Monday, November 12, 2012

A Suggested "Declaration of Position" for Ex-Messianics

Continuing with with my plan  to broaden the scope of Machzikei Hadas and centralize my online presence, I am re-posting  many of my Teshuvas HaMinim posts

While it is certain that most Christians would be unwilling (because of personal integrity and personal conviction) to conceal or obfuscate about their religious beliefs, there is a problem of some Christians believing that it is appropriate to do so to obtain access to the Jewish community. Whether it is believed to be somehow useful for the sake of evangelism to obtain a Jewish conversion (under false pretenses) or because they believe that the Jewish community is a more appropriate place for them to practice their beliefs (even though they have substantial differences in their beliefs), the situation presents a problem for the integrity of the Torah observant community.

With this background those individuals who have left the Christian world, especially from "Messianic" or similar groups can expect a encounter a certain level of caution when attempting to join the Jewish community through conversion or as a ba'al teshuvah. Hopefully this is done in the most tactful manner possible, but someone who has truly moved beyond these beliefs should be understanding.

Now hopefully most Rabbis have not spent much time learning the nuances of these various sects of Christianity and may not be prepared to ask the questions that can most effectively weed out those who are only in "verbal agreement" with the Orthodox position while concealing their true beliefs. Below I have written a declaration that might help those who have left the Christian/Messianic/Hebrew Roots/Nazarene movement when they have been asked to clarify their beliefs, or if they see fit for Rabbis who are interacting with such individuals. While no document can guard against outright falsehood, the idea is to remove any linguistic wiggle room that allows some misguided individuals to believe they are not being dishonest by concealing their beliefs in the Nazarene. Hopefully this declaration will help build confidence between the Rabbi and his new student that can facilitate a better working relationship.

If you have found this declaration to be helpful, please feel free to comment. Likewise if you have any suggestions on how to improve the declaration, please let me know. (I grant permission to use this text provided one does not make any alteration intending to obscure what one means and ask that alterations be noted and reference to the original be made.)


Because of my personal religious journey, I understand that there will be questions about the nature of my beliefs and their consistency with Judaism. I recognize that, unfortunately, there are those who have sought to "join" the Jewish community through dishonesty and equivocation. Therefore in order to clarify my beliefs I submit the following declaration [(found or adapted) from].

I do not believe that the Nazarene is the משיח (Messiah), or more specifically, I affirm that he was not and is not the משיח (Messiah). The Nazarene is neither משיח בן יוסף (Messiah son of Joseph) nor משיח בן דוד (Messiah son of David). The Nazarene was not and is not the Messiah and neither was he the future leader promised in the Hebrew Bible.

I affirm that the Nazarene was not משיח (Messiah) regardless of the name applied to him. Whether he is called by the names traditionally used by Christians in English, Greek, Latin, (or what have you), or whether he is called by Hebrew names such as יהושע or ישוע or any other variation I do not believe that the Nazarene (or the Galilean) was the משיח. Likewise, I affirm that he was not the משיח (Messiah) whether one considers him to be the individual as classically understood by Christianity or whether he is considered a scholar who affirmed and upheld תורה (Torah) and taught his followers to do likewise.

While each generation may have those worthy of being משיח (Messiah), I do not believe the משיח came during the time the Second Temple stood. Nor do I believe that the Nazarene was someone worthy of being the משיח (Messiah). While he may have had some teachings that might qualify as worthy or appropriate, and may have had a beneficial influence on the nations, his teachings offer nothing that can contribute to Judaism.

I do not believe that the משיח is G-d. I do not believe that G-d has a physical body, appears in a physical body, or adopts a human body by becoming a human. I affirm the absolute unity of G-d.

I humbly affirm the halachic ruling of the Rambam that someone who is killed or who dies without fulfilling the Messianic functions (such as rebuilding the Temple and gathering the exiles) is not the Messiah.

In summary, I no longer believe in the Christian religion. I do not accept it in its mainstream forms or in alternative forms such as "Messianic Judaism", "Hebrew Roots", or "Nazarene Judaism" or any other variant that Orthodox Rabbis would consider Christian or essentially Christian.

These beliefs supersede anything I have previously affirmed, whether orally, in writing, or otherwise. This declaration should be considered a total renunciation of my previous beliefs that are contrary to what stated here. Furthermore the beliefs which I express in this declaration are a settled matter in my mind and I do not consider it remotely plausible that I would once again adopt my previous beliefs or any variation of the beliefs which are contrary to this document.

Thank You,


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