About 2 weeks ago, Joyfully Growing in Grace (JGIG) added another story to her growing collection of testimonials from former members of the Messianic Jewish/Hebrew Roots (MJ/HR) movement from an individual going by the pen name “thatonechick”. I’m going to post a snippet here because it vindicates a couple of claims I made in a recent post of mine, namely:
A) “it’s been my experience with Messianic Judaism that the issue of ‘correct’ names can (not will, but can) become legalistic to the point of a salvation issue to them”
B) “I have been told by one Messianic Jew that the name Jesus is actually derived from ‘Zeus’ of Greek fame, and therefore to call our savior by this name is an insult because it stems from a false god”
Here’s the section I’ve decided to quote, with a link to the rest should you wish to read more:
[Speaking on the issue of having newly joined in the Hebrew Roots movement thatonechick writes:] First of all, the idea of using Father’s real name and the real name of His Son as opposed to the ones I learned as a child seemed almost a salvational issue. I can’t speak for ALL Torah observers, but I can say that I know of some who at at least one point, believed that calling on any name besides Yahweh or Yeshua was like calling on empty space, or even satan himself. I even almost believed it myself.
But, I now find it very hard to believe that it is wrong to use God or Jesus. One issue is that Jesus said to call God Father. So why do some insist that we MUST use Yahweh? I have heard the argument that Jesus is a paganized name for Zeus. I find this arguable at best. I myself was saved using the name Jesus. I know that many people were saved using the name Jesus throughout history. I know that the Holy Spirit has been with me for a long time now, and not when I suddenly started saying Yahweh and Yahushua.
Yeah, that’s right, thatonechick says what I was telling you in almost verbatim the same words. No, I am not secretly thatonechick, and please note that if you go to JGIG’s site to read the rest that this testimony was posted after I had already posted “Yeshua” or “Jesus”? In other words, I did not plagiarize it, I just happen to be in-the-know about the MJ/HR movement enough to have already known those things.
Now, I put this out there for 2 reasons. Number one, to prove to you that when I write about Messianic Judaism, its practices and their implications, I really do know what I’m talking about and I should be taken seriously and not dismissed as a crackpot with an axe to grind. Trust me, I’ve done my homework. Number two, I do this to show that there is a real and present danger in what is being taught and spread by many of these so-called “Messianic” or “Hebrew Roots” groups.
This is by no means an attack on the whole of MJ/HR-“ism” per se, so much as it is a warning to preach and learn what is in accord with sound doctrine and quit chasing after Jewish mysticism, etc. If I’ve learned anything about MJ/HR (and the foregoing should prove that I indeed have), it is that there tends to be what I can only call a heavy speculative thrust to much of what gets taught therein, centered on a staunch commitment to the idea that, “if it’s Jewish, it must be good.”
Nothing could be further from the truth, but I will leave that topic for another day.