15 May 2017

The Waller-War and Why It Matters

19 Iyyar 5777
Day 34 of the Omer

They said the Wallers and HaYovel were not missionaries. They said "show us the proof". And we did.

Then they said, "That was then and this is now. They've changed. Show us the proof that they they are missionaries today." And we did.

Now, they say, "Well, what do you expect from them? They are what they are."

A quick history lesson...

The Christians first set out to turn Jews into Christians. They weren't very successful until some renegade Jews took over and showed them how to do it. The trick was to make them think becoming a Christian was the most Jewish thing a Jew could do - to show how "Jewish" their J-man was. So an entire movement developed called "Messianic Judaism" which is Christianity dressed up in Jewish clothes.

A funny thing happened along the way. Instead of fulfilling the Apostle Paul's admonition to "provoke the Jews to jealousy", the gentiles became jealous. In their Eisavian hearts, they suddenly recognized the value of the birthright their forefather had so callously discarded. The more Judaism they were exposed to, the more they wanted it. But, not at the price of abandoning their false god - their "Savior" - or assuming the yoke of Torah and mitzvot. They wanted the privilege, just not the obligation.

So, in addition to jealousy, a certain resentment took root. Some of them began to talk about their frustration at feeling "side-lined" in the Jewish narrative, of feeling like "second-class" citizens in their Messianic congregations. Recently, I heard someone describe it like being a cheerleader for the Jews who are actually in the game.

Along came a not-so-new idea. [See British Israelism.] If there are Messianic Jews, then surely there must be Messianic Israelites. The Jews were only one tribe after all. Weren't there ten more lost somewhere in the mists of time? Lost, but destined to return?

This appealed so much to the bruised egos of these Messianic non-Jews that it inspired a second movement called "Hebrew Roots". When Jews hear about it, they think it means that Christianity came out of Judaism in the first century and that Christians are now connecting to that. It might have meant that to some early on, but like any man-made religion, Christianity can change and evolve. Today, that term means something else.

Today, if someone seeks to connect to their Hebrew roots, they mean...

Part 2