Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

Growing Group of Christians Living According to Torah

Written by Rev. H.A. Bergsma
William Morris is a fundamentalist Christian who prefers the moniker "Messianic believer." But, instead of reinforcing traditional Christian ways, his literal reading of the Old and New Testaments has led him and others to swap Christmas and Easter for the Jewish rites which Jesus himself observed. That quest, which began for Morris in the early 1980s, has made him aware of tens of thousands across the globe who accept Jesus as Messiah and also live according to the Jewish Torah. Some are Jews who have embraced Jesus, but a growing number are Gentiles. The Judaizing movement "is intensifying," said Richard Landes, director of the Center for Millennial Studies at Boston University, and cites reports of non-Jews studying the Talmud at universities. One reason some Christians take this step, he said, is that some harbour a "millennial" expectation of a final judgment in the near future. For them, he said, "Jewish religiosity is more in keeping with their millennial philosophy than the Christianity they grew up with is." Those expecting the end soon aren't the only non-Jews drawn to aspects of Judaism, according to fundamentalism expert Brenda Brasher, assistant professor of religion at Mount Union College in Ohio. She said, "Societies go through cycles of anti-Semitism and philo-Semitism, rejecting things Jewish at certain times and revelling in Jewish roots at other times... We're at a philo-Semitic moment in the history of the Christian tradition," Brasher said. She points to Pope John Paul II's joining Jews to pray at the Western Wall in Jerusalem and to stories of fundamentalist tourists to Israel being inspired by Jewish piety. (From Religion News Service and The Times-Picayune)

"Anti" or "philo" is not really the point, but rather, what does the Scripture say about all of this? Galatians 3:7 and Romans chapters 9,10,11, are good starting points.

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