My Weekend Experience with PMJ

“PMJ is dangerous,” we have been warned by a variety of people, including Michael Brown. For those who have not followed the discussion or who are unaware, PMJ stands for Post-Missionary Messianic Judaism. It is the title of a book, a book by Mark Kinzer, Rabbi at Congregation Zera Avraham in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Don’t let the name fool you, PMJ is not really about denying the value of our witness of Yeshua to our Jewish people.

When I was first exposed to some of the ideas now advocated by PMJ and the UMJC congregations who share in these ideas, I was against them. In fact, I wrote an article in Kesher years ago vigorously attacking the idea of binary ecclesiology. Binary ecclesiology is the idea that God intended, from the beginning, that Jews and Gentiles following Yeshua would form separate movements within the one body of Messiah. One size does not fit all, though there is one Lord, one faith, and one baptism.

Well, I had a chance this weekend to experience PMJ up close and personal. I attended the Northeast Regional UMJC conference. Most if not all of the congregational leaders present share in this emerging paradigm explained in some detail in Rabbi Kinzer’s book. What should I expect to find at this conference?

As a former evangelical Christian, I remain very conservative. I can still out-evangelical many of my evangelical friends. I would possibly expect a weekend experience of PMJ to be an experience in sterile liberalism or Yeshua-less Orthodoxy. From the warnings of Michael Brown, I might expect to see people slipping down the slippery slope of faith towards Orthodox Judaism minus Yeshua the Messiah.

Paul warned Timothy candidly about the danger of people misusing the law and forgetting the good news of Yeshua: “Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions” (1 Tim 1:6-7). Instead the focus of the congregations was to be on Yeshua and the good news of forgiveness of sin.

Let me describe some of the passionate ideals of evangelicalism, the religious milieu in which people like Michael Brown broadly belong. Evangelicals believe the Bible is true, without error, and powerful in affecting life-change. Evangelicals believe that the light of Yeshua must be spread in the darkness, shining hope and light all around. Evangelicals believe that Yeshua is returning to redeem the world and consummate God’s plan to make all things good.

According to Michael Brown, PMJ follows the rabbis which of necessity means walking away from Yeshua. PMJ embraces Orthodox Judaism and the end result of this will be a denial of the deity of Messiah and the Triune Nature of God. PMJ, according to Dr. Brown, is not about witness, but sees no need for Jews to know Messiah Yeshua. PMJ is out of touch with just how “lost” the Jewish people are and is not motivated to bring Yeshua to Israel.

Let me share with you, unequivocally, that my weekend experience at the UMJC NE Regional Conference was a spiritual experience from beginning to end. I did not find sterile liberalism. I did not find an embrace of Yeshua-less Judaism. I did not find a lack of passion for witness to Yeshua within the Jewish people. I am convinced more now than I was before that people like Dr. Brown need to pick up Dr. Kinzer’s book and re-read it. Dr. Brown has missed the point entirely.

We arrived Friday afternoon and we celebrated Shabbat together. We enjoyed a Kabbalat Shabbat service on Friday night. I guess some people would be dismayed to find that we used the traditional liturgy for our service. Some are convinced that the Jewish Siddur is devoid of the Spirit. It is actually mostly scripture and I know from my evangelical experience that praying the words of scripture is a well-regarded practice. The Kabbalat Shabbat, as well as the Shacharit Shabbat service the next morning, was all about passionate belief that God is still at work in Israel. I know plenty of evangelicals who share that belief and passion.

The Shabbat sermon, by Rabbi Jason Sobel, was about practicing Messianic Judaism in the Spirit with Yeshua at the center. One of the talking points was, “If all we have to offer our Jewish people is the Artscroll Siddur, they will get that somewhere else.” Rabbi Jason called us to a spirited Messianic Judaism, analogous to the passion and fervor the Lubavitch have for their deceased rebbe. If we Messianic Jews had such passion to spread the name of Yeshua, our movement would be growing rapidly. We should have both the keva and the kavana, the form of Judaism and the spirit-intention of a deeply held Yeshua-faith.

So far the weekend was not nearly as uninspiring and lifeless as I would have expected if I believed Dr. Brown’s paper. It just got worse, or better depending on how you look at it.

I was invited to join a Minkhah (afternoon) prayer service. Many of the conference attendees actually follow the traditional practice of praying the prayers of the Siddur three times a day, literally following rabbinic tradition. I suppose this should worry me, since it might lead to a slide away from Yeshua and into Orthodox Judaism. So I joined the Minkhah where I tried to keep up with my knowledge of the prayers being less that that of many others. If you have not prayed them again and again numerous times you cannot possibly pray them as quickly as those more experienced.

What dangerous legalism did I see in that rabbinic prayer service? None. I saw people deeply in love with Yeshua. I saw people adding kavana to the keva, spirit to the form. At times, one young woman would raise her hands in a form similar to charismatic worship, and look heavenward reciting spontaneous prayers of love. People would clap and sing the prayers rhythmically in what I would have to call, as a former evangelical, a powerful combination of a prayer meeting and musical worship.

Well, perhaps there was spirit, but was there sound doctrine? I’m sorry to disappoint you, if you were against PMJ, but the doctrine is very sound. I say this as a young theologian not unknowledgeable about theological traditions. During the Aleinu prayer, where there is a focus on the end of this age, when all the world knows the one God and bows before him, we added Yeshua to the liturgy every time. The prayer leaders all were in the habit of adding verses from Philippians 2 about the deity of Yeshua and every knee in heaven and earth bowing before him. Far from moving people away from Yeshua-devotion, these people are as passionate as a Lubavitcher venerating their deceased rebbe.

There were other surprises at the conference, or at least they would be surprises to people like Dr. Brown. There are many in the Jewish missions movement and in old-school Messianic Judaism who are concerned about this new paradigm of Messianic Judaism. When you do not know the people you criticize, when you do not fellowship with them, it is easy to parody their beliefs. It is easier to misunderstand than to understand. Casting stones is a human pastime. Understanding and knowing and loving is divine.

I could mention a few other surprises. The conference ended with a Communion service. Sure, we used the liturgy of the Amidah to inform our Communion service, but we proclaimed the Lord’s death awaiting his return. There was wonderful teaching on Ephesians as a call for community and unity in Yeshua. I sat with the twenties as everyone shared their story of coming to faith in Yeshua. This conference was greatly about Yeshua and faith.

The whole weekend was so inspiring that this evangelical of evangelicals was deeply moved. I think that people have been so exposed to old-school Messianic Judaism and this new paradigm is so different, we might need a new name. The title Messianic Judaism is used for so many kinds of expressions now and only a small group within Messianic Judaism is truly embracing Judaism, it may just be time for a new name. My thought? How about Yeshua Judaism?

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About Derek Leman

Derek Leman and his wife Linda live in the Atlanta, Georgia, area with their eight children.
This entry was posted in Mark Kinzer, Messianic Jewish, Michael Brown, Theology. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to My Weekend Experience with PMJ

  1. Dr Michael L Brown says:

    Derek,

    I think you need to re-read my paper, based on the exaggerated comments you present here. On my end, I have read and re-read Dr. Kinzer’s book, going over several sections very carefully, especially after having some brief e-dialogue with Dr. Dauermann on this very blog. Without question, the warnings I have set forth are relevant, without question, the direction that PMJ is taking is ultimately the wrong direction — although it may take another decade or two to fully demonstrate this — and without question, there has been a negative progression over the last 25 years (although, thankfully, not throughout a large portion of the MJ movement).

    Since I do not think you are dishonest, I will simply assume you are still a newcomer. Let’s compare notes in a decade, God willing.

    Readers who want to know what I actually believe about the points raised in Derek’s blog would do well to read my paper firsthand at: http://realmessiah.org/postMissionary.htm. Also relevant (and based on firsthand experience) is: http://realmessiah.org/tradition.htm.

    I have many friends in the MJ movement — congregational leaders in the US and Israel — and I honor what God is doing in their lives and congregations. It is my privilege to be a blessing and help to them. My issue, then, is not with MJ in general but with PMJ, and the better Dr. Kinzer is understood, the more concerned we should be.

    Blessings,

    Michael L. Brown

  2. Dr. Brown:
    It was no exaggeration to say that the ENTIRE point of your paper is that PMJ is on a slippery slope away from Yeshua faith and into Orthodox Judaism. The ENTIRE point of my article, “My Weekend Experience With PMJ,” was that congregations who practice many of the truths found in PMJ are alive in the Spirit and not on a slippery slope away from Yeshua faith. Why can’t you just admit that you are wrong about PMJ? Maybe you should hang out with more PMJers.

    In case anyone things I was exaggerating about Dr. Brown’s paper sounding the alarm, here are some quotes:

    “And this leads to my fifth and final point, namely, that the path to postmissionary Messianic Judaism is the path to the negation of the true Messianic faith.”

    “Yet you want to be accepted by the people who rejected us. You want to be embraced by the system that helped shed our Savior’s blood. You want to be restrained in your witness while we were bursting with a message of repentance and forgiveness. Could it be that you are simply (and subtly) trying to save your own lives? (See Matt 10:37-40) Could it be that you are unconsciously trying to avoid the offense of the cross? (See Gal 6:12) Could it be that you have forgotten that ‘everyone who wants to live a godly life in Messiah Jesus will be persecuted’ (2 Tim 3:12)? Have you forgotten Yeshua’s own words, that ‘A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebub, how much more the members of his household!’ (Matt 10:24-25) There was a reason that our Master instructed us, ‘When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.’ (Matt 10:23). Yet you think you have found a better way?”

    “As we listen carefully to the rabbinic authorities, we will learn that our view of the Messiah is not in harmony with the rabbinic view, that our view of the authority of the Torah is not in harmony with the rabbinic view, that our view of God is not in harmony with the rabbinic view, that our view of salvation and atonement is not in harmony with the rabbinic view, that our view of the inspiration of the New Testament is not in harmony with the rabbinic view, that our view of oneness with our Gentile brothers and sisters is not in harmony with the rabbinic view, and that if we do not submit ourselves fully to rabbinic authority we can make no real claim to legitimate Judaism. So, if we listen and learn well, we will no longer have our faith!”

    “On the other hand, in the midst of 300 pages of often nuanced and sophisticated arguments, it is somewhat shocking to arrive at two of the book’s main conclusions: first, that Jewish believers should embrace Orthodox Judaism;”

    “Are we now to sit at the feet of those who are enemies on account of our faith in Yeshua, those who still have not submitted themselves to God’s righteousness through faith in Messiah’s shed blood, those who are still cut off, and embrace their form of Judaism, becoming their students? Anyone needing an example of a redundant question need look no further.”

    Let the reader judge if I have exaggerated Dr. Brown’s paper. And, all it would take, Dr. Brown, is for you to admit you went a little too far. I’ve done that more than once on this blog. You have not.

    Derek

  3. Dr Michael L Brown says:

    Derek,

    Over the last 35 years in the Lord, I have had to apologize publicly and privately for words spoken or written, and I expect that I will be apologizing in the future as well. So, if I felt in any way that my paper went too far, I would modify it in a heartbeat, also asking forgiveness of anyone I had offended. In point of fact, one reason for re-reading parts of PMJ and entering into further dialogue with various MJ/PMJ leaders or adherents was in order to see if I had gone too far.

    I am, however, convinced by the Word and by practical experience that I did not go too far in my paper, and I do believe that the way you stated things presented an exaggerated picture, as if there was not spirituality to be found in PMJ congregations or as if there was no desire to see Yeshua exalted. Rather, I pointed out the dangerous direction in which PMJ is going, and I have not the slightest doubt about the accuracy of the warnings and concerns I raised at LCJE — otherwise, I would not have communicated in such forceful terms.

    The very fact that some issues are being put on the table in PMJ — in particular, issues concerning the salvation of our people Israel and issues regarding submitting to rabbinic halakha — only indicates that concerns I and others raised decades ago are proving true.

    Let’s give this ten or twenty years and see where it goes, and let’s continue to challenge one another to seek the Lord, dive into His Word, and glorify Yeshua, where by life or by death.

    Each of us will stand before God and it is ultimately to Him that we must give account.

    Blessings and grace,

    Dr. Brown

  4. Dear Readers:

    So we see where it lies. Dr. Brown is convinced that Messianic Congregations worshipping Yeshua from within Judaism, repecting rabbinical tradition, and viewing Judaism positively are destined to lose faith in Yeshua and become Orthodox Judaism.

    I am convinced that old-school Messianic Congregations will be as non-existent in 20 years as Hebrew Christian Associations are today. I am convinced that Jewish Missions looking down on Judaism and converting Jews into Christians will be gone. I am convinced that Yeshua Judaism (a new term I coined which is growing on me) will grow and, should God choose, will bring Spirit revival in Israel.

    If I had the slightest doubts before, my weekend experience at the UMJC NE Regional convinced me to believe. This is right.

    I hope the readers are all aware that not all that is called Messianic Judaism is really that.

    Derek

  5. Dr Michael L Brown says:

    Dear Readers,

    To understand exactly what I have stated, please read my own words rather than Derek’s version of them. I hate to sound like a broken record here, but I am jealous for the truth.

    As for Derek’s predictions and mine — we shall see!

    Blessings,

    Dr. Brown

  6. Dr. Brown:

    You keep saying people should read your words and not believe my version of your words. I quoted your words, words like: “the path to postmissionary Messianic Judaism is the path to the negation of the true Messianic faith.”

    What am I saying about your concerns on PMJ that is inaccurate? You think PMJ is leading to loss of faith. You say so.

    Derek

  7. Dr Michael L Brown says:

    Derek,

    Yes, I believe the path articulated by Dr. Kinzer in PMJ is ultimately the path away from the true Messianic faith, which is also why his book finds support in the work of many non-evangelical scholars, some of whom quite plainly state that Jews do NOT need to believe in Jesus to be saved.

    My statement, however, about the direction in which PMJ is going is not the only statement in my paper, and I am all too familiar with folks taking a portion of what I write, putting it in on the Internet in inflammatory contexts, and thereby painting a misleading picture. Critics do this to me all the time (with postings and/or comments going into the thousands), and I virtually never reply. But since you are a fellow believer, and since you put out a call for me to respond to your blog, I felt it right to engage you during these recent weeks, always to see the truth be set forth plainly.

    In any case, since you make reference to me in such a way as to imply that I believe that, e.g., there is no spirituality in PMJ. readers would do well to read my entire paper, to read Dr. Kinzer’s book, and then to ask, “Have I gone too far?” Feedback I have received from other leaders in recent weeks would tell me that, in some instances, I have not gone far enough.

    Blessings,

    Dr. Brown

  8. Dr. Brown:

    When your ideas are subjected to strong criticism it seems that there is always something immature or inflammatory or inaccurate about the critique. You play the personal game a lot.

    I believe my quotes from your paper were not out of context. I said I would list some of your strong warnings and I did. How is that out of context? What did I say that is inflammatory?

    You say that you never denied that PMJ congregations have spirituality. You’ve equated PMJ with Orthodox Judaism, a religion you believe to be false (I merely believe it to be lacking something). So is the spirituality you admit PMJ has a false spirituality? Does it deserve the title spirituality? Is the spirit of the spirituality the Holy Spirit?

    Out of one side of your mouth you say PMJ has spirituality. Out of the other side you say it is dangerous, on a path to abandoning Yeshua faith, and that it embraces Orthodox Judaism. Well, which is it?

    I, for one, am very respectful of Orthodox Judaism and I see Yeshua within it (unrealized). I do not embrace it. But my experience has shown me that PMJ has something vital that Orthodox Judaism needs: the Holy Spirit and the power of redemption in Yeshua. Yeshua is central in PMJ, not peripheral, as your criticisms suggest.

    I hope I was not too inflammatory (sarcastic maybe, but inflammatory . . . ).

    Derek

  9. Leah says:

    It’s really sad (and also a little humorous) to read both your comments, Dr. Brown and Derek!

    I have a feeling that both of you are very sincere and are zealous for the truth. Derek, I got to know you over the weekend, and boy, we really got along! And Dr. Brown, do you remember signing a copy of your book “Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus” Vol 2, for a girl named Leah who stopped by at your Fire School in NYC? I have mostly skimmed through it, and you make a lot of good points there!

    What makes me sad is that the dialogue you, Derek, have with Dr. Brown is another example of the divisiveness that exists in the world in the name of Messiah Yeshua. Yet Messiah prayed for his disciples: “May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me” (John 17:23). It is by our unity that we can show the world that Yeshua is really sent by God and that His love is in fact powerful enough to heal our world. But we violate his love every time we get intolerant with the other or accuse the other of insincerity or incompetence. (Derek, wasn’t Dr. Brown more tolerant of you then you were of him?) Of course we all have slightly different visions of how to live out our Messiah’s teachings. So did Paul and Peter. That’s OK. But let’s not put down each other or dismiss each other’s visions out of hand. Each of our Messianic leaders would do well by saying about the other leaders the words of Rabbi Gamliel, “Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourself fighting against God” (Acts 5:38-39). If a normative rabbi could be so generous when it came to tolerance of Messianic Jews, how much more so should we, who are siblings in one Body, show tolerance to each other?!!

    In terms of theology and eccliseology (sp?), I am very much in the PMJ camp. In fact, if PMJ did not exist, I would not be a believer in Yeshua (or alternatively, in order for me to believe in Yeshua, I had to come up with a PMJ-type vision for myself–even before I met any other PM Jews.) But that doesn’t mean that PMJ is for everyone. Clearly, you, Dr. Brown, feel that PMJ is way too rabbinicly oriented. And for you that is true! If you had been at the Monday Shacharit service lead by Dr. Kinzer, you probably would not have felt anything. But many other people who were there were relishing the richness of the traditional davvening! Why can’t we accept that there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to expressions of Messianic faith and life-style? Some people need more charismatic worship while others need more structure. Similarly, some people need to see the world in black and white (saved vs. not saved) while others need a more inclusive, liberal vision of Messiah’s love. Some people need more grace and others need more moral instruction. Some people prefer to emphasize John 3:16, others Rev. 22:12; some Acts 2:4 and others Mat. 5:17-20. We may feel that our emphasis is absolutely crucial. But let’s be accepting and loving of each other–and give God the chance to be gracious to whom he would be gracious–for the sake of that ideal unity in Messiah Yeshua/Jesus Christ our Lord.

    With Blessings to you both,
    Leah

  10. Derek,

    I fear that if you do not understand my position after reading my paper, talking with me by phone, and having many exchanges here on the blog, then another post won’t do it. However, if you’d like to talk again by phone to try to clarify things, let me know by email and we’ll pursue it. As for your claim that I play the personal game a lot, I don’t remember being accused of that over the years — and I’ve been accused of a lot of things! — and it is those kind of comments on your end that make me regret any involvement on this website.

    Leah, thanks for your comments, which I very much appreciate. In point of fact, I do not believe that one size fits all, and for many years, I have not made an issue about MJ’s who are rabbinically oriented. I differ with it, but I do not raise it as an issue, not claiming that my practices are the only correct ones. However, when a MJ leader writes a book calling on all MJ’s to submit to rabbinic halakha and states that we are commanded by God to be Torah-observant (also in a rabbinic way), when he urges us to get out of the churches and into MJ congregations, when he calls on Gentile believers to change their witnessing posture to Jews, when he calls on Jewish believers to enter into a post-missionary mentality, dancing very closely to a two-covenant theology, then I need to speak up, hence my paper at LCJE, to which Derek took angry exception, based on the contents of that paper.

    The reason Derek and I spoke by phone weeks ago — at my suggestion — was that I was not happy with the tone of our emails (and I apologized to him on the phone for a combative tone on my part), and I was about to drop out of these blogs entirely until I spotted Derek’s latest post. In any case, time does not permit my continued involvement in this blog, so I pray for blessing and grace on all involved and welcome private interaction from Derek.

    Blessings,

    Dr. Brown

  11. Pingback: Hakim Abdullah

  12. All:

    We had a visit from a Muslim blogger named Hakim. He left a link to an article on his website.

    It is an interesting article on correlations between Muslim and Jewish prayer traditions. I encourage readers to follow the trackback to read Hakim’s article, “How Do Jews Pray?” at:

    http://wasalaam.wordpress.com/2007/06/06/how-do-jews-pray/

    Derek

  13. Menachem says:

    Derek:

    I ran across this posting, was impressed by what you wrote and wondered if I could share a few thoughts. As you kindly pointed out, I was there as well. I have a few observation to make about the interesting conversation with Dr Brown and would also like to comment on what Leah said:

    my weekend experience at the UMJC NE Regional Conference…did not find sterile liberalism. I did not find an embrace of Yeshua-less Judaism. I did not find a lack of passion for witness to Yeshua within the Jewish people.<<<<<

    I would definitely agree with this assessment. I saw none of those things either.

    “If all we have to offer our Jewish people is the Artscroll Siddur, they will get that somewhere else.”<<<

    Of couse Jason is right. More on this at another time.

    I was invited to join a Minkhah (afternoon) prayer service. Many of the conference attendees actually follow the traditional practice of praying the prayers of the Siddur three times a day, literally following rabbinic tradition. .<<<<

    Sure, we used the liturgy of the Amidah to inform our Communion service, but we proclaimed the Lord’s death awaiting his return. There was wonderful teaching on Ephesians as a call for community and unity in Yeshua.<<<<<

    I was very impressed with Mark Kinzers teaching on Ephesians. An appropriate study for Shavuos time.

    As for the communion service, while I would point out the virtues of the grace after meals as a possible alternative,
    I thought it refreshing that Jewish liturgy was being used for this purpose.

    It has never been clear to me why this should be considered a problem by anyone. If Catholic Charismatics can follow at the mass their liturgy unmodified ( and often under the leadership of whatever priest the diocese sends them) then I fail to see why Jewish believers should undergo such criticism for doing something essentially parallel.

    As for the discussion with Michael Brown, I thought it was good that it took place and agree with Leah that it would be nice if we all showed each other respect. I think it commendable that Dr Brown recognized apparantly that the tone of the discussion had reached a certain point and bowed out. That showed good judgement and we should wish him the best.

    I also comment you Derek for your menschly apology to him when you found out that apparantly there were some mistakes on your part as to what was going on at Brownsville.

    As for his writings on PMMJ or whatever:

    Frankly, I dont have a problem with Dr Brown having his view on this matter. I think it intellectually more honest than that of MJ’s who claim to tell Jews how to worship and be Jewish, who make alterations in Halacha without knowledge or authority. who call themselves “rabbis” and “torah positive” and who in fact are neither. Ditto
    for “Hebrew Christians” in my book.

    Dr Brown is a Charismatic Christian of Jewish descent. His theological training is as I recall from Kenneth Hagins “Rhema Bible institute”. It may surprise you and others to know that I think that perhaps Kenneth Hagin and others may have had something positive to contribute and I certainly do not fault Dr Brown for this history. As I recall from the one time I heard him speak, he regarded such men as Oral Roberts as authorities who MJ’s needed to learn from.

    Again, my recall may be faulty, but I seem to remember that
    his doctorate is in Semitic languages from NYU. Certainly
    one of the top educational institutions in this country.
    I am sure hehad to write an honest dissertation and defend that before a committee and that is no mean feat. Especially for a believing Jew in that day and age. As I recall he wrote it on an analysis of healing scriptures in Isaiah 53.

    My only beef with him is more with the way his authority is used in some circles to buttress anti rabbinic viewpoints. Unless he has acquired credentially in rabbinic studies, the limits of his ability to speak professionally about these matters should be clarified for all of us. I have scruples about the issue of professional credentialling and what it means in an era of the internet and “instant experts”.

    I really think that the opponants of PMMJ within what is called the “congregational movement” are a bigger part of the problem. It is they who pull out Dr Brown to defend their point of view, because they lack any substance or credentialling themselves. This I believe is a dangerous and intellectually dishonest practice and it is what I oppose with all my strength.

    I think Leah’s comments put it well.

    I am very much in the PMJ camp. In fact, if PMJ did not exist, I would not be a believer in Yeshua (or alternatively, in order for me to believe in Yeshua, I had to come up with a PMJ-type vision for myself–even before I met any other PM Jews.<<<<<

    As one who had to walk in the “non PMJ” wilderness for over thirty years in this movement before I met a single person ( Stuart Dauerman ) who did not regard the idea of living and thinking and worshiping as a Jew within MJ as a non existant thing. I think it important to give credit not just to the people but also to recognize that the internet and a free society have enabled such individuals to coalesce and exchange ideas in the face of great marginalization on the part of “leadership”.

    I think you should take Dr Browns cautionary about the future of this process seriously. There are opponants with a vested interest in the status quo and they are not likely to yield easily to theological arguments. As I have pointed out before, in the history of this world ideas while often powerful do not in and of themselves prevail in the face of power numbers and money. It takes a realization of the facts and determination and persistance among many people. One cannot “be right alone”. And most of all it takes the power and blessing of Hashem. With all these things, then change can prevail.

    Be well

    Menachem

  14. sunnyvj65 says:

    You know this is a very interesting post. I love What Dr. Brown said and Derek (Congrats on the new baby, he’s sooo cute) what you said made sense also. Me personally, I wouldn’t mind being more orthodox. I wouldn’t mind it at all. However, as much as I have prayed to HaShem about this, He has not changed my situation. So evidently, not now. I don’t know how much more time that we have. Yesterday my sister was given a revelation from HaShem. I drove all the way down to Merced for her to tell me this. He told us that English was not the pure language, it was the end time language and that when the english language spread throughout all the world, then the one world government/religion would begin. I got a “do not study this” on the kabbalah. I had been reading this teaching on the book of Hebrews, etc. He also said “Stay away from any man made religion.” Exact quote, people. Also, to learn to love him like David did, (that was for me also) have an effective, articulate spirit like Stephen, and there is a correlation between the two sons and the father and the vineyard. He also told me to study the book of the Psalms. Any suggestions? Commentaries?
    Viola

  15. sunnyvj65 says:

    Oh, also before I forget. My sister and I had an argument about the best translations of the bible. HaShem told my sister to ask me some questions.
    Did I trust Him?
    Did I believe that He parted the Red Sea for Israel to cross?
    Did I believe that He put a cloud to guide Israel?
    And Who was I to question him about the translation of the bible?
    He had chosen before the foundation of the world ( I think that’s right) who would translate the language of the bible. Each person was divinely chosen for that task.
    He also said that when we were in trouble or persecuted, he would be there with us. I think this is all he said, it’s late here and I can’t call my sister to make sure I got everything. If I forgot anything I’ll post it later. Now I have to go and sing to my father for my prayer language. He said I could have it today. Whoopee!

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