|Posted by Philip on May 21, 2012 at 10:30 AM|
As much as we dislike doctrinal statements or ‘this is what we believe’ kinds of approaches, sometimes it is necessary to make some distinctions. So here is a basic about us kind of thing. Hopefully it will give readers some idea of who we are and are not.
1. Jews, Gentiles, and Segregation
We are a group of people who want to follow and obey the creator. We are less than half Jews by birth and a bit more than half non-Jews by birth, yet we are all Israel. We believe that gentiles are grafted into Israel and are not to remain separate in faith or identity. In other words when a gentile accepts Messiah he/she is converting to the faith of the Messiah which was, and is to be, in the context of what we might call ancient Judaism.
2. One Will for All People
We teach from the perspective of what some people call One New Man, One People, or One Law theology; to a degree. We basically believe that there is one Creator (God) who has one will for all people; not many different wills for many different people. That means we fully believe that all people are to take upon themselves the Torah fully, within the framework and direction of Messiah.
3. Conservative and Orthodoxy
The people we tend to fellowship with most are of conservative views on many issues. For example some of our backgrounds are from Orthodox Judaism, some from Mennonite and Amish background, and others who have had many similar conclusions.
4. Education and Scholarship
We believe in studying the entire Bible and that everyone should be generally educated about the context and times of which the Bible was written. We believe leadership should be educated and not novices, or self appointed.
5. Extra-Biblical Texts
We do study extra-biblical texts for example: ancient Jewish literature, the Talmud, etc. as well as ancient Christian writings, the Early Church Fathers etc. We do not want to focus too much on any extra-biblical writings. These writings can be a doorway into the possible beliefs, practices, and expectations of the people of a particular time period, yet they are not doctrinal nor are they treated with the same reverence as the Bible.
We define community as being in fellowship with other believers. Community can mean living as friends and neighbors in the same vicinity, it can mean shared land, it could mean commune, the interpretation is open. We intend to promote any degree of community among Messianic leaning believers. Community requires toleration and acceptance of others with differing viewpoints; not on obvious issues of sin but on issues that are not prerequisites of Salvation.
7. Christian Identity Theories
One House, Two House, Anglo Israelism, Afro Isrelism, etc. etc. We do not agree nor disagree fully about the various Identity Theories. Some points in these theories have validity and most points do not. Some facts exist and much wishful thinking is also present. Trying to sort out the facts and the fiction seems to only lead to strife, therefore; we officially avoid these discussions.
8. Using the Sacred Name of the Creator
We are not a sacred name assembly, yet we are also not offended nor willing to cut off people for using some type of pronunciation of the sacred name. We are well aware that many of the supposed pronunciations out there are grammatical impossibilities, and we do find those to be annoying. Some of the people we fellowship with say Yahweh, others say God, others say Creator. Of the Messiah most say Yeshua, some say Jesus. We are not offended by any of these and make no additional rules concerning them.