The discussion the past few weeks about Messianic Judaism, Jews and Gentiles, and the future, has been great. Obviously it would be fun to get together in a big room, those of us conversing here and also many others who care deeply about the same issues, and have a nice, family debate. There’s nothing like some good coffee, bagels, shouting, and the knowledge that only family fights and remains close like this.
I want to make a brief, brief statement about two excellent points brought up recently (there have been other excellent points too):
(1) Monique says she struggles with the possibility of intermarriage because of identity confusion for the children (which she herself experienced and she is not in-married instead of intermarried).
(2) no_tv says she is for conversion, but in Messianic Judaism she doesn’t see it because we do not seem to be a real Judaism and the lines are not clear in our muddied environment of anything goes.
My response is simple.
If we don’t make a Messianic Judaism that answers both of these objections, then we have failed.
So, we could give up. Let someone else do it. There must be vast quantities of people who care enough to make a great Messianic Judaism. Let them expend their energy and time. We’re too busy.
So what do we do? It seems to me we support with out participation, our voice, and our involvement, the organizations that are making a difference.
I might mention the UMJC (umjc.net) and MJTI (mjti.com) and Hashivenu (hashivenu.org).
If we are not for ourselves, what are we? If not now, when? (paraphrasing Hillel).
Messianic Judaism has to build a place for intermarrieds. If we cannot create an environment for the Christian and Jewish spouse, then who can. We are the Judaism that shares the Jesus-faith of the Christian spouse. We ought to discuss how Messianic Judaism can help the children of intermarrieds have a clear identity. That identity can be rooted in the historic community from the early centuries of Jewish followers of Jesus.
Messianic Judaism has to be a place where Jews are at home and where the lines are clear and a blessing, not a curse. We have to be a place where conversion means covenantal obligation and Jewish life.
Can we achieve these things? I certainly think so. In fact, I have no doubt — even a sense of beshert [providence] — that we were called for such a time as this.