Following a speaking engagement in Canada some years ago I was asked, “Are you a Jew or a Christian?” My response was measured and ambiguous—although perfectly clear to me—“Yes I am.” The questioner was perturbed to say the least; I was clearly being facetious and rude, after all an individual must choose one or the other, one can’t be both, right? False choices seem to have become the norm in a faith world that so closely mirrors the secular world that we can hardly be blamed for mistaking the two.
We glean the title Christian from the Greek for Christ, we come by the term Messianic from the Hebrew for Messiah. Both mean the same thing, neither discriminate, so what’s the problem? A Torah scroll is kosher in two languages, Hebrew and Greek, so to the Messianic’s I say, “Don’t be so pedantic about language.” Jesus is a Jew; cultural Jewish, physically Jewish, spiritually Jewish, so to the Gentile Christians I say, “Salvation comes from the Jews. Is an older son at fault for being born first?"
Regardless of the titles, labels or nomenclature we use to isolate one another the fact remains that spiritual relationship is not defined by any one word or set of words, we are not in search of the title, we are in search of the person. For the purposes of Beth Melek Congregation I may call myself “Pastor” but I am no more a pastor than I am a person in need of pastoral care. You will never know me by my title, I will become known to you and you to me only through relational spirituality in Messiah Yeshua unto Ha-Shem—G-d.
© 2013 Yaakov Brown
Spiritual leader of Beth Melekh Community, Auckland, Aotearoa, N.Z.