“I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.”(Galatians 2:21)
There is a rapidly growing movement, which springs out of Orthodox Judaism, Apostate Messianic Christianity, and other streams of neo Judaistic sects within and on the fringes of Christianity, which is called the Noahide movement.
It is not new, of course, in fact it predates the coming of Jesus our Lord, into this world.
The problem it addresses is for those who are not Jewish, and who do not seek to fully convert to Judaism, but yet who are attracted to the Torah, and the Synagogue. Can they be ‘saved’ ? Can they be made right with God?
The Synagogue has an answer, as does the church.
According to the Rabbis, those Gentiles who want to be made Righteous, and to seek to live a Righteous life, are pointed to the Seven Noahide Laws. Supposedly , if they prescribe to those seven (categories of) laws, they will be granted the designation, “The Righteous among the Gentiles” and will share in the Messianic blessings at the end of the Age.
This concept is ancient, we see shades of this in the Gospels and book of Acts, when we see terms such as “God fearers” and “Proselytes”, among those who heard Paul preach in synagogues. Even the council in Acts 15 attempted to deal with a similar problem, “What to do with the Gentile converts…put them under the Mosaic system? …Or do we consider them full members of the congregation upon new birth?”.
They were given a brief list of prohibitions of some of the more outrageous practices which heathenism was rife with, but not as “Righteousness”. Righteousness came by Jesus, not law, Moses or otherwise.
“It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.”(Acts 15:19-22)
The “Noahide laws” are designated thus, because of the acknowledgment that all men are direct descendants of Noah and his Sons, therefore there must of necessity be a law binding on them, as opposed to the 613 laws which apply to the Jews, according to Orthodox judaism.
The laws are thus,
The Seven Laws of Noah include
- prohibitions against worshipping idols,
- cursing God,
- adultery and sexual immorality,
- eating flesh torn from a living animal,
- as well as the obligation to establish courts of justice.
I have no problem with any of those laws, in and of themselves. They would all be included pretty much in the law of God as revealed in the Old Covenant and the NEW Covenant as well, the Law of Christ.
My concerns,(and many others) stem from the fact that a good many former Christians, including quite a few evangelical ministers, are jettisoning Christianity entirely, and subscribing to either the Torah, (under the instruction of Rabbis), or to the Noachide “community”.
The following is typical of the bitterness and hatred for Christianity which the Noahide movement if teeming with,
To reject something is to pretty much admit that it exists. This is the case when dealing with people who ask the question: “have you rejected the messiah?”
Perhaps the better question can be posed back: “So, you bought into the lie of a false messiah?”
(warning: if you ask someone that, they’ll get angry)The issue at hand is whether the Tanach truly speaks of a long-prophesied, virgin-birthed, “son” of God, born of himself, accomplish little except to be willingly killed for supposed atonement for all mankind, failed to complete any real messianic prophecies but will come back (soon) in order to do so, and perhaps (maybe) rapture some people away at some point.
We are seeing an increasing number of testimonials, on the freedom of beauty of walking away from the world of Evangelical Christianity, and “going Torah”, by various degrees, from wearing a skullcap, to reading the Talmud and sages as well as the Hebrew Bible, to keeping Jewish Feasts, Sabbaths and in some cases, coming to a point of repudiation of the cross, the blood, the Christian understanding of Key OldTestament passages such as Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22.
These Testimonials borrow heavily from the fervor of born again evangelicalism, people are speaking of being “Born Again, again” by repudiating Jesus. They are trying to make it seem so fresh and alive, and novel.
I notice they don’t often come out and say “I repudiate Jesus Christ”, instead many use euphemisms, such referring to “the JC man”.
People are seeking righteousness itself by subscribing to these Noahide laws, and of course powerful Rabbis such as Tovia Singer are conferring upon these apostates who are drawn to Torah and the Noahide movement, the title of “Righteous Gentiles”.
The very first heresy to attack the church was the Judaizing heresy which Peter and Paul had to face, and which has inspired the book of Hebrews and the book of Galatians in particular. Salvation by law, or even Spirituality by Law, are both errors, which the gospel speaks to. “By the Works of the Law shall no flesh be justified in His Sight, for by the Law is the Knowledge of Sin…if Righteousness could come by Law, then Christ died in vain…”. Who knew we would be facing it again in these last days?
Much of this is a reaction against the shallow, lawless, easy believism culture of the modern Evangelical church. Very few modern churches even refer to the “Old Testament” in their teaching and preaching , leaving a huge gap in the knowledge of the congregation.
Others go in the other ditch, virtually worshipping everything considered “Jewish”, skull caps, insisting on “Yeshua”, over “Jesus”, Shofar blowing for spiritual effect, special ceremonies of women lighting sabbath candles, Jewish feast days, and so forth. There are many false teachers such as Michael Rood who market their “Jewish” background, wrapping themselves in Prayer mantles, but denying the Deity of Jesus.
Christians already have a Law, the Law of Messiah. We also happen to have a Righteousness, it is “In Christ” and was purchased for us by our Lord and Savior on the cross. It is no small thing to repudiate these sacred gifts, but many former evangelical, born again Christians are doing so as though it is merely the next step in their “Spirituality”.
I find this whole phenomenon heartbreaking. God help us to pull some back from the fire…