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artschooldropout

An interesting article on faux-Judaism in fundie circles

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FaustianSlip
But - Jesus was Jewish. There is no way of getting away from that. Jesus was circumsized, wore tzitzit and celebrated Chanukkah ('feast of dedication' mentioned in John's gospel). The Tanakh is in our Bible too. I am a Christian, I have no Jewish lineage of my own, but I cannot ignore the fact that my faith has a common history with Judaism. I can't help the fact that Judaism helps me to understand Jesus better.

Whoa, back that truck up. First of all, yes, Jesus was Jewish. Einstein was also Jewish, but that doesn't mean that every theoretical physicist in the world should go out and start wearing tallis and tefillin just so that the can "understand him better." Secondly, there is a significant difference between reading about a religion, talking to its adherents about it and educating yourself about it because you find it interesting or because it provides a window of sorts into your own faith or culture and actively appropriating the rituals and cultural touchstones of that religion because you think they're cool or because you think you're a "real Jew" or because Christianity just isn't sufficiently exotic for your special snowflake self. And in the vast, vast majority of Messianic congregations, those last three? Those are what's going on. Well, when various Jewish practices aren't being adopted purely as a means of dressing up Christianity in an effort to subversively proselytize to Jews. I find Catholicism fascinating and have read a ton about it, but that doesn't entitle me to roll up into any Catholic church and take communion because it will help me along on some nebulous voyage of self discovery. Or, perhaps a better analogy: as a kid, I was completely riveted by Native American history and culture, although I have no Native blood myself, so far as I know. I devoured books about it- just couldn't get enough. I remember memorizing the Cherokee alphabet at one point, which is totally cool. Now, had I then taken it upon myself to dress up in a warbonnet and do a rain dance, that would not be cool, that would just be cultural appropriation, whether I did all of the research to be sure that I was doing it "correctly" or not.

Now, as for the argument that practicing Judaism helps people understand Jesus better or that it's appropriate for non-Jews to partake of specifically Jewish rituals as a means of connecting to the "real Jesus." You're aware that the overwhelming majority of practices adopted by Jews for Jesus and other Messianic groups didn't even exist as such when Jesus was alive, right? They're the direct result of rabbinic Judaism- that is, they have evolved significantly over time and, in most cases, do not resemble the way Jesus himself would have observed those customs (if those customs existed in his time at all, which is not the case for everything). For example, Chanukah? Not mentioned anywhere in the Torah or Tanakh. Along with Purim, Chanukah is a completely rabbinic holiday- the story of the Maccabees doesn't even appear in the Jewish Bible, and the story of the eight nights of oil doesn't appear in the Book of Maccabees, either. It's found only in the Talmud and is believed to have been written 600 years after the events described in Maccabees happened. So no, actually, Jesus was probably not lighting a Chanukah menorah and spinning a dreidel as a little boy.

Meanwhile, modern Jewish law, which is almost always what Messianic folk use to determine their own practices, was set by rabbis who derived smicha (ordination) from the Pharisees- you know, those people that Jesus was vehemently preaching against. The Gospels center around Jesus ranting at various rabbinic authorities and basically telling them to get bent- reference that charming exchange in Mark, for instance, where Jesus rolls into a town, deliberately violates Shabbat in that town's synagogue, then rips into the rabbis of the community who are, unsurprisingly, somewhat offended. From a Jewish perspective, it's the equivalent of someone going into a Catholic church, announcing that they're not Catholic, downing a bunch of consecrated communion hosts and then telling everyone that transubstantiation is a load of crap. To turn around and say that you're totally doing what Jesus would have done by following all of the laws and standards set by the very people he spent his life railing against is just... illogical, to say the least.

The whole Messianic Jewish phenomenon tweaks me to no end for a variety of reasons. My religion and my sacred rituals are not there so that Christians can play dress up and pimp out their own religion. A lot of Jews have died in terrible ways precisely because they refused to profess a belief in Jesus as the Messiah. How dare some fundamentalist who believes that those Jews are in Hell put on a tallit and chant in crappy faux Hebrew so that they can get off on some exotic new ritual? I've cited this Tumblr before, but This Is Not Jewish has a variety of posts on the subject of Messianic Christianity and Christian appropriation of Jewish rituals and symbology that are much more eloquent than what I've written here. I will, however, quote the author on the subject of those awful magen David/cross necklaces you see sometimes:

I hate these kinds of necklaces with a fiery passion.

To Jews, the cross represents three things: a religion that claims to make ours irrelevant, a story that many of our ancestors were murdered over, and a man who to this day we are often harassed for not worshiping. Superimposing that symbol on the Magein David is offensive and wrong.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Judaism is not proto-Christianity, it is an enduring and independent faith and culture. Sublimating Jewish symbols for Christian purposes is always antisemitic.

I'm prepared to cut someone some slack about this stuff when it's clear that they mean well and just don't know any better, but when someone from a marginalized ethnic or religious group tells you that what you're doing is offensive and culturally appropriative and you start arguing with them and trying to justify your behavior, you're going to get some serious side-eye from me.

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FaustianSlip

Also, on the topic of seders and Christians holding or attending seders, my guidelines on this would be as follows:

- It is totally acceptable for a non-Jew to attend a seder held by Jews to which they have been invited.

- It's okay for a church or Christian group to host an ecumenical seder if that seder is conducted in accordance with normative Jewish traditions (i.e. no trying to explain that the broken middle matzah really represents Jesus' broken body or any of that) and is overseen by an actual Jewish person who can explain what you're doing and why from a normative Jewish perspective.

- If you are holding your own seder because you think it's cool, because you want to infuse it with Christian traditions, or because you're using it as a vehicle to evangelize, you're doing it wrong. If you can't ask a Jewish person, rabbi or layperson, to come and help you out with your community seder, maybe you should ask yourself why that is and reflect a little on why you wouldn't be comfortable having an actual Jew preside over your seder.

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FaustianSlip
Would it be offensive to convert to Judaism? I ask because my bestie in high school was Jewish, and at the time I had entertained conversion. Neither her or her family seem offended and I was always welcomed at Temple. So, I'm curious how others feel about conversion. Thanks.

No, it's not offensive to convert to Judaism. I'm a convert, myself, and I've had overwhelmingly positive interactions with my fellow Jews regarding my status. People are generally curious (and often surprised when they discover that I didn't convert because of a Jewish spouse or boyfriend) but accepting. This may have something to do with the fact that I've been practicing Jewishly to some extent for more than ten years at this point, so I can walk the walk pretty well and have good enough Jewish geography these days that I don't really have to "out" myself unless I want to. I choose to be quite open about my status, but many converts aren't, and it's considered extremely poor form to highlight the fact that someone is a convert or out someone as a convert.

There is disagreement within Judaism as to whose conversions are "valid," so some groups won't accept as valid a conversion performed by a more liberal group. It's a big issue that's been getting more attention in non-convert circles in the last couple of years, and I hope it will change somewhat, but for me, I'm accepted as a Jew in the vast majority of communities I frequent, so I can generally shrug off what the rest think. As GardenVarietyCitizen says, while there are a handful of Jewish communities that will not accept converts, period, they are very fringe and not representative of normative Judaism. I would also go so far as to say that they are in direct contravention of halacha (Jewish law) on this issue, given that the Torah and Talmud are very clear that conversion is possible, that converts are to be treated as any other Jew, and that to oppress or discriminate against the convert is a huge sin. I'm sure that these fringey, mostly ultra-Orthodox groups would be crushed to know that I think they're apikorsim. :roll:

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yewchapel
I obviously can't speak for GeoBQn. But just from the general cultural appropriation angle, what makes something cultural appropriation that members of the original culture will take offense at - there's a line where the borrowers start acting as if they have a true lineage and history back to the root, and therefore have the ability to lay a claim that their tradition should be considered legitimate in the original tradition.

Jesus (or Yoshke, if you will) appeared, did his thing, and the culture he was from REJECTED HIM. He (maybe? Or his followers after the fact?) said he was the messiah, but the community rejected that, they said NO, HE ISN'T. That was a bright line in the sand, you're cut off from the mainstream. So Christianity becomes its own thing, and 2000 years go on.

Now, if some of the descendants of the line that was explicitly rejected and CUT OFF to the point where plenty of currently religious Jewish people have a problem even saying the name of that supposed messiah (hence the "Yoshke" thing) start showing up and adopting rituals that are fairly recent but came from the lines that stayed faithful to the original, and saying somehow it's relevant because, well, Yoshke was a Jew and so therefore he maybe would be cool with it? yeah I can see how that would be offensive.

Purely from a generic "what is cultural appropriation?" sort of view. (I am not Jewish.)

The Seventh-Day Adventists who follow some laws from Leviticus, they don't get such hate because that admit that's what they're doing, going back to the texts, they're not putting on prayer shawls or the like.

Meanwhile, there's plenty of appreciation for the story of Exodus in Christian circles where it relates to the civil rights movement, because of the (true to the original!!) freedom from slavery themes, and that too is 100% fine, because it's relating to the story in the original sense and about ancestors prior to the big split. But making the seder to be something about the trinity, heck yeah that would be offensive.

The separation between Jesus and the Jewish community did not happen during his or even his disciples' lifetime. ALL the disciples and the vast majority of the early church (including, you know, the first Pope) were of a Jewish background and this was not seen as being a barrier to their faith at all. Playing down the Jewish heritage of Christianity came with Constantine and his anti-semitism.

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yewchapel

Whoa, back that truck up. First of all, yes, Jesus was Jewish. Einstein was also Jewish, but that doesn't mean that every theoretical physicist in the world should go out and start wearing tallis and tefillin just so that the can "understand him better." Secondly, there is a significant difference between reading about a religion, talking to its adherents about it and educating yourself about it because you find it interesting or because it provides a window of sorts into your own faith or culture and actively appropriating the rituals and cultural touchstones of that religion because you think they're cool or because you think you're a "real Jew" or because Christianity just isn't sufficiently exotic for your special snowflake self. And in the vast, vast majority of Messianic congregations, those last three? Those are what's going on. Well, when various Jewish practices aren't being adopted purely as a means of dressing up Christianity in an effort to subversively proselytize to Jews. I find Catholicism fascinating and have read a ton about it, but that doesn't entitle me to roll up into any Catholic church and take communion because it will help me along on some nebulous voyage of self discovery. Or, perhaps a better analogy: as a kid, I was completely riveted by Native American history and culture, although I have no Native blood myself, so far as I know. I devoured books about it- just couldn't get enough. I remember memorizing the Cherokee alphabet at one point, which is totally cool. Now, had I then taken it upon myself to dress up in a warbonnet and do a rain dance, that would not be cool, that would just be cultural appropriation, whether I did all of the research to be sure that I was doing it "correctly" or not.

Now, as for the argument that practicing Judaism helps people understand Jesus better or that it's appropriate for non-Jews to partake of specifically Jewish rituals as a means of connecting to the "real Jesus." You're aware that the overwhelming majority of practices adopted by Jews for Jesus and other Messianic groups didn't even exist as such when Jesus was alive, right? They're the direct result of rabbinic Judaism- that is, they have evolved significantly over time and, in most cases, do not resemble the way Jesus himself would have observed those customs (if those customs existed in his time at all, which is not the case for everything). For example, Chanukah? Not mentioned anywhere in the Torah or Tanakh. Along with Purim, Chanukah is a completely rabbinic holiday- the story of the Maccabees doesn't even appear in the Jewish Bible, and the story of the eight nights of oil doesn't appear in the Book of Maccabees, either. It's found only in the Talmud and is believed to have been written 600 years after the events described in Maccabees happened. So no, actually, Jesus was probably not lighting a Chanukah menorah and spinning a dreidel as a little boy.

Meanwhile, modern Jewish law, which is almost always what Messianic folk use to determine their own practices, was set by rabbis who derived smicha (ordination) from the Pharisees- you know, those people that Jesus was vehemently preaching against. The Gospels center around Jesus ranting at various rabbinic authorities and basically telling them to get bent- reference that charming exchange in Mark, for instance, where Jesus rolls into a town, deliberately violates Shabbat in that town's synagogue, then rips into the rabbis of the community who are, unsurprisingly, somewhat offended. From a Jewish perspective, it's the equivalent of someone going into a Catholic church, announcing that they're not Catholic, downing a bunch of consecrated communion hosts and then telling everyone that transubstantiation is a load of crap. To turn around and say that you're totally doing what Jesus would have done by following all of the laws and standards set by the very people he spent his life railing against is just... illogical, to say the least.

The whole Messianic Jewish phenomenon tweaks me to no end for a variety of reasons. My religion and my sacred rituals are not there so that Christians can play dress up and pimp out their own religion. A lot of Jews have died in terrible ways precisely because they refused to profess a belief in Jesus as the Messiah. How dare some fundamentalist who believes that those Jews are in Hell put on a tallit and chant in crappy faux Hebrew so that they can get off on some exotic new ritual? I've cited this Tumblr before, but This Is Not Jewish has a variety of posts on the subject of Messianic Christianity and Christian appropriation of Jewish rituals and symbology that are much more eloquent than what I've written here. I will, however, quote the author on the subject of those awful magen David/cross necklaces you see sometimes:

I'm prepared to cut someone some slack about this stuff when it's clear that they mean well and just don't know any better, but when someone from a marginalized ethnic or religious group tells you that what you're doing is offensive and culturally appropriative and you start arguing with them and trying to justify your behavior, you're going to get some serious side-eye from me.

Well for a start, it's not my behaviour since I'm not Messianic and I don't adopt any Jewish practices for my own (not even Maundy Thursday seders which are becoming pretty mainstream in my denomination, albeit not in my church). I'm not defending Messianic ways of doing things - imo they do it because they want ritual but are anti-Catholic, so they botch Jewish rituals. Of course it's offensive, I'm not denying that. All I said was that my faith has a Jewish history and heritage - and it does. My Saviour was Jewish in His earthly life, as was His disciples and the first Pope, not to mention the solidly Jewish Old Testament that makes up more than half of my Bible. I don't see why Messianics being inappropriate with Jewish rituals means I can't say that Christianity has a Jewish heritage, because it's just true. By using Judaism to understand Jesus better, I just mean studying it.

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yewchapel
Also, on the topic of seders and Christians holding or attending seders, my guidelines on this would be as follows:

- It is totally acceptable for a non-Jew to attend a seder held by Jews to which they have been invited.

- It's okay for a church or Christian group to host an ecumenical seder if that seder is conducted in accordance with normative Jewish traditions (i.e. no trying to explain that the broken middle matzah really represents Jesus' broken body or any of that) and is overseen by an actual Jewish person who can explain what you're doing and why from a normative Jewish perspective.

- If you are holding your own seder because you think it's cool, because you want to infuse it with Christian traditions, or because you're using it as a vehicle to evangelize, you're doing it wrong. If you can't ask a Jewish person, rabbi or layperson, to come and help you out with your community seder, maybe you should ask yourself why that is and reflect a little on why you wouldn't be comfortable having an actual Jew preside over your seder.

I find it very weird that Christian churches that are happy to have Christian 'seders' tend to be ones that do not have Holy Communion every week or even every month. I don't understand why they're not interested in using actual communion bread/wafers to represent Jesus' body but they are OK with using matzah in a Jewish ritual to do that? It's all very strange. Anyway the only food we know Jesus ate at the Last Supper was bread and wine so it's not like we know it was a seder that modern Jews would recognise or even a seder at all. Just do a votive Mass, folks. Oh wait, I forgot, that's ebil Caflick stuff :roll: *

* aimed at Messianics/anti-Catholic fundies, not you FaustianSlip!

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flyawaystray

Hi, SDA here. We don't eat pork and certain meat because it says in the bible to only eat animals that have split hooves and chew cud. It has nothing to do with following Judiasm.

Yes, we may have a few things in common with the Jews, but we also have a lot of differences. We are technically Protestants.

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FaustianSlip

For what it's worth, I don't have anything against Seventh Day Adventists- Muslims don't eat pork either, and while that does derive from the Torah (and thus Judaism), I don't think anyone feels that the Muslim prohibition of pork is appropriative or anything. And SDA is very clear about being its own denomination of Christianity, et cetera, and isn't (so far as I know) peddling any of that replacement theology of, "Oh, no, we're Israelites, too!" or "We're grafted into the tree of Israel!" The big issue with Messianics is that aside from cultural appropriation, they claim that what they practice is Judaism, they call their houses of worship synagogues, and they're generally trying to pass themselves off as just another denomination of Judaism, which they're clearly not. There was a conflict in the armed forces that went on for years over Messianic chaplains who were demanding to wear the tablet insignia (worn by Jewish chaplains) as their own, because, "We're Jewish!" No, actually, you aren't, and it's pretty obvious that you're angling for that insignia because it will make it easier for you to dupe actual Jews into walking into an evangelism trap. The appropriation of Jewish ritual is offensive enough, but the duplicitous behavior of Messianics (like Lina and her crowd) and their clergy and other organizations really hurts their cause. They behave extremely cynically, IMHO, and their tactics are very calculated. They are out to convert Jews, and they think that dressing Christianity up in Jewish clothing is the most effective way to do that. There's an entire Master's degree program in "Messianic Jewish Studies" at Biola University. Where is it located? New York, to allow for easy access to Jews for proselytizing practice!

Take a look at this Tumblr (which I think was started by someone from FJ) which catalogues a variety of Messianic idiocy. It really does defy belief.

* aimed at Messianics/anti-Catholic fundies, not you FaustianSlip!

Heh, no worries. And I think you're on the money about the desire for ritual and liturgy coupled with the terror of anything "Catholic" that helps send fundies running to Judaism to find some easy, guilt-free pickings.

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FaustianSlip
Well for a start, it's not my behaviour since I'm not Messianic and I don't adopt any Jewish practices for my own (not even Maundy Thursday seders which are becoming pretty mainstream in my denomination, albeit not in my church). I'm not defending Messianic ways of doing things - imo they do it because they want ritual but are anti-Catholic, so they botch Jewish rituals. Of course it's offensive, I'm not denying that. All I said was that my faith has a Jewish history and heritage - and it does. My Saviour was Jewish in His earthly life, as was His disciples and the first Pope, not to mention the solidly Jewish Old Testament that makes up more than half of my Bible. I don't see why Messianics being inappropriate with Jewish rituals means I can't say that Christianity has a Jewish heritage, because it's just true. By using Judaism to understand Jesus better, I just mean studying it.

Firstly, I wasn't speaking specifically to you, but using "you" in the general sense. Secondly, allow me to repeat myself, with some bolding for the part of my post that you may have missed:

Secondly, there is a significant difference between reading about a religion, talking to its adherents about it and educating yourself about it because you find it interesting or because it provides a window of sorts into your own faith or culture and actively appropriating the rituals and cultural touchstones of that religion because you think they're cool or because you think you're a "real Jew" or because Christianity just isn't sufficiently exotic for your special snowflake self.

Thirdly, browbeating Jewish people with, "Well, my Savior was Jewish! So is the first half of the Bible! So nyah!" is perhaps not the best way to approach the topic of Christian interest in Jewish topics. First, I'm pretty sure that most Jewish people are in fact aware that Jesus was Jewish and that the Tanakh (and it's called the Tanakh if you're referring to it in a Jewish context, not the Old Testament- Jews don't go around calling your New Testament "the newer, more boring sequel to our Bible," after all). Pretty much everyone in the Western world knows that Jesus was Jewish, at this point. Repeating that over and over just comes off as incredibly condescending. Secondly, because in my experience, that is almost always a precursor to some kind of evangelism. Always. "Hey, did you know that Jesus was Jewish?" Why, yes I did, but thanks for checking!

Fourthly, if I seem somewhat irritated by this, it may be because, as others have mentioned here, the argument of "Judeo-Christian" commonality is almost invariably code for, "We, the Christian majority, are going to [have a publicly-funded Christmas tree/enact anti-abortion legislation/bring prayer into schools/start teaching Creationism in public schools] because it suits Christian interests, but we'll do it in your name, too, so it seems like we're being inclusive. We're not, really, but this makes it sound like we are, and why are you complaining, anyway? This stuff we want to do is totally in keeping with Judeo-Christian beliefs! See? It says 'Judeo' right there! Are you a bad Jew or something?" I don't think I've ever heard a Jewish person use the phrase "Judeo-Christian," actually. Probably because it's a meaningless phrase. Pointing this out isn't denying that Jesus was Jewish or that Christianity has roots in Judaism. It's calling out the "Judeo-Christian" dog whistle routine for what it is- a cynical attempt to convince Jews that Christian beliefs are "just Judaism with Jesus added" (not true), that conservative Christian positions on various topics are the same as Jewish positions (also not true) and that, as a result, conservative Christian interests are aligned with Jewish interests (often not true).

I don't take issue with Christians saying that it's beneficial for them to study Judaism, because I actually agree. I do take issue with the attitude that Judaism and Christianity are basically identical, just that one has Jesus and the other doesn't, which is absolutely false. Jewish views on sin, salvation, standards of behavior, repentance and eschatology are wildly divergent from those of Christianity, and it would be nice if the occasional Christian actually recognized that instead of basically defining my religion not on its own merits, but as an accessory to their own. Judaism has its own significance and its own history and its own impact on history beyond, "Christianity's big brother" and "Jesus was Jewish." It does not exist to serve as an anthropological curiosity for right-wing Christians.

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OnceModestTwiceShy
Sorry for not answering questions, I was out performing in the Vagina Monologues. Sold out crowd, woo!

Anyway, VooDooChild, a lot of people said things that were similar to what I would have said. In regards to "cutting off access to my G-d"--Jews, Christians, and Muslims all believe in the same G-d. However, Jews do not believe that you have to be Jewish to have a place in the world to come. Jews believe that non-Jews have to follow only 7 commandments (while Jews have to follow 613 commandments). From a Jewish perspective, it does not make sense for Christians to follow Jewish rituals because Christians are not obligated to follow Jewish law and they will likely get into heaven/paradise/whatever just doing what they already do. From a Christian perspective, it doesn't make sense to do rituals in an effort to be "obedient" because Jesus released his followers from the obligation to follow Jewish law.

Add into the "not necessary and not making sense " is the cultural appropriation. Along with what other people said about the subject, there is the idea that while it can be disrespectful in general, it is especially egregious when the person belongs to the majority culture and is borrowing from the oppressed minority culture. Jews have faced 2000 years of violence at the hands of Christians because they don't believe in Jesus. When Christians do Jewish rituals, it feels like they are doing it without awareness of this history, or like they are trying to pretend that it never happened. When Christians eat matzah at their own seders, do they know that Passover was traditionally a time when violence against Jews would intensify because of the rumor that Jews made matzah out of the blood of Christian children? Even when Christians are being sincere and not malicious about it, it still brings up that history that I just can't forget.

You know what? I wasn't with you before, but you've convinced me. (Eastern European Jew here...)

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VooDooChild

Firstly, I wasn't speaking specifically to you, but using "you" in the general sense. Secondly, allow me to repeat myself, with some bolding for the part of my post that you may have missed:

Thirdly, browbeating Jewish people with, "Well, my Savior was Jewish! So is the first half of the Bible! So nyah!" is perhaps not the best way to approach the topic of Christian interest in Jewish topics. First, I'm pretty sure that most Jewish people are in fact aware that Jesus was Jewish and that the Tanakh (and it's called the Tanakh if you're referring to it in a Jewish context, not the Old Testament- Jews don't go around calling your New Testament "the newer, more boring sequel to our Bible," after all). Pretty much everyone in the Western world knows that Jesus was Jewish, at this point. Repeating that over and over just comes off as incredibly condescending. Secondly, because in my experience, that is almost always a precursor to some kind of evangelism. Always. "Hey, did you know that Jesus was Jewish?" Why, yes I did, but thanks for checking!

Fourthly, if I seem somewhat irritated by this, it may be because, as others have mentioned here, the argument of "Judeo-Christian" commonality is almost invariably code for, "We, the Christian majority, are going to [have a publicly-funded Christmas tree/enact anti-abortion legislation/bring prayer into schools/start teaching Creationism in public schools] because it suits Christian interests, but we'll do it in your name, too, so it seems like we're being inclusive. We're not, really, but this makes it sound like we are, and why are you complaining, anyway? This stuff we want to do is totally in keeping with Judeo-Christian beliefs! See? It says 'Judeo' right there! Are you a bad Jew or something?" I don't think I've ever heard a Jewish person use the phrase "Judeo-Christian," actually. Probably because it's a meaningless phrase. Pointing this out isn't denying that Jesus was Jewish or that Christianity has roots in Judaism. It's calling out the "Judeo-Christian" dog whistle routine for what it is- a cynical attempt to convince Jews that Christian beliefs are "just Judaism with Jesus added" (not true), that conservative Christian positions on various topics are the same as Jewish positions (also not true) and that, as a result, conservative Christian interests are aligned with Jewish interests (often not true).

I don't take issue with Christians saying that it's beneficial for them to study Judaism, because I actually agree. I do take issue with the attitude that Judaism and Christianity are basically identical, just that one has Jesus and the other doesn't, which is absolutely false. Jewish views on sin, salvation, standards of behavior, repentance and eschatology are wildly divergent from those of Christianity, and it would be nice if the occasional Christian actually recognized that instead of basically defining my religion not on its own merits, but as an accessory to their own. Judaism has its own significance and its own history and its own impact on history beyond, "Christianity's big brother" and "Jesus was Jewish." It does not exist to serve as an anthropological curiosity for right-wing Christians.

Ahhhh...I get it. Ok. Thanks. I was basing my understanding of messianics off of their own own websites. Most of them, as I think back on it now, are Christians wanting to be Jewish, but one is from a Jew. While she is...er...inflammatory in her arguments, the scripture that she quotes, to me at least, supported her argument of gentiles keeping the feasts and kosher. That's why I felt that if Christians aren't being all Lina or Fundy about it, then it's ok...say, like a westerner becoming Buddhist because they feel it is the right path and have taken the time to actually learn about it and respect it, or a convert of any religion, I guess. Then, of course learning all about the shite that Christians did to the Jews would be part if the territory.

And OMG what is this matzah made with babies?! :shock:

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flyawaystray

Well said, faustianslip. The thing is though, MANY, MANY people think SDA's are trying to be Jews, just because we have church on Saturday and don't eat pork or certain animals like the Jews. Very few people know the history of the SDA church and that it came about from Joseph Miller's many end time prophecies that failed.

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salex

My state has a large contingency of Faux Jew Ritual people involved in government and in political/religious groups.

Below is part of a press release put out by the Culture Shield group in KS, which is part of a group also has gone around the state blowing a shofar, beating native american drums and just creeping me out in general.

(more on that on this link generals.org/prayer/root-52/prayer-reports/kansas-report/ ) THis is related to some prophesy by Dutch Sheets, I think)

Here is how my state is being Faux Jew at a governmental level.

http:// myemail.constantcontact.com/Israel-kansas-Proclamation-signed-at-Pastors-Briefing-.html?soid=1105980875049&aid=9ryOxWAzcwM

STATE OF KANSAS

PROCLAMATION BY THE GOVERNOR

TO THE PEOPLE OF KANSAS, GREETINGS:

"Bunch of Whereases you can see on the link"

WHEREAS, Israel celebrated Yom Ha'atzmaut (Independence Day) on 5 lyar on the Jewish calendar, or April 26, 2012; and

WHEREAS, April 26, 2012 will commemorate the 64th anniversary of Israeli statehood:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Sam Brownback, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF KANSAS, do hereby proclaim April 26th, of 2012 as Independence Day of Israel

in Kansas and urge all citizens to join in this observation. (Because Israel and KS are so clearly connected)

Praise the Lord for an overflowing

Captiol Pastors Briefing! (SOTDRT Spelling)

Even standing room was at a premium!

At 9 a.m. Joel 2 was read, and the shofar sounded throughout the corridors of Memorial Hall, the building that houses Kansas Secretary of State and Kansas Attorney General.

The watchmen on the wall gathered in Topeka to receive a charge from Governor Sam Brownback, Christian Legislators, Pro-Family Leaders, David Barton, Pastor Ronnie W. Rogers, and Joel Oster of Alliance Defense Fund to "get involved, stay involved, recruit Godly men and women from their congregations to run for school board, city council, county commissioners, representatives, and senators of the great state of Kansas.

(Faux Historian)David Barton shared the great, rich spiritual heritage of Kansas,speaking to the nation through it's leaders of the past. . . . ETC.

I miss how my state used to be..

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yewchapel

FaustianSlip - thanks for explaining, and sorry if I seemed insensitive. I think I understand a lot better now. I don't use the term Judeo-Christian for the reasons you've said, not least because it ignores Islam - when it's appropriate to group the religions together, when talking about geography for instance, I just talk about the Abrahamic religions. But Judaism is absolutely its own religion, albeit one that I am still having to learn about (the UK has a tiny Jewish population and in my religious education classes at school we were mostly taught about religions from the Indian subcontinent, as it was relevant to where we lived). If anything, people should talk about the shared values between Christianity and Islam, since there are many more than between Christianity and Judaism, but that would involve associating Christianity with ebil Muslims.

Flyawaystray, I apologise if it seemed like I was saying that SDA churches are 'trying to be Jewish'. I know you're not! I just meant that you're an example of a denomination keeping some of the OT/Tanakh laws but not in a way that's trying to be Jewish.

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flyawaystray
FaustianSlip - thanks for explaining, and sorry if I seemed insensitive. I think I understand a lot better now. I don't use the term Judeo-Christian for the reasons you've said, not least because it ignores Islam - when it's appropriate to group the religions together, when talking about geography for instance, I just talk about the Abrahamic religions. But Judaism is absolutely its own religion, albeit one that I am still having to learn about (the UK has a tiny Jewish population and in my religious education classes at school we were mostly taught about religions from the Indian subcontinent, as it was relevant to where we lived). If anything, people should talk about the shared values between Christianity and Islam, since there are many more than between Christianity and Judaism, but that would involve associating Christianity with ebil Muslims.

Flyawaystray, I apologise if it seemed like I was saying that SDA churches are 'trying to be Jewish'. I know you're not! I just meant that you're an example of a denomination keeping some of the OT/Tanakh laws but not in a way that's trying to be Jewish.

I didn't take it that way at all, no worries! I agree with you, but a lot of people do seem to think we're Jewish when we're not. Obviously you know the difference, but some people don't.

I also get a lot of people thinking SDA is a cult, when it's not. There may be some sketchy churches out there but I grew up in a really awesome church that accepted everyone. That's like saying all Catholic priests love to molest little boys, when in reality, it's just a few bad seeds.

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yewchapel

We have quite a significant SDA population in the UK, mostly within the Afro-Caribbean community, as are the other Millerite churches here. I grew up in Coventry which has a large amount of people of Caribbean descent, so we saw food in keeping with SDA rules on food quite a lot in the shops (like smoked turkey wing instead of ham for flavouring dishes).

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flyawaystray

I wonder how much of the SDA's food rules are from the bible, and how much are Ellen White's influence. She believed in eating healthy, and Kellogg (who was an SDA), developed healthy cereals. You can thank him for Weetabix!

I know the bible says specific things, but a lot of the SDA's I know are vegetarian. I'm vegetarian, but I grew up on meat. I just got sick of it after a while. The rest of my family eats meat, as long as it's cow, chicken, fish, and so on.

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Guest Anonymous
(the UK has a tiny Jewish population and in my religious education classes at school we were mostly taught about religions from the Indian subcontinent, as it was relevant to where we lived).

We have quite a significant SDA population in the UK, mostly within the Afro-Caribbean community, as are the other Millerite churches here. I grew up in Coventry which has a large amount of people of Caribbean descent, so we saw food in keeping with SDA rules on food quite a lot in the shops (like smoked turkey wing instead of ham for flavouring dishes).

These two statements seemed really strange to me. A 'tiny' Jewish population and a 'significant' SDA population are pretty much the opposite of my experience, so I decided to look up the statistics. According the the BBC, the UK is home to 267 000 (religious?) Jews and only 25 000 Seventh-Day Adventists.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions ... st_1.shtml

http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions ... ance.shtml

(Links not broken because they're from the BBC)

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Talitha Cumi
(and it's called the Tanakh if you're referring to it in a Jewish context, not the Old Testament- Jews don't go around calling your New Testament "the newer, more boring sequel to our Bible," after all).

That reminds me of the LDS, actually, who have their own Testament that piggybacks onto the Tanakh and New Testament. There's still a lot of suspicion of LDS in other Protestant sects, and part of it is because they believe in a New New Testament, when OBVIOUSLY it's a fake, because there's no such thing! (Talk about tautology.)

I imagine Jews roll their eyes at the NT just like other Christians roll their eyes at the Book of Mormon.

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Talitha Cumi
I wonder how much of the SDA's food rules are from the bible, and how much are Ellen White's influence. She believed in eating healthy, and Kellogg (who was an SDA), developed healthy cereals. You can thank him for Weetabix!

I know the bible says specific things, but a lot of the SDA's I know are vegetarian. I'm vegetarian, but I grew up on meat. I just got sick of it after a while. The rest of my family eats meat, as long as it's cow, chicken, fish, and so on.

Yeah, the vegetarianism definitely came out of Counsels on Diet and Foods. ;) I grew up eating meat too, but my mom scanned labels to make sure no one sneaked any animal-based shortening (OMG LARD) into any packaged foods she bought.

Have you read the book or seen the movie "The Road to Wellville?" I recommend the book-- it's a fascinating look at the industry of diet reform in the 19th century.

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flyawaystray

I was livid the day I found out that bbq flavored chips usually have animal fat in them. Haven't touched them since.

I haven't read that book, but I'll be sure to.

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MysteryHaggis

I have nothing to add to this thread really but wanted to say thanks to everyone for this really informative thread. I didn't know much about faux Jews before this, except Jews for Jesus who I thought were just cranks. Thanks, all.

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yewchapel

These two statements seemed really strange to me. A 'tiny' Jewish population and a 'significant' SDA population are pretty much the opposite of my experience, so I decided to look up the statistics. According the the BBC, the UK is home to 267 000 (religious?) Jews and only 25 000 Seventh-Day Adventists.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions ... st_1.shtml

http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions ... ance.shtml

(Links not broken because they're from the BBC)

I'm surprised but I happily retract my previous statements. 267k is still not a huge number but bigger than I expected - I thought Judaism in the UK was limited to London and Manchester (although they are large cities).

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Dandruff
The whole Messianic Jewish phenomenon tweaks me to no end for a variety of reasons. My religion and my sacred rituals are not there so that Christians can play dress up and pimp out their own religion. A lot of Jews have died in terrible ways precisely because they refused to profess a belief in Jesus as the Messiah. How dare some fundamentalist who believes that those Jews are in Hell put on a tallit and chant in crappy faux Hebrew so that they can get off on some exotic new ritual?

Agree, appropriation is another way (torture and murder aren't currently in vogue) for some to try to convert Jews/Judaism to Christianity. Take Jewish traditions and rituals, ignore the fact that Judaism entirely rejects Jesus as the Messiah, add Jesus as the Messiah, then pretend you've created something legitimate and that the Jews should see it your way. I don't think all Christians are hostile or want to convert Jews, and I can understand why some Christians want to get in touch with their Jewish history. But, let's face it - Christianity annually celebrates the murder of a Jewish man, attributes his death to the salvation of Christians, refers to the date as 'Good' Friday, and has set many to blame and hate the Jews for killing him. This sort of thing makes it hard to accept appropriation as benign.

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flyawaystray

I'm Christian, and I don't really celebrate Easter. Most SDA's don't celebrate holidays. In fact, most SDA's, if not all, believe Jesus was born in the spring or fall, and not in December. As for Easter, we acknowledge Jesus' sacrifice I think Good Friday, Lent, etc are only a Catholic thing. Not all Christians are Catholic :P

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