View Larger Map

Messianism

The Messianic Movement has taken on a series of new identities which may not be recognised by either mainstream Christians, or other Messianic believers. Considering this I wanted to take a minute to explain some of the changes the movement has gone through over the last decade or so. Once upon a time the Messianic movement consisted of Jewish believers in Yeshua and the Gentiles that supported them. Their services consisted of traditional Jewish worship practices such as the Sh'ma, V'ahafta and or the Alenu and also had Jewish choruses and prayers ending with the Aaronic Blessing. However in recent times we seem to have had an offshoot of this group called the Jewish roots movement, and it appears to have become nothing more than Pentecostalism with Jewish overtones, and not even what I would call sound Pentecostalism.

These guys are thoroughly trumphalistic with either a few or none of the worship practices mentioned above. So disturbing is this, that many mainstream churches are beginning to turn their backs on these Messianic groups, calling them Judaisers. I have had a few harsh discussions with some of these people, and frankly the whole movement has begun to be discredited as a result of these people and the things they get up to. This is quite a shame since for a number of years as we have been growing,we have been working hard to try and engage the churches in dialogue over how to understand their Jewish heritage from a biblical perspective; not trying to judaise them, as I was once told. It's really all about what you find in the New Testament and how that works out in the practice of the New Testament worship.

One of the main reasons for starting these fellowships was so people would be able to share the gospel with their Jewish neighbours, because the Gospel is to the Jew first as we read in Romans 1:16. In setting up our worship services we deliberately made them as Jewish as possible, so they would be comfortable with Jewish people, as they get a lot of friction from their families on becoming believers and need the support. Some churches at this time adopted something of this messianic style so as to support us in the field. However this has been hijacked by fringe charismatic groups, who have little chance of being a witness to Jews because of their western church type style, which had them dressing up as Jews with kippurs, talits, and even tzit-tzits, (Worshipful clothing Jews wear)blowing shofars etc but continuing services in a western church type style. It's a total turn-off for Jewish people, and looks like they are mocking them.

We all need prayer and financial support, and that is the best way to give us a chance to bring these Jewish people into the fold. My suggestion to you if you are thinking of learning about your Jewish heritage, or if you are not Jewish but wish to become more knowledgable either as a single person or married couple. Please get a proper Messianic teacher to teach you; that would be a great start to your continuation. Also make sure you join a Messianic congregation that is Biblically correct. Such a group or teacher would emphasise grace over legalism, and be more focused on Yeshua than anything else. Do not be put off by liturgy as many Christian groups tend to dispise liturgy, but its good to have a mixture of both liturgy and free open worship.

There is much value for your soul in finding a good Messianic teacher who is properly focused on Yeshua along with expounding the scriptures to give a balanced view on the Hebraic understanding of the faith.Remember Jesus was Jewish, so were the Apostles, and we would not have the Bible if it was not for Jews, so it figures we need to teach the scriptures from the culture in which it was delivered. Because whatever has happened since, what it was then is what it should be now.