Kevin’s Got "Issues"
The following is adapted from the introduction to the inaugural edition of Messianic Jewish Issues.
Let’s face it: we all have issues—some of us more than others—and the sooner we admit it, the better! Of course, I am poking fun at the title of our new publication, Messianic Jewish Issues, which was deliberately named for its double meaning. Indeed, we all trip and stumble in our walk with Yeshua, primarily because of our own issues. But we also have legitimate questions about living the Messianic Life, and we need clarity and direction if we are to be effective people of God. Messianic Jewish Issues exists, then, for this very purpose: to begin to deal with the issues that affect us as disciples of Messiah in and around the enigma that is the Messianic Jewish Movement… and to do it with the same Scriptural integrity and honest exhortation that Perfect Word has always endeavored to employ.
As I have been reflecting on my own “issues” over the past year, my heart has become more burdened than ever for my Gentile brothers and sisters in Messiah. Until now, Perfect Word’s teachings have been aimed almost exclusively at Jewish believers, with the expectation that Gentile audiences would also benefit from what is being offered. While I have no plans to alter this approach, I have come to realize that the health and stability of the Gentile believer is the key to a cohesive and successful Messianic Jewish movement (which will ultimately affect the entire Body of Messiah, Israel, and the world). To this end, I believe the time has come for Perfect Word to add a “Gentile initiative” of sorts to our palette, and begin to nurture a new branch of ministry designed to explicitly build up Gentile believers in Yeshua—both those who are looking into the Movement from without, as well as those already involved in it to varying degrees.
Messianic Jewish Issues will therefore serve as one forum where, in addition to covering subjects pertinent to Messianic Jews, I can also address issues that are directly relevant to Gentile believers. At minimum, these topics will be found in the section entitled The Gentile Chronicles, though I may also discuss Gentile-relevant topics more extensively at times.
I hope you are excited about the possibilities that this new avenue presents, and that you will take me up on my offer to open a dialogue—whether from a Jewish or Gentile perspective—on the “Messianic Jewish issues” that are concerning you. Of course, not every exchange you and I have will appear in Messianic Jewish Issues, but as I am able to discuss these matters with you, you can be sure that I will do my best to give a sincere answer based on the Word.
As with everything Perfect Word does, the ultimate goal of Messianic Jewish Issues is the collective health, balance, maturity and effectiveness of the Body of Messiah. These things usually come at a price, and it often means sacrificing our individual comforts, emotional baggage, insecurities, and—especially—our pet theologies. I hope that you share this desire to see a fully functional and productive Body of Messiah, and that you will join me on this journey, even though it likely means putting ourselves at risk. Indeed, what do we have to live for if not the complete loss of self—all for the sake of the Master? Now, who can take issue with that?
Thank you for sharing your ideas and thoughts with Gentiles. I have had an interest in the Messianic Jewish faith for a long time, but have often felt at a loss how to approach believers since I am a Gentile. I am thankful that you are open to those of us who have been called to Christ as Gentiles. I am humbled and grateful that it is through the Jews that I have this priviledge. I look forward to learning more with you.
I am another Gentile thankful for your life, ministry, and helpful teachings for us. In my Christian church they tough me a different kind of gospel, beliefs, and feelings toward my Jewish brothers. When I started reading the bible I fell in love with the first books and my desire to be with my Jewish brothers grew. We later met a Messianic believer friend of my husband. I am happy that my G-d is leading us and getting us closer to Him, his Jewish people, language, music, food, laws, obedience, and roots.
I cannot express the gratitude I feel for our Jewish brothers and sisters in Christ. I have enjoyed the devotional books you have written more than any other devotionals I have ever used. You are such a blessing!