Missions: Biblical Judaism Vs ‘Traditional’ Judaism?
The Old Testament opens very impressively. In measured and dignified language it introduces the story of Israel’s origin and settlement upon the land of Canaan (Gen.–Josh.) by the story of creation, i.-ii. 4a, and thus suggests, at the very beginning, the far-reaching purpose and the world-wide significance of the people and religion of Israel. The narrative has not travelled far till it becomes apparent that its dominant interests are to be religious and moral; for,for, after a pictorial sketch of man’s place and task in the world, and of his need of woman’s companionship, ii.4b-25, it plunges at once into an account, wonderful alike in its poetic power and its psychological insight, of the tragic and costly disobedience by which the divine purpose for man was at least temporarily frustrated (iii.).
Abraham: Abram (as he was called at first) left Ur together with his wife, Sarai (later called Sarah). God spoke to Abram, telling him to leave the land of his birth, his father’s house, and his kindred and go “to the land that I will show you”, where Abram would become a great nation and the vehicle for the blessing of all mankind. Abraham is held as a founding father in the Jewish people. Genesis states that the nation of Israel descended from him through his second son, Isaac. Many Arab nations are said to have descended from him through his first son, Ishmael. The story of his life is found in Genesis, from chapter 11:26 to 25:10.
When sending out the Twelve to missionize the lost sheep of the house of Israel Yehsua(Jesus) said, “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; therefore be shrewd as serpents, and innocent as doves (Matt. 10:16 NASB).
As Biblical Judaism practizers a careful study of the propagation strategies and methodologies of various successful cults and new religious movements around the world would reveal that in the final analysis they are shrewd as serpents and we are innocent as doves.
The Great Commission was given to all of us. It is to be carried out prayerfully, unitedly and wisely in obedience to the dictates of Scripture and in dependence upon the Holy Spirit. Take biblical faith, biblical unity and biblical mission seriously.”GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES, BAPTIZING THEM …” (Matthew 28:19) is a commadment.
Yeshua was a missiologist. His movement’s success was about doing network, doing charity work and going to missions.
Judaism is a faith to be share not be hidden or exclusivist. For Yeshua Missiology and missiologist within Judaism was very important, a priority.
but Who is a missiologist? Don’t let the term intimidate you. You start to become a missiologist when you want to explore how Jesus and the Bible call us into mission. Missiologists get drawn into looking at the many nuances of mission, such as:
What makes mission good or bad?
What kinds of mission create dependencies?
What kinds build capacity for the local community?
In what ways can mission efforts collaborate by forming networks?
What are the new successes – and new mistakes – people are making in mission?
What is the impact of short-term mission teams on the communities they visit?
Do we support nationals in mission or send in missionaries?
Even this short list shows that missiologists today deal with a lot of hard dilemmas and questions. A missiologist tries to understand mission in its various forms in an intentional (if not professional) and systematic manner.
Our reflection gets personal, too, evaluating our own mission involvement and measuring it up against missiological principles that we can articulate, defend and justify – or modify after feedback!
To be a missiologist, we’ll want to read what other missiologists are thinking. We’ll want to keep studying, keep asking questions, keep directing ourselves and our Congregation or agency or organization into new avenues of mission-focused thought. Along the way we’ll also want to respect the main avenues of Jewish orthodoxy even as we may find cause to challenge them, why they don’t practice the great commission as Abraham did?
To be a missiologist, we’ll want to reflect on the principles of mission with seriousness no matter whether we can influence just a few or a great number of people. Current trends in mission are a Siren’s call to missiologists, tantalizing us to evaluate and measure and deal with the questions that people and congregations are asking about mission.
Beyond this today ( and in the so called Christian world), some missiologists have academically advanced training (with a MA, Ph.D., Th.D, or other advanced degrees) and write and publish articles, blogs and books on mission-related topics. For these people, being a missiologist exacts an additional price of keeping up in special areas of mission interest. While in Biblical Judaism we push ourselves to study, and prioritize precious time for mission reflection, research, and writing, we are shy.
Missiologists’ deep thought and study almost naturally produce materials others can use in guiding, preparing, preaching, teaching, and training in mission.
These kind of people sense that God definitely wants to mobilize the whole Biblical Body for the missional purpose of Messiah’s Congregation. We have a conviction that God means much more than assisting a few who might become exceptionally involved in missional activities and commitment. God’s entire congregation is a missionary group, it’s a congregation.
So…are you a missiologist? You just should be one!
God will enrich you if you step into this thrilling field.
These are great times for the Synagogue , congreation, groups and other ” Christian”s organizations to gain from people who parse the perplexities of the whole scope of mission for today’s world.
Hineni offered these ideas:
* What you celebrate is what you become.
* When you harvest, think of what the influence of Judaism has achieved. Yeshua was a missiologist and evangelist. Do the work of an evangelist. Biblical Judaism is missions. Hineni is doing missionary work in new evangelistic ways.
* The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.
* Make sure the 1000 are congregation , cell and group plants. Most new plants are lifeboats, not congregation plants.
* You cannot build a congregation planting movement on life boat traditional Judaism, they think we are to be ‘exclusivists”.
* You must plant 1000 congregation in evangelistic ways.
* 50% growth and 50% must be new generation.
* Do the work of an evangelist. Congregation planting is not the goal; congregation planting is the tool. The goal is the glory of God and the redemption of people.
* We are told to make disciples and congregations are formed. The command is to do the work of an evangelist.
* The way the congregation ( Jewish/non-jewish) is formed now will determine the way the congregation is formed for the future.
* On congregation planting. Evangelism is a bloody war and an empty tomb. Believers are turned off to evangelism because it is done in unhelpful ways. Must not become a life boat movement but a missionary movement.
* Challenge of universalism. – Yeshua(Jesus) is the only way to the Father. If you don’t believe in the uniqueness of Messiah Yeshua, then you are little more than a Rotary or Optimist Club. The answer is Yeshua ( His teachings, He is THE way, THE truth. We must call people to repent and believe in the Tannak, the gospel.
* This universalism is not just a denominational hierarchical problem; it is an issue with people in the pews.
* Biblical Judaism is not a recruiting movement but a reconciliation movement. We must reach the lost.
* We must not recruit people to a cause we must recruit people to Messiah.
* If you always talk about the synagogue or congregation without an evangelistic plan and an evangelical passion, it is a recipe for disaster.
* Share and show the Good News about Messiah Yeshua.
* Plant change agent congregations
* Sharing and showing the Good News of Messiah Yeshua is about advancing the work of the Kingdom of God.
* Be holistic, be green, be eco-friendly but tell them what they must do to reach salvation. Tell the good news at any cost.
* Show the commdaments and the gospel by your actions and by your words. Both are needed.
* Invitations. Inviting people to congregation is not evangelism.
* Planting congregations in the 70s and 90s is not the way to plant congregation in 2010. You need more than invitations. Welcome to this century.
* Labor is the work of evangelism. Ask the question what occupies your time. My ‘traditional’ Jewish friends find this very hard for them. The biggest struggle of congregation is how to spend 10 -15 hours a week not just filling in the hours.
* Try coffee or tea shop evangelism. It is where you will meet strangers. Make conversation with strangers. It is not easy. Find their felt needs. Begin there. It is not easy.
* Ultimately you must get to the point where the Torah has to be preached; the risen Messiah is the stumbling block you cannot avoid it.
* You cannot lead what you do not live.
* You don’t have to be seeker or be cutting edge, but you do have to tell people about Yeshua (Jesus.)’s teachings.
* The answer is to proclaim the gospel and not to compromise on the message.
* There is no such thing as the gift of evangelism/Missions in the Bible. We have convinced believers that only certain people have the gift and should be responsible to do evangelism. Not true. Evangelism/ missions is the duty and calling of every biblical Judaism believer.
* The reality is we are called to be missionaries, you are either a missionary or an imposter.
* Message of reconciliation to Canadians, Latin America, Jewish-latin people, Sephardi Jews, general jews and/ or the world is to do the work of an evangelist. Inviting people and bringing a friend is missional. The wheat is still not harvesting itself.
* Be known as a place where Yeshua(Jesus) is known and other people know him. Preach a clear unchanging gospel so His teachings, His name is more widely known.
* Keep a clear head, endure the hardship and do the work of an evangelist and fulfill your ministry.
* I believe you can do it sociologically because you believe what you believe.
* Focus on the harvest field and the workers.
* Be more like Hineni ( here i’m). Let them be a theological, ecclesiastical, research or heritage covering whatever, but you?. Have a missiological focus. Be like the Yeshua(Jesus), he led a robust mission driven movement proclaiming the gospel in faithful ways.
* Be a robust confessional movement of Anglicans at a substantially higher level of enthusiasm. Recognize the passionate nature of the gospel.
* You don’t have to reinvent anything to be more like Yeshua(Jesus). Be passionately evangelistic. See congregation planting as a tool for gospel expansion.
* Take a lay catechist approach. Lay pastors might have to be bi-vocational. Learn to love the word bi-vocational. It is not a bad thing but a good thing.
* Traditional Judaism have a Low Synagogue polity. You need to learn from Biblical Judaism. You don’t someone’s permission on the local level to go out and evangelize.
* ‘Traditional’ Judaism had a history of circuit riders in synagogue polity and so practice their polity.
* Biblical Judaism Believers need to have circuit riders following as Yeshua’s disciples did.
* You really have to create a system based on historical practices and biblical theology. Check your Tannak not man-made traditions!
* You need a robust credentialing.
* Your missionary methods should be Yeshua’s or Paul’s, not your own.
* Your polity should be a servant to your theology and mission.
* The Vineyard movement gave people permission to congregation plant.
* Fight for converts not over traditions, genealogy, new moon, prayers books or jurisdictions.
* You are the third way.
* You must have confessional consensus and missional passion.
* Structures will form out of mission.
* Move from a ‘tradition’ mentality to a people group mentality.
* The tradition system which we inherited from our predecessors was built on sameness and geography. It is not applicable here. Judaism have ethnic diversity in the world. There are more people groups represented than ever before. The traditional model was set up when we all looked alike. That is gone. Jews were spread for a purpose.
* One of the rules is that you can’t be near any of the 800 congregations you now have. Go plant elsewhere.
* Pockets of congregation planting can begin and then expand.
* Remember there are plenty of lost people to go around, so share with others.
* Convert people to Messiah and not to a cause.
* This room is still very white. Move from ‘traditions’ to people groups.
* You must not plant ‘askenazie’ congregations. The majority of congregation plants are non askenazie, remember this is planet Earth?.
* 97% of Sephardic Jews new congregations are non germanic or Yiddish-like.
* They are seeing remarkable revival. They have moved from parish to people group evangelism.
* Every congregation could start a language congregation and meet at different times of the week.
* Focus on confessional consensus and missional cooperation. You have to have common beliefs. You have Bible, Tannak, charismatic and evangelical.
* Allow for diversity of practice while standing on biblical doctrine. You can do both. If you cannot do both stop fellowshipping with Hineni.
* Have a space for the entrepreneurs.
* Don’t lose your John the Immenser’s. You can have space for those with a common theological understanding.
* There is a move to de-emphasize distinctives. You Biblical Judaism believers friends are a fascinating movement because you are evangelical, missiologist and charismatic. People need something unique and distinct. Evangelicalism is adrift in many ways. Don’t go there.
* Where you find orthodoxy or tradition in denominational structures, work with it based always on Biblical principles.
* If you are going to be part a movement to change this world, there are things you should do and not do. Do not be part of the evangelical mainstream. Join as friends but be faithful to what the churches teach.
* Be willing to get dirty. Know who you are. Do not abandon theological/ Torah principles.
* Remember traditional don’t plant congregations.
* Why not support a dying congregation instead of staring a new congregation? Answer. It is easy to birth the baby than raise the dead.
* Congregation planting movements sometimes create new life forms. (Laughter). You need to get comfortable with failure. I planted 5 congregations; one of them didn’t make it. Fail boldly. Be willing to get dirty. Do not exist as an alternative to someone else.