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To Be Messianic

. Posted in Teachings.


Messianic

Words mean things. Labels are defining, but they are also restrictive. Their restrictiveness is actually a product of their definition. Ask folks in the Hebraic Roots movement, what a "Messianic" believer is and you will come up with a variety of definitions. Some of these are complimentary, while others are derogatory. Almost all of them are inaccurate.

These inaccuracies stem from a desire to apply our particular viewpoint upon the literal meaning of the word, "Messianic." Additional descriptors have been added to bring clarity, but they have also brought division and confusion. The additional descriptors ultimately led to the negative feeling that many hold today towards the word, Messianic. Some find the label Messianic to be so negative that they shy away from using it altogether. Words and phrases, such as "messy-antics," have been created from the confusion and disorder of the modern Messianic movement. What started out as a great move of God, has in many ways deteriorated into a mud-slinging extravaganza. This sad state has come about due to man's desire to place additional labels alongside the word Messianic.

It seems that each time an extra description is added, division occurs. Labels like "Charismatic Messianic," "Sacred Name Messianic," "Messianic Jew," "Torah Observant Messianic," "Messianic Israelite," and others have divided His people into fighting factions of frivolous fanatics, each trying to hold onto their perceived ground and prove their pet theologies. When you layer these with the various belief systems involved, relationship issues, maturity levels, and a bit of outright rebellion, and what do you have? You are left with messy-antics. So if adding descriptors, literal or figurative, is what got us in trouble, it stands to reason that the way out of trouble is to remove them.

Fortunately, the word Messianic contains its own descriptor. The suffix, "ic" means "pertaining to, like, or made of." Adding the "ic" at the end of Messiah should be all the descriptor we need. Those two letters say that we are like Messiah Yeshua. As followers of Him, that should be enough. He is enough. The true Jewish Messiah is enough. He is the way, the truth, and the life! When we add our own descriptors, we paint ourselves into a dangerous corner and start building walls to defend ourselves.

Let us return to our first love, Messiah Yeshua. The additional labels we place on ourselves, and on one another, have not served us well. To be one nation, with one King, we must think and act with a larger-than-ourselves perspective. In the Messianic Covenant Community, being Messianic is enough, just plain Messianic, period. The various groups and congregations in the community will establish their own halacha (way of walking out their faith). Despite our minor differences, we should major on our commonality and be of one accord by thinking, "I am Messianic." From there you might be a Jew, non-Jew, male, female, charismatic, or conservative, but first and foremost we are called to be like Messiah. He calls us to be one new man, with the middle wall of division torn down. He calls us to simply be Messianic.

The problem with calling ourselves anything else, is that over time, our tendency is to place more emphasis on the additional descriptor than on what is being described. This builds walls between His people. It is time to stop messing around and move on with the Messiah. Messianic should be a term of honor, not something we make jokes about or run away from. To be like Him is our goal, not just our name. It is our life, our faith, our inheritance, and our distinction from the world.

So here at the Messianic Covenant Community, all three words in the name of this organization have their own significance. One does not describe, or limit, the other. They instead each communicate a vital part of this organization. In good Biblical Hebrew tradition, the first word is the most significant, Messianic, or "like Messiah."

It is time to take a step back, so we can take a leap forward. We need not focus on being a Jew, Ephraimite, Torah Observant, or Israelite ahead of being Messianic. We need to focus on being like our Messiah. When we study out who He is and His example to us, we will end up together, not divided. Yes, this will take a big dose of grace and patience. It will take a mature attitude that allows us to learn from one another, as over time we grow together by the power of His Spirit. We must understand that our brothers and sisters in Messiah, who walk things out differently than we, are not a threat, but a blessing and a walking miracle. Each has his or her own unique story and valuable giftings to bring to the Body of Messiah. It is our identity in Messiah that must increase as all additional labels decrease.

What is more important, being a Jew or being in Messiah? Is it better to be an Israelite or be like Messiah? As we add more new labels to our faith, are we not actually working against Yeshua, who prayed that we would be one? All of the additional labels have produced additional acrimony, when He calls us to be peacemakers. There are so many roads that can divide us, and only one that will unite us in Him. That road will lead us to becoming the one new man in Messiah. It is through Him that we can boldly proclaim, "I am Messianic."

It is a new day. Hopefully, we have matured to where we can move past the mistakes of the past. Now is the time, for us to stand together as the one new man in Messiah. May we rejoice in becoming simply, yet profoundly, Messianic. Join us at Messianic Covenant Community, for such a time as this.

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