Jews for Jesus and Messianic Jews claim that what they’re doing is 100% Jewish... the most Jewish thing anyone can do. However, calling it Jewish doesn’t make it Jewish.
“How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four! Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.” ~Abraham Lincoln
On every basic issue of theology, Jews for Jesus and Messianic Jews reject the Jewish point of view and embrace the perspective of Christianity.
• Jews for Jesus and Messianic Jews believe in the Christian concept of the Trinity and worship the man, Jesus, as God.
Judaism insists on a pure monotheism that worships only the Creator of the world and no physical, created being.
• They maintain that the only way we can be forgiven for any sin is by accepting Jesus and believing that He died as an atoning sacrifice for us.
Judaism follows the Torah (Biblical) teaching that each individual can se¬cure forgiveness through repentance, a sincere rejection of past wrongs and resolve to change one’s ways.
• They believe that it is impossible to have a relationship with God unless we believe in Jesus.
Judaism insists that we are able to relate to God directly with no intermediaries.
• They accept the Greek (New) Testament as part of their Bible in addition to the Hebrew Scriptures (Torah).
However, the Jewish Bible doesn’t conclude by saying,“to be continued.”
• They assert that all people who don’t believe in Jesus will face an eternity in hell.
The Torah defines the worship of any¬thing or anyone other than the Creator as idolatry, one of the gravest sins.
• They believe that they must convert every person on the planet to Christianity.
Judaism has never taught that non-Jews must convert to Judaism to attain spiritual fulfillment. Our sages taught, “All righteous people from the nations of the world have a share in the world to come.”
• Jews for Jesus and Messianic Jews claim to reject the Talmud and Rabbinic teachings and follow only what is taught in the Torah (Bible). However, in practice, they do exactly the opposite!
• Jew for Jesus and Messianic Jews celebrate the holiday of Chanukah which is mentioned only in Rabbinic sources, not the Torah.
• They wear kippot/skullcaps, a custom found only in the Talmud, not the Torah.
• They wear prayer shawls resembling those of traditional Jews who designed them according to Rabbinic tradition. The actual design of prayer shawls is not mentioned in the Torah.
• They light Shabbat candles, a practice ordained by the rabbis of the Talmud, and not found in the Torah.
• They celebrate a boy’s Bar Mitzvah at age 13, a practice found only in Rabbinic sources, not the Torah.
• They follow the weekly cycle of Torah and Haftorah readings instituted by our rabbis, and not delineated in the Torah.
Jews for Jesus and Messianic Jews strongly argue for the Jewishness of their movements by claiming that Jesus and all his original followers were Jews.
But not everything that Jews do is necessarily in line with Judaism. Those who built and worshiped the Golden Calf were also Jews!
However, there’s a very significant is¬sue that we must recognize when thinking about Jews for Jesus and Messianic Jews.
These “Hebrew Christians” are not villains. They’re victims of misleading proselytizing and vulnerable to it due to severe Jewish malnutrition. Invariably, they never acquired a sophisticated level of Jewish education. For them, Judaism was merely an expression of culture or ethnicity with no real meaning. They never experienced the rich, spiritual path that has sustained us as a vibrant, learned people for over 3,300 years.
How can you help these Jews who have embraced Christianity?
The vital first step is to display warmth rather than hostility. Show them what it means to be a passionate Jew who strives for closeness to God and personal integrity. Be a role model who reaches out to help his fellow Jew and de¬rives inspiration from his heritage. These are the most powerful ways to help those who have strayed...and show them the way back home.
“A little bit of light can dispel a lot of darkness!”