Christian Carnival XXXI plug

| | Comments (5)

The next Christian Carnival will be hosted here at Parableman next Wednesday. It's a great way to get recognition for your blog. Submit your best post from the past week (i.e. since the time of post submissions for the previous Christian Carnival) on a Christian-related theme (including politics but only if it's close enough to being an issue relevant to Christianity). We've been getting enough submissions lately that we can afford to deny people's submissions if they're not Christian-related or not from within the last week.

Then submit the following information:

Blog name
Blog URL
post name
post URL
trackback URL for your post if you would like a trackback
brief description of post

Send your submission to jrpierce@syr.edu and make sure your subject makes it clear that this is for the Christian Carnival, or it will be deleted as junk mail.

5 Comments

On "The Velveteen Rabbi," weblog you wrote, "Of course they're Christians, just as all Jews throughout history who followed Jesus as Messiah have been Christians, including the largest minority of first-century Christians for at least the first generation. These were clearly Jewish, because a great number of the debates within early Christianity were about how to deal with those who were obviously Jewish Christians following the Torah in the way an Orthodox Jew would today (plus the sacrifices, which even Orthodox Jews don't do today!), while other Christians were Gentiles who interpreted the Torah differently, as you would put it."

BUT "They were first called Christians at Antioch." I.e., to call first generation Jewish believers in Yeshua "Christians" is either anachronistic and/or patronizing, since they did not self-identify that way. More and more in our day, Jews like myself, who believe in Yeshua, reject "Christian" as a label or description.

Two things:

1. Jews who believe in Yeshua are in the same category as those who are now called Christians, and any attempt to resist that term resists (though not intentionally) the extremely strong statements of the unity of the church such as Ephesians 4:1-6 or any place that specifically discusses Jew-Gentile relations among believers. I see a dangerous tendency among those who insist on the term 'Messianic Jew' to divide God's church along Jew-Gentile lines in an attempt to reach out to Jews, which is just contrary to everything the New Testament says.

2. The church at Antioch at that point in the book of Acts was made up of first-century Jewish and Gentile believers. Since the book of Acts was completed before the end of the first century by almost any dating (and I would argue completion by the early 60s), it seems clear that the name 'Christian' had come to be used by them themselves before the end of that century.

Jeremy, you wrote that you "see a dangerous tendency among those who insist on the term 'Messianic Jew' to divide God's church along Jew-Gentile lines in an attempt to reach out to Jews, which is just contrary to everything the New Testament says."

I have been in the Messianic movement for twelve years and have never experienced this. Every Messianic congregation I've ever experienced (I travel a lot and have visited at least 15) has a significant number of Gentiles who are fully accepted, and are often found in leadership positions. I have read material by marginal folks who are anti-Church, but I've never personally met an anti-Gentile Messianic Jew. I suppose there are some, but your use of the term "dangerous tendency" is tarring us with a pretty broad brush.

Jeremy, you wrote that ". . . it seems clear that the name 'Christian' had come to be used by them themselves before the end of that century."

Perhaps so. However, what is not clear is that "Christian" was a term universally used by believers in Yeshua. In fact, Ray Pritz' book on "Nazarene Jewish Christianity" gives documentary evidence that several names were in use in the early centuries. Unless you can demonstrate universality then, you cannot say that using another term now is essentially divisive. You will find that most of us have a very strong sense of membership in the Body of Messiah, composed of Jews and Gentiles worldwide.

I never said anything about being anti-Gentile. I was talking about forming primarily Jewish congregations. I know of a Korean congregation with a few white members in leadership positions. They've still got the word 'Korean' in their title, as Messianic congregations see themselves as distinctively Jewish in a way most Christian churches aren't. I'm not taking a marginal tendency and acting as if all Messianic congregations do it. I'm arguing against the very nature of having a Messianic Jewish congregation. The tendency I'm talking about is a tendency of Messianic Jews to want to be in a Messianic congregation, not a tendency of Messianic congregations to exclude Gentiles. The latter may not happen much. The former is common enough that if it's a problem then it's not good.

As for my point about the use of the word 'Christian', none of it rests on what word was used in the first century. It rests on what the word in fact means in English now in the mouth of a native English speaker. My second point was an additional factor that makes the argument against using the term less strong than the first point already makes it. The first point is sufficient for using the term.

Contact

    The Parablemen are: , , and .

Archives

Archives

Books I'm Reading

Fiction I've Finished Recently

Non-Fiction I've Finished Recently

Books I've Been Referring To

I've Been Listening To

Games I've Been Playing

Other Stuff

    jolly_good_blogger

    thinking blogger
    thinking blogger

    Dr. Seuss Pro

    Search or read the Bible


    Example: John 1 or love one another (ESV)





  • Link Policy
Powered by Movable Type 5.04