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THE IDOLS OF THE MESSIANIC FAITH - A MANIFESTO
“Judge not, lest ye be judged…”
It is a popular Messianic amusement to point out the long and rich history of idolatry in the traditional Christian church. From the worship of images of
‘Jesus’, its various saints and the adoration of the priesthood class, to the money-crazed Christian movements—replete with American cultural bias and political ideologies that place the Messiah as an image for pro-Right anti-intellectualism, anti-welfare, anti-homosexuality and anti-whatever is
popular at the time to be against—idolatry remains alive and flourishing within Christianity. However, it should not be very hard for members of the Messianic faith to identify glaring and disturbing trends towards its own forms of idolatry.
It is not just the cultural and religious baggage that many bring from their previous church lives. Gentile cultural recontextualisation has turned the
Hebrew and Messianic Scriptures into a grossly misunderstood collection of historical documents with little connection to a reader, aside from the various doctrines espoused by the popular theologians of the day. Indeed, without a solid grasp of the Jewish thoughts, ideas and concepts that are within the books of the Bible, as well as a solid grasp of the historical realities in which they were penned, truly understanding the breadth and depth of the Scriptures is almost an impossibility. However, the other side of the Messianic camp, when traditional Christian idolatry is tossed away, is replete with the worship of the modern state of Israel, the Hebrew language as God’s supposed perfect language to communicate His will, and the Jewish people. It is not only the Gentile defectors who commit these acts of idolatry, some Jews within the Messianic camp encourage this through their doctrines of racial superiority and nationalistic exclusivity.
The Struggle for Authenticity
Is this endemic of a desire to worship something seen as authentic apart from God?
Within the Messianic movement, the lines between Jew and Gentile are supposed to be blurred. The Apostle Paul gave the blueprint for this with ‘One New Man’, with Yeshua as its Spiritual Archetype or the Adam Kadmon. Instead, within the Messianic movement, this deconstruction of the boundaries between Jew and Gentile takes the form of Gentiles being encouraged to become images of the few Jews within the faith. Their idolatry is not checked; in fact, the few Jews within the faith often encourage it! I thought we were images of God, not of other believers! You may as well toss out the Letter to the Galatians, the letter that admonishes Gentile believers to not desire or hold as sacrosanct the symbols of Judaism (circumcision, for example) above God in order to participate in Jewish national life.
It should be obvious that the Messianic faith is not a faith of ritual observance but a religion based on an intimate relationship with HaShem. It is not a faith that espouses national supremacy and identity like the Judaisms of old and their modern inheritors. Nor is it supposed to be Christianity in any
traditional sense (ie: the modern inheritors of Roman Gentile Christianity, such as Protestantism, and its many sectarian movements such as the Seventh Day Adventists and Jehovah’s Witnesses). It is not a faith based on the worship and reverence of the priesthood class, because every believer is an equal in the priesthood, and no man or woman has any right to be a lord over another. Spiritual equality removes the power structures and obligatory servitude of the many to the few, replacing power with study, humility and humanitarian deeds.
It is not a faith based on political and economic ideology, because the Kingdom of God will supplant all of mankind’s various social, political and
economic systems with that which is based on the Torah of Messiah, as part of His restoration of the universe. It is not a faith based on the destruction of the ‘wicked’ and the salvation of a few, like the ancient mystery religion of Dionysus or the cults of Osiris or Serapis, or modern Christianity for that
matter. It is not a faith based on the perverted destruction fantasies of Apocalypse-mad gun nuts and intellectually mild sectarians, because there is no revelation of truth in destruction.
The Messianic faith, while it seems to be a syncretic religion that blends Christian concepts with Jewish symbols, in essence is not meant to be either,
but a progression into the New Covenant promised by the Prophets, with the revelation of the Adam Kadmon as humanity’s new image. It is the mystery of the Ekklesia, those Jews and Gentiles called out of the present world system to be the priesthood for the new age of restoration and Messianic rule. It is not a replacement of the people of Israel or the Jews with the Ekklesia, but the unity of the Ekklesia into the spirituality of its progenitor, the people and culture of Israel and all that this encompasses. It is the ultimate goal of the Superlative and Unlimited Name to bring into oneness the whole of humanity, to populate the heavens and restore the entirety of Creation until death receives its final nail.
With such a hope and promise of restoration to God, why does the Messianic faith currently flounder with such trivialities as national identity and the
worship of Jews?
Do we secretly desire to belong to something that we see as more authentic? When the Messianic faith is supposed to be introducing a new pattern according to the Torah of Messiah, the Living Torah, why do we fallaciously seek to believe that the new, pure language of the coming age is Hebrew, when the prophets say it is a newand pure language? I am not suggesting we invent a new language, but I am asking the question, because I want to prompt thought in your minds. Why do we seek to believe that Israel will encompass the globe, when the Prophets say the nations will still be in existence at the end of the age, and in the age to come? When the Prophets condemn Israel at the end of the age for its evils, why do we in the Messianic faith proclaim that ‘Holy Israel can do no wrong’?
I believe that the whole movement, unless it restores God in His/Her fullness as the only object of worship and adoration, will turn into nothing more than a refuge for racist supremacists and Pentecostal rejects and will fade into insignificance, to be laughed out of existence by the traditional religions and by the great serpent, The Accuser.
Idolatry is Passé
The Messianic faith needs to move beyond the trivialities of the world for it to exist. The largest hindrance to this is the rife idolatry that pervades
throughout it. HaShem, God, the Superlative Name and Incarnate Grace will not and does not permit us, as His called-out Priests and Priestesses, to place anything above Him. While it is vital to understand the Scriptures and God in His/Her fullness through the lens of Jewish thought and language, it cannot be that we worship the lens with which we interpret our understanding. The Hebrew Scriptures may have been written in Hebrew, but those very concepts which only exist in that language can still be explained, if at length, within the mode of the English language. There is no use in understanding the Hebrew language if that is our object of worship, because HaShem is above all things.
Many sectarians espouse ‘British Israelism’ in its various forms. Its most popular is the belief that certain nation-states of Europe and the USA are the
inheritors of ancient Israelite tribal designations and birthrights, replacing the modern Jewish people with a bastardised conglomeration of nations that are supposed to inherit Israel’s promises. These people, who promulgate this doctrine, are so insecure in their identity that they cannot call themselves what they are: Gentiles.
Why does the Messianic faith entertain similar insecurities? Why can’t we believe what Paul said, when he wrote that the Gentile faithful are grafted into the national life and spiritual inheritance of Israel? Why must Jews be worshipped so much that Gentiles sport talliths and yarmulkes, incorrectly strap tefillin to their polyester-blend shirt sleeves, wear tzit-tzit on Shabbat and rock backwards and forwards with such exaggerated movement as to look like a touring circus act? It is an embarrassing display of insecurity, not an expression of faith.
The biggest question, the elephant in the room, remains: why do the Jews who see this lunacy encourage these Gentiles in continuing in their gross ignorance? Why encourage this circus act? Why do they not correct them and teach the ways of Messiah? Is it because, having grown up with the belief of Jewish supremacy over the Nations, we revel in converting the Gentile to a Judaism with mild elements of Messiah? Is it the reversal of Hitler, or Rome?
Or, is it really a thinly veiled megalomania? Do we revel in being the object of worship and adoration, where the Nations are finally returning to us, and we deign to offer our humble services to correctly train our Gentile lapdogs?
We are the last people on Earth who have the right to teach anyone about Messiah, as interpreted through the lens of Hebrew and Jewish thought, if
satisfaction of megalomania and egoism are our primary goals.
Yeshua, the physical manifest form of the Superlative Name, having been conceived by the Ruach haKodesh Herself, descended from the Heavens through the womb of the mortal woman Miriam, and appeared to us in total Humanity. Having taken the Death State and our very evil nature into His Humanity, he died, and in resurrection gave us the model for the New Creation. With blood, the Sinai marriage agreement was superseded by His new form, on which the New Covenant is built upon. The New Covenant is made with the houses of Israel and Judah, and with His resurrection is the model for the restoration of the world. The faithful of the Nations are grafted into the houses of Israel and Judah and will participate in this resoration.
With the New Covenant there is no racial superiority, for we are one humankind in Messiah. We, as Messianics, know that Peter’s vision showed him
that the Gentiles, not toxic foods, were made clean. We can fellowship in love and grace with each other because Messiah has cleansed us. We are meant to be the standard bearers, the priesthood, and the intellectual and spiritual precedents for the new age that is coming. Idolatry belongs in the past, with the things of this world, and does not belong with the things of the world in the age to come. To finish as John, “My little children, stay away from idols”.