More delegates’ meeting today. We discussed some important business, but nothing blogworthy (except one thing that I’ll wait for an official announcement before I mention).
So, what should my topic be today? How about salvation, Messianic Judaism, and Dayeinu?
First, I bring this up because I attended a Dayeinu breakfast this morning. Dayeinu is a network of theologically conservative leaders in Messianic Judaism.
I’m sort of an in-betweener in the UMJC. I love the work being done by Dr. Mark Kinzer and I’m a fan of the work of others involved in Hashivenu (hasivenu.org). I am also “conservative” on theological issues like the inerrancy of the Bible, the necessity of faith in Yeshua, etc. Thus, I also belong to a group called Dayeinu (dayeinu.org).
Dayeinu just issued a position paper on the need for faith in Yeshua to be included in the life to come. Here are some quotes:
Sin separates humanity from God and the world to come. The mystery of salvation lies only with God who has authorized only one way to enjoy right relationship with God now and in the world to come. That way is personal, conscious faith (in this lifetime) in Messiah Yeshua as Lord and Redeemer. God is a righteous judge and will judge no one unjustly.
The scriptures teach that every person, whether Jew or Gentile, stands in need of the atonement for sin provided by God’s grace through Messiah Yeshua’s once-for-all, perfect sacrifice.
The position paper goes on to make a scriptural case for the separation of humanity from God through sin. Here is a summary of the argument:
1. Ultimate truth is beyond the ability of reason or experience to determine.
2. There is a human propensity to elevate reason and decide we know moral and spiritual truth on our own.
3. This is why God commanded Israel to wear fringes to remember commands (Num. 15:38-40) and the very idea of Torah is that moral truth must be divinely commanded to be known.
4. God declared humankind corrupt before and after the flood (Gen. 6:5; 8:21).
5. Israel was repeatedly declared corrupt and separate from God (Isa. 1:2-4).
6. Paul declared Jew and Gentile corrupt (Rom. 3:9-10).
7. The problem of humanity’s corruption cannot be ignored or whitewashed.
8. Yeshua taught personal faith.
9. Paul taught personal faith.
10. If there are exceptions to the requirement of personal faith (as some theologians suggest), scripture is silent about them.
What are we to think of this Dayeinu position paper? I agree with it. If I try to get into this issue, it will require a series of articles. I think that the way the case is made in the Dayeinu paper is less than satisfactory. I would like to see a fuller treatment of issues and less reliance on proof-texts. Nonetheless, I agree with and would defend vigorously the notion that humanity is separated from God in a meaningful way and a meaningful solution is required to bring a person back to God.
I’d be interested to hear your BRIEF thoughts. I’ll not let this turn into a lenghty debate.