One-Law Gentile has a change of heart
During the last Messianic Jewish Conference in Maryland I had a chance to meet and talk to many interesting people. Some of my conversations stood out more than others. During one of the conference days, Boaz Michael of FFOZ asked me if I wanted to come along and meet with three One-Law proponents (who will remain anonymous). The three friends wanted to discuss the merits of their One-Law theology, having just attended Boaz’ lecture on One-Law and Supersessionism. While I regularly talk to many One-Law folks through my blog or through email, the circles I am part of rarely grant me an opportunity to sit down and talk to them in person. So, naturally, I said yes.
During our intense but very cordial conversation with them, Boaz expounded on many of the points he addressed earlier in his lecture, and answered many of their questions and objections. I, in turn, offered my own insights on the subject, having studied and written extensively on the topic of One-Law and Gentile relationship to Torah. We reasoned with them, with both passion and respect. After a lot of back and forth, we could see that two of our three One-Law debaters were struck to the heart (while the third one held to his deeply set understanding, conceding a point here or there). That is, they came to the realization just how wrong and harmful, even if well meaning, their One-Law approach to Torah has been, especially how it affected their relationship with the Jewish people and Judaism. Frankly, this was quite amazing to me, as this was not the result that I expected, having been jaded by my often antagonistic encounters with One-Law promoters on the internet.
A week or two after the conference, one of our conversation participants, a bright man in his twenties, having remembered my name, searched for me online and came across my blog. He sent me an email, part of which I present below.
Dear Gene, if I’m not mistaken, I believe we met during the Messianic Jewish Conference here in Maryland. We had a conversation with a few of my friends and Boaz Michael over ignorant gentiles not observing Torah properly.
I am starving for a deeper knowledge of Torah. I used to believe that all of the Torah applied to everyone, even a gentile as myself. Then I started coming to a conclusion that the Torah is applied to different people differently, and then our conversation during the conference helped confirm my suspicions.
I’m still learning my place as a gentile, or “God-fearer” as FFOZ has put it. I no longer wish to find the outward signs of Torah to wear and show everyone my “enlightenment”. I want to first and foremost put Torah in my heart, to honor G-d in the secret places before I even think about wearing the Tzitzit.
But I don’t know where to start…. Please help me. I’m begging for wisdom.
What an amazing transformation in understanding and what a contrite heart! Having already seen it first hand a number of times, I’ve come to believe that many One-Law Gentile believers will indeed come, with time, patience, grace and education, to similar conclusions. I want to encourage them to view being Gentiles (which simply means people from the nations) in a healthy light. It’s not a second class designation. There’s no second class in G-d’s Kingdom! Every single one of us was created with a clear purpose in mind, a building block in the Temple that is the Messiah. Neither is being a Jew a guarantee either of G-d’s favor or salvation. In fact, we are always first to be judged and disciplined, and the discipline we Jews receive is often extremely severe. You don’t have to be “Israel” to be loved and cherished by G-d as His beloved child, and you don’t have to live as a Jew to love and obey G-d.
NOTE: Are you a former One-Law (and/or Two-House) believer? If so, I would like to hear from you. Please email me with your story at firstname.lastname@example.org. You have my word that your identity, if you so choose, will remain completely confidential. I will publish your story only with your permission.