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Why The Division Between Christians And Jews Is Completely Out of God’s Will

Exploring David H. Stern Ph.D's Restoring the Jewishness of the Gospel: A Message For Christians Part 2.

Rhonda Robinson


December 4, 2013 - 7:00 am
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In Kosher Jesus, author Shmuley Boteach writes to both Jews and Christians alike. However, as I mentioned before in What Has Christianity Lost?, his complete dismissal of the New Testament (while understandable) leaves his argument for unity of the faiths a bit one-sided and more than a little disheartening. At least, it does on the Christian side of the family tree.

In our new series Restoring the Jewishness of the Gospel: A Message For Christians, the author David H. Stern, Ph.D is Jewish. He is also a follower of Christ or a Messianic Jew. If your first thought to that statement is, “Doesn’t that make him a Christian?” you might find his book a worthwhile read as we explore this, and many other aspects of our Judeo-Christian heritage.

It’s important to emphasize Restoring the Jewishness of the Gospel: A Message For Christians is intended, as the name implies, primarily for non-Jewish Christians and for Jewish believers in Yeshua (Jesus). The author begins with three presuppositions:

  1. Christianity is Jewish
  2. Antisemitism is un-Christian
  3. Refusing or neglecting to evangelize Jews is antisemitic

The author further assumes,”Yeshua is indeed Israel’s Messiah, and that the New Testament and the Tanakh (Old Testament) constitute God’s word to humanity.”

“Yeshua’s “Great Commission” to the Church was to make disciples from every nation. But as soon as the early Messianic Jews began reaching out to Gentiles, it was necessary to separate the Gospel from its cultural context, so that its essential message would not be encumbered with cultural baggage unnecessary for salvation.

Learning that the New Covenant did not require Gentiles to become Jews in order to be saved was a traumatic process for the Jewish believers in Yeshua.”

Paul spent much of his ministry bringing Gentile believers into the faith, without compelling them to adopt Jewish culture. Doesn’t it seem odd, or just plain wrong, that now that we Gentile believers/Christians are the majority within the church, that we have insisted that Jewish believers do the very same that Paul preached against–adopting Christian culture and leaving Judaism as a condition of salvation?

No wonder, it doesn’t look like God’s plan to either side.

So what is?

That all of Israel be saved.

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All Comments   (4)
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I agree in general. Your thesis should be so clear as the truth that, if one goes out into the raim without an umbrella, one will get wet. Historically, alas, that is not true. However, generalities must be specified or particularities will cause tension.

Recently in Argentina a group of Jews held, with permission and invitation, to a Jewish serivce in a Catholic Church. This act upset a large number of Catholics who interrupted the serivce with specific Catholic prayers. (They were not Denver Bob types.) Why? The believers were not against interdenominational activies in the church. But their belief system brings them to see "their" church as the place where their Church worships God as God wanst to be worshipped, according to their profound belief.

Personally I feel sympathy with the protesters. I can hardly imagine a Pontifical mass with all its trapping taking place in an important Jewish Synagogue (and were I Jewish I would not approve). Both cases, real and imagined, constitute particularities that harm the generality or, so I think.

My comment may be resting on an indaequate comprension of your contentions. I want unity of fellowship that does not jeopardize the substantiality of belief content and acts of worshp.

Maybe I am overreacting and should be more retrained.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I certainly don't believe a word of it: further, I don't believe Judaism has anything to offer the world, except advantages to other Jews.

My biggest problem is simply that, within the tradition a practiced now, the ends justify the means, which means the followers will do anything to impose their will on others.

Sounds like the mystery of lawlessness to me. If what I say is not so, why is the actions involved accepted as valid within the community, rather than denounced?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Good stuff Rhonda! I also highly recommend Stern's Jewish New Testament Commentary and Complete Jewish Bible.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Thank you Chris.

I have the Complete Jewish Bible on Kindle. Need to get it in book form. It's just not as good on Kindle. I want to be able to flip back and forth.

I'll look into getting the NT Commentary, that sounds good.
1 year ago
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