Michael Brown on What Does the Jewish Community Want From Jewish Followers of Jesus?

Back in April, the Jewish world was shocked to learn that a Gentile Christian couple was living in an ultra-Orthodox section of Jerusalem, claiming to be Jews, with the husband serving as a rabbi. In response to that scandal, I wrote an article titled, “As Jewish Followers of Jesus We Deplore Deceptive Techniques.”

As Messianic Jews, we too were shocked to read this report. This is not who we are, and this is not how we operate.

But now another report has rocked sectors of the Jewish world, especially the religious community in Israel. The anti-missionary group Yad L’Achim has drawn attention to Messianic Jewish leader Boaz Michael, who lives in Jerusalem and is open and unashamed about his faith in Yeshua. He also believes in a living a Torah-observant life and honoring Jewish tradition. How, Yad L’Achim asks, can this possibly be?

As a headline on the Israel National News website states, “‘Synagogue’ and study hall in Jerusalem found to be used as Christian missionary training centers by missionaries posing as Orthodox Jews.”

It is at this point, though, that I need to interrupt this story and ask some honest questions. What is the Jewish community asking of Messianic Jews? What are Jewish followers of Jesus supposed to do?

In the first case, you had a Gentile Christian posing as an ultra-Orthodox rabbi while privately holding to Christian beliefs, and together we said, “That is deceptive and wrong, and we reject such practices.” (Again, see my article for quotes and references.)

In the second case, you have a Messianic Jew whose website openly proclaims his belief in Yeshua and whose center in Jerusalem is unashamedly devoted to teaching and training Messianic Jews, yet he gets attacked for being open and forthright.

So, which is it? Is it wrong to be deceptive? As Messianic Jews, we agree. But are you now telling us it’s wrong to be open and honest? This makes no sense.

Groups like Yad L’Achim would surely say, “Don’t play games with us, Brown. You know exactly what the issue is. These missionaries are claiming to be frum [pious] Jews. Just look at how they live.”

But that’s the whole point. These Messianic Jews are telling the Jewish world, without any ambiguity whatsoever, that: 1) they believe Yeshua is the Messiah of Israel; 2) they believe that Yeshua fulfills the Torah rather than abolishes it, so, in light of His teachings, they are Torah observant; and 3) they believe that, because of God’s covenant with Israel, there is much beauty in Jewish tradition, so where they do not find it contradictory to their faith in Yeshua, they honor those traditions.

What is so evil about that?

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SOURCE: Charisma News

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