In Context: Living as a Gentile “In Christ”
I am truly frustrated! Fortunately, it drives me to learn more. Perhaps it comes from my background, my family history, and the supreme stubborn streak that my husband, family and friends know about me. The thing I am frustrated about is what I hear in the Christian community as I seek to understand what both Jews and Gentiles think of the term “in Christ”. Having recently developed an “ear” that now hears the various made up doctrines of those who believe they are “in Christ,” I am at a loss as to where to start to help people understand that they are lost, as a friend of mine says, “as a ball in high weeds!” Unfortunately, those who are lost are seeking to “save” those who really know what is going on. How do you talk to a person who has no clue but thinks they do?
I was at a Bible study last night, and not to denigrate the people in the study, the things they were talking about were nice, but completely not connected to Messiah. They thought they were talking about Jesus, but frankly, He would shudder at the conversation. Why? It was totally devoid of His people, His culture, and His worldview. In fact, it was espousing His Word through a worldview that His people despised and vehemently fought. However, the people in this study were clueless that their view of Jesus was not the Jesus of the Bible.
So again, frustration! I kept silent for the most part. Where could I begin? How do you talk to people who, while using the same words, have no understanding of the meaning. I have turned to my Jewish friends for answers. It is ironic that although my Jewish friends do not accept the version of Jesus that has come as a result of Christian Anti-Semitism over the last 2,000 years, they do relate to what I am saying when I talk to them about Messiah! Funny! Isn’t that what Jesus said He was?
My calling, as I see it currently, is to try to translate to the lost (who don’t think they are lost) what it means to be a Jesus follower; not the pagan Jesus, the Jewish one.
I see a need for shalom between Jew and Gentile. As the Apostle Paul vehemently espoused, God has not put Israel aside (Romans 11). God is actively working in His Messianic Community (Church is a German word coined many years after the death of the Apostles) to join Jew and Gentile in ONE community that works together. Christians need to heed the warning Romans 11, as for 2,000 years we have slowly detached ourselves from the root.
Scholarship for the last 50 years or more, my entire lifetime, has shown this. However, the church, in general has paid lip service to acknowledging their connection to Israel; or worse, has tried to reconstruct the idea of Israel making Israel the “nations” and the Church Israel. This is done through doctrine that frankly most Christians don’t understand. Couple that with the anti-intellectualism generated in the American church and there is left a really lost group of people.
Pray for me please…I need strength to learn, to talk, and to reach those who do not understand. As God leads, I will follow, and as Esther said, “if I perish, I perish”. What drives me is Mordecai’s words in Esther 4:14; “who knows, it may just be that you were born for such a time as this”….hmmm maybe that’s why I love Hammentaschen….
See Ya Next Time