Archive for August, 2010

One Law theology – a review

August 16, 2010

As I have been involved in the Messianic Movement for several years mostly by reading blogs and chatting online, I’m now a bit familiar with the thoughts and the developments within the movement of the last decades and last years. For me as a Dutch person raised in  a tradition of reformed theology, the appearing Messianic community looks a bit confusing especially in the Netherlands. The only reliable represents for me were Da Costa and Capadose. Recent persons doesn’t make that sense. But now with a more international approach my view is much broader.

I think the recent Jew/Gentile matter is caused by the re-owning of the land of Israel as a fulfillment of the biblical prophecy and the reconsidering of the Jews as a covenant people. The consequence is: There are Jews in God’s plan and they differ from the (supposed) common true Christian Church/Ecclesia.

Afterwards interesting matters arise about the Law. Supported by new and good scholarly views on the historical Jesus and Paul in its proper context, new challenges arise to match the Torah of the Jews with the Law of the Christians.

One part amongst the the Messianics is the One Law theology movement. It shortly means one law for Jew and Gentile.

On the other hand there’s a dispensation theology just between Jew and Gentile which means the Torah applies to the Jew only, but the gentile Christians has an invitation to it, not an obligation. I can’t agree with the Torah for the Jews only. I think the Torah is for each and everyone. I firmly believe there’s one law for all. However there’s a difficulty to understand the Torah. How do we handle and interpret the Torah, that’s the question.

The Torah is a revelation and guidance from God. It’s a relationship between God and men. Another revelation is the Messiah Jeshua. It all depends on how we see this. Is this the Divine Logos? The last word, the perfect Torah? This second revelation completes it all with the claim that he is the Messiah.

It’s all about that claim: His Messiah-ship. Only that has authority to change things. That’s why Jews can’t see him as a mere prophet according to Deuteronomy 13, because he changed the practice of Torah. That’s why the elders and the scribes persecuted him because he said that the temple will be destroyed and the moral laws will be changed. (e.g. Acts6:14) They didn’t accept his Messiah-ship.

So, when you don’t accept his Messiah-ship you are obligated to fulfill the whole Torah as it is written. On the other hand when you accept his Messiah-ship you can walk in Messianic times. A halacha in the Messianic era. In that Messianic era the temple is build up with the Messiah in heaven. So a lot of Torah rules depending on the existence of the temple are changed. At least changed in practice. Now we don’t have to slaughter thousands of bulls and lambs anymore in order to forgive sins.

These Messianic times are yet began since Jesus’ crucifixion. But I also could call it pre-Messianic times meant for gentiles. For the common conversion of the Jews we are still waiting. After, or with that conversion the so longed kingdom of the Messiah would appear on earth. And who will enter that kingdom, that land? “But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” (ps.37:11) The people who received the Torah and the promise didn’t enter the land. God provided something better for them. (Hebr.11:40)

Most important is to get saved in the Messiah. Then you enter the covenant and the real Torah which all is summarized in one word: Love. It’s deeply expressed in following question and answer of our catechism (of Heidelberg): “What is thy only comfort in life and death? That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.” (more)

They will get the promise and enter the land. When the Messiah comes. At that time we will see.