Sunday, April 8, 2018

Does Christianity Preach “Another Christ?”

Does Christianity Preach “Another Christ?”

Some in the Torah Obedient Messianic/Nazarene Movement hold to the belief that Christianity is utterly pagan and preach another Jesus, a false Messiah, because they maintain that the Mosaic Law, the Torah, has been done away with. Shamefully I must admit I too once held this very belief. I even wrote an article on how Christians were like half-breed Samaritans and that they were “neighbors” and not “brothers.” I thought I was coming from a place of righteousness and truth but in all honesty, it came out of a place of anger and disillusionment.  Anger, because discovering that the Torah has not been done away with and yet I was raised and taught to believe such. I felt I missed out on much truth and blessing. Disillusioned because I discovered that Modern Day Christianity is rife with paganism that they adopted or had seeped in over the millennia. Angry and disillusioned because I felt I never fit into or was accepted into the mass populace of Christianity, and that they had let me down.  But after years of the LORD patiently working on me, and even stepping aside from ministry for a season I finally could be honest regarding the origins of my feelings (Prov. 16:2), work through them and forgive others and myself. Now I no longer come from a place of militancy and self-righteous anger, but honestly, balance and love.

Sadly and to the shame and detriment of the Torah Obedient Messianic/Nazarene movement, there are those who make a habit of bashing Christianity solely on the basis of their misinformed stance that the Torah has been done away with and their unwitting adoption of paganism and paganistic practices within their various denominations and sects. I refuse to engage in such haughty and high-minded acts which are unloving and therefore anti-Messiah. To bash Christianity for most of us is equivalent to biting the hand that fed us, for the vast majority of us came out of Christianity. Christianity may have unknowingly kept us from Torah but it led us to Messiah. I never doubted my salvation or personal relationship with Yeshua as a Christian; it was because of that very relationship that Messiah finally led me to Torah, the half that I was missing, from no outside influence whatsoever! So I refuse to bash Christianity or make Christians look like unsaved and deluded pagans. It simply isn’t true and plays right into the hands of our Adversary.

Christianity preaches the same Messiah as we Torah Obedient Messianic/Nazarene Believers do; they are just mistaken on the purpose and function of Messiah and the Law. After all, despite rejecting the parts of the Mosaic Law that they see as pertaining only to Jews and the Jewish religion, they by default keep approximately 2/3rd of the Torah and therefore the “weightier matters of the Law” at that (Matt. 23:23). Many with the former opinion I once held may argue, “What about Paul, talking about others coming preaching “another gospel,” and “another Jesus” (2 Cor. 11:4, Gal. 1:6-7), because they preach a Messiah that came to do away with Torah, which Messiah himself denounced (Matt. 5:17-20). Historical context is what must be sought and understood here. Paul was specifically addressing several things in the texts cited above. For one he was addressing those that came in preaching one had to keep the Rabbinic Law on top of Torah as well as others claiming Yeshua did not come and suffer in the flesh, that the flesh is sinful and evil (I John 4:1-3) and other views such as promotes Gnosticism, which were circulating among the congregations at that time.

Both Christianity and Torah Obedient Messianic/Nazarene Judaism teach the core cardinal, non-negotiable issues about Yeshua, that He is the Way, the Truth and Life and no man comes unto the Father but by Him (John 14:6). That He is the virgin born, sinless, redeeming, atoning Messiah that died, rose again and will one day return. This constitutes the SAME Messiah, not a different Messiah. Again, the issue of contention and misinformation is on the function and applicability of the Torah (The Law) which Christians approximately keep 2/3rs of it anyway.

Those who claim that Christianity preaches another Jesus due to the uneducated and uninformed anti-nomian (anti-Torah) rhetoric that is sometimes voiced and espoused, does not mean that this is another Jesus. The way I see it is, just as Jews are blinded to the Messiahship of Yeshua because of how Christians have Gentile-ized Him, Christians are blinded to the Torah because of the how Jews Pharisee-ized it. Take Joseph for example, just because he looked like an Egyptian ruler doesn’t mean he was an Egyptian. Beneath the Egyptian garb he was circumcised and inwardly a Hebrew that worshipped Adonai, the God of his forefathers; Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. So too, Christianity has dressed Yeshua as a Roman or a Greek, yet this does not make Him any less the Torah Obedient Jewish Messiah we Messianics/Nazarenes know and teach. Our job is to lovingly and patiently expose the true Messiah beneath the multiple layers of Gentilization, for both Christians and Jewish People.