According to scholar Dr. Barrie Wilson in his book, How Jesus Became Christian, there was a battle after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ between two competing theological camps. One was referred to as the "Jesus Movement" and was lead by James, the Lord's brother. This group followed the teachings of the historical Jesus and was Torah observant. By historical Jesus, I refer to the Jesus that walked the earth. They were Torah observant because Jesus was Torah observant. They saw Jesus as the Messiah, a political activist, and an inspired teacher. This camp emphasized orthopraxy, i.e. correct actions.
The other group was referred to as the "Christ Movement" and was lead by Paul. This group based their faith on teachings about Jesus and is primarily found in the epistles of Paul. They were not Torah observant based on the teachings found in Paul's letters. Paul's teachings were founded on his personal mystical experience with the Christ since he had no encounter with the historical Jesus. This group saw Jesus as the Divine-human who had been raised from the dead to offer salvation to those who would believe in Him. Belief in Christ and His resurrection would bring salvation in the world to come. This camp emphasized orthodoxy, i.e. correct thinking.
There is tension between those that seek to obey God's laws, i.e. Torah, even as Gentile followers of Jesus. That tension is not new, it has been around since the first century. I suggest, that true disciples of Jesus Christ have an affirmative duty to investigate these claims to determine which "Jesus" they are going to follow. The One that was Torah observant, or the One that is not. The battle wages on. Where will you stand?
Peas in a Pod
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