by Mark S. Railey
Jan. 2, 2021
The prophets taught that the nations would go to Jerusalem to study Torah and that the Messiah would teach the true understanding of Torah to the nations (Zech. 8:22, Micah 4:2, Isa. 1:1-4). The prophets also taught that the Temple or “My house”, “would be called a house of prayer for all nations” (Isa. 56:7). Our identity is about preparing the way for the Messiah by pursuing the journey toward, and cultivating the interest in practicing, the Torah and prayer (as expressed in both Jewish and Christian communities). We therefore support the nation of Israel, Jerusalem, the Temple and likeminded communities in Israel and among the nations. Since our nation will be one of the nations going to Jerusalem, our community desires both to understand and to do the Word of God (to “be doers of the Word and not hearers only” - James 1:22). We desire to make the Torah real for our lives and the next generation, our children. We recognize that both the Rabbis and the Church Fathers have made great contributions to this journey. We desire to know these contributions and to incorporate their principles into our identity. We recognize the global movement as being from God as the fulfillment of prophecy. For our identity to be healthy, we support local Jewish and Christian communities and businesses. While we are not uniquely Jewish nor Christian, we are Jewish and Christian.
From the Christian perspective, we are Christians who have chosen to prefer the Old Testament (the Tanakh) and to welcome the teachings of the Rabbis, while not abandoning the New Testament, our belief in the Messiah Jesus/Yeshua, nor the best of Christian history and theology.
From the Jewish perspective, we are Jews who have chosen to await the coming of the Messiah by incorporating the teachings of the disciples of the most influential Rabbi in world history, Yeshua/Jesus and to welcome the relevant teachings of the Church Fathers, while not abandoning the Talmud, the Torah, nor the best of our tradition and history - especially the Hasidic principles, Halacha, Israel, or the Hebrew Language.
Why is our identity important? Because we believe we are on a journey that fulfills prophecy.