The beauty of Messianic Judaism is that it brings two halves of the story together: God’s laws with God’s grace. For those in the Messianic walk, belief in Yeshua (Jesus) as the Messiah is lived out every day in accordance with the lifestyle prescribed by the Bible – Torah observance. Messianic believers accept salvation through Yeshua and live as he lived, obeying his commandments, observing the Sabbath, and celebrating the biblical holidays. Messianism joins the spirit of the law with the letter of the law.
The problem with Messianic Judaism is that it is an organizational mess. Messianic Judaism is neither Christianity nor Judaism. Messianic Judaism accepts Yeshua as the Messiah, as does Christianity, but it eschews pagan practices that inundate Christianity in practice, such as eating pork, breaking the Sabbath, and celebrating Christmas. If Christianity recognizes Messianic Judaism at all, it is only as an outreach program to Jews. On the other side of the coin, Messianic Judaism accepts the Torah, as does Judaism, but with the added faith in Yeshua, stands outside of acceptance within Judaism. Hence, while Messianic Judaism combines the nuggets of biblical truth present in both Christianity and Judaism, Messianic Judaism is affiliated with neither.
While small pockets of Torah observant Yeshua believers have existed throughout the world since the first century, Messianic Judaism as we recognize it today is still fairly new. It is populated by people who are either fervently pursuing the truth of the Bible on the one hand, or by Christians enamored with Judaism on the other. Those fervently pursuing the truth of the Bible are usually strong-willed independent thinkers who, with a lack of overall organized leadership in the movement, can get off into some strange ideas, leading to what Rabbi Dale Cohen called during Sukkot at Lake Whitney State Park, “mishegos,” or craziness.
We need a centralized organization with biblically based leadership, we need unity among Messianic congregations, and we need acceptance from our brothers and sisters in the faith.