Following begins a good article by friend and brother, Al McCarn. He and I have been having a very special bridge building experience as we have gotten to know and build friendship with a Jewish brother. I count it a rare privilege to be involved in a friendship strong enough to begin exploring and discussing differences rather than simply sticking with points of commonality. As we have discussed, mutual respect and genuine desire to understand the other without expecting them to change to our way of thinking has led to real openness and trust where in we don’t do much tap dancing or hiding in the shadows. Very refreshing.
I can’t wait to sit down face to face with this Jewish brother and get to know him and his family better. Baruch Hashem!!
An Explanation to a Jewish Brother
In recent days my friend Pete Rambo and I have enjoyed a lively email exchange with a Jewish brother. By this time we have identified many of the key differences in our beliefs and the ways we perceive the world. I think it is safe to say we are confident enough in our relationship that we can ask some pointed questions without fear of alienating one another. The good thing is that we are all curious about what we believe, and we genuinely want to know how we each perceive the world. This has been eye-opening on all sides. I have learned that some of the things I thought I knew about Jews and Judaism were not quite right, just as our friend has learned that some of the things he thought he knew about Christians and Messianic believers were not quite right. This is the kind of dialogue that is essential if we are to come to an understanding of one another and begin to cooperate in bringing Messiah and building his kingdom.
What I share here is a response provided to our friend in answer to two questions. The first concerned our celebration of Passover (Pesach) – as in, why do non-Jews celebrate the Feast, and how do we do it? The second question involved our description of ourselves as something other than Christian. In other words, how is it that we believe in Yeshua, or Jesus, as Messiah, but do not consider ourselves Christians (or at least traditional Christians). In the interest of building mutual understanding, here are my answers to those questions. Continue reading….