Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Theft of Judaism

There has been a theft. Early in the history of the church, Gentile Christian leaders made a conscious choice to steal Judaism from Christianity. In approximately 115, Ignatius was bishop of Antioch. He wrote the following in his Epistle to the Magnesians:

"Never allow yourself to be led astray by false teachings and antiquated and useless fables. Nothing of any use can be got from them. If we are still living in the practice of Judaism, it is an admission that we have failed to receive the gift of grace....We have seen how former adherents of the ancient customs have since attained to a new hope; so that they have given up keeping the Sabbath, and now order their lives by the Lord's Day instead."

Ignatius made clear that there should be no Christian participation in Sabbath observance. Such a position is in tension with the Fourth Commandment which requires us to remember the Sabbath. Further, Ignatius was clear that there were to be no Jewish practices. How confusing this would have been to the early believers that had been raised honoring the Sabbath. While there may not have been any people remaining that had walked with Yeshua, certainly there were those who had been taught His teachings by His disciples. Yeshua's teachings were thoroughly Jewish and included Sabbath observance. As the church grew in Gentile believers, the theft became complete and all Jewish roots were eliminated.

The question today for us, "Do you want to take your stand with the thieves or do you want to return that which has been stolen back to its rightful owner?" The Christian faith cannot be fully understood and practiced the way Yeshua did without a return to the Jewish roots. Who are you going to stand with: Yeshua or Ignatius?

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