So why are we Messianic?
Reasons for being Messianic or Messianic Jewish vary from person to person and can generally be summed up into 5 groupings:
1. Former Gentiles who have a passion for Israel and the Jewish people and want to involved in supporting both.
2. Former Gentiles who hunger for truth, who have become convinced that there are significant doctrinal issues in the Church, such as Shabbat and the role of Torah.
3. Former Gentiles who want more out of their relationship with G-d.
4. Jewish Believer who have come to see Yeshua as Messiah, and want to worship Him while maintaining their Jewishness.
5. Interfaith couples seeking a place to worship together where both are comfortable, and a place to raise children who will have both a Jewish upbringing, and knowledge of Messiah Yeshua.
Most are self explanatory, as above, but I wanted to delve a little deeper into 2 specific groups: Jewish Believers in Messiah and Former Gentiles.
Jewish Believers – When a Jew believes in Yeshua as Messiah, your life can take a radical turn of events. Families may react strongly; employment and friendships can be affected. A large change, depending on where you come from as religious background, might be in practice of faith. Imagine giving up all you hold familiar, to practice a “foreign religion”. The first thing many Churches do is invite you to a pork barbeque. Almost all readings from the Tankh are expunged for readings from the New Testament, and the Torah is now obsolete. Is this what G-d intended?
For Jews entering a Messianic Community, the culture shock is not as severe. Pork is not on the menu, the Torah is proudly displayed (and followed), and over 50% of the study is from the Tankh. The weekly parsha readings are the same. Thus you are not adopting a “foreign religion”, but following a path within a Jewish framework. Children are still circumcised, marriages are under the Chuppah and all the feasts are still celebrated. You are free to develop an understanding of Messiah, without cultural bigotry and Anti-Semitic elements clouding the path.
Former Gentile Believers – For former Gentiles beginning a Messianic Life is almost as traumatic as for the Jew. While family & friends might not be as openingly hostile, they will question you. The questions (and acquisitions) may be that: your legalistic, or that you think “everyone else is going to Hell” but you. Simple things like going shopping will be affected, as you now go on Sunday, instead of Saturday may get you labeled as not believing (since “Christians” go to church on Sunday, thus you must not believe if you are not in church).
Most Former Gentiles begin adopting a Messianic lifestyle due to issues they have with church practices & teachings. Many times it is over changes beginning in the 3rd century going through to the reformation that make Christianity less “Jewish”. It might have been the addition of pagan worship days to replace the feasts of G-d. These doctrinal issues will be explained as many past teachings are challenged. The role of Torah, the feasts, corporate prayer and a much heavier emphasis on the “rest of scripture” will challenge, and hopefully delight you.
So why am I Messianic – very simply, because I wish to be as close to G-d as possible, living by His entire revealed word, not just selected parts. I want to be like my Great Rabbi, Yeshua! To walk as He walked, to talk as He talked, and do the works He showed us to do.
For more information on living a Messianic lifestyle