One of the things they are taught is that Jesus did away with the law, which disqualifies him as the Messiah in violation of Deuteronomy 13, and I think they have a point.
If the point is that Jews tend to misrepresent Christianity, they do.

KingsGambit
04-16-2015, 02:47 PM
Is there good Messianic Judaism? The label, it seems to me, displays a reluctance to identify oneself with Christians in favor of emphasizing one's Jewishness (a stance of which Paul certainly would disapprove).


I agree with most of the points in your post; this one I do take some issue with. Paul identified himself as a Pharisee with no further qualification in Acts 23:8. Granted, the context was to try to drive a wedge between the two factions that were joined in his opposition; nonetheless, we do have this example.

One Bad Pig
04-16-2015, 02:50 PM
I agree with most of the points in your post; this one I do take some issue with. Paul identified himself as a Pharisee with no further qualification in Acts 23:8. Granted, the context was to try to drive a wedge between the two factions that were joined in his opposition; nonetheless, we do have this example.
Did he habitually refer to himself as a Pharisee? I don't think he did. Similarly, I have no issue with Jewish Christians identifying themselves as Jewish; I just don't think it should be their primary means of self-identification.

KingsGambit
04-16-2015, 02:52 PM
Did he habitually refer to himself as a Pharisee? I don't think he did. Similarly, I have no issue with Jewish Christians identifying themselves as Jewish; I just don't think it should be their primary means of self-identification.

I'd agree with this; a general thrust of the Pauline writings is that one's identity should be steeped in Christ.

Scrawly
04-16-2015, 03:36 PM
I'd agree with this; a general thrust of the Pauline writings is that one's identity should be steeped in Christ.

And not only our identity but our spirituality, life and blessing:

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places," (Eph. 1:3).

"For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us." (2Cor. 1:20).

"Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence." (2Pet. 1:3).

"When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory." (Col. 3:4)

"Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me." (John 14:6).

"But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ." (2Cor. 11:3).

Ana Dragule
04-16-2015, 07:06 PM
I'd agree with this; a general thrust of the Pauline writings is that one's identity should be steeped in Christ.

And part of that identity is expressed in wanting to understand Christ as the Jewish Messiah that came to save the world. Not everyone who is Messianic says they are Jewish. I have met several who say their religion is Christian, and some identify with the Jewish side because that is how they understand Christ-this one may be more debateable but could also be a cultural expression as not every Christian worships on Sunday, with Hebrew, and celebrates Yeshua's birth around Sukkot instead of Christmas (which itself has some less biblical cultural baggage that is secondary to the gospel). If your identity is in a Jewish Messiah, and you worship that way, why would you want to identify as someone so far removed to say you follow the incarnate Son of God? Wasn't the real problem saying that you have to officially be Jewish and that you have to obey all the laws as a Jew and the legalism that missed what is the kingdom of God and how we are saved in it?

Ana Dragule
04-16-2015, 07:12 PM
I took issue because you were describing the "group she joined" thusly.

It's possible that the first Christians all kept the law as Jesus did (which is to say, they observed the laws of the Torah, not all the traditions accreted around it to "protect" it). The prohibition of eating meat and dairy products together, for example, completely misses the point of Torah law upon which it is based.

That depends on what exactly is meant by "Torah observance." The Jewish leaders of Jesus' day claimed HE wasn't being Torah observant.

Is there good Messianic Judaism? The label, it seems to me, displays a reluctance to identify oneself with Christians in favor of emphasizing one's Jewishness (a stance of which Paul certainly would disapprove).

Jewish leaders of Jesus's day didn't necessarily understand what was important in Torah. Jesus said that divorce had been allowed because of the hardness of their hearts. If the people really understand what God had in mind for how they were to live, that would not have been an issue. Some Messiancs have no problem with eating a cheeseburger.

Soyeong
04-16-2015, 09:05 PM
Is the Messianic community united in any way, like a coalition of churches? Are those who disagree over the issue of whether Gentles should follow the law labeled something special? If I was interested, how would I find a non-legalistic congregation in my area?

There are various groups within the Messianic community, but I am still relatively new to it and am not very familiar with their differences. Years before I joined my congregation, but there were people who held a variety of beliefs and were forming factions within the congregation with people who shared those beliefs. This was causing tensions and causing other problems, such as with visitors getting different answers about what we believed depending on who they happened to sit next to. So our rabbi required all members to sign a statement of faith about what we did and did not believe so that we would all be on the same page. There is something to be said about overlooking our differences and focusing on who we all are in Messiah, but there is also something to be said about differences building up to the point where they are unhealthy to the life of a congregation. His decision caused some people to leave, but the tension left with them, and our congregation went from being stagnant to flourishing again, so he still holds that it was one of his better decisions.

I think even within the same denomination there can be a variety of viewpoints, often depending on the church leadership. So I think the best way would be do a google search for "Messianic Judaism + zip code". From there, look at their statements of faith and/or contact them with your question. I'd invite you to visit if you happen to live near St. Paul, MN. Still, there is a lot you can listen to online even if there is not a good congregation in your area.

[quote]Have you seen the documentary The Chosen People about a Messianic congregation in Toronto and the hassle they endure by fellow Jews? Pretty interesting. Here's the trailer.


That does look interesting, thanks. On one hand, I do sympathize with Jews who see themselves as being constantly under both physical and spiritual attack, but on the other, I am happy to see Messianic Judaism flourishing in the face of opposition.

Ana Dragule
04-16-2015, 09:10 PM
[QUOTE=Adrift;186100]Is the Messianic community united in any way, like a coalition of churches? Are those who disagree over the issue of whether Gentles should follow the law labeled something special? If I was interested, how would I find a non-legalistic congregation in my area?

There are various groups within the Messianic community, but I am still relatively new to it and am not very familiar with their differences. Years before I joined my congregation, but there were people who held a variety of beliefs and were forming factions within the congregation with people who shared those beliefs. This was causing tensions and causing other problems, such as with visitors getting different answers about what we believed depending on who they happened to sit next to. So our rabbi required all members to sign a statement of faith about what we did and did not believe so that we would all be on the same page. There is something to be said about overlooking our differences and focusing on who we all are in Messiah, but there is also something to be said about differences building up to the point where they are unhealthy to the life of a congregation. His decision caused some people to leave, but the tension left with them, and our congregation went from being stagnant to flourishing again, so he still holds that it was one of his better decisions.

I think even within the same denomination there can be a variety of viewpoints, often depending on the church leadership. So I think the best way would be do a google search for "Messianic Judaism + zip code". From there, look at their statements of faith and/or contact them with your question. I'd invite you to visit if you happen to live near St. Paul, MN. Still, there is a lot you can listen to online even if there is not a good congregation in your area.

That does look interesting, thanks. On one hand, I do sympathize with Jews who see themselves as being constantly under both physical and spiritual attack, but on the other, I am happy to see Messianic Judaism flourishing in the face of opposition.

Crazy.

I was in a UMJC (Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations) and we did not have to sign anything like that. I don't think I did much more than let someone have my contact info if needed (but we also has Catholics, non-denoms, and just plain Messianics in our group all celebrating Yeshua). MJAA (Messianic Jewish Alliance of America) is also one of the major groups if you will, but I have not visited a congregation of theirs.

Soyeong
04-16-2015, 09:41 PM
That's all well and good, but my question was the following: What academic theological qualifications does your teacher Mr. Farr possess?

I do not know his theological qualifications off hand, but I told you he is very knowledgeable of the Old and New Testament, so it is obvious that he has them, but feel free to double check what he says.

Soyeong
04-16-2015, 09:53 PM
"Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come." (2Cor. 517)

The above reality is what many HRM and "Messianic" movements are unable to grasp. They stop short of the fullness of the New Covenant and fail to see the spiritual reality of the one new man/third humanity (Eph. 2:15) and new creation (Gal. 6:15) - where there is no Jew nor Gentile. In short, they do not understand what it means to be "in Christ".

Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

1 John 3:4-10 Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 5 You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. 6 No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. 7 Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. 8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. 10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: [b]whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

John 15:1-8 I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

How to do good works/practice righteousness/bear much fruit remains the same regardless of whether you are a Jew or a Gentile. If you don't understand that being "in Christ" means that you will follow God's instructions for how do those things, then you are the one who does not understand what it means.

Scrawly
04-17-2015, 01:40 PM
I do not know his theological qualifications off hand, but I told you he is very knowledgeable of the Old and New Testament, so it is obvious that he has them, but feel free to double check what he says.

Off hand? Or you never knew them in the first place? Our teachers ought to be tried, tested, and true and vetted by accredited academic institutions. So please, find out his qualifications and let me know.

Scrawly
04-17-2015, 01:42 PM
Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

1 John 3:4-10 Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 5 You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. 6 No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. 7 Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. 8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. 10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: [b]whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

John 15:1-8 I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

How to do good works/practice righteousness/bear much fruit remains the same regardless of whether you are a Jew or a Gentile. If you don't understand that being "in Christ" means that you will follow God's instructions for how do those things, then you are the one who does not understand what it means.

No born-again Christian takes issue with good deeds, nor righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Adrift
04-17-2015, 01:56 PM
Off hand? Or you never knew them in the first place? Our teachers ought to be tried, tested, and true and vetted by accredited academic institutions. So please, find out his qualifications and let me know.

I've been to several healthy and functional churches with Pastors/Teachers who had no accreditation. While I think its certainly beneficial for teachers to be accredited, I'm not seeing where you're getting that they ought to be.

Scrawly
04-17-2015, 02:35 PM
I've been to several healthy and functional churches with Pastors/Teachers who had no accreditation. While I think its certainly beneficial for teachers to be accredited, I'm not seeing where you're getting that they ought to be.

Well, Soyeong is in theological error (believes Christian's must obey the Mosaic law, or they are in disobedience), and he is seeking out teachers who reaffirm that error. These teachers are deceived because they are unlearned and Soy is following in their footsteps and unintentionally going about deceiving others. I am attempting to make him see this by pushing him into the light of scholars who rightly divide the word of truth. For example, he will listen to Jim Stanley (a false teacher, with no formal training) preach through Galatians instead of reading a scholarly commentary written by a trusted evangelical scholar like Douglas Moo (who would correct his fundamental error):

http://www.amazon.com/Galatians-Baker-Exegetical-Commentary-Testament/dp/0801027543/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1429306491&sr=8-1&keywords=Galatians+doug+moo

Adrift
04-17-2015, 04:49 PM
Well, Soyeong is in theological error (believes Christian's must obey the Mosaic law, or they are in disobedience), and he is seeking out teachers who reaffirm that error. These teachers are deceived because they are unlearned and Soy is following in their footsteps and unintentionally going about deceiving others. I am attempting to make him see this by pushing him into the light of scholars who rightly divide the word of truth. For example, he will listen to Jim Stanley (a false teacher, with no formal training) preach through Galatians instead of reading a scholarly commentary written by a trusted evangelical scholar like Douglas Moo (who would correct his fundamental error):

http://www.amazon.com/Galatians-Baker-Exegetical-Commentary-Testament/dp/0801027543/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1429306491&sr=8-1&keywords=Galatians+doug+moo

I agree its theological error, but I don't know if this is something that can be so easily rectified by simply pointing to good scholars. I'm curious, too, what sort of academic backing Soyeong's position may have, but it wouldn't surprise me to find that some scholar some place presents a view that gives some credence to his Pastor/Rabbi's interpretation. Hopefully I'm wrong though. Hopefully it can be rectified by pointing to the correct scholars, or pointing to a consensus opinion on the subject, or the reasonableness of the view that you and I hold.

Scrawly
04-17-2015, 05:27 PM
I agree its theological error, but I don't know if this is something that can be so easily rectified by simply pointing to good scholars. I'm curious, too, what sort of academic backing Soyeong's position may have, but it wouldn't surprise me to find that some scholar some place presents a view that gives some credence to his Pastor/Rabbi's interpretation. Hopefully I'm wrong though. Hopefully it can be rectified by pointing to the correct scholars, or pointing to a consensus opinion on the subject, or the reasonableness of the view that you and I hold.

Amen. Unfortunately you might be correct that pointing to various scholars with sound doctrine will not be a sufficient remedy - especially if he chooses not to pursue the recommendation(s). The false teachers and false teachings which he adheres to sees the Church, and the vast majority of Christian's, as being in the throes of lawlessness, which they define as Torah-less-ness; and of course behind that they believe this is the working of Satan or the man of lawlessness. The teachings share a resemblance with various sects such as SDA and Herbert W. Armstrong's World Wide Church of God, but I tend to see them as repeating a variant of the Galatian heresy - which is a big deal - and another gospel.

My hope for Soy and others blinded by deception is that they will come to see that Jesus and His Apostles are the law givers of the New Covenant, not Moses.

Paprika
04-17-2015, 06:35 PM
Hopefully it can be rectified by pointing to the correct scholars, or pointing to a consensus opinion on the subject, or the reasonableness of the view that you and I hold.
There is, of course, the solution of anathema.

Scrawly
04-17-2015, 06:48 PM
Oh and these HR sects/cults also teach that we must walk as Jesus walked (1John 2:6), meaning live a Torah-observant life. These sects also call for an absolute reformation, by which they essentially mean the church must return to Judaism and Torah keeping. Rabbi Stan Farr has written a brief article on this here:

http://rabbiyeshua.com/index.php/item/908-absolute-reformation

I'm sure these false teachers and their followers have admirable intentions (I hope!), but they fail to realize that their efforts to reform the church and right the wrongs of history often amount to little more than Judaizing the bride of Christ.

Soyeong
04-17-2015, 09:35 PM
I'll inquire as to his educational background, but you're just coming off as a snob. Of course there are Messianic scholars and my rabbi cites them as well as other scholars. Even N. T. Wright has come out with a new perspective on Paul that doesn't frame him as being anti-Torah. I don't think he goes far enough, but more an more scholars are starting to realize the importance of understanding the Jewish cultural context has in correctly understanding the Bible. We have long centuries of anti-Semitism in the Church that has tried to sanitize Christianity from its Jewish core. It's not a return to Judaism so much as it is the realization that Christianity is the fulfillment of Judaism, not a separate religion.

It seems like there just such a big disconnect between Jews, who frequently give thanks to God for giving them His Torah to teach them about the right way to live (just read Psalms 119) and with Christians, who consider those instructions to be a heavy burden. Examining the Jewish cultural context has opened my eyes to the fact that most Christians have missed the boat. God is holy, righteous, and good, and has given a law that is holy, righteous, and good (Romans 7:12) in accordance with His standard by which He will judge the world (Romans 3:19-20). God never gave the law to Moses and the Israelites because He thought they could use a heavy burden, but because He wanted to teach them about His righteous standard and about how to live rightly.

The law was always meant to be kept by faith in a way that built a relationship between God and His people and God has always disdained outward shows of obedience to the law while their hearts were far from Him (Isaiah 1:13-17, Mark 7:6-9). Obedience to the law should be done because we love and trust God and want to express that by submitting to His will, not because we want to earn favor with God. Righteousness, or the right way to live, is by living in a loving and dependent relationship with God. The problem with the Israelites was that they were trying to earn favor with God or to live righteously by outward obedience to the law and were missing that living righteously is all about the relationship with God.

Does what I said in the above two paragraphs make sense to you? Are you willing to try to reexamine the Bible through that lens to see if it makes more sense?

So by making the law about outward obedience rather than a relationship, they were perverting it into legalism. By the time of Jesus there were many, many man-made traditions (Mark 7:3-4) for what the Pharisees saw is the right way to follow the law, but Jesus criticized them for being concerned about outward obedience while their hearts were far from God and for setting aside the commands of God in order to establish their own traditions. God is not at odds with Himself and Jesus did nothing apart from God's will, so Jesus was not at odds with the holy, righteous, and good law that God gave to Moses, but he was at odds with the perverted legalistic way that they were keeping the law. He came in part to fulfill the law by showing in word and by action the right way that it should be kept.

So we have no need to be set free from a law that tells us how to live rightly before God, or to be set free from imitating the perfect obedience to God that Christ demonstrated (1 Corinthians 11:1), but there are aspects that are negative when the law comes into contact with our sin nature. The reason why reverse psychology works is that there is just something in us that wants to rebel against being told what to do, so by instructing us how to live rightly, it increased our sin. Our sin also leads us to pervert God's laws and fall into legalism. Lastly, the law condemns us to death for breaking it. So it is these things and our sin nature's mastery over us that held us captive and that Christ set us free from (Romans 7:6), not the instructions for how to live rightly. The opposite of living rightly is sin, and Christians are not set free to sin, but rather we are set free so that we can become slaves of obedience (Romans 6:15-16).

Adrift
04-17-2015, 09:47 PM
I just want to make sure we're all on the same page Soyeong. Does your current Rabbi teach that it is willful disobedience to God's law for a Gentile convert to Christianity to knowingly eat pork, to break the Sabbath, and to not get circumcised? If I became a member of your congregation, signed a statement of faith, and later that day ate a BLT, would I be sinning?

footwasher
04-18-2015, 03:56 AM
I don't see how a recommendation can be made for continued observance of Torah when it is seen that Scripture teaches it was impossible to do so.

Forgiveness, justification, acceptance as those who were loyal to God, had not bowed their knee to Baal, was given to those who had come to this realization, as seen in the parable of who was justified, forgiven, in the account of the Publican and the Pharisee, who both came to the Temple.

Why was the Pharisee found unclean, unacceptable, not kosher, not IN, not fit to be justified, forgiven, not allowed to remain in the assembly of the saints?

Because he had substituted full observance of Torah, necessary to bring him to realisation of his inadequacy, with notional observance, just enough to comply with the norms set by the Sanhedrin, the magisterial institution set up to decide what was required to keep you clean, acceptable in the camp, the assembly of God's People, called out from the world. This magisterium had substituted tradition for Torah, in some instances with rulings that went against the spirit of the law, allowing Jews to withhold support from their parents, by claiming their monies had gone for a higher cause, kurban, supporting the Temple.

Why was the Publican given justification, forgiveness, found to be IN the group known as God's People. The reason is not as clear, not stated directly. The purpose of Torah was to bring to realization of inadequacy, and maybe it took just a few laws to make him realise he couldn't be compliant. (Everybody has a different threshold, to break down, and come to the realisation that our body of death, which even Adam possessed, will not allow turning from selfishness, serving mammon and his goals, to unselfishness, serving God and His ideals, as seen in the case of the rich young ruler. When asking him to obey Torah did not reveal his inadequacy, his sin, Christ went beyond Torah, to ask for a further requirement, to reveal that the sin of worshipping Baal, being selfish, caring for self, rather than working to care for his fellowman, by following God was present in the young man).

Was the Publican working to care for his fellow man by following God? Sure he was. If a sovereign Lord requires input from his vassals in His war against the enemy, then a show of loyalty is enough, in the kingdom of God, to help in the war against the enemy. Did Joshua and Caleb contribute to victory over God's enemies by their personal might or power? No. It was God doing all the fighting. Did the loyalty of Joshua and Caleb contribute to the victory over God's enemies? Sure. Rahab saw what loyalty to God resulted in, and she was won over to God's side. God's victory is first and foremost described in terms of gathering in His sheep.

In the Old Administration, the believer's contribution is limited to loyalty, limited as they were by the body of death. In the New Administration, thanks be to Christ, we can put to death that body of death, by the Holy Spirit, and contribute more, share in what remains in Christ's work, through being in Christ.

Wright rightly recognizes that Second Temple Judaism did not depend on "works righteousness" to "save" a person. Works did not get a person "in". Works indicated that a person was "in", had retained that state of acceptability, was being "clean", not defiled. He also recognized it as a fault: not the attempt to "earn" salvation, but the holding in high esteem of the favoured nation status of Israel, amounting to idolatry.

http://ntwrightpage.com/Wright_Creation_Covenant.htm

Quote
The same is true, and this brings us to another usage of the same word sarx, for Paul’s account of what is wrong within the covenant. Put simply, his point, repeated from several angles and in varying degrees of intensity, is that Israel too is in Adam: the people who bear the solution are themselves part of the problem, and the good and holy Torah (to its own surprise, one might almost say) simply intensifies this problem, partly by pointing at sin within Israel, and partly, at a second level, by apparently encouraging Israel to make it an idol, to use it as a way of establishing an inalienable status of national privilege. This is what Paul can refer to as Israel according to the flesh. This point needs spelling out more fully, but not here.

Christ disabuses Israel of this wrong understanding:

Matthew 15:11"It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man."

As does Paul:

Romans 2:26So, if a man who is uncircumcised keeps the precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision?

It is not observance of food laws or circumcision, following the letter of the law, that makes a person clean, it is following the spirit of the law which does: specifically, speaking good, edifying words, living unselfish lives.

Scrawly
04-18-2015, 10:55 AM
I'll inquire as to his educational background, but you're just coming off as a snob. Of course there are Messianic scholars and my rabbi cites them as well as other scholars. Even N. T. Wright has come out with a new perspective on Paul that doesn't frame him as being anti-Torah. I don't think he goes far enough, but more an more scholars are starting to realize the importance of understanding the Jewish cultural context has in correctly understanding the Bible. We have long centuries of anti-Semitism in the Church that has tried to sanitize Christianity from its Jewish core. It's not a return to Judaism so much as it is the realization that Christianity is the fulfillment of Judaism, not a separate religion.

It seems like there just such a big disconnect between Jews, who frequently give thanks to God for giving them His Torah to teach them about the right way to live (just read Psalms 119) and with Christians, who consider those instructions to be a heavy burden. Examining the Jewish cultural context has opened my eyes to the fact that most Christians have missed the boat. God is holy, righteous, and good, and has given a law that is holy, righteous, and good (Romans 7:12) in accordance with His standard by which He will judge the world (Romans 3:19-20). God never gave the law to Moses and the Israelites because He thought they could use a heavy burden, but because He wanted to teach them about His righteous standard and about how to live rightly.

The law was always meant to be kept by faith in a way that built a relationship between God and His people and God has always disdained outward shows of obedience to the law while their hearts were far from Him (Isaiah 1:13-17, Mark 7:6-9). Obedience to the law should be done because we love and trust God and want to express that by submitting to His will, not because we want to earn favor with God. Righteousness, or the right way to live, is by living in a loving and dependent relationship with God. The problem with the Israelites was that they were trying to earn favor with God or to live righteously by outward obedience to the law and were missing that living righteously is all about the relationship with God.

Does what I said in the above two paragraphs make sense to you? Are you willing to try to reexamine the Bible through that lens to see if it makes more sense?

So by making the law about outward obedience rather than a relationship, they were perverting it into legalism. By the time of Jesus there were many, many man-made traditions (Mark 7:3-4) for what the Pharisees saw is the right way to follow the law, but Jesus criticized them for being concerned about outward obedience while their hearts were far from God and for setting aside the commands of God in order to establish their own traditions. God is not at odds with Himself and Jesus did nothing apart from God's will, so Jesus was not at odds with the holy, righteous, and good law that God gave to Moses, but he was at odds with the perverted legalistic way that they were keeping the law. He came in part to fulfill the law by showing in word and by action the right way that it should be kept.

So we have no need to be set free from a law that tells us how to live rightly before God, or to be set free from imitating the perfect obedience to God that Christ demonstrated (1 Corinthians 11:1), but there are aspects that are negative when the law comes into contact with our sin nature. The reason why reverse psychology works is that there is just something in us that wants to rebel against being told what to do, so by instructing us how to live rightly, it increased our sin. Our sin also leads us to pervert God's laws and fall into legalism. Lastly, the law condemns us to death for breaking it. So it is these things and our sin nature's mastery over us that held us captive and that Christ set us free from (Romans 7:6), not the instructions for how to live rightly. The opposite of living rightly is sin, and Christians are not set free to sin, but rather we are set free so that we can become slaves of obedience (Romans 6:15-16).

I look forward to hearing about his qualifications.

PS: Once again, no one has ever argued that Paul is "anti-Torah", nor has anyone argued that Jesus abolished the law and instituted antinomianism. Moreover, I have absolutely no issue with studying the Jewish roots of Christianity. After all, "salvation is from the Jews" (John 4:22), and I have love for the Jewish people and with Paul I can say, "my heart's desire and prayer is to see them saved" (Rom. 10:1).

Soyeong
04-18-2015, 05:05 PM
I look forward to hearing about his qualifications.

I sent him an e-mail, but I didn't get a chance to talk with him one on one today. In any case, I'm far more concerned with whether what he says is true than what his qualifications happen to be. Regardless of whether a teacher has a Seminary degree or no formal training, we should always check what they say. Did you have any comments on the lessons that you listened to?

Soyeong
04-18-2015, 06:02 PM
I just want to make sure we're all on the same page Soyeong. Does your current Rabbi teach that it is willful disobedience to God's law for a Gentile convert to Christianity to knowingly eat pork, to break the Sabbath, and to not get circumcised? If I became a member of your congregation, signed a statement of faith, and later that day ate a BLT, would I be sinning?

My rabbi is a big believer that it's the Holy Spirit's job to convict people about whether they should obey the law, not ours. He also thinks that we should try not to club people with the truth. If you think God's law does not apply to you, then eating pork and breaking the Sabbath are not acts of willful disobedience, but if you are wrong about thinking that God's law doesn't apply to you, then it nevertheless is disobedience.

From our statement of faith: https://www.rabbiyeshua.com/newcomers/2014-10-29-21-01-07

"We believe that through His guidance we become part of a New Covenant, no longer needing a man to teach us how to live lives that satisfy the standards of God’s Torah but the Holy Spirit will lead us into living lives that rise above the minimum standards set forth in Torah. This guidance supersedes Mishnah, Talmud and Church dogma or any of man’s legalism but in no way nullifies God’s Eternal Torah or any other part of the Bible as it is God’s infallible word and our final authority."

If you agreed to that that the Holy Spirit will lead us into living lives that rise above the law and away from what it says is sin, then eating a BLT would qualify as sin. I think if you look at the fact that in 1 Peter Jews and Gentiles are told that we are a holy nation, that we should have a holy conduct, that we are to "be holy, for God is holy", and you look at what it means in the Bible to be a holy nation, have a holy conduct, and where the author is quoting from, then it becomes pretty clear that refraining from defiling ourselves with eating unclean animals is part of it.

Romans 14 is often misunderstood because people miss that the context is about conflict between disputable matters of opinion rather than about whether we should obey the commands of God. For instance, if you were eating at a community meal and you didn't know for sure whether any of the meat had be sacrificed to idols before it had been sold on the market, then you might be of the opinion that all of the meat is unclean and eat only vegetables (14:2). You might look down on those who were of the opinion that all of the meat was fine to eat, and in turn be disdained by them (14:3). In any case, Paul has no authority to countermand the commands of God, so if Paul disagrees with what Jesus said in Matthew 5:17-19, then throw out Paul, but I don't think it needs to come to that when taking a closer look at the context will do.

Galatians 1:1 Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— 2 and all the brothers and sisters[a] with me,

Paul is an apostle or a "sent one" of both Jesus and the Father, so what he says will not go against what Jesus said or what the Father has commanded.
------

In regard to circumcision, the OT only tells Gentiles to become circumcised in two places, neither of which requires all Gentiles to become circumcised, the the requirement for all Gentiles to become circumcised is a law of the Jews, not a law of God. By overruling the law of the Jews in Acts 15, they were ruling against a man-made law and upholding the law of God. Paul makes the issue of circumcision perfectly clear here:

1 Corinthians 7:17-19 Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches. 18 Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commands is what counts.

Soyeong
04-18-2015, 09:47 PM
I don't see how a recommendation can be made for continued observance of Torah when it is seen that Scripture teaches it was impossible to do so.

The purposes God had in giving the law were, among others, to teach us about a holy, righteous, and good God, to teach us how to live according to His holy, righteous, and good standard, to point out how far short we fall of that standard, to provide a temporary remedy for transgressing that standard, and to point to our need for one who can provide a permanent remedy. While it's true that we have all sinned fallen short, the law was not given just to point that out:

Deuteronomy 6:25 And if we are careful to obey all this law before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness.”

In other words, he is saying that we will live rightly if we obey God's commands. If we have all sinned, then none of us have been justified by living rightly, which means that like Abraham and David (Romans 4:1-8), if Moses and any of the Israelites were justified, they were justified by faith before the law was given to them. So the law was not given to them so that they could become justified by keeping it, but so those who were declared righteous would know how to practice righteousness.

Ephesians 2:8-10 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Paul could have equivalently said we are declared righteous by grace through faith, not by practicing righteousness, but we are created in Christ for the purpose of practicing righteousness.

1 John 3:10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

Again, those who abide in Christ and are children of God are called to practice righteousness, so following the law is not about what we need to do to become justified, but about how Christians should behave after we are justified, as we go through the process of being sanctified and being made to be like Christ in how he thought and in how he obeyed God.


Why was the Pharisee found unclean, unacceptable, not kosher, not IN, not fit to be justified, forgiven, not allowed to remain in the assembly of the saints?

Because he had substituted full observance of Torah, necessary to bring him to realisation of his inadequacy, with notional observance, just enough to comply with the norms set by the Sanhedrin, the magisterial institution set up to decide what was required to keep you clean, acceptable in the camp, the assembly of God's People, called out from the world. This magisterium had substituted tradition for Torah, in some instances with rulings that went against the spirit of the law, allowing Jews to withhold support from their parents, by claiming their monies had gone for a higher cause, kurban, supporting the Temple.

Because of our sin nature, we have the tendency to pervert the law into legalism as the Pharisees had done. Obedience to the law is meant to be a demonstration of our faith and love to God, not something we do to legalistically earn favor with God. Love gives freely and joyfully, but love that is given in exchange for something is a perversion that is not really love at all. The problem with the Pharisees is that they we concerned with outward obedience while their hearts were far from God.


Why was the Publican given justification, forgiveness, found to be IN the group known as God's People.

I think his problem was that we can not serve two masters and his money was his master.


Wright rightly recognizes that Second Temple Judaism did not depend on "works righteousness" to "save" a person. Works did not get a person "in". Works indicated that a person was "in", had retained that state of acceptability, was being "clean", not defiled. He also recognized it as a fault: not the attempt to "earn" salvation, but the holding in high esteem of the favoured nation status of Israel, amounting to idolatry.

Romans 9:30-32 What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness[d] did not succeed in reaching that law. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone,

The problem was not that Israel pursued the law, but that they pursued it in the wrong way. They pursued the law legalistically, rather than by faith as the Gentiles did.


Quote
The same is true, and this brings us to another usage of the same word sarx, for Paul’s account of what is wrong within the covenant. Put simply, his point, repeated from several angles and in varying degrees of intensity, is that Israel too is in Adam: the people who bear the solution are themselves part of the problem, and the good and holy Torah (to its own surprise, one might almost say) simply intensifies this problem, partly by pointing at sin within Israel, and partly, at a second level, by apparently encouraging Israel to make it an idol, to use it as a way of establishing an inalienable status of national privilege. This is what Paul can refer to as Israel according to the flesh. This point needs spelling out more fully, but not here.

Agreed.


Matthew 15:11"It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man."

Matthew 15:20 These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.”

Matthew 15 is entirely a discussion about ritual and moral purity. The Pharisees were saying if you ate normally kosher bread with unwashed hands, then it would become ritually unclean and verse 20 shows that the topic never switched from that. Jesus was making the point that their concern for ritual purity was not balanced by their concern for moral purity, not making a comment about dietary laws. In fact, it would have been extremely hypocritical if Jesus was setting aside the commands of God because he had just finished criticizing the Pharisees for doing that. Furthermore, if Jesus had been teaching not to follow the commands of God, then he would have been in violation of Deuteronomy 13 and disqualified himself as being the Messiah.


Romans 2:26So, if a man who is uncircumcised keeps the precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision?

That passage is Romans 2 is saying that what matters is having a circumcised heart and both Jews and Gentiles are recognized as having that by their obedience to the law.


It is not observance of food laws or circumcision, following the letter of the law, that makes a person clean, it is following the spirit of the law which does: specifically, speaking good, edifying words, living unselfish lives.

I'm not saying that we should legalistically follow the letter of the law, but that we should follow the law by faith and by the leading of the Spirit. The law is spiritual and the Spirit is not at odds with the law that God gave, but rather it works to help us to obey the law.

Romans 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin.

Ezekiel 36:27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.

Galatians 5:19-23 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy,[d] drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

All the things that Paul is talking about here are straight from the law.

Adrift
04-19-2015, 07:27 AM
That was a lot of words when all I wanted to know was the following:


eating a BLT would qualify as sin.


if Paul disagrees with what Jesus said in Matthew 5:17-19, then throw out Paul, but I don't think it needs to come to that when taking a closer look at the context will do.


I think there's a better way of solving the false dilemma between Paul's teaching on the Law (that it was our schoolmaster/guardian till Christ came) and Jesus' statement in Matthew 5:17-19. I believe that Jesus (as he pointed out) is the fulfillment of the Law for those who believe in him, and what that means is that we are no longer bound to the letter of the Law, because Jesus did all of the heavy lifting for us. The heart of the Law, the non-ceremonial/judicial moral core, is still applicable. I do believe, though, the full brunt of the Mosaic Law is still in effect, and that those NOT in Christ will be judged (and ultimately condemned) by it. Only one man has been able to successfully live up to the demands of the Law, and he sacrificed his life knowing that it would be impossible for us to do the same. It is only through him that there is now no longer any condemnation.


In regard to circumcision, the OT only tells Gentiles to become circumcised in two places, neither of which requires all Gentiles to become circumcised, the the requirement for all Gentiles to become circumcised is a law of the Jews, not a law of God. By overruling the law of the Jews in Acts 15, they were ruling against a man-made law and upholding the law of God. Paul makes the issue of circumcision perfectly clear here:

1 Corinthians 7:17-19 Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches. 18 Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commands is what counts.

So, eating pork and breaking the Sabbath is out...circumcision, however, gets a pass. Interesting.

Paprika
04-19-2015, 07:40 AM
So, eating pork and breaking the Sabbath is out...circumcision, however, gets a pass. Interesting.
Only because he conveniently focuses only on the Mosaic Covenant.

And God said to Abraham, “As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations. This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring, both he who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money, shall surely be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant. Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”

Soyeong
04-19-2015, 09:24 AM
That was a lot of words when all I wanted to know was the following:


So, eating pork and breaking the Sabbath is out...circumcision, however, gets a pass. Interesting.

Sorry, I needed to make the point that the Sabbath and dietary laws are in accordance with the law, while requiring all Gentiles to become circumcised was not in a way that didn't appear arbitrary. The requirement for all Gentiles to become circumcised can't be found anywhere in the OT. I think that just emphasises the point that what is being talked about in the first part of Acts 15 is specifically in regard to man-made oral laws.


I think there's a better way of solving the false dilemma between Paul's teaching on the Law (that it was our schoolmaster/guardian till Christ came)

"If your father were king and you were a young child destined to rule one day, he would get a tutor to train you and teach you what you would need to know to rule the kingdom when your time came. He would give the tutor authority to teach, discipline, and punish you.

When your time came, would you immediately shoot your tutor, reject everything he had ever taught you, and then have the audacity to proclaim your actions to be in accordance with the wishes, desires, and intentions of your father the king? The tutor is not the king. He is given by the king to train those who will one day rule. They must be trained so that they can properly make decisions and act in the liberty, freedom, responsibility, and position they will one day have.

The tutor is there so that you might take his lessons to heart, so that they might become a natural part of your thought processes. You are to rule according to what you have learned, even though the tutor no longer has authority to control or punish you. You will not need to be controlled from then outside, because you will have accepted what you have been taught. You will be controlled from within your heart. It will be your second nature."


Jesus' statement in Matthew 5:17-19. I believe that Jesus (as he pointed out) is the fulfillment of the Law for those who believe in him, and what that means is that we are no longer bound to the letter of the Law, because Jesus did all of the heavy lifting for us.

Every Sabbath, a rabbi in a synagogue would stand up and take a scroll to Moses's Seat, where they would fulfill the Law and the Prophets by interpreting and explaining how they should be understood. This was precisely what Jesus was doing in Luke 4:14-21. So fulfilling the law was a rabbinic term that referred to interpreting the law in a way that added meaning to it, filled it up with meaning, or brought full understanding to it, which is also what Jesus proceeded to in Matthew 5:21-48. Fulfilling the law also referred to taking actions that show that you correctly understand how to follow the law, so by keeping the law perfectly, Jesus taught by example how we should correctly understand to obey the law.

So fulfilling the law was not at all a once and for all thing. Jesus used "fulfill" in contrast with "abolish", so it should not be interpreted to mean the same thing in regard to abolishing part of the law for those who believe in him. Those would would teach to relax the smallest part of the law still come under Jesus' warning in Matthew 5:17-19. Furthermore, Jesus fulfilled the Law and the Prophets, so it shouldn't be interpreted to mean that Jesus abolished the Prophets.


The heart of the Law, the non-ceremonial/judicial moral core, is still applicable. I do believe, though, the full brunt of the Mosaic Law is still in effect, and that those NOT in Christ will be judged (and ultimately condemned) by it. Only one man has been able to successfully live up to the demands of the Law, and he sacrificed his life knowing that it would be impossible for us to do the same. It is only through him that there is now no longer any condemnation.

I'm not saying you said this, but if moral laws are on in regard to man's relationship with man and not man's relationship with God, then the first four of the Ten Commandments are not moral laws, including the law against idolatry. However, if moral laws are in regard to man's relationship to God, then all of God's laws are moral laws. I don't see where Paul or anyone else in the Bible made any distinction between moral and nonmoral laws.

Romans 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,

Romans 8:7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.

I am in full agreement with Romans 8:1, but I am also in full agreement with 8:7. I don't see it how it follows that unbelievers need to submit to God's law and then once they become a believe they don't have to bother with submitting to part of it.

Soyeong
04-19-2015, 09:31 AM
Only because he conveniently focuses only on the Mosaic Covenant.

And God said to Abraham, “As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations. This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring, both he who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money, shall surely be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant. Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”

That is one of the two places that the law requires Gentiles to become circumcised. The other place in in Exodus 12:48. So Gentiles only had to become circumcised if they were part of Abraham's household or if they wanted to eat of the Passover lamb, neither of which applies to all Gentiles everywhere. The Bible also does not list a process for how a Gentile is to become a Jewish proselyte and there was some disagreement within Judaism about whether a proper proselyte needed to be circumcised, immersed, or both. So that process and requiring Gentiles to go through it is all about man-made laws.

Paprika
04-19-2015, 09:44 AM
That is one of the two places that the law requires Gentiles to become circumcised. The other place in in Exodus 12:48. So Gentiles only had to become circumcised if they were part of Abraham's household
Christians are grafted into Abraham's family.


or if they wanted to eat of the Passover lamb, neither of which applies to all Gentiles everywhere.
The Law commands the celebration of the Passover. So if Gentile Christians are supposed to obey the Law they have to be circumcised to do so.

Soyeong
04-19-2015, 10:19 AM
Christians are grafted into Abraham's family.

Gentiles believers are not made physically into Jews by faith, but by faith they are part of Israel, are counted as heirs to the promise, and are counted as circumcised.

Paprika
04-19-2015, 10:27 AM
but by faith they are ... counted as circumcised.
Really?

And what about keeping the Passover? Going to conveniently not address it again?

Soyeong
04-19-2015, 03:19 PM
It's possible that the first Christians all kept the law as Jesus did (which is to say, they observed the laws of the Torah, not all the traditions accreted around it to "protect" it). The prohibition of eating meat and dairy products together, for example, completely misses the point of Torah law upon which it is based.

The problem is that ancient Hebrew didn't use vowels, so that leaves the command open to to a possible interpretation that prohibits eating meat and dairy together. I'm not convinced that that is the correct interpretation, but I no longer use it as an example of rabbis getting carried away.


That depends on what exactly is meant by "Torah observance." The Jewish leaders of Jesus' day claimed HE wasn't being Torah observant.

They agreed that the Torah should be observed, but disagreed about how it should be observed.


I don't recall seeing that complaint, though Judaism was hardly monolithic at the time. Who was complaining? The Pharisees? Saducees? Essenes?

It was a quote of Jewish literature that I found in an article a while back, so I don't recall which group specifically it was, but again their disagreement was not about whether the law should be observed, but about the way in which is should be observed.


Is there good Messianic Judaism? The label, it seems to me, displays a reluctance to identify oneself with Christians in favor of emphasizing one's Jewishness (a stance of which Paul certainly would disapprove).

Messianic Judaism is made up of Jews who recognize Jesus as their Messiah and Gentiles that recognize the innate Jewishness of Christianity and that we follow a Jewish Messiah. Good Messianic Judaism emphasizes the Jewishness of Christianity, not one's Jewishness, and it does not hesitate to identify as Christian. While it is true that there are some Messianics who look down on Gentiles and Gentiles who are made to be inferior, that is not how it should be.

Paul was arguing against the idea that people had a better or worse status based on which group they belong to. He was not denying that there were Jews, Gentiles, slaves, free, men, or women, but was saying that they all had equal when it comes to being in Christ. In other words, Paul was not denying the Jewishness of Christianity, but that that gives superior status to Jews.


IIRC Bah'a'ullah claimed to be the Muslim Mahdi.

Lots of people have claimed to be Jesus too. The point again is that we don't expect them to start a new religion.


Jesus came in fulfillment of the Jewish Tanakh, but, properly understood, Christianity transcends Judaism to encompass humanity. It is the "faithful remnant" of the prophets with the inclusion of the Gentiles which those same prophets predict.

Gentile inclusion does not mean Gentile transcendence.


Those who attempted to follow both the old and new covenants in the time of the Church Fathers tended to have rather unorthodox theology. And the liturgy of the Orthodox Church is still based on the synagogue service from which it developed.

I said nothing about following the Old Covenant and I would be opposed to people going back to it. God's holy, righteous, and good standard exist independently of any covenant that offers additional rewards or punishments based on whether or not you live in accordance with God's standard. When people under the Old Covenant sin, they are violating both their covenant and God's standard.


If the point is that Jews tend to misrepresent Christianity, they do.

My point was that when Jews read the NT they recognize who thoroughly Jewish it is. Also that if Jesus had taught against keeping the law, it would have disqualified him as the Messiah. Jesus was not at odds with God's holy, righteous, and good standard.

Soyeong
04-19-2015, 03:21 PM
Really?

And what about keeping the Passover? Going to conveniently not address it again?

Indeed, I thought that had already been address sufficiently. If circumcision of the heart matters much more than circumcision of the flesh, then how much more does it count towards that requirement for Passover?

Paprika
04-19-2015, 08:56 PM
Indeed, I thought that had already been address sufficiently.
You've merely avoided the issue. If A matters more than B, it does not mean that B is completely null and redundant and revoked.

The Israelites were exhorted to circumcise their hearts in Deuteronomy, but that did not replace the requirements of physical circumcision.

Soyeong
04-19-2015, 09:08 PM
You've merely avoided the issue. If A matters more than B, it does not mean that B is completely null and redundant and revoked.

The Israelites were exhorted to circumcise their hearts in Deuteronomy, but that did not replace the requirements of physical circumcision.

Romans 2:26-29 For circumcision indeed is of value if you obey the law, but if you break the law, your circumcision becomes uncircumcision. 26 So, if a man who is uncircumcised keeps the precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? 27 Then he who is physically[c] uncircumcised but keeps the law will condemn you who have the written code[d] and circumcision but break the law. 28 For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. 29 But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.

Paprika
04-19-2015, 09:23 PM
Romans 2:26-29 For circumcision indeed is of value if you obey the law, but if you break the law, your circumcision becomes uncircumcision. 26 So, if a man who is uncircumcised keeps the precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? 27 Then he who is physically[c] uncircumcised but keeps the law will condemn you who have the written code[d] and circumcision but break the law. 28 For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. 29 But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.

The Israelites were exhorted to circumcise their hearts in Deuteronomy, but that did not replace the requirements of physical circumcision.

Soyeong
04-19-2015, 09:38 PM
The Israelites were exhorted to circumcise their hearts in Deuteronomy, but that did not replace the requirements of physical circumcision.

Indeed, God's law does require Jews to become physically circumcised as a sign of the covenant, but if God were to choose who could eat of the lamb between someone who was physically circumcised who lived in complete disregard to His law and someone who was uncircumcised who lived in obedience to His law, I have no expectation that God would choose the first over the second. He would regard the first as being uncircumcised and the second as being circumcised.

Paprika
04-19-2015, 09:43 PM
Indeed, God's law does require Jews to become physically circumcised as a sign of the covenant
So what are you and the other Gentiles in your group waiting for?


but if God were to choose who could eat of the lamb between someone who was physically circumcised who lived in complete disregard to His law and someone who was uncircumcised who lived in obedience to His law, I have no expectation that God would choose the first over the second. He would regard the first as being uncircumcised and the second as being circumcised.
I'm pretty sure God would have been unhappy about some of the circumcised people eating the Passover but that does not nullify the command to be circumcised.

Weren't you the one claiming that all of God's commands needed to be kept?

Soyeong
04-19-2015, 10:24 PM
So what are you and the other Gentiles in your group waiting for?

I have never advocated joining the Old covenant and I would be opposed to anything thinking that we should.


I'm pretty sure God would have been unhappy about some of the circumcised people eating the Passover but that does not nullify the command to be circumcised.

Weren't you the one claiming that all of God's commands needed to be kept?

The law is spiritual, so I think a case can be made for going by the spirit of the law rather than the letter, though the easy solution would be for them to be circumcised. Before you cry Galatians 5:2, roughly about 80% of the men in the USA are circumcised, so is Paul saying that Christ is no value to them? I think not, so the reason behind getting circumcised is important. If people were already justified by faith and then rejected Christ's gift in an attempt to be justified by becoming a Jew and keeping the law, then Christ would be of no value to them. If they someone gets circumcised because they want to obey God out of faith and love, then it would be appropriate.

Paprika
04-19-2015, 10:29 PM
I have never advocated joining the Old covenant and I would be opposed to anything thinking that we should.
You need to follow the Mosaic Law to eat the Passover. You need to be circumcised to do so. Do it.



The law is spiritual, so I think a case can be made for going by the spirit of the law rather than the letter, though the easy solution would be for them to be circumcised... If they someone gets circumcised because they want to obey God out of faith and love, then it would be appropriate.
"easy" solution? Going "by the spirit"? "Appropriate"? :lmbo:

You've made so much noise in multiple threads about obeying all of God's commands. Now when pointed that entails that circumcision has to be done you backpedal and evade.

By Mosaic Law Passover has to be kept. To keep Passover the males have to be circumcised. So to keep God's commands, as you have been emphasised so much, you need to be circumcised.

It is not merely 'appropriate'. It is necessary.

Paprika
04-19-2015, 10:30 PM
And really, who is this rabbi of yours that can't do even simple exegesis to the effect that circumcision is necessary to keep God's commands?

Soyeong
04-19-2015, 10:52 PM
You've made so much noise in multiple threads about obeying all of God's commands. Now when pointed that entails that circumcision has to be done you backpedal and evade.

By Mosaic Law Passover has to be kept. To keep Passover the males have to be circumcised. So to keep God's commands, as you have been emphasised so much, you need to be circumcised.

It is not merely 'appropriate'. It is necessary.

It's amusing that you think I backpedaled. I distinctly said that I think the case can be made a circumcised heart more than qualifies for the requirement for eating of the lamb. Even then, people who are uncircumcised can celebrate Passover without eating of the lamb. I think I'm right, but even if I'm wrong, someone can cover their bases by simply getting circumcised, so you're obsessing over a moot point.


And really, who is this rabbi of yours that can't do even simple exegesis to the effect that circumcision is necessary to keep God's commands?

Did you see my quoting my rabbi in this regard? :huh:

Paprika
04-19-2015, 11:05 PM
It's amusing that you think I backpedaled. I distinctly said that I think the case can be made a circumcised heart more than qualifies for the requirement for eating of the lamb.
And I've demonstrated that that's merely an ad hoc dismissal.


Even then, people who are uncircumcised can celebrate Passover without eating of the lamb.
:lmbo:


someone can cover their bases by simply getting circumcised
It's not about playing safe and covering's one's bases, it's about the necessity of keeping all of God's commands (which you've been trumpeting in many threads).


Did you see my quoting my rabbi in this regard? :huh:
If your rabbi agreed with me that circumcision is necessary you wouldn't be putting up all your silly objections.

footwasher
04-20-2015, 12:20 AM
The two reasons why believers would change denominations would be:

Discovering that the new group has compelling answers for topics that are important to them

Finding out that the answers expand their understanding of their faith

In the process, shaky understandings of issues that are not relevant to their needs do not seem to bother them, as can be seen by the large numbers of people who hold on to the various unorthodox sects like Mormonism and JWism. They live with massive contradictions anx do do Messianic Jews.


An important issue in the first category is the view of Law, and I am very happy to understand that Law is eternal, has always existed, since people died even when no formal code was revealed by God, and people only die if they transgress, and transgression happens only if law exists.

Law existed even in the Garden, in all its aspects and Adam was only immune from death because he was not exposed to law by virtue of God not placing him under the law's jurisdiction.

The same situation exists for those who are IN Christ. We are in the new humanity, which is also spared from the jurisdiction of Law, by virtue of Christ winning the authority to represent the old humanity, dying and putting into force a will, because no will can be put into force without a death, the terms of the will being that those who were IN Christ, in the new humanity, by virtue of faith, would enjoy the benefits of the new administration, not of Law but of Grace, meaning that whilst the Old Administration had requirements and those who did not meet the requirements, meaning all, were under a curse, would die, meaning not live the entirety of the life eternal, a type of living, whence in the presence of God one's earthly needs world be met and one would contribute to the restoration of creation, if one honoured law, but only enjoy in part eternal living, have the needs of one's earthly existence met but not have the gift of enabling to contribute to the restoration of creation.

Where as those IN Christ WOULD have the opportunity to live the entirety of eternal living: they would have all their early needs met, be enabled to contribute to the restoration of creation as well as not be under the jurisdiction of the law. In other words, enjoy all the benefits the first Adam enjoyed.


Messianic Judaism seems to provide a safe answer to how a believer should understand law, although whether that view is safe is itself debatable since Scripture teaches that those who place themselves under Law are under the curse associated with Law,.since Christ will be of no benefit to them, these losing that which qualifies them to be co-inheritors of the will with Christ, faith in Him, who is Himself the first beneficiary of that will, testament, covenant.


That deals with the peace Messianic have with the view of Law. My question is what way does their teachings deal with expanding the range of issues they are able to understand.

For example, the conventional understanding of the purpose of creation, God's game plan, His will, is for men to turn to Him so that they may escape judgement, and Hell, and find refuge in heaven. That sounds rather simplistic, because the original plan seems to have been a partnering with God to complete the work of creation, subduing the world, of which man's natural self is present in microcosm, affirming God's righteousness in the physical realm as it has already been assigned in the spiritual, ie. His will being done on earth as it is done in heaven.


Orthodox Judaism teaches that chayei olam, eternal living, is the observing of God's commandments, doing mitzvot, contributing to the restoration of creation, repairing creation, tikkun olam. The view is derivative, based on that which is found in the written and the oral instructions, and is speculative, since no tangible results are seen.

Compare that with the teaching of Christ:

John 5:39You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, 40and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.


I suppose I'm saying that doctrinal soundness isn't going to generate progress in this discussion, because highly qualified scholars have already formed well supported views for their own positions. What may tip the discussion in favor of a particular position is evidence of tangible improvement in the situation of creation, actual regeneration of dead creatures:


John 7:38Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them."

Jeremiah 2:13"My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living
water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.

Revelation 7:17For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; 'he will lead them to springs of living water.'

Zechariah 14:8On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half of it east to the Dead Sea and half of it west to the Mediterranean Sea, in summer and in winter.

9And the LORD will be king over all the earth; in that day the LORD will be the only one, and His name the only one.

One Bad Pig
04-20-2015, 06:48 AM
The problem is that ancient Hebrew didn't use vowels, so that leaves the command open to to a possible interpretation that prohibits eating meat and dairy together. I'm not convinced that that is the correct interpretation, but I no longer use it as an example of rabbis getting carried away.
I would be interested in seeing how a prohibition to boiling a kid in its mother's milk (a deliberately cultic act) could possibly be interpreted to prohibit meat and dairy together.

They agreed that the Torah should be observed, but disagreed about how it should be observed.
And you think we should observe the Torah too, yes?


Messianic Judaism is made up of Jews who recognize Jesus as their Messiah and Gentiles that recognize the innate Jewishness of Christianity and that we follow a Jewish Messiah. Good Messianic Judaism emphasizes the Jewishness of Christianity, not one's Jewishness, and it does not hesitate to identify as Christian. While it is true that there are some Messianics who look down on Gentiles and Gentiles who are made to be inferior, that is not how it should be.
You don't quite get the root of my objection. The term itself emphasizes Judaism, not Christ. In a sense, all practicing Jews are Messianic in the sense that they look for a messiah to come.

Gentile inclusion does not mean Gentile transcendence.
Huh?


I said nothing about following the Old Covenant and I would be opposed to people going back to it. God's holy, righteous, and good standard exist independently of any covenant that offers additional rewards or punishments based on whether or not you live in accordance with God's standard. When people under the Old Covenant sin, they are violating both their covenant and God's standard.
You are aware that Torah IS the Old Covenant? When you say we should follow the first, but not the second, you're not making any sense. The Torah is not a buffet, where you can pick and choose what you want to follow; it's an all or nothing proposition.




My point was that when Jews read the NT they recognize who thoroughly Jewish it is. Also that if Jesus had taught against keeping the law, it would have disqualified him as the Messiah. Jesus was not at odds with God's holy, righteous, and good standard.
That is not in dispute here. :shrug:

ETA: In doing some reading on the first couple centuries AD, it seems that Jews were actively proselytizing Christians to become Jews, especially in times of persecution (Jews were not persecuted as Christians were, so converting to Judaism meant that one no longer had to worry about being forced to sacrifice to the gods, and Jewish proselytizers capitalized on that). Jews also tended to cooperate with the authorities in accusing or turning in Christians. Christian women tended to be especially attracted to Judaism, since they didn't have to undergo circumcision. This is a big reason why there was anti-Jewish polemic in the early church, and why leaders discouraged participation in Jewish festivals (which would have been occasions for proselytizing).

Soyeong
04-20-2015, 10:35 AM
They live with massive contradictions anx do do Messianic Jews.

Of course I disagree. I think MJ makes much more sense of the Bible and that I've gained a much better understanding of the Bible in the past three years since I've started studying the Jewish cultural context than I had in the previous thirty.

If you're looking for massive contradictions, then how can Paul say that the law gives us knowledge of sin (Romans 3:20), that without it we wouldn't even know what sin was (7:7), that we are set free from the law (7:6), and yet that we are not set free to sin (6:15)? How can Paul say that our faith upholds the law (3:31) and that our faith releases us from the law? Why would we even need to be set free from something that is holy, righteous and good in the first place (7:12)? How can the righteous requirement of the law be fulfilled in us if we don't do what the righteous law requires (8:4)? How can Paul say that the mind that is set on flesh is hostile to God and doesn't submit to God's law, if he is saying that we shouldn't submit to God's law (8:6)? How can the children of God who abide in Him be the ones who practice righteousness (1 John 3:6, 10), yet ignore the Bible's instructions for how to practice righteousness? How can we be told that we are a holy nation (1 Peter 2:9-10), to have a holy conduct, and to "be holy, for God is holy" (1 Peter 1:15-16), yet ignore the Bible's instructions that are being quoted from that explain how to have a holy conduct? How can we understand Paul to be saying we don't have to obey the law (Galatians 5:18) if he then goes on to say we should act in accordance with the law (Galatians 5:19-24), and that we should correct people who are caught in sin (Galatians 6:1)? How can walking in the Spirit be in opposition to the law that the Father has commanded? How can Jesus, who kept the law perfectly and did nothing apart from the Father, be in opposition to the law that the Father has commanded? How can the Father's grace be in opposition to the law that He has commanded? How can Paul, who was sent by both Jesus and the Father (Galatians 1:1) say anything in opposition to what Jesus said (Matthew 5:17-19) or against keeping the law that the Father has commanded?

The easy solutions to these contradictions are what is found in MJ by noting that there is an aspect of the law that holds us captive that we need to be set free from and an aspect of law that is holy, righteous, and good that our faith upholds. The aspect of the law that holds us captive is that it condemns us to death for transgressing it (Romans 7:1-4, 8:1-2), our sin nature has the propensity to be perverted into legalism (7:6), and our sin nature leads us to rebel against what we are told to do (7:6-25). The aspect of the law that is holy, righteous, and good, is its instructions for how to live in a manner that is holy, righteous, and good. The law is spiritual (7:14), so walking in the Spirit is walking in accordance with the law, and a role of the Spirit is to cause us to become obedient to the law (Ezekiel 36:27).


Messianic Judaism seems to provide a safe answer to how a believer should understand law, although whether that view is safe is itself debatable since Scripture teaches that those who place themselves under Law are under the curse associated with Law,.since Christ will be of no benefit to them, these losing that which qualifies them to be co-inheritors of the will with Christ, faith in Him, who is Himself the first beneficiary of that will, testament, covenant.

The curse of the law is that it condemns us to death for transgressing it and it is this curse that Jesus became for us when he took our sin. If someone rejects Christ's gift and tries to become justified by keeping the law through their own effort, then because all have sinned, they will fail at becoming justified and fall under the curse of the law, and Christ will be of no value to them. This is not to say it is bad to act in a manner that is holy, righteous, and good, but that we can't be justified by doing so. In fact, the law was never given so that people could become justified by keeping it through their own effort - that is actually a legalistic perversion of the law. So we should not confuse a criticism of a perverted way in which the law was being kept as a criticism of a law that is holy, righteous, and good.


Orthodox Judaism teaches that chayei olam, eternal living, is the observing of God's commandments, doing mitzvot, contributing to the restoration of creation, repairing creation, tikkun olam. The view is derivative, based on that which is found in the written and the oral instructions, and is speculative, since no tangible results are seen.

Orthodox Judaism can be used to help provide a better understand of the cultural context in which the Bible takes place, and it can sometimes have teachings that are good, but those teachings should be taken with a grain of salt.


I suppose I'm saying that doctrinal soundness isn't going to generate progress in this discussion, because highly qualified scholars have already formed well supported views for their own positions. What may tip the discussion in favor of a particular position is evidence of tangible improvement in the situation of creation, actual regeneration of dead creatures:

I agree with all of those verses and see no conflict between them and MJ.

Soyeong
04-20-2015, 01:34 PM
I would be interested in seeing how a prohibition to boiling a kid in its mother's milk (a deliberately cultic act) could possibly be interpreted to prohibit meat and dairy together.

Thinking that it was a cultic act is one theory for why the command was given, but I think it also has to do with mixing what was meant for life with dead flesh. A lot of the purity laws have to do with not bringing something that represents death or corruption into the presence of God. In any case, you might find this video interesting:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWRQIV04l80


And you think we should observe the Torah too, yes?

Indeed.


You don't quite get the root of my objection. The term itself emphasizes Judaism, not Christ. In a sense, all practicing Jews are Messianic in the sense that they look for a messiah to come.

"Messiah" and "Christ" mean the same thing and Jesus is the Jewish Messiah, so I don't see how that takes the emphasis away from who he is and who we are following. If there is any emphasis away from Christ, it is that modern Christianity has tried to sanitize its Jewishness.


Huh?

Gentiles do not transcend Israel, but by faith are included with it.


I said nothing about following the Old Covenant and I would be opposed to people going back to it. God's holy, righteous, and good standard exist independently of any covenant that offers additional rewards or punishments based on whether or not you live in accordance with God's standard. When people under the Old Covenant sin, they are violating both their covenant and God's standard.


You are aware that Torah IS the Old Covenant? When you say we should follow the first, but not the second, you're not making any sense. The Torah is not a buffet, where you can pick and choose what you want to follow; it's an all or nothing proposition.

Actually, the point I was making was precisely that the Torah IS NOT the Old Covenant. The Torah contains God's law according to His holy, righteous, and good standard and the Old Covenant is a serious contract to live according to that law. There are several covenants in the Torah and things in the Torah that are not covenants, so they are not the same thing. Even if we were not made part of Israel and called to be a holy nation by faith and all you knew was that God had given instructions for how to live in a manner that is holy, righteous, and good to some other group of people, it would still at the very least be a good idea to follow those instructions independently of any covenant to follow them. Not be because you will become justified by doing so, but simply because that's how to live rightly.


ETA: In doing some reading on the first couple centuries AD, it seems that Jews were actively proselytizing Christians to become Jews, especially in times of persecution (Jews were not persecuted as Christians were, so converting to Judaism meant that one no longer had to worry about being forced to sacrifice to the gods, and Jewish proselytizers capitalized on that). Jews also tended to cooperate with the authorities in accusing or turning in Christians. Christian women tended to be especially attracted to Judaism, since they didn't have to undergo circumcision. This is a big reason why there was anti-Jewish polemic in the early church, and why leaders discouraged participation in Jewish festivals (which would have been occasions for proselytizing).

Early Messianic believers didn't fit with the unbelieving Jews or with the Gentiles, so they were having problems from both ends. Jews certainly weren't innocent, but our hands are stained with blood too. Unfortunately, in an effort to protect themselves from Jews, they sanitized Christianity from its Jewishness. In doing so, they also removed our tools to proselytize Jews and to provoke them to jealousy. God's Feasts contain such rich teachings about the Messiah that it is only to Christianity's tremendous loss to give up celebrating them. Fortunately, I've been regularly hearing about more and more churches that are teaching about God's Feasts. Even if you don't ever agree with me about whether we should keep them, you can still learn about them.

Scrawly
04-20-2015, 03:15 PM
Sorry Soy, the library was closed this weekend so I was unable to listen to your Rabbi's teaching. Hopefully I will be able to get around to it this upcoming weekend, however I can't make any promises :smile: Oh, have you received an email back from Rabbi Farr regarding his theological training?

Now, just to briefly clear the air regarding some important issues:

1. The Troublemakers in Galatia

Commonly identified by the name “Judaizers.” One commentator describes them in these terms: Paul’s opponents were conservative Jewish Christians who mandated that a Gentile must first obey the precepts of Judaism … prior to being accepted as a full member of the Christian church (S.E. McClelland, p. 1001.) Another commentator describes them as “Jewish Christians who wanted to combine the gospel of Christ with the observation of Jewish ceremonies” (H. Ridderbos, p. 16.) But anyone who adheres to the doctrines cherished and propagated by these men cannot be called Christian at all. Their teaching was a denial of the very essence of the Christian faith.

Who were these men and how was it that they were found within the Christian church? Note that the Apostle Paul calls them “false brethren” (Gal. 2:4) and in the Book of Acts Luke identifies them as “certain men of the sect of the Pharisees” (Acts 15:5.) So, the question becomes, How did these Pharisees happen to be present at a council of the Christian church?
One must bear in mind that the Pharisees were firm believers in the doctrine of the resurrection (Acts 23:8.) Apparently, when the Lord Jesus was raised from the dead, and His disciples presented their irrefutable witness to His resurrection, some of the Pharisees acknowledged Him to be the Messiah and associated themselves with His church. But when they entered the church, they did not understand the gospel; they continued to hold to their former religious beliefs. They did not place their faith completely in Christ alone; rather, they sought to fit Christ into their religious system. As we have seen, they believed in the necessity of circumcision and personal obedience as part of an effort to earn and maintain one’s own salvation. Apparently, these “false brethren” only viewed the Lord Jesus as an example to be followed, rather than as what He is in fact: the Savior to be trusted.

2. The Relationship Between Galatians and Romans and James

The similarity of the Epistle to the Galatians in many points to the Epistle to the Romans has often been observed. John Eadie, in the introduction to his commentary (pp. lvii-lx), lists nineteen passages of Galatians that are either repeated or developed in the Book of Romans.
But, as H. Ridderbos points out (pp. 20-21), commentators have noticed a difference between Paul’s treatment of the law in the Epistle to the Romans when compared to the Epistle to the Galatians. In Galatians the emphasis is predominantly placed on the negative significance of the law. By way of example, note the following passages:

-All who place their hope in the law are under a curse (3:10)
-The law is antithetical to the covenant of promise (3:12)
-The function of the law is to curb sin (3:19)
-The law cannot give life (3:21)
-The law is provisional: holding men captive and driving them to Christ (3:23-25)
-The law produces children of bondage who are eventually expelled (4:21-31)

In the Epistle to the Romans this negative significance of the law is also mentioned (note Rom. 4:15 and 5:20.) However, in Romans, in addition to the negative aspect of the law, there is far greater emphasis on the loftiness and holiness of the law (note, for instance, Rom. 7, especially, 7:12.)
Some commentators have taken this difference to be indicative of a development in the Apostle Paul’s understanding of the law. According to them, in the interim between the writing of Galatians and Romans, Paul came to a much more positive appreciation of the law. But, as H. Ridderbos rightly points out (pp. 21-22), “There is no reason for such a judgment.” The different presentation of the law in Roman, when compared to Galatians, is not due to a change in the apostle’s thinking; it is to be found, rather, in his differing purposes in writing the two Epistles.
It must be remembered that in the letter to the Galatians, as distinguished from the letter to the Romans, the whole argument is governed by Paul’s refutation of the Judaizers (men who promoted obedience to the law as the way of salvation.) It is altogether appropriate, therefore, that in the Epistle to the Galatians the provisional and negative aspect of the law should be emphasized so as to dissuade the Galatians from foolishly forsaking the gospel in favor of the law as the way of salvation. In the Epistle to the Romans, the apostle’s presentation of the law is more balanced: slanted less toward the danger inherent in viewing the law as the means of salvation and bringing out more of the positive and permanent aspects of the law (note, for instance, Romans 8:3-4.) We may summarize the distinction found in these two Epistles as follows: The Epistle to the Galatians, written as an urgent corrective to the churches’ dangerous infatuation with the law, emphatically stresses the inadequacy of the law to serve as the means of salvation. The Epistle to the Romans, written more on the order of a reasoned theological treatise, is expounding the full scope of God’s holy moral law.

Just as there are obvious similarities between the Epistle to the Galatians and the Epistle to the Romans; so, too, there is apparent a striking contrast between the Epistle to the Galatians and the Epistle of James. Once again, the key to reconciling the apparent difference lies in an understanding of the distinct purpose for which each Epistle was written.
To understand the respective purposes of these two Epistles, we need to go back again to the controversy and the questions that arose when the church began to expand into Gentile territory and embrace Gentile converts. As M. Tenney remarks (pp. 260-261), the controversy over circumcising Gentile converts was no small, localized matter that could be settled by having the Gentile believers make a few small concessions to their Jewish brethren. On the contrary, several questions of great importance were involved. Such questions as, What is the place of the law in the plan of God? Is obedience to the law, in addition to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, necessary for salvation? If the Gentiles did not need to submit to all the Old Testament regulations, were they, nevertheless, still obligated to obey the moral law? In other words, What exactly is the relationship between salvation by faith and ethical behavior? To put it another way, What connection is there between faith and works? These and similar problems are reflected in many of the epistles of the New Testament that were written in the decade between A.D. 50 and A. D. 60. Two such Epistles in particular deal with these issues, each focusing on one or the other aspect of the question—the one focusing on faith, the other focusing on the place of works in the believer’s life. These two Epistles are Galatians and James.
The Epistles of James and Galatians illustrate the two aspects of Christianity that from the very beginning have seemed to be conflicting, though in reality they are supplementary. On the one hand, James focuses on the necessity of the Christian ethic: faith must demonstrate its genuineness by bearing the fruit of good works. (Nevertheless, James, no less than Paul, emphasizes the need of the transforming grace of God. At the very outset of his epistle, the Apostle James writes, “Of his own will, (God) brought us forth by the word of truth, in order that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.”) Galatians, on the other hand, stresses the dynamic of the gospel (“the word of truth”) that produces the Christian ethic.

In Romans 8:3-4 we find these two essential elements brought together. There the Apostle Paul writes, “What the law could not do [namely, be the means by which sinful man could make himself acceptable to God] … God did by sending his own Son [to be our Savior whom we receive by faith] … so that the righteous requirements of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Or again, we may consider Ephesians 2:8-10, “It is by grace that you have been saved through faith—and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God—it is not of works, therefore no one can boast. We are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared in advance in order for us to walk in them.” The means of our salvation is faith—a faith imparted to us by the sovereign grace of God. The purpose of our salvation is holiness—the doing of those good works that God Himself has prepared for us to perform. The Epistle to the Galatians focuses on the means of our salvation; the Epistle of James focuses on the purpose of our salvation.

3. a) A Defense of the Gospel Against Libertinism (5:1-6:10)

-The Christian must not exchange his freedom for circumcision and the law (5:1-6)
-Those who insist on circumcision are leading people astray (5:7-12)
-Christian freedom must not be equated with libertinism (5:13-15)
-Walking by the Spirit is the safeguard against libertinism (5:16-26)
-Specific applications of the Spirit-filled life (6:1-10)

b) A Defense of the Doctrine of Justification by Faith (3:1-4:31)
-The Galatians received the Holy Spirit by faith, not works (3:1-5)
-Abraham was saved by faith (3:6-9)
-The Law can only impose a curse, from which Christ redeemed us (3:10-14)
-The Covenant of Promise precedes and takes precedence over the Law (3:15-18)
-One great function of the Law is to bring us to Christ (3:19-29)
-By faith in Christ the N.T. believer enjoys the status of mature sonship (4:1-7)
-Paul interrupts his arguments to make a personal appeal to the Galatians (4:8-20)
-By the illustration of Sarah and Hagar, the believer’s freedom is contrasted with the Judaizers’ bondage (4:21-31)

Source(s):

-McClelland, Scott E.; “Galatians”
-Ridderbos, Herman N.; “The Epistle of Paul to the Churches of Galatia”

Scrawly
04-20-2015, 03:24 PM
I noticed you also used Romans 8:7 to support your view that Christian's must obey the law of Moses (Acts: 15:5), however, I think you are missing the forest for the trees as this verse is demonstrative of how the unregenerate is unable to obey God's law or please God. We can only do that by faith and by the power of the Spirit. We please God by faith, not by human law-works.

7–8 Verses 7–8 explain why the mind-set of the flesh must lead to death. As shorthand for the principle and power of the godless world, “flesh” and the mind-set characteristic of it are necessarily hostile to God and all his purposes. No neutrality is possible; without the Spirit’s mind-set, found only through union with Christ (see vv. 9–10), people can only order their lives in a way that is hostile to God and that will incur his wrath. The second part of v. 7 and v. 8 explain this hostility to God. The “mind-set produced by the flesh” does not, and cannot, submit to God’s law. Those “in the flesh”—the “natural” person apart from Christ—cannot please God. In light of vv. 3–4 (and chap. 7), we might expect “law of God” to refer to the Mosaic law. On the other hand, this may be one of those verses in which Paul uses nomos to depict the demand of God generally rather than any particular expression of that demand. In either case, we may draw two important implications from these statements.

First, the “law of God” remains a standard by which the conduct of unbelievers can be measured and condemned. Believers are no longer “under the law” (Rom. 6:14, 15), subject to its binding authority (7:4); but unbelievers are subject still to this power of the “old age.” Second, Paul’s assessment of persons apart from Christ may justly be summed up in the theological categories of “total depravity” and “total inability.” “Total depravity” does not mean that all people are as evil as they possibly could be—that all people commit every possible sin—nor does it deny that there is knowledge of the good within each person. What is meant rather is that every person apart from Christ is thoroughly in the grip of the power of sin, and that this power extends to all the person’s faculties. This Paul has enunciated clearly by accusing all non-Christians of having a “mind-set,” a total life-direction, that is innately hostile to God (v. 7). All people, by nature derived from Adam, are incurably “bent” toward their own good rather than the good of others or of God. The various sins to which we are attracted—desire for riches, or station in life, or power, or sexual pleasure—are but different symptoms of this same sickness, this idolatrous bent toward self-gratification. Once again, we must remember that Paul is not here using “flesh” as we often do, to denote sexual sin specifically. To be “in the flesh,” or “carnal,” or “fleshly,” includes, in the sense Paul is using flesh here, all sins. The person who is preoccupied with his or her own success in business, at the expense of others and of God, is just as much dominated by the flesh as the person who commits adultery. Both persons are manifesting, in different ways, that destructive, self-centered rebellion against God and his law which can be overcome only by the power of God’s Spirit in Christ. Verse 8, on the other hand, plainly shows that no person can rescue himself from this condition. As long as that person is “in the flesh”—and only the Spirit can rescue us from this envelopment in the flesh—he or she is “totally unable” to please God.

Source: Moo, D. J. (1996). The Epistle to the Romans (488–489).

Scrawly
04-20-2015, 03:26 PM
I'll have some comments forthcoming on Galatians 3:28 and surrounding verses momentarily as well.

Scrawly
04-20-2015, 04:08 PM
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3:28). See also (Rom. 10:12, John 10:16, Eph. 2:14).

The Results of Faith (Gal. 3:26-29). No statements in the Pauline corpus reveal more readily than these the radical newness of human experience Paul believed to be a direct result of a personal encounter with Jesus Christ. In the cultural and religious context of first century Galatia, where distinctions of national origin, gender and economic status were the defining tools for human interaction, Paul's words here declare the inauguration of a new paradigm of human value.

Paul switches back to the second person plural from the first person singular (3:15-25) to state his conclusion. If the Galatians are being pressured to become something more than they believe they already are, they should note with care the fact that once they have been joined to Christ (3:26), all temporal distinctions become meaningless; all of them are already "children of Abraham" (see 3:7). This is where the opponents have missed the radical nature of faith in Christ. Access to God through Christ is opened to all, and once access has been appropriated, the unity of humanity that began prior to the fall is restored, with the resultant loss of distinctions, which were simply echoes of the fall.

It should be noted that the main emphasis of these statements is on the reality of kinship (or sonship) in the covenantal family of Abraham as a result of faith in Christ. Paul's elaboration of this fact in verses 27-28 is a timeless truth, but in the context of the first century Gentile church led to feel its experience is inferior to a Jewish experience in Christ, these words would make a far greater impact that we may be capable of imagining. Paul specifies the accompanying full rights of this new intimate relationship, showing that Gentiles in Christ are also "heirs according to the promise" (3:29). Such statements leave no doubt that the opponents' position not only fails to add anything to the Galatians but in fact will negate that which they already have received.

While much has been made of the fact that Paul uses baptismal imagery here, it is too much to say with certainty that he reflects this wording from an existing ceremony. Nevertheless, with the image of being "clothed" in Christ, Paul might very well have a baptismal ceremony in mind. Many early Christian baptisms utilized white robes for the participants to display the overall newness of life in Christ (with the effect of also reducing any visible human distinctions of status or even gender).

The three couplets in verse 28 may reflect an ordering by Paul devised to contradict existing prayers found in Jewish and Gentile circles that gave thanks to God for an individual's superiority over supposed inferiors. In any case, Paul's elaboration on the oneness found in Christ leaves no room for those in Galatia (or for modern readers) to allow for any prejudicial treatment of fellow believers in light of ethnic, economic, or gender particularities. Rather than an exhaustive list, the apostle provides enough elaboration to show that absolutely no distinction can be carried over into the Christ experience.

We should also note, as do many, that the couplets Jew/Greek and slave/free are not exactly like male/female. While the two former couplets eradicate any distinction whatsoever, the latter one, linked by the conjunction KAI ("and"), indicates that while the complementarity of gender difference remains, each difference no longer represents any barrier to full participation in the newness of life found in Christ.

Source: McClelland, Scott E; Galatians (pp.564); The Baker Illustrated Bible Commentary (2012).

Soyeong
04-20-2015, 05:40 PM
Sorry Soy, the library was closed this weekend so I was unable to listen to your Rabbi's teaching. Hopefully I will be able to get around to it this upcoming weekend, however I can't make any promises :smile: Oh, have you received an email back from Rabbi Farr regarding his theological training?

Not yet, he likes to talk to me in person, but I missed the chance, hopefully next week.


The Epistle to the Romans, written more on the order of a reasoned theological treatise, is expounding the full scope of God’s holy [moral] law.

I agreed with pretty much everything in that post except I see no justification for limiting it to only moral laws or for the distinction between moral and nonmoral laws. If moral laws are in regard to man's relationship with man and not man's relationship with God, the the first four of the Ten Commandments are not moral laws, including the law against idolatry. However, if they are also in regard to man's relationship with God, then all of God's laws are moral laws.

Soyeong
04-20-2015, 06:06 PM
I noticed you also used Romans 8:7 to support your view that Christian's must obey the law of Moses (Acts: 15:5), however, I think you are missing the forest for the trees as this verse is demonstrative of how the unregenerate is unable to obey God's law or please God. We can only do that by faith and by the power of the Spirit. We please God by faith, not by human law-works.

The law of Moses was God's instructions for how to practice righteousness. People who are declared to be righteous are called to be people who practice righteous, so saying Christians should obey the law of Moses because that's what people who are declared righteous are supposed to do is very different from saying that Christians must obey the law of Moses in order to be declared righteous. So please stop confusing me with the Judaizers in Acts 15 because I oppose their position.

People who have their mind set on the flesh are hostile to God and won't submit to God's law. It seems pretty straightforward to me that if you won't submit to God's law, then you have at least that much in common with them. We can't obey God's law through our own effort, we can only do that by faith and by the power of the Spirit. We please God by faith, not by human law-works, but it nevertheless our faith that leads us to do law-works in obedience to God. Obeying God's law is an expression of our faith and love in Him.

Soyeong
04-20-2015, 06:15 PM
We should also note, as do many, that the couplets Jew/Greek and slave/free are not exactly like male/female. While the two former couplets eradicate any distinction whatsoever, the latter one, linked by the conjunction KAI ("and"), indicates that while the complementarity of gender difference remains, each difference no longer represents any barrier to full participation in the newness of life found in Christ.

Again, the distinction is not relevant when it comes to who can be in Christ, but that is not the same as eradicating every distinction in all contexts. Paul himself noted distinctions in Romans 3:1-2.

Scrawly
04-20-2015, 06:33 PM
The law of Moses was God's instructions for how to practice righteousness. People who are declared to be righteous are called to be people who practice righteousness

Define righteousness according to the New Covenant please.


so saying Christians should obey the law of Moses because that's what people who are declared righteous are supposed to do is very different from saying that Christians must obey the law of Moses in order to be declared righteous. So please stop confusing me with the Judaizers in Acts 15 because I oppose their position.

The Judaizers in Acts 15 simply said "obey the law of Moses". This is what you are saying as well. Nevertheless, your position can also be characterized as the Galatian heresy -a child of Hagar. Look how Paul starts in relation to the slave-woman and the freewoman - "Tell me, you who want to be under law..." (Gal.4:21). Read the rest of chapter 4 to see which woman represents those who "want to be under the law".


People who have their mind set on the flesh are hostile to God and won't submit to God's law. It seems pretty straightforward to me that if you won't submit to God's law, then you have at least that much in common with them.

"this may be one of those verses in which Paul uses nomos to depict the demand of God generally rather than any particular expression of that demand". In any event, believers who walk in the Spirit and produce the fruit of the Spirit are not hostile to God's law because they are already fulfilling the righteous requirement of the law. (Rom. 8:4). Mosaic law obedience is not an expression of being born-again, because many Orthodox Jews faithfully obey the law and do not possess the Spirit which only comes about by faith in Christ. For example see Paul's experience of being under the law as an unregenerate Jew (Rom. 7:14-24).


We can't obey God's law through our own effort, we can only do that by faith and by the power of the Spirit. We please God by faith, not by human law-works, but it nevertheless our faith that leads us to do law-works in obedience to God. Obeying God's law is an expression of our faith and love in Him.

Devotion to the person of Christ, walking in the Spirit, and adherence to Apostolic teaching under the New Covenant from a position of gratitude for all that Christ has done on our behalf is the proper expression of genuine faith.

Scrawly
04-20-2015, 06:37 PM
Again, the distinction is not relevant when it comes to who can be in Christ, but that is not the same as eradicating every distinction in all contexts. Paul himself noted distinctions in Romans 3:1-2.

The lack of distinction between Jew and Gentile in Christ is representative of the "one new man"/"third humanity"/"new creation" whose citizenship is in heaven (Philp. 3:20).

footwasher
04-21-2015, 07:40 AM
Of course I disagree. I think MJ makes much more sense of the Bible and that I've gained a much better understanding of the Bible in the past three years since I've started studying the Jewish cultural context than I had in the previous thirty.

If you're looking for massive contradictions, then how can Paul say that the law gives us knowledge of sin (Romans 3:20),

The law exists, it gives us the ability to identify sin, but we are not affected by its sentencing power, no contradiction here.


that without it we wouldn't even know what sin was (7:7),

The law exists, it gives us the ability to identify sin, but we are not affected by its sentencing power, no contradiction here.


that we are set free from the law (7:6),

The law exists, it gives us the ability to identify sin, but we are not affected by its sentencing power, no contradiction here.


and yet that we are not set free to sin (6:15)?

The law exists, it gives us the ability to identify sin, but we are not affected by its sentencing power, so a choice has been presented which was not so before.

The old choice was

1. to sin and be sentenced, or
2. not sin and avoid sentencing.

The new choice is:

1. to sin and avoid sentencing or
2. not to sin and avoid sentencing.

In the first we are really not free to choose, not because we will face sentencing, but doing so will lead to death, the loss of ability to contribute to restoring creation:

Hebrews 10:5Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, "SACRIFICE AND OFFERING YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED, BUT A BODY YOU HAVE PREPARED FOR ME; 6IN WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND sacrifices FOR SIN YOU HAVE TAKEN NO PLEASURE.

7“THEN I SAID, ‘BEHOLD, I HAVE COME
(IN THE SCROLL OF THE BOOK IT IS WRITTEN OF ME)
TO DO YOUR WILL, O GOD.’”

8After saying above, “SACRIFICES AND OFFERINGS AND WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND sacrifices FOR SIN YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED, NOR HAVE YOU TAKEN PLEASURE in them” (which are offered according to the Law), 9then He said, “BEHOLD, I HAVE COME TO DO YOUR WILL.” He takes away the first in order to establish the second. 10By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.


no contradiction here. In other words, we are free from the tyranny of the law, it's death threatening power, but we are losing out on an opportunity to take part in the creation completing task that was first gifted to Adam, if we do not sanctify our body.


How can Paul say that our faith upholds the law (3:31)

The law still serves the purpose of identifying sin, but we are not affected by it's sentencing power.


and that our faith releases us from the law?

We are not affected by its sentencing power, through faith in Christ.


Why would we even need to be set free from something that is holy, righteous and good in the first place (7:12)?

We are set free from obeying the law because it leads to death through being impossible to be compliant. The law cannot justify, it is brokenness, realisation of inadequacy, confession that does.


How can the righteous requirement of the law be fulfilled in us if we don't do what the righteous law requires (8:4)?

By living according to the Spirit.

Romans 8:4so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.


How can Paul say that the mind that is set on flesh is hostile to God and doesn't submit to God's law, if he is saying that we shouldn't submit to God's law (8:6)?

By saying that those who set their mind on the flesh will die:

Romans 8:6for the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,7because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

But the alternative is not to submit to the law of God, which he DOES say we shouldn't do:

Galatians 2:nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.

So we shouldn't submit to the law but have faith in Christ.


How can the children of God who abide in Him be the ones who practice righteousness (1 John 3:6, 10), yet ignore the Bible's instructions for how to practice righteousness?

The Bible's instructions for how to practice righteousness is to have faith in Christ.


How can we be told that we are a holy nation (1 Peter 2:9-10), to have a holy conduct, and to "be holy, for God is holy" (1 Peter 1:15-16), yet ignore the Bible's instructions that are being quoted from that explain how to have a holy conduct?


The Bible's instructions for how to have a holy conduct is not in:

1 Peter 1:15but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.”

or:

1 Peter 2:9But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED mercy.

but in:


1 Peter 1:1Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen 2according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.

and:

1 Peter 2:6For this is contained in Scripture:
“BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A CHOICE STONE, A PRECIOUS CORNER stone,
AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.”


In fact he tells his readers to act as men freed from the law:

1 Peter 2:16Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God.

What is being contrasted? Unselfish acts are contrasted against selfish living, but obeying food laws is not contrasted with freeing yourself from those laws.


How can we understand Paul to be saying we don't have to obey the law (Galatians 5:18) if he then goes on to say we should act in accordance with the law (Galatians 5:19-24), and that we should correct people who are caught in sin (Galatians 6:1)?

Unselfish acts are contrasted against selfish living, not obeying food laws against freeing yourself from those laws. He is not saying we have to obey the food laws and correct those who are not following those laws.


How can walking in the Spirit be in opposition to the law that the Father has commanded? How can Jesus, who kept the law perfectly and did nothing apart from the Father, be in opposition to the law that the Father has commanded? How can the Father's grace be in opposition to the law that He has commanded? How can Paul, who was sent by both Jesus and the Father (Galatians 1:1) say anything in opposition to what Jesus said (Matthew 5:17-19) or against keeping the law that the Father has commanded?

Unselfish acts are set in opposition to selfish living, but obeying food laws is not set in opposition to freeing yourself from those laws. He is not saying we have to obey the food laws and correct those who are not following those laws. I challenge you to find a single instance where Christ insists on following of the food laws. All His criticisms are towards those who have neglected justice, mercy and faithfulness.


The easy solutions to these contradictions are what is found in MJ by noting that there is an aspect of the law that holds us captive that we need to be set free from and an aspect of law that is holy, righteous, and good that our faith upholds. The aspect of the law that holds us captive is that it condemns us to death for transgressing it (Romans 7:1-4, 8:1-2), our sin nature has the propensity to be perverted into legalism (7:6), and our sin nature leads us to rebel against what we are told to do (7:6-25).

Not true. Our sin nature has the propensity to pervert viewing laws as burdens rather than as instructions for proper living.

We love the orderly traffic system that provides safe and efficient use of public roads, but we follow rules that control and restrict our actions grudgingly. That is called following the letter of the law. It's a nuanced idea: those who will judge angels view law differently from those who will not be allowed to be judges. The attitude of son is different from the hired hand: he has a vested interest.

Romans 7:6But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.


The aspect of the law that is holy, righteous, and good, is its instructions for how to live in a manner that is holy, righteous, and good. The law is spiritual (7:14), so walking in the Spirit is walking in accordance with the law, and a role of the Spirit is to cause us to become obedient to the law (Ezekiel 36:27).

See above.



The curse of the law is that it condemns us to death for transgressing it and it is this curse that Jesus became for us when he took our sin.

In doing so he did not remove the curse, he removed the law. A contract is considered completed if the terms are met or if the penalty is paid. Christ assumed federal headship of the old humanity and paid the penalty.

If someone rejects Christ's gift and tries to become justified by keeping the law through their own effort, then because all have sinned, they will fail at becoming justified and fall under the curse of the law, and Christ will be of no value to them.

Wrong. If someone rejects Christ's gift of fulfilling the old contract and tries to become justified by keeping the law as if the old contract had not been fulfilled, then because all have sinned, they'll fail at becoming justified and fall under the curse of the law because the Old Contract requires perfect obedience, and Christ will be of no value to them. It is an insult to Christ, tantamount to trampling his blood underfoot.


This is not to say it is bad to act in a manner that is holy, righteous, and good, but that we can't be justified by doing so. In fact, the law was never given so that people could become justified by keeping it through their own effort - that is actually a legalistic perversion of the law. So we should not confuse a criticism of a perverted way in which the law was being kept as a criticism of a law that is holy, righteous, and good.

Wrong. The law had to be observed by obeying ALL its requirements. The minor as well as the weightier points of the law, which the Pharisees did not do. The righteousness they established on their own was tithing of even mint and cummin, but skipping justice mercy and faithfulness, God's righteousness.

One of the purposes of giving the law to the Israelites was to help her to identify her messiah, as He would fulfill at least 300 actions charted out in the law and the prophets, which any knowledgeable Jew will tell you is what Torah really is, not just the pentateuch.

The next purpose of the law was to give a set of customs and traditions to Israel that set her apart from the pagan nations. Not only was she not allowed to mix with those nations, it would be difficult for her to do so. Imagine going out for dinner with a vegan. It would be so difficult and expensive to do so that you would not wish to repeat the experience.

Thirdly, the law was meant to reveal transgression, inability to perform, and ultimately bring a believer to his knees. This was what justified, not the actual observance of Law. Justification resulted in God's provision and protection. Those who turned away from loyalty to the ideals of God, justice, mercy and faithfulness, towards Baal, self serving living lived under the wrath of God. God always preserved a part of Israel, a remnant, those who had not bowed their knee to Baal, else Israel would have faced the fate of nations like Sodom and Gomorrah, disappearing totally from the face of the earth.


Orthodox Judaism can be used to help provide a better understand of the cultural context in which the Bible takes place, and it can sometimes have teachings that are good, but those teachings should be taken with a grain of salt.

Orthodox Judaism addresses the promise to Abraham to make his Seed a blessing to the world , something missing from most Christian denominations.


I agree with all of those verses and see no conflict between them and MJ.

So how is MJ being a blessing to the world? Are dead bones being spoken to and being filled with life?

One Bad Pig
04-21-2015, 11:59 AM
"Messiah" and "Christ" mean the same thing and Jesus is the Jewish Messiah, so I don't see how that takes the emphasis away from who he is and who we are following. If there is any emphasis away from Christ, it is that modern Christianity has tried to sanitize its Jewishness.
:doh: Way to completely misconstrue my point.


Gentiles do not transcend Israel, but by faith are included with it.
Of course.

Actually, the point I was making was precisely that the Torah IS NOT the Old Covenant. The Torah contains God's law according to His holy, righteous, and good standard and the Old Covenant is a serious contract to live according to that law. There are several covenants in the Torah and things in the Torah that are not covenants, so they are not the same thing. Even if we were not made part of Israel and called to be a holy nation by faith and all you knew was that God had given instructions for how to live in a manner that is holy, righteous, and good to some other group of people, it would still at the very least be a good idea to follow those instructions independently of any covenant to follow them. Not be because you will become justified by doing so, but simply because that's how to live rightly.
This looks mostly like one heaping evasion, given that the Old Covenant is the Torah. The Mosaic Covenant is part of the Torah, and is the sticking point, which I'm sure you realize. And in Messianic Judaism, you're picking and choosing which parts of the Mosaic Covenant you want to follow (feasts) and which you do not (blood sacrifices, circumcision).


Early Messianic believers didn't fit with the unbelieving Jews or with the Gentiles, so they were having problems from both ends.
I'm not sure that Acts bears out this assertion. Once the followers of Jesus were forced out of the synagogues, they continued to meet together elsewhere. Since the apostles seemed to attract both Jews and God-fearers from the synagogues, there would already have been a mixture of Jew and Gentile, to which other Gentile converts would have been added.

Jews certainly weren't innocent, but our hands are stained with blood too. Unfortunately, in an effort to protect themselves from Jews, they sanitized Christianity from its Jewishness. In doing so, they also removed our tools to proselytize Jews and to provoke them to jealousy. :eh: You realize that the apostles themselves (in Acts 15) were the ones who "sanitized" Christianity, yes? And there certainly were attempts to proselytize the Jews beyond then (Justin martyr's Dialogue with Trypho, for example), though they had to contend with Jewish slander.


God's Feasts contain such rich teachings about the Messiah that it is only to Christianity's tremendous loss to give up celebrating them. Fortunately, I've been regularly hearing about more and more churches that are teaching about God's Feasts. Even if you don't ever agree with me about whether we should keep them, you can still learn about them.
Oh, I agree that there are rich teachings about the Messiah in the feasts of Israel, but they are shadows or types of what has been fulfilled in Him. And Pascha (Easter) = Passover, Pentecost = Feast of Weeks, and first fruits are offered when we celebrate the Transfiguration (August 6).

Soyeong
04-21-2015, 07:19 PM
The law exists, it gives us the ability to identify sin, but we are not affected by its sentencing power, no contradiction here.

Umm...the contradiction was in the conjunction of the the verses with theology that says the law is not binding, so I'm not sure why you felt the need to break up my question into small parts to repeat something that I've already stated in this thread. I've argued that "not being under the law" refers to being free from power of the law to condemn us to death for breaking it, the power of our sin nature to cause us to pervert the law into legalism, and the power of our sin nature to cause us to rebel against the law, but that it does not refer to being free from the instruction of the law. If we were free from the instruction of the law, then we would be free to sin all we wanted, but Romans 6:15 says that we aren't. In other words, if sinning is still wrong for us to do, then we should still avoid doing what the law identifies as sin. The law identifies eating unclean animals as a sin, so even though we won't face sentencing for eating unclean animals, our faith upholds the law by leading us in obedience to it and away from sin.


8After saying above, “SACRIFICES AND OFFERINGS AND WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND sacrifices FOR SIN YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED, NOR HAVE YOU TAKEN PLEASURE in them” (which are offered according to the Law)

Why do you think God commanded Moses and the Israelites to do sacrifices when he didn't desire them?


We are set free from obeying the law because it leads to death through being impossible to be compliant. The law cannot justify, it is brokenness, realisation of inadequacy, confession that does.

By living according to the Spirit.

Romans 8:4so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

The law is holy, righteous, and good in accordance with God's standard of holiness, righteousness, and goodness. This is a standard that we should all aspire to align our lives with, not something that we need to or can be set free from. If God could just lower His standards, then Christ would not have needed to die. The fact that we can't live up what that standard requires through our own effort does highlight our inadequacy, but that's far from the only reason God made His standard known. A role of the Spirit is to cause us to be obedient to God, so God set us free from our sin nature's mastery over us and sent His Spirit to cause to be able to live up to that standard and meet its righteous requirement, not so that we could disregard it. What we needed to be set free from was not God's holy, righteous, and good standard, but the penalty for violating it.


By saying that those who set their mind on the flesh will die:

Romans 8:6for the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,7because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

But the alternative is not to submit to the law of God, which he DOES say we shouldn't do:

Galatians 2:nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.

There is a huge difference between submitting to God's law because that it what He has called those who have been justified by faith to do and submitting to God's law in an effort to become justified in God's eyes through our own effort. God never gave His law for His people to become justified by keeping it, so that is a perversion of the law. You should not confuse criticism of a perversion of the law with with a criticism of God's holy, righteous, and good law.


So we shouldn't submit to the law but have faith in Christ.

Christ is not at all at odds with the Father, so He is not at odds with the law God has commanded. Having faith in Christ should lead us to submit to the law, just as Christ did.


The Bible's instructions for how to practice righteousness is to have faith in Christ.

Having faith is not simply saying that you trust someone, but it is demonstrating through your actions that you do, so having faith is demonstrated by obedience to the law. As James says, faith without works is useless. The holy, righteous, and good law unsurprisingly instructs how to have a holy conduct, how to practice righteousness, and how to do good works. Christ lived in perfect accordance with the law and taught how to follow it both in word and by example, so faith in Christ is in perfect accordance with the law.


The Bible's instructions for how to have a holy conduct is not in:

1 Peter 1:15but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.”

You don't think it is relevant to look at what this verse is quoting from?


1 Peter 2:9But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED mercy.

Deuteronomy 7:6 “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.

They are saying that Gentiles are now included as part of God's chosen people and what God once said the Israelites now applies to them.


1 Peter 1:1Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen 2according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.

Again, Christ lived in perfect accordance with the law and he is not at odds with the Father, so obedience to Christ is in perfect accordance with the law that God has commanded. Sanctifying us to be more like Christ in how he thought and in his obedience to God is likewise in perfect accordance with obedience to God's law.


and:

1 Peter 2:6For this is contained in Scripture:
“BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A CHOICE STONE, A PRECIOUS CORNER stone,
AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.”

Other verses that to do explain how to have a holy conduct do not exclude the law's instructions for it, but rather are in perfect accordance with it.


In fact he tells his readers to act as men freed from the law:

1 Peter 2:16Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God.

What is being contrasted? Unselfish acts are contrasted against selfish living, but obeying food laws is not contrasted with freeing yourself from those laws.

If our freedom in Christ means that we have freedom from the instructions of law in regard to sin, then we have the freedom to sin and to do what is evil, but this verse is saying that we should not understand our freedom in Christ to mean that. Rather, we are set free from sin to become bondslaves of God, which means obediently following His commands.


Unselfish acts are contrasted against selfish living, not obeying food laws against freeing yourself from those laws. He is not saying we have to obey the food laws and correct those who are not following those laws.

All of those acts list in Galatians 5:19-23 are found in the law. The law identifies breaking the dietary laws as a sin, so I see no good reason to exclude it from Galatians 6:1. The lists in Galatians 5:19-23 are not exhaustive.


Unselfish acts are set in opposition to selfish living, but obeying food laws is not set in opposition to freeing yourself from those laws. He is not saying we have to obey the food laws and correct those who are not following those laws. I challenge you to find a single instance where Christ insists on following of the food laws. All His criticisms are towards those who have neglected justice, mercy and faithfulness.

If you eat unclean animals because that is what you want to do in defiance of God, then that's just as much a selfish act as anything else. Jesus gave no indication that he thought some laws were unimportant, but rather in Matthew 5:17-19, he said that not the least commandment would disappear from the law and warned against those who would teach to relax them, which includes the dietary laws. He spoke about what he thought was most relevant to his Jewish audiences and apparently he didn't think they needed to be exhorted to keep the dietary laws, probably because they were already doing that.


Not true. Our sin nature has the propensity to pervert viewing laws as burdens rather than as instructions for proper living.

Correct, sorry, that was a typo. This is exactly the problem with people considering God's law to be a heavy burden, when it is actually instructions for proper living.


We love the orderly traffic system that provides safe and efficient use of public roads, but we follow rules that control and restrict our actions grudgingly. That is called following the letter of the law. It's a nuanced idea: those who will judge angels view law differently from those who will not be allowed to be judges. The attitude of son is different from the hired hand: he has a vested interest.

Romans 7:6But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.

I'm in agreement. There's just such huge disconnect between how the Jews view the law as a delight, such as in Psalms 119, or with them frequently giving thanks to God for giving them His Torah as instructions for life and with Christians who view the law as a heavy burden. I've become convinced that in this the Jews have the right idea and that it is absurd to think that they would have referred to God's holy, righteous, and good law as a heavy burden in Acts 15. Through the leading of the Spirit, it is a delight to keep the law and to exceed what it requires, and we are set free from keeping the law legalistically.


Wrong. If someone rejects Christ's gift of fulfilling the old contract and tries to become justified by keeping the law as if the old contract had not been fulfilled, then because all have sinned, they'll fail at becoming justified and fall under the curse of the law because the Old Contract requires perfect obedience, and Christ will be of no value to them. It is an insult to Christ, tantamount to trampling his blood underfoot.

God's holy, righteous, and good standard exists independently of any contract to obey it and the law is as you said, "instructions for proper living". We can't become justified by following instructions for proper living, but it was never given for that purpose, and it is nevertheless still good to live properly. Does it really make sense to you that Jesus is at odds with the Father and following God's instructions for living properly makes Christ of no value? Of course not, what was making Christ of no value to someone was not obedience to God, but rather it was seeking justification in any way other than faith in Christ. Christ died to set us free from our sin nature and sent the Holy Spirit to enable all to enable us to practice righteousness in accordance with the righteous requirement of God's law, so it is disregarding God's law that is the insult to Christ. It's amazing what Christ has done for us in that we get to not sin, but people want to ignore what the law says about what sin is.


Wrong. The law had to be observed by obeying ALL its requirements. The minor as well as the weightier points of the law, which the Pharisees did not do. The righteousness they established on their own was tithing of even mint and cummin, but skipping justice mercy and faithfulness, God's righteousness.

Someone who kept the law almost perfectly and only sinned once would still have lived their life properly, they just would not be justified by doing so.


One of the purposes of giving the law to the Israelites was to help her to identify her messiah, as He would fulfill at least 300 actions charted out in the law and the prophets, which any knowledgeable Jew will tell you is what Torah really is, not just the pentateuch.

The law does point to our need for the Messiah and the prophets do help to identify him, but that does not exclude other that it was given to instruct how to live properly.


The next purpose of the law was to give a set of customs and traditions to Israel that set her apart from the pagan nations. Not only was she not allowed to mix with those nations, it would be difficult for her to do so. Imagine going out for dinner with a vegan. It would be so difficult and expensive to do so that you would not wish to repeat the experience.

And we are apart of Israel, God's chosen people, and a holy nation by faith. A holy nation is also one that is set apart from the pagan nations, or in other words, we are to be in the world, but not of the world.

I am a vegan, so I would likely find that an enjoyable experience. :smile:


Thirdly, the law was meant to reveal transgression, inability to perform, and ultimately bring a believer to his knees. This was what justified, not the actual observance of Law. Justification resulted in God's provision and protection. Those who turned away from loyalty to the ideals of God, justice, mercy and faithfulness, towards Baal, self serving living lived under the wrath of God. God always preserved a part of Israel, a remnant, those who had not bowed their knee to Baal, else Israel would have faced the fate of nations like Sodom and Gomorrah, disappearing totally from the face of the earth.

Indeed, God making His holy, righteous, and good standard known does reveal our transgressions, but it is nevertheless something that we should aspire to through the leading of the Spirit.


So how is MJ being a blessing to the world? Are dead bones being spoken to and being filled with life?

More and more Christians are gaining a deeper understanding of the Bible and are being blessed by coming into a fuller obedience to God. Many Jews are also coming to see the truth that Jesus is their Messiah. We've also recently helped to host a annual March of Remembrance at our State Capital. I'm not trying say we're better or worse than other churches, but we try do our part.

footwasher
04-22-2015, 06:07 AM
Umm...the contradiction was in the conjunction of the the verses with theology that says the law is not binding, so I'm not sure why you felt the need to break up my question into small parts to repeat something that I've already stated in this thread. I've argued that "not being under the law" refers to being free from power of the law to condemn us to death for breaking it, the power of our sin nature to cause us to pervert the law into legalism, and the power of our sin nature to cause us to rebel against the law, but that it does not refer to being free from the instruction of the law. If we were free from the instruction of the law, then we would be free to sin all we wanted, but Romans 6:15 says that we aren't. In other words, if sinning is still wrong for us to do, then we should still avoid doing what the law identifies as sin. The law identifies eating unclean animals as a sin, so even though we won't face sentencing for eating unclean animals, our faith upholds the law by leading us in obedience to it and away from sin. *


There is an easier way to understand the situation. The part of the brains of teenagers which does the job of differentiating good from evil is not fully grown until the age of eighteen. In recognition of this, minors are not considered to be under the jurisdiction of the law applicable to the general population. Is the minor free from the law? Yes he is. Should he break the law? No he shouldn't. Is he to observe the rules because he can be punished? No he can't be punished. Is he to observe the rules because his guardians can be punished? Yes he is to observe the rules because otherwise his parents can be punished. That is why the parents of the man born blind were afraid to take responsibility for him, because they were afraid of being thrown out from the synagogue.


John 9:13They brought to the Pharisees the man who was formerly blind. 14Now it was a Sabbath on the day when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. 15Then the Pharisees also were asking him again how he received his sight. And he said to them, “He applied clay to my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” 16Therefore some of the Pharisees were saying, “This man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.” But others were saying, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?” And there was a division among them. 17So they said to the blind man again, “What do you say about Him, since He opened your eyes?” And he said, “He is a prophet.”

*****18The Jews then did not believe it of him, that he had been blind and had received sight, until they called the parents of the very one who had received his sight, 19and questioned them, saying, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? Then how does he now see?


20His parents answered them and said, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; 21but how he now sees, we do not know; or who opened his eyes, we do not know. Ask him; he is of age, he will speak for himself.” 22His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone confessed Him to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue. 23For this reason his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”



Now let's look at the believer under the New Covenant.


Is he free from the Old Covenant?


Yes he is.


Should he avoid observing the requirements of the Old Covenant?


Yes, because:


The Old Covenant was made with Israel and Israel only, under special circumstances


The Old Covenant was man's effort to fulfill God's promise to Abraham.


See the model:


The promise:

Genesis 22:18and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me."


The reaction:

Deuteronomy 5:27‘Go near and hear all that the LORD our God says; then speak to us all that the LORD our God speaks to you, and we will hear and do it.’


The result:

Acts 15:10"Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?


Human effort resulted in a covenant that placed a yoke, entering into which led to slavery!


The term " put God to the test " means the person was assuming that his actions had God's sanction, just because He had promised a certain blessing, which Sarah did. The results were disastrous. As were the results in the incident when the Israelites went to fight against the Canaanites, assuming that God would give them victory, since He had promised it. ********


Jesus, on the other hand, refused to put God to the test by jumping off a high building, even though God had promised to protect Him from harm.


Assuming that our actions to bring to fruition a blessing promised by God through divine action has God's sanction is a form of pride, placing ourselves equal to God. God did not stop Sarah, but the result was a child born into slavery, which in turn resulted in conflict, the maid despising her mistress and *persecution for Isaac from the son of the slave woman.


The mind boggles at what would have happened if Sarah, Israel and Christ had not acted as they did, but importantly, the church in Jerusalem acted to prevent the judaizers from repeating the mistake of Israel, sanctioning a doctrine that would result in slavery. The preventive measure repeated by Paul in acting against the practice adopted by the church in Galatia.


Had they not acted, those returning to law would have tested God, resulting in the crushing failures faced by Sarah and the old covenant initiators.



The interesting parallel offered by Paul:


The promise:

Genesis 15:2Abram said, “O Lord GOD, what will You give me, since I am childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3And Abram said, “Since You have given no offspring to me, one born in my house is my heir.” 4Then behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir; but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.” 5And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” 6Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.


Genesis 18:10He said, “I will surely return to you at this time next year; and behold, Sarah your wife will have a son.”


The reaction:
Genesis 16:1Now Sarai, Abram's wife had borne him no children, and she had an Egyptian maid whose name was Hagar. 2So Sarai said to Abram, "Now behold, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children. Please go in to my maid; perhaps I will obtain children through her." And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.


The result:

Genesis 16:15So Hagar bore Abram a son; and Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael.



Galatians 4: **21Tell me, you who want to be under law, do you not listen to the law? 22For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman and one by the free woman. 23But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise. 24This is allegorically speaking, for these women are two covenants: one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar. 25Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother.


Paul describes the situation that brought forth the law as *human effort, not the result of divine fulfilment of a promise. Just as Ishmael was a result of human effort trying to bring to pass the result of the promise of God to Abraham to make him a father of many nations, the Old Covenant came into being as a result of men trying to bring the result of God's promise, to make Abraham the father of the One who would be a blessing to the world, into fruition. Ishmael symbolizes slavery, imprisonment, obligation, no option to choose, no authority to act on the behalf of the family, whilst Isaac represents freedom, ability to choose to contribute to the completion of creation, with the authority of a son to represent the family.



So yes, the Old Covenant held instruction for proper living, but as a slave. The New Covenant holds instructions for proper living, as a son. If you choose to live as a slave, you are stating, with your action, that Christ's payment was of no value, it resulted in no freedom for the captives.


Why do you think God commanded Moses and the Israelites to do sacrifices when he didn't desire them?


God did not desire to give a contact to Israel perform the role of a slave, *but desired to adopt them as sons:


Jeremiah 7:22"For I did not speak to your fathers, or command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices. 23"But this is what I commanded them, saying, 'Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you will be My people; and you will walk in all the way which I command you, that it may be well with you.'…


He allowed them the lesser role, since they were afraid and uncertain about what sonship involved. However the possibility of a better situation always existed, conditional on belief that God was the initiator of the promised blessing.


1. God promised Abraham's seed would be a blessing to the world.

2. Those involved believed.

3. Those involved were blessed.



Not a hard lesson, conclusion, harvest:


Matthew 21:33“Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who PLANTED A VINEYARD AND PUT A WALL AROUND IT AND DUG A WINE PRESS IN IT, AND BUILT A TOWER, and rented it out to vine-growers and went on a journey. 34“When the harvest time approached, he sent his slaves to the vine-growers to receive his produce. 35“The vine-growers took his slaves and beat one, and killed another, and stoned a third. 36“Again he sent another group of slaves larger than the first; and they did the same thing to them. 37“But afterward he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38“But when the vine-growers saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.’ 39“They took him, and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. 40“Therefore when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vine-growers?” 41They said to Him, “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end, and will rent out the vineyard to other vine-growers who will pay him the proceeds at the proper seasons.”


The Old Covenant was permitted and could give life, but it brought death instead, because sin seeing the opportunity, used it to bring death, through the sins that Sarah and Israel sinned, testing God. That was why God did not desire to give the old covenant, but was forced to, because of the lack of faith of Israel.



The law is holy, righteous, and good in accordance with God's standard of holiness, righteousness, and goodness. This is a standard that we should all aspire to align our lives with, not something that we need to or can be set free from. If God could just lower His standards, then Christ would not have needed to die. The fact that we can't live up what that standard requires through our own effort does highlight our inadequacy, but that's far from the only reason God made His standard known. A role of the Spirit is to cause us to be obedient to God, so God set us free from our sin nature's mastery over us and sent His Spirit to cause to be able to live up to that standard and meet its righteous requirement, not so that we could disregard it. What we needed to be set free from was not God's holy, righteous, and good standard, but the penalty for violating it.


The promise was made by God. Israel should have waited. But like Sarah, she did not have faith in God and forced the issue. God gave a stop gap solution, to give life, but it depended on Israel remembering God's *faithfulness and building on that experience to build up her own faith. ****



There is a huge difference between submitting to God's law because that it what He has called those who have been justified by faith to do and submitting to God's law in an effort to become justified in God's eyes through our own effort. God never gave His law for His people to become justified by keeping it, so that is a perversion of the law. You should not confuse criticism of a perversion of the law with with a criticism of God's holy, righteous, and good law.


The law was given to teach faith, show that not waiting for God led to disaster, that was the harvest from the vineyard. It was derivative, but uncertain. Sin saw the opportunity and used law to reinforce human presumption that God's promise was a sanction for human intervention.


Christ is not at all at odds with the Father, so He is not at odds with the law God has commanded. Having faith in Christ should lead us to submit to the law, just as Christ did.


And the law is to have faith in God, believe He will deliver on His promise:


Galatians 4:21Tell me, you who want to be under law, do you not listen to the law? 22For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman and one by the free woman. 23But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise.



Having faith is not simply saying that you trust someone, but it is demonstrating through your actions that you do, so having faith is demonstrated by obedience to the law. As James says, faith without works is useless. The holy, righteous, and good law unsurprisingly instructs how to have a holy conduct, how to practice righteousness, and how to do good works. Christ lived in perfect accordance with the law and taught how to follow it both in word and by example, so faith in Christ is in perfect accordance with the law.


The law is to believe God will deliver on His promise.


You don't think it is relevant to look at what this verse is quoting from?

Deuteronomy 7:6 “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.

They are saying that Gentiles are now included as part of God's chosen people and what God once said the Israelites now applies to them.


And the law is now applied to them: believe God will deliver on His promise. Once they had no formal covenant, promise from God, no hope, now they had that hope. All they had to do was believe God and wait, not take pre emptive action.


Again, Christ lived in perfect accordance with the law and he is not at odds with the Father, so obedience to Christ is in perfect accordance with the law that God has commanded. Sanctifying us to be more like Christ in how he thought and in his obedience to God is likewise in perfect accordance with obedience to God's law.


Christ did not take pre emptive action:

John 5:30"I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.


Other verses that to do explain how to have a holy conduct do not exclude the law's instructions for it, but rather are in perfect accordance with it.


Holy conduct is put to death the deeds of the body, pre emptive action.


If our freedom in Christ means that we have freedom from the instructions of law in regard to sin, then we have the freedom to sin and to do what is evil, but this verse is saying that we should not understand our freedom in Christ to mean that. Rather, we are set free from sin to become bondslaves of God, which means obediently following His commands.


Which is: see above.


All of those acts list in Galatians 5:19-23 are found in the law. The law identifies breaking the dietary laws as a sin, so I see no good reason to exclude it from Galatians 6:1. The lists in Galatians 5:19-23 are not exhaustive.

The law is a stop gap, for unbelievers.


If you eat unclean animals because that is what you want to do in defiance of God, then that's just as much a selfish act as anything else. Jesus gave no indication that he thought some laws were unimportant, but rather in Matthew 5:17-19, he said that not the least commandment would disappear from the law and warned against those who would teach to relax them, which includes the dietary laws. He spoke about what he thought was most relevant to his Jewish audiences and apparently he didn't think they needed to be exhorted to keep the dietary laws, probably because they were already doing that.

See above.


Correct, sorry, that was a typo. This is exactly the problem with people considering God's law to be a heavy burden, when it is actually instructions for proper living.

Proper living is: see above.


I'm in agreement. There's just such huge disconnect between how the Jews view the law as a delight, such as in Psalms 119, or with them frequently giving thanks to God for giving them His Torah as instructions for life and with Christians who view the law as a heavy burden. I've become convinced that in this the Jews have the right idea and that it is absurd to think that they would have referred to God's holy, righteous, and good law as a heavy burden in Acts 15. Through the leading of the Spirit, it is a delight to keep the law and to exceed what it requires, and we are set free from keeping the law legalistically.

The law to delight in is to believe God.


God's holy, righteous, and good standard exists independently of any contract to obey it and the law is as you said, "instructions for proper living". We can't become justified by following instructions for proper living, but it was never given for that purpose, and it is nevertheless still good to live properly. Does it really make sense to you that Jesus is at odds with the Father and following God's instructions for living properly makes Christ of no value? Of course not, what was making Christ of no value to someone was not obedience to God, but rather it was seeking justification in any way other than faith in Christ. Christ died to set us free from our sin nature and sent the Holy Spirit to enable all to enable us to practice righteousness in accordance with the righteous requirement of God's law, so it is disregarding God's law that is the insult to Christ. It's amazing what Christ has done for us in that we get to not sin, but people want to ignore what the law says about what sin is.

Sin is preemptive action, the sin of Sarah.


Someone who kept the law almost perfectly and only sinned once would still have lived their life properly, they just would not be justified by doing so.

See above.


The law does point to our need for the Messiah and the prophets do help to identify him, but that does not exclude other that it was given to instruct how to live properly.

See above.


And we are apart of Israel, God's chosen people, and a holy nation by faith. A holy nation is also one that is set apart from the pagan nations, or in other words, we are to be in the world, but not of the world.


Faith is what differentiates God's people from other nations.


I am a vegan, so I would likely find that an enjoyable experience.


That was a general example.

Sarah learned it was blessed to believe in God. She bore good fruit, through God's permission to let her have her way. Israel never bore good fruit from the vineyard. But she will, when the required number of Gentiles are *gathered in.


Indeed, God making His holy, righteous, and good standard known does reveal our transgressions, but it is nevertheless something that we should aspire to through the leading of the Spirit.

The transgression is preemptive action


More and more Christians are gaining a deeper understanding of the Bible and are being blessed by coming into a fuller obedience to God. Many Jews are also coming to see the truth that Jesus is their Messiah. We've also recently helped to host a annual March of Remembrance at our State Capital. I'm not trying say we're better or worse than other churches, but we try do our part.


Living water is cleansing water, cleansing from preemptive action. Preemptive action is such a subtle sin. However the results are disastrous.

Soyeong
04-22-2015, 09:26 AM
Define righteousness according to the New Covenant please.

"Righteousness" is the character that is built by doing what is right and someone who is "righteous" is someone who does what is right. God always does what is right, which is something that we all fall short of, so we can't meet God's standard of righteousness through our own efforts. So when God puts his righteous Spirit in us, which causes us to do what is right in accordance with God's instructions for how to do what is right, we are declared to now be righteous, someone who by faith and and the leading of the Holy Spirit does what is right in accordance with God's righteous standard.


The Judaizers in Acts 15 simply said "obey the law of Moses". This is what you are saying as well.

The Jews point out that Torah written in ancient Hebrew lacks vowels and punctuation, so that it can't even correctly be read or pronounced without the existence of additional oral instructions. Furthermore, many of the laws, such as the command not to work on the Sabbath, require additional instructions for how to define "work". For instance, is there a certain distance that can be traveled or a certain amount of weight that can be lifted before it counts as work? Then they would put a fence around that to protect the Torah from being transgressed. They traced the command for the oral law and the fences back to Moses and many argued that if you couldn't keep the written law without knowing the oral law, then the oral law had an equal or higher priority, so their concept of "the laws of Moses" was different from most Christians today. They would never have envisioned teaching the written law apart from teaching the oral law that instructs how to understand the written law, so what they were wanting to require Gentiles to do in Acts 15 would have included all of the oral law or the traditions of the elders. So not only did they want to required Gentiles to keep the oral law as they understood it, but they wanted them to keep all of the law in order to be saved, both of which Paul rightly rejected.

This is what is being talked about in Mark 7:1-9, where Jesus criticized the Pharisees for rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish their traditions. This is what Jesus called a heavy burden in Matthew 23:4 and what Peter called a heavy burden in Acts 15:10. They were doing the same sort of thing that Jesus was by rejecting man-made traditions and upholding the commandment of God.


Nevertheless, your position can also be characterized as the Galatian heresy -a child of Hagar. Look how Paul starts in relation to the slave-woman and the freewoman - "Tell me, you who want to be under law..." (Gal.4:21). Read the rest of chapter 4 to see which woman represents those who "want to be under the law".

I do not want to be "under the law", but I understand what is meant by that phrase differently than you do. As Paul specifies in Roman 7:6, we are dying to what holds us captive. What holds us captive is the law's power to condemn us to death for transgressing the law (Romans 7:1-4, 8:1-2), our sin nature's propensity to pervert the law into legalism and away from being about a relationship with God (Romans 7:6), and our sin nature's propensity to rebel against what the law instructs (Romans 7:6-25). However, God's holy, righteous, and good instruction for how to live in a manner that is holy, righteous, and good are not what holds us in captivity, but rather they are what we have been set free to do. We could not obey the law on our own, but only by faith and by the leading of the Spirit. If "under the law" included the holy, righteous, and good instructions of the law, then we would be free to sin all we wanted, but the Bible makes it clear in a couple places that we shouldn't misunderstand our freedom in Christ to be a freedom to transgress the law (Romans 6:15, 1 Peter 2:16).


"this may be one of those verses in which Paul uses nomos to depict the demand of God generally rather than any particular expression of that demand". In any event, believers who walk in the Spirit and produce the fruit of the Spirit are not hostile to God's law because they are already fulfilling the righteous requirement of the law. (Rom. 8:4).

If Paul is speaking more generally about all that God has commanded, then that would also include what He commanded to Moses. The law requires is obedience and the Spirit's role is to cause us to be obedient to God, so we fulfill the righteous requirement of the law by walking in the Spirit because He causes us to be obedient to it. The Spirit is not at odds with the Father, so the fruit of the Spirit are in perfect accordance with the law God commanded and can be found instructed in it.


Mosaic law obedience is not an expression of being born-again, because many Orthodox Jews faithfully obey the law and do not possess the Spirit which only comes about by faith in Christ. For example see Paul's experience of being under the law as an unregenerate Jew (Rom. 7:14-24).

The Pharisees are a false positive, so obedience to the law is not necessarily an expression of being born again, but it is nevertheless an indicator of it. A husband can do all the same things that someone does who loves their wife without actually loving his wife, but it is still a pretty good indicator that he loves his wife. Man judges by outward appearances, but God judges the heart.


Devotion to the person of Christ, walking in the Spirit, and adherence to Apostolic teaching under the New Covenant from a position of gratitude for all that Christ has done on our behalf is the proper expression of genuine faith.

Indeed, devotion to the person of Christ means becoming an imitation of him in how he thought and how he acted in obedience to God, walking in the Spirit means being guided by Him in obedience to the law, adherence to the Apostolic teaching under the New Covenant means obedience to the law, and the proper expression of gratitude is obedience to the law.

Scrawly
04-22-2015, 09:39 AM
"What is the law of Christ?"

Answer: Galatians 6:2 states, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (emphasis added). What exactly is the law of Christ, and how is it fulfilled by carrying each other’s burdens? While the law of Christ is also mentioned in 1 Corinthians 9:21, the Bible nowhere specifically defines what precisely is the law of Christ. However, most Bible teachers understand the law of Christ to be what Christ stated were the greatest commandments in Mark 12:28–31, “‘Which commandment is the most important of all?’ Jesus answered, ‘The most important is, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” The second is this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these.’”

The law of Christ, then, is to love God with all of our being and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. In Mark 12:32–33, the scribe who asked Jesus the question responds with, “To love Him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” In this, Jesus and the scribe agreed that those two commands are the core of the entire Old Testament Law. All of the Old Testament Law can be placed in the categories of “loving God” or “loving your neighbor.”

Various New Testament scriptures state that Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament Law, bringing it to completion and conclusion (Romans 10:4; Galatians 3:23–25; Ephesians 2:15). In place of the Old Testament Law, Christians are to obey the law of Christ. Rather than trying to remember the over 600 individual commandments in the Old Testament Law, Christians are simply to focus on loving God and loving others. If Christians would truly and wholeheartedly obey those two commands, we would be fulfilling everything that God requires of us.

Christ freed us from the bondage of the hundreds of commands in the Old Testament Law and instead calls on us to love. First John 4:7–8 declares, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” First John 5:3 continues, “This is love for God: to obey His commands. And His commands are not burdensome.”

Some use the fact that we are not under the Old Testament Law as an excuse to sin. The apostle Paul addresses this very issue in Romans. “What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!” (Romans 6:15). For the follower of Christ, the avoidance of sin is to be accomplished out of love for God and love for others. Love is to be our motivation. When we recognize the value of Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf, our response is to be love, gratitude, and obedience. When we understand the sacrifice Jesus made for us and others, our response is to be to follow His example in expressing love to others. Our motivation for overcoming sin should be love, not a desire to legalistically obey a series of commandments. We are to obey the law of Christ because we love Him, not so that we can check off a list of commands that we successfully obeyed.

Source: http://www.gotquestions.org/law-of-Christ.html#ixzz3Y3arZWbB

Scrawly
04-22-2015, 09:51 AM
and He said to them, “Are you so lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him, 19because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated?” (Thus He declared all foods clean.) 20And He was saying, “That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man. 21“For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, 22deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. 23“All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.” (Mk. 7:19-23).

One Bad Pig
04-22-2015, 10:17 AM
Messianic Judaism is made up of Jews who recognize Jesus as their Messiah and Gentiles that recognize the innate Jewishness of Christianity and that we follow a Jewish Messiah. Good Messianic Judaism emphasizes the Jewishness of Christianity, not one's Jewishness, and it does not hesitate to identify as Christian. While it is true that there are some Messianics who look down on Gentiles and Gentiles who are made to be inferior, that is not how it should be.

Paul was arguing against the idea that people had a better or worse status based on which group they belong to. He was not denying that there were Jews, Gentiles, slaves, free, men, or women, but was saying that they all had equal when it comes to being in Christ. In other words, Paul was not denying the Jewishness of Christianity, but that that gives superior status to Jews.
In further response to this, I thought I'd look up some info on Messianic Judaism:

In what could be called prophetic fulfillment, Jewish people began to embrace the Gospel as their own simultaneously with the advent of Zionism. There was a spiritual awakening as Jewish people began to return home to the land of Israel. This happened in waves: First in the late 1800’s, then in the 1940’s-50’s, then after the 1967 war when Jerusalem was unified. In a few cases (like Joseph Rabinowitz of Russia or Rabbi Lichtenstein of Hungary), Jewish people embraced Yeshua's message but continued to live and identify themselves as Jews. In most cases, however, Jewish believers assimilated into the larger Gentile Christian Church. Resisting assimilation and recognizing the need to remain distinct, many Jewish believers (or "Hebrew Christians" as they came to be called) began to meet together. They eventually formed organizations, and by the early 1970’s began to form their own congregations as well. In the quest to reclaim their Jewish identity they opted for a name change and began using the term Messianic Jew instead of Hebrew Christian. By this time there had been a shift in their theology as well, as Messianic Jews began to take more seriously their responsibility to live as Jews.
source (http://www.brithadasha.org/index.php/messianic-judaism/historyofmessianicjudaism)

The bold bits are what concern me most. Rather than seeking to unite with the body of Christ, they are seeking to separate and remain distinct, even eschewing the label "Hebrew Christian." The unspecified change in theology concerns me as well. Now, the other sites I looked at tended to be less problematic, but they tend to deplore the disappearance of "Messianic Judaism" in the 7th century due to assimilation with other Christians. None of them mention the dodgy theology that such groups tended to have.

Soyeong
04-22-2015, 02:50 PM
:doh: Way to completely misconstrue my point.

:shrug:


This looks mostly like one heaping evasion, given that the Old Covenant is the Torah. The Mosaic Covenant is part of the Torah, and is the sticking point, which I'm sure you realize.

The Old Covenant is not the Torah, but is part of it. Doing what is right in accordance with God's righteous standard is good to do and remains the same regardless of any contract to do that. If you enter into a contract to do what is right, but then you do not, then you are in violation of both your contract and of God's righteous standard.


And in Messianic Judaism, you're picking and choosing which parts of the Mosaic Covenant you want to follow (feasts) and which you do not (blood sacrifices, circumcision).

I am not pick and choosing. The Torah never commanded for all Gentiles to become Jews, so in Acts 15 they were upholding the Torah and rejecting a man-made requirement.


I'm not sure that Acts bears out this assertion. Once the followers of Jesus were forced out of the synagogues, they continued to meet together elsewhere. Since the apostles seemed to attract both Jews and God-fearers from the synagogues, there would already have been a mixture of Jew and Gentile, to which other Gentile converts would have been added.

I meant unbelieving Gentiles.


:eh: You realize that the apostles themselves (in Acts 15) were the ones who "sanitized" Christianity, yes? And there certainly were attempts to proselytize the Jews beyond then (Justin martyr's Dialogue with Trypho, for example), though they had to contend with Jewish slander.

I realize that thinking the apostles were sanitizing the Jewishness from Christianity in Acts 15 is a common misunderstanding, while the reality is that they were doing no such thing. I didn't deny that they attempted to proselytize the Jews, but rather I was saying that they removed the tools to do so effectively. Jews who were considering whether to believe Jesus was their Messiah were looking to see whether Gentiles to starting to obey the Torah, which they would have seen as confirmation of what Paul was telling them, but seeing Gentiles who were disregarding the Torah would have confirmed that Paul was teaching something foreign. Paul wanted the Gentile to keep the Torah in part to provoke the unbelieving Jews to jealousy.


Oh, I agree that there are rich teachings about the Messiah in the feasts of Israel, but they are shadows or types of what has been fulfilled in Him. And Pascha (Easter) = Passover, Pentecost = Feast of Weeks, and first fruits are offered when we celebrate the Transfiguration (August 6).

A shadow was not seen as a negative thing, but rather as a rehearsal done in anticipation of things to come. Jesus fulfilled some of the feasts by bringing full meaning to them, which makes them all the more important to keep, but Jesus has not yet fulfilled the Fall feasts. The equivalent of Easter should be the Feast of Firstfruits and the focus of Passover should be on the Passover lamb and God bringing the Israelites out of Egypt. When I was younger, I thought Pentecost was a new holiday to commemorate God pouring out His Spirit because no one told me of its significance to the Jews before that. It's fine to celebrate the Transfiguration, but if you celebrate it instead of the God's Feasts, then you fall under the same criticism that Jesus had for the Pharisees:

Mark 7:9 And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition!

One Bad Pig
04-23-2015, 06:28 AM
The Old Covenant is not the Torah, but is part of it. Doing what is right in accordance with God's righteous standard is good to do and remains the same regardless of any contract to do that. If you enter into a contract to do what is right, but then you do not, then you are in violation of both your contract and of God's righteous standard.
The Old Covenant was until John (Luke 16:16). God has established the New Covenant prophesied by Jeremiah; I am not under the Old.

I am not pick and choosing. The Torah never commanded for all Gentiles to become Jews, so in Acts 15 they were upholding the Torah and rejecting a man-made requirement.
Yes, you are. Are we required to keep the feasts in Acts 15?

I meant unbelieving Gentiles.
That makes no sense. In that case, then the Messianic Jews were in the same boat as the believing Gentiles, and there was no need for division between them.


I realize that thinking the apostles were sanitizing the Jewishness from Christianity in Acts 15 is a common misunderstanding, while the reality is that they were doing no such thing. I didn't deny that they attempted to proselytize the Jews, but rather I was saying that they removed the tools to do so effectively.
You misunderstand my point. The tools were "removed" in Acts 15, not later.

Jews who were considering whether to believe Jesus was their Messiah were looking to see whether Gentiles to starting to obey the Torah, which they would have seen as confirmation of what Paul was telling them, but seeing Gentiles who were disregarding the Torah would have confirmed that Paul was teaching something foreign. Paul wanted the Gentile to keep the Torah in part to provoke the unbelieving Jews to jealousy.

:twitch: No, you're reading that into scripture. Paul thought that salvation of the Gentiles was sufficient to provoke the Jews to jealousy (Rom 11:11).

A shadow was not seen as a negative thing, but rather as a rehearsal done in anticipation of things to come.
Of course.
Jesus fulfilled some of the feasts by bringing full meaning to them, which makes them all the more important to keep, but Jesus has not yet fulfilled the Fall feasts.
Once the fullness has come, that which is but a shadow is no longer required (Heb 10).

The equivalent of Easter should be the Feast of Firstfruits and the focus of Passover should be on the Passover lamb and God bringing the Israelites out of Egypt. When I was younger, I thought Pentecost was a new holiday to commemorate God pouring out His Spirit because no one told me of its significance to the Jews before that. It's fine to celebrate the Transfiguration, but if you celebrate it instead of the God's Feasts, then you fall under the same criticism that Jesus had for the Pharisees:

Mark 7:9 And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition!
:twitch: You would condemn every non-messianic Jew as rejecting the commandment of God for not celebrating the feasts of the Old Covenant? Seriously?