Why I Don’t Call Myself a Christian

English: "A symbol that Messianic Jews be...

Vaughn Olhman of The Practical Theonomist blog put an interesting question to me on the Blinded to the Torah thread that I don’t remember addressing before. In response to my statement, “Many Christians are uncomfortable with those of us who reject the Christian label and insist on being called Messianic Jews instead,” he asked:

You may have covered this elsewhere, but this statement makes me uncomfortable, Biblically speaking, because the ‘Christian’ label not only means ‘Christ-like one’; but is actually mentioned in Scripture. While I understand the witness that the term ‘Messianic Jew’ implies, why does it need to come with a literal ‘rejection’ of the ‘Christian’ label?

Good question, and deserving its own post.

“Christian” did not originally mean “Christ-like.” As used (all of three times) in the NT, it’s actually a Greek transliteration of the Latin Christianus. The suffix –ianus means “of the political party of” (like our modern “Republican” or “Libertarian”) making “Christianus” “of the political party of Christus.” If you read Acts 11:59 and 26:28 and 1 Peter 4:16 carefully, you’ll see that in all three occasions that it’s used, it is a label applied to the followers of Yeshua by others, not one they applied to themselves–their own names for their group were “the Way” and “the Nazarenes” (ala “the Branches”).

*Not* the Origin of the Cross
*Not* the Origin of the Cross

The name “Christian” therefore “constitutes a political statement. It (‘-ianus’) is not used of the followers of a god. It is . . . mildly contemptuous” (E.A. Judge, quoted by John Mauck, The Trial of Paul, p. 97). However, it is the great gift of what we commonly call Christianity to take that which the world means to be shameful and turn it into a badge of honor, ala Paul’s observation that God has chosen the weak and foolish things of the world to overcome the strong and wise (1Co. 1:27). Thus the cross, a symbol of ultimate humiliation and horror to the Romans, was quickly adapted by Christianity as its central symbol, and the name meant to say, “Ha! You’re the political party of a shamed and dead man!” the followers of Yeshua turned around to say, “No, we’re the political party of the Honorable and Living One!”

And if that’s all it meant today, I would happily call myself a Christian.

However, as I’ve spent the last several weeks documenting, starting in the 2nd Century and continuing to even now, Christianity has defined itself as a non-Jewish entity–not just in the sense of defending the rights of Greeks to remain Greeks, but in opposing the right of Jews to continue to be and live as Jews. It has actively persecuted those Jews in its ranks that have tried to remain a part of their own people: That’s why I entitled one of my series, “Judenrein (Jew-Free) Christianity.”

Today, a Christian is not someone who simply follows Christ. He or she is someone who goes to church on Sunday, celebrates Christmas and Easter (or in some cases, no holy days at all) and possibly some other cultural feasts, enjoys pork spare ribs at the church BBQ, and possibly wears a cross as a symbol of their faith. By that definition–and argue it as you might, that’s how Christians have lived for thousands of years–I simply do not qualify. I go to synagogue and rest on the Biblical Sabbath, celebrate the High Holy Days given in the Torah and the feasts and fasts of the Jewish people, keep both Biblical kosher and those aspects of kashrut (Rabbinic kosher) which do not conflict with the New Covenant teachings, and wear a kippah (yarmulke, if you prefer) and tzitzit as the symbols of my faith.

When all Christendom repents of interpreting Paul and even Yeshua in an anti-Jewish, anti-Torah manner, when all Christians say of every Jew they meet, “This is my brother, this is my sister, and whether they ever return the sentiment or not, I will lay down my life for them,” and when every church says to the Jewish Christians within its walls, “You need to be a part of your people, and we will do whatever it takes to help you achieve that, even if it means kashering our own kitchen,” then I will be able to call myself “Messianic” with a Greek accent again. Until then, it would be grossly inappropriate and even misleading for me to do so.

But I do not reject my Sunday-brethren–who I call my brethren in all sincerity. God has used Christianity to spread His Word throughout the world, and I honor that. The fact that there are horrible sins in the past of the Church no more leads me to hate them than the sins of Israel make me hate my own people. But it is because of that love and because of my desire to see a reconciliation between two brothers so long separated by hatred that I must be forthright about Christianity’s sins, both past and present, and call my Sunday-brethren to repent.

Shalom.

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32 Replies to “Why I Don’t Call Myself a Christian”

  1. Thanks for the answer. I can’t say I am wholly convinced. In I Peter we read:

    1Pe 4:14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
    1Pe 4:15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.
    1Pe 4:16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
    1Pe 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

    Now the way I read this is that verse 14 and verse 16 are parallel verses; both speaking of essentially the same thing: being reproached/suffering for ‘the name of Christ’. And it seems to me that he uses the terms interchangeably. And then in verse 17 he seems to equate both of these uses with ‘the house of God’.
    Thus I am reading ‘those in the name of Christ’ = ‘Christian’ = ‘those in the house of God’.
    Am I wrong here?

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    1. While it’s true that by itself, Peter’s statement could be taken as taking up the name “Christian,” it’s also true that the passage makes perfect sense if the label “Christian” was a perjorative originally coined by the faith’s critics. Therefore, we must go outside of Peter to determine the origin and original meaning of the term. That means checking the other two instances in the book of Acts–where we find that it is never used by the Nazarenes to describe themselves–and to what the word’s suffix would have meant to the original hearers.

      But if “Christian” was originally intended as an insult, so what? Words are defined by how they are used now, not how they were used two thousand years ago.

      But then again, that’s my point: The very meaning of the word has changed from a perjorative political statement by the faith’s enemies, to a term meaning “followers of Christ,” to a term meaning, “Gentile followers of Christ who reject Jewish practices.”

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  2. The name Christian was used first in Antioch when the gentiles (together with the Jews) as a whole were coming to God (Acts 11:26, Ephesians 2:11-18), and thus fulfilling the prophecies of God of calling the gentiles into His called out group of people (Romans 9:24-26, Isaiah 62:2).

    There is nothing wrong with the name Christian, in fact there is everything right with it no matter how much some may abuse it, for God knows those who rightly wear His name (Romans 2:29, 2 Timothy 2:19).

    And may I add, your reference under your picture to Jesus as the son of Joseph (although scripture does call Him that respectfully in Luke 3:23 and John 1:45) was a reference that was used more often by Jesus’ enemies when He tried to teach them that He was the Son of God (John 5, 6) – so by that example alone you should be able to see how one’s abuse of a name doesn’t necessarily negate the use of it as a whole. And I should add since I’m not familiar with the rest of your writings I am saying this with the assumption that you believe Jesus was/is the risen Son of God (Romans 1:3-4).

    God bless in your studies.

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    1. I agree, there’s nothing wrong with a Gentile calling himself a Christian–and everything right about it. But given Christianity’s historical rejection of any expression of Jewishness within its fellowships, there’s nothing wrong with choosing to use the equivalent Hebrew term “Messianic” to make a distinction in our beliefs and practices.

      The reason I’ve sometimes called Yeshua “Ben Joseph” is to draw the prophetic parallel with the patriarch Joseph that I consider to be key in understanding Yeshua’s relationship with His own estranged brothers.

      I don’t deny the virgin birth at all. Nevertheless, Joseph adopted (there’s that word again) Yeshua as his own firstborn son, and Yeshua would have been known as Ben or Bar Yoseph to His contemporaries. Since that’s an important point in Yeshua’s legal claim to the throne of David, it should not be overlooked or ignored out of fear of somehow losing sight of the Messiah’s Divine nature.

      Actually, Yeshua’s enemies also recognized that Joseph wasn’t His birth-father, though they didn’t believe that he was virgin-born either. That’s why they made snide comments like, “We know who our fathers are!”

      Shalom

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      1. I didn’t say anything about it being right for a gentile to call himself a Christian, it’s right for anyone (Jew or gentile) to call themselves a Christian if they have obeyed the Gospel of Christ (Romans 1:16-17). It would be good to remember that 2 of the 3 times that the word Christian is used in the New Covenant it was used by a Jew in reference to their self (i.e. Paul and Peter).

        I won’t hash up old arguments for the likely hood of you changing me or me changing you is unlikely, but I have had conversations with people who believe in keeping the Torah yet they believe in following Jesus. The two cannot be fully done at the same time for multiple reasons; and the point that seems to always get overlooked is that the Torah could not save, for if it could have it would have. This is something to which the Old Covenant stated itself (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Hebrews 8:7-13).

        The only grace in the Torah (explicitly or implicitly given) was fulfilled and is found only in Jesus (John 5:23, 1 John 2:23). Paul withstood Peter to the face due to his unwillingness to stand behind the truth of the faith in Jesus the Christ, that being (among other things) that one does not have to follow Jewish traditions (Galatians 2:3-5, 11-21) to be an heir of the promise made to Abraham (i.e. emphasis on the name Abraham and not Abram)…in fact, if one is not in Jesus, he or she is not an heir according to the made promise whether they are Jew or gentile (Galatians 3:24-29).

        I completely understand the point and purpose of customs, but customs do not override the Law of Christ or the freedoms found therein that are provided for both Jews and gentiles (James 1:25, 2:12, Galatians 5:1, Romans 7:1-6, 14:17-23).

        Thanks for replying. Take care, Benjamin, and again, God bless as you study His word.

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      2. >>The two cannot be fully done at the same time for multiple reasons; and the point that seems to always get overlooked is that the Torah could not save, for if it could have it would have.

        Ummm… huh??
        Christ kept Torah perfectly. And Paul did so imperfectly.

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      3. Your comment supports my point so I don’t understand the confusion. Jesus perfectly fulfilled the Torah, perfectly fulfilled the types and shadows of it and perfectly takes away what the Torah could not take away – sin. This is something that no other person has done or will do.

        One cannot fully follow the Torah and follow Jesus because the priesthood has changed. Jesus is the High Priest of God’s people (Hebrews 2:16-18, 4:14-16). And since Jesus is the High Priest of God’s people today that means the priesthood of the Torah has changed which means the Torah has changed, or been removed/replaced (Hebrews 7:11-19).

        You can’t follow something that has been replaced. You can follow where it leads to, which is Jesus, but, as the scriptures show by the example of the priesthood (among other things) that you cannot follow the Torah and follow Jesus at the same time, for the Torah says “Levitical” and “Levitical” alone, while the New Covenant says Jesus and Jesus alone. And that’s why I told Benjamin that I would just leave the conversation at that.

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      4. “And since Jesus is the High Priest of God’s people today that means the priesthood of the Torah has changed which means the Torah has changed, or been removed/replaced (Hebrews 7:11-19).”

        Here you’re the victim of a mistranslation in your text. The word is not “changed,” “removed,” or “replaced.” The words are conjugations of metatithemi (the verb form) and metathesis (the noun form), both of which literally mean (meta-) “a change in” (-thesis) “place or location.” Those same two words are used by the author of Hebrews in 11:5 to describe Enoch being “transferred/translated” into Heaven.

        Also, there is no “the” in “the law” in the Greek of Heb. 7:12. It just says “a transferrence of law.”

        Even the immediate context demonstrates the fallacy of translating it as “a change in the law.” Verse 14 goes on to say, “For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, a tribe in reference to which Moses spoke nothing concerning priests.” Okay, but if the Law, as in the Torah, was altered, why the heck would that matter?

        Rather, verse 12 should be translated, “For when the priesthood is [in the process of] being transferred, of necessity there is a transferrence of law as well.”

        So what’s the difference, you ask? The answer is everything. Rather than Hebrews saying, “Hey, look, the temple is being destroyed so the Law must be removed as well,” it’s actually saying, “Yes, the temple will be destroyed in judgment. But the Holy One is not leaving us without a temple or a sacrifice. He’s given us a superior sacrifice and a superior priest who serves in the Heavenly temple of which the earthly was just a copy. Since we have been told in advance that there would be a transferrence of the high priesthood from Levi to Melchizedek, there must of necessity be a transferrence in law–not the whole law, but the portion under discussion, which is the sacrificial service.”

        How do I know it was only the laws of the sacrifice that were transferred. Since the author of Hebrews makes an appeal to logic, I will do so as well. Obviously, what you commonly term the moral law could not be in view: I can’t go out an cheat on my wife as long as I somehow avoid spiritual adultery against God, for example. Nor is all of the “ceremonial” law in view, since Heb. 4:9 states that “there remains a Sabbath-keeping (not Sabbath rest–that’s another mistranslation) for the people of God,” which vv. 4 & 10 tell us is still on the seventh day.

        The only part of the Torah under discussion in Hebrews is the sacrificial service. The reason is obvious to a Torah-keeping Jew and even you have alluded to it: How can one keep the Torah without a temple, since the temple service is such a core element of the Torah? Hebrews gives the answer. This is why, for example, as a Messianic I can continue to celebrate Passover today even without a temple in Jerusalem to bring my lamb to: My Passover Lamb was sacrificed in the proper time and place, and therefore I keep the Feast in His honor (1Co. 5:7-8).

        Shalom

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      5. “The two cannot be fully done at the same time for multiple reasons; and the point that seems to always get overlooked is that the Torah could not save, for if it could have it would have.”

        There are two ways to respond to this. The first is the most obvious: Since the Law cannot save, how many times have you cheated on your wife today? Since the Law cannot save, how many times have you punched someone who annoys you today? Since the Law cannot save, how many idols have you worshiped today?

        For that matter, since Sunday, Christmas, Easter, the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, and whatever other holidays that you enjoy cannot save, you must therefore give them all up in order to be saved, right?

        But the second response is actually the more important one: Judaism has NEVER taught that one is saved by keeping the Law.

        Let me repeat that: Judaism has NEVER taught that one is saved by keeping the Law.

        Therefore, if your presupposition is that the central theme of the New Testament is Law vs. Grace, you’re going to misinterpret it. Even many Christian authors, like EP Sanders, NT Wright, and James Dunn, have come to recognize this. Go look up “the new perspective on Paul” and do some reading on the controversy being caused simply by some Christian scholars recognizing what Jews consider to be blindingly obvious.

        Besides, even if it were true that Judaism taught “salvation by law,” it wouldn’t matter. Paul himself took a Nazrite vow just because (Acts 18:18), returned to Jerusalem with the intent to make sacrifices in the Temple (24:17), and was willing to to buy animal sacrifices in bulk to help four other Messianic Jews complete their own Nazrite vows (Acts 21:20-26).

        Now if Paul thought it perfectly normal and natural to even present offerings in the Temple nearly thirty years after the Cross, why would you think it so strange that I consider it normal and natural for a Jew to rest on the Sabbath, observe the Feasts, and keep kosher?

        Either Paul was a complete hypocrite–in which case you can’t appeal to his writings for authority–or you’ve completely misunderstood his point, and there’s actually no contradiction between putting one’s faith in Yeshua the Messiah and keeping Torah at all.

        Shalom

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      6. My friend, this will the last comment, although I’m sure it will tempting for it not to be.

        One cannot follow the Torah fully and follow Jesus fully at the same time for the Torah demands animal sacrifices, not suggests it -demands it. The Torah demands that sacrifices be brought to the Levitical priesthood to be sacrificed in certain places, on certain days and in certain ways (which are not followed by people who claim to following the Torah today). The Torah demands that people go to Jerusalem to celebrate specific days. The Torah demands that a person be circumcised. The Torah demands that the Sabbath be observed. The Torah demands that people do things that people today who claim to be following the Torah call optional. I don’t see how optional and commandment from God intermingle.

        Jesus has removed the types and shadows of the Levitical sacrificial system (Colossians 2:13-17; Hebrews 10:1-9). Jesus removed the Levitical priesthood as God’s priesthood and since the priesthood has been changed then by necessity the Law/Torah had to be changed (Hebrews 7:11-14). Jesus removed the command for certain days (by the way I don’t observe Christmas or Easter or the Fourth of July as religious holidays) to be observed that are found in the Torah or any other manmade religious holiday for that matter (Galatians 4:9-11).

        Paul did several things as a Jew that were done to convert Jews to Jesus – not because they were necessary to please God (1 Corinthians 9:19-22). It’s good that you believe that the Law never taught that keeping it could save a person because it couldn’t. But please don’t mistake me for someone who believes there is no Law today, for there is; it’s the Law of Faith (Romans 3:27-28).

        My point still stands: one cannot fully follow the Torah and fully follow Jesus for the Torah in and of itself was only a tutor while Jesus is the Teacher (Galatians 3:18-29). And the Torah demands certain things to be followed that cannot be faithfully followed today if one follows Jesus.

        Thanks again for replying.

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      7. You’re missing the point of the Hebrew letter. It’s about people considering a return to the Law, a consideration that is proven to be nothing more than a grave error and a fallacy. That’s why Jesus and the New Covenant of God (new means not the old, so much for your point) is referred to as better numerous times.

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      8. No Eugene, it isn’t. I know that’s what you’ve been taught all your life, but it really isn’t. The reason you don’t understand it is simply this: You do not understand the relationship of the Jew to the Torah and thereby to the Temple.

        Take away the blatant mistranslations and the meaning of Hebrews is clear: Continue to keep the Sabbath, hold fast to the faith, and don’t worry about the temple being destroyed undermining your faith or fidelity, because all that’s happening is that its functions are beign transferred back to the Heavenly domain, where our High Priest lives forever.

        I really do love you as a brother, but you have here today proven everything I’ve written about Christianity’s hostility to the Jews, even the Jews living within it, as long as we continue to be Jews.

        Shalom.

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      9. It’s about people leaving Jesus (the faith) for Judaism. That’s why there are warnings about not listening to God in Hebrews – it’s not because the Temple was going away, it was because people were considering going away from Jesus back to what they had already left. It doesn’t matter how you want to translate words – new means the old is gone; simple enough. It’s not renew or redone; it’s new (Kainos – recently made, fresh, recent) and the Torah is the old (Gerasko – to grow old, to fail from age, to be obsolescent) (Hebrews 8:13). It’s talking about covenants, not buildings.

        I appreciate your willingness to show affection and to be kind with your words, but my friend you’re missing my point because you’re worried more about following a Law that you’re not following in reality.

        I have no idea where this comment is going to land (I hate trying to keep up with long comment threads on WordPress and their randomly placed reply button) but so long for now.

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  3. >> it’s also true that the passage makes perfect sense if the label “Christian” was a perjorative originally coined by the faith’s critics.

    Ummm… you throw this in but I am still not seeing it.

    What I am seeing here is Peter, however the word started, now using it to define himself and all of the people of God.

    >>The very meaning of the word has changed from a perjorative political statement by the faith’s enemies, to a term meaning “followers of Christ,” to a term meaning, “Gentile followers of Christ who reject Jewish practices.”

    Yes… but… I mean no, but….
    Two issues. If the word is a Scriptural word then I think we are stuck with it. Nowadays people use the word ‘marriage’ to refer to two Sodomites. Awkward if we want to call ourselves ‘not married’ tho, eh?
    And don’t your actions actually perpetuate the very thing your are arguing against? If all Torah-observant followers of Christ refuse to call themselves Christians, doesn’t that sort of balkanize the term to literally mean ‘all non-Torah observant followers of Christ’??
    Would not another option to be to try to reclaim the name of Christian? Like the reformers did? The name Christian in their time had some pretty awful stuff attached to it…

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    1. And I disagree for the historical reasons given above and consider it irrelevant even if true. In Peter’s time, Jewish “Christians” were still keeping Torah, even down to making Nazrite vows and completing them with the requisite sacrifices. In the twenty centuries since, those who call themselves Christians have actively rejected and persecuted the Jewish followers of their Jewish King for trying to live as the Apostles did.

      Since you (collectively) have defined a Christian as being in opposition to the Torah and Jewish life, I am only agreeing with you when I say, “Fine. Then I’m not a Christian. But I still love my Messiah.”

      Shalom.

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      1. >>consider it irrelevant even if true.
        An awkward statement.
        >>Since you (collectively) have defined a Christian as being in opposition to the Torah and Jewish life, I am only agreeing with you when I say, “Fine. Then I’m not a Christian.
        Not me, individually, as I assume you know.
        But I would still challenge the opposite response. “So you, the Catholic church, have defined a true Christian as one who doesn’t marry, who considers marriage vomit. Guess what? You are wrong.
        I am a true Christian, truer than you, and I am married. And G-d doesn’t consider it vomit. Let’s look at the Song…”

        If the Scriptures define ‘Christian’ in a certain way, then isn’t it at least possible that what G-d calls us to do is to hold to that term, and that definition? To reform the church and reclaim the word?

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      2. I know it very well, my friend. I’m using this conversation as a jumping off point to address a wider audience. (You know, English really needs a plural “you” that doesn’t make the speaker sound like a hick.)

        Regarding your analogy, it’s true that you didn’t abandon the term “Christian”–but you did ditch the term “Catholic,” which originally meant “Universal.” Why? Do you deny being part of the one, universal, big “C” Church? Of course not. But because “Catholic” came to take on a meaning that was antithetical to your own beliefs and practices, you ceased to use it to make it clear that you were not a follower of the Pope.

        Likewise the Messianic Jew with the label “Christian.” When Christianity renounces being Judenrein and renounces attacks on the Torah (which requires abandoning or heavily modifying Protestant Grace vs. Law theology, for example), then we can discuss changing my terminology. I’m working towards that day, as are others within the Christian camp. But we’re not there yet.

        Shalom

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  4. Thanks for the post. As a torah-observant believer, one thing I get confused about is when one uses the term “brother” for a Jewish person who has not come to faith in Yeshua as the true Messiah. If we are “one” in Messiah, how can one be our “brother” if he has rejected messiah? I pray that more Jewish people will come to see Yeshua as the true Messiah (who did not abolish His Father’s Torah), but I personally cannot call them brethren if they are rejecting Yeshua.

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    1. 9 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,

      2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.

      3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:

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      1. Peter would of called them brethren because they were fellow Jews wouldn’t he?

        Don’t get me wrong. I desire for the day that Judah will look up and see Yeshua..

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    2. Shalom, Bryan.

      Did Paul ever shy away from addressing Jews who didn’t believe in Yeshua as “brethren”? No.

      Morever, as I’ve spent the last several weeks explaining and documenting, it’s less that today’s Jews have rejected Yeshua than that they have never met Him: The “Jesus” that the Christian proclaims is actually so alien to the historical Yeshua of Nazareth, particularly in terms of His relationship to Torah and the Jewish people, that much as Joseph’s brothers could not recognize him behind the Egyptian getup, Jews for the last 1600 to 1800 years have not been able to recognize their brother Yeshua behind the picture painted by the Christians.

      And you’ll note that Joseph did not fault his brothers for not seeing past his disguise. Neither should you fault the Jew for the same.

      Now, if a whole lot of Christians did start walking up to random Jews and addressing them as “Brother,” that would be incredibly awkward . . . for the Jew. But what I believe that the Word of God calls for is that every Christian treat every Jew as if he were a brother rather than as an enemy or even just “those people over there.”

      Shalom.

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      1. I don’t fault them at all. The Jesus that has been presented to them fails the Duet 13 test completely.

        Thanks for your response. I’ll think about what you have stated.

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      2. I have found the discussion fascinating. I enter into the discussion (Return) from the perspective that non messianic Jews view Messianics as non Jews however accepting those who do not practice Judaism as Jews. The discussion I believe starts there of identity, community, nation etc defining what a Jews is or not and then the universal tag of Christian becomes less an issue as it transcends the identity of nations.

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  5. >>likewise the Messianic Jew with the label “Christian.

    Except it isn’t likewise (and what’s wrong with ‘y’all’ anyway ;) ).
    The term Catholic is not in Scripture, was not used by the apostle Peter to refer to all of the household of faith.
    And besides, we still do use ‘catholic’. Just small ‘c’. “I believe in God the father…the holy catholic church…”

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  6. BTW it should be noted that Return and I don’t agree on everything, so my comments should not be taken as a blanket endorsement of his views. We had a knock-down, drag-out on the levirate law once, if I recall :)

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  7. I really appreciate this discussion. The question of what to call ourselves is one I have been in with a number of others. I, too, feel uncomfortable with the word Christian due to what it has come to mean. I am clear on in Whom I believe and trust. I do not believe I need the label “Christian” to prove it or back it up. Labels are handy and quick, but getting to know someone is really a better way to find out what he/she believes.

    I was in the hospital recently and asked about my religious affiliation. I thought for a minute and said, “well, for your purposes, I guess “Christian” works.” That led her to ask me what I would call myself. I told her that was an interesting question and we got into a discussion. It turned out she is familiar with the idea of following Torah and eating Kosher! Small world! It was an opportunity to share, especially since the other woman had never heard of it. All that would have been missed had I simply said “Christian”.

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