Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
The Wedge Between Us
History and Religion tend to be biased. As it has been said the Winners write the history, and let me add, dictate Faith.
Case in point, Most of us have been duped into believing that the first Egyptians were tan in color, when in fact Egyptians were the descendants of Ham, one of Noah’s three sons, who is the Father of all the Black and African Peoples. Haven’t you noticed many of the lips and noses of the Egyptian monuments and ruins have been knocked off to hide the obvious Hammetic features? It was not until the Hyksos mingled with the Egyptians that they appear lighter skinned, as we know them today. It seems that this is a modern-day cover-up because I have seen an old 18th century style Bible that had woodcut pictures and portrayed the Pharaoh of Moses’ time as a black man.
As for Religion, Catholics won and thus Christianity today has had a Gentile, Catholic bias. Protestants have become a large religion in its own right and it has rewritten Christianity to still be Gentile but less Catholic. Both have hidden, suppressed and even at times denied their Jewish Hebraic origins. Thus, the true Christians, those Gentiles who converted or attached themselves to the first century sect of Judaism called the Nazarenes, had to either assimilate, be killed or go underground. Sadly some conformed on the outside and there descendants have thus been lost to their true identity.
Most traces of the Hebraic roots of Christianity have been downplayed or seen as quaint ancient rites that have been done away with by the cross of Christ. Nothing could be further from the truth. Christianity left Judaism; Judaism never left Christianity.
I will begin by attempting to explain why Jews who do not believe that Yeshua is the Messiah and are so standoffish toward Christians. Many of these reasons will be the same for those who do believe in Yeshua.
To begin to understand, we will need a little history lesson. Jews, Natsarim (Nazarene) Jews, and Christians, at one time worshiped together in harmony. They basically believed the same things, worshipped and lived the same way. A Christian back in the first century was defined as a Gentile who converted to the sect of Judaism known as the Natsarim (Nazarenes), who believed Yeshua was the promised Messiah of Israel and began to walk in His ways by following the Torah. That is until the Gentiles who converted or attached themselves to Judaism began to out number the Jews, and started to assert some of their pagan influence, philosophy, and theology into their new Christian lives. By the end of the first century, Gentile believers were in authority in many congregations and eventually broke off from Judaism and created a new religion. Constantine solidified this break by making it an official religion in and of itself, infusing it with Mithraic (Sun worship) religious influence and forbade any form of Judaic expression.
Now Natsari (Nazarene) or Messianic Jews as some say, ended up being banished from Judaism because during a Roman revolt, a head Rabbi named Akivah proclaimed General bar Chokbah as the Messiah. The Natsari Jews basically said, “Look, we know who the Messiah is, and this guy ain’t it! Sorry, we cannot fight along side you any longer.” To this the non-believing Jews said, “Fine, get out you traitors!” Therefore, from that point until resent history, Natsarim / Messianic Judaism had gone underground.
Now a Nazarene Rabbi I once knew gives us a brief history of the time shortly after this where the Gentiles began to join the Nazarenes in droves and the Gentiles began to take what they have learned into something else:
“Most church history is unquestionably biased, at best. With out so much as an apology, they intentionally, castoff and aside any Jewish history, or 3rd party accounting. Then, completely unopposed they condemned as heretic any that would offer a different view to the truth of the faith. How convenient for them, "church" history is what "we" the church, says it is. In an almost 'to the victor goes the spoils' attitude, they allow and disavow knowledge and history, as they see fit; thus ensuring a controlling influence over those who would believe, or ascribe to their brand of religion.
Today, there are those who with broad sweeping strokes espouse their denominational party rhetoric as the "gospel truth." So emphatic, this contingent blazingly asserts, that the Bible was written only for the Christian, ensuring that any semblance of its Jewishness is erased.
This assaulting of the truth is not the product of 'happenstance,' but a cleverly devised plan, affected if you will, by the early leadership of the 'not Jewish church.' Most today are then, unwitting participants of this depraved scheme. However, they long ago set about removing the Jewish fingerprint from the Judaism of Messiah. They banished and killed the Jewish leadership and believers in an attempt to wipe out the truth. They tried to remove all evidence of the foundation the rich olive root. Adonai, however, has had throughout history a remnant of the "Original", and as promised, He is restoring the original before His coming.
This original is what the first followers of Yeshua (Jesus) His Talmadeem (disciples) walked in. It is the Judaism of Messiah, the Torah obedient life practiced by Kefa (Peter), Ya'akob (James), the brother of Yeshua, and Yochanan (John). Shaul (Paul) followed the Judaism of Messiah Yeshua, known as the Natsreet Way, up until the day he died. There is no evidence that he ever changed from who he was, and he never claimed to be a "Christian." The Judaism of Yeshua, continued through the second century, is mentioned in the sixth century and even down to today. Church history is riddled with the accounts of various encounters with Jewish believers and their Judaism.
The prescribed means of dealing with these 'heretics' was death, and for what? Following the Way of Yeshua? How can one say that they are following the Messiah if they never knew His Ways? How can they be like Him if they never knew what He was truly like? Or, how can you say you know Him, if you are not walking in the same manner He walked? Though I know I will be hounded for this, Christianity is no friend of the Messiah. I am not saying that those who believe, and are in Christianity, are lost or going to hell. All I am saying is Christianity has marred and skewed the truth from its beginning.
The truth is, ( for the most part) Christianity… is just watered down Catholic doctrine. All Christianity traces its roots back to the Catholic Church, itself being the combination of Paganism and a perverted form of the Judaism of Messiah Yeshua. As time went on, more and more changed, until there was very little left of what Messiah Yeshua left. This Catholic "church" in only a few hundred years resembled nothing of the kehilats (assemblies) of Rav Shaul (the Apostle Paul). Even cursory glances at the immediate post Pauline history, shows how changes had begun that would unravel to the very foundation the fabric of Messiah’s Judaism. This Catholic way, is in no way, the Way of Messiah Yeshua.
As they slander us with, so it has become their own, 'they teach the doctrines of men as though it is the very Word of HaShem (The Lord),' something it could never be. Now we stand on the brink of history changing events again. Not only with what's happening in Israel now, but also this; That the Ruach (Spirit) of HaShem (God) is moving across the body of Messiah, looking for those who are willing to stand up for the Truth of Yeshua. The Truth that the Messiah wasn't a part time Jew, or a Messiah who was ashamed of his Jewish roots, but He was and is a full time Torah obedient Yehudi (Jew). In fact, He is the Torah Giver Himself come to us veiled in humanity. Take off the "Christian" glasses and read the Brit Chadashah, from the Jewish perspective in which it was written; you will see a very different Messiah. Then one will begin to see the poison leaked into the "faith" by the Catholic "church".
And yes, if you worship on the day the Catholic 'church' keeps as a Sabbath, and you keep the holy days they installed, and wear the objects they insist one must wear, then you are (basically) Catholic... Also, in rejecting the Shabbat, and not keeping the feast days of HaShem (The Lord), or wearing the holy objects that He commanded us to wear, then you have rejected the ways of Adonai, and have become (in essence) Catholic. There are no two Ways to HaShem (God); there has always been only One. There are two belief systems, if you will, The Way of HaShem (God), and Paganism. That is all there has ever been. Just because someone protested or sought to reform the Catholic Church, in no way, means they went back to the truth. If the Truth is the Way of Messiah Yeshua, then leaving the lie and returning to the Truth would mean returning to the Judaism of Messiah Yeshua, not creating your own form of the Catholic Church. You have only created a new form of Paganism, no matter what you call it. You are either grafted into the cultivated olive tree (meaning Faith of Messiah Yeshua), or you are still on the uncultivated olive tree (meaning paganism), or you are a dead branch on the ground ready to be swept up and put into the fire.
There is no scriptural basis for what we see in Catholic Christianity, today or in its past. There is not one prophecy about the Catholic Church, or its Christian daughters. You are either adherents to the Faith of Messiah Yeshua or you are a Catholic, in one form or another.”
Now for the most part Jews and Natsari (Nazarene) Jews believe and live the same way, both keep the Torah (Law). The only major and obvious difference is that Natsarim believes that Yeshua is the promised Messiah of Israel, and the rest of Judaism does not. Today, at least the reason why mainstream Judaism rejects Yeshua as the Messiah is because of the way Christians portray Him. They paint Him to be a Messiah who did away with the Law and started a new religion called Christianity. Jews are confounded how Christians can say that they serve the same GOD and a Jewish Messiah, yet do not keep the (His) Commandments.
Since Judaism and Christianity have become two distinct and separate religions, distrust, fear, animosity and hostility has characterized relations between the two. Christianity has done much to drive a wedge between the two faiths. Ever since the Gentiles broke away from Judaism, some Church Fathers have treated the Jews with disdain for rejecting Jesus, some to the point of promoting anti-Semitic actions, such as burning synagogues, and holy books, and even killing Jews. Christians, and so-called Christian rulers of that time, forbade Torah observance, and encouraged and sometimes forced Jews to convert, and adopt Gentile practices and ways forbidden in the Torah. This has snowballed in recent history into what has been called Pogroms. This is where Gentile and Christian people, as an army or mob, would harass, raid, riot, rape, kill and pillage the Jewish people in their villages and towns worldwide. Then the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition came along, where the same sort of things occurred, where you converted, or were tortured, killed, or driven elsewhere, all in the name of Christ!
Then there was the infamous Holocaust under the Nazi leader Adolph Hitler, who was influenced by the anti-Semitic teachings of the Christian reformer Martin Luther. The Nazis would say things like, “You killed our Lord!” referring to Jesus, as they were shot or gassed! So, needless to say, some Jews are a bit skittish of Christians. They think they have an ulterior motive for being nice. I realize that today the majority of Christianity is not anti-Semitic, and has no plans to carry out any of the atrocities that have happened in the past. As a Jew who believes in Yeshua the Messiah, I know that just because something was done in the name of Christ does not mean it was condoned by Christ. This does not mean that all Christians are this way. Similarly, if a cop arrested a drug dealer and seized his drugs in the name of the law, then turned around and resold them, this doesn’t mean that what he did was condoned by the law. This doesn’t mean that all cops are crooked.
Another reason is that most Jews believe a Christian either wants to converse with them for the purpose of arguing with them on why they reject Jesus, why they do not have to keep the Law anymore, or they want to witness to them for the purpose of converting them to Christianity. To the Jew, converting to Christianity means losing ones Jewish identity, forsaking the Torah, denying the Oneness of God, and adopting a Gentile way of life and worship, which is in opposition to the Torah.
Some Natsari Jews (whom some people refer to as Messianic Jews), are cold toward Christians for the very same reasons as their non-believing Jewish counterparts. It is sometimes easy to forgive things of the past, but to be able to forget about them is sometimes impossible to do. It is for this reason that painful memories and fear of being hurt causes some believing Jews to put up a wall toward Christians.
Here is a letter I received from a fellow Natsari Jew who was deeply hurt and distraught in spirit because he was confronted by a Christian “friend” trying to convince him that he was no longer obligated to keep the Law, and that he was getting into a cult. Here, you will see personally, from a Jewish perspective, why some Jews are cold and distant toward Christians. I may not agree with how he said everything, but you must remember much of this was said out of an aching heart. I have edited it for the sake of length and relevancy.
“Shalom dear brother Yehudah,
Sadly, we see how Christians have been brainwashed for almost 2000 years, to believe in their Hellenistic, Greek idol worship mixed with Babylonian pagan rituals in the form called Christianity. How pitiful they have become, misusing and abusing the teaching of the Messiah, misguiding people into idolatry, working with all their might so that Jews will never accept Yeshua while remaining faithful Jews. It is because of Christianity that Jews do not accept Yeshua as Messiah. It is because of Christianity that millions of our people have perished in the past… crusades, pogroms, holocausts… all because of anti-Torah, Anti-Jewish, replacement theology. Such impurity it has brought to the world rather than salvation. Sadly, my friend could not see it, and I decided not to engage in any type of discussion, since we are taught by our sages not to throw the pearls before the swine, and not to teach someone who is evidently not willing to listen. The warning of Yeshua Moshieynu (our Messiah) remains where he says: many false prophets will arise and many will perform miracles in my name, and heal people in my name… but not everybody who calls out to me, Lord, Lord… but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in Heaven!!! What other will is there besides the Torah?! Master of the Universe how is it that they cannot understand?!!! The Messiah who came to fulfill the Law and to render the Law to its full and correct meaning! How can He ever contradict the Law? Yeshua said, “Don’t think I came to abolish the Law… not one jot or tittle will be abolished… I didn’t come to abolish, I came to fulfill.”!!! Nu (Right)?! Christians are arrogant, and they will only accept Jews on the condition that they become Christians…. Most Christians are ignorant about the Truth. I strongly believe that people such as some leaders and Popes of the church are aware of the Truth, and so in my eyes they are anti-Christs. Willingly misleading people, they are FALSE PROPHETS!!! The world has become impure due to idol worship, Sunday services, Easter, Christmas, Valentines Day, the pagan New Year, infant baptism replacing the covenant of circumcision! How arrogant! I am so disgusted!!! Yes, there is a remnant, and yes, we need to teach them, and yes, we need to search for that remnant and simply ignore the rest of them. G-D forbid we will never return to believing what they believe. May H-Shem (G-D) keep us from this evil. So sad to see that some Jews are already lost to Christianity. The Bishop of Paris for example is a converted Jew, how pitiful!!! Murdering millions of Jews for centuries and now claiming we are welcome in their faith??? What faith do they have if not based on the Torah and the Jewish Messiah?! They have no wisdom, not even the basic wisdom to understand the simple teaching of Yeshua Moshieynu. It is stated that the beginning of wisdom is the fear of H-Shem. How can you have fear of G-D if one worships saints, statues, or even plain crosses!? Yes, we will be persecuted; most of all by those who claim to follow Messiah. As all the early Netzarim were whipped out by the churches in the past as well. Be prepared, already my friend has labeled us a “dangerous cult”. If we are a cult, then what is Christianity? At least we have roots that are rooted in Torah, which was given to Moses our teacher at Mt. Sinai, written and oral Torah, explained by the sages such as Hillel and Shammai, correctly taught by Yeshua Messiah, and fulfilled by Him!!! Maybe from my harsh words in this e-mail, you will like most of my friends, conclude that I am frustrated and hurt because of loosing friends due to following Torah and Messiah. Well guess what, maybe I am a little frustrated about Christianity, for they have led me around the bush for years, and now I finally can see it. I am saved because I understand the Truth, and as Yeshua said, “The truth will make you free.” I am willing to loose everything for the sake of Torah, EVERYTHING!!! My friends, my family, my house, my job, what use is it to gain the whole world if one looses his soul? The Law is a bondage they claim, falsely misquoting the Rav Sha’ul (Apostle Paul). If that were so, if the Torah was bondage, then why did G-D blessed be He, promised the nation to free them from bondage in Egypt, why did He say, “I will take you out of Egypt and give you freedom”, only to bring them into bondage again under the Law??? Crazy! Christians will never accept us for being Jews proclaiming the Law. And Jews will never accept us unless we differentiate ourselves from Christianity. Forgive me for this e-mail turning out to be so long. I just had to get this off my chest. Be strong in the Faith, be happy for His sake, firm as a tree, roaring like a lion, and gentle as a dove!!! Humble greetings from your brother…..”
I hope that this gives you a new perspective on the matter of the schism that exists between Judaism and Christianity.
Now concerning the issue of why some Messianic and Natsari Jews look down their noses at Christians, there are no valid, good, or excusable reasons for this. Nevertheless, I will attempt to give you a few possible explanations why this occurs.
· Pride because of physical lineage of being Jewish, one of the “
· Pride because some, “know better” and know the truth about the pagan root and origins of modern-day Christianity, and THEY are not caught up in it. Rav Sha’ul (Apostle Paul) said that knowledge puffs people up. (I Cor. 8:1)
· Hurt over Christians condemning them for being “under the Law” and holding on to the “Traditions of Men”. For them trying to make them stop being Jewish. For trying to convert them to Christianity.
Again, there is no excuse for Jewish believers to act this way toward Christians, but these are a few explanations why. Please remember that Jewish believers are fallen people too, and are prone to hypocrisy as anyone else. For those who have had a negative experience in Messianic or Nazarene Judaism, I am sorry. Please, do not allow that experience to leave a bad taste in your mouth and cause you to paint every believing Jew in a bad light. After all, the very same thing can be said to Jews concerning Christians. Hopefully, this helps one to see the wedge that is between us.